Knowles James Sheridan
Knowles, James Sheridan (1784-1862), the dramatist, was born at Cork. His family came to London in 1793, and the boy when twelve years old wrote a ballad, which became popular. Owing to dislike of his stepmother, he enlisted in the militia, and afterwards went to Aberdeen, where he obtained the degree of M.D. and became resident vaccinator. He next took to acting, and at Waterford in 1810 met Edmund Kean. In the same year he wrote a play for the latter, and followed it up by others, but was obliged to make a living by teaching, first at Belfast and afterwards at Glasgow, where he had a school for twelve years. In 1825 Hazlitt described Knowles as the first tragic writer of his time. The writer was, notwithstanding, compelled to supplement his income by acting in his own plays and by lecturing. The Hunchback having been accepted by Macready, but not produced for some time, Knowles got back the MS., and the play was given to Charles Kemble at Covent Garden. It came out on April 5, 1832, with Miss Kemble as Julia and Master Walter by the author. The Love Chase was produced in 1837. In 1834 Knowles had a successful American tour, and in 1848 was granted a Civil List pension.