Irving acted in Edinburgh (1857-1860), Manchester (1860-1865) and Liverpool (1865) before making his debut on the London stage in 1866. In performances of Hamlet (1874), Macbeth (1875) and Othello (1876) gained the reputation as the greatest English actor of his time.
In 1878 he formed a partnership with Ellen Terry at the Lyceum, where he became actor-manager. Their successes together including Goethe's Faust and Shakespeare's Hamlet. In 1895 Irving became the first actor in British history to receive a knighthood. Sir Henry Irving died in 1905.