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Stopes, Charlotte Carmichae. 
' A he seventeenth century 

accounts of the Master of the 

Revels . 







v - 






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1 f\ 01 C Of all Booksellers 







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discussions which have taken place over the 




p. 4, 5th line from foot, read < Rocke 'for ' blocke ' ; 

3rd *Cariclea'/0r 'Carislea'; 

p. 8, 2 1st top, <Mayde';6r 'Mayds'; 

5 f h foot, < Novembar 'yr * November'; 

3rd <att'/*r<at.' 
p. 28, 22nd top * this ' for its.' 

on those of the Seventeenth Century. In the Audit 
Office, Accounts Various, Bundle 1213,' we still can 
find the following books, clean and clear : 

1. 1570- 1 to 1572, bills of expenses, with a list of the names 

of plays 

2. 1572-3, bills of expenses, no list of plays. 

3. 1573-4, a list of plays. 
4- i574-5> no list of plays. 

1 Now removed to A. O. Ill, 1907. 





THE discussions which have taken place over the 
genuineness of some of the documents concerning 
the Revels have hitherto been held in the subjective 
field, that is, the opinion of expert Archivists. These 
have not been able to agree among themselves. I have 
therefore asked leave to shift the Cause to another Court, 
to try it by another method, the objective, working by 
the force of facts, in determining the truth of Opinion. 
Some of the Revels' Accounts for the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries have been preserved, the earlier 
ones at Loseley, a few at the British Museum, but the 
bulk of the series remains in the Public Record Office, 
unfortunately, not by any means complete. Professor 
Feuillerat of Rennes has done all he could to make them 
more so, by bringing together, for the use of students, all 
the papers which refer to them from other departments, 
in his 'Office of the Revels in the time of Queen 
Elizabeth.' I attempt first to note a few points in the 
Sixteenth Century Account Books which throw light 
on those of the Seventeenth Century. In the Audit 
Office, Accounts Various, Bundle 1213,' we still can 
find the following books, clean and clear : 

1. 1 570-1 to 1572, bills of expenses, with a list of the names 

of plays 

2. 1572-3, bills of expenses, no list of plays. 

3. 1573-4, a list of plays. 
4- i574-5> no list of plays. 


1 Now removed to A. O. Ill, 1907. 


5. 1576-7, bills of expenses, list of plays. 

6. Feb., 1577-8-9, bills of expenses, list of plays. Tilney. 

7. ist Nov., 1579-181 Nov., 1580, bills of expenses, list of 


8. ist Nov., 1580-3151 Oct., 1581, bills of expenses, list of 


9. ist Nov., 1582-3151 Oft., 1583, bills of expenses, list of 


10. 3 ist Oct., 1 5 84-3 ist Oct., 15 , bills of expenses, list of 


1 1 . A duplicate of this, not quite so perfect. 

12. (3 ist Oct., 1587-15! Nov., 1588, no list of plays. 

< A duplicate of this in British Museum, Lansd. MS. 59, 
art. 21. 

Up to number 1 1 these are written on very large folio 
sheets, No. 12 is little more than half size, and is not 
so complete. Someone, probably the Auditor, has 
written against it on the first page, 'The names of the 
plaies wold be expressed,' and against the last page, 
'The parcells were wount to be more particularly ex- 
pressed.' That set of eleven account books give us 
much information regarding the development of the 
Court Drama. The advance in the Dramatists, the 
Plays, the Properties go on together. In the first book 
John Carow's 'properties' shew traces of some old 
'miracle play' in his entry. 'Bodyes of men in 
timber ; Dishes for Devil's eyes, Hell and Hell mouth.' 
In the books not completed by a list of names one 
can still gather something of the subjects performed 
from the expenses, as in 1 572-3, ' For making of a 
Chariott xiiij foote long and viij foote brode with a 
blocke upon it and a fountayne therein, with the fur- 
nishing and garnishing thereof for Apollo and the nine 
Muses.' Again, ' 2 speares for the play of Carislea 
. . . an awlter for Theagenes.' 'A tree of Holly for 
Dutton's play, . . . and other trees for the Forest.' 


'Comfits for flakes of Yse and Hayle Stones in the 
Masque of Janus.' 'Arnold the painter for the picture 
of Andromeda.' Though none of the books give a list 
of the poets, the names of some are incidentally men- 
tioned, as in 1574-5, 'A periwig of haire for King 
Xerxus his sister, in Farrants play . . .' ' Leashes, 
doghookes, bawdricks for the Homes in Hunneyes 
play.' There are even a good many names of plays to 
be gleaned, as 'When my Lord Chamberlain's players 
did shew the History of Fedrastus and Phigor and 
Lucia.' 'When my Lord of Leicesters men shewed the 
matter of Panecia.' 'When my Lord Clynton's players 
rehearsed a matter called Pretextus' 

The 'book' for the year 1587-8, we have seen, does 
not yield us the names of its plays nor much other 
material to infer them. It may have been confused by 
pressure through the absorption in Armada affairs. Be 
that as it may, no other account of this series has been 
preserved until after the death of Elizabeth. It is very 
remarkable how often records fail us, just when they 
are most needed, for the Life of Shakespeare ! There 
is only one personal link which kept up the connection 
of those early Court-plays, with later modes under which 
we know plays to have been performed, only one person 
who lived through and direcled them from the infancy 
of the Drama, to its ripe perfection under James, and 
he has been too little noted. Edmund Tilney was ap- 
pointed Master of the Revels for Life on 24th July, 
1579 (Pat. Rolls 21, Eliz. p. 7, m. 8). The Master- 
ship of the Revels was an office of great dignity ; the 
Heralds placed its holder in order of precedence, to rank 
with the Lieutenant of the Tower (see Bodleian Library, 
Tanner MSS. clxviii, p. I2o v ). For his powers see 
Patent Office Rolls 1606 (Watson's Rolls, m. 34, No. 
46). For this article it is sufficient to remember that 
he had to choose, reform, and set on plays ; to superin- 
tend his inferior officers, The Clerk Comptroller, The 


Clerk, and the Yeoman, and to check the work and 
the bills of the different workmen in the various de- 
partments. He enters, in 1582-3 'Edmund Tyllney 
Esquire, Master of the Office, being sente for to the 
Courte by letter from Mr. Secretary dated the loth of 
Marche 1582-3. To choose out A companie of Players 
for her Majestic,' and adds 'the expenses of himself and 
his horse' in executing this commission. 1 This was 
before the arrival of Shakespeare in London. But 
Shakespeare did come. No one seems to have thought 
of noting the important relations which must have 
existed between these two men, or try to realise their 
influence upon each other. The power of the Censor 
was one of the three main external limitations of Shake- 
speare's tastes and genius, the two others being, the 
a<5ling powers of his company at the time of his plan- 
ning a play, and the taste of the audience. 

