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Mary Hamilton letters

Biographical note

Mary Agnes Hamilton was born in Ottawa, Canada to Bishop Charles and Frances “Fanny” Hamilton in 1885. From 1903 to 1904, Hamilton studied acting at the New York School of Dramatic Art, where she was the first Canadian to win the Gold Medal for Dramatic Art. Following her graduation from school, Hamilton moved to London. In 1907, she performed in a number of plays for the Court Theatre, including Man and Superman and The Doctor’s Dilemma by G.B. Shaw, The Silver Box by John Galworthy, and Drunella by Laurence Hausman and Harley Granville Barker. In 1910, Hamilton moved back to Ottawa, following her father’s appointment as the Archbishop of Canada, and apparently due to his disapproval of her profession, as noted in a letter from G.B. Shaw. In the 1920s, Hamilton was associated with the Copley Players of Boston and a number of theatres in New York City, though what she performed in is unknown. Later in life, Hamilton settled at her family’s estate, The Roxborough, where she died in 1945.