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George Barrington (1755–1804) by Sir William Beechey, c. 1785 by permission of the National Library of Australia T275

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Barrington [formerly Waldron], George (1755–1804), actor, pickpocket, and transported convict, was born in Maynooth, co. Kildare, Ireland. Some claim that his birth date was 14 May 1755 and that his father was Henry Waldron, a silversmith, and his mother a Miss Naish (Naith)...

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Ernest Blythe (1889–1975) by unknown photographer, 1922 Getty Images

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Blythe, Ernest [Earnán de Blaghd] (1889–1975), politician and theatre director, was born on 13 April 1889 in Magheragall, Lisburn, co. Antrim, the eldest child of James and Agnes Blythe. He came from a Church of Ireland and staunchly Orange background and was a most unlikely convert to Irish nationalism. Educated at the local ...

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Daly, Richard (1758–1813), actor and theatre manager, was born in co. Westmeath, Ireland, in 1758, the second son of Joseph Daly, a landowner in co. Galway. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in November 1773 at the age of fifteen, but left without taking a degree. From his youth he displayed a mercurial and sometimes violent temper, and he gained a reputation as a duellist, gambler, and womanizer....

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Delane [Delany], Dennis (1694/5?–1750), actor, was born in Ireland and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. Burtchaell and Sadleir identified him as the Dennis Delany who was the son of Solomon Delany, a clergyman, and who was educated at Mr Griffin's school, Elphin...

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Hayward, (Harold) Richard (1892–1964), writer and actor, was born on 24 October 1892 at 21 Forest Road, Southport, Lancashire, the fourth son and fifth of the seven children of Walter Scott Hayward (1855–1910), yachtsman and boat designer, and his wife, Louise Eleanor (1859–1932)...

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(William) Denis Johnston (1901–1984) by Norah McGuinness © courtesy of the Artist's Estate; National Gallery of Ireland

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Johnston, (William) Denis (1901–1984), playwright and broadcaster, was born at 54 Wellington Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, on 18 June 1901, the only child of William John Johnston (1869–1940), barrister, and his wife, Kathleen, née King (1860–1944), teacher and amateur opera singer. Both parents were brought up in comfortable, bourgeois, Presbyterian ...

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Jones, Frederick Edward (c. 1759–1834), theatre manager, was born at Vesington, co. Meath, Ireland, about 1759 to landed protestant parents. Little is known about his youth except that he apparently attended Trinity College, Dublin, before living for a while on the continent (there is no surviving record of him at ...

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Mossop, Henry (1727/8–1774), actor and theatre manager, was born in co. Galway, the son of the Revd John Mossop (1701/2–1759), Church of Ireland clergyman of the prebend of Kilmeen, Tuam, co. Galway. He was brought up in Dublin by his uncle, a bookseller, and is said to have attended the grammar school in ...

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Owenson [formerly MacOwen], Robert Nugent (1744–1812), actor and theatre manager, was born in the barony of Tyrawley, co. Mayo, Ireland, the son Walter MacOwen and his wife, Sydney Bell. His parents were poor, and he was principally educated in a hedge-school. He converted to protestantism, Anglicized his name, and travelled to ...

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Robinson, (Esmé Stuart) Lennox (1886–1958), playwright and theatre director, was born on 4 October 1886 in Castletreasure, near Douglas, co. Cork, the youngest of the seven children of Andrew Craig Robinson (c.1842–1921) and Emily Anna, née Jones (1850–1932). When Lennox was six his father, a stockbroker, took orders in the ...

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Abraham Stoker (1847–1912) by W. & D. Downey, 1906 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Stoker, Abraham [Bram] (1847–1912), novelist and theatre manager, was born on 8 November 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, Dublin, the second of the five sons and two daughters of Abraham Stoker (1799–1876), clerk at Dublin Castle, and Charlotte, née Thornley (1818–1901), social activist and advocate for the poor. ...

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See Sullivan, Francis Stoughton

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Margaret Woffington (1720?–1760) by John Lewis, 1753 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Woffington, Margaret [Peg] (1720?–1760), actress, was born in Dublin, according to her funeral monument in Teddington church, on 18 October 1720, although a date as early as 1714 has been suggested. She was the daughter of John Woffington (called Arthur Woffington by ...