Kemble, Charles

BORN 25 Nov 1775, Brecon, Brecknockshire - DIED 12 Nov 1854, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (055/PS (11981))

Youngest son of the actor Roger Kemble and brother of the great actors John Philip Kemble and Sarah Sidons. He became a successful actor himself who played a very wide range of roles.

He debuted as Malcolm in MacBeth at the Drury Lane Theatre on April 21, 1794. Kemble played many Shakespearean roles, but he was at his best in comedies. He married the dancer Marie-Thérèse de Camp (1774-1838) and their daughters Fanny and Adelaide both became famous as well.

From 1822 onwards Kemble was the manager of the Covent Garden Theatre. He nearly went bankrupt, but Fanny's appearance on the stage in 1829 became a tremendous success and saved him from ruin.

In 1832 he left for the US to tour the main cities with Fanny. In 1836 he said farewell to the public at the Haymarket, but in 1840 he returned for a few nights at Covent Garden. In 1844 and 1845 he gave readings from the work of Shakespeare.

• Daughter: Kemble, Fanny
• Daughter: Kemble, Adelaide
• Son: Kemble, John Mitchell

Related persons
• was teacher to Glyn, Isabella
• is brother/sister of Siddons, Sarah
• cooperated with Smithson, Harriet

21/4/1794Debut of Charles Kemble at Drury Lane. He played the part of Malcolm in "MacBeth". 
25/1/1830Fanny Kemble appears in "The Grecian Daughter" at Covent Garden. It was her second appearance as Euphrasia in this play. Charles Kemble played Evander. [Kemble, Fanny]
28/4/1830Fanny Kemble appears in "Isabella: or, The Fatal Marriage" at Covent Garden. It was her first appearance as Isabella in thay play. Charles Kemble played Biron. [Kemble, Fanny]
23/12/1836Charles Kemble leaves the stage. His last appearance was as Benedick in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". He left the stage but returned one more time on 10 Apr 1840. 
0/0/1837Adelaide Kemble and Pauline Garcia sing together. Adelaide and Charles Kemble had left Leipzig and travelled to Brussels to visit the Garcias. Adelaide and young Pauline sang together and their voices combined very well. [Kemble, Adelaide][Viardot-Garcia, Pauline]
0/0/1837Johann Hummel recognises Charles Kemble on the streets of Weimar. Charles Kemble and his daughter were on their way to Karlsbad. During their stay in Weimar Hummel recognised Charles and invited them to his house. There he played the piano and Adelaide sang. [Hummel, Johann Nepomuk][Kemble, Adelaide]
16/10/1837Charles and Adelaide Kemble leave Dresden. They headed for the castle of the Thun family. [Kemble, Adelaide]
6/11/1837Charles and Adelaide Kemble arrive in Leipzig. They knew Felix Mendelssohn and Charles Kemble hoped that he would support Adelaide's singing career. Soon after their arrival they were spotted by the singer Clara Novello and her parents, who feared that Adelaide might be a rival to Clara. [Kemble, Adelaide][Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix]
21/12/1838Charles and Adelaide Kemble leave Venice for Trieste. Adelaide had performed succesfully in Venice. In Trieste they would meet Adelaide's brother John. [Kemble, Adelaide][Kemble, John Mitchell]


The grave of Charles Kemble and his daughter Fanny Kemble at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (10 Aug 1997)


• Blainey, Ann, Fanny and Adelaide, Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 2001
• Stephen, Leslie [Sir], Sidney Lee [Sir] [Editors], The Dictionary of National Biography, From the Earliest Times to 1900, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1960
• Vincent, Benjamin, Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, and Universal Information, Ward, Lock & Co, London, 1906
Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
• Schöne, Günter, Bühnenstars, Florian Noetzel, Wilhelmshaven, 1998
Charles Kemble - Wikipedia

Kemble, Fanny

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022