Actor and Playwright
Born 1703 Died 1758
Colley Cibber's son, Theophilus Cibber, also an actor and playwright, was born on the 26th of November 1703. In 1734 he was acting-manager at the Haymarket, and he subsequently played at Drury Lane, Lincoln's Inn Fields and Covent Garden. His best impersonation was as Pistol, but he also distinguished himself in some of the fine gentleman parts affected by his father. He was one of the ringleaders in the intrigues against John Highmore, who had bought a share in the patent of Drury Lane from Colley Cibber. Theophilus Cibber, with a number of other actors, seceded from Drury Lane, and in thus depreciating the value of the patent, for which his father had received a considerable sum, acted with doubtful honesty.
He contemplated the publication of an autobiography, but was effectually dissuaded by the appearance (1740) of a scathing account of his career by an unknown author, entitled An Apology for the Life of Mr T, supposed to be written by himself. In 1753 he began The Lives and Characters of the most Eminent Actors and Actresses of Great Britain and Ireland, but he went no further than the life of Barton Booth. He wrote some plays of no great merit. In 1753 appeared An Account of the Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, with the name of 'Mr Cibber' on the title page. The five volumes of Lives are chiefly based on the earlier works of Gerard Langbaine and Giles Jacob, and the MS. collections of Thomas Coxeter (1689-1747). The book is said to have been largely written by Robert Shiels, Dr Johnson's amanuensis.
Theophilus Cibber perished by shipwreck on his way to Dublin to play at the Theatre Royal.
Extracted from the entry for CIBBER, COLLEY in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.