« AnteriorContinuar »
and Dick (in the Apprentice). On his own benefit night, 24th April, be acted the Prince in Henry IV. Part I., and Shift, in Foote's farce " The Minor;" and gave for the first time on the stage, imitations of other performers, which were considered to be very clever. It is worth observing, that when " The Apprentice" was performed here, during this season, Lewis played Dick, notwithstanding Mr. Bannister's success in that part at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket.
In the season 1779-8*), we return with him to Drury. Sheridan's mock tragedy "The Critic" was produced, and Mr. Bannister was the original representative of Don Ferolo Whiskerandos. The piece was acted upwards of fitly nights during this season, and Bannister was the Don as many times. With the exception of Zaphna. be appeared in no other character till his benefit night, April 21, 1780, when be assumed Hamlet, we should imagine with little success. In Act 2d, according to the play-bills of the day, the elder Bannister gave singing imitations, and Jack Bannister a variety of imitations. The Bannisters were excellent mimics. At the Haymarket, in the summer of the same year, be played among other parts, Gradus, (the musty student, in the farce of" Who's the Dupe," which he hit off to a nicety, Voung Norval, Hippolitus, Shift, and a speaking Harlequin, in Mr. Colman, senior's, " Genius of Nonsense." In the latter he gained great fame. Certainly, it was not for want of trial that Jack Bannister did not succeed in very many " walks" of the drama. Mr. Colman had discovered in what his merits lay, and could apply them, but Bannister bad still a preference for tragedy. His greatest achievement, as we shall show, was in the union of Tragedy and Comedy.
His time bad not yet come. While Lewis was at Covent Garden, Woodward at Drury, and Edwin at the Haymarket, Mr. Bannister had no employment in the squib and cracker parts of Comedy, the light infantry of the drama; and it was not till the death of Edwin that his talents had sufficient opportunity to be appreciated.
The younger Colman, whose death foreran the death of Bannister a brief ten days, was one of his earliest friends. When the young Oxonian, he made acquaintance with the youthful actor behind the scenes of his father's little theatre, and he has given the following interesting and amusing description of Jack Bannister at the time of which we have been writing. "He suffered the fate not very uncommon for an actor, who, before he is of age, begins his profession in London, of buckl
ing to a drudgery very much below his innate excellence, but bis abilities were then in the bud, and bis line undecided; so he took for the convenience of the theatre any line, good, bad, or indifferent, either in tragedy, comedy, or farce; no trifling proof of his versatility of talent." "After his long established celebrity as a Comedian, it is curious to recur to his earliest days in the Haymarket Theatre; when he was frequently tied to a sword, and rammed into a full-dress coat, to represent Lord Falbridge in 'The English Merchant,' and other deadly lively characters, little above those which are called, in the stage language, 'walking gentlemen.' There was a very persevering sky-coloured suit of laced clothes, which was always lugged out of the Haymarket wardrobe for bim upon such occasions; and Jack Bannister, in his light blue and silver, with a sword by his side, was to all playgoers at that time as infallible a token of a clever young actor in a bad part, as deep mourning is the sign of death in a family."
At Drury Lane Theatre, in the seasons 1781, 2, and 3, still bent on tragedy, Oronoko, Posthumus, and Chamont, primary heroes of the serious muse, were the most notable of his personations. From this time he made but few attempts in tragedy, Tancred at the Haymarket, and Shylock some years afterwards on a benefit night, "when strange things hap," being, we believe, the only instances. As a comic actor he grew more and more a favourite, and by sure degrees "Honest Jack," gained a firmer hold in the hearts of his countrymen than any other actor ever celebrated.
In 1783, Mr. Bannister married Miss Harper, then a pleasing vocalist of Covent Garden and the Haymarket Theatres, a monied and a ladylike woman. This union was blessed with unalloyed and well deserved happiness. In 1792, bis wife, on account of their increasing family, retired from the stage.
