Jenny Hill (1848 – 28 June 1896), born Elizabeth Jane Thompson, was a popular English music hall performer of the Victorian era known as "The Vital Spark" and "the Queen of the Halls". Her repertoire of songs included "'Arry", "The Boy I Love Is in the Gallery", "The Little Vagabond Boy", "I've Been a Good Woman to You" and "If I Only Bossed the Show"
Jenny Hill was born in Paddington, London, to Michael Thompson (1812/13–1881) a Marylebone cab driver. Her stage début was made at the age of six or seven, when she performed as the legs of the goose in the pantomime Mother Goose at the Aquarium Theatre in Westminster. In about 1860 she made her professional debut at Dr. Johnson's Concert Rooms, traditional "Song & Supper Rooms" in Fleet Street
On 28 May 1866, aged 18, she married John Wilson Woodley, an acrobat known by the stage name Jean Pasta; he later abandoned her, leaving her with three children, one of whom became the music hall performer Peggy Pryde- she died at Peggy's home in Brixton
In London, Hill was engaged for a tryout at the London Pavilion, a music hall, where her song stopped the show. The popular entertainer George Leybourne led her back onto the stage for an encore. By 1871 she was earning £6 a week at the London Pavilion. The theatrical agent Hugh J. Didcott gave the expressive, witty and vivacious Hill the sobriquet "The Vital Spark", which she used throughout her career
On 25 March 1889 she appeared on the same bill as Bessie Bellwood at the Canterbury Theatre of Varieties. Her repertoire of songs included 'Arry, The Boy I Love Is In The Gallery, The Little Vagabond Boy, I've Been a Good Woman to You and If I Only Bossed the Show.
Eventually, she earned enough by dancing the "Cellar Flap", singing her song The Coffee-Shop Girl and by her male impersonations to buy The Hermitage and its farmlands at Streatham
She is buried at Nunhead cemetery