(1790–1882) Irish pioneer of theatre training, who founded an acting school and theatre in London's Dean Street. She financed the venture by touring a solo show of her Dramatic Recollections (1832). Her previous career had been as a much loved actress in legitimate comedy: she was the original Annette in S. J. Arnold's The Maid and the Magpie. She remained independent all her life, having rejected offers of marriage from, amongst others, Charles Lamb, who adored her ‘divine plain face’. Mystery surrounds the failure of ‘Miss Kelly's Theatre’ (the Royalty), but she survived to be pensioned as a grand old lady of the theatre.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance in Oxford Reference.