It is hardly likely that Mr. Tilney knew anything 
of Shakespeare when the Queen made her progress to 
Cowdray and Titchfield in 1591, and came to dine with 
him at Leatherhead on the way home. We know that 
she did so, because The Treasurer of the Chamber re- 
cords the expenses of preparation, 'for making ready 
at Mr. Tilney 's House at Leatherheyde for her Majestic 
to dine at' (Dec. Ace. Treas. Chamb. Audit Office, 
Bundle 385, Roll 29). The remainder of the story can 
be found in my 'Life of Southampton,' page 46 et seg. 
, One can well imagine Tilney being severe, like 
Robert Greene, on the young rustic who had begun, 
after an apprenticeship as a performer, as a patcher of 
plays ; his intense surprise when this same rustic shewed 
that he needed no ' borrowed feathers,' but could grow 
a goodly crop of his own. 'Venus and Adonis' ap- 
peared, licensed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
patronised by the popular and critical young Earl of 

1 This must have had an enormous influence on the fortunes of the 
other men's and children's companies. 


Southampton, welcomed by all readers, high and low, 
scholars and poets alike. Thereafter would certainly 
set in interesting currents between these two men, and 
they would be sure to become friends in their great 
work of teaching the English people what they ought to like. 
An almost equal surprise would possess Tilney's soul 
when Meres' Book came out in 1598, comparing the 
Shakespeare he had reformed with the greatest writers 
of classical times. They were prepared to work to- 
gether when James came into power and took the poet 
into his Royal Service, thus raising him in social status. 
The accession of James brings us to the 'Seventeenth 
Century Revels' Books.' These are, unfortunately, even 
less regularly consecutive than those of the sixteenth 
century. There are eighteen books in all, consisting of: 

1. 1504-5, with a list of plays, players and poets. 

2. 1611-12, with a list of plays and players. 

3. 1623-4, smaller folio, no lists. 

4. 1630-1, 

5. 1631-2, 

6- 1632-3, 

7- 1633-4, 

8. 1634-5, 

9. 1632-5 (i) Warrant for extra payment for extra work done 

in September for 3 years. 

(2) List of plays, 1636-7. 

(3) Warrant for payment of these plays. No work- 

men's or other expenses noted. 

10. 1 660- 1, smaller folio, no lists. 

11. 1661-2, 

12. 1662-3, 

13. 1663-4, 

14. 1664-5, 

15. 1666-7, 

1 6. 1667-8, 

17. 1668-9, 

1 8. 1669-70, 

None of these are written on large folio sheets like 
those of the sixteenth century, none of them furnish us 


with similar gossipy general information, only three 
of these have lists attached, numbers i and 2, and 
number 9. But the latter, though it has often been 
called a 'Revels' Book,' is not a book at all, even in the 
limited sense in which the other c Books' can be so 
distinguished. It contains one warrant dated 1635 and 
signed by Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery 
as Lord Chamberlain, which is not connected by any 
link with the other two documents. One of these is a 
loose, unsigned list of twenty-two plays, the other is a 
warrant also signed by Pembroke and Montgomery, for 
the payment of the amount allowed for the performance 
of twenty-two plays. The three were unconnected with 
each other, when I first saw them. There are so 
many reasons to suspect the genuineness of these three 
lists, that I felt I must make a special investigation 
into facts concerning them. Having done so lately, 
by spending, for the third time, six months careful 
work on the subject, it seems worth recording the 
result, when we remember, that, except in one case, 
'the proude Mayds,' we have no authority, beyond 
these lists, for the performances of certain plays at 
the stated dates, or even at the given seasons. To 
facilitate understanding, the tables themselves should 
be reproduced, as far as print allows. 


The Accompte of the Office of the 
Reveles of this whole yeres Charge in 
Ano 1 604 ; untell the last of October 

/j\ The Plaiers. Hallamas Day being the first of Novem- The Poetes 
?J the D P n8s ber A Play in the Banketinge House | w u hi( * ma 

Matis rlaiers. . TTTU-^I- ii 11 j T-L TV/I rxr itheplaies. 

at Whithall called The Mour of Veins, i 

(2) By his Matis The Sunday followinge A PJay of the 
Plaiers. Merry wiues of Winsor. 


his Matis 

By his Matis 

Matis Plaiers. 

The Boyes of 

By his Matis 

(8) By his Matis 

(a) By his Matis 


(lo) By his Matis 


(12) By his Matis 


(13) By his Matis 
(14)" By his Matis 


On St Stiuens night in the Hall A Play 
called Mesur for Mesur. 

On St Jons night A maske with Musike 
presented by the Erl of Penbrok, the 
Lord Willowbie and six Knights more 
of the Courte. 

On Iriosents Night The plaie of Errors. 

On Sunday following A plaie caled How 
to larne of a woman to woo. 

On Newers Night A playe called All 

Betwin Newers Day And Twelfe Day 
A play of Loues Labours Lost. 

On Twelfe Night The Queens Matis 
Maske of Moures with Aleuen Lay- 
dies of Honnor to Accupayney her 
Matie which cam in great showes of 
Devises which they satt in with ex- 
selent musike. 

On the 7 of January ws played the play 
on Henry the fift. 

The 8 of January A play cauled Euery 
on out of his Umor. 

On Candlemas night A playe Euery one 
in his Umor. 

The Sunday following A playe provided 
and discharged. 

On Shroue Sunday A play of the Mar- 
thant of veins. 

On Shroue Monday A Tragidye of The 
Spanish Maz : 

On Shrouetusday A playe cauled The 




By George 



Martchant of Venis Againe 
manded by the Kings Matie. 

This series of ' Revells Books,' being the Particular or 
Ledger Books of the Office, enumerating each item in 

1 The numerals are mine for references. 


each department which helped to make up the sum 
total of the expenses, was each in turn handed over to 
the Auditors, who engrossed the accounts, modified the 
language, and declared it upon oath, before some great 
court official, as the Lord Treasurer or the Lord 
Chancellor, who had power to give them a warrant for 
payment. The Players being the King's Grooms of the 
Chamber, seem to have had their accounts declared 
before a Committee of the Privy Council, who also gave 
them a warrant for payment. All these warrants were 
then handed to the Treasurer of the Chamber, who paid 
them, retaining the warrants. Therefore, when the 
Treasurer of the Chamber declared his accounts of the 
money he had spent, they must agree with the State- 
ments of the Ledger Books. 

The Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the 
Chamber are preserved in two forms that of the 
Audit Office on paper and that of the Pipe Office 
on parchment. They should agree in every detail. 
Therefore, they may be used as a means of checking 
backwards the statements made in the Revels' Office 
Accounts. Thus in the first entry : 

(i) Stating that The Moor of Venice (supposed to be 
Othello] was performed in the Banqueting House on the 
ist November, 1604, we can turn to the payment made 
for that performance by the Treasurer of the Chamber 
and some of the others. 

To John Hemmings one of the Kings Majesties players on 
the Counsells Warrant dated at Whitehall 2ist January, 
1604-5, f r tne P a y nes an d expenses of himself and the rest of 
his company, for presenting 6 interludes or plays before his 
Majestic viz, on All Saints day at night one, on the Sunday 
at night following being the 4th of November 1604 one; on 
St. Stephens day at night; one on Innocent's Day at night 
and one on the yth and 8th days of January for euerie play 
20 nobles the play and his Majesties reward 5 nobles . . . 
in all 60. 


Comparing this list of payments with the Play List 
above, we see that there was a play performed on 
ist November that year; there is no further evidence 
that it was Othello; and proof positive is forthcoming 
that it was not performed in the Banqueting House. 
Whenever the King removed, some groom of his 
chamber was sent in advance of him, to prepare the 
rooms which he would be using. Their charges, being 
of the household, were guaranteed by the Lord Cham- 
berlain direct, and appear in a separate part of the 
account. There we can find 

To George Pollard for . . . making ready for the King & 
Queen at Whitehall, . . . 1 6 days October, 1 604. . . . For 
making ready the Create Chamber at Whitehall for the King's 
Majestic to see the plaies ... by the space of two dales 
mense Nouembris, 1 604 . . . for making readie the Banquet- 
ing House at Whitehall for the King's Majestic againste the 
plaie, by the space of four daies mense Nouembris, 1 604. 

