Susanna Centlivre (c.1669 - 1723):
Susanna Centlivre was born in County Tyrone, where her father had been granted land in the plantation of Ulster. At the age of fifteen she ran away to Liverpool and from there walked to London. She was befriended by Arthur Hammond, who persuaded her to go with him as his valet to Cambridge University, dressed in boy's clothes. After some years she left for London, where she married a man who was soon to be killed in a duel. Her second husband was also killed in a duel within a year of their marriage. She began to write for the stage, and her first play was The Purjured Husband, which, though not a success, was watched by Queen Anne's chef, Joseph Centlivre, who was struck by the beauty of Susanna, playing the tragic heroine, and married her. Their house near Charing Cross often hosted the literati of the day. Susanna, who spoke several languages, wrote a number of successful comedies. The Wonder! A Woman Keeps a Secret, 1714, starred Garrick, and another of her plays, A Bold Stroke for a Wife, was very popular. She is buried in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields.
||1 December 1723