Frances Maria Kelly Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by The Huntington Library staff and completed September 19, 2001.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2017
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Frances Maria Kelly Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1800-1883
Bulk dates: 1816-1849
Collection Number: mssHM 62598-62775
Creator: Kelly, Frances Maria, 1790-1882.
Extent: 221 items in 4 boxes and oversize folders.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Frances Maria Kelly (1790-1882), a popular actress on the 19th century British stage, and includes 176 manuscript and correspondence items and 45 items of ephemera.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Frances Maria Kelly Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

Purchased from Sotheby's, July 22, 1969.

Biographical Note

Frances Maria Kelly was born to Mark Kelly and Mary Jackson Kelly in 1790. Mary was already the young widow of an actor when she married Mark. Mark was a frustrated actor who could not support his family and finally abandoned them. Frances Maria Kelly's half sister, Anne (from Mary's first union), was an actress and singer until she married actor Charles Mathews whose biography she eventually wrote. Frances Maria Kelly acted in small parts at the age of ten while being taught and guided by her uncle, Michael Kelly. After more training for her acting and her voice she became better known and respected and, even as a child, began contributing to her family's finances. During her esteemed career she developed close acquaintances with Charles Dickens, the Duke of Devonshire, and the Earl of Essex. She maintained a close friendship with Charles Lamb who proposed marriage to her in 1819. She refused him and never married. In 1829, Frances Maria Kelly came to have a daughter—illegitimate or adopted, it's still not clear. Her daughter, Mary Ellen Greville lived with Frances Maria until the actress's death in 1882 and became the executrix of her estate. After Frances Maria had retired from the stage in the 1830s she opened The Royal Dramatic School and Theater with the plan to support and encourage young actors. The school was never a financial success and in 1849 Frances Maria Kelly was forced to give it up. She lived out the rest of her life in relative poverty and died just before receiving the monetary prize associated with the Literary Fund award conferred on her by Queen Victoria.

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of Frances Maria Kelly (1790-1882), a popular actress on the 19th century British stage, and includes 176 manuscript and correspondence items and 45 items of ephemera. The correspondence in this collection deals with the social obligations and other concerns of an established actress in the 19th century Great Britain. Frances Maria Kelly corresponded with Dukes and Countesses as well as actresses and writers. This collection also includes Frances Maria Kelly's "Dramatic Recollections" a notebook filled with descriptions of her theatrical career.

Related Materials in the Huntington Library

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following 2 series: 1. Manuscripts and correspondence, 2. Ephemera.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

Kelly, Frances Maria, 1790-1882 -- Archives.
Essex, George Capel-Coningsby, Earl of, 1757-1839.
Theater -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.

Forms/Genres

Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Manuscript drafts -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Ephemera -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Wills -- Great Britain -- 19th century.

Alternate Authors

Essex, George Capel-Coningsby, Earl of, 1757-1839.


Collection Contents

 

Manuscripts and Correspondence

Box 1

Arnold-Essex

 

Arnold, Samuel James, 1774–1852. 4 letters (1814–1817) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62598–62600.

Scope and Content Note

HM 62600 in oversize.
 

-----. 1 letter (1816, July 28) to Mary Kelly, 1763?–1827. HM 62601.

 

Beaufort, Henry Somerset, Duke of, 1792–1853. 1 letter (1846, July 24) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62602.

 

Bedford, Charles C., fl 1883. 1 letter(1883, May 7) to Mary Ellen Greville. HM 62603.

 

Bedford, Francis Russell, Duke of, 1788–1861. 3 letters (1827–1853) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62604–62606.

 

Bird, Charles. 1 letter (1825) toFrances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62607.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Bloomfield, Benjamin, Sir, 1768–1846. 1 letter(1821, May 22) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62608.

 

Brooke of Warwick Castle, Henry Richard Greville, Earl, 1779–1853. 3 letters (1817–1820) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62609–62611.

 

Brooke of Warwick Castle, Sarah Elizabeth (Savile) Monson Greville, Countess, 1786–1851. 1 letter (1817, Aug. 18) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62612.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Buccleuch, Walter Francis Scott, Duke of, 1806–1884. 1 letter (1858, Sep. 12–17) toFrances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62613.