As the Revels' season began on 3ist October, Pollard 
might be justified in reckoning his first two days from 
the morning of 3ist October till the evening of 
ist November as in November. But by no possible 
arithmetical process could he squeeze in four days of 
preparation of the Banqueting House into that Novem- 
ber, so if Othello were played on that day (which is 
doubtful), it is certain that it was not played in the 
Banqueting House. Another point may be remembered 
in the Declared Account, as given above. It always 
distinguishes between day and night performances. 
The List, on the contrary, makes no such distinction. 
It says Hallamas Day. The Declared Accounts say 
' All Saints Day at night? How were the Treasurers 
of the Chamber to be supposed to know whether it 
was an afternoon or evening performance, if the Master 
of the Revels did not tell them ? 

(2) The Declared Accounts shew that there was a 


play on the Sunday following, it might have been The 
Merry Wives of Windsor, there is no further proof. 
But again it may be noted it was not played on 
Sunday, but on c Monday at night' following, being the 
4th November. 

(6) This item requires a double correction. The 
Choristers of the Chapel were not called ' Boys,' but 
1 Children ' ; had they then played as ' Children of the 
Chapel,' the payment would have been made to their 
Master, Nathaniel Giles, but it was paid to ' Samuel 
Daniel and Henrie Evans.' ... for the ' Queen's 
Majesties Children of the Revels,' and it was paid for 
' 2 plaies,' both before the King, one on ' New Yeres 
Day at night, and the other on the 3rd day of January.' 
But more is meant than here meets the eye. Contem- 
porary clerks would know that on 3Oth January, 1603-4, 
Evans, Kirkham, Kendal and others had a license for 
bringing Children up to be able to perform plays, these 
Children to be called ' The Children of the Queen's 
Revels.' Samuel Daniel was to superintend these, to 
' allow them.' This syndicate was allowed to use as a 
nucleus those of the Children of the Chapel Royal who 
were already trained for acting. The young 'company' 
performed under their new name on 2oth February, 
1603-4. On i /th September, 1604, Nathaniel Giles, in 
consolation for his losses thereby, had a warrant allowed 
him ' to take up children ' to recruit his choristers. So it 
is clear the clerk would not deprive the young performers 
of the glory of their new name, had he really entered this 
performance. Further, he would not have forgotten 
that they played a second time on the 3rd January, so 
this gives us two errors against the scribe. It may be 
noted that the 3rd January performance displeased the 
Court, and 'the Children of fhe Queen's Revels' were 
inhibited, and never played again ; so that ' Rosseter,' one 
of the above syndicate, when he wished to utilise 'The 
Children ' in the following year, boldly calls them then 


'the Children of the Chapel' to steer clear of the 
inhibited Company's name. 

(7) This entry requires even more serious correction. 
No such phrase was ever used in the 'Revels' Books' as 
this indefinite guess 'betwin' the dates. The De- 
clared Accounts above show that the King's Players did 
not play before the King at any date between New 
Year's Day and Twelfth Night, which was the 6th 
January. They played on the day after, and the day 
after that again, that is the yth and 8th January. If 
they did not play it, no one else dare do so, for Love's 
Labours Lost was the property of the King's Company. 
They not only did not play that play, but they did not 
perform any play, nor did anybody else during that 
period. This is proved by the very ' Revels' Book ' 
whose list I am criticising, for in giving the expenses 
of the men who helped the performers they include 
'To 6 men on New Yeres Day ; to 6 men on Twelfth 
Eve and Twelfth Day ; to 4 men on Monday and 
Tuesday following' i.e. 7th and 8th January. That 
is, no help was required between the dates of New 
Year's Day and Twelfth Eve. I did not fail to notice 
that the same stricture might cover the second perform- 
ance of the Children of the Queen's Revels, which was 
on 3rd January, and between these dates. But it is 
possible that Daniel and Evans might have worked 
their own performance by the help of other 'children' 
for themselves. They were at least paid for a perform- 
ance on that date, and it was not 'Love's Labours Lost' 
To save further discussion I must, however, explain 
that there was a performance of Love's Labours Lost 
that season, though not before the King and not on 
that date. The circumstances were peculiar. After a 
gay season the King's second son was created Duke of 
York on Twelfth Day, in the evening the Queen dis- 
played her costly Masque ; the King heard the plays on 
the 7th and 8th January, and he was exhausted. On 



the gth he wrote the Privy Council that he must have 
some recreation, and was about to go to Royston to 
secure it. But he enjoined them to go on with their 
meetings at the Queen's Court and execute business. 
A letter in the handwriting of Thomas Phillips on the 
i oth January implies that the festivities were all over, 
because the King had left. But the Queen had her 
brother with her, and wanted to amuse him. Sir 
Robert Cecil (then Lord Cranborne) and the Earl of 
Southampton held offices under the Queen, and called 
themselves her servants. They naturally desired to 
please her. Walter Cope was trying to help Lord 
Cranborne to find a suitable play to produce before 
her, and he wrote the memorable letter : 

To Viscount Cranborne Sir, I haue sent and bene all thys 
morning huntyng for players juglers, and suche kinde of 
Creatures, but fynde them hard to finde ; wherefore leauing 
notes for them to seek me Burbage ys come and sayes there 
is no new playe that the Queen hath not scene, but they haue 
reuyued an olde one cawled Loue's Labour Loste which for 
wytt and mirthe he sayes will please her exceedingly. And 
thys ys apointed to be playd tomorrowe night at my Lord of 
Southampton's, unless you send a wrytt to remoue the Corpus 
cum Causa to your howse in the Strande. Burbage ys my mes- 
senger ready attending your pleasure. Youers most humbly 

From your Librarye. WALTER COPE. 

To the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Cranborne at 
the Court. 1 

This letter is undated, but a date can be found for it. 2 
Cranborne did not appropriate that play ; it was duly 

1 One objection has been made that Cunningham could not have 
seen Cope's letter, as it was not known until 1872, after his death. 
That is not the case. It was not printed until then, in the Report of 
the Historical MSS. Commission. But the Cecil Papers were well 
known to scholars before that date, as Secretaries superintended the 
Library at Hatfield and students were admitted to study the reigns of 
Elizabeth and James. Cunningham might certainly have been among 
these visitors. (See 'Records of Royalty,' by Charles Jones, 1821, 
vol. II, p. 156.) 3 i.e., nth January, 1604-5. 


performed at Southampton House. Carleton wrote a 
letter to Chamberlain dated 1 5th January, 1604-5. He 
said he had thought he would have had no news to 
give his friend. He thought the festivities had been 
ended 'but for the enclosed': 

it seems we shall have Christmas all the year. . . . The laste 
night's revels were kept at my Lord Cranborne's where ye 
Quene with ye Duke of Holstein, and a greate parte of the 
Court were feasting, and ye like two nights before at my Lord 
of Southampton's. . . . 

That is, Cranborne's feast was on the i4th January, 
Southampton's on the I2th. To return to the entry 
of the play in the Revels' List, purporting to give a 
list of the plays performed 'before the King,' how could 
any clerk come to include Loves Labours Lost, of which 
the only thing that he knew was that it was not before 
the King ? He neither knew the date nor the place of 
its production, and guessed 'betwin New Yeres Day and 
Twelfth Night.' How could a contemporary Clerk of 
the Revels, paid handsomely to record the performances 
before the King, make such an extraordinary blunder? 
And what would his chief, the Master of the Revels, 
say to him on such an occasion ? The Master would 
have to 'reform' his own books in that case. In regard 
to the remaining plays, we still have the same uncer- 
tainty in regard to their names, but on the King's return 
from Royston, his players performed before him on 
Candlemas night, that is the 2nd February, said here to 
have been 'Euery one in his Umor.' 

