playwright and drama critic, born in Manchester, where he worked in the cotton trade while pursuing his passion for the theatre. The Dear Departed (1908) was performed by Miss Horniman's Repertory Theatre. His other plays, Independent Means (1909), The Younger Generation (1910), Master of the House (1910), and Fancy‐Free (1911), led up to the enduringly successful Hindle Wakes (1912), a satiric comedy which mocks the small‐minded people in the Lancastrian manufacturing town of Hindle, and their deep attachment to property and propriety. Most of Houghton's plays centre, with sympathy and insight, on problems of homely Lancashire life, and are strongly influenced by Ibsen. See also Manchester School.