On the death of Edwin (in 1790), the liveliest and most farcical of all comedians, the heroes of O'Keefe's extravaganzas descended to Jack Bannister, and even those who had so lately seen Bowkitt, could not foil to be pleased with the acting, fiddling, capering, and singing, of Jack Bannister's dancing-master. His Peeping Tom, and his Lingo, were equally as excellent; so was his Trudge in "Inkle and Yarico," bis Lenitive in "The Prize," and his Sylvester Daggerwood. Other favourites, during his brilliant career, were Dabble in "The Humourist," the Three Singles, brothers differing entirely in character, but in appearance as like as gooseberries, in Prince Hoare's farce of "Three and the Deuce" (which was written expressly to suit the actor's talismanic powers), Acres in "The Rivals," Tim 'fartlct in " The First Floor," Sir David Dunder in "Ways and Means," Pedrillo in "The Castle of Andalusia," Michael Perez in " Rule a Wife and Have a Wife," Mercutio, in Romeo and Juliet, Rolando in "The Honeymoon," Sadi in "The Mountaineers," Scout in "The Village Lawyer," Bobadil in "Every Man in his Humour," Tristram Fickle in "The Weathercock," Storm in "Ella Rosenburg," Dashwood in " Know your own Mind," Robin in "No Song no Supper," Dr. Pangloss in " The Heir at Law," Gregory in "The Mock Doctor" (to the Dorcas of Miss Mellon, a rare treat), Job Thornbury in "John Bull," and Michael in "The Adopted Child"—pathos, humour, wit, and nonsense, all, he could make his audience weep and smile alternately. Those who know the parts we have mentioned, will appreciate the versatility of his talents. But we have as yet reserved those performances in which he never found an equal.
One of these was Ben in Congreve's "Love for Love." Ben may be compared to a rough and vivid picture by Salvator Rosa, all but moving in itself, yet which can only move in our ideas, or in a living representative as powerful as itself. Jack Bannister alone could give this creature life.
With amazing spirit he entered into the extravagant part of Colonel Feignwell, in Airs. Cowley's Comedy, " A Bold Stroke for a Wife," changing his manner so entirely in its different transformations that those who were unacquainted with the plot might likely enough mistake the actor. This play would not have been tolerated, unless admirably acted.
Another of his master-pieces was Young Philpot in Murphy's farce " The Citizen;" but Walterin" The Childreninthe Wood," was the character in which, above all others, he delighted not only every lover of the drama, but every admirer of nature. Never did a performance, not excepting the Lady Macbeth of Mrs. Siddons, nor the Othello of Kean, more absorb the attention of an audience; never were so many tears shed in a Theatre, as when Jack was Walter.
We must now retrace our steps a little. In 179C Mr. Bannister left the Haymarket Theatre, finding it more profitable during the summer months "to star" about the provinces. He returned to the Haymarket but for one season, 1804. In 1807, he took into the country his collection of songs, imitations, and dramatic recitations, revised and rewritten by his friend George
Colman " the Younger," under the title of "The Budget." These were delivered in a monodramatic entertainment, after the example of Mr. Dibdin and others, an example followed in our day, when the late Charles Matthews was " At Home." Bannister's "Budget" was an annual income to him. His was one of the few instances in which actors have had the good sense to keep the money which the stage bad brought them, and in this, as in his general character, he exalted his profession. Gentleman Smith was not a completer gentleman than Bannister.
In 1802-3, Mr. Bannister succeeded Mr. Kemble as stage-manager at Drury Lane Theatre; but, finding the duties of the office too irksome, he resigned it after one season. He was very subject to the goutvwhich prevented him from taking the squib-and-cracker parts he bad been accustomed to play, but he acted all his better characters with increasing effect. In 1815 his troublesome disease urged him to quit the stage. Otherwise he was in the very prime of life, and hisjdramatic powers were in their full perfection.