(n) There is no corroborative evidence that a play 
was 'provided and discharged' on the 3rd February. 
On the contrary, there is an entry in the Declared 
Accounts all to itself: 

To John Heming ... on the Counsells Warrant, dated at 
the Court at Greenwich 28th day of April 1605 for himself 


and the rest of his company for an enterlude or play performed 
before the King at Court on 3rd February 1604-5. * n 
all 10. 

I am aware that there was a possibility that some play 
by some other company had been ready for the occasion, 
and had been countermanded on the Lord Chamberlain 
hearing there was 'some offence in it,' while the ever- 
ready Burbage and his company had some other inter- 
lude ready, even on the spur of the moment, to take 
its place. But if it were so, any real Clerk of the Revels, 
entering items to be presented to the Paymaster would 
have selected the one that was really performed, and 
really was to be paid for. So this must be entered as 
among the scribe's errors. 

Some notice may be taken of the third column of 
the Play List of 1604-5, that of 'The Poets which mayd 
the playes.' No such list ever appeared, before or since, 
in the 'Revels' Books.' The Master of the Revels had 
nothing to do with the plays but to choose them, to 
reform them, to produce them. Neither he nor the 
Treasurer of the Chamber paid the poets, their own 
companies paid them. So what was the use of recording 
their names in their bills? It may be remembered 
that the officers of the Revels were chosen from well- 
educated gentlemen, the Master of the Revels ranked 
with the Lieutenant of the Tower. They were in 
Court life. The Court spelling of Shakespeare's name 
was always the modern one, as they had read it on 
his poems, as all Court entries of the time were spelt, 
in the Declared Accounts for 1594, in the patent for 
the King's Players in 1603 ; in the grant of red cloth 
for the King's Coronation in the Lord Chamberlain's 
books. It is true that in some of the Stratford records 
we find the name spelt sometimes Shaxsper, once even 
Chacksper in rustic phonetics. In no case, anywhere, 
is there a terminal dental sound. I know that Sir 
E. Maunde Thompson bravely tries to accept the ' d ' 


as a possible flourish of a terminal c e,' but I do not 
think he really means this. To me, the affected rusticity 
of the style gives a strong proof against the genuineness 
of the document. 

No other ' Revels Booke ' is preserved until that of 
1611-12, and that runs: 

The Chardges betwine the last of October 1611 . . . untell 
the first of November 1612. . . . The names of the playes 
And by what company played them hereafter followeth As 
also what Maskes and Triumphes at the Tilts were presented 
before the Kings Majestic in this year 1612. 

f I \ By the Kings players 

(2) The Kings players 

(3) The Kings players 

(4) The Queen's players 
(r ) The Princes players 

(6) The King's Players 

(7) The Children of 

By the Queens Players 
and the Kings Players 

(n) By the Queens Players 
(lo) By the Kings Players 

Hallamas nyght was presented att Whitehall 
before the Kinges Majestic A play called 
The Tempest. 

The 5th of November A play called ye 
Winters nights Tajfle. 

On St. Stivenes night A play called a King 
or no King, and running at ye Ring. 

St. Johns night A play called The City 

The Sunday followinge a play called The 

On New Yeres night, a Play called The 
Twinnes Tragidie and running at the Ring. 

The Sunday following, A play called Cupid's 

Twelfe Night The Princes Maske performed 
by Gentlemen of his Houseold and running 
at the Ring. This day the King and the 
Prince with diuers of his noblemen did 
run at the Ring for a Prize. 

The Sunday following at Grinwidge, before 
the Queen and the prince was played The 
Silver Aiedg and ye next night following 

Candlemas night a play called Tu Coque. 
Shroue Sonday A playe called The Nobleman. 


( 1 1) By the Duck of Yorks 

Cl2) By the Lady Elizabeths 
' Players 

Shroue Monday A playe called Himens 

Shroue Teuesday A play called The Proud 
Mayds Tragedie. 

On the 24th March a Triumph etc. 

It may be noted that there are no names of Poets on 
this occasion, though two of Shakespeare's plays are 
included. The expenses of Masques and Triumphs 
were always given on a separate Bill. The perform- 
ances of the King's Players before the King are'given 
in the Declared Accounts : 

To John Hemings . . . and his fellowes the Kings seruants 
on a warrant dated Whitehall ist June, 1612, for 6 plays before 
his Majestic, one upon the last of October, one upon the ist 
of Nouember, one upon the 5th of Nouember, one upon the 
26th of December, one upon the fth of January, and one 
upon Shroue Sunday at night, being the 23rd of February. . . . 

We see there that the season started with an unnamed 
play on the 3 ist October, not entered at all by the 
Clerk of the Revels (or his substitute) ! How, then, 
did the Treasurer of the Chamber come to know of it, 
and to pay for it ? This must be reckoned one error 
against the scribe that year. 

(1) The first play of the list, which should have been 
the second, is here called The Tempest. There is no 
corroborative support to this statement. 

(2) Though there is no support to the date of this 
performance, there is proof that The Winter s Tale was 
in existence. Simon Forman saw it at the Globe in 
the spring before, on I5th May. 

(5) The Prince's Players did play on ' the Sunday 
following,' which was the 29th December. But they 
played not once, but twice, and that on consecutive 
nights. The Declared Accounts say : c To Edward 
Jubye . . . and the Prince's Players ... for 2 playes 


. . . before his Majestic, one on the 2 8th December 
last, and one on the 29th December.' So this is another 
play short in the bill and another error against the 
scribe. How did the Treasurer of the Chamber come 
to know of it and pay for it ? 

(6) The King's Players did not play at all on New 
Year's Day or Night that year, as may be seen from 
the Declared Account. But they did play on the 
5th January, which was the Sunday following. So this 
is another error against the scribe, if not two. 

(7) The Children of Whitefriars did not play before 
the King that night, and this particular night, we have 
seen above, was booked to the King's Players. A further 
error must, therefore, be noted. 

(8) The Prince's Masque being performed on Twelfth 
Night (a separate performance) the list states that the 
Queen's men and the King's men played together at 
Greenwich ' the Sunday following The Silver Age of 
Heywood.' That Sunday was the 1 2th January. Hey- 
wood does state that it took both these companies to 
perform some of his plays, but he is referring to public 
stages. As the list we are discussing ostensibly records 
only the performances before the King (and Queen), 
this one should not have been entered at all, as it was 
said to be performed before 'the Queen and Prince' 
only. That, therefore, is an error. Further, there is 
no record from the Declared Accounts of any payments 
being given to either the Queen's men or the King's 
men on that occasion. There is even a more serious 
objection; neither the Queen nor the Prince was at 
Greenwich at that date to hear any play. The Queen 
had gone to Greenwich the previous November, and 
had only left the Palace there on 2oth December to go 
back to Whitehall to meet the King coming back from 
Royston for the Christmas performances. She had 
something else to do before she hurried back again to 
Greenwich so soon, and others had to do something. 


