David Garrick (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: Garrick raised acting to a new level of expression and respectability, further popularized the plays of William Shakespeare, and brought creative management to Drury Lane.
David Garrick came from a French Huguenot family who had migrated from the arid lands of southern France when their religion was banned in 1685. The family name was changed from Garric to Garrick when David’s grandfather was naturalized in 1695. David’s father, Peter, was commissioned in the British army and met Arabella Clough while stationed in Lichfield. They were married in 1706 and had seven children. Although David was born in Hereford, his true family home was Lichfield—also the home of his famous contemporary Dr. Samuel Johnson.
Peter Garrick was assigned to military duty in Gibraltar for much of David’s youth. In his father’s absence, Johnson and Gilbert Walmesley (a court official in Lichfield) had great influence on the young Garrick. Garrick was enrolled for a brief time in Johnson’s school at Edial. Early in 1737, Johnson and Garrick departed for London, where Walmesley had made arrangements for Garrick to enter Rochester School in preparation to study law at Lincoln’s Inn. Within weeks, Garrick’s father died, and his brother Peter went to London, where the two began a wine business—David working London and Peter, the Lichfield area.
Garrick’s wine shop was located...
(The entire section is 2311 words.)
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