Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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Edward Loon Davenport
DAVENPORT, Edward Loon, is, actor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 15 November 1814; died in Canton, Pennsylvania, 1 September 1877. He made his first appearance on the stage in Providence, R. I., in 1836, as Parson Will in " A New Way to Pay Old Debts," with Junius Brutus Booth as Sir Giles Overreach, a part in which Mr. Davenport afterward became famous. He then appeared in New York at the Bowery theatre, under the management of Thomas H. Hamlin, and in 1838 played first in Philadelphia, in the Walnut Street theatre, as Count Montalban in "The Honeymoon." But he appeared chiefly in Boston until 1847, when, with Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt, he visited England, appearing with her, on 6 December 1847, at the Manchester theatre, as Claude Melnotte to her Pauline. While in England he supported William C. Macready for two seasons, including his farewell engagement, and became very popular at the Haymarket theatre, London, as William in "Black-eyed Susan." He returned to the United States in 1854, and filled various engagements under the management of Mrs. J. B. Barrow, Henry C. Jarrett, Mark Smith, James W. Wallack, and William Wheatley. In 1859 he became manager of the Howard athenaeum, in Boston, and ten years later undertook the management of the Chestnut Street theatre in Philadelphia. During 1873 he acted in Wood's museum, New York, and in 1875-'6 played with great success the part. of Brutus in a protracted engagement of " Julius Caesar" at Booth's theatre, New York. Ills last appearance in New York was also in Booth's theatre, where he played in " Daniel Druce." He was one of the most finished actors on the American stage, and possessed great versatility, being equally successful in tragedy and comedy.
--His wife, Fanny Elizabeth Vining, born in London, 6 July 1829, was the daughter of Frederick Vining, manager of the Haymarket theatre in London. Her professional education began with playing baby parts when she was but three years old. Subsequently she spent a few years at boarding school, and then made her first appearance, in 1847, as Juliet, with G. V. Brooke as Romeo and her father as Mercutio. She continued to play leading juvenile parts at the Haymarket and Drury Lane theatres with Charles Kean, William C. Macready, and other distinguished actors, until her marriage with Mr. Davenport, on 8 January 1849. Her first appear-ante in the United States was as Margaret Ehnore, in "Love's Sacrifice," in the Broadway theatre, New York, on 11 September 1854. Afterward she was associated with her husband in many of his starring engagements, and she has played in the principal cities of the United States.--Their daughter, Fanny Lily Gipsy, born in London, 10 April 1850, was educated in the public schools of Boston, and made her first appearance at the Howard athenaeum as the child in "Metamora." In New York she appeared first as King of Spain in " Faint Heart never Won Fair Lady," on 14 February 1862, at Niblo's Garden. Subsequently she acted at the. Little Tremont theatre, Boston, and in the south, where she played soubrette parts for a season. Afterward she played in the Arch Street theatre, Philadelphia, then under the management of Mrs. John Drew, where she attracted the attention of Augustin Daly, who in-tr0duced her in New York at his Fifth avenue theatre in 1869. There she played Lady Gay Spanker in "London Assurance"" Rosalind in "As You Like It"" Nancy Sykes in "Oliver Twist"" Lady Teazle in "School for Scandal"" Lu and Fanny Ten Eyck in " Divorce"" the title-rale in "Leail "" and Mabel Renfrew in "Pique," a play in which she won great success, and which ran for 250 nights. She has made starring tours throughout the United States, frequently adding new parts to those previously played. In 1880 she played Olivia successfully in Philadelphia, and afterward brought out, in New York, Miss Anna Dickinson's play of " An American Girl." She also introduced in New York Sardou's " Feodora," acting the title role, and received much approbation for the magnificent manner in which the play was mounted. On 30 ,July 1879, she married Edwin H. Price, an actor.--Another daughter, Blanche (Blanche Maria), born in London, 11 July 1852, was educated in the public sehools of Boston, and in the convent of Notre Dame. In 1867 she played at the Boston museum, where she attracted attention by her singing, and afterward studied there under M. Adavani. In 1869 she went to Milan to cultivate her voice, and remained abroad six years, studying and afterward singing. She was a great favorite in Naples, as well as Milan. She returned to America under 3laurice Strakosch in October 1879, and made her debut in opera in Philadelphia. Her personations of Marguerite in • ' Faust" met with warm praise, both for her pure, clear soprano voice and her dramatic skill. She filled an engagement at Booth's in 1880. She sings in most of the Italian operas, her favorite being " La Traviata."--Another daughter, Lily (Lily Antoinette), born in Glasgow, Scotland, 2 November 1854; died in Philadelphia, 13 January 1878. She made her first appearance in the Chestnut Street theatre, Philadelphia, while her father was manager, and played juvenile parts there and elsewhere until 1875. She married Frost Thorn in 1874.--Another daughter, May (Marion Caroline), born in Boston, 21 July 1857, made her first appearance at the Chestnut Street theatre, Philadelphia, under her father's management, in 1872, and has since played in juvenile parts. In the winter of 1879 she filled an engagement at the Standard theatre, New York, playing in " My Uncle's Will." She acted at the Boston museum, in the winter of 1880, as Lady Gwendoline Loftus in Boucicault's "Daddy O'Dowd," and Nay Edwards in the "Ticket-of-Leave Man." She married William Seymour in 1882.--A son, Edgar Loomis, born in Boston, 7 February 1862, played with his sister Fanny in 1879 at the Grand Opera-house, New York, personating Thorsby Gill in "Pique." --Another son, Henry George Bryant, born in New York City, 19 January 1866, has played at the Walnut Street theatre, Philadelphia, as Hendrick, with Joseph Jefferson in the comedy of "Rip Van Winkle," and in 1879 he appeared at Wallack's theatre, New York, as Sir Joseph Porter in the juvenile "Ping-fore" troupe.Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM