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The Bell Savage inn and playhouse in London.

FOUR London inns were also playhouses in Shakespearean times, and notable theatrical events occurred in all of them. All four together, however, are less well known than any of the nineteen other Shakespearean playhouses. Unsurprisingly, they are barely mentioned in many studies of the Shakespearean stage. Of, for example, the 139 pages that E. K. Chambers devoted to specific playhouses in the second volume of his Elizabethan Stage, these four playhouses occupy only three and a quarter pages. Yet three were playhouses for nearly twenty years, longer than ten of the others, including some very famous places like the Rose, first Globe, and St. Paul's. The fourth could have been a playhouse for thirty years, longer also than the Theatre, both Fortunes, and the second Globe--and if it was not the first Shakespearean playhouse, it was probably the second. In a sense, another of the four was the last. (1)

Nobody has known anything about, for example, their ownership and management and the places in them where performances took place. (2) Moreover, what has been known defies some conventional ideas about Shakespearean playhouses. They were public playhouses in the City of London, three of them actually within the walls. The other public playhouses were in suburbs to escape the attentions of City authorities who disapproved of such things. Unlike the other public playhouses, too, they belonged to commercial enterprises that otherwise had nothing to do with entertainments. The inns, that is, were regular inns long before, while, and long after the playhouses existed in them. All are supposed to have given up their business as playhouses in about 1596. Two later public playhouses (the Boar's Head and Red Bull) were in inns, too, but those places had ceased permanently to do business as inns before they became playhouses.

Three of the four places that were also active inns were the Bull in Bishops-gate Street, the Cross Keys in Gracechurch Street, and the Bell, which adjoined the Cross Keys in the same street. The fourth was the Bell Savage, the main subject of this essay. It was on the north side of Fleet Street about 100 yards outside the City wall at Ludgate. That end of Fleet Street was then sometimes and is now always called Ludgate Hill. The Bell Savage was in the City ward of Farringdon Without and the parish of St. Bride. Most of the site of the playhouse is now a garden-cum-parking lot behind No. 50 Ludgate Hill.

Even the spelling of the name of the place is a problem. Chambers in his Elizabethan Stage, Bentley in his Jacobean and Caroline Stage (Oxford, 1968), and others (including me) have spelled the name "Bel Savage," having noted, presumably, that an entry about Richard Tarlton in the Stationers' Register spelled it so (2 August 1589) and Stephen Gosson and William Prynne spelled it nearly so, "Belsauage" and "Belsavage" (1579, 1633). In documents mentioned below, the author of Maroccus Extaticus also spelled it "Belsauage" in 1595. Others, however, wrote "le bell Savage alias le bell Savoy" (1555), the other way around (1558), and the Bell Savage alias Bell Savoy again (1559). Its owners for more than 360 years usually preferred "Bell Savage," but also used "Belle Savage," even "La Belle Sauvage," never "Bel Savage." Bryant Lillywhite preferred "Bell Savage" in his massive work on London signs and did not mention "Bel Savage" as an alternative. (3)

Besides, the place was originally, or at least in the fifteenth century, called the Bell, and an owner or manager was or had been one Savage. At Easter 1420 Reginald Broke kept potables there, "atte belle vocata Sauagis Inne in fletestrete." And John French ("ffrenssh") described it as "Savagesynne alias ... le Belle on the Hope" on 5 February 1453 when he conveyed its ownership to his mother, Joan French, widow, for her life. Many things on inn signs could be "on the hoop": various fowls, a George, hart, crown, miter, angel, and bunch of grapes. A messuage in the Strand was also a Bell on the Hoop in 1403. (4)

The surviving maps of London drawn while the Bell Savage was a playhouse do not clearly show an inn or innyard in Ludgate Hill, but a map surveyed, drawn, and published soon after the destruction of the inn does show an innyard that must belong to the Bell Savage. The inn and much else in London (including the Cross Keys and the Bell but not the Bull) perished in the great fire of 1666, which began on the night of 2 September and burned for four days. The City then commissioned surveyors to prepare an accurate plan of the City showing the damage. The surveyors began in December and presented their plan early in 1667 on six sheets. Although these sheets do not survive, one of the surveyors, John Leake, reduced the plan to two sheets, and Wenceslas Hollar engraved them. The engraving was published in 1667 (entered at Stationers' Hall on 10 May) as An Exact Surveigh. It shows the yard as a rectangle about 40' wide (east to west), 80' feet long (north to south), and at the end of an alley about 130' long leading north from Ludgate Hill through, presumably, the ruins of the inn.

The first accurate map of London by something approaching modern standards was published a decade after the fire: Ogilby and Morgan's Large and Accurate Map of the City of London (1676). (5) It shows a yard in much the same place and identifies it as Bell Savage yard. It also identifies the inn, which apparently has been rebuilt. The yard is about 32 feet wide and 81 feet long (counting only the main rectangle), and the alley is about 69 feet long. In the days of the playhouse, apparently, the spectator went up an alley off the north side of Ludgate Hill and watched plays being performed in a rectangular yard about twice as long as it was wide.

For centuries, historians of the stage were content to accept Cuthbert Burbage's famous remark in 1635 that, in effect, his father's playhouse in Shoreditch called the Theatre, built in 1576, was the first public playhouse. Eventually they realized that the ground under the remark was shaky because they saw that George Gascoigne had mentioned the Bell Savage as a playhouse in his Glasse of Governement published in 1575, (6) but, apparently, places like the Bell Savage did not count. In 1915, in his edition of the papers of the Carpenters' Company of London (3:95-96), Bower Marsh published a document showing that Cuthbert Burbage's uncle, John Brayne, had built a public playhouse in a "house" called the Red Lion in 1567. Interesting, we thought, and perhaps another playhouse in an inn, but Burbage could not be wrong about such things, and the Theatre must really have been the first public playhouse. Then in 1983 Janet Loengard announced another, more substantial document about the Red Lion that more than confirmed Marsh's, and this document did count. (7) For more than twenty years writers have agreed that the public playhouse, indeed the Shakespearean playhouse in general, began in 1567 with Brayne's Red Lion, which, as we now learned, was not in an inn but in a court or yard belonging to a farmhouse of the name.

Even this document, however, may not be the last word about which playhouse inaugurated the Shakespearean stage. The London Company of the Masters of Defence was using the Bell Savage for its prizes even before the building of the playhouse in the Red Lion. The company's business was the teaching of fencing, and prizes were public displays of fencing in which students qualified first to be free scholars, then provosts, and finally masters. If used for prizes, the Bell Savage may also have been used for plays, because, as the brothers George and Toby Silver implied in about 1590, martial games there took place on a stage.

