Catley, Anne

1745-1789

English soprano, who was born in London of poor parents and articled at an early age to Bates the composer, appearing at Vauxhall Gardens and at Covent Garden, London, in 1762. When only ten years of age she is said to have supported her parents by singing in public houses in and about London. She became involved in a scandalous criminal case, in 1763, in connection with which her father caused the arrest and conviction of three men, one of whom was a baronet, Sir Francis Delavel. She was very beautful in person and was possessed of a charming voice, and was one of the few vocalists who successfully made use of the staccato. For several years she appeared in London and in Ireland and was a great social favorite, much feted and courted, some of the London women of fashion even copying her style of hair-dressing. She became a pupil of Macklin, the actor, and through him secured an engagement in Dublin, where she made a great success. Returning to London, in 1770, she appeared at Covent Garden, as Rosetta, in Love in a Village, and was often seen afterward in the most popular burlettas, comic operas and plays of the day. She was especially well received as Juno in The Golden Pippin. She made enough money to enable her to retire from the stage in 1784. Five years later she died at the home of Gen. Lascalles, to whom she was supposed to have been married. At the time of her death she was eulogized as a good wife and mother and a talented woman.