Thomas Sheridan as Brutus

Thomas Sheridan as Brutus

Thomas Sheridan (1719-1788) was an Irish actor in the mid-18th century and later became the manager of the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. He was the father of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, playwright, theatre manager and publican, best known for his comedies of the 1770s such as The Rivals and The School for Scandal. Thomas Sheridan's rise to fame as an actor was spectacular. The son of a gentleman, Sheridan had acted and written plays at university. In 1743 he was given the part of Richard III at the Smock Alley Theatre, despite having no professional training or experience. He was an instant success and by 1744 he had been invited to London to perform at Covent Garden.

This image of Sheridan as Brutus from Julius Caesar is from his first season.

Despite his early popularity, he was later described as more of a 'declaimer' than a good impersonator of characters.