The company had used open public places surrounded by buildings, like Leadenhall, but when playhouses became available it increasingly preferred to use them. Playhouses provided better control of admission and stages on which performances could be seen by more people. The company used the Bell Savage at least twelve times for prizes from the mid-1560s to 1589. It used the Bull from c. 1573 to 1590, the Theatre from 1578 to 1585, and the Curtain from 1579 to 1583. Of the thirty-nine prizes recorded from 1575 to 1590, only two occurred in a place that was not (or did not become) a playhouse. The first prizes recorded at the Bell Savage concerned William Mucklowe. He played his provost prize there on 13 June 1568 having already played his free scholar prize there. If he proceeded from free scholar to provost as others did, he played his free scholar prize at the Bell Savage in 1565 or 1566. (8)

At least when the Silvers tried to use it, the stage at the Bell Savage was higher than stages elsewhere and thus risky for the people on it. The Silvers challenged the two principal Italian teachers of fencing in London, Vincentio Saviolo and one Ieronimo, to a series of martial games at the Bell Savage, which they had chosen because there "he that went in his fight faster backe then he ought ... shold be in danger to breake his necke off the Scaffold." (9) The Silvers had "fiue or sixe score bils of challenge ... printed and set up from Southwarke to the Tower, and from thence through London vnto Westminster." On the day, they and "a multitude of people" then appeared at the Bell Savage, but the Italians did not.

In 1576 and 1596, spectators at the Bell Savage paid "one penny at the gate, another at the entrie of the Scaffolde, and the thirde for a quiet standing." (10) People must have stood in the yard as at the other public playhouses, also in the galleries as at the Boar's Head in its first year, 1598-99 (but not thereafter), and even in what passed at the Bell Savage for a lords' room. Moreover, the contract between players and owners that applied at other playhouses must also have applied at the Bell Savage. Players, that is, had all the takings at the main gate through which all spectators had to go and shared equally with owners the takings at the other entrances--to the galleries and the place of quiet standing, for example--through which some spectators went.


The ownership of the Bell Savage for our purposes begins in the mid-1550s with Thomas Punchon, gentleman, of Plumstead in Kent; Katherine, his wife; John Huskyns; and William Woodlande. The Punchons owned the freehold of the inn, which they treated as an investment, for Huskyns and Woodlande held leases on all of it. Huskyns's lease was on the inn proper, hence he or an employee of his would have managed it. This lease ran until 24 March (the day before Lady Day) 1558. Woodlande's lease was probably on a chamber over the gate to the inn called the bell chamber.

On 11 December 1555, the Punchons sold the freehold outright (in fee simple) for an undisclosed sum to John Craythorne and his wife, Margaret, jointly. They lived in a house called the Rose and Crown, which like the inn itslf was in Fleet Street and the parish of St. Bride. She may have begun life as Margaret Hawkins. He was a citizen and cutler of London who had been a member of the Cutlers' Company since at least 1537, had occupied important positions in it, and would be master in 1559-60. Like the Punchons, the Craythornes meant the place as an investment, not as a way of becoming innholders. They also meant, however, to use its garden for "pleasr and recreacion" and a stable and hayloft at the back of the inn adjoining the wall of the Fleet prison for their horses.

On 13 February 1558, about six weeks before the Huskyns lease was to expire, the Craythornes leased the Bell Savage to John Ricardes, citizen and armorer of London, for forty years. (11) The Huskyns lease was now held by Agnes Huskyns, John's widow, and the lease on the bell chamber (which had four more years to run) by Thomas Ryley. The new lease would begin on Lady Day 1558 and expire on 24 March 1598. Ricardes paid [pounds sterling]100 for the lease--[pounds sterling]40 in hand and [pounds sterling]60 in three installments of [pounds sterling]20 each due on Michaelmas 1558 and on Lady Day and Michaelmas 1559. He was also to pay [pounds sterling]20 a year in rent.

After Ryley's departure from the bell chamber, Ricardes was to keep it for himself and so make it part of the inn proper. The Craythornes were to have the use of their stable and hayloft, which they had enclosed, and Ricardes was to deliver to them there a cartload "of good wholesome and swete heye" every summer. They could also use the garden when meet and convenient. Ricardes agreed not to convert the place into separate holdings, "but alwayes ... shall onely employ and contynew the same and euery parte therof as a common Inne and for lodginge of honest gestes resortinge to the same and for stablinge as it is at this present vsed ... nor to eny other vse." Ricardes could assign the lease to someone else, as, for example, he would have to do should he mortgage it, but he was to pay the Craythornes [pounds sterling]2 10s. each time he did so.

Cutlers and armorers knew one another very well. They competed over the making of weapons and were often either at war with one another or struggling to carry out an attempt at cooperation. (12) Ricardes obviously needed a lot of money in 1558 and 1559. He could have sought ways to make the Bell Savage more profitable--by, as one might guess, using it for entertainments in some of which the implements of the armorers' and cutlers' trades could be useful. Ricardes must have paid the Craythornes their [pounds sterling]60 by 12 December 1561, for Margaret Craythorne had the lease copied onto the Husting Roll then.

Craythorne was sick in body but whole in mind on 21 November 1568 when he made his will with the help of Paul Pope, scrivener, and five witnesses. (13) The Craythornes, apparently childless, had decided that the Bell Savage should sustain her while she lived and then fund two charities forever. He would leave the place to her, and at her death she would leave it to the cutlers, who then would provide money for the charities. The house they lived in, the Rose and Crown (or as Craythorne called it, just the Rose), was to be treated similarly, in return for which the cutlers were to fund a third charity after her death, also spend [pounds sterling]5 immediately to wainscot the upper end of Cutlers' Hall. Craythorne, therefore, directed her (she was to be his executrix) to draw up legal documents to these ends within a year of his death. He gave her lands in Essex and Hertfordshire if she carried out his wishes about the Bell Savage, and he gave her the Rose and Crown for life if she carried out his wishes about that place.

Within half a year of his death she was also to lease the Bell Savage gratis to William Howson for ten years after the expiry of Ricardes's lease--from 25 March 1598 to 24 March 1608. Howson was one of the witnesses to Craythorne's will. His lease was to be like Ricardes's. He was to pay the same rent, and, like Ricardes, to keep the place as a common inn where honest guests could lodge, to allow Margaret Craythorne to use the stable, hayloft, and garden in it, and to give her there an annual load of good, seasonable, and sweet hay. Since Ricardes's lease of forty years was worth [pounds sterling]100, Craythorne would have thought Howson's of ten worth [pounds sterling]25.

Craythorne probably died in the winter of 1568-69, certainly by 26 April 1569. Before Margaret Craythorne, now his executrix, proved the will, she did at least three things with his and her property. First, she somehow expelled Ricardes from the Bell Savage and installed Howson as innholder, perhaps on the anniversary of the lease, 25 March 1569. How she managed to end Ricardes's forty-year lease after only eleven years is a mystery. She may have taken more interest in the Bell Savage than her husband had, since it was she, not he, who had put Ricardes's lease on the Husting Roll in 1561. She now explained the removal of Ricardes in a way that included all the possibilities: it was a "surrender forfyture determinacion and expiracion" of his lease.

