Robert Dighton - D9306

Portraits in Profile: the Dighton Family

Robert Dighton 1751-1814

NPG D9306
Edward, 12th Earl of Derby , 1752-1834
and Elizabeth Farren, the future Countess of Derby , 1759?-1829
Published 1795

Elizabeth Farren was one of the great comic actresses of the age. Her liaison with the Earl of Derby, begun by 1785, was the subject of many satires. The Earl's wife, Elizabeth Hamilton, died in March 1797; in May of the same year he and Elizabeth Farren were married and she retired from the stage.

The play bill reads 'Much ado about Nothing / Maid of the Oaks', referring to a play entitled 'Maid of Oaks' written by John Burgoyne (1722-1792) for Lord Derby's first marriage in 1774. The Oaks, Surrey was the family seat.

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