Black Wedding, The

Anon. (1653)

Historical Records

Marriott's List (1653)

In late 1653, the printer Richard Marriott entered a group of twenty-one plays on the Stationers' Register. Among the titles is:

The Blacke Wedding.

Theatrical Provenance


Probable Genre(s)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

See "For what it's worth".

References to the Play

None known.

Critical Commentary

"The only evidence for the existence of a play of this name is Marriott's entry in the Stationers' Register" (Bentley, 5.1294).

For What It's Worth

For discussion of Marriott's list as a whole, follow this link: Marriott's List (1653).

The phrase "black wedding" does not (at the time of writing) appear in EEBO-TCP. It would seem to suggest disaster follows the wedding, in which case the play would have been a tragedy, and its title would be synonymous with that of The Fatal Marriage, an anonymous tragedy probably from the 1620s. Of course, The Fatal Marriage, which has survived in manuscript, has no necessary or even probable relationship to the lost The Black Wedding, but it might be one point of comparison.

La boda negra - "the black wedding" - is the title of a Spanish cancion recorded in New Mexico, dealing with a bereaved lover who digs up his beloved and commits necrophilia with her. (See Loeffler et al., 94). According to the writer and musician Yale Strom, "Shvartse khasene" - black wedding - is also a name used for a Jewish custom recorded in Poland, in which a wedding between two orphans is conducted in a graveyard in the hope of ending an outbreak of plague. Both of these would make eminently plausible plays, but I have been able to trace neither of them back to early modern England, and the existence of two alternative interpretations of the phrase weakens the case for either of them necessarily lying behind the lost The Black Wedding.

Works Cited

The Fatal Marriage, ed. Andrew Duxfield. Website consulted 1 Feb 2010.
Loeffler, Jack, Katherine Loeffler, Enrique R. Lamadrid, La música de los viejitos (New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1999).
Strom, Yale. Yale Strom, Klezmer Artist, website consulted 1 Feb 2010.

Site created and maintained by Matthew Steggle, Sheffield Hallam University; updated 1 February 2010.