Thomas Sheridan (soldier)

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Thomas Sheridan as a baby painted by Benjamin West c. 1776 although Kalinsky considers it would be around 1778 as Tom seems to be approximately three years old; she also feels it is a poor depiction of his mother but qualifies this by stating West typically was not successful at reproducing women's portraits. Sheridan family, Benjamin West.jpg
Thomas Sheridan as a baby painted by Benjamin West c. 1776 although Kalinsky considers it would be around 1778 as Tom seems to be approximately three years old; she also feels it is a poor depiction of his mother but qualifies this by stating West typically was not successful at reproducing women's portraits.

Thomas Sheridan (16 or 17 November 1775 – 12 September 1817), 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.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan Irish-British politician, playwright and writer

Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan 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.

Elizabeth Ann Linley English soprano

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.

Contents

Early life and family

The courtship of Sheridan's parents, the soprano Elizabeth Ann Linley and the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was described in newspaper reports as "one of the classic romances of the west country" and stated that his mother was "the most beautiful singer in England"; [2] she abandoned her career as a singer [3] when she married Richard in April 1773 as he thought her profession reflected badly on his status as a gentleman. [4] She had several miscarriages before Sheridan was born in mid-November 1775; [5] [lower-alpha 1] she named him after Thomas Linley, and Thomas Sheridan, his maternal and paternal grandfathers respectively. [7] The young Sheridan was sent to boarding school in Hatton, Warwickshire in early 1786, where he was educated by Samuel Parr. [5] [8] Parr described him as having "great acuteness, excellent understanding, wit and humour, but not a particle of knowledge." [9] The English historian William Smyth was engaged as his tutor after the death of Sheridan's mother in 1792. [10] Sheridan entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1795. [11] According to Smyth, Sheridan was the "idol of the young men" [9] when at Cambridge and his fellow students thought him "the cleverest fellow in the place", [9] although Smyth added his own rider clarifying that in humour and fun this was the case. [9]

A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) = 880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) = 1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which often encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.

Thomas Linley the elder British composer

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.

Thomas Sheridan (actor) Irish stage actor and educator

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.

Sheridan married Caroline Henrietta Callander of Craigforth (1779–1851), a daughter of Sir James Campbell, on 21 June 1805. [12] [5] Sheridan's father was initially against the marriage, and threatened to sever financial support to his son; Caroline did have a small inheritance but it was insufficient to fully support the couple. [13] They had six or seven children. [lower-alpha 2] Their eldest son, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, was appointed as High Sheriff of Dorset in 1838 [15] and pursued a political career. [5] The couple's daughters included Helen Blackwood, Baroness Dufferin and Claneboye; the feminist Caroline Norton; and Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset. [5]

Caroline Henrietta Sheridan was an English novelist of the 19th century.

Richard Brinsley Sheridan was an English Whig politician.

The High Sheriff of Dorset is an ancient High Sheriff title which has been in existence for over one thousand years. Until 1567 the Sheriff of Somerset was also the Sheriff of Dorset.

Career

Sheridan unsuccessfully tried for a political career, firstly being involved in political shenanigans with his father to gain the Liskeard seat in 1804. [16] He failed to be elected at Stafford in 1806 and 1807. [17] He briefly served in the army in 1803 [18] under Lord Moira as aide-de-camp then in Ireland where he served as a muster-master general in 1806. [12] [5] That year, his father gifted him a 25 per cent share of the Drury Lane Theatre where Sheridan became the manager. He also undertook managerial duties at the Lyceum Theatre, London while still managing the Theatre Royal. [5] He wrote poetry, plays and melodramas, including Description of Characters in 1808 and The Russian, which was staged for 11 performances at Drury Lane from 13 May 1813. [5] According to the tenor Michael Kelly, a leading figure in British musical theatre, Sheridan had "a good voice, and a true taste for music". [19] Sheridan's verse about the loss of the frigate, Saldanha, on the coastline of Ireland on 4 December 1811, was described by Captain Jesse in the biography The Life of George Brummell as having more originality than any of Sheridan's father's poems. [20]

Liskeard market town and civil parish in south east Cornwall, England

Liskeard is an ancient stannary and market town and civil parish in south east Cornwall, England, United Kingdom.

Stafford county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England

Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It lies approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of Wolverhampton, 18 miles (29 km) south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles (39 km) north-west of Birmingham. The population in 2001 was 63,681 and that of the wider borough of Stafford 122,000, the third largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings Governor-General of India

Francis Edward Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, KG, PC, styled The Honourable Francis Rawdon from birth until 1762, as The Lord Rawdon between 1762 and 1783, and known as The Earl of Moira between 1793 and 1816, was an Anglo-Irish British politician and military officer who served as Governor-General of India from 1813 to 1823. He had also served with British forces for years during the American Revolutionary War and in 1794 during the French Revolutionary Wars. He took the additional surname "Hastings" in 1790 in compliance with the will of his maternal uncle, Francis Hastings, 10th Earl of Huntingdon.

A manuscript for the play The Siege of St Quintin staged at the Drury Lane Theatre in November 1808 demonstrates the working methods used by Sheridan and his father while managing the theatre. Drafts were read through and checked by Sheridan senior, further revised by the son and then transcribed. [21]

While carrying out his army service under Lord Moira in Edinburgh, Sheridan was intimately involved with the wife of Peter Campbell, a wealthy businessman whose work had taken him to the West Indies. The affair led to the break up of the Campbell's marriage and in 1807, Sheridan was convicted of criminal conversation over it. Campbell was awarded £1,500 compensation, which Sheridan paid with money loaned by actors from the Drury Lane Theatre. [5] [18]

Criminal conversation

At common law, criminal conversation, often abbreviated as crim. con., is a tort arising from adultery. "Conversation" is an old euphemism for sexual intercourse that is obsolete except as part of this term.