Among the expenses of the preparing grooms in the 
Declared Account we find that : 

Peter Franck was paid ' for making ready the Queen's 
Majestys lodgings at Greenwich by the space of 12 dayes, 
Mense Januarii 1611-12 ... to making ready the Kings 
Majestys lodgings for her Majesty by the space of 8 days 
more'' 'then he started making readie rooms for the Princess 
Elizabeth over the Kings lodgings ' all in January. Peter 
Franck also * made ready The Chappie and the Closet for her 
Majesty at Greenwich, and for altering the great Chamber for 
a play ... in February ' he also made * ready Lord's Suffolk's 
Lodgings for the King to see a play in February.' 

Noting these points we may turn to the Queen's arrange- 
ments. There is no proof that Peter Frank started 
cleaning right off on New Year's Day ; during twelve 
days there are two Sundays on which his men would 
not work. (They were not Revels Men.) The Queen 
would not think of travelling on Sunday 1 2th to see a 
play that night, even if her rooms were ready for her. 
The earliest possible day for her to start would be the 
1 4th January. I was inclined to reckon it later, from 
the amount of preparation, but here a new authority 
comes in. Chamberlain wrote one of his gossipy letters 
on the 1 5th January, very much dilapidated now, it is 
true, having lost an inch off the right-hand margin. 
But he seems to say: 'The Q(ueen) is gon already 
tow(ards Greenwich). So her progress could not have 
started later. Franck would have her own rooms ready 
for her, but he had made no preparations in any hall or 
chamber for any play before that date. Hey wood's play, 
with its numerous characters and extra staging, would 
have required extra preparation, trouble and expense. 
Chamberlain could not possibly have written a Court 
Letter on the ijth without alluding to such a remark- 
able performance. So altogether it seems logically 
proved that Heywood's play was not performed that 
night, and the scribe in error again. 


It is certain that the Prince was not in Greenwich 
on the 1 2th inst. as the list says. We know from the 
Declared Accounts, that he was that night in London, 
listening, with his brother and sister, to the Duke 
of York's Players under William Rowley. From his 
' Book of Expenses ' we know that on the 1 3th, he 
received in London 200 in ready money. From 
Chamberlain's letter of the I5th we learn : ' The Prince 
went thither on Monday ' probably to Greenwich. 
Preparations for and performances of plays are recorded 
later there. Now this one entry gives us quite a crop 
of errors to record against the scribe. No doubt further 
study would result in further discoveries, but these errors 
are sufficient, to my mind, to prove that no contem- 
porary Clerk of the Revels could have made them. It 
is only fair to record that Edmund Tilney died in 1610,' 
the accounts of that year being drawn up by his executor 
Thomas Tilney, and that Sir George Bue was a new 
hand at the job. Having tried to put the case against 
these two lists as dispassionately as possible, it is neces- 
sary for a full understanding, to go back and follow this 
' Battle of the Books' point by point. 

Discussion rose hot in the early part of the nineteenth 
century over the dates of some of Shakespeare's plays. 
Malone, who in former years had considered The Tempest 
one of Shakespeare's earlier plays, had come to believe 
that it was not only written, but performed, in 1611. 
He sets his reasons forth in a little booklet, published 
1808, called 'some particulars concerning The Tempest* 
in which he confesses that the discovery and reading of 
Sylvesters Jourdan's 'Tract on the Storm at Bermudas' 
and the c True Declaration Concerning the state of the 
Colony there,' both dated 1610, made it certain that 
Shakespeare wrote this special play at once. He refers 
to a previous essay of his own, in which he had proved 
(to his own satisfaction) that it was also performed in the 
1 See his Will, p. 35. 


year 161 1. A careful examination of all Malone's works 
and editions, up to the Variorum Edition of 1821, has 
not helped me to find that essay, or even meet ' the 
proof in any other article. Miss Latham kindly did 
the work over again for my help, with but the same 

Into the inner circle of the 'Scholars' there arose a 
young man Peter Cunningham, with special oppor- 
tunities of testing Shakespeare questions. He had been 
given a post in The Audit Office in 1834, he was a 
member of the Shakespeare Society, sometime a secre- 
tary. His doings may be gleaned from the 'Transac- 
tions.' He threw himself with zest into all its interests, 
and in 1842 one of his works was published by the 
Society, entitled 'Extracts from the Revels Accounts.' 
The bulk of it concerned the Sixteenth Century Revels' 
Books, and was fairly, not absolutely, accurate. His 
great novelty lay in three new Revels' Books of the 
seventeenth century, which he claimed to have 'found'' 
lying about neglected in the underground receptacles 
then used for old records. These three papers were the 
two above discussed and a third one. They seemed to 
still all dispute about the dates of Shakespeare's plays. 
So things went on until 1860, Cunningham, though 
resigning from the Audit Office, rising in Shakespearian 
lore as a recognised critic. Then something happened. 
He had kept these three documents in his own posses- 
sion, and though 'found' within the precincts of the 
Record Office, he had never fitted them into the niche 
they should have held there. It is said he had taken 
to drink and wanted money. He offered the third 
document to Mr. Waller, a bookseller in the Strand, 
who purchased it. He offered the two more important 
'Books' to the British Museum for sale. They asked 
how much he wanted. He seems to have referred to 
his friend John Payne Collier (who lived next door), 
and to have asked 60. The British Museum Officials 


however, considering the circumstances, thought it 
right to impound them, and hand them over to the 
authorities at the Record Office to deal with. They 
kept them, and recorded the event in the Historical 
Manuscript Commission Report for that year. 

A storm of comment ran through the literary socie- 
ties and papers, and Mr. Waller came forward to restore 
to the Record Office the document he had purchased. 
The authorities of the date enclosed the three in a sheet 
of blue office paper, recording the fa<5t that these docu- 
ments having been out of their possession for so long 
a time, and on other accounts, could not be held as 
authoritative. The suggested suspicion demanded a 
succession of examinations by careful scholars, and they 
were unanimously pronounced to be forgeries. Cun- 
ningham shortly after died. In that stage I first saw 
them. But a new stir arose when, in 1879, Halliwell 
Phillipps discovered among the Malone MSS. at the 
Bodleian, a note which seemed to support the state- 
ments of the 1604-5 Play-List. He was in a fever of 
perplexity, and did the best thing possible, he printed 
the note first in one of his little booklets, then in the 
fifth edition of his 'Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare.' 

'Malone's Scrap' runs as follows: 

1604 and 1605. Ed. Tylney Sunday after Hallowmas Merry 
Wyues of Wyndsor perf by the Kings players. Hallamas in 
the Banqueting Ho s at Whitehall the Moor of Veins perfd 
by the K.s players. On St Stephens night Mesur for Mesur 
by Shaxberd perfd by the K's players. On Innocent's night 
Errors by Shaxberd perfd by the K's players. On Sunday 
following 'How to learn of a woman to wooe by Hewood 
perfd by the Q's players. On New Years night All Fools by 
G. Chapman perfd by the Boyes of the Chapel. 

Bet New Yrs day and Twelfth day Loues Labour Lost perfd 
by the K's players. On the y th Jan Kg Hen the fifth perfd 
by the K's players. On Jan 9 th Euery one out of his Humour 
On Shroue Sunday the Marchant of Veins by Shaxberd perfd 
by the K's P rs the same repeated on Shroue Tuesd by the 


K's command. (The play on Shrove Monday is omitted.) 
Malone MS. 29. 

It was stuck into an album about 1875, where it occu- 
pies the centre of a sheet of paper, p. 69, No. 107. 
It is not in Malone's handwriting, but many notes were 
sent him, or copied for him, so that is not surprising. 

