Death of Lady Boothby
Those persons who were at all familiar with the stage will have learnt with feelings of sorrow the death of the famous actress. After a short illness her ladyship expired on Saturday the 26th of January. The deceased (Louisa Cranston Boothby) was the eldest daughter of Lieut. Frederick Hayes Macnamara, of the 52nd foot, and his wife, Jane Elizabeth Williams. She was born on the 1st of April, 1812, in the parish of Islington, and was, consequently, in her 46th year. She early evinced that talent for the histrionic art for which she was afterwards so celebrated. Misfortune having overtaken her family, she, at the age of 13, appeared for the first time before an audience in the provinces, on which occasion her success was such that she decided on taking to the stage as a profession. For several years she continued to play in the provinces until, at 17 years of age, she made her first appearance at Drury Lane. Her fame had already reached London, where she soon took rank as one of the first comic actresses of the day, and this position she maintained through life. Whether on stage or off, her manner was most fascinating, and in January, 1831, when not quite 19 years of age, she married John Alexander Nisbett, of the Life Guards, who, within a few months, was killed through an accident in his endeavour to train a vicious horse. On the death of her husband, Mrs Nisbett felt herself compelled to resume her professional career, in which for several years she delighted the public with her brilliant acting on the London stage. She next married Sir William Boothby, of Ashbourne Hall, whose death occurred about three years later, and Lady Boothby, with her relatives in great measure depending on her, again took up her professional avocation. This she ultimately abandoned, and came to St Leonards, where the residence known as Rose Mount was built by her own desire. Here she lived with her mother and eldest brother until the deaths of her mother, brother and a beloved sister so wrought upon an already weakened constitution that she never thoroughly rallied from the shock. But her more serious illness was only of two or three days’ duration, its first manifestation being on Wednesday or Thursday, preceding her death on Saturday. Her death was deeply regretted by a large circle of friends. Her remains, and those of her relations, were deposited in the St Leonards Cemetery. Further interesting memoirs on pages 55 and 58 Vol 1 of “Local History”.