Portio and Demorantes

Anon. (1580)

Historical Records

Revels accounts

The entries for 1579-80 include:

The history of Portio and demorantes shewen at whitehall on Candlemas daie at nighte enacted by the Lord Chamberleynes servuauntes wholly furnyshed in this offyce whereon was ymployed for scarfes garters head Attyers for women & Lynynges for hattes vj ells of Sarcenett A cytie a towne & vj payre of gloves

(Feuillerat, Revels 321, lines 13-17)

To be selected for performance, the play must also have been rehearsed in the presence of Edmund Tilney alongside nine others prior to 19 December 1579, as per Tilney's charges

for examynynge and Rehersinge of dyuers plaies and Choise makinge of x of them to be shown before her Maiestie at Christmas twelfetide Candelmas and Shrovetide and their sondry rehearsals afterwardes till to be presented before her Maiestie

(Feuillerat, Revels 326, lines 2-7)

Chamber accounts

Under "Payments for plays", the following is recorded for the Candlemas performance of 1579:

A warrant unto the Tresurer of her [Majesty's] Chamber to pay unto the Lord Chamberlnes players the somme of vjll xiijs iiijd, and more, by way of reward, iijli vis viijd, for presenting a play before her Majestie upon candlemas Day last past.

(Dasent, Acts of the Privy Council 11, 398)

Cook and Wilson record a variation of the payment to players in the Chamber accounts:

to the saide L. Chamblayne Players vpon the Councells

warr' dated at Whitehall xxiij febr' 1579 for prsentinge a
playe before her Matie vpone shrovetuesdaye at nighte
vjli xijs iiijd and for her Mate rewarde lxvjs viijd in all       xli

(Cook and Wilson 18, item 8b)

Theatrical Provenance

Performed by Sussex's men on Candlemas (02 February 1580) in the evening, at Whitehall Palace before Elizabeth I.

Probable Genre(s)

Romance (?) (Harbage); History (Revels account).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Unknown. Wiggins (680) proposes modernising "Demorantes" as "De Morantes", thereby opening up the possibility of a Spanish setting, but even this reading does not produce helpful results in an EEBO-TCP search.

References to the Play

(Information welcome)

Critical Commentary

Sibley implicitly endorses J. de Perott's conjecture that the subject matter could be Lamorat and Porcia from the 1548 French version of Amadis de Grecia (1542).

Wiggins (680) notes Sibley's endorsement but regards it as unlikely because whenever the Revels Office scribe was clearly confused about proper names, he left blanks rather than attempting to offer a solution. Wiggins points to Soldan and the Duke of — as a prime example.

For What It's Worth

(Information welcome).

Works Cited

Cook, David and F.P. Wilson, eds. "Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber, 1558-1642". Malone Society Collections 6 (Oxford, 1961).
Dasent, Acts of the Privy Council.
Feuillerat, Documents Relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth.
Sibley, G. M. The Lost Plays and Masques, 1500-1642. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1932.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 21 March 2017.