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In the first scene Lady Caroline Agar-Ellis (née Spencer), Viscountess Clifden (1763-1813), wife of 2nd Viscount Clifden; daughter of 4th Duke of Marlborough, in the character of 'Harriet'; Richard Edgcumbe, 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764-1839), writer on opera, in the character of Young Clackitt and Lord William Russell (1767-1840), brother of 5th and 6th Dukes of Bedford, in the character of Mr.. Heartly.
The middle scene depicts Lady Elizabeth Harwood (née Peshall) (active 1788-1810), wife of Sir Busick Harwood in the character of Mrs. Harley; Lady Elizabeth Spencer (1764-1812), daughter of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough in the character of Lady Betty Lambton; Lord Henry John Spencer (1770-1795), diplomatist and 2nd son of 4th Duke of Marlborough in the character of Cecil and John Spencer (1767-1831), son of Lord Charles Spencer as Lord Winworth.
And finally, in our third scene, we see Charlotte Nares (née Spencer) (1769-1802), third daughter of 4th Duke of Marlborough, wife of Edward Nares, in the character of Miss Rivers and Lord Charles Spencer (1740-1820), politician and Master of the Mint, as Colonel Rivers.
All are of similar sizes, two measure 23 in x 27 in, the larger measures 31 in x 26.75 in, the plate margins measure 14 in x 18 in, the larger 18 in x 22 in.
John Jones was a mezzotint and stipple engraver. He worked in London where he met with considerable success. His work, which appeared between 1774 and 1791, comprised mostly historical subjects and portraits. He served as engraver to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.
James Roberts (1753-18090 was an artist who painted landscapes and worked as a miniaturist, but he was best known for his small whole-length portraits, chiefly of actors in character. Between 1775 and 1781, he produced more than sixty watercolours on vellum for the portrait plates in Bell's British Theatre. Roberts exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1773 to 1784, and again from 1795 to 1799; in the interval, he worked in Oxford as a drawing master.