Such a house was Wroxton Abbey. Built in the 17th century on the remains of a 13th century priory, it was long the homes of the Lords North--later Earls of Guilford.
|Wroxton Abbey in 1830 from www.wroxtonabbey.org|
The Theatrical Entertainments at Wroxton Abbey, the Seat of the Earl of Guilford, having been very highly applauded, we have obtained one of the Play-bills, which we insert for the gratification of our readers.
The "Heir at Law," which was the play selected for the amusement of the social party in the house, and of a numerous and fashionable audience composed of the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, was performed in all its parts with uncommon force and effect. A Prologue written expressly for the occasion, by Mr. Colman, the author of the play, was admirably delivered by the Hon. Heneage Legge. The noble Earl himself, and his sister Lady Charlotte Lindsay, performed the characters of Lord and Lady Duberly with their accustomed excellence, and in the true spirit of comedy; Mr. John Dawkins, of established fame as a first rate Amateur Performer, was inimitable in the Pedant Tutor Doctor Pangloss; and Mr. Joseph Madocks and Miss Spencer, as Zekiel and Cicely Homespun sustained those interesting characters with genuine simplicity and warmth of feeling.
The after piece, judiciously pruned and cut down from one of Steele's plays, was also performed in a style rivalling the performance of the play.
The Kembles mentioned--Mr. Kemble was present, although only Mrs. Kemble is listed on the play-bill--were probably Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kemble of the famous acting family. The rest of the cast has passed into obscurity but for Captain Raigersfeld who acted the part of John in "The Heir at Law". It would appear he is the same Captain Baron de Raigersfeld whose portrait hangs in the National Maritime Museum of Britain.
'Til next time,