She could have forfeited the lease because Ricardes had violated its terms in some way. She could have disliked the swordplay, ungoverned by the Company of the Masters of Defence, that the armorer evidently tolerated at the Bell Savage. One man had been murdered in random swordplay there in 1562 and another recently, on 9 June 1568. Or with her connivance Howson could simply have bought Ricardes out for, presumably, somewhat less than [pounds sterling]75 and with few hard feelings. Many years later, Ricardes's widow left a small bequest in her will to Howson's widow. Ricardes could have lost interest in the Bell Savage, because he was a busy armorer and a leading figure in the Armorers' Company. Moreover, he had just married a lady of means into whose house he may have moved. In any event, on 26 April 1569 Margaret Craythorne formally assigned the lease to Howson, whom she called an innholder, for twenty years beginning "Imedyatlye from and after" Ricardes's loss of it. She demanded nothing of Howson for the lease, in keeping with the spirit of her husband's will. The lease would now expire in the spring of 1589, perhaps on 24 March, in any case before 26 April.

Having dealt with Ricardes, Howson, and the Bell Savage, she turned to her house in Fleet Street, the Rose and Crown. In his will her husband had given it to the cutlers after her death. But two days before drawing up his will, as she pointed out, he had also leased it for forty years after her death to John and Margaret Stavord at [pounds sterling]4 10s. a year in rent, which they would pay to the cutlers. Stavord was a haberdasher, a neighbor and relative of theirs, and one of the witnesses to Craythorne's will. Now on 9 June 1569, she increased the term of the lease to sixty years at the same rent. (14)

Then, on 20 June 1569, still before she proved her husband's will, she signed a suitable contract with the cutlers. She and they, in effect, appointed eight men who would hold the Bell Savage and the Rose and Crown in trust for her while she lived and for the cutlers thereafter. The appointment of such trustees was a common device that would, among other things, avoid complications should she remarry. Evidently four of the trustees represented her and the other four the cutlers. The first four were Hugh Stukeley (or Stutlye), gentleman, perhaps a lawyer; Edmund Bragge, citizen and haberdasher; Stavord; and George Hawkyns of Stortford in Hertfordshire, yeoman. The others were Lawrence Grene, William Hogson, William Wood, and Richard Mathewe, citizens and cutlers. Stukeley, like Stavord, had witnessed Craythorne's will, and Hawkyns, like Stavord, was a relative of hers. (15)

On acquiring the Bell Savage, the cutlers were to use its revenues to finance the Craythornes' two charities as follows: (1) pay [pounds sterling]10 a year to provide coals to the poorest people in the parish of St. Bride; (2) pay [pounds sterling]6 13s. 4d. (i.e., ten marks) a year to find and maintain two university students, one at Oxford and one at Cambridge, neither of whom had [pounds sterling]10 or more a year from other sources. For the Rose and Crown, the cutlers were also to pay [pounds sterling]3 a year to relieve poor prisoners in four prisons, Newgate, the King's Bench, the Marshalsea, and the Gatehouse in Westminster, but not, curiously, in the Fleet, which abutted the Bell Savage.

These things done, Margaret Craythorne finally proved John Craythorne's will on 20 July 1569. She did not remarry and lived, apparently in some state, in St. Bride's for many years. She was taxed there in 1577 and 1582, her goods assessed at [pounds sterling]20 both times. John Stavord (or Stafford) was probably a neighbor, since he and then his widow appear near her in the tax rolls for 1577 and 1582, both times assessed at [pounds sterling]10. According to her husband's will, Margaret Craythorne was to bequeath lands in Essex to their nephew, James Clovell, "yf he please her," but on 2 May 1591 when Clovell wrote his will she was still alive and he made her his executrix. She sent a notary public to prove the will on 31 May 1591. She was, however, mortally ill herself and four days later, on 4 June 1591, made her own will, giving herself as of St. Bride's and carefully disposing of her ample goods. (16) Unlike her husband, the lady who would fund scholars at Oxford and Cambridge (the first of whom, a Stavord, she nominated in her will) signed that will not with her name but with her mark. She had died, and the freehold of the Bell Savage had passed to the cutlers, by 22 July 1591, when the will was proved.

The cutlers had a picture of her painted apparently toward the end of her life, since they noted paying for it in an account for 1590-91. They rescued the picture from the great fire of 1666 when their hall burned, had it restored several times, framed and reframed, and copied twice. They still treasure it, and it hangs prominently in their hall, slightly singed on the back, it is said, from a narrow escape in 1666. The two copies also hang in their hall but less prominently. In 1649 a tenant of theirs asked for a reduction of his rent because Margaret Craythorne was his great aunt. (17)

The person at the Bell Savage who would have dealt with plays and players, however, was not the owner of the freehold but the persons who held the lease. From 1558 to the 1580s, those persons were Ricardes and Howson.

Ricardes was an active armorer all his adult life. He began a seven-year apprenticeship on 4 October 1540 with Richard Empson, presumably finished in 1547, and took his first apprentice on 24 February 1549. From 1549 to 1576, he took at least eleven conventional apprentices for seven or eight years each and two foreigners who would become members of the Worshipful Company of Armourers. Four or five of these men worked with him while he held his lease on the Bell Savage. Moreover, he was junior warden of the company in 1559-61, senior warden in 1563-65, and master in 1566-67. (18) He may never have lived in St. Bride's. He does not appear there, at any rate, in the tax rolls of 1564, 1577, or 1582, and he was living in the parish of St. Lawrence Jewry in 1568. Toward the end of that year he may have moved into the parish of St. Gregory by St. Paul's Cathedral, (19) where he was living fifteen years later.

He acquired a great deal of property. He took a lease on another inn, the Katherine Wheel in West Smithfield, for twenty-one years from 25 March 1579, the rent on which must have been like that on the Bell Savage, since part of the inn was eventually subleased for [pounds sterling]15 a year. He also took a lease on part of another inn, Bosomes, in St. Lawrence Lane. In his will, he mentioned these as unexpired along with unexpired leases on a house in Gray's Inn Lane, forty acres in West Ham, and eighty acres in Kentish Town. He did not mention the Bell Savage. He had five children, three of whom were living independently in 1585 and two of whom were not yet twenty-five years old, hence could have been born while he was involved with the Bell Savage. (20) He was living in St. Gregory's in 1582 when his goods were assessed for taxes at [pounds sterling]30, half again as much as Margaret Craythorne's goods. He may have owed his house in St. Gregory's and other aspects of his substance to Alice Kirke, whom on 8 September 1568 he had acquired a license to marry. She was not the mother of his children but would be his widow. She had been the wife of Robert Kirke, a saddler, who had left her, among other things, three houses-cum-shops in Bishopsgate Street and had lain in St. Gregory's churchyard since 2 June 1567. (21)

Though Ricardes signed his will with his mark, he was evidently aware of sophistication, and he knew a fine phrase when he heard one. His youngest child, born probably while he was involved with the Bell Savage, was named Caesar (his daughter was named Beatrice). Moreover, on his deathbed on 12 January 1585, he began the recitation of his will with a speech on the transience of life. His audience comprised at least his five witnesses, two of whom were Edward Marshe, "the wryter hereof," and Ambrose Goldinge, minister.
 [I know, Ricardes said,] that the mortall state of this or lyfe is
 subiect to greate and manifolde daungers, And that no man borne of a
 Woman is certen of his owne lyfe, but that all fleshe is as grasse,
 and withereth and decayeth to ye good will of the Allmightie Creator,
 And forasmuche as wee be all taught by the profession of the faythe of
 Christ Jesus to reforme our Wills to the good will and pleasure of
 god, and as it shalbe given vnto vs by his aboundaunt and moste
 mercifull grace to provide at all tymes to be readye at his Allmightie
 caule, beinge moved thervnto by his goodnes, [I] Doe make my last
 will & testamt ...

