A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Volume 10, M’Intosh to by Philip H Highfill Jr

By Philip H Highfill Jr

Those featured in quantity 10 comprise Margaret Martyr, a singer, actress, and dancer whose “conjugal virtues have been frequently impeached,” in line with the July 1792 Thespian journal. The Diction­ary describes this least consistent of fans as “of middling top, with a determine well-proportioned for breeches components. [Her] black-haired, black-eyed attractiveness and transparent soprano made her an immedi­ate renowned luck in merry maids and tuneful minxes, the piquant and the pert, for 1 / 4 century.”

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In the fall, both she and Macklin were regulars of the Drury Lane company, where in subsequent years they were frequently to be seen in the same bill. From this period they were also sharing lodgings in Bow Street. Mrs Grace played much less frequently in 1734–35 and 1735–36 than thitherto, a diminution which may be attributed in 1734–35 to the care of her young daughter.  In 1738–39, Mrs Grace added Flora in She Wou'd and She Wou'd Not, Mrs Prim in A Bold Storke for a Wife, Mrs Hartshorn in The Lady's Last Stake, and Parley in The Constant Couple.

For the provenance and a detailed discussion of this painting and the Nos 29, 30, and 31, below, see Mander and Mitchenson, The Artist and the Theatre (1955).  Engraving by John Smith, published in Robert Sayer's edition of Dramatic Characters, or Different Portraits of the English Stage.  It was bought at Sotheby's on 30 June 1948 by Somerset Maugham, who bequeathed it to the National Theatre, where it now hangs.  In the National Gallery of Ireland, purchased at Christie's in 1888.  In 1955 in the possession of the family of the late Sir Herbert Hughes­Stanton.

597.  Engraving by Thornthwaite for Bell's British Theatre, 1777.  Engraving by Thornthwaite, after Samuel De Wilde, for Bell's British Theatre, 1792.  Cawthorne, 1795.  Harding, 1786.  262.  Darly on 5 November 1773.  A copy in reverse was also issued.  Published as a plate to London Magazine, 1773.  A copy in reverse was also issued.  A similar picture, probably also by Alcock, is in a private collection in New York.  A copy, in another edition, was also issued.  Wright, 1775.  Yolland, 1790.

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