Category:Richard Burbage

Revision as of 15:55, 6 April 2022 by Rlknutson (talk | contribs)

Richard Burbage, son of James Burbage and younger brother of Cuthbert Burbage, was the leading player of the Chamberlain's men as constituted in 1594; at his father's death (February 1597), Richard became a leading businessman with the company as well, having the Globe playhouse and later also Blackfriars Playhouse under his and his brother Cuthbert's control.


Richard Burbage first appears in theatrical records not as a player but as a brawler. The records are depositions by John Alleyn (brother of Edward Alleyn) in a 1589-90 lawsuit filed in the Court of Chancery concerning business at the Shoreditch playhouse, the Theater. Alleyn said that Burbage hurled abuse at two complainants in the suit (Margaret Brayne, Robert Myles) and threatened them with a broomstick. Theater historians have deduced from this testimony that Richard was "probably playing with the Admiral's men" at the time (Nungezer, p. 68). Burbage does not appear in theatrical records again until 1594, when he is named in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber for March 1594 along with William Kempe and William Shakespeare as payees of £20 for performances at court by the Lord Chamberlain's men on the previous holidays of St. Stephen's Day and Holy Innocents (26, 27 December 1594). In the absence of evidence for 1591 to mid-1594, theater historians have found it appealing to consider him with the earl of Pembroke's men (1592-3) in large part because that company had versions of several plays in which William Shakespeare had a hand including The First Part of the Contention betwixt the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster and The True Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York, and the Death of Good King Henry VI.

anecdote about playing Richard III (John Manningham)
June 1594-98
Christmas, 1598-Sept 1619

other: character with Kempe in 2 Return from Parnasus; appears as self in Induction to The Malcontent 1604 (with Condell and Lowin; 1618, pageant celebrating the announcement of Prince Henry as Prince of Wales


Berry,"The Theatre," pp. 320-387; "The Curtain," pp. 404-18; "The first Globe," pp. 493-500; "The second Blackfriars," pp. 501-30.
Pembroke's men??
2nd Blackfriars

St. Leonard's Shoreditch

Julia (?Juliet), christened 2 January 1603; buried 12 September 1608
Frances, christened 16 September 1604; buried 16 September 1604
Anne, christened 8 August 1607
Richard, buried 16 August 1607
Winifred, christened 10 October 1613; buried 16 October 1616
Julia, christened 27 December 1614; buried 15 August 1615
William, christened 6 November 1616
Sara, christened 5 August 1619; buried 29 April 1625
Richard (himself) buried 16 March 1619

Numerous elegies and elegiac references followed Richard Burbage's death for years afterwards; the most succinct: "Exit Burbage" (Nungezer, p. 73)
Closeness with brother Cuthbert: bought houses together in 1608, also 1617 (Eccles, 43)

Presumably, Burbage was the lead adult male player in the Chamberlain's men after its formation by June 1594 as well as in the King's men; a list of those roles being lengthy, the focus here is on his roles in lost plays.

?Urganda ?King Egereon, ?Eschines, "The Dead Man's Fortune" (Guesses: Greg, "Urganda," pp. 102-3, note to ll. 34-6; McMillin, King Egereon, p. 239; Bradley, Eschines, p. 97).
King Gorboduc ("Envy"), Tereus ("Lechery"), "The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins"

Works Cited

Berry, Herbert. "Aspects of the Design and Use of the First Public Playhouse." In The First Public Playhouse: The Theatre in Shoreditch 1576-1598. Ed. Herbert Berry. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1979. pp. 29-45.
———. Shakespeare's Playhouses, with illustrations by C. Walter Hodges. New York: AMS Press, 1987.
———. "Part Three: Playhouses, 1560-1660." In English Professional Theatre, 1530-1660. Ed. Glynne Wickham, Herbert Berry, and William Ingram. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. pp. 297-403.
Bradley, David. From Text to Performance in the Elizabethan Theatre. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Eccles, Mark. "Elizabethan Actors I: A-D," Notes and Queries 236.1 (1991): 38-48.
Greg, W. W. ‘’Dramatic Documents from the Elizabethan Playhouses’’. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931, rpt. 1969.
Honigmann, E. A. J. and Susan Brock. Playhouse Wills 1558-1642. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.
Kathman, David. "Reconsidering The Seven Deadly Sins," Early Theatre 7.1 (2004). 13-44.
Manley, Lawrence and Sally-Beth MacLean. Lord Strange's Men and Their Plays. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014.
McMillin, Scott. "The Plots of The Dead Man's Fortune and 2 Seven Deadly Sins: Inferences for Theatre Historians," Studies in Bibliography 26 (1973): 235-43.
Munro, Lucy. Shakespeare in the Theatre: The King's Men. The Arden Shakespeare. London: Bloomsbury, 2020.
Nungezer, Edwin. ‘’A Dictionary of Actors’’. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (orig. Yale University Press, 1929).


This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.






Pages in category "Richard Burbage"

The following 2 pages are in this category, out of 2 total.