Shadwell, Charles (c.1675–1726), playwright, was born in London, the son of the English poet laureate and playwright Thomas Shadwell (c.1640–1692). Charles Shadwell served in the army in Portugal under Major-General Newton and in 1710 was appointed supervisor of the excise in Kent. Shadwell's play ‘The fair quaker of Deal; a comedy’ was produced at Drury Lane Theatre in 1710, with the celebrated dancer Hester Booth (c.1690–1773) playing the title role to great acclaim. His next play, ‘The humours of the army’, was performed at Drury Lane in 1713.
In that year Shadwell moved to Dublin, where he held a post in the revenue office. He continued to write plays, which were performed at the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. His plays were predominantly farces in an Irish setting, and include ‘The hasty wedding’ (1716), ‘Irish hospitality’ (1717), ‘The sham prince’ (1718), and ‘The plotting lovers’ (1719). His plays attracted such notable contemporary actors as John Hippisley (1696–1748) and John Evans (c.1677–1718), who appeared in ‘Irish hospitality’ in 1717 and as Flip in ‘The fair quaker of Deal’. Shadwell also wrote a historical play, ‘Rotherick O'Connor, king of Connaught, or The distressed princess’ (1719), which was concerned with the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, presenting Strongbow (qv) as Ireland's deliverer from the tyrannical Rory O'Connor (qv) and the archbishop of Tuam.
In 1720 Shadwell's plays and songs were collected in two volumes which were dedicated to his patron Lady Newtown and published in Dublin. He supported Jonathan Swift's (qv) ‘Drapier's letters’ campaign in 1725, and died in Dublin in 1726.