He was buried at St. Gregory's on 22 January 1585. Alice Ricardes made her will on 10 January 1589 and was buried there on 28 July 1589 under, if her instructions were carried out, the stone that marked the mortal remains of Robert Kirke.

Less is known of William Howson. Apart from appearing in John Craythorne's will (21 November 1568), he appears twice in tax rolls for the parish of St. Bride (1577 and 1582), in Anthony Howson's will (20 December 1578), and in Alice Ricardes's will (10 January 1589). In both tax rolls he appears near Margaret Craythorne and John Stavord, and his goods are worth [pounds sterling]6, less than Stavord's ([pounds sterling]10) and much less than hers ([pounds sterling]20). In Anthony Howson's will, William Howson belongs to the Bell Savage and is apparently Anthony's brother. He has a son, John, to whom Anthony left 10s., Anthony's only such gift. William Howson also seems to have other siblings: Jeffrey, Elizabeth, Agnes, and John (who may be the son), all surnamed Howson.

As Anthony lay "vppon his Death bed," his wife, Emma, and son, another William, were also dying, but not his daughter, Elizabeth, a child. Anthony decided that if his wife and children should die before his children were sixteen years old, his goods should go to the other Howsons. At this, Roger Foster intervened. He was the "minister" not of St. Giles Cripplegate, where Anthony was a parishioner, but of St. Bride's. Foster asked for more precise directions about the care of Elizabeth. Anthony, having at first mistaken the question, said that her grandmother should take care of her, "for saith he she will not lett goe from her so longe as she [presumably the grandmother] Lyveth." The scene could have taken place in St. Bride's, even in the Bell Savage. Emma the wife and William the son were buried at St. Giles on 22 December 1578, and Anthony (described only as a "Housholder") was buried there two days later. Elizabeth the daughter was, in effect, named as Anthony's executrix when the will was proved on 31 January 1579. (22)

Sometime after William Howson's goods were assessed in St. Bride's in 1582, he moved to Kentish Town. He died late in 1586 or early in 1587, for he left no will, and his widow, Rose, saying that he was of Kentish Town, claimed his goods on 25 January 1587. Alice Ricardes left Rose a bequest of 20s. in 1589, calling her Rose Howson, the widow of William Howson, innholder. Rose Howson made her will on 22 July 1591, giving herself as of Kentish Town and mentioning eight apparently living children, John and Edward Howson, Rosamond Howson, Jane Howson, Anne Paley, Grace Gwalter, and two unnamed daughters. She died before 5 August 1591, when her will was proved. (23)

None of these allusions to John Ricardes and William Howson connects them with plays or players, and they could have put someone else in charge of that part of the inn's business. Both, however, must have taken a keen interest in how the inn was doing, and since Howson, if not Ricardes, was an innholder, he must have had to do with the day-to-day running of the place. The Craythornes' stipulation about the use of the Bell Savage may suggest that Ricardes and Howson should have resisted its use for entertainments. But John and then Margaret Craythorne and her trustees would have found it hard to prevent that use, for Ricardes or Howson would have argued that in allowing entertainments to take place there they were not dividing it into separate holdings and they were still maintaining it as a common inn that lodged honest guests.

Though the cutlers had regularly mounted plays for some of their festive occasions at the end of the fifteenth century, (24) they could have had little to do with plays at the Bell Savage. They must have been interested, however, in the success of ventures there from 1568, and their influence at Guildhall may have been responsible for its continuing as a playhouse, even, perhaps, for becoming one. That influence could account for the existence of the three other playhouses in inns, which apparently became playhouses after the Bell Savage (the Bell by 1576, (25) the Bull and Cross Keys by 1578). For the people at these places could have argued that they should be allowed to mount plays in the City if their rivals at the Bell Savage could.


Howson should have held the lease on the Bell Savage until he died in late 1586 or early 1587, and then his widow, Rose, should have held it until it expired in the spring of 1589. But Howson or his widow could have surrendered it, lost it by forfeit, or, in effect, sold it. In 1589 then, if not earlier, the trustees would have granted a new lease on Margaret Craythorne's behalf, and the recipient was probably Lawrence Houlden (as he preferred to spell his name).

After that lady died in June or July 1591, the Bell Savage began to appear in the cutlers' accounts, and Houlden held the lease on it. He paid the cutlers [pounds sterling]20 for it for 1591-92, the same rent that Ricardes and Howson had paid the Craythornes. He then paid [pounds sterling]20 for every succeeding year up to and including 1601-2. John Walter (or Waters or Walters), a cook, paid [pounds sterling]20 for 1602-3 and for every year up to and including 1610-11. He may have been related to the Howsons, since their daughter Grace had married a man named Gwalter, the Latinized form of Walter. Walter sublet the Bell Savage to a John Amery and died before 4 January 1612, when his will was proved. His widow, Joan, paid [pounds sterling]20 for 1611-12, and one Emmerson (his Christian name never given) paid [pounds sterling]20 for 1612-13 and every year until 1618-19, after which the relevant accounts cease. (26) Curiously, the cutlers did not raise the rent, which remained [pounds sterling]20 from 1558 until at least 1619. After paying the sums required for the Craythornes' charities, the cutlers had only [pounds sterling]3 6s. 8d. a year from the Bell Savage and even less if they had expenses to defray.

Houlden is, in a sense, the hero of Maroccus Extaticus, a pamphlet published in 1595 that contains a woodcut showing a performance in the yard of the Bell Savage. The performance is fictitious, but the entertainers are real: one Bankes and his famous horse, Marocco. (27) Perhaps a decade earlier, Bankes and "a horse of strange qualities," presumably Marocco, had been performing at one of the other theatrical inns, the Cross Keys, when the celebrated comic, Richard Tarlton, joined them from the audience. (28) At the Bell Savage, two apparently pseudonymous men purport to be "tumbling in the hayloft" of the inn when Bankes and Marocco begin a performance in the yard. The men are John Dando, a wiredrawer of Hadley (at least five places in England are called Hadley or Hadleigh), and Harry Runt, head ostler of "Bosomes Inne" (the real inn in St. Lawrence Lane on part of which John Ricardes had a lease in 1585). (29)

The performance consists of a dialogue between horse and master that Dando and Runt set down "verbatim aswel as we could" and reproduce in the pamphlet. According to the title page, the dialogue is an "Anatomizing [of] some abuses and bad tricks of this age." Horse and master mock many people who go by fictitious names. They lapse often into Latin, which the horse says he "learned when I gambolde at Oxforde," and the horse even invents nineteen lines of English verse.

