On this day in 1594 – Thomas Kyd was buried

On 15th August 1594 Thomas Kyd was buried. Kyd was baptised on 6th November 1558 at St Mary Woolnoth Church, Lombard Street, London. The baptism record reads ‘Thomas, son of Francis Kydd, Citizen and Writer of the Courte Letter of London.’

In October 1565 Kyd was enrolled at Merchant Taylors’ School where he learnt Latin and Greek alongside music. After he left school there is little evidence of what he did next until the 1580’s when Kyd began working as a playwright.

Between 1587 and 1593 Kyd was in the service of a unknown nobleman and in 1591 was joined by Christopher Marlowe, the two men would share lodgings together. On 11th May 1593 Kyd was imprisoned after the Privy Council ordered the arrest of the authors of ‘divers lewd and mutinous libels’. His lodgings were searched and instead of finding libels they found heretic material that denied Jesus. It is believed that Kyd was tortured to learn more about this material and was told that he had received the material from C. Marlowe.

Kyd was eventually released but did not return to his previous work for the nobleman as he was suspected of atheism.

Kyd wrote many plays including The Spanish Tragedie, which was written in the late 1580’s. This play catapulted Kyd into being mentioned alongside the likes of Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Other works by Kyd includes his translations of Padre di Familglia and Cornelia. He also had plays attributed to him either in part of in whole including King Leir, Edward III and Arden of Feversham. Another play has also been credited to Kyd, ‘Ur-Hamlet’, a precursor to Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

Thomas Kyd died in 1594, aged 35, and was buried on the 15th August in London.

Thomas KydPlaywright Thomas Kyd

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