Ryley. Samuel William (1759–1837)

An actor and author, the son and only child of Samuel Romney. He moved to Chester with his parents and after finishing his schooling he was apprenticed in the woollen industry, in Yorkshire, where he ran away with his master’s daughter Ann,  and married her at Gretna Green on 15 Sept. 1776. In 1797 he changed his name to Ryley.

He was in debt frequently and survived by following the life of a strolling actor. On a number of occasions he tried his hand at theatre management, with disastrous results.

He is known to have acted in Parkgate in 1812 and 1815, as he wandered around the country, in various roles and productions. He wrote a nine volume semi-autobiographical work, two plays and songs.

After forty years residence in Chester and Parkgate, he died in 1837 at his home in Parkgate, known as Ryley’s Castle. He is buried in the Neston Parish church churchyard.

Old Neston