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ART. III.-Heming's Players in the reign of Henry VIII.
The intimate and deeply interesting connection that subsists between the name of Heminge and Shakespeare will, I concerve, render any record, however minute, in which that name occurs, if hitherto unpublished, acceptable to the Shakespeare Society.
It appears from Mr. Collier’s “ Memoirs of the principal actors in the plays of Shakespeare,” that nothing is, ascertained as to the parentage of John Heminge, the first editor of Shakespeare; neither is any other person of the same name yet known in connection with our early drama, unless such may be the case with the John Hemings of London, Gent, mentioned in the pedigree referred to by Mr. Collier, and who had “ of long time been servant to Queen Elizabeth." This supposition would seem to derive some degree of confirmation from a record I have discovered, in which the name of Heminge occurs at the head of a company of players half a century earlier than the editor of Shakespeare is known to have been connected with theatrical affairs, and which, if it do not actually prove that, like Burbage, Heminge was the son of an actor, renders it exceedingly probable.
From the year 1532, for about the period of a century, the archives of the municipal corporation of Bristol include notices of the visits of different companies of players to that city. These visits, with a few exceptions, took place annually, and frequently included two or three companies, nearly always described as pertaining to the nobility. Up to the date of the exception which relates to Heminge, there are only two more in which they are otherwise designated, the first in 1353, when they are styled the players that came from London; and in 1536 there is an entry of certain boys that playd in the Yeld hall.
The record relating to Heming is thus entered in the Chamberlain's accounts from the feast of Michaelmas, in the year 1543, to the same festival, in 1544:
Itm, paid the xvijth day of January to Mr. henings
players •It will be observed that the name is spelt with an n, instead of an m, but which I do not consider of the slightest consequence. It may be an additional variation of the mode of spelling it to those noticed by Mr. Collier; or, what I conceive most probable, it is the result of an oversight of the scribe in omitting the third portion of the m. Many slips of the pen occur in the accounts; a few lines after the preceding entry “Demys" is written for Denys.
WILLIAM TYSON. Bristol, 11th January, 1847.
Art. IV.-An unknown tract by Philip Stubbes, the enemy of
theatrical performances in 1583.
It was my good fortune, previous to the publication of the last volume of “The Shakespeare Society's Papers,” to discover, and send for insertion, a tract in verse by Robert Greene, the dramatist, printed in 1591, not mentioned by the Rev. Mr. Dyce in his edition of Greene's Works, nor by any
person who has written upon our early poets and poetry.
The small prose pamphlet 1 now transmit is quite as great, though I do not mean to say that it as valuable, a curiosity ; and it is by an author quite as notorious, if not as distinguished -Philip Stubbes. All the members of the Shakespeare Society must be aware that he was one of the early puritanical opponents of theatrical performances, having published his
Anatomy of Abuses,” in which he made a furious and immeasured attack upon them and many other popular amusements, in 1583. Anything, therefore, illustrating his character and history will, I imagine, come peculiarly within the objects of an association formed for the purpose of throwing light upon our ancient drama, its friends and foes, and upon any matter connected with them.
Until of late years, little has been known of Stubbes but that he was the writer of “ The Anatomy of Abuses;" and some persons have therefore wondered in what way he deserved the character, given of him by Gabriel Harvey in 1593, of being “one of the common pamphleters of London,” coupling him with Armin, the actor, and Deloney, the ballad-writer. Here, however, we have Stubbes appearing to the world in that capacity: his “ Anatomy of Abuses” was a volume; but the tract, a faithful transcript of which is herewith 'sent, is merely a pamphlet, and a very small one, consisting of no more than four or five leaves in large type, and published to take advantage of temporary excitement.
It relates to the treason of Dr. William Parry in attempting the life of Queen Elizabeth in 1585-6, (the very year when Shakespeare is supposed to have come to London) and we may come to the conclusion that it was penned at the instance of some persons in authority, who furnished the writer with a copy of the letter of the Cardinal de Como, in order that the most authentic air might be given to his production on the occasion. Philip Stubbes was perhaps employed in consequence of his popularity as a writer, and of his known and undisguised enmity to popery. This enmity is pretty evident where he declares that “all papists are traitors in their hearts,” and argues that it is therefore lawful at once to put them to death.
I shall now merely add the tract, with a facsimile of the title-page, presuming that all are acquainted with the facts connected with Parry's case : those who wish to refresh their memories regarding the more minute particulars may find them in “ Camden's Annals,” under the year 1586.
JAMES PURCELL REARDON.
19th January, 1847.
PS. Since the above was written, singularly enough, another extraordinarily rare tract by Stubbes has fallen in my way, which has more pretensions than what follows, as there are two poems of considerable length included in it. Ritson seems to have had some knowledge of it, but he could never have seen it, as he altogether mistakes the nature of its contents. I shall reserve it for the next volume of “ The Shakespeare Society's Papers.”
son, of Doctor Parrie,
AND HIS COMPLICES, A
gainst the Queenes moste
With a Letter sent from the Pope
to the same effect.
Imprinted at London for Henry Car, and are to be
of the Blazing Starre.
THE TREASON OF
The state and condition of these our daies (Christian Reader) is moste to be lamented, or rather to be bewailed with bitter teares. Wherin are found such hollow harted, not Christians but, Tartarians and moste cruel vipers, whose properties as they are to thirst after blood, so they leaue no way vnattempted, no pollicy vnassaied, nor any exploit vnatchiued to bring their bloodthirsty purposes about. The experiment wherof, although many times heartofore to our great greef we