The Irish dramatist and actor John O’Keeffe spent the last years of his life in Southampton, arriving in 1828 (or 1830) at the age of 81 or 82. He was on his way to Devon from Chichester when ill health forced him to stay in the town. During his time in Southampton he lived at Bedford Cottage in Bedford Place. He died on 4 February 1833 and was buried in All Saints Churchyard.
His daughter Adelaide, born in 1766, was a successful novelist and poet in her own right. She lived with her father in London, Chichester and Southampton, caring for him in his old age. She died unmarried, probably in Southampton, in about 1855. The introduction to her last known work – published in 1854 – The Broken Sword, or, A Soldier’s Honour was dated Southampton, January 1854. Her last known address was Spring Place, near the corner of Hill Lane and Commercial Road.

John O'Keeffe

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Portrait by either Thomas or William Lawranson, 1782


Further reading:
Relics of old Southampton, by F. J. C. Hearnshaw, p129. (HS.h)
‘Rabbie, Sir Cliff Richard and William’, by John Edgar Mann, in Hampshire, Vol. 40, No. 3, January 2000, p18. (H/y)
‘Forgotten Poet of Bedford Place’, by John Edgar Mann, in Hampshire, Vol. 32, No. 8, June 1992, p28-29. (H/y)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004, Volume 41


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