Elizabeth Anne Sheridan (Linley)
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Historical records matching Elizabeth Anne Sheridan
About Elizabeth Anne Sheridan
Elizabeth Ann Sheridan (née Linley) (7 September 1754 – 28 June 1792) was the first daughter (and second of twelve children) of the composer Thomas Linley and his wife Mary Johnson, and was herself the wife of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
Of the Linley children destined for musical careers, it is said that Elizabeth had the greatest talent and beauty. Trained by her father at an early age, her first performance was at Covent Garden Theatre aged 12, alongside her brother in The Fairy Favour on 31 January 1767. In May Elizabeth sang and Thomas played the violin in a concert at Bath. Despite her growing reputation and the London concert rooms readily available to her as a result, her father forced her to promise to marry Walter Long, after much protest, to prevent her taking a theatrical career and to bring wealth into the Linley family. On 26 June 1771, a new comedy, called The Maid of Bath, opened at the Haymarket Theatre, dramatising her story.
Elizabeth had many proposals of marriage, but on 18 March 1772 she eloped with Richard Brinsley Sheridan to France. However, they were both underage and so the marriage was invalid until Elizabeth’s father eventually consented officially on 13 April 1772 at Marylebone, London, one day after her last public appearance. In 1772 Sheridan fought a famous duel against Captain Thomas Mathews in defence of Elizabeth's character, which Mathews had defamed in a newspaper article. She suffered many miscarriages due to poor health, but she finally delivered a son, Tom (1775–1819). She died of tuberculosis at Bristol in 1792 aged 38.