Siddons, which ripened into friendship, and played on 18 Oct. Juliet, followed by Cleopatra in ' All for Love,' &c. While here and at Manchester she made many applications to Tate Wilkinson, which were ultimately successful, and wrote the first outline of 'A Simple Story.' Mrs. Inchbald and her husband here also formed their close friendship with John Philip Kemble, who sat for his portrait to Inchbald. After a visit to Canterbury, the pair reached York in January 1778, and were treated with much friendliness by Tate Wilkinson. She acted in York, Leeds, and other Yorkshire towns, and was well received in Yorkshire society. On 6 June 1779 her husband died suddenly, under painful circumstances (see Tate Wilkinson, The Wandering Patentee, ii. 56-9). Inchbald, as an actor, although little seen in London, stood high in favour in comic old men, Justice Credulous, Sir Anthony Absolute, &c., and did some scene-painting for Tate Wilkinson, who had a warm regard for him as a friend and an actor (ib. i. 277). A son George, not by Mrs. Inchbald, was also a member of Tate Wilkinson's company, and George's wife subsequently played in Bath. Inchbald was buried in Leeds, John Philip Kemble, who contemplated marrying his widow, writing a long Latin epitaph for his tombstone, and dedicating to his memory a poem palpably imitated from Collins.
On 14 June 1779 a performance was given at Leeds for Mrs. Inchbald's benefit. She acted her old characters in Wakefield and Doncaster in September, her first part after her bereavement being Andromache, and finished writing ' A Simple Story.' The following year she refused offers of from 'Dicky' Suett and others, began a new play, and obtained a long-coveted engagement from Harris for Covent Garden. She quitted the York company 19 Sept. 1780. As Bellario in 'Philaster,' to the Philaster of Lewis and the Arethusa of Mrs. Mattocks, she made on 3 Oct. 1780, at Covent Garden, her first appearance in London, but failed to attract much attention. Other characters followed, including Mrs. Strictland, Queen in 'Richard III,' Mariana in ' Measure for Measure,' Constantia in the ' Chances,' and many others. Her salary rose from 1l. 6s. 8d. per week to 3l. She appeared at the Haymarket on 16 July 1782 as Emma Cecil in the ' East Indian.' She quitted the Hay market on 16 Sept. 1782, acted a month at Shrewsbury, and opened in Dublin in November as Bellario, returning to London in the following spring. She resumed acting at Covent Garden at an augmented salary, and retired from the stage, where her success was never great, in 1789. According to Genest, her last appearance was on 14 May 1789, when she acted Mrs. Blandish in the 'Heiress' at Covent Garden Theatre.
Mrs. Inchbald had at an early date written farces, but when she first sent her manuscripts to Harris and to Colman neither manager took any notice of them. In the summer of 1782, however, Harris accepted a play from her, and gave her 20l. on account. Colman agreed on 7 March 1784 to give her one hundred guineas for 'The Mogul Tale, or the Descent of the Balloon,' and produced it at the Haymarket 6 July 1784, with much success. It was not apparently printed until 1824. Mrs. Inchbald played a small part, in which she all but broke down. Colman produced, on 4 Aug. 1785 (8vo, 1786), her 'I'll tell you what,' a five-act play which greatly augmented her reputation; her manager wrote both prologue and epilogue. On 22 Oct. Harris gave at Covent Garden her 'Appearance is against them' (8vo, 1785). Her subsequent dramatic productions consisted of: 1. 'The Widow's Vow,' an adaptation of 'L'heureuse Erreur' of Patrat (8vo, 1786), Haymarket, 20 June 1786. 2. 'All on a Summer Day,' Covent Garden, 15 Dec. 1787, damned the first night, and not printed. 3. 'Such things are,' a comedy, Covent Garden, 10 Feb. 1787 (8vo, 1788). 4. 'The Midnight Hour,' a comedy, Covent Garden, 22 May 1787 (8vo, 1788), from the French of Damaniant. 5. ' Animal Magnetism,' a farce, Covent Garden, 26 May 1788, eighth performance (12mo, 1789 ?). 6. ' The Child of Nature,' Covent Garden, 28 Nov. 1788 (8vo, 1788), from Madame de Genlis. 7. 'The Married Man,' Haymarket, 15 July 1789 (8vo, 1789), from 'Le Philosophe Marié' of Destouches. 8. 'Hue and Cry,' farce, Drury Lane, 11 May 1791, from the French, not printed. 9. 'Next-door Neighbours,' Haymarket, 9 July 1791 (8vo, 1791), from 'L'Indigent' of Mercier and ' Le Dissipateur of Destouches. 10. 'Young Men and Old Women,' Haymarket, 30 June 1792, from the French, not printed. 11. 'Every one has his Fault,' Covent Garden, 29 Jan. 1793 (8vo, 1793; attacked in the 'True Briton,' and successfully defended by the author). 12. ' The Wedding Day,' a comedy, Drury Lane, third time, 4 Nov. 1794 (8vo, 1794). 13. 'Wives as they were, and Maids as they are,' Covent Garden, 4 March 1797 (8vol, 1797). 14. ' Lovers' Vows,' Covent Garden, 11 Oct. 1798 (8vo, 1798), from Kotzebue. 15. 'Wise Man of the East,' Covent Garden, 30 Nov. 1799 (8vo, 1799), from Kotzebue. 16. 'To Marry or not to Marry,' comedy, Covent Garden, 16 Feb. 1805 (8vo, 1805). 'The Massacre' and 'A Case of Conscience'