Robert Armin (c.1568-1615)
The comedian Robert Armin succeeded William Kemp as clown in the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men in 1599. His roles included Touchstone in As You Like It, Feste in Twelfth Night, Lavatch in All’s Well That Ends Well, Thersites in Troilus and Cressida, and the Fool in King Lear. Armin was also a writer. His collection of tales Foole upon Foole was first published in 1600, and his play Two Maids of More-Clacke appeared in 1609.
with a portrait
of the author.
Robert Armin, The
the Two Maids
Library, C.34.c.1. Larger
James Burbage (c.1531-1597)
James Burbage began as a joiner. By 1572 he was a player, as one of Leicester’s Men, but he seems to have given up acting once he became a theatre manager. In 1576 he built the Theatre, which he ran until his death. James Burbage was the father of Richard Burbage.
Richard Burbage (1568-1619)
Shakespeare’s leading player, Richard Burbage was the son
of James Burbage the builder of the Theatre. He began his acting
career in the mid-1580s. By the mid-1590s he was a leading sharer
in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Richard Burbage played the
title-roles in Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello.
He may have taken leading roles in all of Shakespeare’s plays
after the opening of the Globe in 1599.
Richard Burbage: Artist unknown
By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery
Henry Condell (died 1627)
The player Henry Condell was a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s Men) from 1598 until his death in 1627. With John Heminge, he was responsible for the printing of the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623.
Nathan Field (1587-1619?)
Nathan Field began his acting career in about 1600, as a member of the company of boy players at Blackfriars. In about 1616 he joined the King’s Men. He may have been intended for one of the principal roles in The Two Noble Kinsmen when the play was to be revived in 1619-1620.
Robert Goughe (died 1624)
Robert Goughe began as a boy player, and appeared with the company known from 1585 as the Admiral’s Men. In 1619, he was a sharer in the King’s Men. It has been suggested that the boy player Robert Goffe created the role of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, but there is no evidence to connect him with Robert Goughe.
John Heminge (1566?-1630)
The player John Heminge was a leading sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s Men) from 1596 until his death in 1630. He may have played Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor. With Henry Condell, he was responsible for the printing of the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623.
Philip Henslowe (died 1616)
built the Rose in
He was particularly
book of accounts
to as his ‘Diary’)
It is preserved
William Kemp (died 1603)
The comedian William Kemp (or Kempe) is first recorded in 1585. From 1594 to 1599, he was the clown in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Kemp played Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing and Peter in Romeo and Juliet. It has been suggested that he also played Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, and Costard in Love’s Labour’s Lost. Kemps Nine Daies Wonder records his performance of a morris dance from London to Norwich in 1600.
John Lowin (born 1576)
The player John Lowin became a member of the King’s Men in 1603. He may have played Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and taken one of the principal roles in The Two Noble Kinsmen. Shakespeare is said to have instructed him in the title-role of Henry VIII (All is True). Lowin was a sharer in the company by 1610. After the death of John Heminge, he became joint manager with Joseph Taylor of the King’s Men.
Augustine Phillips (died 1605)
Augustine Phillips was a player with Lord Strange’s Men in 1593. In 1594 he was a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and he remained with the company after it became the King’s Men until his death in 1605. Phillips’s roles in Shakespeare’s plays may have included Bolingbroke in Richard II, and King Henry in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.
Thomas Pope (died 1603)
Thomas Pope is first mentioned among players visiting Elsinore in 1586. By 1597 he was a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men with whom he stayed until 1603. Pope may have played Falstaff in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.
John Sincklo (or Sinclo, or Sincler) was a player with Pembroke’s Men in 1592. By 1598 he was acting with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Sincklo was apparently very thin, and his roles seem to have included Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor. His acting career seems to have lasted from 1592 until 1604.
William Sly (1573?-1608)
The player William Sly had become a sharer in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men by 1597, and he remained with the company after it became the King’s Men until his death in 1608. He may have played the role of Hotspur in Henry IV, Part 1.
Joseph Taylor (1586?-1652)
Joseph Taylor is recorded as a player in 1610. From 1616 to 1619, he played with the Prince’s Men (previously the Admiral’s Men). In 1619, Taylor joined the King’s Men, succeeding Richard Burbage as the company’s principal actor. He played the title-role in Hamlet, Iago in Othello, and perhaps took one of the principal roles in The Two Noble Kinsmen. By 1624 Taylor was a sharer in the King’s Men, and became a manager of the company with John Lowin in 1630.