Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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RICHINGS, Peter, actor, born in London, England, 19 May, 1797 ; died in Media, Pennsylvania, 18 January, 1871. His full name was Peter Richings Puget, and his father was Vice-Admiral Puget, of the British navy. The son was educated for the ministry at Peru-broke college. Later he became successively clerk in the India service at Madras, a lieutenant in the British army, and a student of law in Lincoln's Inn. None of these pursuits proving congenial, he figured for a time as a comedian at several minor theatres in the British provinces. In 1821 he came to this country, where he made his first appearance at the New York Park theatre, on 25 September, 1821, as Harry Bertram in Bishop's opera "Guy Mannering." Here he remained among the stock-company until 1839. In the autumn of that year he became stage-manager of the National theatre, Philadelphia. In 1843 he was lessee of the Holliday street theatre, Baltimore, and from 1845 until 1854 he was connected with the Walnut street theatre, Philadelphia, both as stage-manager and manager. From that time onward, for about eleven years, he conducted the Richings opera troupe, a travelling company, appearing on frequent occasions as an operatic artist. At the close Of this venture he retired permanently to a farm. Richings was one of the time-honored galaxy of the old Park theatre, and in romantic plays and melodramas became a general favorite. Fops, military officers, eccentric characters, and stage-villains were equally well represented by him, but he had no hold on the legitimate drama, tits voice was a baritone, and was used judiciously on many occasions. Dandini in "Cinderella," Beppo in "Fra Diavoio," Pierre in "Masaniello," and Olifour in "La Bayadere," were rendered by him with remarkable effect.--Caroline Mary, his adopted daughter, came to this country from England in her infancy. She first appeared in public as a pianist, and subsequently became leading soprano of the Richings English opera troupe. In 1867 Miss Richings married Pierre Barnard, and retired from the stage, but returned in 1883. Her later life was spent at Richmond, Virginia, where she died in 1884.
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