Articles of Grievance by Players against Philip Henslowe

Dulwich College: MS I

single sheet

Articles of <...>uaunce against
M<..> Hinchlowe

Imprimis in March 1612 vppon mr: Hynchlowes Ioyninge Companes with: mr Rosseter ye Companie borrowed 80 li. of one mr Griffin and the same was put into mr Hinchlowes debt; which made itt sixteene score poundes whoe <.>fter the receipt of the same or most parte thereof in March 1613 hee broke the ‸⸢said⸣ Com<.....> gaine and Ceazed all the stocke; vnder Culler to satisfie. what remayned due to yet pers<.>aded Mr Griffyne afterwards to arest the Companie for his 80 li. whoe are still in daunger for the same; Soe nowe there was in equitie due to the Companie 80 li.
Item mr Hinchlowe having lent one Taylor 30 li. and 20 li. to one Baxter fellowes of the Companie Cunninglie put theire said privat debts into the generall accompt by which meanes hee is in Conscience to allowe them 50 li.
Item havinge the stock of Apparell in his handes to secure his debt he sould tenn poundes worth of ould apparrell out of the same without accomptinge or abatinge for the same; heare growes due to the Companie 10 li.
Also vppon the departure of one Eglestone a ffellowe of the Companie hee recovered of him 14 li. towardes his debt which is in Conscience likewise to bee allowed to the Companie 14
In March 1613 hee makes vpp a Companie and buies apparrell of one Rosseter to the value of 63 li. and val<.>ed the ould stocke that repa remayned in his handes at 63 li. likewise they <.>ppon his word acceptinge the same att that rate, which being prized by Mr daborne iustlie, betweene his partner Meade and him, Came but to 40 li. soe heare growes due to the Companie 23:
Item hee agrees with the said Companie that they should enter bond to plaie with him for three yeares att such house and houses as hee shall appointe and to allowe him halfe galleries for the said house and houses; and the other halfe galleries towardes his debt of 126 li. and other such moneys as hee should laie out for playe apparrell duringe the spa<..> of the said 3 yeares, agreeinge with them; in Consideracion theareof to seale each of them a bond of 200 li. to find them a Convenient house and houses; and to laie out such moneies as fower of the sharers should thinck fitt for theire vse in apparrell which att the 3 yeares, beinge paid for; to be deliuered to the sharers; whoe accordingelie entred the said bondes; but Mr Henchlowe and Mr Mead deferred the same; and in Conclusion vtterly denied to seale att all.
Item Mr Hinchlowe havinge promised in Consideracion of the Companies lying still one daie in forteene for his baytinge to give them 50 s. hee havinge denied to bee bound as aforesaid gaue them onlie 40 s. and for that Mr ffeild would not Consent therevnto hee gave him soe much as his share out of 50 li. would haue Come vnto; by which meanes hee is dulie indebted to ye Companie x li.
In Iune followinge the said agreement, hee brought in Mr Pallant and shortlie after Mr dawes into the said Companie; promisinge one 12 s. a weeke out of ‸⸢his part of ⸣ the galleries; and the other 6 s. a weeke out of his parte of the galleries; and because Mr ffeild was thought not to bee drawne therevnto; hee promised him six shillinges weekelie alsoe; which in one moneth after vnwilling to beare soe greate a Charge; hee Called the Companie together; and told them that this 24 s. was to bee Charged vppon them; threatinge those which would not Consent therevnto to breake the Companie and make vpp a newe without the<.> Whearevppon knowinge hee was not bound; the threequarters sharers advauncinge them selves to whole shares Consented therevnto by which meanes they are out of purse 30 li. and his parte of the galleries bettred twise as much 30 li.

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Item havinge 9 gatherers more then his due itt Comes to this yeare from the Companie 10 li.
Item the Companie paid for <........>s and other properties 40 li. which Mr Henchlow deteyneth 40 li.
In ffebruarie last 1614 perceav<....> the Companie drewe out ‸⸢of ⸣his debt and Called vppon him for his accompts hee brooke the Companie againe; by withdrawinge the hired men from them; and selles theire stocke (in his hands) for 400 li. givinge vnder his owne hand that hee had receaved towardes his debt 300 li.
Which with: the iuste and Conscionable allowaunces before named made to the Companie which Comes to 267 li. makes 567 li.

