Jump to content

Louisa Craven, Countess of Craven

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Louisa Brunton)

Louisa, Countess of Craven, originally Louisa Brunton (1782–1860) was an English actress.[1]

Louisa Brunton, 1806 engraving by Samuel John Stump

Birth and background


Her father, John Brunton (1741-1819), son of a soap dealer in Norwich, was at one time a grocer in Drury Lane. He became an actor, and appeared at Covent Garden Theatre, 11 April 1774, as Cyrus, and, 3 May 1774, as Hamlet. He then played at Norwich and at Bath, Somerset, becoming ultimately manager of the Norwich theatre. Louisa Brunton was the one of seven sisters, Ann Brunton Merry, an actress, married Robert Merry. Elizabeth (1771-1799), also an actress, married Peter Columbine.[2][3] [4]

Her eldest brother, John Brunton (1775–1849), also became an actor-manager; he married Anna Ross, the sister of Frances Mary Ross.[5] John and Anna's eldest daughter was the actress Elizabeth Yates.[6]

According to some biographers, she was born in February 1785; but the date may have been two or three years earlier.[1]

Stage career


In September 1803 it was reported that Brunton had been engaged by Covent Garden Theatre for the season on £10 per week.[7] Her brother, who appeared at Covent Garden 22 September 1800 as Brunton the younger, was with her during her entire time at the theatre.[1] On 5 October 1803 Brunton made her first stage appearance, at Covent Garden, playing Lady Townley in The Provoked Husband to the Lord Townley of Kemble and Lady Grace of Mrs Siddons.[8][9] On 2 November she played Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing and it was said 'her archness, vivacity, and spirit of the part, were well depicted.[10][11] She was the original creator of some roles in pieces of Thomas Morton, and William Dimond.

On 21 October 1807 she played Clara Sedley in Frederick Reynolds's comedy The Rage. This is the last appearance recorded by John Genest.



Brunton left the stage aged 22–25 in December 1807, and married, 12 December 1807, William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven at his house in Berkeley Square, London.[12] After the death of her husband, 30 July 1825, she lived in privacy, and died, almost forgotten, 27 August 1860.[13]

See also



  1. ^ a b c Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Craven, Louisa" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ "Theatre Ipswich". The Ipswich Journal. 25 July 1789. p. 3.
  3. ^ Mays, Dorothy A. (1 January 2004). Women In Early America: Struggle, Survival, And Freedom In A New World. ABC-CLIO. p. 262. ISBN 978-1-85109-429-5. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Miss Brunton". Ipswich Journal. 10 December 1785. p. 1.
  5. ^ Highfill, Philip H.; Burnim, Kalman A.; Langhans, Edward A. (1973). A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660–1800. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-8093-0518-6. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  6. ^ Library, Folger Shakespeare. "Louisa". Folger Shakespeare Library. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Miss Louisa Brunton". Norfolk Chronicle. 24 September 1803. p. 2.
  8. ^ "On Wednesday". Bury and Norwich Post. 12 October 1803. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Theatre Royal, Covent-Garden". Sun (London). 11 October 1803. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Miss Brunton". Bury and Norwich Post. 9 November 1803. p. 1.
  11. ^ Her name also appears in this season to Marcella in The Pannel, a farce based by John Philip Kemble on Isaac Bickerstaff's Tis well it's no worse, 21 December 1803. Between this date and December 1807 she played Julia in The School of Reform (Thomas Morton), Miss Mortimer in The Chapter of Accidents (Sophia Lee), Celia in As you like it, Rosara in She Would and She Would Not (Colley Cibber), Alithea in The Country Girl (David Garrick), Lady Anne in Richard III, Irene in Barbarossa (John Brown) to the Achmet of Master Betty, Dorinda in The Beaux' Stratagem, Marianne in the Mysterious Husband (Richard Cumberland), Hero in Much Ado about Nothing, Angelina in Love Makes a Man (Cibber), Ismene in Merope (Aaron Hill), Anne Bullen in Henry VIII, Volante in The Honey Moon (John Tobin), Donna Olivia in A Bold Stroke for a Husband (Hannah Cowley), Miranda in The Tempest, Leonora in The Revenge (Edward Young), Harriet in The Jealous Wife (George Colman the Elder), Marian in The School for Prejudice (Thomas John Dibdin). Genest also lists her in 1806- 1807 at Covent Garden - as Orrila in Adrian and Orilla, Widow Lounston in Douglas, Margaret in New Way to pay Old Debts, Rosalie Summers in Town and Country and Mrs Grenville in Secrets Worth Knowing pp44-53.
  12. ^ "Married". Norfolk Chronicle. 19 December 1807. p. 3.
  13. ^ "Brunton, Louisa [married name Louisa Craven, countess of Craven] (1782x5–1860), actress | Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6633. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainStephen, Leslie, ed. (1888). "Craven, Louisa". Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co.