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date: 16 November 2019

Vernon, Joseph locked

  • Olive Baldwin
  •  and Thelma Wilson


(b ?Coventry, bap. ?April 12, 1737; d London, March 19, 1782). English tenor, actor and composer . He studied under William Savage and was still a boy when he ‘sung for the first time very well’ at Drury Lane as Puck in Queen Mab (December 1750). He created Thyrsis in Boyce’s The Shepherd’s Lottery the following year and went on to build up a repertory of minor acting and singing roles. His Savoy Chapel marriage in June 1755 to the singer Jane Poitier was declared invalid and Vernon had to give evidence against the officiating clergyman, who was transported; as a result Vernon was repeatedly hissed off stage the next season. After four years on the Dublin stage (1758–62) he remained at Drury Lane until a few months before his death. He was much admired in Shakespearean roles requiring singing, such as Amiens, Balthasar, Feste and Autolycus. He had leading roles in the all-sung English operas ...

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Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 1885-1901, suppls., 1901-96)
The London Stage, 1660-1800 (Carbondale, IL, 1960-68)
A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers & Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800 (Carbondale, IL, 1973-93)
R. Fiske: English Theatre Music in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1973, 2/1986)