William Henry Don (1825 - 1862)

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Death: Died in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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About William Henry Don

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"Sir William Henry Don, 7th Baronet (1825–1862) was a British actor.

Don was born on 4 May 1825. His father, Sir Alexander Don, 6th baronet of Newtondon, Berwickshire, "the model of a cavalier in all courteous and elegant accomplishments", was an intimate friend of Sir Walter Scott, and one of the most constant attendants at his social dinner parties. He sat for Roxburghshire 1814–18, 1818–20, and from 1820 until his decease, 11 April 1826, aged 47. His mother, Grace Wallace, eldest daughter of John Stein of Edinburgh, married as her second husband Sir James Maxwell Wallace of Ainderby Hall, near Northallerton.

William Henry Don, the only son, when less than a year old, succeeded his father as 7th baronet, and received his education at Eton between 1838 and 1841. On 28–30 Aug. 1839 he took part in the Eglinton Tournament in the character of a page to Lady Montgomerie...

...In 1861 he went to Australia. At this period he had taken to playing female characters in burlesques, and he appeared at the Royal Theatre, Melbourne, in Valentine and Orson and in a travestie in The Colleen Bawn called "Eily O'Connor". In February 1862 he visited Hobart Town, Tasmania, with a company of his own, where he fell ill. On 15 March 1862, he played Queen Elizabeth in the burlesque of Kenilworth, and four days later he died from aneurysm of the aorta at Webb's Hotel, Hobart Town. He possessed a fine sense of humour, a quick perception of the ludicrous side of life and character, a remarkable talent for mimicry, a strong nerve, a ready wit, and great self-possession.

He married, firstly, on June 1847, Antonia, daughter of M. Lebrun of Hamburg; and secondly on 17 October 1857, at Marylebone, Emily Eliza, eldest daughter of John Saunders of the Adelphi Theatre, London. Miss Saunders had been well known as a lively actress in comedy and farce at the Adelphi, the Haymarket, the Surrey, and other theatres, for some years before her marriage to Don.

Returning to England after her husband's death, she resumed her professional career, but with no very profitable result, though she had been very popular in the Australian colonies and in New Zealand.

In 1867 she went to the United States, where she made her appearance on 18 February at the New York Theatre in Peggy Green and the burlesque of Kenilworth, and on the close of the season returned to her native country. She was for a short period lessee of the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, and assisted at the opening of the Gaiety Theatre, Edinburgh.[6] Latterly she was in reduced circumstances and was obliged to appear as a vocalist in music halls. She died at Edinburgh 20 September 1875."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Sir William Don, 7th Baronet', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 January 2013, 18:07 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sir_William_Don,_7th_Baronet&oldid=531480672> [accessed 12 January 2013]

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Sir William Henry Don of Newton, 7th Baronet's Timeline

1825
May 4, 1825
1862
March 19, 1862
Age 36
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
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