Simon Forman's Casebook

Bodl.: MS Ashmole 236

f 77v (4, 15 March)


Item in the plai of Cox of Cullinton & his 3 sonns henry peter and Ihon on St Markes dai Cox him selfe shote an Arrowe thorow his vnkells head to haue his Land & had it and the sam dai 7 yers on Mr Iaruis shot cox throughe the hed & slue him. and on saint markes dai a year after his elder sonn henry was drowned by peter & Ihon in his Christian fate. and on St Markes dai A yere After peter & Ihon both slue them sellues for peter being fronted with the sight of a beare vz. a sprite Apering to Ihon & him when they sate vpon deuision of the Landes in liknes of a bere & ther with peter fell out of his wites and was lyed in a darke house & beat out his braines against a post. & Ihon stabed him self & all on St markes dai & remember how mr hammons sonn slue him. & when he was sleying of his father his father entreating him for mercy to his sonn could find no mercy. whervpon he promised that his sonn should bewray him selfe by laughing & so he did & was executed for yt 1600 4 of march at the Rose


An Sedgwicke alias Catlyn in Aldersgate streat Right against the Cocke illam vidi at Sir Ihon old castell 1600 15 of march/


  • Footnotes
    • how: h corrected over another letter
    • 1600: for 1599
    • Rose: astrological symbol for Mars, ie, Tuesday, follows
  • Glossed Terms
    • vnkells n poss uncle's
  • Endnote

    Forman dates the first entry 4 March 1600 but by 4 March 1600/1 the Lord Admiral's Men had moved from the Rose to the Fortune. Furthermore, the astrological symbol for Mars indicates that 4 March fell on a Tuesday, as it did in 1599/1600 but not 1600/1 (with thanks to Alan H. Nelson for this note and his revision of the date). Rowse, Simon Forman, p 15, dated the entry as 4 March but both Cerasano, 'Philip Henslowe, Simon Forman,' p 158, and Lupic, 'Early Performances,' p 99, n 5, misread the date as 9 March.

    However, as Lupic points out, the entry for 15 March 1599/1600 indicates that Cerasano, p 158, misdates Forman's attendance at the performance of Sir John Oldcastle in the following comment: 'On 16 October 1600, in the final performances of the Lord Admiral's Men at the Rose, Forman attended Sir John Oldcastle, although it is unclear whether Forman saw Part 1 or Part 2 of the play.' Lupic, p 99, points out that on '12 March Henslowe made a payment to the tailor for his work relating to the production of The Second Part of Sir John Oldcastle. Four days later Forman saw Sir John Oldcastle, and given the closeness of these dates the most plausible interpretation is that the play Forman saw was indeed the freshly mounted second part.' In any case Forman's primary purpose in noting the performance was to record the address of a woman he was interested in pursuing for other reasons.

    For more details on the lost plays of Cox of Collompton and Sir John Oldcastle, Part 2 see Foakes, Henslowe's Diary, pp 64, 125–6, 129, 132, 213–14, 216; Wiggins and Richardson, British Drama, vol 4: 1598–1602, #1215, pp 160–1; #1236, pp 210–11,; and the Lost Plays Database entries for Cox of Collumpton and Sir John Oldcastle. Wiggins and Richarson follow Cerasano in dating the performance of Sir John Oldcastle as Thursday, 16 October, and include the possibility that the play was Part 1 rather than Part 2.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Simon Forman's Casebook
    Repository: Bodl.
    Shelfmark: MS Ashmole 236
    Repository location: Oxford

    The astrologer Simon Forman (1552–1611) made note of his attendance at two performances by the Admiral's Men at the Rose in volume 5 of his six surviving casebooks of astrological practices. Henslowe was a client of Forman and the implications of their relationship are explored by Susan Cerasano in her article 'Philip Henslowe, Simon Forman,' pp 145–58. See further Lauren Kassell et al (eds), 'Casebooks,' The Casebooks of Simon Forman and Richard Napier, 1596–1634: A Digital Edition,, accessed 25 June 2019.

    2 January 1599/1600–4 January 1600/1; English; paper; 299 leaves; first 14 leaves unfoliated and blank except f [14v] (inscribed 'Figures sit vpon Horary Questions | by Mr Symon Forman 1600 | Volume V.'), later ink foliation 1–9a, 2 unfoliated leaves (repaired), 10–119, 121–264, final 20 leaves unfoliated blanks; 310mm x 210mm (text area variable); edges deckled, paper fragile in places, several leaves repaired; no decoration but individual entries include horoscopes; leather-covered board binding with metal clasps, hinges cracked, spine horizontally ridged, with Bodleian stamp between top and second ridges: 'ASH:/236' between second and third.

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