2 Derby's Men

NOTE: The roles listed for any given actor do not necessarily coincide with roles that actor played while associated with this company. The listed roles reflect the complete extant corpus of that actor's career. Neither does the list necessarily suggest a chronology of performance. Though the listings are accurate, the scholar is nevertheless cautioned to research further.

After the death of Ferdinando Stanley, Lord Strange, fifth earl of Derby, (16 April 1594) the first Derby company seems to have been subsumed into the Chamberlain's and Admiral's companies. Derby's widow sponsored what was probably a remnant or entirely new company at Winchester only a month later on 16 May 1594. The sixth earl of Derby, as with all the Stanleys before him, was a keen play fancier and sponsored the Second Derby's company. He apparently even busied himself in June 1599 with "penning comedyes for the common players" (Peter Thomson, Shakespeare's Career (Cambridge, 1992) p. 46). The Second Derby company began as a provincial touring company apparently. By 1599 they presented the first true competition to the 'duopoly' of the Chamberlain's and Admiral's players. They performed at court in February 1600 and twice in January 1601. Under the leadership of Robert Browne, the second Derby company tried to gain purchase of the London theatre world. They were under stiff competition from Worcester's Men, and the two companies platooned between the Rose and Boar's Head playhouses. By 1602, however, the Worcester's company, strengthened by a merger with Oxford's Men, gained complete possession of the Boar's Head, though they soon left it for the Rose. Derby's appears to have failed quickly after that, going into the provinces and disappearing from the record within two years.
From Gurr, Andrew The Shakespearian Playing Companies, Oxford UP, 1996.

Listed alphabetically

Browne, Robert (III)

(d.1603). Actor (Derby's 1599-1600), sharer in Boar's Head. (Husband of Susan Shore Browne Greene Baskerville; father of William Browne (III); father-in-law of Thomas Bond) [Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 60 [full citation]; Sisson, 'Notes', 26 (1942) [full citation]; Berry, Boar's Head (1986) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I', 41 (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 229 (1993) [full citation]]

Heywood, Thomas

(circa1573-1641). Playwright, actor (Admiral's 1598; Derby's 1599; Worcester's-Queen Anne's 1600-19), sharer. [ES iii, 338 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 190 [full citation]; JCS ii, 472; iv, 553 [full citation]; Sisson, 'Notes', 27 (1942) [full citation]; McManaway, 'Latin Title-Page Mottoes', 33-4 (1945) [full citation]; Holaday, 'Thomas Heywood and the Puritans' (1950) [full citation]; Holaday, 'Heywood and the Low Countries' (1951) [full citation]; Sisson, 'Red Bull Company', 58-9 (1954) [full citation]; Grivelet, Thomas Heywood (1959) [full citation]; Freehafer, 'Seven Champions', 94 (1969) [full citation]; Nethercot, Elizabethan Plays, 801 (1971) [full citation]; Eccles, Authors, 66 (1982) [full citation]; Baines, Thomas Heywood (1984) [full citation]; Bergeron, Thomas Heywood's Pageants (1986) [full citation]; DLB 62: 101 (1987) [full citation]; Young, 'Thomas Heywood's Pageants' (1988) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 459 (1991) [full citation]]