Madman's Morris, The
To playwrights in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 47 (Greg 1.89)
lent vnto mr willson mr drayton & mr dickers the } 31 of June 1598 in earneste of a boocke called the } iijll made manes mores the some of . . . . . . . }
lent vnto mr drayton the 9 of July 1598 vpon } a Boocke <of> called the mad manes mores the } xxs some of . . . . . . . . . . }
pd vnto mr willsone & mr deckers in fulle payment } of a boocke called the mad manes moris the 10 of } xxxxs July 1598 the some of . . . . . . . . . . . . }
For properties in Phliop Henslowe's diary
Fol. 48 (Greg 1.91)
Lent vnto wm borne the 25 of July 1598 to by } a sewte of satten for the playe of the made } iiijll xiijs 4d manes moris the some of . . . . . . . . . . }
- Under Henslowe's title, A Note of all suche bookes as belong to the Stocke, and such as I have bought since the 3d of March 1598, is:
- Mad mans morris.
The Admiral's men acquired the full book and paid for properties for "The Madman's Morris" by late July 1598, suggesting a likely performance or performances shortly thereafter; the company was at the Rose at this time.
Comedy (?) (Harbage).
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
As Wiggins notes (1134), the phrase "madman's morris" is common enough in the period, but offers "no clue about any likely narrative for the play".
References to the Play
Wiggins notes the existence of a ballad sharing its name with this play (Roxburghe Ballads ii.479-85; cf. EBBA 33051, 34485, etc.) but emphasises that "any connection with the play necessarily remains conjectural". The ballad describes "a man who is driven mad for love, and runs around naked; he also talks to himself in the market, with capon feathers in his cap, and is eventually taken off to Bedlam" (1134).
For What It's Worth
Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 04 March 2015.