From a list of plays entered into the Stationers' Register by Humphrey Moseley on 29 June, 1660:
- "The None such. a Comedy. }
- The booke of ye 4. Honoble. Loves. a Comedy. } by Willm Rowley.
- The Parliament of Love. }"
(S. R. II, 2:271; Greg, BEPD, 1:69; Bentley, 5:1022).
Folio 1 of British Museum MS Lansdowne 807 is a list by John Warburton (1682-1759) of dramatic manuscripts that had been in his possession until inadvertently burned or used as pie-trays by his cook. Its veracity is debated; Greg claims that it is merely a "wish list" derived from the Stationers' Register ("Bakings", 258-9), but Freehafer is more prepared to accept its veracity, arguing that it is independent of the Register (164). The list includes:
- "The None Such A C. Wm. Rowley".
- (British Library, Lansdowne MS 807, fo.1r. Reproduced by permission of the British Library. Click image to view full page; click here for more information on Warburton's list)
Note that "The Parliament of Love" and "The Honr Loves" also appear in the list, but the three plays are not grouped together.
William Oldys (1696-1761) annotated Rowley's entry in Gerard Langbaine's An Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) thus:
- "He writ The Hond Loves -- The Parliament of Love and Nonsuch, a comedy, but I know not if they were ever printed and the MSS are destroyd." (British Museum, C. 28. g. 1, p. 428, qtd. in Lancashire, note 35)
Lancashire notes that Oldys was aware of Warburton's list, but may not have seen it.
In his "Attempt to Ascertain the Order in which the Plays attributed to Shakspeare were Written" (1778), Edmund Malone listed 34 plays not known to have been printed. He included:
- The honoured Loves -- The Parliament of Love -- and Nonsuch, a comedy; all by William Rowley
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
References to the Play
For What It's Worth
A "nonsuch" is "an unparalleled person or thing" (OED, nonsuch, A.I.); this offers the only clue as to the play's subject matter.
- Freehafer, John D., "John Warburton's Lost Plays", in Studies in Bibliography 23 (1970): 155-65.
- Greg, W.W., "The Bakings of Betsy", in The Library 3rd series, 2 (1911): 225-259.
- Lancashire, Anne, "Warburton's List and Edmund Malone: A Non-Existent Relationship", in Studies in Bibliography 27 (1974): 240-8.
- Malone, Edmond, "An Attempt to Ascertain the Order in which the Plays attributed to Shakspeare were Written", in The Plays of William Shakspeare, ed. Samuel Johnson and George Steevens, 2nd. ed., 10 vols. (1778), vol 1, 269-346.
Site created and maintained by David Nicol, Dalhousie University; updated 23 July 2010.