James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
John LeeBorn 1725
Actor specialising in Shakespeare. Father of four daughters, among them the novelist Harriet Lee and playwright Sophia Lee, and at least 1 son.
Known to Boswell as a "good, agreeable, honest man"1, but to others as "irascible, [who] had rocky relationships with most of his fellow actors."2. He was an actor at various theatres during his lifetime, including Smock Alley, Covent Garden and Drury Lane. In 1762-3 he was at the latter. Sometime manager of the theatre in Edinburgh.
According to a 1797 article about his daughter Sophia, he was "a comedian of celebrity, and sufficiently powerful in talents to be, at one time, the formidable rival of the late master of the scene, Mr. Garrick".3
Life with Boswell:
Boswell went to see him in London on December 14, 1762, but didn't find him at home. They breakfasted together on February 7, 1763.