Ref NoBTC30
TitleIrving Family Collection
DescriptionThis collection contains correspondence, documents, photographs, designs, diaries, sketch books and ephemera related to the activities of four members, from four generations, of the Irving family to be involved with the Theatrical Arts. They are: 1. Sir Henry Irving (1838 - 1905), 2. Henry Brodribb Irving (1870-1919), 3. Laurence Henry Irving OBE (1897-1988), 4. John H. B. Irving (1924 - 2016). There is also material relating to Lady Florence Irving (1865-1932), Sir Hernry Irving's estranged wife, Laurence Sydney Irving (1871-1914), Sir Henry Irving's younger son and Dorothea Baird (1875-1933), wife of Henry Brodribb Irving.
Date1838 - 2016
AdminHistoryThis collection mainly concerns the activities of the following four members of four generations of the Irving family to be involved with the Theatrical Arts. The acronyms preceeding their names indicate the abbreviations they are often referred to in this catalogue.

1. HI - Sir Henry Irving (1838 - 1905), was born John Brodribb, son of Samuel Brodribb, (c.1800 - 1876), a salesman, and his wife Mary, née Behenna, (1808 - 1869), the daughter of a Cornish farming family. Changing his name, he became a notable English stage actor in the Victorian era. He married Florence O'Callaghan on 15 July 1869 at St.Marylebone, London. They had 2 children, Laurence Sydney Brodribb Irving (1871-1914), an English actor, dramatist and novelist and:

2. HBI - Harry Brodribb Irving (1870 - 1919), an actor, who married the actress Dorothea Baird. Their children were: Dorothea Elizabeth Irving, Lady Brunner, OBE, JP (1904 - 2003), and:

3. LHI - Laurence Henry Forster Irving OBE (1897 - 1988), a Hollywood set designer and art director (not be confused with his Uncle, also Laurence Irving). He wrote a noted biography of his grandfather entitled "Henry Irving: the actor and his world". He married Rosalind Woolner, the grand-daughter of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor, Thomas Woolner. Their children are: Pamela Mary Irving (born March 22, 1921) and:

4. JHBI - John H. B. Irving (1924 - 2016) carried on the tradition of the family working within the performing arts, becoming a television producer and film maker. One of the founding members of The Irving Society, he also wrote a book detailing the work of his father, Laurence, and was the main donor of this collection to the University of Bristol Theatre Collection.
ArrangementThe collection is arranged into sub-collections, by member of the family, arranged chronologically.
Related MaterialBTC34 - Henry Irving Society Donations
Material pertaining particularly to Dorothea Elizabeth Irving (Lady Elizabeth Brunner) remains with the Brunner family currently at Greys Court, Oxfordshire (now a National Trust property). Please contact them directly with any enquiries.

Irving Family Collection

Extent27 boxes
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