Freeman's Honour, The

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Smith, William(?) (1602)

Historical Records

Langbaine, Account of the Dramatic Poets

William SMITH.

An Author that lived in the Reign of King James the First, who publish'd a Play, call'd
Hector of Germany, or The Palsgrave Prime Elector; an Honourable History, publickly acted at the Red-bull, and at the Curtain, by a Company of Young Men of this City; printed 4o. Lond. 1615. and dedicated to the Right Worshipful Sir John Swinnerton, Lord Mayor of London, in the Year 1611. This Play is not divided into Acts: I am not certain where this Story is to be found; tho' possibly Albertus Argentinensis, or Henry Monk of Rebdorf, may make some Mention of this Palatin.

Our Author writ another Play, called The Freeman's Honour, to dignify the Worthy Company of Taylors; but whether ever it was printed or no, I know not. (488-89)

Theatrical Provenance

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Probable Genre(s)

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Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

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References to the Play

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Critical Commentary

Knutson suggests, on the basis of a conjectured parallel with another guild or citizen's play, The Shoemaker's Holiday, that "The Freeman's Honour" may have had "a romantic plot also, although perhaps with the cross-wooing of merchant taylors instead of dukes" (88). Noting that the play was meant to "dignify" Swinnerton's company, she sugests that "the hero was a freeman of the merchant taylors who defends his honor. Even if that honor were challenged only in a professional sense, I would guess that some of the plot contained romantic tangles" (88).

For What It's Worth

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Works Cited

Knutson, Roslyn Lander. The Repertory of Shakespeare’s Company, 1594-1613. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1991.
Langbaine, Gerard. An account of the English dramatick poets, or, Some observations and remarks on the lives and writings of all those that have publish'd either comedies, tragedies, tragi-comedies, pastorals, masques, interludes, farces or opera's in the English tongue by Gerard Langbaine. Oxford : Printed by L.L. for George West and Henry Clements, 1691.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 09 Feb 2016.