Bradshaw, Ann Maria (DNB00)

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BRADSHAW, ANN MARIA (1801–1862), actress and vocalist, was born in London in August 1801. Her maiden name was Tree, and her father, who lived in Lancaster Buildings, St. Martin's Lane, was in the East India House. After a training in the chorus at Drury Lane, and a short experience in Bath, she appeared in 1818 at Covent Garden as Rosina in 'The Barber of Seville.' Subsequently she played, principally as a substitute for Miss Foote or Miss Stephens, Patty in 'The Maid of the Mill,' Susannah in 'The Marriage of Figaro,' and other similar characters. Her first recorded appearance in ah original role seems to have been as Princess Stella in the 'Gnome King,' a spectacular piece produced on 6 Oct. 1819 at Covent Garden. On 11 Dec. of the same year she appeared as Luciana in an opera founded by Reynolds on 'The Comedy of Errors.' This led to the series of Shakespearean performances on which her fame rests. In various renderings, musical and otherwise, of Shakespearean comedy, she played with success Ariel, Viola, Imogen, Julia (in the 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'), Ophelia, and Rosalind. With the exception of a solitary appearance at Drury Lane on April 1823, when she was lent by her own management, she appears to have remained at Covent Garden till her retirement. This took place on 15 June 1825 in two of her original characters, Mary Coppin 'Charles II,' by Howard Payne, and Clari in the opera of that name, by the same author. Shortly afterwards she married, under passably romantic circumstances, and after, it is said, an attempt at suicide, James Bradshaw, a man of property. She died on 18 Feb. 1862. Of medium stature and pleasing figure, and with no special claim to beauty, she owed her popularity to the pathos in her voice. Though inferior to her singing, her acting won commendation. She was much praised for the modesty of her performance in male attire. Her sister, Ellen Tree, became the wife of Mr. Charles Kean.

[Genest's History of the Stage; Oxberry's Dramatic Biography; The Drama or Theatrical Pocket Magazine; Era Almanack.]

J. K.