On the 1st June, 1815, Mr. Bannister took leave of the stage, acting Echo in Kenney's comedy " The World," in which he gave imitations of popular comedians, and Walter in "The Children in the Wood." At the conclusion of the performances he addressed the audience very admirably, and to this effect—" Seven and thirty years." he said, "have elapsed since I appeared before you, my kind benefactors. Considerations of health warn me to retire. Your patronage has given me the means to retire with comfort.''
The loss of Mrs. Siddons to the stage was scarcely more regretted than that of Jack Bannister. He was the pet of all who knew and all who taw him. His name was "honest" Jack, a term as familiar to us, as ever could have been rare Ben Jonson to our ancestors. No sooner was Jack's face espied on the stage, than the audience were in raptures: his marked simplicity of character, and the modesty of his demeanour, stamped him the worthiest fellow of his craft, while his deep clear-toned voice, and sparkling eye, endeared him tenfold more.
The following picture of his latter days in private life, has been drawn by a late great writer and kindhearted man (in the Quarterly Review, April 1836). We give his words:—"There is Jack Bannister, honest Jack, who in private character, as upon the stage, formed so excellent a representative of the national character of Old England—Jack Bannister, whom even foot-pads could not find it in their hearts to injure.
—[This distinguished performer and best of good-fellows was actually stopped one evening by two foot-pads, who recognizing in his person the general favourite of the English audience, begged his pardon, and wished him good night. Horace's wolf was a joke to this.]—there he is, with his noble locks, now as remarkable as when covered with snow, as when their dark honours curled around his manly face, singing to his grandchildren the ditties which used to call down the rapture of crowded theatres in thunders of applause."
His wane of strength was gradual. The interesting old man has been seen for many years taking his daily walks in Gower-street, and making his way with the help of a good stout stick. Of late, his man-servant attended to support him. He died on the evening of the 8th Nov. in the bosom of his family. His wife survives him.
There are some pictures of Mr. Bannister by De Wilde, and other artists, in the galleryof Theatrical Portraits, belonging to the Garrick Club (the collection of the late Charles Mathews). Mr. Bannister visited the gallery during last autumn; he seemed pleased to recognize once more his early friends and brother players, told anecdotes of some, and "fought their battles o'er again." It is said the last play he saw was Shakspeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Miss Fanny Kemble being the Juliet.
On the 14th Nov. the remains of Mr. Bannister were buried in the family vault under the communion table in the Church of St. Martin's in the Fields; the coffin was placed alongside that which bore bis father. The principal mourners were members of the late gentleman's family. The procession was followed from the Church to the grave by the most eminent members of the theatrical profession, amongst whom were Messrs. Charles Kemble, Bartley, Meadows, Macready, Cooper, Dibdin, Harley, Braham, Farren, Eeake, Yates, King, Davidge, Mathews, Wilson, Henry, and Forrest.
It is interesting to look back to the names of those actors who paid a similar respect to the memory of the elder Bannister. Our Readers will find them in Vol. 74 of our Magazine.
9ueh was the life, and such the happy end,
Oct. 27. Aged 75, M. Raynouard, the eminent French philologist.
He was born at Brignole in Provence, on the 17th Sept. 1761. Until near
G.nt. Mag. Vol. VII.
forty years of age, he practised as an advocate; when, having fortunately attained an honourable independence, he determined to turn to that literature of which he was the devoted admirer. But, the revolution of 1789 having commenced, be was, like so many others, forced by it to take a part in public affairs. In 1791 he was nominated a member of the Legislative Assembly; but, shortly after, being undeceived in the favourable opinion he had formed of its tendencies, he attempted to escape, but was thrown into prison in the May of that year, and did not recover bis liberty until after the 9th Thermidor. In 1806 he was summoned to the Corps Legislatif, by the department du Var, where his name and exalted qualities were generally known. In 1811 he still sat in that assembly, and he was chosen, together with the virtuous Laine, a member of the Commission charged to report to the Emperor on the state of France. Their sentiments, which were dictated by M. Raynouard, were more true than pleasing to the tyrant, and the Corps Legislatif was dissolved.
