Category:Christopher Beeston

Christopher Beeston (also "Hutchinson") belonged to a multi-generational family of players (including his son William). Christopher, who began his career as apprentice to Augustine Phillips, may be found with the Chamberlain's players in the mid-1590s. Sometime before 1602 he moved to Worcester's players (as did John Duke and William Kempe). His emergence as a leader in the company may be tracked through the records in Philip Henslowe's Diary for 1602-3, when Worcester's played at the Rose. When Worcester's acquired the patronage of Queen Anne (Anna), Beeston continued as a company leader, succeeding Thomas Greene in 1612. As the commercial environment for companies shifted through the Jacobean period, Beeston handled business for Prince Charles'scompany (1619-22), Lady Elizabeth's men (1622-25), Queen Henrietta's men (1625-37), and the King and Queen's Young Company (also called Beeston's Boys, 1637-9). Beeston's business activities concerning the Red Bull and Phoenix/Cockpit playhouses may be tracked through various sets of law suits.

Beeston was born c. 1580. He married Jane Sands on 10 September 1602 (he was at the time living in St. Botolph Bishopsgate; Jane was of St. Leonard Shoreditch; the marriage took place in St. Mildred Poultry). Some time after Jane's death in 1607, there was a second marriage, to a woman named Elizabeth, who survived him. Beeston's children were born in St. Leonard Shoreditch, beginning with Augustine on 16 November 1604 (d. 17 November 1604). Beeston died in 1638. His will, in the name of Christopher Hutchinson and dated 4 October 1638, survives. He asks that his body be buried in St. Giles in the Fields in Middlesex. He leaves significant London property and/or money to his son William, his daughter Anne (Bird; wife of Theophilis Bird), and her son Christopher. He makes his wife, Elizabeth, executrix of his estate, asking her to address his debts. He gives gold rings to two friends, Lewis Kirk and Thomas Shepheard. He divides his four shares in the King and Queen's company between his wife and the company members, asking specifically that his wife see that the company receives "a sufficyent and good stock of apparell fitting for theire vse" (Honigmann and Brock, p. 193). He adds in a memorandum that his wife also should pay an annual sum of £20 to his son William for use in theatrical matters.


Attendant, Soldier ("Envy"); Captain ("Sloth"), "The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins"
Actor list, Every Man in his Humour

Works Cited

Eccles, Mark. "Elizabethan Actors I: A-D," Notes and Queries 236.1 (1991): 38-48.
Honigmann, E. A. J. and Susan Brock. Playhouse Wills 1558-1642. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.
Kathman, David. "Reconsidering The Seven Deadly Sins, Early Theatre 7.1 (2004). 13-44.
Nungezer, Edwin. A Dictionary of Actors. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (orig. Yale University Press, 1929).


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Pages in category "Christopher Beeston"

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