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An early seventeenth-century playhouse in Tonbridge, Kent.

ON June 26, 1610, Edward Calverley received a fatal stab wound in the head during a fray in "a certain house called a playhouse" in Tonbridge. (1) After Calverley died some weeks later, an inquest convened by coroner George Pattenden on September 18, 1610, found that Edward Oxley of Tonbridge, yeoman, John Holmden of Tonbridge, butcher, Sidney Francis of Tonbridge, butcher, William Beach of Tonbridge, tailor, Edward Calverley, deceased, of Tonbridge, and various other persons unknown to the jury had assembled at the playhouse, where a fray had broken out on the evening of June 26. Holmden, Francis, and Beach had beaten Calverley about the head and arms with their staves, and Oxley had mortally wounded Calverley above the eye with his dagger. On July 23, 1610, Calverley had died. (2) The defendants were taken into custody, until the case came before the assize court at Maidstone on February 21, 1610/11. (3) The inquisition as originally drafted (mb. 11) was declared void, due to insufficient evidence to convict Holmden, Francis, and Beach for their part in the fray. It was then redrawn (mb. 26) to focus on Edward Oxley, omitting the details of the billets, staves, beatings, blows, and bruises and stating more generally that Holmden, Francis, and Beach had supported, aided, and encouraged Oxley to commit felony and homicide. All four defendants pleaded not guilty. A trial jury was convened (mb. 27), which found Oxley guilty of homicide and the other three defendants not guilty. Oxley was granted the benefit of clergy, branded on his right hand with an M for murderer, and committed to the bishop's custody. (4) Transcription and translation of the assize court original inquest (mb. 11), redrawn inquest (mb. 26), and trial calendar (mb. 27) appear below.

Assize Court Inquest (TNA: PRO ASSI 35/53/5, mb. 11)

kancie sessiones

Inquisicio indentata capta apud Tunbridge in Comitatu predicto [xviij.sup.o] Die Septembris Anno Regni Domini nostri Iacobi Dei gratia Anglie ffrancie et hibernie Regis fidei defensoris & c octauo et Scotie [xliiij.sup.to] Coram Georgio Pattenden generoso vno Coronatorum dicti Domini Regis Comitatis predicti Super visum corporis Edwardi Calueley ibidem mortui iacentis per sacramentum Nicholai ffarmer generosi Ierratti Gatlin generosi willelmi Harris senioris Iohannis Dann Thome Vnderhill Roberti Bourman Alexandri Rottenbridge walteri Saker willelmi Harris Iunioris Thome Bowle willelmi Harte Thome Hasselden Mosee Hodge Henrici Burden & Petri Harris proborum & legalium hominum Comitatis predicti Qui dicunt super sacramentum suum quod predictus Edwardus Calveley et quidam Edwardus Oxley <yeoman> (5) Sidneus ffraunces <butcher> Iohannes Homden <butcher> willelmus Beache<[begin strikethrough]butcher[end strikethrough] Tayler> et diuersi alij (6) persone Iuratoribus predictis incognite [xxv.sup.to] die Iunij <Anno & c> vltimo preterito in simul convenerunt apud Tunbridge predictam in quodam Domo ibidem vocato a playehowse & predictus Edwardus Calvely Edwardus Oxley Sidneus ffrances Iohannes Holmden & willelmus Beach insultum & quendam affraiam inter se adtunc & ibidem in nocte eiusdem diei fecerunt in qua quidem affraia et insultu predictus idem Edwardus Oxley <[begin strikethrough]yeoman[end strikethrough]> cum pugione Anglice a dagger valloris xij d. quod idem Edwardus ^ <Oxley> adtunc et ibidem in manu sua dextra habuit prefatum Edwardum Calveley vnum vulnus ^ <mortale> in fronte suo de funditate (7) quartij vnius vncij adtunc dedit & predicti Iohannes Holmden Sidneus ffraunces & willelmus Beache adtunc et ibidem in affraia & insultu predictis existentes cum quibusdam baculis anglice billettes & staues valoris iij d. quos ijdem Iohannes Holmden Sidneus ffraunces & willelmus Beache adtunc in manibus suis habuerunt quosdam ictus ^ <& quassaciones> anglice blowes and bruyses vnacum prefato Edwardo Oxley in & super Caput & humeros predicti Edwardi Calveley adtunc dederunt De quibus quidem vulneribus <quassa cionibus> & ictibus idem Edwardus Calveley ab eodem [xxvj.sup.to] die Iunij vsque ad septimum diem Augusti tunc proximum sequentem languebat et eodem die apud Tunbridge predictam de eodem [begin strikethrough]vulneribus[end strikethrough] ^ <vulnere & quassacionibus> & ictibus ^ <predictis> obijt Et sic Iuratores predicti pro dicto domino Rege dicunt quod predicti Edwardus Oxley Iohannes Holmden Sidneus ffraunces & willelmus Beach modo & forma predictis prefatum Edwardum Calveley felonice percusserunt & interfecerunt contra pacem dicti domini Regis nunc Coronam & dignitatem suas & c Et sic Iuratores predicti super sacramentum suum predictum dicunt quod predictus Edwardus Calveley sic ad mortem suam deuenit et non aliter Et quod predicti Edwardus oxley Iohannes Holmden Sidneus ffraunces nec willelmus Beach nulla habuerunt bona seu cattalla in Comitatu predicto tempore felonie superius facte & perpetrate que in manus diciti domini Regis accione predicte capi aut seisiri possunt ad eorum noticiam Et quod predicta pugio & bacculi remanent in custodia cuiusdam willelmi Harris de Tunbridge predicta ad vsum dicti domini Regis In cuius Rei testimonium tam prefatus Coronator quam Iuratores predicti hinc Inquisicioni sigilla sua apposuerunt die Anno & loco supradictis & c pro homicidio ta{m} super aliud questum per me Georgium pattenden Coronatorem vacat quia insufficiens & fit de novo

