Category:Nicholas Tooley

The only surviving document about Nicholas Tooley that conveys his "voice" is his will, which is dated 3 June 1623. It does not mention a wife or children. It does mention his theatrical family: the Cuthbert Burbages, the Richard Burbages, the Henry Condells, and other players (Richard Robinson, Joseph Taylor, John Underwood, William Ecclestone). Another notable feature of the will is its pattern of generosity. Tooley names the Cobb family (widow and sons) whose minor debts he forgives; in a more expansive passage, he sets up a kind of trust fund of £80 for "the perpetuall releife of the poore" of St. Leonard Shoreditch so that "on euerie Sunday after morninge prayer for euer there may out of the encrease ... be distributed amongst the poorer sort of people of the same parrishe Thirtie and Two penny Wheaten loaves for their releife" (Honigmann and Brock, p. 126). And, if St. Leonard's somehow squanders this legacy, Tooley asks that the gift be transferred to St. Giles without Cripplegate. The will also provides an alias for Tooley, "Wilkinson."

Other than his belonging to the company that played The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins, Tooley is associated with the Chamberlain's/King's most specifically from 1605 forward. Munro specifies several of his parts in the King's men's repertory (pp. 57, 196-7).


Lady ("Envy"), Pompeia ("Sloth") in The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins
Ananias in The Alchemist
Forobosco and a madman in The Duchess of Malfi

Works Cited

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.
Munro, Lucy. Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King's Men. The Arden Shakespeare. Bloomsbury: London, 2020.
Nungezer, Edwin. A Dictionary of Actors. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (orig. Yale University Press, 1929).



This category has only the following subcategory.


Pages in category "Nicholas Tooley"

This category contains only the following page.