Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/259

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Grimaldi
Grimaldi
251

keeping the money he made. His health, moreover, suffered from his pursuits. In 1799 his first wife died, and in 1802 he married Miss Bristow, an actress at Drury Lane. In 1803 his brother John Baptist, who had gone to sea, turned up for a single occasion, and then disappeared in a manner that gave rise to strong presumption that he had been murdered. At this time Grimaldi is credited in the 'Memoirs' with having played some parts in the regular drama. Aminadab in 'A Bold Stroke for a Wife' is advanced as one. No such part, however, occurs in the comedy of that name. He sometimes played parts in melodrama, and once, for his benefit at Covent Garden, Bob Acres in the 'Rivals.' A quarrel with the management at Drury Lane was followed by a visit to Dublin, where he acted under Thomas and Charles Dibdin at Astley's Theatre, and subsequently in Crow Street. On 9 Oct. 1806, as Orson in Thomas Dibdin's 'Valentine and Orson,' he made his first appearance at Covent Garden. During the O.P. riots Grimaldi went on in his favourite character of Scaramouch, and effected a temporary lull in the storm. His visits to country towns—Manchester, Liverpool, Bath, Bristol, &c.—developed into a remunerative speculation. As Squire Bugle, and then as clown in the pantomime of 'Mother Goose,' Covent Garden, 26 Dec. 1806, he obtained his greatest success. This pantomime was constantly revived. In 1816 Grimaldi quitted Sadler's Wells and played in the country, but returned in 1818, having purchased an eighth share of the theatre. In this and following years his health began to decline. From 1822 his health grew steadily worse, and he was unable to fulfil his engagements at Covent Garden. In 1825 he was engaged as assistant manager at Sadler's Wells, at a salary of 4l. a week, subsequently diminished by one half. On Monday, 17 March 1828, he took a benefit at Sadler's Wells. On 27 June of the same year, at Drury Lane, he took a second benefit, and made his last appearance in public. On this occasion he played a scene as Harlequin Hoax, seated through weakness on a chair, sang a song, and delivered a short speech. His second wife died in 1835, and on 31 May 1837 he died in Southampton Street, Pentonville. He was interred on 6 June in the burial-ground of St. James's Chapel, Pentonville Hill, in the next grave to that of his friend Charles Dibdin. As a clown Grimaldi is held to have had no equal. His grimace was inexpressibly mirth-moving; his singing of 'Tippety Witchet,' 'Hot Codlins,' and other similar ditties, roused the wildest enthusiasm, and with him the days of genuine pantomime drollery are held to have expired. He was a sober man, of good estimation, and all that is known of him is to his credit. Pictures of Grimaldi in character are numerous. One by De Wilde, as clown, is in the Mathews Collection at the Garrick Club. A series of sixteen coloured engravings, representing the principal scenes in 'Mother Goose,' was published by John Wallis in 1808. A picture of him in ordinary dress, by S. Raven, is in an edition of the 'Memoirs,' in which are, of course, many celebrated pictures in character by George Cruikshank. The manuscript of Grimaldi's ' Memoirs,' of which a small portion only has been printed, was in the possession of Henry Stevens. Many residences in London are associated with Grimaldi, the best known being 8 Exmouth Street, Spa Fields, Clerkenwell, where he lived in 1822.

In 1814, in 'Robinson Crusoe,' his son, Joseph S. Grimaldi, made, as Friday, a very successful début, and began thus an ill-disciplined and calamitous career, during which he was engaged at Covent Garden and elsewhere. He took for a while his father's position, but died in 1832 of delirium, aged 30.

[The only authority for the facts of Grimaldi's life is the Memoirs, ed. by Boz, i.e. Charles Dickens (2 vols. 1838), extracted from Grimaldi's recollections, and the notes and additions variously attributed to C. Whitehead and J. H. Horn. Notes and Queries, 3rd, 5th, and 7th ser., supply many particulars and some letters. Oxberry's Dramatic Biography, i. 108-22, supplies a memoir with a portrait, and the most elaborate account accessible of his method as a clown. A Life of Grimaldi by Henry Downes Miles, 1838, Theatrical Biography, 1824, and the Dublin Theatrical Observer, vol. vi. may be consulted. Genest appears to pass over Grimaldi without mention.]

J. K.

GRIMALDI, STACEY (1790–1863), antiquary, was the great-grandson of Alexander Grimaldi of Genoa, who quitted that city after its bombardment by Louis XIV in 1684, and whose father of the same name had been doge of Genoa in 1671. He was born in the parish of St. James, Westminster, on 18 Oct. 1790, and was the second son of William Grimaldi [q.v.], miniature-painter, of Albemarle Street, London, by his wife Frances, daughter of Louis Barker of Rochester. Upon the death of his elder brother in 1835 the title of Marquis Grimaldi of Genoa and the claims on the family possessions in Genoa and Monaco became vested in him. For upwards of forty years he practised as a solicitor in Copthall Court in the city of London. He was eminent as a 'record lawyer,' and was engaged in several important record trials and peerage cases. In 1824 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1834 he was