1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Webster, Benjamin Nottingham
|←Webster, Alexander||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28
Webster, Benjamin Nottingham
|See also Benjamin Nottingham Webster on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.|
WEBSTER, BENJAMIN NOTTINGHAM (1797-1882), English actor, manager and dramatic writer, was born in Bath on the 3rd of September 1797, the son of a dancing master. First appearing as Harlequin, and then in small parts at Drury Lane, he went to the Haymarket in 1829, and was given leading comedy character business. He was the lessee of the Haymarket from 1837; he built the new Adelphi theatre (1859); later the Olympic, Princess's and St James's came under his control; and he was the patron of all the contemporary playwrights and many of the best actors, who owed their opportunity of success to him. As a character actor he was unequalled in his day, especially in such parts as Triplet in Masks and Faces, Joey Ladle in No Thoroughfare, and John Peerybingle in his own dramatization of The Cricket on the Hearth. He wrote, translated or adapted nearly a hundred plays. Webster took his formal farewell of the stage in 1874, and he died on the 3rd of July 1882. His daughter, Harriette Georgiana (d. 1897), was the first wife of Edward Levy-Lawson, 1st baron Burnham; and his son, W. S. Webster, had three children — Benjamin Webster (b. 1864; married to Miss May Whitby), Annie (Mrs A. E. George) and Lizzie (Mrs Sydney Brough) — all well known on the London stage, and further connected with it in each case by marriage.