A Life of William Shakespeare

By Joseph Quincy Adams | Go to book overview
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FOR many years the Chamberlain's and the Admiral's companies were the only adult troupes "allowed" by the Privy Council to perform regularly in London. But in the spring of 1602 the Earl of Worcester's Men and the Earl of Oxford's Men, who had been "joined by agreement together in one company," thereafter called Worcester's Men, secured through the "suit of the Earl of Oxford" the permission of the Queen likewise to play in the city.1 On March 31, 1602, the Privy Council, under special orders from the Queen, wrote to notify the Lord Mayor of the "allowance" of the new company, adding: "And, as the other companies that are allowed, namely, of me, the Lord Admiral, and the Lord Chamberlain, be appointed their certain houses, and one and no more to each company, so we do straitly require that this third company be likewise [appointed] to one place. And because we are informed the house called the Boar's Head [an inn situated in Whitechapel without Aldgate] is the place they have especially used, and do best like of, we do pray and require you that the said house, namely the Boar's Head, may be assigned unto them."

This new company was in part composed of actors who had seceded from the Chamberlain's Men soon after the Globe was erected -- William Kempe, Christopher Beeston, John Duke, and Robert Pallant, all excellent actors, favorably known to the public. With them were

For the history of this company see my Shakespearean Playhouses, pp. 157-59, 294-309.


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A Life of William Shakespeare
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