Category:Robert Lee

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Robert Lee (also "Leigh") appears in theatrical records in the plot of "Dead Man's Fortune." Due to the absence of a date for that plot (1590-92?), theater historians do not know what sort of marker that document is for Lee's career, but other records show it to have been quite long, lasting into 1622 at least. The biographical evidence of Lee is scattered. Eccles calculates his birth date as 1569, based on Lee's dating himself as 54 in 1623 (p. 296). He has been identified as the man who signed a bond with John Alleyn and Thomas Goodale in 1593 and who sold a play called "The Miller" to the Admiral's men in 1598 (Nungezer, p. 235). He may have belonged to Worcester's men in the late 1590s, based on his membership in Queen Anne's men, post-1603, along with players who had belonged most recently to Worcester's men. By 1617 he had joined the Queen's Revels company, known as the Players of the Revels at the Red Bull after 1619 (Nungezer, p. 236).

Parish records show that Lee lived for some time in St. Bodolph Aldgate (1595+) and St. James Clerkenwell (c. 1609-19). The registers record the following family details (including his 1608 residence in Houndsditch):

Constance Balderstone, marriage, 8 February 1595/6
Rachel, christening, 21 November 1596
Robert, christening, 22 October 1598
Mary, burial, 3 April 1608


Lee's will, dated 30 January 1629, survives. It specifies that he lived in the parish of St. James Clerkenwell; he leaves a modest sum of 40s. to the poor of the parish and assigns sums to his sister, cousins, adopted daughter, and a friend (who was in fact a fellow player in Queen Anne's men); the remainder he leaves to his wife (Honigmann and Brock, pp. 162-64)

Works Cited

Eccles, Mark."Elizabethan Actors III: K-R." Notes and Queries, 237 (1992): 293-303).
Honigmann, E. A. J. and Susan Brock. Playhouse Wills 1558-1642. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993.
Nungezer, Edwin. ‘’A Dictionary of Actors’’. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (orig. Yale University Press, 1929).



Subcategories

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