 

Burt, James, fl. 1821. 1 letter (1821, Jan. 5) to "Sir." HM 62614.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Collier, John Payne, 1789–1883. 2 letters(1845) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62615–62616.

 

-----. 1 letter (1832) to "My dear Sir." HM 62617.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Conyngham, Henry Conyngham, Baron, 1766–1832. 1 letter (1826, May 15) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62618.

 

Dacre, Barbarina, Lady, 1767–1854. 2 letters (1827–1833) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62619–62620.

 

Devonshire, William Spencer Cavendish, Duke of, 1790–1858. 6 letters (1827–1849) toFrances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62621–62626.

 

Doyley, M--- A---, fl. 1849. 1 letter (1849, June 4) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62627.

 

Editor of the Lady's Magazine. 1 letter (1833, Jan. 21) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62628.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Edridge, fl. 1817. 1 letter (1817, June 5) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62629.

 

Ellesmere, Francis Egerton, Earl of, 1800–1857. 1 letter (1832, Nov. 29) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62630.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Elliston, R. W. (Robert William), 1774–1831. 1 letter (1820) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62631.

 

Essex, George Capel-Coningsby, Earl of, 1757–1839. 1 letter (1817, Sep. 25) to Arnold. HM 62632.

 

-----. 1 letter (1818, Oct 23) to "Dear Mrs. Arnold." HM 62633.

 

-----. 21 letters (1815–[<1839]) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62634–62654.

 

-----. 1 letter (1816, Oct. 22) to "My Dear Lady Warwick." HM 62655.

 

Essex, Sarah Bazett Stephenson Capel-Coningsby, Countess of, d. 1838. 5 letters (1816–1817) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62656–62660.

Box 2

FitzClarence-Kelly (Frances)

 

FitzClarence, Adolphus, Lord, 1802–1856. 2 letters(1853) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62661–62662.

 

Gould, C.L., fl. 1849. 2 letters (1849) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62663–62664.

Scope and Content Note

HM 62664 in oversize
 

Gray, Ellen, fl. 1829. 14 letters (1829) to Mrs. Gerbini. HM 62665–62678.

 

-----. 1 letter (1829, Apr. 16) to John Thatcher, fl. 1839. HM 62679.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Greville, Mary Ellen. "Frances Maria Kelly 1790–1882": [biographical sketch], [>1882], A.MS. (2p.). HM 62680.

 

Greville, Mary Ellen. 1 letter(>1882) to John Hollingshead, 1827–1904. HM 62681.

 

-----. 1 letter (1883) to The Editor, Time?. HM 62682.

 

-----. "With reference to the Shakespearean material": [essay], [>1882], AMS. (4p.). HM 62683.

 

Guy, Lady, fl.c.1848. 1 letter (c.1848) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62684.

 

Hely-Hutchinson, Anne. 1 letter (1831, Nov. 1) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62685.

 

Henderson, Emily. 1 letter (1827, Feb. 11) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62686.

 

Hereford (England) Citizens. 1 letter (1817, Aug. 26) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62687.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Holland, Charles, 1768–1894?. 1 letter(1817, June) to George Capel-Coningsby, Earl of Essex, 1757–1839. HM 62688.

 

Home, Elizabeth (Scott) Ramey-Home, Countess of, 1770–1837. 1 letter (1826, May 30) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62689.

 

Kelly, Eleanor S., fl. 1827. 1 letter (1827, Mar. 27) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62690.

 

Kelly, Frances Maria, 1790–1882. "Address": [speech], [1835], A.MS. (3p.). HM 62691.

 

-----. Autobiographical Sketch, [>1853], A.MS.(6p.). HM 62692.

 

-----. Autobiographical Sketch, 1880, Jan. 14, A.MS.(6p.). HM 62693.

 

-----. 1 letter (1816, Oct. 26) to Sarah Elizabeth (Savile) Monson Greville, Countess Brooke of Warwick Castle, 1786–1851. HM 62694.

