Thomas Sheridan was born in Dublin, the son of an Anglican clergyman, Rev. Dr. Thomas Sheridan, and his wife Elizabeth Macfadden. Jonathan Swift was his godfather and lifelong friend. Sheridan attended Westminster School in London and then earned a BA from Trinity College, Dublin; he probably got an MA from Trinity also. In 1743, he made his debut as an actor, playing Shakespeare's Richard III in Dublin. He went on to become the most popular actor in Ireland. In 1747, he married Frances Chamberlaine, also a writer, with whom he had five children. The family moved to England in 1758. There he established himself as an educator, especially of elocution. He gave lectures at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. In 1776, his son Richard became part-owner of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and appointed his father the manager, a position he held until 1781. Among his numerous writings were the comedic play The Brave Irishman or Captain O'Blunder (1738), and several important scholarly works, including British Education (1756), A Course of Lectures on Elocution (1762), A Plan of Education for the Young Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain (1769), and a dictionary with special emphasis on the pronounciation of words. He also edited and published the multi-volume Works of Jonathan Swift. He was the patriarch of a talented literary family that included many generations of playwrights, poets, and novelists.