Playists in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 27v (Greg, I, p. 54)
octobʒ |3|1 . . . ne .. tt at fryer spendelton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02|00|00 — 014 — 00 novembʒ 1597 |5| tt at fryer spendelton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00|14|01 — 14 — 01
Henslowe's Inventory of Playbooks
- Under the heading “A Note of all suche bookes as belong to the Stocke, and such as I have bought since the 3d of Marche 1598:
- Frier Pendelton.
Henslowe recorded the maiden performance of "Friar Spendleton" at the Rose playhouse in the same month that he noted in the margin of his playlist that the Admiral's men and Pembroke's men had begun to play at his house. It therefore appears to be the first new repertory item performed by the merged company.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
References to the Play
Collier, in his edition of Henslowe's diary, added a note to the initial entry of "Friar Spendleton" in which he identifies lines from a ballad as evidence that the play was popular: "Friar Spendleton, the play,/Carried it away." He claimed to have found this snippet in an undated Elizabethan publication by E. Allde entitled "Medley Ballad" (91).
Greg, II cites Collier's notation of the "Spendleton" ballad, but he was not able to locate the contemporary source (p. 187, #114). Freeman and Freeman make no mention of "Medley Ballad," the "Spendleton" citation, or Collier's note of it.
Wiggins, Catalogue conjectures from Henslowe's inventory of friars' gowns in March 1598 that the apparently hoodless "freyers gowne of graye" (Greg, Papers, Apx. I. 1. 121) might belong to Friar Spendleton and might thus identify him as a Franciscan (#1084).
For What It's Worth
Site created and maintained by Christopher Matusiak, updated 7 March 2011. Updated by Roslyn L. Knutson, 5 July and October 11, 2019.