In 1814 M. Raynouard delivered several speeches in the Chamber of Deputies, always in favour of good measures; and he also demanded the liberty of the press. In the same year be obtained the prize at the Institute for a poem, intitled, " Socrate dans le temple d'Aglaure." In the following year he brought forward his tragedy of " Les Templiers," which had previously been declared deserving of the great prize, in M. Geoffroi's report on the duennial prizes in 1810. That judgment, however, was not approved by the Emperor, and M. Raynouard was not crowned. He was, however, nominated a chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur, and he had in 1807 succeeded the poet Lebrun in the second class of the Institute. Being retained, in 1815, on the list of the members of the Academie Francaise, he obtained on the 20th Oct. in the same year, the honour of being inrolled also in the Academie des Inscriptions et BellesLett res. Finally, in 1817, he succeeded Sicard as Perpetual Secretary, and during many years discharged the duties of that office with indefatigable zeal.
The researches which M. Raynouard was driven to make in defence of " Les Templiers," led him to the study of the sources of the French language, particularly the dialect of the troubadours, the ancient poets of his native clime. In his "Observations Philologiques sur le Roman de Rou," M. Raynouard demonstrated grammatical rules before unknown, and the discovery of which hat greatly facilitated the progress of subsequent students of the remains of ancient French literature. In several articles in the Journal dcs Savans, commencing in J816, he reviewed nearly all the publications which treat on this subject, and has there thrown great light on many questions not yet determined. He has been succeeded in the management of this Journal by M. Villemain. Some years before his death, he resigned many engagements, and among others that of Secretary t9 the Academie, for the purpose of devoting himself entirely to his " Glossaire compure de la langue des Troubadours." Of this valuable work the first volume only has been published; but, as he has lelt all the necessary materials in an advanced state of preparation, its completion is confidently expected from some one of his surviving friends. M. Rnynouard is said also to have left an autobiography, to the publication of which we look forward with much interest.
In Mi Raynouard, the literature of France has sustained a real and irreparable loss. He had certainly no rival there in philology, and he has left behind him no equal. He possessed a depth of judgment which is seldom found in his countrymen. But a great variety of knowledge, and a remarkable sagacity of views, were not his only merits: his friendships were cordial and sincere; and bis private life every way correspondent to his distinguished rank in the circles of science.
Clergy Deceased. At Drumcondra, near Dublin, aged 52, the Rev. Francis Baker. Vicar of Balrothcry, in the same county.
The Rev. John Darley, Rector of Arboe, co. Tyrone, and late Fellow of Trinity college, Dublin, third son of Mr. Alderman Darley of that city. He was a distinguished scholar, a profound theologian, and a sincere and pious minister of the Gospel.
At Chester, aged 72, the Rev. John Fallon, Perpetual Curate of St. Peter's in that city, and Vicar of Clapham, Yorkshire. He was collated to the latter living in 1803 by Dr. Pelham then Bishop of Chester, and to the former by Bishop Alansel in 1815.
At the deanery, Gort, co. Galway, aged GO, Richard Hood, D.D. Dean of Kilmacduagh.
At Pontop hall, aged 48, the Rev. Jonathan Midgley, Fellow of Magdalene college, Cambridge, on the Dennis foundation. He graduated B. A. 1813, M.A. 1823.
Aged 81, the Rev. John Rees, Vicar of Aleidaron with Llanfaerlrys, Carnarvon
shire, to which he was collated in 1810 by Dr.^Majendie, then Bp. of Bangor.
Nov. 5. At Goodshaw in Rossendale, aged 51, the Rev. George Hmcarth, for 36 years Perpetual Curate of that chapelry, in the parish of Whallcy.
