On this day in 1597 – The lease for the Globe Theatre is signed by the shareholders

In 1597 Giles Allen refused to renew the lease on the land where The Theatre stood, home to the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Over Christmas 1597 the Burbages dismantled The Theatre and stored it on the north bank of the Thames.

In order to raise the funds to lease new ground to rebuild their theatre they offered five members of the acting company the chance to become shareholders at the cost of ¬£10 each. One of these five was William Shakespeare. The land chosen was south of the River Thames in Southwark and was renamed The Globe Theatre. The Globe opened in 1599, most likely with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Shakespeare was to be their resident writer but the Lord Chamberlain’s Men also performed works by Ben Johnson, John Fletcher and Thomas Dekker.

On 29th June 1613 during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII a fire, caused by cannon fire, set the theatre alight and burnt it to the ground. A second Globe Theatre was quickly built over the foundations of the previous building and opened the following year. However, Puritans closed all theatres in 1642 and the theatre was most likely demolished in 1644.

A modern reconstruction of The Globe opened in 1997, 750 feet away from the original site and it was built based upon all existing evidence of the original building. 101_2124

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On this day in 1547 – The Coronation of Edward VI

Following the death of Henry VIII, his only son Edward was announced as his successor on 28th January 1547. 20th February 1547 saw the day that Edward was crowned King Edward VI.

The day before his coronation Edward rode out of the Tower of London to the Palace of Westminster. The procession was led by the King’s messengers, gentlemen, trumpeters, chaplains and esquires. Following them on horseback was the nobility and council members¬† with Henry Grey carrying the Sword of State. Behind all of this was the new King, nine year old, Edward accompanied by his uncle, Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Warwick.

The coronation service was shorter than normal partly due to his age but also to do with the fact that many of the rituals were now inappropriate due to the Reformation. Cramer encouraged the young King to continue the work of his father and pushed the Protestant cause.

After the coronation the nation was placed under a Regency Council until the young King was old enough to rule on his own. The council was led by his uncle, Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.

Edward’s reign was short lived, he fell ill in February 1553 and passed away, aged only 15 and six years into his reign. Edward named his cousin, Lady Jane Grey as his successor in an attempt to keep England Protestant, despite it going againt his fathers wishes in his Act of Succession.Edward_VI_of_England_c._1546

On this day in 1592 – Rose Theatre opened

The Rose Theatre was the first playhouse to be situated on Bankside, London. Built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe and John Chomley, a local grocer. Henslowe leased the land from the parish of St. Mildred in 1585. There is no records of what the Rose was used for until Henslowe’s diaries began in 1592, which show the Rose in use as a playhouse.

In 1592 an acting troupe combining of men from the Admiral’s Men and Lord Strange’s Men were using the Rose to perform many plays amongst them Shakespeare, Kyd and Marlowe. The theatre was expanded to accomodate the actors with the stage being moved back but the plague soon shut down the theatres of London. The actors took themselves on tour around Britain until the plague had passed.

Upon their return the company split into two with half staying with the Admiral’s Men and the others forming the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, with the latter going on to build the Globe Theatre in 1599.

The Rose was believed to have been pulled down in 1606 but you can still visit the foundations of this once great theatre today.

rose theatre

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