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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 46.djvu/421

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Pritchard
Pritchard
409

benefit actors is mentioned by Davies. She lived at one time in York Street, Covent Garden. Mrs. Pritchard did not long survive her retirement, but died in August 1768 in Bath. A monument to her memory was placed in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.

A son seems to have been for a time treasurer of Drury Lane Theatre. The début in Juliet, as Miss Pritchard, of Mrs. Pritchard's daughter at Drury Lane on 9 Oct. 1756, caused a sensation. She had an exquisitely pretty face, and had been taught by Garrick. She played her mother's parts of Lady Betty Modish in the 'Careless Husband,' Beatrice, Marcia, Isabella, Miranda, Horatia, Perdita, &c., but lacked her mother's higher gifts, and never fulfilled expectations. Her chief successes were obtained as Harriot in the 'Jealous Wife' of Colman, and Fanny in the 'Clandestine Marriage' of Garrick and Colman, both original parts. She married, near 1762, John Palmer, known as 'Gentleman Palmer,' the actor [see under Palmer, John, 1742?–1798], retired the same year as her mother, 1767–8, and, after her husband's death in 1768, married a Mr. Lloyd, a political writer.

General testimony shows Mrs. Pritchard to have been one of the most conspicuous stars in the Garrick galaxy. Richard Cumberland and Dibdin give her precedence of Mrs. Cibber. Dibdin says that Cibber's remark 'that the life of beauty is too short to form a complete actress' proved so true in relation to Mrs. Pritchard that she was seen to fresh admiration till in advanced age she retired with a fortune. She was held the greatest Lady Macbeth of her day, her scene with the ghost being especially admired. The Queen in 'Hamlet,' Estifania, and Doll Common were also among her greatest parts. Leigh Hunt is convinced that she was a really great genius, equally capable of the highest and lowest parts. Churchill praises her higlily in the 'Rosciad,' especially as the Jealous Wife. Walpole, who knew and admired her, praises her Maria in the 'Nonjuror,' and her Beatrice, which he preferred to Miss Farren's, and would not allow his 'Mysterious Mother' to be played after her retirement from the stage, as she alone could have presented the Countess.

Mrs. Pritchard had, however, an imperfect education, and other critics give less favourable accounts of her. On one occasion Johnson declared her good but affected in her manner; another time he calls her 'a mechanical player.' In private life he declared she was 'a vulgar idiot; she would talk of her gownd, but when she appeared upon the stage seemed to be inspired by gentility and understanding.' 'It is wonderful how little mind she had,' he once said, affirming she had never read the tragedy of 'Macbeth' all through. 'She no more thought of the play out of which her part was taken than a shoemaker thinks of the skin out of which the piece of leather out of which he is making a pair of shoes is cut.' Campbell, who could not have seen her, says in his 'Life of Siddons,' unjustly, that something of her Bartholomew Fair origin may be traced in her professional characteristics, declares thot she 'never rose to the finest grade, even of comedy, but was most famous in scolds and viragos;' adds that in tragedy, though she 'had a large imposing manner' (in fact, like her daughter, she was small), 'she wanted grace,' and says that Garrick told Tate Wilkinson that she was 'apt to blubber her sorrows.' Most of this condemnation is an over-accentuation of faults indicated by Davies.

Hayman painted her twice — once separately, and again (as Clarinda), with Garrick as Ranger, in a scene from Hoadley's 'Suspicious Husband.' Zoffany represented her as Lady Macbeth, with Garrick as Macbeth. This, like Hayman's separate portrait, has been engraved. All three pictures are in the Mathews collection at the Garrick Club. A fourth portrait, representing her as Hermione, was painted by Robert Edge Pine [q. v.]

[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Boswell's Johnson, ed. Hill; Doran's Annals of the Stage, ed. Lowe; Wheatley and Cunningham's London Past and Present; Georgian Era; Davies's Life of Garrick and Dramatic Miscellanies; Clark Russell's Representative Actors; Gilliland's Dramatic Mirror; Thespian Dict.; Campbell's Life of Siddons; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. ii. 395, 5th ser. iii. 509, iv. 296, 431, 492, v. 36, 132, x. 457.]

J. K.


PRITCHARD, JOHN LANGFORD (1799–1850), actor, the son of a captain in the navy, was born, it is said, at sea, in 1799, and, adopting his father's profession, became a midshipman. After some practice as an amateur he joined a small company in Wales, and on 24 May 1820, as 'Pritchard from Cheltenham,' made his first appearance in Bath, playing Captain Absolute in the 'Rivals.' In August he played under Bunn, at the New Theatre, Birmingham, Lord Trinket, Sir Benjamin Backbite, and other parts, reappearing in Bath on 30 Oct. as Irwin in Mrs. Inchbald's 'Every one has his Fault.' On 23 May 1821 he played Dumain (First Lord) in 'All's well that ends well.' In the summer of 1821 he joined the York circuit under Mansell, making his first appearance as Romeo. Parts such as Jaffrer, Pythias, Iago, Edmund in 'Lear,' Richmond, Jeremy Diddler, and Duke of Mirandola, were assigned him. He then