One of the horse's strange qualities is that he can sit upright on his hind legs for a long time as if in a trance, hence "extaticus" and the subtitle, "Bankes Bay Horse in a Trance." In the woodcut, Marocco is sitting so on the ground with a pile of earth under his backside so that, it seems, he won't fall backward. Bankes is standing in front of him, and between them on the ground lie two large dice (the dots on each of the three visible pairs of faces add up to seven). Marocco has a staff in his mouth and Bankes another in his hand. Apparently Marocco can count out dice, if, it seems, they add to seven, and do tricks with his mouth. The horse at the Cross Keys could use his mouth to lead specific spectators to Bankes.


Behind Bankes and Marocco are spectators, three men and a woman. They stand on a scaffold, and one of the men and the woman lean on a railing above the edge of the scaffold. Judged by the height of the spectators, the floor of the scaffold is about two and a half feet above the ground, and the railing is about as much above that. The scaffold is held up by three posts set on or into the ground, the railing by six balusters rising from the floor of the scaffold. The scaffold and railing go from one side of the drawing to the other, and, since there is no sign of a wall, the scaffold seems to be freestanding. Above the scaffold and railing at the two upper corners of the drawing are brackets that suggest some sort of roof.

The woodcut does not show a stage, presumably because stages in innyards would have been removable and Bankes would not have risked his horse falling off one, especially one perilously high. Fixed stages in innyards would interfere with the ordinary business of inns, which required much coming and going in their yards of people, animals, and wagons. (30) Bankes and his horse did not perform on a stage at the Cross Keys, either. Removable stages were not, of course, unheard of in Shakespearean times, as the well-known one at the Hope shows. The scaffold on which the spectators stand in the woodcut could, perhaps, be the stage, but if so it was not so high as the fencers thought, and it was very wide.

The woodcut appears only in Maroccus Extaticus, (31) hence was apparently drawn expressly for it, and the pamphlet clearly invites the reader to think that the illustrated performance took place in the yard of the Bell Savage. The pamphlet is "Written and intituled," according to the title page, "to mine Host of the Belsauage, and all his honest Guests." Not only do the writers say that they are in the hayloft of the Bell Savage when they record the dialogue between Bankes and his horse, but they say twice that the dialogue is taking place "in this yarde."

Moreover, they end their pamphlet by moving Bankes from the yard to the dining facilities at the Bell Savage. The dialogue finished, they conclude in the "Authors to the Reader," where they hint at a sequel and dispose of their characters. Marocco lies down in his litter, and mine host of the Bell Savage, "Laurence Holden," summons Bankes as a "guest" to "a shoulder of mutton of the best in the market," which comes "piping hot from the spit."

Houlden apprenticed as a merchant tailor and gained his freedom of the company on 5 February 1572 by having served his time, hence, presumably, at about the age of twenty-five. His master was Richard Page. Houlden remained a merchant tailor all his life but in a detached way. He did not acquire the livery, and when in 1603 the company raised money to mount pageants for the coronation of James I, he contributed [pounds sterling]5, unlike all the many others, who contributed [pounds sterling]6 or more. When the company decided it needed more money for the pageants, he was one of the few who did not contribute at all. (32)

He married an Isabel, who survived him. He may also have married Ann Willsonn as a Lawrence Holden did at St. Clement Danes on 11 February 1593 and then fathered Isabel Holding, baptized there as the daughter of Lawrence on 20 July 1595. (33)

The merchant tailor's will is a brief document dated 25 January 1609 and drawn up with the help of a notary public, John Watts, who is one of its witnesses. (34) In it Houlden describes himself as a merchant tailor and as "crased in body but whole and sound ... in mynde." He left [pounds sterling]3 to his brother, Thomas Houlden (to be paid within six months of Lawrence's death), and [pounds sterling]3 to his cousin, Isabel Booth (to be paid on the day of her marriage). He left everything else, including the choice of a place to bury him, to his "welbeloved" wife, Isabel Houlden, who was to be his executrix. He described this "resydue" as "all and singuler my ... goodes leases Chattells plate moveables and things whatsoever vnbequeathed my debts being payd legacies performed and funerall expences discharged." He did not mention the Bell Savage, or a previous marriage, or a child. His widow buried him as an innholder at St. Giles Cripplegate on 26 May 1609, when he would have been about sixty-two years old. (35) She then proved his will with dispatch, on 31 May 1609.

His surname is spelled "Houlden" on the list of people who became free of the merchant tailors and throughout his will--which, however, he signed with his mark. Elsewhere the name is spelled "Holden" (when, for example, his widow proved his will) or occasionally "Holdon."

Houlden should have had enough possessions to pay taxes on them from 1572 (when he finished his apprenticeship) to 1609 (when he died). Tax rolls for the ward of Farringdon Without during that time survive for 1577, 1582, 1598, 1599, and 1600. He does not appear in the roll for 1577, but he does in all the others. He is Lawrence Holdon in 1582, no line of work given and his goods assessed at [pounds sterling]10--not in St. Bride's but in St. Dunstan's in the West, the parish adjacent to St. Bride's on the north. In all three other assessments he is in St. Bride's and an innholder, and he is third from the bottom of the general list, suggesting that he lived near one end of the main road in the parish, where the Bell Savage was. Each time, his goods were now worth [pounds sterling]8 and he paid 21s. 4d. in tax. (36)

He was the innholder at the Bell Savage when playing ceased there. Neither that event, however, nor any other aspect of his career as a manager of a playhouse is mentioned in recorded comment, apart from Maroccus Extaticus. Nobody of the name is in the nine surviving lists of tax defaulters and people exempted in the Ward of Farringdon Without from 1572 to 1609. (37) Nor, unlike many people involved in running Shakespearean playhouses, does he appear in the extensive lists of litigants in the equity courts. No contract in that name appears on the close rolls, either. Evidently Lawrence Houlden of the Bell Savage paid his taxes, avoided quarrels or did not take them to lawyers, did not overextend himself in business ventures, hence either repaid or did not incur large debts, and engaged in dealings that were not important or fraught enough to enroll in Chancery. He died owning leases, not freeholds. Houlden the innholder was, it seems, modestly successful in business and died solvent. He may or may not have done somewhat better in life than William Howson, but he was no John Ricardes and no John or Margaret Craythorne.

Houlden's assumptions and methods at the Bell Savage, therefore, must have been different from those of his competitors at the great public and private playhouses. He and the others who ran theatrical inns dealt with entertainments for a few hours on a playing day but with innkeeping all day every day. Moreover, since their inns were, in effect, their playhouses, they needed much less capital in order to mount plays than the people at the great places did. The difference between operations like Houlden's and those of his famous contemporaries probably appears in the final scene of Maroccus Extaticus, where, after Bankes's performance at the Bell Savage, Houlden calls him to a piping hot meal of superior ingredients--on the house.

