Jordan, Dorothy, 1761-1816

Alternative names
Birth 1761-11-21
Death 1816-07-05

Biographical notes:

Dorothy (Dora) Phillips Bland was born in London on November 22, 1761, into an acting family. She made her acting debut in Dublin, Ireland in November 1779, and her London acting debut at Drury Lane in October 1785. By this time she had received the stage name of "Mrs. Jordan" which she used for the remainder of her long stage career. Dorothy Jordan was the acknowledged greatest comedic actress of her time, just as Sarah Siddons, Jordan's not-so-friendly rival, was the acclaimed dramatic actress. By 1791, when Dora began her 20 year relationship with William, the Duke of Clarence, she already had one daughter with Richard Daly and two daughters with Richard Ford. Over the next two decades, Dora woud have 10 more children with the Duke before he ended their relationship in 1811. Theirs was, for many years, a happy, domestic relationship which helped William be the most settled of George III's oldest sons. After 1811, Dora acted for four more years in increasingly failing health and spirits. In 1815, she sailed to France, probably to escape the debts and creditors caused by her sons-in-law who fradulently signed her name to their debts. She took the name Mrs. James and finally settled in St. Cloud, France, where she died in July 5, 1816, attended only at a female companion.

From the description of Papers of Dorothy Jordan, 1794-1852 (bulk1794-1812). (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 772630270

Born Dorothea (sometimes called Dorothy or Dora) Bland near Waterford, Ireland, Dorothy Jordan was the daughter of Francis Bland (d. 1778) and his mistress, Grace Phillips. She was an Irish actress, courtesan, and the mistress and companion of the future King William IV of the United Kingdom for 20 years while he was Duke of Clarence. She took the stage name "Mrs. Jordan" as it was slightly more respectable for a married woman to be on the stage. There was no Mr. Jordan and Dorothea Bland never married.

From the description of Theatrical music, playbills, and portraits related to Mrs. Jordan, 1783-1825. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 730056543

From the guide to the Theatrical music, playbills, and portraits related to Mrs. Jordan, 1783-1825., (Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

Irish actress.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : to R.B. Sheridan, Wednesday [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270490635

From the description of Autograph letter signed : to a Lord, Thursday, 1799 Apr. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270490654

Dorothy Jordan, English actress.

From the description of Dorothy Jordan manuscript material : 8 items, 1796-1812 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 452204252

Dorothy Jordan (1761-1816) was a British actress and mistress to William IV.

From the description of Letter by Dorothy Jordan to [Messers. Clementi?], ca. 1800? (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 78995490


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  • Methodists--History--19th century
  • Actors--19th century--Correspondence
  • Actresses--18th century--Portraits
  • Actresses--19th century--Portraits
  • Regency--History--19th century
  • Page, Anne (Fictitious character)
  • Actresses
  • Theater--History--19th century--Sources
  • Actors--18th century--Correspondence
  • Peninsular War, 1807-1814
  • Rosalind (Fictitious character : Shakespeare)--Manuscripts


  • Performer


  • Bushy Park (London, England) (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)