David Garrick (1717-79) was an English actor, playwright and theatre manager. He was the third child of Peter and Arabella Garrick and was born in Hereford. David’s grandfather, David de la Garrique, was a Huguenot who fled Bordeaux, France, when the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685. His son Peter was brought to England two years later.
David travelled to London, alongside Samuel Johnson, in order to seek fame as an actor. He made his legendary debut as Richard III in east London in 1741. In January 1742 William Pitt described Garrick as ‘the best actor the English stage has ever produced.’ From then on, his reputation and fame soared.
He became the manager of Drury Lane Theatre in 1747 and directed its productions for 29 years, before giving it up in 1776. He died in 1779 and is buried in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.