All four of these playhouses in inns are supposed to have been driven out of business in 1596, but the evidence is not overwhelming, especially as it applies to the Bell Savage. In a book of 1628, Richard Rawlidge wrote that pious City magistrates persuaded the Privy Council to suppress these playhouses in Queen Elizabeth's time, and the Council did suppress them in an order of 22 June 1600. The remarks, however, of two visitors to London, one written on 26 June 1596 and the other in about 1596, have suggested to historians of the stage that the Council's order of 1600 reinforced a presumed order of 1596 now missing. The visitors described public playhouses but only those in the suburbs, not those in City inns. Moreover, a change William Lambarde made in his Perambulation of Kent for the second edition, published in 1596, leans in the same direction. In the first edition (1576), he alluded to people who "goe to Parisgardein [a bear-baiting ring], the Bell Sauage, or some other suche common place, to beholde Beare bayting, Enterludes, or Fence playe." In the second edition he dropped "some other suche common place" and supplied only "Theatre." (38) He meant the suburban playhouse in Shoreditch and implied that the common places no longer offered entertainments. He also meant, however, that the Bell Savage continued to offer such things. Lawrence Houlden, therefore, could have overseen entertainments there until 1600, thanks, as one might propose, to the influence of the cutlers, who now owned the freehold.

The Bell Savage had its triumphs. In roundly condemning plays, playhouses, and players in 1579, Stephen Gosson made an exception of "The twoo prose Bookes plaied at the BelSauage, where you shall finde neuer a woorde without wit, neuer a line without pith, neuer a letter placed in vaine." (39) In 1588 Richard Tarlton sang his last "theame" there. His themes were topics given him by spectators on which he sang songs extempore. This one was "nowe or ells never," proposed "by a gentleman at the Bel Savage without Ludgate ... beinge the laste theame he songe." Tarlton also lent his presence to one or two displays of fencing at the Bell Savage. (40) William Prynne assured his readers in 1633 that the devil himself appeared "on the Stage at the Belsavage Play-house, in Queene Elizabeths dayes, (to the great amazement both of the Actors and Spectators) whiles they were there prophanely playing the History of Faustus (the truth of which I have heard from many now alive, who well remember it,) there being some distracted with that fearefull sight." (41)

After leaving the Bell Savage, Houlden may have returned to St. Dunstan in the West and embarked on business in shoes. (42) If he did, he took part in a drama in 1603 unlike anything else recorded of him.

A Lawrence Houlden, described as a cordwainer of St. Dunstan in the West, fell in with two lawyers. The more important was Thomas Badger, a gentleman of the Inner Temple, who had just been, or was about to be, called to the bar. The other was Thomas Palmer, a gentleman of the Middle Temple. Evidently Badger and Palmer persuaded themselves that they had a legal claim to the dwelling house of Humphrey Cruse in the Round Woolstaple in Westminster. They enlisted two relative innocents, Anthony Chapman, given once as a gentleman and once as a yeoman, and John Lynsey, a policeman ("yeoman pacis dicti domini Regis"). The four of them seized the house and kept it forcibly with daggers, swords, and other weapons until 27 September 1603, when no fewer than three knighted judges appeared there, Sir Vincent Skinner, Sir William Bowyer, and Sir John Grange. On the spot, citing an act of Richard II, these judges declared that Badger, Palmer, and the others held the house unlawfully, arrested them, fined them, and threw them into Newgate pending payment of the fines. They fined Badger [pounds sterling]5, Palmer [pounds sterling]2, and the two others 10s. each. Grange, who took charge of the case, then left all four men in Newgate until 21 October, when he allowed Lawrence Houlden to join them in posting three bonds for the payment of the fines: (1) Badger, Palmer, and Houlden bonded themselves in [pounds sterling]5 each for the payment of Palmer's fine; (2) Chapman, Lynsey, and Palmer bonded themselves in 10s. each for the payment of Chapman's and Lynsey's fines; and (3) Badger, Palmer, and Houlden bonded themselves in [pounds sterling]5 each for the payment of Badger's fine. (43) Presumably the four men now went home.

Houlden seems to have been a friend in time of need, but could the lawyers have been acting for him? The Temple is just across Fleet Street from much of St. Dunstan in the West, and the Woolstaple was a group of buildings toward the south end of Whitehall in which merchants managed the wool trade, especially the taxes on it. (44)

Several writers of sober history have reported categorically that the Bell Savage offered another kind of drama well after its end as a playhouse. The American, Pocahontas, stayed there (so the story goes) in the winter of 1616-17 with her husband, son, and retinue, and in its chambers she received the curious, including Ben Jonson and Sir Walter Ralegh. The idea is hard to resist: the belle savage at the Bell Savage. Moreover, Pocahontas and her companions were indeed in or near London for a time between mid-June 1616 and mid-March 1617, and notables did meet her. The Bell Savage, Jonson, and Ralegh, however, are additions to the story that derive from a historical novel of 1933. (45)

Contemporaries obviously supposed that the Bell Savage was a playhouse, but they wrote very little that survives about the plays and players there. The only named actor said to have been at the Bell Savage was Richard Tarlton, but in a solo demonstration of wit and at one or two displays of fencing, not in a play. The chances that the only named play said to have been performed there, Dr. Faustus, was actually performed there must be slight. Nor, alas, was the Thomas Greene who suddenly appeared as an important and affluent actor in 1604 the same man as the Thomas Greene who was master of the Cutlers' Company from 1594 to 1596. (46)

The three other theatrical inns are, however, reliably associated with several named plays, companies of players, and individual players. Crutwell was performed at the Bell in 1577 (47) and The Jew and Ptolemy at the Bull in 1579. Two actors otherwise unknown, John Gibbes and Thomas Rowe, were playing with a company of equally unknown fellows at the Cross Keys in 1578 or early 1579, (48) and James Burbage was arrested while attending a play there later in 1579. The Queen's Men used the Bell and the Bull in 1583, and their leading clown, Tarlton, was said to have acted with them at both. Lord Strange's Men and the Lord Chamberlain's Men used the Cross Keys in 1589 and 1594. Even these allusions, however, are quite random and small indication of what happened at those places over twenty-odd years. Plays and playing companies in London were not so visible in the early years of Shakespearean playhouses as they were later. During much of the history of the two great suburban public playhouses of the time, the Theatre and Curtain, the historian can also only guess at their plays and players. The owners of the freehold of the Bell Savage, however, are now visible from the 1550s onward: the Punchons, the Craythornes, and the Worshipful Company of Cutlers. So are the holders of the lease, who were responsible for the day-to-day management of the place: John Huskyns, his widow Agnes, John Ricardes, William Howson, perhaps his widow Rose, and Lawrence Houlden.