 

-----. 1 letter (>1847) to Frederick William Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, 1805–1872. HM 62695.

 

-----. 1 letter (1848, Sep. 30) to James Coles, fl.1848. HM 62696.

 

-----. 1 letter (1833, Aug. 8) to "Dear Sir." HM 62697.

 

-----. 1 letter (1852, Aug. 21) to "Dear Walter." HM 62698.

 

-----. Diary Fragments, [1813], Feb. 20-Mar. 1, A.MS.(6p). HM 62699.

 

-----. 1 letter (1849, Oct. 11) to Charles Dickens, 1812–1870. HM 62700.

 

-----. "Dramatic Recollections": [notebook],[1832], A.MS.(124p). HM 62701.

 

-----. 3 letters (1816) to George Capel-Coningsby, Earl of Essex, 1757–1839. HM 62702–62704.

Scope and Content Note

HM 62702 in oversize
 

-----. 2 letters (1816) to Sarah Bazett Stephenson Capel-Coningsby, Countess of Essex, d. 1838. HM 62705–62706.

 

-----. 1 letter (>1814) to Mary Kelly, 1763?–1827. HM 62707.

 

-----. 1 letter (1875, Sep. 28) to Charles Kent, 1823–1902. HM 62708.

 

-----. 1 letter (1833, May 28) to George Lamb, 1784–1834. HM 62709.

 

-----. 1 letter (1849, Oct. 11) to Mark Lemon, 1809–1870. HM 62710.

 

-----. 2 letters (1850) to "Madam." HM 62711–62712.

 

-----. 1 letter (1833, Feb. 20) to Mrs. (Anne Jackson) Mathews, 1782?–1869. HM 62713.

 

-----. 2 letters (1835–1849) to Charles James Mathews, 1803–1878. HM 62714–62715.

 

-----. 1 letter (1818, Oct. 7) to "My Dear Massa." HM 62716.

 

-----. 1 letter (1848, Aug. 14) to "My Dear Sir." HM 62717.

 

-----. 1 letter (<1870) to the Porter of Miss Burdett Coutts. HM 62718.

 

-----. 1 letter (1848, July 21) to "Sir." HM 62719.

 

-----. 1 letter (1816, Nov. 23) to The Subcommittee of the Theater Royal, Drury Lane. HM 62720.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

-----. 1 letter (1848, May) to Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, 1795–1854. HM 62721.

 

-----. "Will of Frances Maria Kelly": [document], 1830, Nov. 2, D.S.(6p). HM 62722.

Scope and Content Note

extra-oversize
Box 3

Kelly (Lydia)-Worthington and unidentified

 

Kelly, Lydia, b.1795. "Will of Miss Lydia Kelly": [document], 1833, July 16, D.S.(4p). HM 62723.

Scope and Content Note

extra-oversize
 

Kelly, Michael, 1762–1826. 1 letter (1825, Mar. 1) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62724.

 

Kent, Charles, 1823–1902. 2 letters(1882) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62725–62726.

 

Knight, Edward, 1774–1826. 1 letter (1822, July 4) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62727.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Lamb, Charles, 1775–1834. Cover of a letter(1833, Jan. 16) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62728.

 

Leinster, Augustus Frederick Fitzgerald, Duke of, 1804–1874. 3 letters (1853) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62729–62731.

 

Leslie, Charles Robert, 1794–1859. 1 letter(1842, May 20) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62732.

 

Londonderry, Charles William Vane, Marquis of, 1778–1854. 2 letters (1833) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62733–62734.

 

Marsh, Charles, 1774?–1835?. 1 letter (1816, Oct. 8) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62735.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Marsh, Mary Hale, fl. 1816. 1 letter (1816, Oct. 14) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62736.

 

Mathews, Mrs. (Anne Jackson), 1782?–1869. 1 letter(1822, Nov. 29) to Mary Kelly, 1763?–1827. HM 62737.

 

-----. Notebook, [>1835]?, A.MS.(32p.). HM 62738.

 

Mathews, Charles, 1776–1835. 1 letter (1817, Aug. 5) to "My dear Sir." HM 62739.

