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Between the 10th of November, 1640, and the 22d of February 1610-1, plays for the representation of
terference of the Lord Mayor and Corporation of London, induced the King to withdraw his letters-patent. The following is the indenture by which Davenant yielded his right into the hands of the Crown.
This Indenture made the second day of October, in the fifteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God
of England, Scotland, France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith ' &c. Annoq.. Dm 1639. Between the said King's most Excellent Mały of the first part, and William Davenant, of London Gent. of the other part. Whereas the said King's most excellent Maty: by • his Highness Letters patents under the great Seal of England, bearing date the six and twentieth day of March last past before the date of these presents, did give and grant unto the said William Davenant "his Heirs, Executors, Administrators and Assigns, full power license and authority that he they and every of them, by him and themselves, and by all and every such person or persons as he or they shall depute or appoint, and his and their labourers servants and workmen, shall and may lawfully quietly and peaceably frame, erect, new build, and set up upon . a parcel of ground lying near unto or behind the three Kings Ordinary
in Fleet Street in the Parish of St. Dunstan's in the West, London, or in St. Brides London, or in either of them, or in any other ground in or about that place or in the whole street aforesaid, already allotted * to him for that use, or in any other place that is or hereafter shall be
assigned and allotted out to the said William Davenant by the Right · Honorble : Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal of England, or any other His Mats: Commissioners for building for the time being in that behalf, a Theatre or Playhouse with necessary tiring and retiring rooms, and other places convenient, containing in the whole « forty yards square at the most, wherein plays musical entertainments, scenes, or other the like presentments, may be presented by and under certain provisoes or conditions in the same contained, as in and by the said letters patents, whereunto relation being had more fully and at • large, it doth and may appear: Now this Indenture witnesseth, and the • said William Davenant doth by these presents declare his Majesty's
which 1601. were paid to Lowen, Taylor and Swanston, were performed before the King, Queen and Prince. It is to be observed that this is the latest extant warrant
'intent meaning at and upon the granting of the said License was and is, that he the said William Davenant, his Heirs Executors • Administrators nor Assigns, should not frame, build, or set up
the said Theatre or Playhouse in any place inconvenient, and that " the said parcel of ground lying near unto or behind the Three Kings ' Ordinary in Fleet Street, in the said parish of St. Dunstans in the • West London, or in St. Brides London, or in either of them or in any other ground in or about that place, or in the whole street aforesaid, and is sithence found inconvenient and unfit for that purpose: there'fore the said William Davenant doth for himself, his Heirs Executors • Administrators and Assigns, and every of them, covenant promise and
agree to and with our said Sovereign Lord the King, his Heirs and 'Successors, that he the said William Davenant, his Heirs Executors • Administrators nor Assigns, shall not nor will not, by virtue of the said License and Authority to him granted as aforesaid, frame, erect, new build, or set up upon the said parcel of ground in Fleet-street aforesaid, or in any other part of Fleet-street, a Theatre or Playhouse, nor will not frame, erect, new build, or set up upon any other parcel of ground • lying in or near the Cities [q. liberties] or Suburbs of the Cities of London or Westminster, any Theatre or Playhouse unless the said place shall be first approved and allowed by warrant under his Majesty's sign manual, or by writing under the hand and seal of the said Right · Honourable Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey. In witness whereof to the one part of this Indenture the said William Davenant hath set his hand and seal, the day and year first above written.
• William Davenant, L. S.' Signed Sealed and delivered
in the presence of
• Edw. Penruddoks.
Michael Baker.' Vol. II.
issued for such a purpose prior to the civil wars, and it bears date on the 20th of March, 1640-1*.
Although Sir H. Herbert renews his notices of the drama in his Register in the month of April, 1640, he says nothing of these exhibitions by the King's company at court.
He informs us, that on the 9th of April, 1640, the Lord Chamberlain • bestowed a play ' upon the King and Queen, called Cleodora, Queen of
Arragon, made by my cousin Abington' (Habington]; and he adds that it was performed by my • Lord's servants out of his own family, and his
charge in the clothes and scenes, which were very • rich and curious. The representation was made in the hall at Whitehall, and the King and Queen
(according to the Master of the Revels) commended • the general entertainment, as very well acted and • well set out. He does not mention any praises bestowed upon his cousin the author ; but the piece on the whole was so well liked, that it was acted a • second time in the same place, before the King and • Queen. This second performance was probably by the regular players of the King, as The Queen of Arragon was subsequently exhibited at the Blackfriars theatret.
* It is found in the MS. in the Lord Chamberlain's office, already so frequently referred to.
† It was printed in folio in 1640 under the title of The Queen of Arragon, and not Cleodora, the Queen of Arragon, as it is given by Sir H. Herbert. In the printed copy the heroine is throughout called
The King's and Queen's young company' under
Ć William Beeston, in May, 1640, fell under the displeasure of the court, for performing a play that had not received the licence of the Master of the Revels. Charles I. projected a journey against the Scots in March, 1640, and he personally complained to Sir H. Herbert, that the piece thus represented by Beeston's Boys,' at the Cockpit, . had relation to the the King's journey into the North,' and he commanded the Master of the Revels “to punish the offenders.' On the 4th of May William Beeston was arrested under a warrant from the Lord Chamberlain, and committed to the Marshalsca, and the company of which he was governor was at the same time commanded “to forbear playing, for playing when they were forbidden' by Sir H. Herbert, and for other disobedience.' The offence, therefore, was that Sir H. Herbert, upon the King's complaint, had ordered the actors to discontinue their performances, with which order they had refused to comply ; but they were not treated with much severity, for, after lying still on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they were permitted to recommence their performances on Thursday; and Sir H. Herbert tells us, with apparent satisfaction at the acknowledgment and exercise of his power, ‘at my Lord Chamberlain's entreaty I gave
them their liberty, and upon their petition of submis• sion, subscribed by the players, I restored them to
the Queen' It is accompanied by a prologue and epilogue at court,' and at the Friars.'
their liberty on Thursday.' We might infer from hence, that all the players had been arrested, as well as Beeston; the first expression, 'gave them their liberty,' meaning that he set them at large, and the repetition, restored them to their liberty,' meaning that he permitted them again to act *.
This instance of insubordination was followed in the next month by the removal of William Beeston, a circumstance omitted to be recorded by Sir H. Herbert, but of which the evidence is indisputable: Dave
* The following document from the MS. in the Lord Chamberlain's office refers to part of this transaction. The warrant for the arrest of William Beeston on the day following its date, is not extant:
Whereas William Bieston; and the company of players of the Cock. pit in Drury Lane, have lately acted a new play without any license ' from the Master of his Majesty's Revells, and being commanded to • forbear playing or acting of the same play by the said Master of the
Revells, and commanded likewise to forbear all manner of playing, “ have notwithstanding, in contempt of the authority of the said Master
of the Revells, and the power granted unto him under the great seal of • England, acted the said play and others, to the prejudice of his Ma'jesty's service, and in contempt of the office of the Revells (whereby] 'he and they, and all other companies, ever have been and ought to be ' governed and regulated : These are therefore, in his Majesties name,
and signification of his royal pleasure, to command the said William · Bieston and the rest of that company of the Cockpit players, from "henceforth and upon sight hereof, to forbear to act any plays whatso
ever, until they shall be restored by the said Master of the Revells ' unto their former liberty. Whereof all parties concernable are to ' take notice, and conform accordingly, as they and every one of them will answer it at their peril. Dated the 3d of May, 1640. • To Wm Bieston, George Estoteville, and
the rest of the Company of Players at