2 Annotations

First Reading

nix  •  Link

The Oxford DNB contains a tantalizing sketch of Rebecca's life. Samuel was misinformed about her being the daughter of the prominent puritan clergyman Stephen Marshall -- her father "was probably another, much more obscure, clergyman, chaplain to Lord Gerard of Gerard's Bromley, Staffordshire."

Of her acting career --

"She was primarily known for her portrayal of tempestuous, passionate women, usually in tragedies. For example, she played the queen of Sicily in John Dryden's Secret Love (1667), Lyndaraxa in both parts of Dryden's The Conquest of Granada (1670–71), Fulvia in William Joyner's The Roman Empress (1670), and Calphurnia in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (c.1672)."

Of her personal life --

"The characters Marshall played on stage seem to reflect her own character. In a deposition of February 1667 she stated that she ‘taxed’ Sir Hugh Middleton ‘with some ill language he had cast out against the women actors of that house’, and she accused him of ‘calling her Jade, and threatning he would kick her and that his footman should kick her’. Middleton waited outside the playhouse, ‘which gave her some apprehension that he lay in wait to doe her some mischief or affront’, and finally, she complained, some ruffian she believed to have been hired by Middleton followed her home and approached her in the street, where he ‘clapd a Turd upon her face and haire’ and ran away (Highfill, Burnim & Langhans, BDA, 7.426). This was not the only time Marshall had public problems with men. Some time about spring 1665 she petitioned the king for protection from one Mark Trevor. Actresses were often vulnerable to threats and insults from spectators and others who regarded them as servants of the public.
. . . The evidence suggests a woman not much afraid of speaking her mind, nor of confrontation.

. . . .

"[A]n anonymous ‘Satyr on both Whigs and Tories’ of 1683 implies that she had been the mistress of the ‘famous fop’ Sir George Hewitt. This is the last known reference to this colourful and important Restoration actress."

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Rebecca Marshall (fl. 1663 – 1677) was a noted English actress of the Restoration era, one of the first generation of women performers on the public stage in Britain. She was the younger sister of Anne Marshall, another prominent actress of the period. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reb…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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  • Dec