WOBO: Search for words and phrases in the texts here...

Enter either the ID of an entry, or one or more words to find. The first match in each paragraph is shown; click on the line of text to see the full paragraph.

Currently only Chalmers’ Biographical Dictionary is indexed, terms are not stemmed, and diacritical marks are retained.

esq. called the English Aristophanes, a distinguished writer and

, esq. called the English Aristophanes, a distinguished writer and actor in comedy, was of a good family, and born at Truro, in Cornwall, about 1720. His father, John Foote, esq. enjoyed the offices of commissioner of the prize-office and line contract, and was finally member of parliament for Tiverton, in Devonshire. His mother, by an unhappy quarrel between her two brothers, sir John Dinely Goodere, bart. and sir Samuel Goodere, captain of the Ruby man of war, became heiress of the Goodere family. The quarrel alluded to, after subsisting for some years, ended in the murder of sir John by his brother, and the subsequent execution of the latter, in 1741. Foote received his education at Worcester-college, Oxford; and was thence removed to the Temple, as designed for the law. The dry ness and gravity of this study, however, not suiting the vivacity and volatility of Foote' s spirit, and his fortune, whatever it was, being soon dissipated, he left the law, and had recourse to the stage. He appeared first in Othello; but whether he discovered that his forte did not lie in tragedy, or that the language of other writers would not serve sufficiently to display his humour, he soon struck out into a new and untrodden path, by taking upon himself the double character of author and performer. In this double capacity, in 1747, he opened the little theatre in the Haymarket with a sort of drama of his own, called “The Diversions of the Morning,” This piece was nothing more than the introduction of well-known characters in real life; whose manner of conversing and expressing themselves he had a most amazing talent at imitating, copying not only the manner and voice, but in some degree, even the persons of those he ridiculed.