Kent Sessions

An indented inquest was held at Tonbridge in the aforesaid county on 18 September in the eighth year of the reign of our lord James by the grace of God king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. and in the forty-fourth [year of the reign of our lord James king] of Scotland before George Pattenden, gentleman, one of the coroners of the said lord king of the county aforesaid, upon the view of the body of Edward Calueley lying dead there, by the oath of Nicholas Farmer, gentleman, Garret Gatlin, gentleman, William Harris the elder, John Dann, Thomas Underhill, Robert Bourman, Alexander Rottenbridge, Walter Saker, William Harris the younger, Thomas Bowle, William Harte, Thomas Hasselden, Moses Hodge, Henry Burden and Peter Harris, good and lawful men of the county aforesaid. They say upon their oath that the aforesaid Edward Calveley and a certain Edward Oxley, yeoman, Sidney Francis, butcher, John Homden, butcher, William Beache, tailor, and various other persons unknown to the aforesaid jurymen on 25 June in the year & c last past assembled together at Tonbridge aforesaid in a certain house there called "a playhouse"; and [that] the aforesaid Edward Calveley, Edward Oxley, Sidney Francis, John Holmden, and William Beach did then and there make an assault and a certain affray among themselves in the night of the same day; [and that] indeed in this affray and assault the same aforesaid Edward Oxley, yeoman, with a dagger, in English "a dagger," of the value of 12d., which the same Edward Oxley then and there had in his right hand, did give the aforementioned Edward Calveley a mortal wound in his forehead a quarter of one inch in depth; and [that] the aforesaid John Holmden, Sidney Francis, and William Beache, being then and there in the aforesaid affray and assault, with certain staves, in English "billets and staves," of the value of 3d., which the same John Holmden, Sidney Francis, and William Beache then had in their hands, did then together with the aforementioned Edward Oxley give certains blows and beatings, in English "blows and bruises," on and about the head and arms of the aforesaid Edward Calveley; [and that] indeed the same Edward Calveley lay ill from these wounds, beatings, and blows from the same 26 June until 7 August then next following, and on that day at Tonbridge aforesaid he died from the same wound and the aforesaid beatings and blows. And thus the aforesaid jurymen for the said lord king say that the aforesaid Edward Oxley, John Holmden, Sidney Francis, and William Beach in the manner and form aforesaid did feloniously beat and kill the aforementioned Edward Calveley contrary to the peace of the said lord king, his Crown, and dignity etc. And thus the aforesaid jurymen upon their aforesaid oath say that the aforesaid Edward Calveley came to his death in this manner and not otherwise; and that to their knowledge neither the aforesaid Edward Oxley, John Holmden, Sidney Francis, nor William Beach had any goods or chattels in the aforesaid county at the time of the felony previously made and perpetrated that can be taken or seized into the hands of the said lord king; and that the aforesaid dagger and staves remain in the custody of a certain William Harris of Tonbridge aforesaid for the use of the said lord king. In witness whereof the aforementioned coroner as well as the aforesaid jurymen have affixed their seals to this inquest in the day, year, and place aforesaid etc. for murder so upon another inquest by me George Pattenden, Coroner It is void because insufficient, and it should be done anew.

Assize Court Inquest (TNA: PRO ASSI 35/53/5, mb. 26)

kancie sessiones

Inquisicio indentata Capta apud Tunbridge in Comitatu predicto decimo Octauo die Septembris Annis Regni domini nostri Iacobi dei gratia Anglie ffrancie et hibernie Regis fidei defensoris & c Octauo et Scotie quadragesimo quarto coram Georgio Pattenden generoso vno Coronatorum dicti domini Regis Comitatis predicti super visum Corporis cuiusdam Edwardi Calvely nuper de Tunbridge predicto in Comitatu predicto yeoman ^ <mortui> ibidem ^ <iacentis> per sacramentum Nicholai ffarmer generosi Gerratti Gatlyn generosi willelmi harrys senioris Iohannis dann Thome vnderhill Roberti Bourman Alexandri Rottenbridge walteri Saker willelmi harrys Iunioris Thome Bowle willelmi harte Thome hasselden Mosee hodge henrici Burden et Petri harrys proborum et legalium hominum Comitatis predicti qui dicunt super sacramentum suam quod predictus Edwardus Calvely et quidam Edwardus Oxley nuper de Tunbridge in Comitatu predicto yeoman Sidneus ffrancis nuper de Tunbridge predicta in Comitatu predicto Butcher Iohannes hombden nuper de Tunbridge predicta in Comitatu predicto Butcher et willelmus Beech nuper de Tunbridge predicta in Comitatu predicto Taylor et diuerse alie persone Iuratoribus predictis incognite vicesimo sexto die Iunij Annis Regni domini nostri Iacobi dei gratia Anglie ffrancie et hibernie Regis fidei defensoris & c Octauo et Scotie quadragesimo tercio insimul convenerunt apud Tunbridge predictam in Comitatu predicto in quadam domo ibidem vocata a playhouse et predicti Edwardus Calvely Edwardus Oxly Sidneus ffrancis Iohannes homden et willelmus Beech adtunc et ibidem fecerunt affraiam inter se Et predictus Edwardus Oxly adtunc et ibidem vi et armis & c in et super predictum Edwardum Calvely insultum fecit et cum quodam gladio vocato a dagger valoris xij d. quod idem Edwardus Oxly in manu sua dextra adtunc et ibidem habuit et tenuit prefatum Edwardum Calvely super frontem ipsius Edwardi Calvely felonice percussit dans eidem Edwardo Calvely adtunc et ibidem cum gladio predicto vocato a dagger super predictam frontem predicti Edwardi vnum vulnus mortale de profunditate quarterij unius pollicis et de latitudine quarterij ... (8) pollicis de quo quidem vulnere mortali predictus Edwardus Calvely a predicto vicesimo sexto die Iunij annis supradictis ... (9) ad septimum diem Augusti Annis Regni dicti domini nostri Iacobi nunc Regis Anglie ffrancie et hibernie octavo et Scotie quadrage ... (10) quarto apud Tunbridge predictam in Comitatu predicto languebat quo quidem septimo die Augusti Annis Regni dicti domini nostri Iaco ... (11) nunc Regis anglie ffrancie octavo et Scotie quadragesimo quarto supradictis predictus Edwardus Calvely apud Tunbridg pre ... (12) in Comitatu predicto de vulnere mortali predicto obijt Et quod predicti Sidneus ffrancis Iohannes homden et willelmus Beeche predicto vicesimo sexto Iunij Annis Regni dicti domini nostri lacobi nunc Regis Anglie ffrancie et hibernie octavo et Scotie quadragesimo tertio supradictis apud Tunbridge predictam in Comitatu predicto felonice fuerunt presentes cum prefato Edwardo Oxly ipsum Edwardum ad feloniam et homicidium predictos in forma predicta faciendum felonice abettando procurando manutenendo auxiliando et confortando contra pacem dicti domini regis nunc Coronam et dignitatem suas Et sic predicti Edwardus Oxly Sidneus ffrancis Iohannes homden et willelmus Beech prefatum Edwardum Calvely apud Tunbridge predictam in Comitatu predicto modo et forma predictis felonice interfecerunt contra pacem dicti domini regis nunc Coronam et dignitatem suas /
per me Georgium pattenden Coronatorem
ponit se culpabilis cattalla nulla legit
Edwardus Oxly
ponit se non culpabilis nec reus
Sidneus ffrancis
ponit se non culpabilis nec reus
Iohannes homden
ponit se non culpabilis nec reus
willelmus Beeche


