Viewing Event Record: Chancery, Margaret Brayne vs the Burbages: William Nicoll deposes


William Nicoll, a notary pubic, testifies in Margaret Brayne's lawsuit against James and Cuthbert Burbage. Nicoll says that on 9 August 1577 he drew up an indenture of a lease between James Burbage and John Brayne to share ownership of the lease on the Theatre property, since the original lease from Giles Allen was in Burbage's name only. Nicoll believes that Burbage never in fact sealed the indenture, as the lease had been pawned for funds to build the Theatre. Therefore, on 22 May 1578, Brayne had Nicoll draw up another obligation in which Burbage bound himself to Brayne for £400 for half the profits of the Theatre property. Burbage sealed this agreement before Nicoll and John Gardiner. Shortly after the document was sealed, however, Burbage and Brayne fell into an argument about the amount each contributed to the Theatre which resulted in a violent altercation. Thereafter, on 12 July 1578, Richard Turner and John Hill arbitrated the dispute between Burbage and Brayne, and the award was by Nicoll and George Gosse, his apprentic'. Nicoll estimates that Burbage did not contribute more than £100 toward building the Theatre.

Date Event Recorded

From: 31 July 1592 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: 9 August 1577 To: 12 July 1578 (Source of claim: original)




Name Role
Gosse, George apprentice
Turner, Richard arbiter
Hill, John arbiter
Burbage, James defendant
Burbage, Cuthbert defendant
Nicoll, William deponent
Brayne, Margaret plaintiff
Brayne, John playhouse financier
Allen, Giles property owner
Allen, Sara wife
Gardiner, John witness

Event Type

  • court case
  • playhouse business