28 MAY 1921, Page 3

Lady Bancroft, Who died on Sunday at the age of

eighty-one, was an actress of genius who will always have a place apart in the history of the English stage. She had the good sense in 1865, when she was managing the Prince of Wales's Theatre in "Tottenham Street, to recognize the talent of Robertson's Society. That comedy, and others by the same author, opened a new era for English drama, and gave Marie Wilton—as she then was, before her marriage to Mr. (now Sir) Squire Bancroft in 1867—a series of excellent parts in which she delighted the last generation. Lady Bancroft retired in 1885, but, as middle-aged readers will remember, she reappeared later -in a revival of Diplomacy, acted by the most accomplished company that the writer at least has ever seen. Lady Bancroft was universally respected. If her profession has risen greatly in esteem since mid-Victorian days, it was owing in no small degree to her influence and example.