The cutlers owned the freehold of the Bell Savage until its destruction in the fire of 1666. They then owned the freehold of its successor, the second Bell Savage Inn, from its beginning soon after the fire to its demise in 1873. That demise occurred because part of the site was needed for railway tracks that would lead from Blackfriars Railway Bridge to a new terminus in Holborn Viaduct. The cutlers were compelled to sell their interest in the relevant part, and Holborn Viaduct Station opened in 1874. The publishers Cassell and Company then built a book warehouse called the Belle Savage on the rest of the site, the freehold of which the cutlers continued to own. The Luftwaffe destroyed this third Bell Savage on 11 May 1941. Finally in 1953 the cutlers and, in effect, the Craythornes and the Bell Savage itself took leave of Ludgate Hill because of another compulsory purchase. The authorities wanted what remained of the site for a new road and required the cutlers to sell their interest in it for [pounds sterling]113,160. These compulsory purchases, however, are no more apparent on the ground now than the Bell Savage is. The authorities did not build the road, Holborn Viaduct Station closed in 1990, the railway tracks are gone, and new buildings and their adjuncts cover the site. (49)

The cutlers no longer provide coals to the poor of St. Bride's, having settled with the parish, but they still help university students. They combined the Craythorne bequest with others and now fund three students at Oxford and three at Cambridge, preferably but not necessarily in engineering.


I assume that Lawrence Holden, innholder at the Bell Savage, and Lawrence Houlden, merchant tailor, were the same man because of the events of 1609. The merchant tailor's will is dated 25 January 1609, the innholder was buried on 26 May 1609, and the merchant tailor's widow, Isabel, proved the will on 31 May 1609. The Lawrence Holden who married Ann Willsonn in 1593 (when the merchant tailor was about forty-five years old), and the Lawrence Houlden who was a cordwainer in 1603 could have been one or two different persons. Moreover, one or both could have been the son of the merchant tailor/innholder.


1. The Bull was not pulled down until 1866. It was the inn from which Milton's "university carrier," Thomas Hobson, left weekly for Cambridge.

2. I include only inns that were regular playhouses as well as inns, not places that rented space out for plays now and then, like the Saracen Head in Islington and Trinity Hall in the City.

3. London Coffee Houses (London: Allen and Unwin, 1963), 118, 679, and London Signs (London: Allen and Unwin, 1972), 33-34.

4. Guildhall Library (hereafter GL), Ms. 5440, f. 44v (accounts of the Brewers' Company, mentioned by Lillywhite in his ms. "London Signs" at GL), and Public Record Office (hereafter PRO), C.54/303, m. 22d (an item on the close roll, the significance of which Samuel Lysons announced in 1817: Archaeologia 18:197-98). For "on the hoop," see OED, either edition, "Cock-a-hoop," and at the British Library, Add. Charter 5313. A William Savage is said to have been the original owner of the inn because he was given in 1380 as of St. Bride's in Fleet Street. Nothing, however, connects him specifically with the Bell Savage: City of London Record Office (hereafter CLRO), Letter Book H, f. 125.

5. See John Fisher's introduction to A Collection of Early Maps of London and Ralph Hyde's to a reprinting of Ogilby and Morgan's map (Lympne Castle, Kent, 1981, 1976).

6. The prologue:
 Who list laye out some pence in such a Marte,
 Bellsauage fayre were fittest for his purse.

The mart is, in effect, playgoing. In a deposition of 29 December 1577, a party of two women and a barber, all of doubtful virtue, are said to have gone to a play at the "Bell savedge" on a Sunday "about a yere and more sens": GL, microfilm 33,011/3 (Bridewell Hospital Court Minutes), f. 267v; see Duncan Salkeld, "The Bell and the Bell Savage Inns, 1576-1577," Notes and Queries 51 (2004): 242-43.

7. "An Elizabethan Lawsuit," Shakespeare Quarterly 34.3 (Autumn 1983): 306-10.

8. My The Noble Science (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1989), 3-5, 26.

9. George Silver, Paradoxes of Defence (London, 1599), 66. See also Noble Science, 12, note 5.

10. William Lambarde, A Perambulation of Kent (London, 1576), 187-88, and the edition of 1596, 233.

11. CLRO, Husting Roll 248, no. 58 (the Craythornes' purchase), and 251, no. 79 (their lease to Ricardes); Charles Welch, History of the Cutlers of London (London, 1923), 1:213-14 passim. See also the Craythornes' wills (PROB11/51, f. 115 and PROB11/78, f. 20v-21). Ricardes's name is so spelled in the Craythornes' lease and in the identification of his mark at the end of his will, but it is also spelled in other ways.

12. Tom Girtin, The Mark of the Sword (London: Hutchinson, 1975), 89-90, 115, 122, 132-33, 143.

13. PRO, PROB.11/51, f. 115, which Welch transcribed, 2:270-73.

14. The contracts granting the lease to William Howson and extending the Stavords' lease are successive items on the close roll, PRO, C.54/801, mm. 46d-48d. The murders at the Bell Savage did not involve performers or people mentioned in the Company's records: PRO, C.66/984, m. 39 and /1051, m. 37; Noble Science 12.

15. GL, Ms. 18,896; another copy is on the close roll (PRO, C.54/801, mm. 42d-44d), and yet another is at Cutlers' Hall. For the relatives, see Margaret Craythorne's will (PROB11/78, 20v-21); and for Stukeley, see a will, PRO, PROB.11/73, ff. 218v-20. Welch (2:153) believed that Margaret Craythorne gave up her life interest in the Bell Savage in 1569, but the meaning of this contract is beyond dispute.

16. PRO, PROB.11/77, ff. 321v-322v (Clovell's will, which Welch transcribed, 2:266-67), and /78, ff. 20v-21 (Margaret Craythorne's will); E.179/145/252, m. 35, and /251/16, m. 89 (tax rolls). Since she mentioned "my brother" Hawkins and a "cousin" George Hawkins in her will, she may have begun life as Margaret Hawkins, and the George Hawkyns who was one of her trustees should have been a relative. She also identified another trustee, John Stavard (elsewhere Staverd, Stavord, or Stafford), deceased, as a "cousin."

17. GL, Ms. 7147/1, 98 (a master's, as opposed to a renter warden's, account of the Cutlers' Company beginning and ending with the feast of the Trinity): Warden Gardyner received 30s. 3d. for providing the painting and some unspecified things. Welch reproduced the better of the two copies of the picture, 1: facing 213; see also 2:125, 153. I am indebted to Mr. John Allen, clerk to the Worshipful Company of Cutlers, for my reproduction of the original picture and for information about the modern company.

18. GL, Ms. 12,079/1, ff. 10, 27v-75 (records of the Worshipful Company of Armourers).

19. PRO, E.179/145/218, mm. 8-9, /145/252, m.35, and /251/16, m. 89 (tax rolls for 1564, 1577, 1582); J. L. Chester, Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of London, 1520-1610 (London, 1887), 40.

20. PRO, C.2/Eliz./R.7/25, the bill (a lawsuit in which Ricardes' youngest children, John and Caesar, accused Alice Ricardes of subleasing much of the Katherine Wheel to one of her godsons, Peter Johnson), PROB.11/68, ff. 48-49v (Ricardes' will), and C.66/1183, m. 20 (twenty-year leases in Kentish Town, beginning on Lady Day 1579).

21. PRO, E. 179/251/16, m. 30 (tax roll for 1582), PROB.11/49, ff. 124v-25 (Kirke's will), /74, ff. 239v-40v (Alice Ricardes's will); Chester, Allegations, 40; GL, Ms. 10,231 (parish register of St. Gregory's). In their lawsuit, the Ricardes's youngest children said that Alice was their stepmother, in his will Ricardes said that Beatrice had married Richard Vernon, and in her will Alice Ricardes confirmed both statements.

