Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Roxalana was played by Hester Davenport, the first well-known English actress. Part two of The Siege of Rhodes , given in alternate performance with part one, is more from Davenant's imagination than from history; it establishes firmly, through Roxalana's conversion by Ianthe's purity, the convention of expressing the conflict of love and honor in heroic couplets;http://oldpoetry.com/authors/Sir%20William%20Da... another reference:Known for her part on Siege of Rhodeshttp://www.crock11.freeserve.co.uk/beggars.htm
from L&M Companion(?1641-1717). Actress in the Duke's Company 1660-2, playing leading parts. Known as 'Roxalana' from her part in Davenant's "Siege of Rhodes", not related to Frances Davenport. She became the mistress of the Earl of Oxford in 1662, and after his death in 1703 married Peter Moet.
This actress, so called from the character she played in the "Siege of Rhodes," was Frances or Elizabeth Davenport, who was born March 3rd, 1642. Evelyn saw her on January 9th, 1661-62, she being soon after taken to be "My Lord Oxford's Miss." She was induced to marry Aubrey de Vere, twentieth and last Earl of Oxford, after indignantly refusing to become his mistress, and discovered, when too late, that the nuptial ceremony had been performed by the earl's trumpeter, in the habit of a priest. For more of her history, see "Memoires de Grammont." Ashmole records the birth of the Earl of Oxford's son by Roxalana, April 17th, 1664, which shows that the liaison continued. The child was called Aubrey Vere. — Ward's Diary, p. 131. Downes (" Roscius Anglicanus," p. 20) places Mrs. Davenport first on the list of the four principal actresses who boarded in Sir William Davenant's house. Davies and Curll supposed this actress to be Mrs. Marshall, but this was owing to a confusion between the characters Roxana and Roxalana. Mrs. Marshall was the original Roxana in Lee's "Rival Queens," produced at the Theatre Royal in 1677. The translator of Grammont's "Memoirs" added to the confusion by translating Hamilton's "Roxelane " into "Roxana."---Wheatley, 1899.
Roxalana is also mentioned on 18 February 1661/62 with more information in the annotations. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1662/02/18/
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