The Twickenham Museum
People : Actors and Actresses

Hannah Pritchard

Hannah Vaughan seems to have come from an acting family: her brother Henry and possibly two sisters were in the profession and her son was for a time treasurer of Drury Lane Theatre. She married a Mr William Pritchard, also an actor, early in life. Moving between Covent Garden, the Haymarket and Drury Lane she was, in 1747, taken up by David Garrick. Her many and varied appearances included parts in plays by Fielding, Whitehead, Cibber, Horace Walpole and Garrick himself. In 1756 her daughter played Juliet to Garrick's Romeo, she taking the part of Lady Capulet.

She is noted for the savagery of Dr Johnson's strictures: "she no more thought of the play…than a shoemaker thinks of the skin out of which the piece of leather of which he is making a pair of shoes is cut". Actually this was not one of Johnson's more incisive remarks.

A Property at Twickenham Riverside

Hannah Pritchard bought Ragman's Castle in 1755. Her husband, William, was the Manager of the Drury Lane Theatre at that time. They used the house until William died in 1763, when Hannah let the property, though retaining ownership. The house was at the corner of the Orleans House estate, by the riverside and next to Marble Hill. It was demolished by Lord Kilmorey in 1852 during his ownership of Orleans House.

Her last stage appearance was in early 1768, as Lady Macbeth, speaking an epilogue written by Garrick. She died later that year, at Bath and was buried at Twickenham. William is also buried at Twickenham.

Further reading:

Twickenham 1600-1900 - People and Places, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society Paper No47, 1981 (reprinted 1984 & 1988)
R S Cobbett, Memorials of Twickenham, Smith Elder, 1872
Dictionary of National Biography

back to top