It was generally believed at first to have reached the 
Bodleian in 1821, when the bulk of his papers went 
there, and it seemed very bewildering. I went down 
to the Bodleian on purpose to see it, and Mr. Madan 
kindly loosened it from its page that I might see the 
back. There was no mark of any kind there ; the paper 
was half of a large folio sheet, the watermark was cut 
in two, and there was no watermark expert in the 
Bodleian to gain anything from it. It had been told 
me that the transcript had been made so carefully that 
the dot over the i in 'Venis' followed the Revels' List 
in writing it as 'Veins.' That, however, was soon dis- 
proved, for though on the whole the same, the note is 
contracted, slightly altered, one entry, the first, put out 
of order and one omitted altogether. So the dot merely 
points to some habit of the writer, and may be accounted 
for in more than one way. Mr. Madan comforted me 
not a little by shewing me his catalogue of Additions 
to the Western MSS., and by saying that no notice had 
been taken of this, among the other MSS., before Halli- 
well Phillipps saw it, that it did not seem to have come 
among the early MSS. in 1821, but was more likely to 
have been among those purchased in 1838 from Mr. 
Thomas Rodd, a bookseller with antiquarian tastes in 
London. That sheds light on confused ideas, and makes 
it possible that the same hand, or at least brain, was 
responsible for the writing of both documents, and that 
it might have been 'planted' among Mr. Rodd's lot. 

The next stage in the history of these three c Revels' 
Books' commenced in 1911 when Mr. Ernest Law, 
desirous of clearing the character of Peter Cunningham 


and the trustworthiness of his 'extracts,' brought out a 
small quarto volume called ' Some Supposed Shakespeare 
Forgeries,' in which he states that some great hand- 
writing experts had agreed with him and pronounced 
these three papers 'genuine.' I am glad that I had the 
courage, even then, to come forward alone in support 
of my opinion that they were not. Hence followed a 
discussion in the 'Athenaeum' during the last half of 
1911 and 1912, between Mr. Ernest Law and myself 
(writing, for a special reason, under the name of Audi 
Alteram Partem). I could not expect to be accepted 
by anybody as an 'expert' on handwriting, but I had 
fortified my opinion by matters Qifaft. Unfortunately 
I made a mistake, just where I least deserved to do so, 
in discussing the third document. I had been through 
all the Lord Chamberlain's books and his accounts (un- 
fortunately lost for the Shakespearian period). I had 
already sent to the 'Shakespeare Jahr-Buch' two articles, 
one which appeared in 1910 'Shakespeare's Fellows and 
Followers,' and a companion paper 'Dramatic Notices 
from the Privy Council Register,' which appeared in 
the following year. I knew that Charles I had allowed 
his players extra payment when they performed at 
Hampton Court, on account of their greater expenses 
and losses. 1 

But I forgot, temporarily, that 1636-7 was a plague- 
year, and the arrangements of the players, as well as of 
others, disorganized thereby. They were obliged to 
live near Hampton Court, to avoid bringing infection. 
The King paid for their expense incurred thereby, so 
they did not receive 'extra money for Hampton Court.' 
I discovered this on 25th July, 1911, and wrote off at 
once to the Editor, asking him to correct the second 
part of my first letter. He decided that it was fairer 
to wait until Mr. Law had reached that point, which 
he did not do until 29th April, 1912. Then the Editor 
1 See D.S.S.P., CAR. I, cccxxxvii (33) 3ist December, 1636. 


printed my self-correclion in the same issue as Mr. Law's. 
The whole number of letters (should any one care to 
follow) : 

'Athenaeum' July 22nd and 29th, 1911, Audi A. P. Sep- 
tember 9th, 1 6th and 3oth, 1911, pp. 291, 324, 388, E. Law. 
Odober yth, 1911, Audi, etc., p. 422. April 6th, 1912, p. 
390, E. Law. April 2yth, 1912, p. 469, Audi. Same issue, 
p. 470, E. Law. August loth, 1912, p. 143, Audi. 

The Editor then closed the discussion. 

In 1920 when I had completed and handed over to 
the Press my c Life of Southampton,' I returned to 
Shakespeare-Study proper. I found that Mr. Law had 
written a second quarto volume nominally reporting 
the discussion, called ' More About Some Supposed 
Shakespeare Forgeries.' This was so full of miscon- 
ceptions that I felt it necessary for the benefit of other 
students to restate my case, calmly, clearly, without 
personalities, or irrelevances which always cloud air 
which should be kept clear for the keen eyes of critical 
readers. I spent six months in going through all the 
details again, chiefly in the Record Office, and my 
Statement appeared in 'The Times Literary Supple- 
ment,' 2nd December, 1920, and on 24th February, 
1921. Between these dates Mr. Law wrote on 23rd 
and 3oth December, 1920, and on i/th January, 1921. 
I had not written to discuss Mr. Law's books ; but to 
point out to fellow-students the discrepancies between 
the ' Revels' Books ' andfatfs. 

One list remains to be considered. The Editor of 
' The Times Literary Supplement ' thought my State- 
ment quite long enough, and refused to include the 
third 'Revels' Book,' that of 1636-7. This is much 
less important than the other two, because it refers to a 
period after Shakespeare's death, and only throws light 
on his continued popularity. But it was important to 
discuss it nobody else had done so and it remains a 


peculiar relic of past literary history. It also was one 
of the three documents 'found' by and associated with 
Mr. Peter Cunningham. This third document, formerly 
called loosely a 'Revels' Book' had much less right to 
the title than the other two. It consisted of three 
documents, loose, which had never been attached to 
each other (at the time I first saw them). The first is 
a genuine warrant, signed by Philip, Earl of Pembroke 
and Montgomery as Lord Chamberlain, granting the 
players extra payment for extra service, their work 
having begun for the three previous years, 1632-5, in 
September, instead of on the 3ist October, as they had 
been wont to do. This warrant is dated 25th May, 
1636. Another is a genuine Warrant, signed by the 
same nobleman, to pay to Lowen and Taylor for them- 
selves and the other members of the King's company 
for performing 21 plays, at 10 each, and one play, 
called 'The Royal Slave,' for which they were to receive 
the large allowance of 30, in all 240. On this paper 
is signed Eyllardt Swanston's signature for three part- 
payments, the whole not having been received by him 
until 5th June, 1638. The third document is a list 
purporting to give the names of these 22 plays (the 
name of only one being mentioned in the warrant). 

There is a remarkable paucity of material concern- 
ing the stage during the particular year of 1636-7. 
Chroniclers fail to take notice of it, their attention 
being absorbed by greater things, the old gossipy corre- 
spondents seemed to have died out, and few successors 
followed. The declared Accounts of the Treasurer of 
Chamber are lost in both departments, the Pipe Office 
and the Audit Office, the first for the whole period, the 
second for that special year. Ordinary diarists failed 
to notice the points we now want. But we find one 
successor of Chamberlain, White, and Pory in Edward 
Rossingham ; one notice in Archbishop's Laud's 
Diary ; one source of information of the greatest 


importance which has never been worked through 
for this purpose, I mean The MS. Registers of the 
Privy Council now at the Record Office. And there is 
one which should have told us more than it does. Sir 
Henry Herbert, the acting Master of the Revels for 
many years, afterwards the real 'Master' with all the 
dignities of the office, kept a very rough diary of notes 
of the performances. Malone saw this and included its 
materials, saying ' Herbert does not furnish us with a 
regular list of plays, but such as he gave, I give' 
Var. Ed., 1821, Prol. Ill, pp. 228, 239). After that 
Herbert's Diary was lost. 1 

The List of the ' Revels' Book ' differs materially 
from that gleaned from Herbert by Malone. It may 
be read in Peter Cunningham's ' Extracts from the 
Revels' Accounts,' 1842. But it is difficult to point 
out discrepancies without having a transcript before 
our eyes ; so that I provide one, as I did with the other 
Lists, adding my own numerals for reference, and dis- 
tinguishing the plays not mentioned by Herbert by 
printing them in italics. No 'Account' is associated 
with its paper, and the performances recorded do not 
begin on the 3151 October as they were wont to do, not 
even in September (the new date), but from the Spring 
of 1636, probably because these had been left unpaid. 
The list is separated into three parts by two horizontal 
lines, the first following the 5th May, 1636, the second 
following 24th January, 1636-7: 


(1) Easter Monday, at the Cockpitt the first part of Arviragus. 

