Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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KEMBLE , CHARLES ( 1775 - 1854 ), actor ;

b. 25 Nov. 1775 at Brecon , eleventh child of Roger Kemble and Sarah Ward . The company of itinerant actors managed by his parents played on a circuit that is indicated by the birthplaces of their celebrated children: Sarah ( Siddons ) (q.v.) , b. Brecon , 1755 ; JOHN , b. Prescott , 1757 ; STEPHEN , b. Kington , 1758 ; FRANCES ( Twiss ) , b. Hereford , 1759 ; ELIZABETH ( WHITLOCK ) , b. Warrington , 1761 ; Julia Ann ( Hatton ) (q.v.) , b. Worcester , 1764 . Sarah ( Siddons ) and John Philip Kemble are considered among the greatest players of all time; Stephen Kemble was an able actor , and manager of the Edinburgh Theatre Royal ; Frances and Elizabeth were competent. Of the later children, five died young but Charles Kemble lived to become a well-known man of the theatre . Educated, like John Philip , at the English College at Douai , he began acting at Sheffield in 1792 and made his first London appearance on 21 April 1794 as Malcolm in Macbeth . He was employed until 1802 by Colman and thereafter by John Philip Kemble at Covent Garden . He m. 2 July 1806 the well-known actress , Marie-Therese de Camp , and their three children all achieved distinction. They were John Mitchell Kemble ( 1807 - 1857 ), philologist and historical writer ; Adelaide ( Sartoris ) , who lived from 1814? to 1879 and was both singer and writer ; FRANCES ( BUTLER ) was actress and writer and lived from 1809 to 1893 . A. Nicoll credits Charles Kemble with the authorship or adaptation of six plays .

Sources:

  • D. E. Baker , Biographia Dramatica , 1812 , i, 421, 423, 428-30 (London, 1812 );
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • A. Nicoll , A History of Early Nineteenth Century Drama, 1800-1850 , Cambridge, 1930 , ii, 325.

Author:

Cecil John Layton Price, Ph.D. (1915-91), Aberystwyth / Swansea

Published date: 1959