Predor and Lucia
Entries from the Revels accounts for 1573/4 include:
Predor : & Lucia. played by Therle of Leicesters servauntes vpon Saint stevens daye at nighte at whitehall aforesaid/.(Feuillerat 193)
Regarding production expenses and props, Revels accounts list payments for holly, ivy, and artificial fish to the "Propertymaker" John Carrow:
- Iohn Caro for mony to him due for sundry percells
Holly & Ivye for the play predor . . . . . iiijs
ffyshes Cownterfete for the same viz. whiting, playce, Mackerell, &c. iiijs
- (Feuillerat 203)
The Acts of the Privy Council, under the subheading
At Westminster, the viiith of Januarie, 1573, list a payment of £13.6.8d (fee) and £6.13.4d (reward) to Leicester’s Men for their court performances of Predor and Lucia and Mamillia:
A warrant to the Thresourer of the Chamber to pay to therle of Leicester’s players, for two severall plaies before the Queen’s Majestie, xiijli vjs viijd ; and by way of reward for their charges, &c., vjli xiijs iiijd.(Dasent 8:177)
Payments of the Treasurer and Chamber in the Declared Accounts of the Audit Office list for the years 1573–4:
To Therle of Leicestres players vpon the Councelles warr[ant] dated at westm[inster] ixo Ianuar[ij] 1573 for presenting of two seu[er]all playes before her highnes in xp̄emas [i.e. Christmas] Hollidayes last past xiijli vjs viijd and by waye of speciall rewarde for theyre chardges cun[n]yng and skill shewed therein vjli xiijs iiijd in all . . . . . . . xxli(Cook 7; cf. Wallace 215)
Performed by Leicester’s Men on St Stephen’s Day, Saturday, 26 December 1573, before Queen Elizabeth I at Whitehall Palace.
Classical; Romance? (Harbage, McMillin, Ono, Wells); Saints’ Legend (Ellison)
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
Ellison is of the opinion that Predor and Lucia may have possessed an hagiographic angle:
- “The Lucia of 1573 is another secularized saints’ legend, as was the Lady Barbara of the year before. Lucia was a martyr of the primitive church in Syracuse, who perished during the persecutions of the Christians by Diocletian. Her story was frequently presented by the religious drama of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. She rejected the pagan suitor that had been chosen for her, was denounced as a Christian, condemned to pass a certain time as a public prostitute, and then be put to death. She escaped a part, at least, of this punishment by dying in prison.” (82)
Hazlitt notes that “Predor” in Predor and Lucia’s title may have been mistranscribed, thus obscuring clues to the play’s possible narrative:
- "Predor [?Fedoro] and Lucia :"
- “Predor and Lucia played by Therle of Leicesters servauntes upon Saint Stevens daye at nighte at Whitehall.”—Revels’ Accounts, 1573. Predor is probably wrong. In the Seven Deadly Sins, one of the characters is Prelior. (184)
References to the Play
Feuillerat: "In the MS. the name Predor is followed by a colon; but as it was difficult to decide what was the value given to this sign of abbreviation, I have thought it best to let the sign stand. Perhaps the scribe meant « Predorus»" (457).
Wiggins (#547) inferred from the use of fish as properties that "at least some of the action probably takes place near the sea."
For What It's Worth
Cook, David, and F. P. Wilson, ed. "Dramatic Records in the Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber, 1558–1642." In Collections Volume VI. Oxford: Malone Society, 1962 (for 1961). v–xxv, 1–175.
Dasent, J. R., et al., eds. Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series: 1542-1631. 46 vols. London: HMSO, 1890-1964.
Ellison, Lee Monroe. The Early Romantic Drama at the English Court. University of Chicago, 1917.
Hazlitt, W. Carew. A Manual for the Collector and Amateur of Old English Plays. London, 1892.
Feuillerat, Albert. Documents Relating to the Office of the Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth. Louvain, 1908.
Wallace, Charles William. The Evolution of the English Drama up to Shakespeare. G. Reimer, 1912.
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