- Peter Branscombe
(b Liestal, nr Basle, Aug 23, 1730; d Rellingen, nr Hamburg, April 25, 1800). Swiss impresario and actor, active in Germany. He was one of the 12 merchants of Hamburg who founded the German National Theatre in 1767. After the death of his first wife, or perhaps his divorce from her, his infatuation with the actress (Friederike) Sophie Hensel (née Sparmann), whom he later married, led to his wholehearted espousal of the theatre. He gained a controlling interest in the Hamburg theatre but in 1769 financial difficulties forced him to accept a post as director of George III’s theatre at Hanover; there he formed an excellent company which settled in Weimar in 1772. After fire destroyed the Weimar theatre in 1774, Seyler’s company moved to Gotha. In the following year he obtained a licence to perform in Saxony and they visited Dresden in winter and Leipzig in summer and at fair-times. The association between Seyler and the dramatic poet Klinger dates from this time and ...