Honey, Laura (DNB00)

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HONEY, LAURA (1816?–1843), actress, said to have been born 6 Dec. 1816, was daughter of Mrs. Young, an actress at Sadler's Wells, and occupied as a girl a position in connection with the wardrobe of that house. She first appeared on the stage there, under the name of Laura Bell, in some juvenile parts. In 1826 she was with her mother at the Olympic, and played in 1827 a midshipman in Bayle Bernard's ‘Casco Bay.’ After a brief engagement at the Surrey, where she took lessons in music, she returned in 1829 to Sadler's Wells. She married Mr. Honey, a youth connected with the law, from whom she soon separated. He lived on her earnings, and was drowned in the Thames in 1836. She went in 1832 with Mrs. Waylett to the Strand, where she first appeared in the ‘Loves of the Angels’ of Leman Rede. In 1833 she was at the Queen's, subsequently the Prince of Wales's Theatre, under Mrs. Nisbet. At the Adelphi under Yates she made a great success as Psyche with John Reeve in a burlesque called ‘Cupid,’ and as Lurline in the fairy drama of that name. After a season at the Haymarket and a tour in the country she went in turns to the St. James's, the Olympic under Madame Vestris, and other theatres, before she undertook the management of the City of London. She played Tom Tug in the ‘Waterman,’ Myrtilla in Planché's ‘Riquet with the Tuft,’ and in the ‘Spirit of the Rhine,’ by Morris Barnett, in which she sang with great effect ‘My beautiful Rhine,’ long popular. In the last season she played at the Haymarket, went into the country, and returned to the City of London. She died on Saturday, 1 April 1843, at 149 Albany Street, Regent's Park, and was buried on the 6th in the churchyard of the Old Church, Hampstead. She bequeathed her property by will to two children aged respectively ten and three. She was a pleasing and graceful actress and a delightful ballad-singer, but her performances were practically confined to the lightest class of entertainment.

[Actors by Daylight, 1838; Era newspaper, 9 April 1843; Era Almanack, various years; Baker's London Stage; Notes and Queries, 7th ser. ix. 9, 93, 157.]

J. K.