(2) Easter Tuesday at the Cockpitt the second part of Arviragus. 

(3) The list April at the Cockpitt, The Silent Woman. 

1 Malone's Preface, p. 410, thanks Francis Ingram of Ribbesford, 
Esq., for this valuable book and several other curious papers. 


(4) The $th of May at the Blackfriars for the Queen and the Prince 
Eleffor Alfonso. 

(5) The \~]th Nouember at Hampton Court The Coxcombe. 

(6) The i qth of Nouember at Hampton Court Beggars Bushe. 

(7) The zyth of Nouember at Hampton Court The Maid's Tragedy. 

(8) The 6th of December at Hampton Court The Loyall Subjeff. 

(9) The %th of December at Hampton Court the Moore of Venise. 
(10) The i6th December at Hampton Court Loues Pilgrimage. 

(n)St. Stephen's Daye at Hampton Court the ist Part of 

(12) St. Johns Daye at Hampton Court the 2nd Part of Arviragus. 

(13) ist Day of January at Hampton Court Loue and Honor. 

(14) 5th January at Hampton Court The Elder Brother. 

(15) loth January at Hampton Court the King or no King. 

( 1 6) The 1 2th January at Hampton Court The new play from 

Oxford called The Royal Slaue. 

(17) The 17 'th January at Hampton Court Rollo. 

(18) The 24th January at Hampton Court Hamlett. (really Rollo.) 

(19) The 3 ist January at St. James The Tragidie of Cesar. 

(20) The 9th February at St. James The wife for a month. 

(21) The 1 6th February at St. James The Gouernor. (Herbert 

says it was on the 17 th.} 

(22) The 2 ist February at St. James, Philaster. 

Those entries italicised do not appear in Herbert's note- 
book, and are not supported by any other authority. 
Herbert gives the two first as on the i8th and I9th 
April, 1636, which were Easter Monday and Tuesday, 
and that they were before the King, Queen, Princes, 
and Prince Elector. He does not mention the entry of 
the 2 ist April or that of 5th May, possibly because 
neither were before the King. The latter is here stated 
to have been before the Queen and Prince Elector, the 
former may also have been so. 


It is remarkable that Herbert skips all the others 
down to the : 

(n) '26th of December, The first part of Arviragus' again. 

(13) Herbert says 'Loue and Honor on New years night! Sunday 

'The Revels' List' says 'Day.' 

(14) Herbert says 'The Elder Brother' on Thursday the 5th 

January. . 

( 1 6) The Royal Slaue on Thursday the I2th of January, Oxford 
Play, Cartright's. The King gave him ^40. 

Herbert gives no play on i yth January and only 

(18) 'Rollo the 24th Janua.' No allusion to Hamlet, and no name 
of place. 

The four last Herbert supports, though he (or Malone) 
gives i/th instead of i6th. Herbert adds two plays by 
Beeston's Boys which would not have been included in 
the list of the King's Players performances before him- 
self. It is, therefore, only possible for us further to 
discuss here the entries not made in italics (though 
something even may be said of them). There are, there- 
fore, only thirteen out of twenty-two. Through the 
Register of the Privy Council we can glean some details 
as to where the King was at given dates. We know 
thence that after his progress in the summer and autumn 
of 1636, while the Queen was still at Oatlands, the King 
went over for three days to Windsor Castle to be present 
there at a Council Meeting, apparently arranging to 
travel the day before, to leave a whole day free for the 
meeting and to leave the day after. He afterwards spent 
the close of September and the whole of October at 
Windsor Castle (with a flying visit to Newmarket). 
In normal years the season of 'performances' might have 
begun by that time. We do not know whether there 
were facilities for such festivities at Windsor, or if any 
took place there. It is probable some did. We do 
know that the Privy Council met at Windsor on the 
5th November, the King being present^ on the 6th and 


7th, on 1 3th November the King being present. A 
Royal Grant was dated at Hampton Court on the 
1 9th November, but the Index of the Privy Signed 
Bills is lost, and the ordinary Royal Seal might have 
been used by permission 'for the King.' Such grants 
were issued all that year at least 'from Westminster' 
whether the King was there or not. On the 2/th 
November the King was present at a Council at 
Windsor, and business overflowed into the three follow- 
ing days. On 4th and 5th December the King was 
present at a meeting there, the business going on again 
until the 9th, there. The first Council Meeting at 
Hampton Court was on the i ith December, the King 
being absent. Nicholas, the Secretary of State, wrote 
a letter from Windsor on the i4th, saying that he was 
going to Hampton Court on the i7th for the Council 
Meeting. The first at which the King was recorded 
as present was that on the i8th at Hampton Court. 
All these affect the entries in the Play List. They 
cannot all be correft. From Secretary Nicholas's letters 
we see that a Council Meeting meant three days at 
least (p. 128). In those short days, though the two 
palaces were not far off, the King evidently did not 
risk driving or riding about on the bad roads in the 
dark, even to see a play. 

At this Council Meeting of the i8th December at 
Hampton Court the King put off all business till 
Twelfth Day, but there seems to have been a minor 
Council Meeting on the 3ist December at Hampton 
Court. While throwing doubt on the earlier entries 
in Cunningham's documents, the Privy Council makes 
possible those of Herbert's note-book, who gives none 
on the 1 7th January, and on the 24th gives no locality 
and Rollo instead of Hamlet. We must go back to 
another even more important discrepancy concerning 
Twelfth Night. There was a Council Meeting on that 
day, where the press of business was carried over to the 


7th, 8th, Qth, and loth. Here I must make a long 
digression into the fortunes of the special play they 
were all waiting to see. Though the diarists of the 
the time are few, Archbishop Laud was one of them, 
and concerned himself with that special play. He was 
Chancellor of the University of Oxford when the King 
and Queen went thither on their summer progress of 

1636. The University presented before their Majesties 
a play called The Persian Slave, or The Royal Slave, by 
Cartwright. The Queen liked it so well, that she 
begged the loan of the play, and the dresses, to see 
if her own players would perform it so well. The 
University was very unwilling to do this, but the 
Archbishop persuaded them to yield, and sent the play, 
the clothes, and the Perspectives of the Stage to the Queen. 
Laud says that the play was performed at Hampton 
Court in November, and that all said 'that the Queen's 
Players came short of the University actors.' 1 

Though I humbly desired of the King and Queen that 
neither the Play, nor Clothes, nor Stage, might come in the 
hands and use of the common players abroad. 

