Viewing Event Record: Chancery, Browne vs Woodliffe and Langley: Mago answers


Robert Browne sues Oliver Woodliffe and Richard Langley in Chancery Court. Mago answers Browne's interrogatories, reporting that Francis Langley and his gang broke into the playhouse, threatening to kill anyone that resisted them. Some of the players were forced to bind themselves for £3 a week, from Michaelmas to Shrovetide. Mago observes that the players had little choice, as otherwise they had no other licensed theatre to play for the winter. Mago also deposes that one of Langley's men, brandishing a halbert-like weapon, came close to injuring Mago's servant Marsh. Mago credits Woodliffe with building the stage, tiring-house, and galleries over the stage. Mago locates Samwell's 'great new galleries' on the east side of the yard 'next the parlours.' Mago provides many details of the managing of the playhouse. The Master of Revels was paid 15s a week when they played, the poor of the parish were paid 5s a week, and the wages of the stage-keepers were 6s a week. Rushes and cresset lights cost as much as 10s or 12s a week.

Date Event Recorded

From: 25 July 1603 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: Summer 1601 (Source of claim: original)


Boar's Head


Name Role
Tilney, Edmund Master of the Revels
Marsh, John carpenter
Langley, Richard defendant
Woodliffe, Oliver defendant
Browne, Robert (III) plaintiff
Langley, Francis playhouse financier
Mago, John witness

Event Type

  • company business
  • court case
  • payment
  • playhouse business
  • public disturbance