Wednesday, 1 January 2020

1 January, 1596 - The Seven Days of the Week and Richmond Palace

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 1 of Jenewary 1595 ... R at the wecke ... xxxxij  
In modern English: 1st January, [1596] ... Received at The Week ... 42 shillings
Welcome to the first day of another year at the Rose! You may have noticed that Henslowe is still calling it 1595; that's because he's using the old style of dating in which the year begins on 25th March. But the Elizabethans still thought of today as New Year's Day and for them there are still six more days of the Christmas holidays left.

For their first play of 1596, the Admiral's Men have revived their enigmatic lost play The Seven Days of the Week, about which we know nothing beyond its title. Perhaps it was an anthology of seven short plays, or perhaps it was about the creation of the world. You can read more about it in the entry for 3rd JuneThe Seven Days of the Week was once a very popular play but has declined of late. Today, however, on a festive holiday, it has received a large crowd again, recapturing its former glory.

Beyond Henslowe's Diary, there is also a record of the Admiral's Men performing a play to the Queen at Richmond Palace, a long way down the Thames. If the dates are accurate, this was a busy day for the players!

Richmond Palace by Anthony Wyngaerde, mid-16th century


FURTHER READING


On the Richmond Palace performance

  • John Astington, English Court Theatre, 1558-1642 (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 234


Henslowe links



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