George Anne Bellamy - Encyclopedia

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GEORGE ANNE BELLAMY (1727-1788), English actress, born at Fingal, Ireland, by her own account, on the 23rd of April 1733, but more probably in 1727, was the illegitimate daughter of Lord Tyrawley, British ambassador at Lisbon. Her mother married there a Captain Bellamy, and the child received the name George Anne, by mistake for Georgiana. Lord Tyrawley acknowledged the child, had her educated in a convent in Boulogne, and through him she came to know a number of notable people in London. On his appointment as ambassador to Russia, she went to live with her mother in London, made the acquaintance of Mrs Woffington and Garrick,. and adopted the theatrical profession. Her first engagement was at Covent Garden as Monimia in the Orphan in 1744. Owing to her personal charms and the social patronage extended to her,, her success was immediate, 'and till 1770 she acted in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, in all the principal tragic roles. She played Juliet to Garrick's Romeo at Drury Lane at the time that Spranger Barry was giving the rival performances at Covent Garden, and was considered the better of the Juliets. Her last years were unhappy, and passed in poverty and ill-health. She died on the 16th of February 1788.

Her Apology (6 vols., 1785) gives an account of her long career and of her private life, the extravagance and licence of which were notorious.

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