Henry Mossop

1729-1774; actor-manager, b. probably Tuam, Co. Galway, son of clergyman; ed. Digges St. Grammar school, Dublin, and TCD; appeared Smock Alley, 28 Nov. 1749; engaged by Garrick for Drury lane, 1751; arranged theatrical visits from Garrick, Woodward, Macklin, Theo. Cibber, Barry, and Mossop, in 1754; acted with Garrick in London, 1751-59; returned to play at Crow St., 1759; took over Smock Alley, 1760, to rival Crow St.; gained patronage of Countess of Brandon, Miss Caulfield sister of Charlemont and Lady Rachel MacDonald; exploited vogue of English opera; tried to manage both theatres; lost heavily through gambling, and retired ruined from Smock Alley management, to be succeeded by Thomas Ryder; imprisoned for debt in London, while seeking recruits, 1771; toured continent for a year; died in poverty, Chelsea, 18 Nov. 1773; d. 27 Oct., acc. obit. in Gentleman’s Magazine give date 27 Dec. RR ODNB DIB OCIL


there is a short life in Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.443.


Sir John Gilbert
quotes Churchill on the actor: ‘Mossop, attach’d to military plan, / Still kept his eye fix’d on his right hand man. / Whilst the mouth measures words with seeming skill, / The right hand labours, and the left lies still / For he resolv’d on Scripture grounds to go / What the right doth, the left hand shall not know. / With studied impropriety of speech / He soars beyond the hackney critic’s reach [... &c.]’ (History of the City of Dublin II, rep. edn. 1972, p. 97),

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