Susannah Centlivre

















































Susannah Cent(i)livre 1667-1723

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Possibly born in Ireland. She lost a couple of husbands in duels before eventually marrying a French chef. Despite the prejudice against women writing, she wrote nearly 20 plays in all. Her works include The Wonder! A Woman Keeps a Secret, A Bold Stroke for a Wife, The Busy Body, The Gamester and The Ghost. Various sources state she was buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, with the inscription ďHere Lies Susanna Centlivre (Neť Freeman) From Ireland. Playwright, 1 December, 1722Ē.

            I could find no trace of her in St Martinís and the verger knew nothing about her being buried there.

            I suspected that she might have been buried in St Paulís in Covent Garden and I went and searched there but with the same result. In August 2003 I checked the burial registers of both St Martin-in-the Fields and St Paulís. There was no mention of any Centlivre in St Martinís for the years 1722 or 1723, but the entry in St Paulís for the 4th December 1723 mentions Susannah, wife of Joseph Centlivre from St Martin-in-the-Fields.

            Unfortunately I could still find no trace of her in St Paulís. There is no plaque and most of the stones are either against the walls of what is now a small park or else they are part of the pathway. I could not find anyone in the church who was able to provide further information.

Further information is to be found in "The End - An Illustrated Guide to the Graves of Irish Writers".  Click here to order a copy of this book