Kent Sessions

An indented inquest was held at Tonbridge in the aforesaid county on 18 September in the eighth year of the reign of our lord James by the grace of God king of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc. and in the forty-fourth [year of the reign of our lord James king] of Scotland before George Pattenden, gentleman, one of the coroners of the said lord king of the county aforesaid, upon the view of the body of a certain Edward Calvely late of Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid, yeoman, lying dead there, by the oath of Nicholas Farmer, gentleman, Garret Gatlyn, gentleman, William Harry the elder, John Dann, Thomas Underhill, Robert Bourman, Alexander Rottenbridge, Walter Saker, William Harrys the younger, Thomas Bowle, William Harte, Thomas Hasselden, Moses Hodge, Henry Burden and Peter Harrys, good and lawful men of the county aforesaid. They say upon their oath that the aforesaid Edward Calvely and a certain Edward Oxley late of Tonbridge in the county aforesaid, yeoman, Sidney Francis late of Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid, butcher, John Hombden late of Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid, butcher, and William Beech late of Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid, tailor, and various other persons unknown to the aforesaid jurymen assembled together on 26 June in the eighth year of the reign of our lord James by the grace of God king of England, France, and Ireland, defender [of the faith] & c and in the forty-third [year of the reign of our lord James king] of Scotland at Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid in a certain house there called "a playhouse," and the aforesaid Edward Calvely, Edward Oxley, Sidney Francis, John Homden, and William Beech did then and there make an affray among themselves; and [that] the aforesaid Edward Oxley did then and there by force and arms etc, make an assault on and about the aforesaid Edward Calvely and with a sword called "a dagger" of the value of 12d., which the same Edward Oxley then and there had and held in his right hand, did feloniously strike the aforementioned Edward Calvely upon the forehead of that same Edward Calvely, giving to the same Edward Calvely then and there with the aforesaid sword called "a dagger" upon the same forehead of the aforesaid Edward a mortal wound of the depth of one-quarter of one inch and of the width of one-quarter of [one] inch; [and that] indeed the aforesaid Edward Calvely was lying ill from that mortal wound from the aforesaid 26 June in the [regnal] years abovesaid [until] 7 August in the eighth year of the reign of our said lord James now king of England France and Ireland and in the forty-fourth [year of the reign of our said lord James king] of Scotland at Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid; [and that] indeed on that 7 August in the aforesaid eighth year of the reign of our said lord James now king of England, France [and Ireland] and in the forty-fourth year [of the reign of our said lord James now king] of Scotland the aforesaid Edward Calvely died from the aforesaid mortal wound at Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid. And that the aforesaid Sidney Francis, John Homden, and William Beech on the aforesaid 26 June in the aforesaid eighth year of the reign of our said lord James now king of England, France, and Ireland and in the forty-third year [of the reign of our said lord James now king] of Scotland at Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid were feloniously present with the aforementioned Edward Oxley by feloniously abetting, procuring, supporting, aiding, and encouraging that same Edward to commit the felony and homicide aforesaid in the form aforesaid contrary to the peace of the said now lord king, his Crown, and dignity; and [that] the aforesaid Edward Oxley, Sidney Francis, John Homden, and William Beech did thus feloniously kill the aforementioned Edward Calvely at Tonbridge aforesaid in the county aforesaid in the manner and form aforesaid contrary to the peace of the said now lord king, his Crown, and dignity.

by me George Pattenden, Coroner
He places himself [to be tried before God and country.] [He is] guilty.
[He has] no chattels. He reads. (13)
Edward Oxley

He places himself [to be tried before God and country.] [He is] neither
guilty nor liable.
Sidney Francis

He places himself [to be tried before God and country.] [He is] neither
guilty nor liable.
John Homden

He places himself [to be tried before God and country.] [He is] neither
guilty nor liable.
William Beech


Assize Court Trial Calendar (14) (TNA: PRO ASSI 35/53/5, mb. 27)
Nomina Iuratorum inter Dominum Regem Et
Edwardum Hunter non culpabilem nec Edwardum Oxly homicidam culpabilem
reum cattallam nullam legit
non culpabilem nec reum non culpabilem nec reum
Sidneum ffrancis homicidam Iohannem Homden homicidam
non culpabilem nec reum non culpabilem nec ream
Willelmum Beeche homicidam Abigallam Harte
prisonarios ad barram.

Thomas Allen luratores
Willelmus Hartridge
Willelmus Hyckmott
Thomas Iden
Willelmus Alfye
Matheus Browne
Thomas Daye
Iohannes Maynerd
Walterus Parson
Thomas Hale
Ricardus Cole
Edmundus Langlye
Nicholaus Gilborne Miles Vicecomes

Names of the jurors between the Lord King and
Edward Hunter, not guilty nor liable Edward Oxly, murderer, guilty, no
 chattels, he reads
not guilty nor liable not guilty nor liable
Sidney Francis, murderer, John Homden, murderer,
not guilty nor liable not guilty nor liable
illiam Beech, murder, Abigail Harte,
prisoners at the bar.

Thomas Allen Jurymen
William Hartridge
William Hyckmott
Thomas Iden
William Alfye
Matthew Browne
Thomas Daye
John Maynerd
Walter Parson
Thomas Hale
Richard Cole
Edmund Langlye
Nicholas Gilborne Knight Sheriff


