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


Robert Browne sues Oliver Woodliffe and Richard Langley in Chancery Court. In his interrogatories, Browne asks John Mago and John Marsh, his carpenters, whether Langley had 'rude fellows' break into the playhouse, and whether the players were then forced to bind themselves to pay £3 a week from Michaelmas to Shrovetide, after which they stopped paying Browne. He asks, furthermore, what threats Mago and Marsh heard Langley and his thugs utter. Browne's questions suggest that Woodliffe and Langley had conspired by means of the elegit to deprive Browne of his share in the Boar's Head property, which they could not otherwise do legally. Browne asks whether Woodliffe was granted an elegit around Christmas 1602 to seize Richard Langley's share in the Boar's Head. Browne asks whether the costs of the elegit were borne by Langley and Henry Sibdall in order to dispossess Browne of his part of the property. Browne asks whether anyone was in possession of the tiring-houses and new galleries when the bailiffs of Stebonheath [Berry notes: Stepney] seized the property by authority of the elegit near Christmas. Browne's questions also reveal details of the agreements among the playhouse managers, sharers, and owners. Shares were calculated after gatherers had been paid. Browne was responsible for paying for licenses from the Master of Revels (at £10 a warrant), weekly payments to the Master of Revels, and also 'all charges of suits concerning the upholding and maintaining of playing there.'

Date Event Recorded

From: July 1603 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: 29 September 1601 To: December 1602 (Source of claim: original)


Boar's Head


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

Event Type

  • company business
  • court case
  • play license
  • playhouse business
  • public disturbance
  • seizure