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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/420

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On 1 Jan. 1742, as Arabella in the ‘London Cuckolds’ of Ravenscroft, she first appeared at Covent Garden, where she played, among other parts, Sylvia in the ‘Recruiting Officer,’ Paulina in the ‘Winter's Tale,’ Nottingham in ‘Essex,’ Queen in ‘Hamlet,’ Elvira in the ‘Spanish Fryar,’ Mrs. Frail, and Doris in ‘Æsop,’ Next year she returned to Drury Lane, playing Amanda in the ‘Relapse,’ Margarita in ‘Rule a Wife and have a Wife,’ Elvira in ‘Love makes a Man,’ Jane Shore, Belvidera, and Kitty Pry in the ‘Lying Valet,’ and was, on 17 Feb. 1743, the original Clarinda in Fielding's ‘Wedding Day.’ In January 1744 she was once more at Covent Garden, where she remained until 1747, adding to her repertory Isabella in ‘Measure for Measure,’ Queen Katharine, Calista, Andromache, Lady in ‘Comus,’ Abra-Mulé, Lady Macbeth, Queen in ‘Richard III,’ Portia in ‘Julius Cæsar,’ Aspasia, Lætitia in ‘Old Bachelor,’ Evadne in ‘Maid's Tragedy,’ Mariamne, Lady Brute, Maria in the ‘Nonjuror,’ Mrs. Ford, Portia in ‘Merchant of Venice,’ Beatrice, Helena in ‘All's well that ends well,’ Marcia in ‘Cato,’ and numerous parts of corresponding importance. Her only ‘creations’ were Constance in Colley Cibber's ‘Papal Tyranny in the Reign of King John,’ 15 Feb. 1745; Tag in Garrick's ‘Miss in her Teens,’ 17 Jan. 1747; and Clarinda in Hoadley's ‘Suspicious Husband,’ 12 Feb. 1747. When in 1747–8 Garrick became patentee of Drury Lane, Mrs. Pritchard accompanied him thither, reappearing on 23 Nov. 1747 as Lady Lurewell in the ‘Constant Couple.’ She was advertised to act George Barnwell for the benefit of her husband, who was then connected with the management of the theatre, but the piece was changed. She played Oroclea in Ford's ‘Lover's Melancholy,’ ‘not acted these 100 years.’ In 1748–9 she played two original parts, one of which, at least, exercised an important influence on her reputation. This was Irene in Johnson's ‘Mahomet and Irene,’ since known as ‘Irene,’ which was given on 6 Feb. 1749. In this, as first produced, Irene was strangled on the stage. Audiences that accepted the suffocation scene in ‘Othello’ need not, perhaps, have been expected to be more sensitive with regard to the bowstring in ‘Irene.’ The audience, however, on the first night of ‘Mahomet and Irene’ shouted ‘murder,’ and Mrs. Pritchard, unable to finish the scene, retired from the stage. The termination was altered; but Johnson seems never to have forgiven a woman he associated with his misfortune. Her other original part, 15 April, was Merope in Aaron Hill's adaptation from Voltaire. On 24 Feb. 1750 she was the original Horatia in Whitehead's ‘Roman Father,’ adapted from ‘Les Horaces’ of Corneille, on 2 Feb. 1751 the first Aurora in Moore's ‘Gil Blas,’ on 17 Feb. 1752 the first Orphisa in Francis's ‘Eugenia,’ and 7 Feb. 1753 the first Mrs. Beverley in the ‘Gamester,’ perhaps her greatest part. The season of 1753–4 saw her in three original characters: Boadicea in Glover's tragedy so named, Catherine in ‘Catherine and Petruchio,’ Garrick's adaptation of the ‘Taming of the Shrew,’ and Creusa in Whitehead's ‘Creusa.’ Among other parts that she had sustained under Garrick were Lady Alworth in ‘A New Way to pay Old Debts,’ Emilia in ‘Othello,’ Lady Brumpton in the ‘Funeral,’ Cleopatra in ‘All for Love,’ Lady Betty Modish, Millamant, Zara in the ‘Mourning Bride,’ Lady Truman in the ‘Drummer,’ Queen Elizabeth in Jones's ‘Essex,’ Hermione, Countess of Rousillon, and Estifania. On 9 Oct. 1756 she played Lady Capulet to the Juliet of her daughter, Miss Pritchard, and the Romeo of Garrick.

In Home's ‘Agis’ on 21 Feb. 1758 Mrs. Pritchard was the first Agesistrata, and in Murphy's ‘Desert Island’ on 24 Jan. 1760 the first Constantia. On 3 Jan. 1761 she was the original Queen Elizabeth in Brookes's ‘Earl of Essex,’ and on 12 Feb. the original Mrs. Oakly in Colman's ‘Jealous Wife.’ On 11 Dec. she was the first Hecuba in Dr. Delap's ‘Hecuba.’ In Mallet's ‘Elvira’ on 19 Jan. 1763 she was the first Queen, and in Mrs. Sheridan's ‘Discovery’ on 3 Feb. the first Lady Medway. On 10 Dec. she was the original Mrs. Etherdown in Mrs. Sheridan's ‘Dupe.’ The same season saw her act Roxana in the ‘Rival Queens.’ For her benefit on 15 March 1766 she had an original part in Charles Shadwell's ‘Irish Hospitality,’ and on 12 April was the first Dame Ursula in Kenrick's ‘Falstaff's Wedding.’ On 5 Dec. 1767 she played her last original part, Mrs. Mildmay, the heroine of the ‘Widow'd Wife’ of Kenrick. During the season of 1767–8 she gave a series of farewell performances, her last appearance taking place on 24 April 1768 as Lady Macbeth, when she spoke an epilogue by Garrick. Another epilogue by Keate [q. v.], written for the same occasion, but unspoken, appears in his poems (1781, ii. 109).

Mrs. Pritchard, whose fortune appears to have been imperilled, if not impaired, by the action of her brother, Henry Vaughan, who was an actor, led a wholly blameless and reputable life; a portion of her considerable estate was left her by a distant relative, a Mr. Leonard, an attorney of Lyons Inn. An undfined scheme of her husband to