Spranger & Ann Barry

The celebrated tragic actor Spranger Barry and his second wife Ann are buried in the north cloister of Westminster Abbey but no inscription remains for them. He was born in Dublin in 1717, a son of William and Catherine, and was apprenticed as a silversmith. With money from his first wife he set up in the theatre and soon established a reputation. He worked under David Garrick in London and was a serious rival. He was buried on 20th January 1777.

Ann, the finest actress of her generation, was born in Bath, a daughter of James Street. She married William Dancer and performed with him on the stage and worked under Barry in Dublin. Some while after Dancer's death she married Barry and a son Spranger was baptised in 1748 at St Paul's church, Covent Garden. She failed to persuade Garrick to write an epitaph for Barry. Her third husband was a barrister and indifferent actor Thomas Crawford. She played her final role in 1798 and retired. She died in Queen Street, Westminster and was buried on 7th December 1801 with Barry.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Spranger Barry

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Ann Barry


23rd November 1719


1th January 1777


20th January 1777




Cloisters; North Cloister

Spranger & Ann Barry
Spranger Barry performing

Langley Collection

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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