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 costumes in Philip 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 . . . . . . . . . . }
Philip Henslowe's papers in the Dulwich College Library
List of playbooks
- 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 (Catalogue #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" (Catalogue' #1134).
For What It's Worth
Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 04 March 2015.