Egerton, Daniel (DNB00)

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EGERTON, DANIEL (1772–1835), actor, was born in the city of London on 14 April 1772. According to various accounts, presumably supplied by himself, he was 'bred to the law in a public office.' The 'Thespian Dictionary,' 1805), says, however, 'he was in business near Whitechapel, and made his first attempt on the stage in this assumed name at the Royalty Theatre.' He played also once or twice for benefits at the Haymarket. On 4 June 1799 he made, as Captain Absolute in 'The Rivals,' his first appearance at tlic Birmingham theatre, then under the management of the elder Macready. Here he remained two summers, playing during the winter months with Stephen Kemble in Edinburgh. On 28 Nov. 1801, as Millamour in Murphy's 'Know your own Mind,' he made his first appearance at Newcastle, and on 17 May 1803, as Frederick in the 'Poor Gentleman,' was first seen in Bath, where he also played Jnffier in 'Venice Preserved' and other characters. After the departure of Elliston from Bath, Egerton took Jaques. Lord Townly;, Mr. Oakley in 'The Jealous Wife,' Rolla in 'Pizarro,' and many important parts. He left Bath for London in 1809, appearing on 28 Oct. at Covent Garden during the O. P. riots as Lord Avondale in the 'School of Reform.' In tragedy King Henry VIII, Tullus Aufidius in 'Coriolanus,' Syphax in 'Cato,' and Clytus in 'Alexander the Great' were esteemed his best parts. From this time until close upon his death he remained a member of the Covent Garden company, his chief occupation being secondary characters in tragedy or serious drama and what is technically called 'heavy business.' While engaged at Covent Garden he assumed the management first of Sadler's Wells(1821-1824), and of the Olympic (1821). He acted himself at neither house, though his wife, Sarah Egerton [q.v] constituted at both a principal attraction. His conduct of the Olympic embroiled him for a time with the management of Covent Garden. It was, however, a failure and was soon abandoned. On 1 July 1833, in conjunction with William Abbot [q. v.], his associate at Covent Garden, he opened the Victoria Theatre, previously known as the Coburg. In 1834 he retired from the management ruined, and died in July (22nd, Era Almanack; 24th, Oxberry, Dramatic Chronology) of the following year. He was five feet ten inches in height, of strong and rather portly appearance. Contemporary criticism charges him with listlessness in his acting. The 'Thespian Dictionary' says he gave in Birmingham in 1800 an entertainment of his own extracted from Stevens's 'Lecture on Heads.'&c, and entitled 'Whimsicalities.' A portrait of him as Clytus in 'Alexander the Great' is in the 'Theatrical Inquisitor,' vol. xi.

[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Theatrical Inquisitor, October 1817; Theatrical Biog.1824; Thespian Dict; Oxberry's Dramatic Biog. 1825, vol. iii.; Era Almanack, 1872, 1873; Era newspaper, 15 Aug. 1847; London Mag. 1821; Sir F. Pollock's Macready's Reminiscences]

J. K.