Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan
|Treasurer of the Navy|
|Prime Minister||Lord Grenville|
|Preceded by||George Canning|
|Succeeded by||George Rose|
|Born||30 October 1751|
|Died||7 July 1816 64) (aged|
14 Savile Row, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Ann Linley, Esther Jane Ogle|
Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan (30 October 1751 –7 July 1816) was an Irish satirist, a playwright, poet and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals , The School for Scandal , The Duenna and A Trip to Scarborough . He was also a Whig MP for 32 years in the British House of Commons for Stafford (1780–1806), Westminster (1806–1807), and Ilchester (1807–1812). He is buried at Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. His plays remain a central part of the canon and are regularly performed worldwide.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street and backs onto Drury Lane. The building is the most recent in a line of four theatres which were built at the same location, the earliest of which dated back to 1663, making it the oldest theatre site in London still in use. According to the author Peter Thomson, for its first two centuries, Drury Lane could "reasonably have claimed to be London's leading theatre". For most of that time, it was one of a handful of patent theatres, granted monopoly rights to the production of "legitimate" drama in London.
RB Sheridan was born in 1751 in Dublin, Ireland, where his family had a house on then fashionable Dorset Street. While in Dublin Sheridan attended the English Grammar School in Grafton Street. The family moved permanently to England in 1758 when he was aged seven.He was a pupil at Harrow School from 1762 to 1768.
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. It has an urban area population of 1,173,179, while the population of the Dublin Region as of 2016 was 1,347,359. The population of the Greater Dublin Area was 1,904,806 per the 2016 census.
Grafton Street is one of the two principal shopping streets in Dublin city centre, the other being Henry Street. It runs from St Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north. In 2008, Grafton Street was the fifth most expensive main shopping street in the world, at €5,621/m²/year, and the thirteenth most expensive main shopping street in the world in 2016 at approx €3,300/m²/year.
Harrow School is public school for boys in Harrow, London, England. The School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, and is one of the original seven public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868. Harrow charges up to £12,850 per term, with three terms per academic year (2017/18). Harrow is the fourth most expensive boarding school in the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
His mother, Frances Sheridan, was a playwright and novelist. She had two plays produced in London in the early 1760s, though she is best known for her novel The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Biddulph (1761).His father, Thomas Sheridan, was for a while an actor-manager at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, but following his move to England in 1758 he gave up acting and wrote several books on the subject of education, and especially the standardisation of the English language in education. After Sheridan's period in Harrow School, his father employed a private tutor, Lewis Ker, who directed his studies in his father's house in London, while Angelo instructed him in fencing and horsemanship.
Frances Sheridan was an Anglo-Irish novelist and playwright.
Thomas Sheridan was an Irish stage actor, an educator, and a major proponent of the elocution movement. He received his M.A. in 1743 from Trinity College in Dublin, and was the godson of Jonathan Swift. He also published a "respelled" dictionary of the English language (1780). He was married (1747) to Frances Chamberlaine. His son was the better known Richard Brinsley Sheridan, while his daughters were also writers - Alicia, a playwright, and Betsy Sheridan a diarist. His work is very noticeable in the writings of Hugh Blair.
Over the centuries, there have been five theatres in Dublin called the Theatre Royal.
In 1772 Sheridan fought two duels with Captain Thomas Mathews, who had written a newspaper article defaming the character of Elizabeth Ann Linley, the woman Sheridan intended to marry. In the first duel, they agreed to fight in Hyde Park, but finding it too crowded they went first to the Hercules Pillars tavern (on the site where Apsley House now stands at Hyde Park Corner) and then on to the Castle Tavern in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.Far from its romantic image, the duel was short and bloodless. Mathews lost his sword and, according to Sheridan, was forced to "beg for his life" and sign a retraction of the article. The apology was made public and Mathews, infuriated by the publicity the duel had received, refused to accept his defeat as final and challenged Sheridan to another duel. Sheridan was not obliged to accept this challenge, but could have become a social pariah if he had not. The second duel, fought in July 1772 at Kingsdown near Bath, was a much more ferocious affair. This time both men broke their swords but carried on fighting in a "desperate struggle for life and honour". Both were wounded, Sheridan dangerously, being "borne from the field with a portion of his antagonist's weapon sticking through an ear, his breast-bone touched, his whole body covered with wounds and blood, and his face nearly beaten to jelly with the hilt of Mathews' sword". His remarkable constitution pulled him through, and eight days after this bloody affair the Bath Chronicle was able to announce that he was out of danger. Mathews escaped in a post chaise.
Elizabeth Ann Sheridan was a singer who possessed great beauty. She was the subject of several paintings by Thomas Gainsborough, who was a family friend, Joshua Reynolds and Richard Samuel. An adept poet and writer, she became involved with the Blue Stockings Society and participated in Whig politics.
Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. The park is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes.
Apsley House is the London townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington. It stands alone at Hyde Park Corner, on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, facing south towards the busy traffic roundabout in the centre of which stands the Wellington Arch. It is a Grade I listed building.
