Born 5 July 1755 at ‘The Shoulder of Mutton’ (now ‘The Siddons’), Brecon, the eldest of eleven children of Roger Kemble and Sarah Ward. Both parents were members of John Ward's band of strolling players that had recently performed at Brecon. The company continued to play on both sides of the Welsh border, and Sarah's early years were spent with them. William Siddons, a Walsall man who had played in the Chester theatre in May 1772, joined Kemble's company soon afterwards, but his wish to marry Sarah was opposed by her parents and by a Brecon gentleman, named Evans. Siddons appealed in verse to the Brecon audience and was dismissed from the company. He married Sarah Kemble at Coventry on 26 November 1773. Mrs. Siddons's successful career is well known — a detailed account is given in the sources at the end of this article. She died from erysipelas on 8 June 1831. After her early years, her connections with Wales were limited to occasional visits to Brynbella, in the vale of Clwyd, the home of her friend, Mrs. Piozzi. Her sister Julia Anne Hatton, and her brother Charles Kemble, are separately noted.
Published date: 1959
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