22. PRO, E.179/145/252, m. 35 (1577), and /251/16, m. 89 (1582), and PROB.11/61, f. 8 (Anthony's will, where he specifically describes only Jeffrey as his brother); GL, Ms 6914/1 (parish register of St. Giles).

23. PRO, PROB.6/4/January 1586, f. 2; PROB.11/78, f. 41. In 1622 Wiliam Gwalter, citizen and innholder of London, acquired two shares in the second Fortune playhouse, which was to be built on the site of the first: Wickham, Ingram, and Berry, English Professional Theatre, 1530-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), no. 497.

24. Anne Lancashire, "Players for the Cutlers' Company," REED Newsletter, 1981-82, 10-11; and London Civic Theatre (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 87-88.

25. The earliest allusion to plays at the Bell has recently been found in a deposition of 27 May 1576 (Salkeld, 242).

26. GL, Ms. 7147/1, pp. 108-494 (see the accounts of the renter wardens). An incomplete account for 1621-22, which does not mention the Bell Savage, follows and then a gap until 1749. Walter, who wrote his will on 15 February 1611 while he was, he said, in good health, provided in it that his son, Anthony, receive [pounds sterling]10 a year from the lease while it still ran--which, presumably, Amery was to pay out of his rent due to Walter: PRO, PROB.11/119, ff. 53v-54.

27. None of his contemporaries who mentioned Bankes seemed to know his Christian name. The horse, evidently famous in 1595, became more famous in 1600 when, it is said, Bankes got him to climb to the top of St. Paul's.

28. Tarltons Jests (London, 1613), sig. C2. Tarlton died in 1588.

29. In Latin, "Dando" is a gerund that means giving or causing, but it is also an English surname. "Ruunt" in Latin means they rush, fall, or are ruined. John Taylor, the Water Poet, mentioned the inn and Hadleigh in Suffolk in The Carriers Cosmographie (London, 1637), sigs. Bv, C. Other Hadley-Hadleighs were in Middlesex (the place is now in Hertfordshire), Essex, Worcestershire, and Shropshire. John Stow described the inn as "one large Inne, for receipt of Trauellers, called Blossomes Inne, but corruptly Bosomes Inne, and hath to signe S. Lawrence the Deacon, in a Border of blossomes or flowers": A Survay of London (London, 1598), 215. In his edition of Maroccus Extaticus (London, 1843), Edward Rimbault avoided indelicacy by writing "Besomes" for "Bosomes."

30. In the 1630s, at least, the Bell Savage was the London terminus of carriers who went weekly to York and Doncaster, to Chester and Denbigh, and perhaps to the Isle of Wight: Taylor, Carriers Cosmographie, sigs. Bv, B2, C3, and The Brief Director (London, n.d.), sigs. A2, A4.

31. R. S. Luborsky and E. M. Ingram, A Guide to English Illustrated Books, 1536-1603 (Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona State University Press, 1998) 1:313, and 2:168.

32. GL, Ms. 34037/2, and Charles Clode, Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors (London, 1875), 595.

33. City of Westminster Archives Centre, parish register of St. Clement Danes, I. St. Clement Danes is just west of St. Dunstan in the West.

34. PRO, PROB.11/113, f. 369.

35. GL, Ms. 6419/2 (parish register of St. Giles Cripplegate).

36. PRO, E.179/145/252 (1577); /251/16, m. 89 (1582); /146/369, m. 23 (1598); /146/394, m. 8 (1599); and /145/260, m. 3 (1600). I am indebted to Prof. Alan Nelson for generously giving me a copy of his list of the documents of the lay subsidies in and around London from 1589 to 1621.

37. PRO, E.179/146/271, 277, 299, 324, 303, 326, 461, 467, and 471. Nor does a Lawrence Houlden appear in other jurisdictions in Prof. Nelson's list of taxpayers in the lay subsidy documents for London and suburbs from 1589 to 1621.

38. See Wickham, Ingram, and Berry, nos. 219, 220, 352, 353.

39. Schoole of Abuse, sig. C6v.

40. Edward Arber, Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London (London, 1875), 2:526; Noble Science, 7-8.

41. Histrio-Mastix, f. 556. Several versions of this "curious mythos" exist dated from 1604 onward, but only in Prynne's does the play take place at the Bell Savage (Chambers, 3:423-24).

42. Nobody of the name had formally to do with the Cordwainers' Company, 1602-4 (GL, Ms. 7351/1), but people did not have to appear in the documents of the company in order to be called cordwainers.

43. London Metropolitan Archives, MJ/SR 415/5-8 (the three recognizances and Grange's memorandum explaining the case); and J. C. Jeaffreson, Middlesex County Records (London, 1887), 2:xlii, 2-3, who read "Houlde" for "Houlden" in the first recognizance and for "Houlden" in the third. See also Students Admitted to the Inner Temple, ed. W. H. Cooke (London, 1878), 123; and Register of Admissions to the ... Middle Temple, compiled by H. A. C. Sturgess (London, 1949): people named Thomas Palmer were admitted in October 1568, November 1585, and April 1592.

44. Stow, 374-77.

45. David Garnett, Pocahontas or the Nonparell of Virginia (London: Chatto and Windus, 1933), chapters 27-28. Garnett's inventions appear as fact in Anthony Parr's edition of Ben Jonson, The Staple of News (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), 146; The London Encyclopaedia, ed. Ben Weinreb (London: Macmillan, 1983) and Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert (London: Macmillan, 1995); and especially Grace Steele Woodward, Pocahontas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969), 174-75, 178-79. Contemporaries who wrote of Pocahontas's visit to London--John Chamberlain, Samuel Purchas, Captain John Smith, and others--did not mention the Bell Savage. See also Bradford Smith, Captain John Smith his Life and Legend (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1953), 223, 225, 227; and P. L. Barbour, The Three Worlds of Captain John Smith (London: Macmillan, 1964), 331, and his review of Woodward's book in William and Mary Quarterly (January 1970): 176-77.

46. The actor died in 1612, the cutler in 1617: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Welch, 1:220-21; PRO, PROB. 11/130, ff. 227-28v (the cutler's will).

47. In 1577 James Burbage and John Brayne, the builders of the Theatre in Shoreditch, had to do with a production at the Bell involving music (for Crutwell?).

48. In statements of 5 and 11 February 1579, Gibbes and others alluded to playing at the Cross Keys when describing apparently recent events: GL, microfilm 33,110, ff. 365-v, 367 (Bridewell Hospital Court Minutes); see Bernard Capp, "Playgoers, Players and Cross-Dressing in Early Modern London," Seventeenth Century 18 (2003): 163-64.

49. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers: A Miscellany of its History (London: Worshipful Company of Cutlers, 1999), 53; London Encyclopaedia (1995), "Holborn Viaduct Station"; Welch, 2:154.
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Title Annotation:Renaissance theaters
Author:Berry, Herbert
Publication:Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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