Nov. 6. At Kidderminster, the Rev Thomas Cook, for twenty-two years Curate of that parish. He was of St. Edmund hall, Oxford, B.C.L. 1801
At Plasyndra, Bala, in his 80th year, the Rev. Simon Lloyd, B.A. of Jesus coll. Orr, brother to the late Hugh Lloyd, esq. of Chester.
Nov. 11. At Axminster, aged 55, the Rev. Edward Cook Forward, Rector of Limmington, co. Somerset, and of Combpyne, co. Devon. He was the son of S. Forward, esq. of Axminster; entered Wadham college, Oxford, in 1799, graduated B.A. 1804s M. A. 1807; and became "a"Fellow of that Society; was instituted to Combpyne in 1807, and presented to Limmington by his college in 1810.
Nov. 13. At Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, aged 53, the Rev. Matthew Holworthy, Rector of that parish, to which he was instituted on his own presentation in I8"i7. He was of Cain's coll. Camb. B.A. 1810.
Nov. 14. At Smithey Brook, near Wigan, the Rev. John March, B. A. of St. John's college, Cambridge.
Nov. 16. The Rev. John Prichard, M.A.ofBrasenosecollege.Oxford; eldest son of the Rev. Richard Prichard, M.A. of Dinam, and Rector of Llanfair, Anglesea. He entered as a Commoner of Brasenose in 1815, and graduated B.A. 1819, M.A. 1823.
Nov. 17. At Southchurch rectory, Es sex, aged 33, the Rev. C. H. B. Baxely. He was of Clare-hall, Camb. and was collated to his living in 1828 by the late Archbishop Manners-Sutton, Southchurch being a peculiar of the see of Canterbury. Nov. 22. At Tideswell, Derbyshire, aged 81, the Rev. Thomas Brown, Vicar of that parish, to which he was presented in 1796 by the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.
Nov. 22. At Havod, aged 72, the Rev. Peter Bay ley Williams, B. A. for 44 years Rector of Llanrug and Llanberris, and one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for Carnarvonshire. He was collated to both bis livings in 1792 by Dr. Warren, then Bp. of Bangor.
Nov. 24. At Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey, in his 52d year, the Rev. Theodotius Wood, Vicar of that parish. He was of Magdalene college, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.A. in 1813. He was formerly Curate of Middle, Shropshire; and was collated to Leysdown in 1889, by the late Abp. of Canterbury.
Nov. 25. At Hitchin. the Rev. Peter Robert Venahles Hinde, Fellow of King's college, Cambridge. He was the fourth son of Robert Hinde, esq. of Preston castle near Hitchin, and brother to Lieut.Gen. Sir Samuel Venables Hinde, K.C.B. Colonel of the 32d foot. Mr. Hinde graduated R A. 1784, M.A. 1787. He became the Senior Fellow of King's college, by the death of Mr. Simeon, whom he survived only twelve days.
A'or. 27. At West Retford, Notts, aged 76, the Rev. Abraham Yonle, for nearly 50 years Rector of that parish, and for 37 Vicar of Grove in the same county: and for a long period one of the magistrates for the liberty of Southwell and Scrooby. He was presented to the former church in 1787 by the Corporation, and to Grove in 1798 by A. H. Eyre, esq.
Dec. 3. Aged 76, the Rev. Edward Thomat, D.D. Vicar of Billesdon and Rector of Skeffington, Leicestershire, and Chaplain to the Earl of Tyrconnel. He was presented to Billesdon in 1793. by the Rev. Henry Greene; and to Skeffington in 1816 by T. R. Davenport, esq.
Dee. 6. At Bampton, Oxfordshire, the Rev. Robert St/monds, Rector of Hinton, and a magistrate for the county of Berks. He was formerly Fellow of Oriel college, Oxford; and was presented to Hinton in 1806 by J. L. Symonds, esq.
