Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ayscough, George Edward

AYSCOUGH, GEORGE EDWARD (d. 1779), dramatist and traveller, was the son of Dr. Francis Ayscough, dean of Bristol, by a sister of the first Lord Lyttelton. For some time he held a commission in the Guards. In 1776 he produced at Drury Lane a version of the ‘Semiramis’ of Voltaire, Mr. Yates representing the chief character; an epilogue was provided by Sheridan. The tragedy obtained eleven representations, and the English author enjoyed three benefits on account of it. On the first performance Captain Ayscough's brother officers attended in great force and secured the success of ‘Semiramis.’ In the ‘Biographia Dramatica’ Ayscough is described as ‘a fool of fashion,’ ‘a parasite of Lord Lyttelton;’ and his tragedy is condemned as contemptible. He left England on account of his failing health, and afterwards published some account of his travels in Italy. He was the editor of the Miscellaneous Works of his uncle, Lord Lyttelton, published in 1774.

[Genest's History of the Stage, 1832.]

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