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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Renaissance English Drama: Timeline of Playhouses and Acting Companies.

By Anniina Jokinen, Luminarium

1557 First record of a play performed
at Boar's Head Inn in Whitechapel.
1559 Licensing of plays enacted.
Creation of the Earl of Worcester's Men;
The Earl of Warwick's Men;
Lord Strange's Men.
1572 The Earl of Leicester's Men
perform at Stratford.
1574 The Earl of Leicester's Men receive a patent.
1576 James Burbage obtains permission to build
"The Theatre" in Shoreditch; receives a
21-year lease.
1577 A rival, "The Curtain", opens in
Finsbury Fields, Shoreditch.
1583 The Queen's Men created from the companies
of Leicester's Men, Oxford's Men, Sussex's Men,
Earl of Derby's Men, and Lord Hunsdon's Men.
c.1585 The Second Lord Strange's Men.
1585 The Lord Admiral's Men.
1587 "The Rose" built on Bankside
by Philip Henslowe.
1592 Lord Strange's Men along with some of Lord
Admiral's Men take residence at The Rose.
1592-3 The Earl of Pembroke's Men created.
1593 Sussex' Men perform at The Rose.
1593-4 Theatres closed due to the plague.
1594 Lord Chamberlain's Men created, Shakespeare
as founding member.
Admiral's Men move to The Rose.
Francis Langley applies to build "The Swan"
in Paris Garden.
1595? "The Swan" built.
1596 Plays banned within City limits.
James Burbage purchases and converts
Blackfriars to a theatre.
Unable to get permission to open.
1597 Second Pembroke's Men.
Burbage leases Blackfriars to the Chapel Children.
After James Burbage's death, the
lease on The Theatre expires.
1598 The Theatre dismantled. Timbers
taken to Bankside to build The Globe.
1599 "The Globe" built on Bankside.
1600 "The Fortune" opens.
1600-5? "The Red Bull" built in
1603 Lord Chamberlain's Men become The King's Men.
An amalgam of Oxford's and Worcester's Men
become Queen Anne's Men (Queen's Men).
1605 The Rose closed and demolished.
1606 Queen Anne's Men take residence at the Red Bull.
Michael Drayton and Thomas Woodford convert
the Whitefriars into a private theatre.
1608 Burbage takes back the lease of Blackfriars.
The King's Men play the winters there.
Children of the King's Revels at the Whitefriars.
1609 "The Cockpit" built in Drury Lane
for the purpose of cock-fighting.
Children of the Queen's Revels
in residence at Whitefriars to 1613.
1613 Fire at The Globe.
The Children of the Queen's Revels merge with
The Lady Elizabeth's Men.
1613-4 Henslowe and Jacob Meade build "The Hope"
on the site of the old Bear Garden.
Lady Elizabeth's Men take residence.
Whitefriars taken over by Prince Charles' Men.
1614 The Globe rebuilt, with a tiled roof.
1616 "The Cockpit" converted to a theatre by
Christopher Beeston. Queen's Men in residence.
At Henslowe's death, "The Hope" turns into
a bear-baiting ring.
1617 "The Cockpit" burned down by rioters.
1618 "The Cockpit" rebuilt; renamed "The Phoenix."
1619 Queen Anne's Men disband after her death.
1619 The Fortune burns down. Rebuilt of brick.
1625 The Red Bull renovated.
c.1629 Whitefriars replaced by Salisbury Court Theatre.
1637? The Swan demolished.
1642 Parliamentary ordinance to suppress all plays.
"The Closing of the Theatres."
The Cockpit and the Fortune occasionally stage
plays illicitly.
1644 The Globe demolished.
1648 The Puritans order all playhouses demolished,
all actors whipped, and theatregoers fined
five shillings.
1649 The Cockpit raided.
1660 The Restoration. King Charles II
reopens the playhouses.

To cite this page:
Jokinen, Anniina. "Timeline of Playhouses
       and Acting Companies." Luminarium.
       2 Aug 2006. [Date you accessed this article].

Continue to:

English Drama: From Medieval to Renaissance

The Sociopolitical Climate in Elizabethan England

Elizabethan World View

Elizabethan Playhouses

Elizabethan Staging Conventions

Timeline of Elizabethan Playhouses and Acting Companies

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Site copyright ©1996-2006 Anniina Jokinen. All rights reserved.
This page created by Anniina Jokinen on August 2, 2006. Last updated August 24, 2010.


Renaissance English Dramatists
John Heywood
Thomas Sackville
Nicholas Udall
John Skelton
John Bale George Gascoigne
John Lyly
Robert Greene
George Peele
Thomas Kyd
Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Thomas Campion
Samuel Daniel
William Shakespeare
Ben Jonson
Thomas Dekker
John Marston
Francis Beaumont
John Fletcher
John Webster
Thomas Middleton
William Rowley
Philip Massinger
John Ford
James Shirley
Thomas Heywood
Margaret Cavendish

Elizabethan Theatre
See section
English Renaissance Drama

Images of London:
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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