Early Tudor Drama: Medwall, the Rastells, Heywood, and the More Circle

By A. W. Reed | Go to book overview

HEYWOOD: APPENDIX I
JOHN HEYWOOD, THE DRAMATIST: CONFUSION WITH OTHERS OF THE SAME NAME

CONTEMPORARY with the dramatist were several Heywoods named John, whom it is well to keep distinct. There was an innkeeper of Henley-on-Thames, a steward and agent of Sir Adrian Fortescue. As Fortescue was executed for treason in 1539 his papers are among the State Papers at the Record Office, and the Henley innkeeper by this circumstance troubles the dramatist's biographers.

Secondly there was a Minor Canon of St. Paul's, named John Hayward, but misnamed Heywood by Strype--or his compositor--in his Life of Grindal, an error which led Mr. Grattan Flood and others to inferences as to the dramatist's connection with St. Paul's. The Minor Canon signed, as John Hayward, the Acknowledgements of the King's Supremacy along with the other members of the cathedral establishment in 1534, but to make the point secure I obtained permission to transcribe the report in the Bishop of London's records of Grindal's visitation of St. Paul's in 1562, and found that Strype was wrong. Other Heywoods have been rashly identified with the dramatist, particularly among the tenants whose names have come into the State Papers in the mass of particulars contained in monastic leases and gathered by the King's Surveyors of Lands at the dissolution of the monasteries.

A more important confusion, however, is that with a John Heywood who was already in the royal service as a yeoman of the Crown when the dramatist entered the Court service as a singer in 1519. Collier supports his statement that Heywood was connected with the household in 1514 by the following extract from the King's Book of Payments1:

6 Henry VIII. Jan. 6. To John Haywood wages 8d per day.

This reference, however, is entirely misleading. Collier

____________________
1
Dr. Wallace only copies Collier's extract, and, like him, misdates it.

-234-

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