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Sophia Baddeley (1745?–1786) by Johan Zoffany [as Fanny Sterling, with Robert Baddeley (right) as Canton and Thomas King (centre) as Lord Ogleby, in The Clandestine Marriage by George Coleman the elder and David Garrick] Garrick Club; the art archive

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Baddeley [née Snow], Sophia (bap. 1744, d. 1786), actress and singer, was baptized on 12 October 1744 at St Mary-at-Lambeth, the daughter of Valentine Snow (d. 1770) and his wife, Mary, and not in the parish of St Margaret, Westminster, in 1745, as stated in ...

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Marie Effie Bancroft, Lady Bancroft (1839–1921) by Barraud, 1885 [The Bancrofts: and Squire Bancroft (1841-1926)] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bancroft [née Wilton], Marie Effie, Lady Bancroft (1839–1921), actress and theatre manager, was born on 12 January 1839, probably in Doncaster, the eldest of the six daughters of Robert Pleydell Wilton (1800–1873), a provincial actor, and his wife, Georgina Jane (1818–1866), the daughter of ...

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Elizabeth Bannister (1757–1849) by John Russell, 1799 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bannister [née Harper], Elizabeth (1757–1849), actress and singer, was, according to the encomium in the Thespian Magazine (1793), the daughter of a Mrs Harpur, 'now a mantua-maker [dressmaker] at Bath', who, having made a marriage disapproved of by her family, educated her daughter perforce '...

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See Bateman, Hezekiah Linthicum

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Bateman [née Cowell], Sidney Frances (1823–1881), actress and playwright, was born in New York on 29 March 1823. Her father was Joseph Leathley Cowell (1792–1863), an English-born low comedian, who settled in the United States in 1821 and there enjoyed success as an actor and circus manager. Her mother, ...

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Beauclerk [née Mellon; other married name Coutts], Harriot, duchess of St Albans (1777?–1837), actress and banker, was probably born on 11 November 1777, probably the illegitimate daughter of Sarah Mellon, an Irish wardrobe-keeper in Kena's company of strolling players, the lowest level of the theatrical world and regarded in law as rogues and vagabonds. ...

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See Mills, Sir John Lewis Ernest Watts

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Bicknell [née Younger], Margaret (1681–1723), actress and dancer, was born on 11 November 1681 in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Younger, a soldier, and his wife, Margaret Keith. Both of her parents were born in Scotland. She was the elder sister of the actress and dancer ...

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Bland [other married names Hamilton, Sweeny], Esther (d. 1787), actress, is first recorded on 6 March 1742, when, as Mrs Bland, she played the part of Trusty in The Provok'd Husband by John Vanbrugh and Colley Cibber at Covent Garden, London...

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Hester Booth (c. 1690–1773) by John Ellys private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Booth [née Santlow], Hester (c. 1690–1773), actress and dancer, was born about 1690. Very little is known about her parents and family background, although her mother, Jane (or Joanna), died in April 1724. She was apprenticed to the dancing-master René Cherrier, probably in 1704, and made her début as a dancer at ...

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Sarah Booth (1789x9494–1867) by Henry Hoppner Meyer, pubd 1813 (after Henry William Pickersgill) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Joseph Knight

revised by J. Gilliland

Booth, Sarah [Sally] (1789x94–1867), actress, was born in Birmingham of unknown parentage. Her father died when she was an infant, leaving a large family of which she was the youngest of three daughters. She claimed descent from the seventeenth-century actor Barton Booth but denied any connection with her contemporary, ...

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See Folkes, Martin

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Joseph Knight

revised by K. A. Crouch

Brand, Hannah (1754–1821), actress and playwright, was born on 19 November 1754 in Norwich, the daughter of John Brand, a tanner, and his wife, Hannah. She was the younger sister of the clergyman and pamphleteer John Brand (1743–1808). There were two other sisters; ...

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Brunton, Louisa [married name Louisa Craven, countess of Craven] (1782x5–1860), actress, was born in Norwich, the daughter of John Brunton (1741–1822), actor and theatre manager, and his wife, Elizabeth Friend (1744–1826). She had six sisters, two of whom, Anne and Elizabeth, had some success as actresses. ...

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Bulkley [née Wilford; other married name Barrisford], Mary (1747/8?–1792), dancer and actress, was the daughter of Edward Wilford (d. 1789), a minor official at Covent Garden. Wilford's sister Priscilla Steevens had in 1744 married John Rich, the proprietor of Covent Garden Theatre...