World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hannah Chaplin

Article Id: WHEBN0003020175
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hannah Chaplin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wheeler Dryden, Chaplin (film), Cinema Museum (London), The Circus (film), Victoria Chaplin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hannah Chaplin

Hannah Chaplin
Hannah Chaplin, c. 1895
Born Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill
(1865-08-11)August 11, 1865
Camden Street, Walworth, London, England, UK
Died August 28, 1928(1928-08-28) (aged 63)
Glendale, California, U.S.[1]
Other names Lily Harley

Hannah Chaplin (August 11, 1865 – August 28, 1928) was an English stage and musical actress and the founding matriarch of the Chaplin family of actors as the mother of Sir Charlie Chaplin.

Life and career

Hannah Chaplin was born Hannah Harriet Pedlingham Hill[2] in Camden Street, Walworth, London, to Charles Frederick Hill and Mary Ann Terry.[3] Some of her family had come from Ireland.[4] She became a Music Hall entertainer and used the stage name Lily Harley.

On 16 March 1885, aged 19, she gave birth to the first of her three boys, Sydney John Hill, later Sydney Chaplin. His father is unknown, but Hannah claimed he was a bookmaker named Sydney Hawkes. Three months after his birth, on June 22, she married Charles Chaplin. Their son Charles Spencer ("Charlie") Chaplin was born in April 1889.

She gave birth to Army theatre at Aldershot in Hampshire in January 1894, that the young Charlie Chaplin, at the age of four, got his first taste of performing, when he went on as an unplanned replacement for his mother.[5] This event was portrayed in the 1992 film Chaplin, in which she was played by her granddaughter Geraldine Chaplin.

She became increasingly mentally ill and had a breakdown in 1895. In June 1896, Hannah, with her two sons Charles and Sydney, entered Lambeth Workhouse. Within a few weeks the boys were sent to Hanwell School for Orphans and Destitute Children.[6]

In 1898, Hannah had another mental breakdown, and Charles and Sydney went to live for a time with Charles Sr. and his mistress. Young Charles first appeared at this time with the Lancashire Lads. From May 1903 to September 1912, Hannah was in the Cane Hill Lunatic Asylum in Surrey. Charlie later wrote about a visit to see her in 1912:

"It was a depressing day, for she was not well. She had just got over an obstreperous phase of singing hymns, and had been confined to a padded room. The nurse had warned us of this beforehand. Sydney saw her, but I had not the courage, so I waited. He came back upset, and said that she had been given shock treatment of icy cold showers and that her face was quite blue. That made us decide to put her into a private institution - we could afford it now."[7]

The brothers took Hannah out of Cane Hill and put her into Peckham House, a private asylum, but she was returned to Cane Hill Asylum in May 1915 when they defaulted on the 30 shillings a week payment.[8] The Chaplin brothers brought her to California in 1921 where she was cared for until her death, in 1928. The Chaplin family held her funeral in the heart of Hollywood, at Hollywood's Memorial Cemetery, where Hannah Chaplin rests today, in a modest grave by the lake.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Discover Charlie Chaplin at
  6. ^ Chaplin Biographical Chronology at
  7. ^ Charlie Chaplin .My Autobiography' Pub by Bodley Head (1966)
  8. ^ hannah chaplin cane hill - Google Search at the Wayback Machine (archived July 29, 2007) at

External links

  • Hannah Chaplin's grave in California
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.