Further details about the participants in this fatal fray have emerged from the Tonbridge parish records, probate records, and other court records. The Oxleys were a prominent family of Tonbridge clothiers, descending from Edward Oxley, whose will, dated December 17, 1567, divided his property among five surviving sons and one daughter. (15) One of his sons, the clothier George Oxley who died May 28, 1598, ranked sufficiently high in the town to have served from 1580 to 1583 as one of the wardens of the town lands, responsible for repairing the bridges and paving the high street. (16) The will of George Oxley, dated May 26, 1598, reveals that he had three daughters and a son named Edward who had not yet reached "his full age of five and Twenty yeares." (17) Since the Tonbridge parish register of baptisms, which begins in 1585, does not mention Edward Oxley, he must have been at least fourteen years old in 1598 and probably in his late twenties or thirties in June 1610, when he assaulted Edward Calverley in the Tonbridge playhouse. (18) Foreshadowing this fatal fray in 1610, Edward Oxley's uncle David Oxley, another son of Edward Oxley (d. 1567) and brother of George Oxley (d. 1598), was himself involved in a fatal fray with Edmund Brystowe in Gravesend in May 1576. Apprehended in Queenborough, he was questioned before Queenborough magistrates and bailiffs, imprisoned at Canterbury Castle, and tried at the Maidstone assizes on July 16, 1576. (19) Also suggestive of things to come, on June 5, 1606, Edward Oxley of Tonbridge, clothier, stood surety in a recognizance for Thomas Woody of Tonbridge, tailor, to keep the peace toward John Collyns and to appear before the next court of quarter sessions. (20) In a conveyance dated July 2, 1612, following his conviction for murder and subsequent release from the bishop's custody, Edward Oxley, clothier, son and heir of George Oxley, clothier, sold to Thomas Busse of Pembury, clothier, the messuage or tenement on the west side of the Tonbridge high street between two of the bridges, Busse having first signed a bond dated July 1, 1612, to pay from the income of the property certain bequests to George Oxley's widow. After signing a release to Thomas Busse on May 19, 1615, following the death of his mother, Edward Oxley disappears from the Tonbridge records. (21)

The apparent ringleader in the assault on Edward Calverley was the Tonbridge butcher John Holmden (Hombden/Homden/Homeden), probably in his fifties at the time of the assault. The Tonbridge parish register shows that John Holmden and Fayth Copyng were married on January 10, 1579/80, and had three children: Sara, daughter of John Holmden, buried on August 8, 1585; John, son of John Holmden, christened on May 18, 1598; and Elizabeth, daughter of John Holmden, christened on August 17, 1600. He may also be the "old John Holmden" whose second marriage to Alice Somers took place on November 23, 1641, and the "old John Holmden" who was buried on April 14, 1653. (22) In his later life he served a three-year term as one of the wardens of the town lands from Michaelmas 1622 to Michaelmas 1625, (23) but during his younger years he was a known brawler, connected to Edward Oxley through their joint association with the Tonbridge tailor Thomas Woody (Wooddy/Wooddin/Wooden/Woodyer), and no stranger to the quarter sessions and assize courts. On August 15, 1597, John Holmden was bound by magistrates to keep the peace toward John Coles of Great St. Bartholomew's, London, informer, to appear in the quarter sessions court, and to answer for his part in the affray; and he stood surety for Thomas Wooddin of Tonbridge, tailor, also charged in the same incident. (24) A year later in a second affray he again stood surety for Thomas Woddye, tailor, on September 12, 1598. (25) On February 25, 1600, both John Holmden and Thomas Woody appeared before the assize court at Rochester, the former delivered from jail by proclamation and the latter released on bail; (26) and on April 1, 1600, they both appeared before the quarter sessions court at Maidstone. (27) Two years later, in trouble yet again, John Holmden was bound on April 3, 1602 "to be of good behaviour" and to appear at the quarter sesions, a recognizance that was eventually discharged on September 28, 1602. (28)

The third defendant, William Beach (Beech/Beche/Bech), also appears in both the Tonbridge parish register and the Kent court records, although at least two people by this name may have been living in Tonbridge in 1610. (29) The parish register shows that John Beach married Mary Plane on January 21, 1583/84, and produced at least two children--Humphrey, son of John, christened February 5, 1586/87, and William, son of John, christened June 1, 1589--before Mary Beach died on May 28, 1593. This William Beach, son of John Beach, would have been twenty-one years old at the time of the assault on Edward Calverley in June 1610. However, the parish register also mentions a William Beach, "brother of John," who was buried on April 4, 1636, suggesting that the John Beach whose son William was born in 1589 may also have had a brother named William who died in 1636. This suggestion of uncle and nephew both named William and both in trouble with the law is supported by the quarter sessions recognizances dated July 29, 1611, binding William Beach of Tonbridge, butcher, and John Beach of Tonbridge, laborer, to keep the peace toward Walter Thompson of Pembury, yeoman, to appear at the next quarter sessions court, and to answer charges concerning that fray. Confusion of the William Beach, butcher, in this case with his nephew, the William Beach, tailor, in the assault on Edward Calverley in June 1610 is further suggested by the confusion of William Beach's occupation in the first assize indictment (mb. 11), where "butcher" has been corrected to "taylor," followed by the correct designation of "taylor" in the redrawn indictment (mb. 26). In addition to William Beach, butcher, and William Beach, tailor, a possible third William Beach of Tonbridge, laborer, was also brought before the Maidstone assizes on July 4, 1627, for desertion, having enlisted as a soldier and received money to serve overseas in April 1627, but in June 1627 having deserted and returned to Tonbridge. (30)

The other two participants in the playhouse fray make only brief appearances in the Tonbridge parish register. The fourth defendant, Sidney Francis, butcher, appears only twice in the register, when "Sidney, son of Sydney ffraunces" was christened on January 12, 1611/12, and buried ten days later on January 22, 1611/12. (31) If Sidney Francis, the father in these records, were the same Sidney Francis involved in the assault on Edward Calverley, he may have been in his twenties or thirties at the time. Several generations of the Calverley (Calvely/Calverley/Calverlie/Caverly/Caverle/Caverlaye) family appear in the parish register, but only James Calverley (d. 1574) left a will, and not enough information survives to assign the victim Edward Calverley definitely to a particular branch of the family. Since his name does not appear in the register of christenings, however, he must have been born before the opening of the register in April 1585, thus making him at least in his late twenties at the time of his death. The register of burials does record the burial of Edward Calverlie on July 23, 1610, and adds the significant information that he was "Sir Anthony Dentons man." (32)

The reason for the fray between Edward Oxley, John Holmden, William Beach, Sidney Francis, and Edward Calverley in the Tonbridge playhouse remains a mystery, but the even greater mystery is why there was a playhouse in Tonbridge in the first place. Only four other playhouses are known to have existed outside of London before the Restoration: at Bristol Nicholas Wolfe's Wine Street playhouse between 1604 and 1625 and Sarah Barker's playhouse sometime before 1637, the York playhouse in 1609, and the Prescot playhouse in Lancashire sometime between 1592 and 1609. (33) In the early seventeenth century, Tonbridge was certainly not a logical location. Many incorporated Kentish towns were much larger than Tonbridge: Faversham had a population of 1,500, Dover and Maidstone each about 3,000, and Sandwich about 4,000. The city of Canterbury boasted a population of around 6,000. In contrast, the unincorporated market town of Tonbridge had a population of around only 600 in the early seventeenth century. (34) Even though Tonbridge had a Norman castle guarding the important River Medway crossing on the main road from London to Hastings, Rye, and Winchelsea, (35) the city of Canterbury with a population ten times as great as that of Tonbridge would surely have been a more logical location for a playhouse in Kent. So the mystery remains. Why did a small, unincorporated market town in the sparsely populated Weald of Kent have a playhouse in the early seventeenth century?

