City, The

Anon. (1619)

Historical Records

Cotton MS. Tiberius E. X.

Marcham p14 City.jpeg
Excerpt from p14 of Marcham (out of copyright)

In 1925 Frank Marcham transcribed and published the contents of the manuscript named above. It contains the History of Richard III by the Master of the Revels, Sir George Buck, written on what appears to be “Revels Office waste,” sometime after 1617 (Chambers, RES 479). Amongst the papers are “four lists of plays, bare lists without any indication of their objects,” which may or may not be all in Buck’s hand (Chambers, RES 479). Chambers believes it “most likely that the lists represent plays which the Revels Office had at some time or times under consideration for performance at court” (RES 484).

The list designated ‘D’ by Chambers (f.247) contains “the Cittye: . . . ”.

Theatrical Provenance

Unknown Co. at Ct. (Harbage); possibly King’s (Bentley V.1309).

Probable Genre(s)

Unknown (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues


References to the Play

Only the Revels Office list (see ‘Historical Records’ above).

Critical Commentary

Analysing the Revels Office list, Chambers declares that this play is “Not otherwise known” (RES 482).

Bentley speculates further about the title as it appears in the Revels list (“the Cittye: . . .”) but doesn’t draw any strong conclusions: “The fact that it is followed by a colon might suggest an abbreviated title, but two other apparently complete titles on the page are also followed by colons” (V.1308). He notes that none of the known plays with “City” in their title seem likely candidates (The City Gallant / Greene’s Tu Quoque; Massinger’s The City Madam; Jasper Mayne’s The City Match; Robert Davenport’s The City Nightcap; Anon., The City Shuffler; Brome’s The City Wit, or the Woman Wears the Breeches). He also notes that “[t]he part of the list in which this title occurs is in the hand of the book-keeper of the King’s company … and this fact seems to suggest that it was the property of that troupe, but at least two other titles in this hand, A Fair Quarrel and All’s Lost by Lust, belonged to other companies (V.1309).

For What It's Worth

(information needed)

Works Cited

Chambers, E. K. (review author), “The King’s Office of the Revels, 1610-1622. Fragments of Documents in the Department of Manuscripts, British Museum, transcribed by FRANK MARCHAM, with a Preface by J. P. GILSON. London: Frank Marcham, 53, Chalk Farm Road, N.W.1. Pp. 50, including 19 Collotype Plates. £2. 2s. 1925.” The Review of English Studies, 1.4 (1925): 479-84. Print.
Marcham, Frank. The King's Office of the Revels 1610-1622: Fragments of Documents in the Department of Manuscripts, British Museum. London: F. Marcham, 1925. Print.

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