Dec. 14. At Durdbam Down, near Clifton, aged 50. the Rev. Craven Ord, of Greensted hall, Essex, a Prebendary of Lincoln, and Vicar of St. Mary de Wigford, in that city. He was the eldest son of the late Craven Ord, esq. F.R.S. and S. A. by Mary-Smith, dau. of John Redman, of Greensted ball, esq. (see Gent. Mag. for May 1832, p. 469); was matriculated of University college, Oxford, in 1803, graduated B.A. 1806, M.A. 1811; was collated to the prebend of Gretton in the church of Lincoln by Bp. Tomline in 1814; and nominated himself in right of that stall to the vicarage of Gretton with Duddington in Northamptonshire; which he exchanged for his church in Lincoln in 1819. He married in 1814 Miss Margaret Blagrave, niece to Lady Cullum, wife of Sir John Cullum, Bart.
Dee. 18. Aged 84, the Rev. Edward Turner, Rector of Noke, Oxfordshire, and of Evedon, co. Line. He was the son of Mr. Henry Turner, of Eaton, Berks; matriculated of Pembroke coll. Oxf. 1771, graduated B.A. 1775, M.A. 1777, nml was presented to both his livings in 180-1; the former being in the gift of the Duke of Marlborough, and the latter of the Earl of Winchelsea.
LONDON AND ITS VICINITY.
Oct... At Wobum-place, Mrs. Anne Margaret Forster. She has bequeathed 1000/. to the Westminster and 1000/. to the Charing-rross Hospitals, after the death of Mr. Win. Forster, now 70 years of age.
Nov. 2. Hannah, wife of the Rev. J. S. Sergrove, rector of St. Mary Somerset, London, and of Cooling, near Rochester.
Nov. 15. In Norfolk-st. Strand, aged 56, William Wynne Smith, esq. formerly of Birmingham.
Not. 16. At Fulham, Major-Gen. Wm. Macleod, of the Madras Establishment.
Nov. 17. Mr. Adams, the celebrated equestrian of Astley's amphitheatre.
Nov. 19. Miss Vaughan, cf Manchester-sq. She has left a bequest of 40,000/. to the Marquis of Headfort and his children, and the immense sum of 150,000/. to public charities, besides large legacies. Mr. Vaughan, her brother, is her heir; and on his demise the heir-at-law is the present Lord Grantley. Her remains were interred in the family vault in Hertfordshire, Sir James Cockburn and Sir Jas. Hamilton being the chief mourners.
Nov. 18. At Lewisbam,aged38, Lieut. Robert Lester Parkinson, R.N., second son of J. Parkinson, esq. of Sackville-st.
Nov. 21. At Vanbnrgh Castle, Blackheath, Jane, duu. of Jobn Holmes, esq., High Bailiff of Southwark.
Nov. 23. Henry Richard Bellingham, esq. barrister-at-law, brother to Sir Alan Edward Bellingham, Bart, of Castle Bellingham, co. Louth. Me was the second son of the Iptc Sir Alan Bellingham, the second Bart, by Elizabeth, second dau. of R. E. Walls, of Boothby-hall, co. Lincoln, esq. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, Jan. 27, 1835.
Nov. 25. At Tottenham, aged 88, John Smith, esq. formerly of the Examiner's office.
Nov. 27. In South-st. Park-lane, aged 29, the Hon. George Augustus Lamb, only son of Lord Viscount Melbourne, and grandson of the Earl of Bc6sborough; a godson of his late Majesty George IV.
Nov. 27. In Upper Gower-st. aged 62, Anna Maria, relict of J. Spooner, esq. of Barbadoes.
Nov. 28. At Cambcrwell, in his 90th year, Richard Boyman, esq.
Nov. 28. In Burton-st. aged 88, John McIntosb, esq.
Nov. 29. In Berkeley-sq. Clara, wife of Thomas Thornhill, esq.
Lately. Aged 49, Dan. Lancaster, esq.