Edward Alleyn, brother of John Alleyn (player), was a Londoner born (1 September 1566). He joined Worcester's men in 1583 but moved to the Admiral's men, c. 1587, where he is thought to have been the first player cast in the role of Tamburlaine in Marlowe's then-new play. In 1593, he was touring with Strange's men, but he kept his identification as the servant of the Lord Admiral. In 1592 he married Joan Woodward, step-daughter of Philip Henslowe, and thereby confirmed a business relationship with Henslowe that extended beyond the commerce at the Rose and Fortune playhouses into political appointments including Master of the Royal Game of Bears, Bulls, and Mastiff Dogs (1604). Alleyn retired from playing, c. 1597, but returned in 1600 to play again selected lead roles for the Admiral's men at the opening of their new playhouse in Middlesex (the Fortune). After his wife (Joan) died on 28 June 1623, Alleyn married Constance Donne, daughter of John Donne, Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral. Throughout his successful commercial life, Alleyn acquired a substantial fortune, and he endowed the College of God's Gift at Dulwich, where his surviving papers were eventually preserved, including the document popularly known as Henslowe's Diary. Alleyn died on 25 November 1625; he was buried in Christ's Chapel at Dulwich College. Alleyn's life is very fully documented. For more details, see appropriate items listed below in Works Cited.
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