Predor and Lucia

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Historical Records

Performance Records

Entries from the Revels Accounts for 1573-4 include the following (Feuillerat,Revels p. 193):

                                                   {  Predor : & Lucia. played by Therle of Leices-           }
                                                                                        {  ters servauntes vpon Saint stevens daye at nighte }
                                                                                       {   at whitehall aforesaide/                                                        }
                                                      Alkmeon, playde by the Children of Powles on         }     vj. all fytted and ffur-
                                                      {  Saint Iohns daye at nighte there/                                      }    nyshed with the store
                                                      Mamillia. playde by therle of Leicesteres ser-           }     of thoffice and with the
                                                      {  uauntes on Innosentes daye at nighte there/             }    woorkmanshipp and
                           Playes showen                  Truth, ffaythfullnesse, & Mercye, playde by             }    provisions herein
                           at whytehall                     {  the Children of westminster for Elderton vpon           }    expressed as followeth
                           videlicit                  {  New yeares daye at nighte there/                                      }    hereafter orderly.
                                                      Herpetulus the blew knighte & perobia playde by  }     ffirst the wages and
                                                      {  my Lorde klintons servantes the third of Ianuary        }     then the Emptions
                                                      {  being the sunday after Newyeares daye there/           }     with the other charges
                                                      Quintus ffablus playd by the Children of wyndsor    }     incident
                                                      {  ffor Mr ffarrant on Twelfe daye at nighte lykewise       }    
                                                      {  at whitehall.                                                                                     }


For properties

Regarding production expenses and props, Revels accounts list payments for holly, ivy, and artificial fish to the "Propertymaker" John Carrow:
Iohn Caro for mony to him due for sundry percells
Holly & Ivye for the play predor . . . . . iiijs||||
ffyshes Cownterfete for the same viz. whiting, playce, Mackerell, &c. iiijs
(Feuillerat, Revels, p. 203)

To actors

The Acts of the Privy Council, under the subheading At Westminster, the viiith of Januarie, 1573, list a payment of £13.6.8d (fee) and £6.13.4d (reward) to Leicester’s Men for their court performances of Predor and Lucia and Mamillia:

A warrant to the Thresourer of the Chamber to pay to therle of Leicester’s players, for two severall plaies before the Queen’s Majestie, xiijli vjs viijd ; and by way of reward for their charges, &c., vjli xiijs iiijd. (Dasent 8:177)

Payments of the Treasurer and Chamber in the Declared Accounts of the Audit Office list for the years 1573–4:

To Therle of Leicestres players vpon the Councelles warr[ant] dated at westm[inster] ixo Ianuar[ij] 1573 for presenting of two seu[er]all playes before her highnes in xp̄emas [i.e. Christmas] Hollidayes last past xiijli vjs viijd and by waye of speciall rewarde for theyre chardges cun[n]yng and skill shewed therein vjli xiijs iiijd in all . . . . . . . xxli (Cook 7; cf. Wallace 215)

Theatrical Provenance

Performed by Leicester’s Men on St Stephen’s Day, Saturday, 26 December 1573, before Queen Elizabeth I at Whitehall Palace.

Probable Genre(s)

Classical; Romance? (Harbage, McMillin, Ono, Wells); Saints’ Legend (Ellison)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Ellison is of the opinion that Predor and Lucia may have possessed an hagiographic angle:

“The Lucia of 1573 is another secularized saints’ legend, as was the Lady Barbara of the year before. Lucia was a martyr of the primitive church in Syracuse, who perished during the persecutions of the Christians by Diocletian. Her story was frequently presented by the religious drama of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. She rejected the pagan suitor that had been chosen for her, was denounced as a Christian, condemned to pass a certain time as a public prostitute, and then be put to death. She escaped a part, at least, of this punishment by dying in prison.” (82)

Hazlitt notes that “Predor” in Predor and Lucia’s title may have been mistranscribed, thus obscuring clues to the play’s possible narrative:

"Predor [?Fedoro] and Lucia :"
“Predor and Lucia played by Therle of Leicesters servauntes upon Saint Stevens daye at nighte at Whitehall.”—Revels’ Accounts, 1573. Predor is probably wrong. In the Seven Deadly Sins, one of the characters is Prelior. (184)

References to the Play

Information welcome.

Critical Commentary

Feuillerat, Revels:: "In the MS. the name Predor is followed by a colon; but as it was difficult to decide what was the value given to this sign of abbreviation, I have thought it best to let the sign stand. Perhaps the scribe meant « Predorus»" (p. 457).

Wiggins, Catalogue (#547) inferred from the use of fish as properties that "at least some of the action probably takes place near the sea."

For What It's Worth

Works Cited

Cook, David, and F. P. Wilson, ed. "Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber, 1558–1642." In Collections Volume VI. Oxford: Malone Society, 1962 (for 1961). v–xxv, 1–175.
Dasent, J. R., et al., eds. Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series: 1542-1631. 46 vols. London: HMSO, 1890-1964.
Ellison, Lee Monroe. The Early Romantic Drama at the English Court. University of Chicago, 1917.
Wallace, Charles William. The Evolution of the English Drama up to Shakespeare. G. Reimer, 1912.

Site created and maintained by Andreas P. Bassett, University of Washington; 22 November 2020; Updated by Roslyn L. Knutson in January 2023.