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Blanchard, Thomas

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The comic actor and tenor singer Thomas Blanchard was born in 1760, the son of the actor Thomas Blanchard. For some years he toured with his father in the provinces and made his London debut at Drury Lane on 13 October 1773, as Cupid in “A Trip to Scotland”. After filling similar boy’s roles there that season, he returned to play in the provinces, mainly at Bath and Bristol, for some 11 years, until 3 October 1787, when he appeared at Covent Garden as the rustic Hodge in “Love in a Village”. He stayed at Covent Garden until he was dismissed in June 1794 because of his heavy drinking. He was in and out of London during the remainder of his career – he had a great success at Jones’s Royal Circus, St George’s Fields, in March-April 1796. In October he was engaged at the Fishamble Street Theatre in Dublin, where he died on 30 December 1797 and was buried in St Mark’s churchyard. He was survived by his widow Charlotte Blanchard (b. 1761), an actress, and several children. His son Thomas John Blanchard (b. 1789) – ‘Blanchard the Pantaloon’ – acted in London into the 1830s. Two of Blanchard’s sisters also performed in London. Blanchard, who had an ‘excellently resonant tenor voice’ – was especially successful in rural rustics when he was sober. Among his numerous roles was Ralph in “The Maid of the Mill”, in which he is pictured by De Wilde (G0071, G0072).
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