 

Mexborough of Lifford, Elizabeth (Stephenson) Savile, Countess of, 1762–1821. 1 letter(<1821) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62740.

 

Monson, Theodosia (Blacker) Monson, Baroness of, 1803–1891. 1 letter (1833, Jan. 11) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62741.

 

Montagu, D--- B---. 1 letter (1822, Apr. 9) to John Hamilton Reynolds, 1794–1852. HM 62742.

 

Paulet, William, Lord, 1804–1893. 1 letter(1853, June 3) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62743.

 

Peake, R.B., 1792–1847. 4 letters (1827–1831) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62744–62747.

 

Phillips, Charles, 1787?–1859. 1 letter(1833, Apr. 6) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62748.

 

Reynolds, J[ohn] H[amilton], 1794–1852. 1 letter(1831, Apr. 19) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62749.

 

St. George, Harriet. 1 letter (<1882) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62750.

 

Singleton, Mary, Lady, fl.1826. 1 letter(1826, May 14) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62751.

 

Stanton, Charles, fl.1833. 1 letter (1833, Dec. 5) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62752.

 

Taylor, John, 1781–1864. 6 letters (1825–1828) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62753–62758.

Scope and Content Note

HM 62753 in oversize
 

Thatcher, John, fl.1829. 1 letter (1829, May 12) to Mrs. Gerbini. HM 62759.

 

-----. 3 letters (1829) to Ellen Gray. HM 62760–62762.

Scope and Content Note

HM 62762 in oversize
 

-----. 1 letter (1829, Sep. 18) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62763.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

-----. 1 letter (1829, Nov. 24) to "My dear Friend." HM 62764.

 

-----. 1 letter (1829, Oct. 21) to "My dear Madam." HM 62765.

 

-----. 1 letter (1829, Apr. 17) to "the tyke of Innocence, the younger Gerbini." HM 62766.

 

Western Philanthropic Institution. 1 letter(1827, June 16) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62767.

 

Worthington, fl.1847. "To Miss Kelly": [poem], 1847, Oct. 15, A.MS.(2p). HM 62768.

 

[ ]. 1 letter (1840, July 15) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62769.

 

[ ]. 1 letter (?, Mar. 16) to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62770.

 

[ ]. "List of Actors," [<1882], A.MS. (4p.). HM 62771.

 

[ ]. 1 letter (1800, Feb. 7) to "Madam." HM 62772.

 

[ ]. Miscellaneous Notes, [<1882], A.MS. (1p.). HM 62773.

Scope and Content Note

oversize
 

Oversize and Ephemera

Scope and Content Note

Oversize manuscripts and correspondence A-Z.
Box 4

Oversize and Ephemera

 

Announcement for the performance of Miss Kelly's Benefit. HM 62774(a).

 

Oxberry's Dramatic Biography. HM 62774(b).

 

Page from Harper's Monthly Magazine with autograph note by Mary Ellen Greville. HM 62774(c).

 

Playbills. HM 62774(d).

 

Printed poems to Frances Maria Kelly, 1790–1882. HM 62774(e).

 

Royal Dramatic School and Theatre. HM 62774(f).

 

Theatre floor plans. HM 62774(g).

 

Theatre reviews. HM 62774(h).

 

Theatre Tickets. HM 62774(i).

 

The Theatrical Observer. HM 62774(j).

 

Watercolor portrait of George Capel-Coningsby, Lord of Essex, 1757–1839. HM 62774(k).

 

Extra-Oversize Documents and Ephemera

 

Kelly, Frances Maria, 1790–1882. "Will of Frances Maria Kelly": [document], 1830, Nov. 2, D.S.(6p). HM 62723.

 

Kelly, Lydia, b.1795. "Will of Miss Lydia Kelly": [document], 1833, July 16, D.S.(4p). HM 62724.

 

Elevation and plan of Miss Kelly's Theatre at Dean Street by J.T. Wood. HM 62775(a).

 

Playbill formerly tipped into Frances Maria Kelly's "Dramatic Recollections" p.23–24. HM 62775(b).

 

Playbills. HM 62775(c).