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In the same year, 1772, Richard Sheridan, at the age of 21, eloped with and subsequently married Elizabeth Ann Linley and set up house in London on a lavish scale with little money and no immediate prospects of any—other than his wife's dowry. The young couple entered the fashionable world and apparently held up their end in entertaining. In 1775 Sheridan's first play, The Rivals , was produced at London's Covent Garden Theatre. It was a failure on its first night. Sheridan cast a more capable actor in the lead for its second performance, and it was a huge success which immediately established the young playwright's reputation and the favour of fashionable London. It has gone on to become a standard of English literature.
A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts, or money at the marriage of a daughter (bride). Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride's family to the groom or his family, ostensibly for the bride. Similarly, dower is the property settled on the bride herself, by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. Dowries continue to be expected and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, Northern Africa and the Balkans. In some parts of the world, disputes related to dowry sometimes result in acts of violence against women, including killings and acid attacks. The custom of dowry is most common in cultures that are strongly patrilineal and that expect women to reside with or near their husband's family (patrilocality). Dowries have long histories in Europe, South Asia, Africa and other parts of the world.
The Rivals is a comedy of manners by Richard Brinsley Sheridan in five acts which was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on 17 January 1775. The story has been updated in numerous adaptions, including a 1935 musical in London and a 1958 episode of the television series Maverick, with attribution.
This article is focused on English-language literature rather than the literature of England, so that it includes writers from Scotland, Wales, the Crown dependencies, and the whole of Ireland, as well as literature in English from countries of the former British Empire, including the United States. However, until the early 19th century, it only deals with the literature of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and Ireland. It does not include literature written in the other languages of Britain.
Shortly after the success of The Rivals, Sheridan and his father-in-law Thomas Linley the Elder, a successful composer, produced the opera, The Duenna . This piece was accorded such a warm reception that it played for seventy-five performances.
The Duenna is a three-act comic opera, mostly composed by Thomas Linley the elder and his son, Thomas Linley the younger, to an English-language libretto by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. At the time, it was considered one of the most successful operas ever staged in England, and its admirers included Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt and Lord George Byron.
His most famous play The School for Scandal (Drury Lane, 8 May 1777) is considered one of the greatest comedies of manners in English. It was followed by The Critic (1779), an updating of the satirical Restoration play The Rehearsal.
Having quickly made his name and fortune, in 1776 Sheridan bought David Garrick's share in the Drury Lane patent, and in 1778 the remaining share; his later plays were all produced there.In 1778 Sheridan wrote The Camp , which commented on the ongoing threat of a French invasion of Britain. The same year Sheridan's brother-in-law Thomas Linley, a young composer who worked with him at Drury Lane Theatre, died in a boating accident. Sheridan had a rivalry with his fellow playwright Richard Cumberland and included a parody of Cumberland in his play The Critic. On 24 February 1809 (despite the much vaunted fire safety precautions of 1794) the theatre burned down. On being encountered drinking a glass of wine in the street while watching the fire, Sheridan was famously reported to have said, "A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside." Sheridan was the manager of the theatre for many years, and later became sole owner with no managerial role.
In 1780, Sheridan entered Parliament as the ally of Charles James Fox on the side of the American Colonials in the political debate of that year. He is said to have paid the burgesses of Stafford five guineas apiece to allow him to represent them. As a consequence, his first speech in Parliament was a defence against the charge of bribery.
In 1787 Sheridan demanded the impeachment of Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India. His speechin the House of Commons was described by Edmund Burke, Charles James Fox and William Pitt as the greatest ever delivered in ancient or modern times.
In 1793 during the debates on the Aliens Act designed to prevent French Revolutionary spies and saboteurs from flooding into the country, Edmund Burke made a speech in which he claimed there were thousands of French agents in Britain ready to use weapons against the authorities. To dramatically emphasise his point he threw down a knife onto the floor of the House of Commons. Sheridan is said to have shouted out "Where's the fork?", which led to much of the house collapsing in laughter.
During the invasion scare of 1803 Sheridan penned an Address to the People:
THEY, by a strange Frenzy driven, fight for Power, for Plunder, and extended Rule—WE, for our Country, our Altars, and our Homes.—THEY follow an ADVENTURER, whom they fear—and obey a Power which they hate—WE serve a Monarch whom we love—a God whom we adore...They call on us to barter all of Good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate Chance of Something better which they promise.—Be our plain Answer this: The Throne WE honour is the PEOPLE'S CHOICE—the Laws we reverence are our brave Fathers' Legacy—the Faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of Charity with all Mankind, and die with Hope of Bliss beyond the Grave. Tell your Invaders this; and tell them too, we seek no Change; and, least of all, such Change as they would bring us.
He held the posts of Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall (1804–1807) and Treasurer of the Navy (1806–1807).
When he failed to be re-elected to Parliament in 1812, after 32 years, his creditors closed in on him and his last years were harassed by debt and disappointment. On hearing of his debts, the American Congress offered Sheridan £20,000 in recognition of his efforts to prevent the American War of Independence. The offer was refused.
In December 1815 he became ill, largely confined to bed. Sheridan died in poverty, and was buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey; his funeral was attended by dukes, earls, lords, viscounts, the Lord Mayor of London, and other notables.