The answer to that question remains conjectural, but several strands of circumstantial evidence all point toward two powerful barons and sympathetic supporters of Elizabethan players and playhouses: Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon (1526-96) and George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon (1547-1603). In the first year of her reign on January 13, 1558/59, Elizabeth I had created her cousin Henry Carey the first baron of Hunsdon, and on March 20, 1558/59, for the maintenance of his rank of baron she settled on him the reversions and rents arising from numerous estates in York, Northamptonshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent, including "the manors of Tunbridge and Hadlowe, the castle of Tunbridge, parks called Le Cage Parke and Le Posterne Parke in Tunbridge and a park called Le Northe Frithe, co. Kent." (36) Not many manorial records survive for the manor of Tonbridge; however, "A Rentall of so muche of the Manors of Tunbridge and Hadlow as is in the handes of Sir George Carey knight, knight marshall of her maiesties houshold & Captayne of the He of wight made By Richard Sutton gentleman Stewarde theire the ffirst daye of Ianuarye 1586 and in the xxixth yere of the Raigne of owr most gracyous Soueraigne ladie Elizabethe by the grace of god Quene of England ffraunce & Ireland defender of the faithe & c." does list all the rents and quit-rents from properties, tenements, and inns in the town under the control of the Careys as lords of the manor. (37) After the death of George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon in 1603, possession of the manor of Tonbridge passed to his daughter Elizabeth Carey and her husband, Sir Thomas Berkeley, who early in the reign of James I sold the manor to Sir Peter Vanlore, the Dutch merchant banker and jeweler to the courts of Elizabeth I and James I. (38)

In addition to the influence of Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, and his successors as lords of the manor of Tonbridge, Henry Carey also obtained from Elizabeth I on May 14, 1571, the grant of a weekly market on Fridays in the borough of Tonbridge and three annual fairs to be held on the eve, day, and morrow of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 23-25), the eve, day, and morrow of feast of St. Luke (October 17-19), and Ash Wednesday, the morrow, and the day afterward (three successive days between February 4 and March 12 depending on the date of Easter). (39) Not only did these markets and fairs allow Lord Hunsdon's bailiffs to collect the fines and stallage fees, providing a further source of revenue and a visible demonstration of the authority of the lord of the manor, but they apparently also provided an opportunity for his lordship's players to perform before a large guaranteed audience drawn from the surrounding villages and parishes. The fray at the Tonbridge playhouse, it should be noted, happened either on June 25, or June 26, dates that coincide with the Midsummer fair and suggest that players may have come to Tonbridge specifically for the occasion. (40)

Whether such performances at the Tonbridge playhouse were a regular feature at fair time and when such a custom might have begun are open to speculation. The interest of the lords Hunsdon in players and playhouses, however, is well-documented fact. (41) From July 4, 1585, until his death on July 23, 1596, Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon held the post of Lord Chamberlain in the court of Elizabeth I. After a brief hiatus between August 8, 1596, and March 6, 1597, when William Brooke, 10th Lord Cobham held the position, George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon became Lord Chamberlain until his death on September 8, 1603. For almost a decade between May 1594 and September 1603 father and son sponsored the most famous theater company of their time--the Lord Chamberlain's Men--until the company gained a royal sponsor in 1603 and became the King's Men. (42) Henry Carey's interest in theater, however, had begun long before May 1594. Throughout his life an enthusiastic and sympathetic supporter of players and musicians, he sponsored over the years two additional acting companies. Between 1564 and 1567 Lord Hunsdon's players performed as far afield as Beverley, Bridgwater, Bristol, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Gloucester, Leicester, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Norwich, as well as closer to Tonbridge at Canterbury, Dover, and Lydd in Kent. (43) This early acting company seems to have disbanded, since no other payments to Lord Hunsdon's players, apart from a single payment in 1575-76 to a lone player in Norwich, appear in the records until the payment to "my Lord of hunsdons servauntes beinge players of interludes" at York in September 1581. (44) Between 1581 and 1585, however, his players were once again on the road, performing in Bath, Bristol, Doncaster, Dover, Exeter, Gloucester, Ludlow, Maidstone, Norwich, and Nottingham, (45) and on December 27, 1582, Lord Hunsdon's men played at court during the Christmas festivities. (46) After the Privy Council's establishment of the Queen's Men in February 1583, and his own appointment as Lord Chamberlain in July 1585, Henry Carey's personal players took a lower profile, since in his official capacity of providing the annual Christmas entertainment for the court he consistently favored the Queen's Men. Only once between his appointment as Lord Chamberlain in 1585 and the reorganization of the acting companies in 1594 did his own acting company appear at court--a joint performance with the Lord Admiral's Men on January 6, 1586. (47) Nevertheless, his players did continue to play in the country during the late 1580s, payments having been recorded in Coventry, King's Lynn, Leicester, and Saffron Walden between 1585 and 1588. (48) During the late 1590s the Kent records also include payments to George Carey's players: Lord Hunsdon's players performed in Faversham "about Lamas" 1596 during Lord Cobham's short tenure as the Lord Chamberlain, and the Lord Chamberlain's players under Carey's patronage performed between Michaelmas 1596 and Michaelmas 1597 in both Dover and Faversham. (49) After the Lord Chamberlain's Men became the King's Men in 1603, they continued to tour the Kent circuit, payments to the King's Men having survived at Canterbury, Dover, Faversham, Folkestone, Fordwich, Hythe, Lydd, Maidstone, and New Romney between 1604 and 1625. (50) Of course, if Lord Hunsdon's players were playing at the Tonbridge fairs during the 1580s, or even if the Lord Chamberlain's Men were performing there after 1594 or the King's Men after 1603, no official record would have survived, since Tonbridge was an unincorporated town without mayor, aldermen, or chamberlain. As a result, when players came to town, there would have been no official mayor's play nor any town accounts in which official payments could have been entered. Only the judicial evidence of the fray in the Tonbridge playhouse during the Midsummer fair in 1610 survives to hint at the possibility of regular dramatic performance in the town at fair time.

