Netherlands, The Play of the

Anon. (before 1656) (ghost play?)

Historical Records

"An exact and perfect Catologue of all Playes that are Printed".

This catalogue is appended to Thomas Goffe, The Careles Shepherdess (London: Richard Rogers and William Ley, 1656). Under "P" it lists plays including:

Picture, Messinger.
Perkin warbek.
Play of the Netherlands.
Pitty shee's a whore.

For a full transcription of the list see Rogers and Ley's List (1656).

Theatrical Provenance


Probable Genre(s)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues


References to the Play

None known

Critical Commentary

The list gives no clue to date, authorship, or genre of The Play of the Netherlands. Greg suggested it might be identifiable with the lost Sir Martin Skink, but Bentley observes, "the titles do not seem very similar to me" (5.1382), and, in addition, there is no record that Sir Martin Skink was ever actually printed. Leavis (148) further notes that "The inaccuracy of Rogers and Ley's playlist is notorious", and offers the suggestion that the play in question might be John Heywood's The Play of the Weather, printed in 1573 and otherwise unaccounted for in Rogers and Ley's list. "Obviously", argues Leavis, "someone misread wether as nether, and then made the natural expansion".

For What It's Worth

Works Cited

Leavis, Ralph. "Two ghost plays", Notes and Queries 29 (1982): 148.

Site created and maintained by Matthew Steggle, 9 December 2009.