Tag Archives: Rose Theatre

On this day in 1605 – Playwright William Haughton made his will

William Haughton was an English playwright, it’s believed he was born in 1575 but little is known about his early life but he is first mentioned in theatrical records in November 1597.

Much of what we know about Haughton exists in the papers of Philip Henslowe, owner of the Rose Theatre. Henslowe refers to Haughton as ‘yonge Horton’. Haughton wrote all his dramatic work for Henslowe and was performed by both the Admiral’s Men and Worcester’s Men.

In the short time Haughton wrote plays he collaborated with many artists including Henry Chettle, Thomas Dekker, John Day, Richard Hathwaye and Wentworth Smith.

In March 1594 Haughton married Alice at St Mary Church, Candlewick and they later, in 1599, they were living in Aldgate.

However, in 1598 Haughton solely wrote ‘Englishmen for my Money’ he was paid £2 for the play, which is must less than what many playwrights were paid at the time.

Englishmen_for_my_Money quatro

On 10th March 1600 it is noted that Henslowe had to lend Robert Shaw 10 shillings to release Haughton from The Clink, Southwark for an unknown reason. In the same year Haughton agreed to write ‘The English Fugitives’ for Henslowe.

On 6th June 1605 Haughton made his will, with Wentworth Smith and Elizabeth Lewes acting as witnesses. Haughton would die just days later. His will was as followed;

“Memorandum that on the vjth daie of June 1605 William Houghton of the parish of Allhallowes Stayninges London made his last will nuncupatiue in maaner and forme (or in effect) following (Thatt is to saye) The saide William Houghton beinge Demaunded to whom he would giue his goodes, he answered I Doe giue all my goodes chattels & debtes, whatsoeuer vnto Alice Houghton my wyffe towardes the payment of my debtes, and the bringing vp of my Children And I doe nominate & appointe the said Alice my wyffe my sole executrix Theis being witnesses wentworth Smith and Elizabeth Lewes and dyuers others.”

Haughton died days later and he was buried on 10th June 1605 in All Hallows Staining.

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