Viewing Event Record: Chamberlain's Office, 'Sharers' Papers': John Shanks replies to the players' petition


John Shanks responds to the petitions of Robert Benfield, Elliard Swanston and Thomas Pollard concerning his shares in the Globe and Blackfriars playhouses. Shanks outlines the circumstances under which he purchased his shares from William Heminges, and observes that these 'were as free then for any other to buy as for your suppliant.' He then explains how he came to acquire the remainder of his shares from Heminges, and emphasizes the costs incurred in the transactions. Shanks did not 'fraudently or surreptitiously' defeat the actors' chances of purchasing the shares: Heminges would not have sold the shares the petitioners, as he would not have received as good a price of them as he did of Shanks. Shanks complains that he is an old man, and that his shares in the company are to provide for him and his family in his old age. The petitioners are false in claiming that they are unable to subsist on their present means; to support his point, Shanks gives an account of their earnings over the past year. He points, furthermore, to the expense of renting and maintaining the playhouses, and suggests that 'no wise man will adventure his estate in such a course, considering their dealing, with whom they have to do, and the many casualties and daily troubles therewith. Shanks then enumerates his various contributions to the company, and concludes in the hope that he should be allowed 'to enjoy that which he hath dearly bought and truly paid for.'

Date Event Recorded

From: 1635 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: 1635 (Source of claim: original)


Globe (II)
Blackfriars (II)


Name Role
Benfield, Robert player
Swanston, Elliard player
Pollard, Thomas player
Honyman, John player
Holcombe, Thomas player
Thompson, John player
Shank, John playhouse sharer
Heminges, William playhouse sharer
Heminges, John playhouse sharer

Event Type

  • company business
  • court case
  • playhouse business