In addition to their lordship of the manor and their establishment of the annual fairs, a third strand of evidence further strengthens the link between the lords Hunsdon and Tonbridge: the role of Sir Anthony Denton (1561-1615) whose servant Edward Calverley was fatally wounded in the playhouse fray. Sir Anthony Denton descended from William Denton, gentleman, of Southwark, Surrey, and Stedham, Sussex. (51) Shortly before his death in 1565, William Denton had acquired from Alexander Colepeper the rectory of Tonbridge including "all lands, tithes and the like in Tunbridge Warde alias Le Townewarde and Southborowe Warde, parcels of the said Rectory in Tunbridge." (52) With this purchase he joined Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon as a leading landowner in the town. On May 26, 1567, William Denton's widow, Margery, was granted wardship of their son and heir, Anthony Denton, with an annuity from the estate, until Anthony Denton received license to enter into his inheritance on April 29, 1583. (53) Meanwhile, Anthony Denton had matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, on December 8, 1578, and entered the Middle Temple of the Inns of Court in 1581. (54) Styled armigero by 1601, Sir Anthony Denton was knighted on July 23, 1603, in the royal garden at Whitehall before the coronation of James I. (55) On May 25, 1601, Anthony Denton married Elizabeth Isham, daughter of Thomas Isham of Lamport, and established a country residence at Tonbridge in addition to his two London houses. (56) On August 26, 1615, he unexpectedly died at the age of 54. (57)

On the south wall of the parish church of SS Peter and Paul, Tonbridge, where Sir Anthony Denton lies buried beneath a recumbent effigy of a knight in armor, an inscription states that Sir Anthony was "one of the Honorable band of Pensioners (both to our late, renouned Lady Q. Elizabeth, & also to our now soverain Lord K. James)." (58) The Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, established during the reign of Henry VIII, consisted of an elite group of fifty knights who in rotation provided a royal bodyguard, standing guard with their gilt battle axes in the presence chamber and accompanying the monarch to the chapel royal or the House of Lords. (59) On ceremonial occasions all fifty gentlemen pensioners, dressed in identical livery, each attended by his servant, created a striking display of pageantry. Many of their quarterly account rolls are missing, but surviving gentlemen pensioners' rolls reveal that Sir Anthony Denton was serving as a gentlemen pensioner by at least September 1602 and continued in that post until his death in August 1615. (60) During the latter half of the reign of Elizabeth I the captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners was none other than Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon (1583-96), succeeded in the post by George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon (1596-1603). Since patronage of gentlemen pensioner places belonged to the captain, subject to the assent of the monarch, it was George Carey who recruited fellow Tonbridge landowner Anthony Denton to join the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners. (61) Once again, the fray in the Tonbridge playhouse, where Edward Calverley, "Sir Anthony Dentons man," was fatally wounded on June 26, 1610, ends with a link to the lords Hunsdon.

Given these three strands of circumstantial evidence that connect the lords Hunsdon to Tonbridge, suggesting a conjectural answer to the question of why a small, unincorporated market town in the sparsely populated Weald of Kent had a playhouse in the early seventeenth century, it may be time to revisit the well-known evidence, and to reconsider the implications, of another playhouse fray in June 1584 outside the Theatre and the Curtain in Shoreditch. (62) The details of this fracas need not detain us here; suffice it to take note that William Fleetwood's report to the Privy Council about the fray states that James Burbage had described himself as "my Lo. of Hunsdons man." A leading member of Leceister's players and also a member of the Joiners livery company, James Burbage and his brother Robert Burbage, a member of the Carpenters livery company, had erected in 1576 the first purpose-built theater in London, named appropriately, if unimaginatively, the Theatre. (63) When other players of Leicester's company were incorporated into the Queen's Men in 1583, however, James Burbage had not followed suit, nor was he part of the group of actors that accompanied Leicester to the Low Countries in 1585 and 1586. Instead, from at least June 1584 until his probable association with Pembroke's Men in 1591 and perhaps later, he was wearing Henry Carey's livery. (64) In the absence of any other evidence, it has been generally assumed that Burbage passed these years in London as landlord of the Theatre, managing the premises for any acting company who wished to hire it for their London performances. However, given the connection of James Burbage with lord Hunsdon during the 1580s and given the connection of the Lords Hunsdon with Tonbridge and the heretofore unnoticed existence of a playhouse in Tonbridge in 1610, is it not time to start asking what else this leading theatrical entrepreneur might have been doing during the 1580s in Tonbridge when he was "my Lo. of Hunsdons man"?

Notes

1. London: The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) ASSI 35/53/5, mbs. 11, 26, 27. See also J. S. Cockburn, ed., Calendar of Assize Records: Kent Indictments, James I (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1980), 94. I owe thanks to Dr. Christopher Chalklin for drawing this reference to my attention and to Abigail Ann Young for checking the Latin transcriptions and translations.

2. The August 7 date in the inquest for Edward Calverley's death disagrees with the July 23 date in the parish register for his burial, but the latter is more likely to be reliable, having probably been entered on the day rather than recalled almost two months later. The earliest surviving register of the ancient parish chuch of SS Peter and Paul, Tonbridge (Maidstone: Centre for Kentish Studies (CKS): P371/1/15), contains baptisms (1585-1687), marriages (1563-1687), and burials (1559-1685). The register's folios are not numbered, but each section is arranged chronologically.

3. William Beach appears on the list of prisoners delivered to the court (TNA: PRO ASSI 35/53/5, mbs. 40-41), but the membranes are damaged and many of the other names are illegible.

4. A contemporary account of legal procedure in criminal cases may be found in chapter 23 of Sir Thomas Smith's De Republica Anglorum, ed. Mary Dewar (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 110-16. Benefit of clergy, or the privilege of being tried in the ecclesiastical courts, which did not award the death penalty, was granted during the early modern period to anyone who could read a verse in Latin from the Psalter. In cases of homicide benefit of clergy was offered only on the first offense. If a visible brand on the hand demonstrated that a convicted murderer had already "received his clergy" for a prior offense, then he was sentenced to be hanged. Unfortunately, the act books for the diocese of Rochester consistory court and archdeacon's court have not survived for this period, making it impossible to follow Edward Oxley's case to its conclusion after he was handed over to the bishop's representative.

5. Words enclosed in <> have been inserted above the line in the manuscript.

6. Diuersi alij for diuerse alie

7. De has been corrected over pro resulting in de funditate for de profunditate.

8. 18mm tear in the manuscript for unius (?)

9. 18mm tear in the manuscript for & c vsque (?)