Doubtless that aroused the King's men to wish to try 
if they could not succeed better. Evidently the King 
gave them the chance to do so, for he allowed them 
154 for extra expenses, dancers, and other attractions. 
The exacl: date is given in the Lord Chamberlain's 
Accounts and the Royal Warrants, April, 1637.* 

Though, as I noticed, the old news-writers had gone, 
others had risen up. One of them, George Garrard, 
writing to Lord Deputy Wentworth, on 7th February, 

1637, says: 

Edward Rossingham is successor to John Pory and is the 
best-known writer of news we have, a very honest man, as 

1 Laud's Diary ii, 104, * D.S.S.P. ccclii, 53. 


your Lordship knows. It seems he was, and is employed by 
Sir Thomas Puckering. 1 

Now this very Edward Rossingham, writing to Sir 
Thomas Puckering at York on nth January, 1636-7, 

says : 

On Tuesday (the 3rd) this last week their Majesties came 
to Somerset House to lodge there. Wednesday the 4th 
Morning the King went to Arundel House to see the rarities 
brought from Germany. . . . Upon Twelfth Night the 6th 
The Royal Slave . . . brought from Oxford, was acted by the 
King's Players at Hampton Court. 

This Edward Rossingham was a man who might have 
made mistakes in his prognostications as to what the 
King was about to do (for he and the Queen often 
changed their plans), but he was in a position to be 
perfe6lly certain about what they had publicly done. 
So we may say we know tbat the King had seen 'The 
Royal S/ave on Twelfth Night.' But the Play List 
says that he saw it on the iath January, and Rossing- 
ham writes on the i ith (?) : 'I know there is a double 
difficulty here.' Malone, transcribing Herbert's Diary, 
also says it was 'played on the I2th of January.' We 
can hardly expecl: that Herbert himself could have 
made that statement, but we could very well believe 
it of Malone. Cunningham frequently complains of 
Malone's inaccuracies towards the end of his life, when 
he began to lose his sight. He very well might have 
misread Twelfth Night into Twelfth January. The 
strong logic of contemporary events supports Rossing- 
ham. The King was certainly at Hampton Court on 
Twelfth Night, tired with a heavy day's Council work, 
and needing recreation. He had been accustomed to 
see a play on that night. The players were accustomed 
to play then (they were not accustomed to play on 

1 B. M. MS. 7042, i b also end. See also Birch's MSS., Sloane MS. 


'Twelfth January') and their great play would be ready 
for the notable night. 

The next Council Meeting was on the 1 2th January, 
1636-7, the place not being noted in the Register. But 
there was another Council Meeting the next day, the 
1 3th January, and that is definitely stated to have been 
in The Star Chamber, London. It is more than likely 
the two consecutive meetings were held in the same 
place, and that the King came up to London on the 
iith to be ready for the I2th and I3th, at which he 
was noted as 'present.' 

The discrepancies concerning these performances 
(gleaned so laboriously) make me feel anew that no 
contemporary writer could have invented them; and 
that the third Play List of the seventeenth century comes 
into the same category as the first and second. 

It may be said Cui Bono? I felt that I owed it to 
succeeding students, who got into Doubting Castle, to 
give them the key by which alone they could escape, 
and find their way back into the straight path of work. 
One good scholar, Mr. F. Card Fleay, has already 
borne the strain. In his ' History of Dramatic Litera- 
ture,' edition 1590, p. 173, he says of the writers of 
the seventeenth century Play Lists : ' I wish that those 
who blame, may not waste years of work, as I have 
done, in unravelling their tangled web of deceit.' Un- 
fortunately he did not give his method or his discoveries 
to the world, and I have had to do it over again. 

The need is great. Many writers have followed 
Cunningham. Among the chief, I may note that Mr. 
Lawrence discussing with Mr. Greg wrote ('Times 
Literary Supplement,' 26th February, 1920). 'Com- 
panies sometimes united to save doubling. The Revels' 
Account will shew him that in January, 1612, the 
King's men and the Queen's men united to play The 
Silver Age at Court. On this score I would draw his 
attention to Professor Quincy Adams' important paper 


on "Shakespeare, Hey wood, and the Classics" in 
"Modern Language Notes" for June, 1919, which satis- 
factorily substantiates Mr. Ernest Law's arguments as 
to the genuineness of the Revels' Documents of 1612.' 

My closing question is : Are we justified in accept- 
ing as sole evidence in a highly controversial question, 
the testimony of one part of a document when other 
parts of that document have been proved to be false ? 

Terminal Abstract only (see p. 21). 

Surrey, Master of the Revels to King James (Wingfield 
no P.C.C.) ist day of July 1610. After the usual religious 
forms devoutly expressed, he leaves his body to be buried in 
the Parish Church of Streatham in the said county of Surrey, 
near to the monument of my father, who was buried there 
long since. I wish to be buried without any pomp, but a 
funeral sermon for which is to be paid forty shillings to the 
preacher and forty shillings to the Church. A monument is 
to be creeled on the place which I have fixed with the parson 
and the Churchwardens. It was agreed to be finished within 
six months after my decease and fixed at the cost of 20 marks, 
as I have agreed with the stonecutter near Charing Cross to 
pay him. I bequeath { all my apparel, on which I have spent 
much money very vainly which might have been better em- 
ployed,' I will my overseers to sell to their best value, and 
the money distributed among the poor of their parishes of 
Leatherhead and Streatham. To thirteen poor old men and 
women whom I have hitherto helped weekly, I leave a black 
frieze gown and five shillings in money. Whereas I stand 
bound in a bond of jioo to pay to Margaret Cartwright 
widow, an annuity of jio, if she survive me, I will that my 
executors pay her ^50 down and take a receipt. If she die 
before me, 1 will that the said 50 be paid to Anne Hassard, 
wife of Robert Hassard, Junior, for her care and kindness to 
me during my sickness. And 1 bequeath unto my said cousin 
Robert Hassard and her 100 between them, and to her the 
whole furniture of the bedroom which she ordinarily used with 
bed and bed hangings and bed furniture and a suitable allow- 
ance of pewter and silver and linen for their housekeeping, and 


I bequeathe to their son my godson Edmond Hassard 60, 
and their daughter Anne Hassard 20, by way of legacy. I 
bequeath unto the reparacion of the Stone Bridge at Leather- 
head 100 to be paid if they are finished within one year after 
my decease, or else, as the Sessions of Kingston have laid the 
re-edification of the bridge upon the whole shire, in the 
manner decided on by a properly impanelled jury. I bequeathe 
unto Frederick Tylney my godson son of Thomas Tylney 
200, to be employed by his mother on his behalf, until he 
come of age. And I bequeath to Mr. Rabbit, Parson of 
Streatham, and Mr. Griffith Vaughan, Parson of Ashstead by 
Leatherhead my two overseers for their pains, all my Books to 
be divided between them and a great Silver bowl with a cover 
to each of them. To all my old Servants a years wages apiece, 
and to Roger Chambers, who waiteth on me in my Chamber 
five pounds in money. I will that the house 1 dwell in at 
Leatherhead, with all its appurtances and furniture and all the 
grounds belonging thereto, shall be sold to its best value for 
these uses, and beyond any legacies that I may make on my 
deathbed by word of mouth, before two witnesses, all the 
remainder of the plate and the money that shall belong to me 
to the will and use of Thomas Tylney Esquire of Shelley co. 
Suffolk, whom I make my Executor, and for his aid and 
assistance Thomas Goodman of Leatherhead to whom I leave 
for his pains 40 ounces of Silver Plate. Proved by Thomas 
Tylney Executor before the proper authorities the ryth day 
of Odober, 1610. 

This becomes intensely important to us, not only in 
regard to the man who was so much concerned with 
the Revels, but in regard to him who had the duty of 
reforming Shakespeare's plays. 

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The seventeenth century 
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