Like many of his relatives, including his mother and aunt, Sheridan was afflicted with tuberculosis and he moved abroad with his wife and eldest daughter to ease the symptoms; he was appointed as the Colonial Governor's treasurer at the Cape of Good Hope in 1813 [12] as a result of his father's influence with the Duke of York. [22]

Legacy and death

Four years after taking up his appointment at the Cape of Good Hope, Sheridan died of tuberculosis on 12 September 1817; [5] [lower-alpha 3] his body was transported back to Britain and buried at Wells Cathedral in his mother's grave. [23] After his death, his widow, together with his eldest daughter returned to Britain. [24] She adopted a reclusive lifestyle but made a name for herself by authoring several books before her death in 1851. [25]

Thomas Gainsborough painted several family portraits, particularly of Sheridan's mother, Elizabeth; a lesser known painting of Sheridan was purchased by an American art collector in 1928. [26]

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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.'

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The Glorious First of June is a 1794 play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. It depicts the Glorious First of June, a British naval victory over the French that took place on 1 June 1794 during the French Revolutionary War. It premiered on 2 July 1794 at the Drury Lane theatre, and was based on newspaper accounts of the battle. It contains a debate on the question of naval patriotism – a key issue at the time. The profits made from the play were donated to the families of those killed in the battle.

<i>Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan</i> (painting) painting by Thomas Gainsborough

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.

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References

Notes

  1. Jeffares gives the date of birth as 17 November 1775 [5] whereas Black gives 16 November 1775. [6]
  2. Jeffares quotes seven children (four sons and three daughters) [5] whereas Chedzoy [12] and Black [14] state six.
  3. Chedzoy gives September 1818, [12] a mis-print as newspapers report details of his death in early 1818. [23]

Citations

  1. Kalinsky (1988), p. 71
  2. "Poor Mrs Sheridan" , Western Daily Press, 185 (30546), p. 6, 10 November 1950, retrieved 17 August 2014 via British Newspaper Archive
  3. "Richard Brinsley Sheridan, poet, dramatist, statesman" , Aberdeen Weekly Journal (7497), p. 4, 27 February 1879, retrieved 17 August 2014 via British Newspaper Archive
  4. Chedzoy (1998), p. 128
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Jeffares, A. Norman, "Sheridan, Thomas (1775–1817)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25372 (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. Black (1911), p. 133
  7. Chedzoy (1998), p. 172
  8. Chedzoy (1998), p. 233
  9. 1 2 3 4 Smyth (1840), p. 64
  10. Kelly (1997), p. 189
  11. "Sheridan, Thomas (SHRN795T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Chedzoy (1998), p. 299
  13. Kelly (1997), p. 264
  14. Black (1911), p. 324
  15. "Buckingham Palace", London Gazette (19586): 232, 1 February 1838, archived from the original on 3 September 2014, retrieved 3 September 2014
  16. Thorne, R. G., Liskeard, History of Parliament, archived from the original on 5 September 2014, retrieved 5 September 2014
  17. Thorne, R. G., Stafford, History of Parliament, archived from the original on 5 September 2014, retrieved 5 September 2014
  18. 1 2 "Law intelligence" , Morning Post (11354), p. 3, 8 July 1807 via British Newspaper Archive
  19. Kelly (1826), p. 258
  20. Jesse (1886), p. 237
  21. Lockwood (2004), p. 492
  22. Kelly (1997), p. 299
  23. 1 2 "London, Friday February 6" , Morning Post (14680), p. 3, 6 February 1818 via British Newspaper Archive
  24. Highfill, Burnim & Langhans (1991), p. 317
  25. "Mrs Thomas Sheridan" , Taunton Courier (2222), p. 3, 18 June 1851, retrieved 6 September 2014 via British Newspaper Archive
  26. "A Gainsborough for America" , Dundee Courier (23580), p. 6, 1 January 1929 via British Newspaper Archive

Bibliography

  • Black, Clementina (1911), The Linleys of Bath, Martin Secker
  • Chedzoy, Alan (1998), Sheridan's Nightingale, Allison & Busby, ISBN   0-7490-0341-3
  • Highfill, Philip H.; Burnim, Kalman A.; Langhans, Edward A. (1991), A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800, SIU Press, ISBN   978-0-8093-1525-3
  • Jesse, William (1886), The Life of George Brummell, I, Scribner and Welford
  • Kalinsky, Nicola (1988), "Elizabeth Linley (1754–1792)", A Nest of Nightingales, by Waterfield, Giles, Dulwich Picture Gallery
  • Kelly, Linda (1997), Richard Brinsley Sheridan: a life, Sinclair-Stevenson, ISBN   978-1-85619-207-1
  • Kelly, Michael (1826), Reminiscences of the King's Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Including a Period of Nearly Half a Century ..., H. Colburn
  • Lockwood, Tom (2004), "The Review of English Studies" Prize Essay: The Sheridans at Work: A Recovered Drury Lane Revisal of 1808", The Review of English Studies, Oxford University Press, 55 (221), JSTOR   3661444
  • Smyth, William (1840), Memoir of Mr Sheridan