INCIIBALD, MRS. ELIZABETH, whose maiden name was Simp son, was the daughter of a Suffolk farmer residing near Bury St. Edmund/. She was born in 1753. Prone to romantic notions, and losing her father in youth, she ran away at the age of sixteen to seek her fortune, and endeavoured to procure an engagement as an actress in London. After several adventures, she obtained a place In a country theatre, and soon married Mr. Inchbald, a respectable actor, much older than herself, with whom she lived for some years in mutual regard and comfort. Mr. and Mrs. Inchbald performed for four sea'ons in Edinburgh, and, after an engagement at York, went to France for a time. In 1779 Mr. Inebbald died at Leeds; and in the winter of 1780.81 Mrs. InabaId began to play secondary parts at Covent-Garden. She continued on the stage till 1789, but always owed her favour with the public less to her merits as an actress than to tho sweetness of her face and manner, and to the blameless character which she was known to maintain in private life. She had begun to write dramatic pieces several years before her retirement from the stage : the first of these, a slight afterpiece, was acted and printed in 1781; and from that time till 1805 she wrote plays in rapid succession, producing nineteen in all, one of which, ' Lovers' Vows,' is an adaptation from Kotzebue. Her dramatic genius was not of a very high class : but several of her comedies had much success, and one or two of them still keep their place on the stage.
They gained for her the means not only of supporting herself with honourable economy, but of making a handsome allowance to an invalid sister. and of saving a considerable sum. Her melodramatic comedy of 'Such Things Are' gained for her more than 400l.: as much was produced by 'Wives as they Were and Maids as they Are ;' and for 'Every One has His Fault,' the most strongly characterised of her plays, she received 700/. She edited, with biographical and critical remarks, 'The British Theatre,' a collection of acting plays, 25 vole., 1806-9; The Modern Theatre,' 10 vols., 1809; and a col lection of ' Farces, 7 vols. Mrs. Inchbald's literary talents are beat exhibited by her two novels, 'A Simple Story,' first published in 1791, and ' Nature and Art,' in 1796. Both became extremely popular, aed deservedly so, and have been reprinted in our time in collections of standard novels. She died on the let of August 7821. She had written an account of her own life, but had refused an offer of 1000/. for it ; and, in obedience to her will, it was destroyed after her death. But her journal, kept regularly for many years, was preserved; and from it and her letters were written Mr. Boaden's ' Memoirs of Mrs. Inchbald,' 1833.