World, The

Anon. (1639)

Historical Records

Edict issued by the Lord Chamberlain, 10 August 1639:

Wheras William Bieston Gent’ Gouuernor &c’ of the kinges and Queenes young Company of Players at the Cockpitt in Drury Lane hath represented vnto his Matye that ye seuerall Playes hereafter mentioned (vizt) Witt without money: The Night Walkers: The Night of the burning pestill: Fathers owne sonne Cupids Reuenge: The Bondman: The Renegado: A new way to pay debts: The great Duke of Florence: The maid of honor: The Traytor: The Example: The young Admirall: The opportunity: A witty fayre one: Loues cruelty The wedding: the Maids reuenge: The Lady of pleasure The schoole of complement: The gratefull seruant: The Coronation: Hide parke: Philip Chabot Admirall of France: A mad couple well mett: Alls Lost by Lust: The Changeling: A fayre quarrel: The Spanish gipsie: The World: The Sunnes Darling: Loues Sacrifice: Tis pitty shee’s a Whore: George a greene: Loues Mrs: The Cunning Louers: The rape of Lucrece: A trick to cheat the Diuell: A foole & her maidenhead soon parted King Iohn & Matilda. A Citty night cap: The bloody banquett: Cupids Vagaries: The conceited Duke & Appius & Virginia doe all & euery of them properly & of right belong to the sayd House, and consequently that they are all in his propriety: And to the end that any other Companies of Actors in or about London shall not prsume to act any of them to ye preiudice of him the said William Bieston and his Company: his Maty hath signified his royall pleasure vnto me: therby requiring mee to declare soe much to all other Companyes of Actors heerby concernable: that they are not any wayes to intermeddle wth of Act any of th’aboue mentioned Playes: Whereof I require all Masters & Gouuernors of Playhouses & all others whome it may concerne to take notice & to forbeare to impeach the sayd Wm Bieston in ye Premisses as they tender his Mates displeasure and will answere the Contempt. Giuen &c’ Aug 10. 1639.

(Cited in Bentley I.330-31; emphasis added).

Theatrical Provenance

Purportedly played by Beeston’s Boys at The Cockpit.

Probable Genre(s)

Unknown (Harbage); Masque (if the equation with The World Tost at Tennis is accepted).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues


References to the Play

Only the Lord Chamberlain’s edict (see ‘ Historical Records’ above).

Critical Commentary

W. J. Lawrence (337) equate The World with Middleton and Rowley’s A Courtly Masque: The Deuice Called, The World tost at Tennis (printed 1620), just as Fleay (2.397) had earlier indexed The World under The World tost at Tennis. The World follows three other plays written by Middleton and Rowley in the Lord Chamberlain’s list, hence this equation is likely (see also Bentley V.1447).

For What It's Worth

(information needed)

Works Cited

Fleay, F. G. A Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama, 1559-1642. 2 vols. NY: Burt Franklin, 1891. Print. Internet Archive
Lawrence, W. J. Pre-Restoration Stage Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1927. Print.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated, 25 October 2009.