People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
While at Tunbridge Wells Cumberland wrote many plays, and, as well as his autobiography, two novels and some poems. His output was very considerable, for it was with his pen alone he could keep the wolf away from the door. How near he was to beggary was never sus­pected, but when he died he left only £450. In connection with one of the plays written at Tunbridge an amusing story has been told. Cumberland in 1797 had promised Jack Bannister, the actor, to write for his benefit a comedy, into which songs should be introduced for Mrs. Jordan, and he wished Michael Kelly to compose the music. In order to settle various matters he asked Kelly and Bannister to pay him a visit. " As we were both interested in its success, we accepted the invitation," Kelly has written; " but fearing that we might not find our residence with him quite so pleasant as we wished, we agreed, previous to leaving town, that Mrs. Crouch should write me a letter, stating that Mr. Taylor requested me to return to London immediately, about some opera concerns; by which measure we could take our departure without giving offence to our host, if we did not like our quarters, or remain if we did." The precaution was not 116
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