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State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
February 17,
1600

SP 12/278/78, folio 141 recto

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SP 12/278/78, folio 141 recto
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Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Secretaries of State
Title: State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
Date: February 17, 1600
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SP 12/278/78, fols. 141-142

 

Item Date
February 17, 1601
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
SP 12/278/78, fol. 141r

SP 12/278/78, folio 141 verso

View Image Assets
SP 12/278/78, folio 141 verso
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Secretaries of State
Title: State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
Date: February 17, 1600
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SP 12/278/78, fols. 141-142

 

Item Date
February 17, 1601
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
SP 12/278/78, fol. 141c

SP 12/278/78, folio 142 recto

View Image Assets
SP 12/278/78, folio 142 recto
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Secretaries of State
Title: State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
Date: February 17, 1600
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SP 12/278/78, fols. 141-142

 

Item Date
February 17, 1601
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
SP 12/278/78, fol. 142r

SP 12/278/78, folio 142 verso

View Image Assets
SP 12/278/78, folio 142 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Secretaries of State
Title: State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
Date: February 17, 1600
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SP 12/278/78, fols. 141-142

 

Item Date
February 17, 1601
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
SP 12/278/78, fol. 142v

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Secretaries of State
Title: State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I
Date: February 17, 1600
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SP 12/278/78, fols. 141-142

 

In early 1601, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, led a rebellion which was over almost as soon as it began. In the lead-up to the action, the Lord Chamberlain’s players, William Shakespeare’s company, was paid to perform Richard II, in which the king is imprisoned, deposed, and eventually killed by, or at the command of, Henry Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV. Among those examined in the aftermath of the rebellion were Augustine Phillips, a senior member of Shakespeare’s company, and Sir Gelly Meyrick, a participant in the rebellion.

In his examination on February 17, 1600, Sir Gelly Meyrick reported that Lord Mounteagle, Sir Christopher Blount, Sir Charles Percy, Ellis Jones, Edward Bushell, and others, went “over the water” and spoke to some of the Lord Chamberlain’s men at the Globe playhouse, learning that their play was to be “of Harry the iiijth.” More explicitly “the play was of Kyng Harry the iiijth, and of the kyllyng of Kyng Richard the second played by the Lord Chamberlen's players.”

Although scholars have proposed alternative explanations, the combined testimony of Augustine Phillips and Sir Gelly Meyrick suggests that Phillips and his fellow members of the Lord Chamberlain’s men performed William Shakespeare’s Richard II prior to the Essex rebellion.

After his interview, Sir Gelly Meyrick was eventually hanged at Tyburn, while Augustine Phillips was let go without further consequence for himself or his fellow players.

 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[This transcription is pending final vetting]

[Image 1: fol. 141r]

The Examination of Sir Gelly merick Knyght taken the xvijth of ffebruarij 1600

He sayeth that vpon Saterday last was sennyght he dyned at the Gunters in the Company of the Lord monteegle, Sir Christoffer Blont, Sir Charles percye, Ellys and Jones and Edward Busshell, and who else he remembreth not and after dynner that day at the mocyon of Sir Charles percy and the rest they went all together to the Globe over the water wher the Lord Chamberlens men vse to play and were ther somwhat before the play began, Sir Charles tellyng them that the play wold be of Harry the iiijth Whether Sir John davyes was ther or not thys examinate can not tell, but he sayd he wold be ther yf he cold. he can not tell who procured that play to be played at that tyme except yt were Sir Charles percye, but as he thyncketh yt was Sir Charles percye. Thenne he was at the same play and cam in somwhat after yt was begon, and the play was of Kyng Harry the iiijth, and of the kyllyng of Kyng Richard the second played by the Lord Chamberlen's players
Gelly Meyricke

Examinatum per

(signed) John Popham
(signed) Edward Fenner
 

Written by Alan H. Nelson

Source
David Thomas, Shakespeare in the Public Records (London: H.M.S.O., 1985), 13.

Last updated April 4, 2017