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Chapman, Charlotte Jane

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Born in America in 1762, Charlotte Jane Chapman went to live in Yorkshire with relatives. She was on the stage at York by 1780 and married a strolling actor named Morton, who treated her badly. She left him, resumed her maiden name and played in the provinces until she was taken on by Covent Garden Theatre, where she first appeared as Yarico in “Inkle and Yarico” on 22 October 1788. Miss Chapman continued at that theatre through the 1805-06 season, playing many significant roles, including Ann Lovely in “A Bold Stroke for a Wife”, Araminta in “The Old Bachelor”, Lavinia in “The Fair Penitent”, Gertrude in “Hamlet” and Mrs Fainall in “The Way of the World”. She made a comely figure in breeches: the “Authentic Memoirs of the Green Room” (1799) reported that her ‘figure is prepossessing, her expression good, but her musical powers indifferent; she performs those characters where person, more than power, is required.’ She died in February 1805 and was buried on the 14th at St Paul, Covent Garden. In addition to her picture as Augusta Aubrey (G0108), De Wilde also painted her as Celia in “The School for Lovers”, for “Bell’s British Theatre”. Bell published the same engraving on 26 January 1793, but captioned it ‘Miss Heard as Celia.’ (BDA)
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