10. 14mm tear in the manuscript for quadragesimo

11. 14mm tear in the manuscript for Iacobi

12. 10mm tear in the manuscript for predictam

13. As Sir Thomas Smith explains, the clerk of the court entered these abbreviated phrases above the names of each prisoner, indicating the result of the proceedings. When first arraigned, the prisoner had three choices: he could plead guilty, whereupon the judge proceeded directly to the sentence; he could remain mute and be pressed to death, but his estate would not be forfeited to the Crown; or he could ask for a trial, and a jury would be called. The second phrase indicates the verdict of the jury. If the jury declared the prisoner guilty, then the judge inquired whether he had any goods or chattels that could be confiscated by the court. If the guilty prisoner requested benefit of clergy, the bishop's representative confirmed whether or not the prisoner could read the verse from the Vulgate.

14. Prisoners were divided into groups, and all the cases in the group were heard before the jury retired to consider its verdict, thus accounting for Edward Hunter and Abigail Harte, both indicted in separate counts of grand larceny, being included in this trial calendar with the four men indicted for murder. See J. S. Cockburn, ed., Calendar of Assize Records: Kent Indictments James I; (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1980), 94.

15. CKS: Drb/Pwrl3, ff. 341v-42v.

16. CKS: U422/Q7, 2.

17. CKS: Drb/Pwr19A, ff. 24-26v.

18. CKS: P371/1/15. It is possible that there were two Edward Oxleys in Tonbridge in 1610. John Oxley, another son of Edward Oxley (d. 1567) and brother of George Oxley (d. 1598), in his will dated November 16, 1575 (CKS: Drb/Pwrl4, ff. 262v-63) divided his estate between his sons Richard and Edward, neither of whom had reached the age of twenty-one in 1575. Although the marriage of Richard Oxley to Anne Latter is recorded in the parish register on August 1,1591, there is no further mention in the register of his brother Edward, who would have been a cousin of the Edward Oxley, son of George Oxley.

19. For the articles of examination and writ to the sheriff in this case, see CKS: Qb/ZB15-17. The record of the July 16, 1576 assize court is missing.

20. CKS: QM/SRc/1606/132.

21. This conveyance, bond, and release are among a bundle of title deeds in the Tonbridge Library Archives, TU1/T2.

22. CKS: P371/1/15.

23. CKS: U422/Q7, 23.

24. CKS: QM/SRc/1597/100 and QM/SRc/1597/102.

25. CKS: QM/SRc/1598/93.

26. TNA: PRO ASSI 35/42/5, mb. 41v. See also J. S. Cockburn, ed., Calendar of Assize Records: Kent Indictments; Elizabeth I (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1979), 454. To be delivered or "quitte by proclamation" means that, though the prisoner had been indicted, no one appeared to give evidence at his arraignment before the assize court, and thus the judge proclaimed him to be at liberty. See Sir Thomas Smith, De Republica Anglorum, ed., Mary Dewar (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 110.

27. CKS: Q/SR1, mb. 7.

28. CKS: QM/SRc/1602/61 and Q/SR3, mb. 11d.

29. CKS: P371/1/15; QM/SRc/1611/35; and QM/SRc/1611/36.

30. TNA: PRO ASSI 35/69/8, mb. 41; see also J. S. Cockburn, ed., Calendar of Assize Records: Kent Indictments; Charles I (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1995), 53. Earlier records of the Rochester assizes on March 26, 1599 (ASSI 35/41/2, mb. 69v): also include a William Beach (residence and occupation unknown) among the list of suspects delivered from jail by proclamation. See J. S. Cockburn, ed., Calendar of Assize Records: Kent Indictments; Elizabeth I (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1979), 441. If this William Beach came from Tonbridge, the date would be too early for William Beach, tailor, but could fit the criminal record of William Beach, butcher.

31. CKS: P371/1/15.

32. Ibid.

33. Mark C. Pilkinton, ed., Bristol, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1997), xxxvii-xl and passim; Alexandra F. Johnston and Margaret Rogerson, eds., York, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1979), 530-31; David George, ed., Lancashire, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1991), xliv-xlv, 80-82, 240-41.

34. Christopher W. Chalklin, "A Seventeenth-Century Market Town: Tonbrirdge," Archaeologia Cantiana 76 (1962): 152-62. For a more in-depth study of the town, see Christopher W. Chalklin, "A Kentish Wealden Parish (Tonbridge), 1550-1750." Unpublished BLitt thesis (Oxford, 1960).

35. On Philip Symonson's 1596 map, "A New Description of Kent," Watling Street divides just west of Deptford, the main branch continuing eastward toward Rochester, Canterbury, and Dover, and the other branch dropping southeastward through the Weald to Bromley, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, and Rye. See Henry Hannen, "An Account of a Map of Kent Dated 1596," Archaeologia Cantiana 30 (1914): 85-92, with facsimile of the map facing p. 85.

36. Calendar of the Patent Rolls: Elizabeth, vol. 1, 1558-1560 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1939), 60-61, 115-18. See also J. F. Wadmore, "Tonbridge Castle and its Lords," Archaeologia Cantiana 6 (1886): 12-57, esp. 52.

37. CKS: U38/M1. Unfortunately, the rental does not contain sufficient detail to establish the location and use of most of the properties.

38. CKS: U55/T422 (title deeds for Tonbridge castle and manor); see also Edward Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, 12 vols. (Canterbury: W. Bristow, 1797-1801), 5:216-17.

39. Calendar of the Patent Rolls: Elizabeth I, vol. 5, 1569-1572 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1966), 240.

40. On the first indictment (mb. 11) the fray is first said to have taken place on "[xxvj.sup.to] die Iunij" and then in a later reference on "eodem [xxvj.sup.to] die Iunij." The second redrawn indictment (mb. 26) has June 26 in both places.

41. A convenient summary of the acting companies supported by Henry Carey, 1st Lord Hunsdon and George Carey, 2nd Lord Hunsdon may be found in Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearian Playing Companies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 278-305. Performance dates, however, should be double-checked against those in the REED volumes.

42. Between August 8, 1596, and March 6,1597, when Lord Cobham was the Lord Chamberlain, the acting company was known as Lord Hunsdon's Men.

43. David Galloway, ed., Norwich, 1540-1642, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1984), 52; Audrey Douglas and Peter Greenfield, eds., Cumberland Westmorland Gloucestershire, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1986), 300; J. J. Anderson, ed., Newcastle upon Tyne, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1982), 45; John M. Wasson, ed., Devon, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1986), 65, 237; James Stokes and Robert J. Alexander, ed., Somerset, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1996), 49; Mark C. Pilkinton, ed., Bristol, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1997), 52; and James M. Gibson, ed., Kent: Diocese of Canterbury, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2002), 194, 465, 698. See also Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearian Playing Companies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 302.

