Online Encyclopedia

MARGARET [PEG] WOFFINGTON (c. 1714-1760)

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 768 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARGARET [PEG] WOFFINGTON (c. 1714-1760), English actress, was born at Dublin, of poor parents. As a child of ten she played Polly Peachum in a lilliputian presentation of The Beggar's Opera, and danced and acted at various Dublin theatres until 1740, when her success as Sir Harry Wildair in The Constant Couple secured her a London engagement. In this, and as Sylvia in The Recruiting Officer, she had a pronounced success; and at Drury Lane and Covent Garden, as well as in Dublin, she appeared in all the plays of the day to ever growing popularity. Among her best impersonations were the elegant women of fashion, like Lady Betty Modish and Lady Townley, and in " breeches parts " she was unapproachable. She lived openly with Garrick, and her other love affairs were numerous and notorious, but her generosity and kindness of heart were equally well known. She educated her sister Mary, and cared for and pensioned her mother. She built and endowed by will some almshouses at Teddington, where she lived quietly after her retirement in 1757. See Austin Dobson's introduction to Charles Reade's novel Peg Woffington (London, 1899), and Augustin Daly's Woffington: a Tribute to the Actress and the Woman (1888).
End of Article: MARGARET [PEG] WOFFINGTON (c. 1714-1760)
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