Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Roxby, Robert

ROXBY, ROBERT (1809?–1866), actor, born about 1809, was son of William Roxby Beverley, an actor, who was manager at one time of the theatre in Tottenham Street, Fitzroy Square. Henry Roxby Beverley [q. v.] and William Beverley, the well-known scene-painter, were his brothers. After performing in the country, Roxby appeared in 1839 at the St. James's, under the management of Hooper. In 1843 he took the Theatre Royal, Manchester, where he played many leading parts in comedy. He was for some years in London at the Lyceum or Drury Lane, and was during eleven years stage-manager of the theatre last named. He acted much with Charles Mathews, whose principal parts he was in the habit of taking in the country, and was with him and Madam Vestris at the Lyceum from 1847 to 1855. This was his brightest period. On 10 Oct. 1855 he played, at Drury Lane, Rob Royland to the Mopus of Charles Mathews, in ‘Married for Money,’ an adaptation of Poole's ‘Wealthy Widow.’ On this occasion the Lyceum company had been engaged by E. T. Smith for Drury Lane. The following year at Drury Lane he supported Mrs. Waller, an actress from America and Australia. On 8 March 1858 he was the original Lord George Lavender in Sterling Coyne's ‘Love Knot.’ He played, 14 March 1860, an original part in Fitzball's ‘Christmas Eve, or the Duel in the Snow,’ founded on Gérome's famous picture; was on 28 Nov. 1861 the first Hardress Cregan in Byron's burlesque, ‘Miss Eily O'Connor.’ At the Princess's as stage manager, 23 Jan. 1863, he was seriously burnt in extinguishing a fire on the stage, by which two girls in the pantomime lost their lives. On the first appearance in London of Walter Montgomery [q. v.] at the Princess's as Othello, 18 June 1863, Roxby was the Roderigo. At the close of the year he was again at Drury Lane, where, 12 April 1864, he played in ‘An April Fool’ by Brough and Halliday. On 25 July 1866, after a long and painful illness, he died at the house of his brother, 26 Russell Square, London. Roxby was a capable stage-manager and, in spite of some hardness of style and weakness of voice, a respectable actor in light-comedy parts.

[Personal Recollections; Era, 29 July 1866; Gent. Mag. 1866, ii. 416; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. ix. 116; Scott and Howard's Blanchard.]

J. K.