Samuel Foote

Samuel Foote, actor and playwright, was buried in the west cloister of Westminster Abbey on 3rd November 1777 but his grave has never been marked. He was baptised in 1721 in Truro in Cornwall, a son of Samuel Foote, lawyer and Member of Parlament, and his wife Eleanor (Dinely). He was dismissed from Oxford university for "irregularities". In 1741 he married Mary Hickes. Twice imprisoned in the Fleet for debt he eventually started his stage career after tuition from Charles Macklin. He was quite successful in London and also played in Dublin. He often played comic roles at Drury Lane Theatre and then assembled his own company and wrote his own plays. After a fall from a horse his leg was amputated but he continued acting. He bought and enlarged the Haymarket Theatre. He died on 21st October 1777 at Dover while preparing to sail to France. A memorial was erected in St Mary's church Dover. His illegitimate sons were Francis and George.

Further reading

"Memoirs of Samuel Foote" by W. Cooke, 3 vols, 1805

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


21st October 1777


3rd November 1777




West Cloister

Samuel Foote
Samuel Foote

Langley Collection

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster