Edwin, John

EDWIN, JOHN (1749-1790), English actor, was born in London on the 10th of August 1749, the son of a watchmaker. As a youth, he appeared in the provinces, in minor parts; and at Bath in 1768 he formed a connexion with a Mrs Walmsley, a milliner, who bore him a son, but whom he afterwards deserted. His first London appearance was at the Haymarket in 1776 as Flaw in Samuel Foote's The Cozeners, but when George Colman took over the theatre he was given better parts and became its leading actor. In 1779 he was at Covent Garden, and played there or at the Haymarket until his death on the 31st of October 1790. Ascribed to him are The Last Legacy of John Edwin, 1780; Edwin's Jests and Edwin's Pills to Purge Melancholy.

His son, John Edwin (1768-1805), made a first appearance on the stage at the Haymarket as Hengo in Beaumont and Fletcher's Bonduca in 1778, and from that time acted frequently with his father, and managed the private theatricals organized by his intimate friend Lord Barrymore at Wargrave, Berks. In 1791 he married Elizabeth Rebecca Richards, an actress already well known in juvenile parts, and played at the Haymarket and elsewhere thereafter with her. He died in Dublin on the 22nd of February 1805. His widow joined the Drury Lane company (then playing, on account of the fire of 1809, at the Lyceum), and took all the leading characters in the comedies of the day. She died on the 3rd of August 1854.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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