Articles of oppression against
Mr Hinchlowe./

Hee Chargeth the stocke with ––––- 600 li. and odd; towardes which hee hath receaved as aforesaid ––––- 567 li. of vs; yet sells the stocke to strangers for fower hundred poundes; and makes vs no satisfacion./

Hee hath taken all bonndes of our hired men in his owne name whose wages though wee have truly paid yet att his pleasure hee hath taken them a waye; and turnd them ouer to others to the breakinge of our Companie./

ffor lendinge of vj li. to p<..> <...>m theire wages; hee made vs enter bond to give him the profitt of a warraunt of tenn poundes due to vs att Court./

Alsoe hee hath taken right gould and silver lace of divers garmentes to his owne vse without accompt to vs or abatement./

Vppon everie breach of the Companie hee takes newe bondes for his stocke; and our securitie for playinge with him Soe that hee hath in his handes, bondes of ours to the value of 5000 li. and his stocke to; which hee denies to deliuer and threatens to oppresse v s. with

Alsoe havinge apointed a man to the seeinge of his accompts in byinge of Clothes (hee beinge to haue vj s. a weeke; hee takes ye meanes away and turnes the man out./

The reason of his often breakinge with vs; hee gave in these wordes should these fellowes Come out of my debt, I should have noe rule with them

Alsoe wee have paid him for plaie books 200 li. or thereaboutes and yet hee denies to give vs the Coppies of any one of them./

Also within 3 yeares hee hath broken and dissmembred five Companies./

  • Footnotes
    • 1612: underlined
    • 80 li.: underlined
    • 1613: underlined
    • 1613: underlined
    • 63 li.: underlined
    • 63 li.: underlined
    • 126 li.: underlined
    • spa<..>: letters lost due to MS damage
    • Item: also written as catchword on bottom of previous folio
    • 1614: underlined
    • p<..> <...>m: characters faded at crease
    • v s.: for vs (?)
    • one: e partially obscured by ink blot
  • Endnote

    'Taylor' was Joseph Taylor (1586?-1652), player with the Duke of York's Men, 1610, and Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1611-16; see BIED. 'Baxter,' was William Barksted (c 1590-1617), player with the Queen's Revels Children, 1609, and Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1611-16, and Prince Charles Men, 1616; see BIED. 'Eglestone' was William Ecclestone (c 1591-1623), player with Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1611-13, and the King's Men, 1610-11 and 1614-23; see BIED. 'Mr daborne' was Robert Daborne (d. 1628), playwright; see BIED. 'Mr ffeild' was Nathan Field (1587-c 1620), player with Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1611-16; see BIED. 'Mr Pallant' was Robert Pallant (d. 1619), player with Queen Anne's Men, 1602-13, and Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1614-16; see BIED. 'Mr dawes' was Robert Dawes (d. 1615), player with Prince Charles' Men, 1613, and Lady Elizabeth's Men, 1614-15; see BIED.

    Philip Rosseter (c 1568-1623) was a lutenist and composer who became a manager of the Children of the Queen's Revels at Whitefriars by January 1609/10. As this document indicates, Rosseter's boys' company amalgamated with Lady Elizabeth's Men in March 1612/13, although whether the newly merged troupe performed at any playhouse other than Whitefriars at this time is only subject for speculation. For more detail on both companies, see Gurr, Shakespearian Playing Companies, pp 357-61, and Keenan, Acting Companies, pp 35-9.

    'Mr Griffyne' was the lawyer, Edward Griffin, who also witnessed other documents in MS I; see, for example, Ioppolo, Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project, MS I, Articles 71 and 92. He also appears several times in Henslowe's diary; see Foakes, Henslowe's Diary, pp 65, 127, 230.

    For an abstract of this record and details of its transcription in other printed sources, see the related EMLoT event.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Articles of Grievance by Players against Philip Henslowe
    Repository: Dulwich College
    Shelfmark: MS I
    Repository location: Dulwich

    Some key details in the grievances outlined here indicate that the company concerned was an amalgamation of the Lady Elizabeth's Men, first with the former boy players of the Queen's Revels troupe associated with the Whitefriars playhouse, and then in 1614 with some players from Prince Charles' (formerly the Duke of York's) Men. The reference below to Robert Dawes, a member of the Prince's Men, joining the company sometime in June 1614 or soon after, postdates his articles of agreement with Henslowe and Meade dated 7 April; see Articles of Agreement between Robert Dawes, player, and Philip Henslowe and Jacob Meade.

    By 1615 Lady Elizabeth's Men had been playing at the Hope for a year at most under Henslowe and Meade's management, but evidently not happily. As Herbert Berry notes, 'If [as they claim] Henslowe cheated the company of 10s every fourteen days and owed them £10 altogether, the company played at the Hope forty weeks until Henslowe "broke" them in February 1615. Hence they began at the Hope in the spring of 1614'; see English Professional Theatre, p 603, n 1.

    For an image of the original manuscript, see Ioppolo, Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project.

    undated; English; single sheet; approximately 208mm x 328mm; fragmentary at the top edge with some loss of text, repaired along the centre; MS I has been recently unbound and separated into fascicles according to size, mounted onto modern page (unnumbered) in fascicle 5 and stored in box C. Foliated 151 in pencil by Warner; cited on p 50 of his Catalogue.

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