44. Galloway, ed., Norwich, 1540-1642, 58, and Johnston and Rogerson, eds., York, 397.

45. Stokes and Alexander, ed., Somerset, 13; Pilkinton, ed., Bristol, 124; Gibson, ed., Kent: Diocese of Canterbury, 477, 716; Wasson, ed., Devon, 159; Douglas and Greenfield, eds., Cumberland Westmorland Gloucestershire, 308; J. Alan B. Somerset, Shropshire, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1994), 87; and Galloway, ed., Norwich, 1540-1642, 64-65. See also Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearian Playing Companies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 302

46. E. K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1923), 4:159.

47. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 4:161.

48. Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearian Playing Companies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 302; Malone Society, Collections XI, 64. Musicians and bearwards of Lord Hunsdon also performed throughout the 1580s in Coventry, as well as several times between 1574 and 1578. See R. W. Ingram, ed., Coventry, Records of Early English Drama (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1981), 269, 270, 286, 300, 302, 310, 313, 317, 323.

49. Gibson, ed., Kent: Diocese of Canterbury, 484, 562.

50. Ibid., 271, 273, 495, 499, 513, 515, 566, 570, 586, 602-3, 633, 638-40, 710, 723-24, 806-8, 811-12.

51. William Berry, County Genealogies: Pedigrees of the Families of the County of Kent, 2 vols. (London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1830), 451; TNA: PRO PROB 11/48, ff. 195v-97v.

52. TNA: PRO C.66/1016, mb. 33. See Calendar of the Patent Rolls: Elizabeth I, vol. 3, 1563-1566 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1960), 305.

53. TNA: PRO C.66/1039, mb. 25, and C.66/1236, mbs. 8-9. See Calendar of the Patent Rolls: Elizabeth 1, vol. 4, 1566-1569 (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964), 127. Various other title deeds relating to Anthony Denton's estate include a license to alienate, September 25, 1587 (TNA: PRO C.66/1316, mb. 8); a pardon for alienation of the rectory of Tonbridge, May 8, 1588 (TNA: PRO 66/1309, mb. 16); and a grant of the rectory of Tonbridge to Margery Martyn, widow; Anthony Denton, armigero; and William Denton, March 2, 1601 (TNA: PRO C.66/1548, mb. 9).

54. Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500-1714, 4 vols. (London: Parker, 1891), 1:395.

55. William Shaw, The Knights of England, 2 vols. (London: Heraldry Today, 1971), 2:120. Shaw mistakenly gives Sir Anthony's residence as Buckinghamshire, having confused the Dentons of Tonbridge with the Dentons of Hillsden.

56. Northamptonshire Record Office: I.C.3652B, Anthony Denton letter to Thomas Isham, November 19, "we are intended to continewe att Tunbridge vntill wee can make an end of our buildinge, and recover in some sort our expenses ... I ame carefull concerninge my Sister Susan, but hither to I have mett with no encounter to my mynde, yf she hath not taken a surfett of Tunbridge, my wife and I would be gladd of hir company there"; I.C.3654, Anthony Denton letter to John Isham, March 15, "my house and furniture here in Kent hath coste me above six hundred poundes"; and I.C.4849, Elizabeth Denton letter to John Isham, n.d., "I was in good hope to have seene you heere this last terme, vntill my cosen Iohn Gilpin tould mee otherwise who was with mee at Tunbridge after his return from you." See also Mary E. Finch, The Wealth of Five Northamptonshire Families, 1540-1640, Publications of the Northamptonshire Record Society, 18, vol. 19 (Lampert, 1956), 26-27.

57. On September 18, 1615, Lady Elizabeth Denton was granted a letter of administration of his estate (TNA: PRO PROB 6/9, f. 32), and on November 2, 1615, an inquisition postmortem at Dartford found that by a prenuptial agreement with Thomas Isham, dated May 1, 1601, Sir Anthony Denton had settled on his wife the rectory of Tonbridge and other lands in Kent (TNA: PRO WARD 7/53/274). On April 20, 1625, sometime after her remarriage, Paul Dewes of Stowlaugh in Sussex and Dame Elizabeth his wife (widow of Sir Anthony Denton), granted to William Denton the elder of Tonbridge (brother of Sir Anthony), Ann his wife, and William Denton and Anthony Denton, their sons, all their interest in the rectory of Tonbridge with appurtenances (CKS: U55/T423).

58. A photograph of the monument appears in the anonymous booklet The Story of the Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul Tonbridge, [n.d.], 14.

59. For general background on the gentlemen pensioners, see W. J. Tighe, The Gentlemen Pensioners in Elizabethan Politics and Government, (Cambridge University Ph.D., 1983); also "An Account of the King's Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners from its Establishment to the present Time," being part 2 of Samuel Pegge, Curialia, or An Historical Account of Some Branches of the Royal Household (London: B. White, 1791).

60. Each roll lists the names of the gentlemen pensioners, the number of days served, and the quarterly payments for wages ([pounds sterling]46 13s. 4d. per annum) and board (2s. 6d. per diem). The following rolls contain payments to Sir Anthony Denton: TNA: PRO E 407/1/35, September 29-December 31 1602; E 407/1/36, September 29-December 31, 1603; E 407/1/37, March 25-June 24, 1605; E 407/1/38, March 25-1 January 1607; E 407/1/39, June 24-September 29, 1609; E 407/1/40, January 1-March 25, 1611; and E 407/1/41, March 25-June 24, 1613. See also Tighe, The Gentlemen Pensioners, 357.

61. TNA: PRO E 407/1/15-E 407/1/35; Tighe, The Gentlemen Pensioners, 41.

62. Letter of William Fleetwood to Lord Burghley, 18 June 1584, as quoted in E.K. Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage 4 vols. (Oxford, 1923), 4:297-8.

63. For a summary of James Burbage's life and theatrical career, see Chambers, The Elizabethan Stage, 2:305-6; William Ingram, The Business of Playing (Cornell, 1992), 182-218; William Ingram, "The Early Career of James Burbage," Elizabethan Theatre 10 (1988): 18-36; and Mary Edmond, "Yeomen, Citizens, Gentlemen, and Players: The Burbages and Their Connections," in Elizabethan Theater: Essays in Honor of S. Schoenbaum. ed. by R. B. Parker and S. P. Zitner, (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1996).

64. Andrew Gurr, The Shakespeare Company, 1594-1642 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 1 and 8, asserts that in 1594 James Burbage had been wearing Henry Carey's livery for at least twelve years and implies that he continued to do so even after the reorganization of the theater companies in 1594.
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Title Annotation:Notes and Documents; Edward Calverley's death
Author:Gibson, James M.
Publication:Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England
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