In 1825 the Irish writer Thomas Moore published a two-volume sympathetic biography Memoirs of the Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan which became a major influence on subsequent perceptions of him. A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque was unveiled in 1881 to commemorate Sheridan at 14 Savile Row in Mayfair.Another plaque is in Stafford.
He was twice married. He and his first wife Elizabeth had a son:
Elizabeth also had a daughter, Mary, born 30 March 1792 but fathered by her lover, Lord Edward FitzGerald.After Elizabeth's death, Sheridan fulfilled his promise to look after Elizabeth and FitzGerald's baby daughter. A nurse was employed to care for the child at his Wanstead home. The baby had a series of fits one evening in October 1793, when she was 18 months old, dying before a doctor could attend. She was interred beside her mother at Wells Cathedral.
In 1795, Richard B. Sheridan married Hester Jane Ogle (1776–1817), daughter of the Dean of Winchester. They had at least one child: Charles Brinsley Sheridan (1796–1843).At one time Sheridan owned Downe House, Richmond Hill in London.
He also wrote a selection of poems and political speeches during his time in parliament.
The School for Scandal is a comedy of manners written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre on 8 May 1777.
Hannah Cowley was an English dramatist and poet. Although Cowley's plays and poetry did not enjoy wide popularity after the nineteenth century, critic Melinda Finberg rates Cowley as "one of the foremost playwrights of the late eighteenth century" whose "skill in writing fluid, sparkling dialogue and creating sprightly, memorable comic characters compares favourably with her better-known contemporaries, Goldsmith and Sheridan." Cowley’s plays were produced frequently during her lifetime. The major themes of her plays - including her first, The Runaway (1776), and her major hit which is being revived, The Belle's Stratagem (1780) - revolve around marriage and how women strive to overcome the injustices imposed by family life and social custom.
Thomas Linley was an English bass and musician active in Bath, Somerset. Born in Badminton, Gloucestershire, Linley began his musical career after he moved to Bath at age 11 and became apprentice to the organist Thomas Chilcot. After his marriage to Mary Johnson in 1752, Linley at first supported his wife and growing family predominantly as a music teacher. As his children grew and he developed their musical talent, he drew an increasing amount of income from their concerts while also managing the assembly rooms in Bath. When the new Bath Assembly Rooms opened in 1771, Linley became musical director and continued to promote his children's careers. He was eventually able to move to London with the thousands of pounds which he had amassed from their concerts.
Michael Kelly was an Irish singer (tenor), composer and theatrical manager who made an international career of importance in musical history. One of the leading figures in British musical theatre around the turn of the nineteenth century, and a close associate of Richard Sheridan's, he had been a friend of Mozart and Paisiello, and created roles in operas of both. With his friend Nancy Storace, he was one of the first singers in that age from Britain and Ireland to make a front-rank reputation in Italy and Austria. In Italy he was also known as O'Kelly or even Signor Ochelli. Although the primary source for his life is his Reminiscences, it has been said 'Any statement of Kelly's is immediately suspect.'
Walter Long of South Wraxall, near Bradford-on-Avon, the great-great-great grandson of Sir Walter Long of South Wraxall and Draycot was born in Wiltshire, and had inherited along with other family estates, the 15th century South Wraxall Manor. His ancestors made their wealth initially as clothiers. He served as High Sheriff of Wiltshire for 1764.
Thomas (Tom) Linley the younger was the eldest son of the composer Thomas Linley the elder and his wife Mary Johnson. He was one of the most precocious composers and performers that have been known in England, and became known as the "English Mozart".
Richard Tickell (1751–1793) was an English playwright and satirist.
Events from the year 1777 in Ireland.
Richard Brinsley Peake was a dramatist of the early nineteenth century best remembered today for his 1823 play Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein, a work based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was Peake, not Shelley, who wrote the famous line, "It lives!"
Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1787) is an oil on canvas portrait painted by Thomas Gainsborough between 1785 and 1787. It was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in 1937. Mrs. Sheridan was a talented musician who enjoyed professional success in Bath and London before marrying Richard Brinsley Sheridan in 1773 and abandoning her career. She was 31 when she sat for Gainsborough, dying from tuberculosis seven years later at the age of thirty-eight. The portrait was painted between 1785 and 1787, and, was exhibited at Gainsborough's studio at Schomberg House, Pall Mall in 1786.
Abraham Portal was an English goldsmith and dramatist.
Thomas Ryder (1735–1790) was a British actor and theatre manager, associated with the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. As a player, he was considered at his best in low comedy.
Thomas Sheridan, known as Tom Sheridan, was the only son of the Irish playwright and poet Richard Brinsley Sheridan and the soprano Elizabeth Ann Linley, although his father had at least one other son from a second marriage. Born in mid-November 1775, Thomas initially tried for a career in politics but was unsuccessful.
Caroline Henrietta Sheridan was an English novelist of the 19th century.
Margaret Kennedy was a contralto singer and actress. She was best known for her performances in male roles, especially in the operas of Thomas Arne.
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| Treasurer of the Navy |
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Sir William Manners
| Member of Parliament for Ilchester |