Pembroke'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.

The first record of Henry Herbert, second earl of Pembroke's company comes from Canterbury in 1575-76. It was probably a new company, however, that appeared in London from 1591 to 1593. The company may have been the brainchild of Herbert's wife, Mary (nee Sidney), who became his third wife (at the age of 25) in 1586. In 1592, Simon Jewell, a player in the company, mentioned Mary Herbert as a patron in his will. It is nevertheless odd that Henry Herbert at the age of 57 and spending most of his time in Ludlow and the Welsh Marches as Lord President should desire to sponsor a London playing company. Gurr opines that the company was James Burbage's initiative to supply his theatre with a powerful company–applying to Pembroke for patronage–after Strange's Men desserted the Theatre for the Rose. They were from the start a vital company, performing four of Shakespeare's plays and originating Marlowe's Edward II. The plague and pressures of touring a large company are usually cited as the cause of Pembroke's rapid demise.
From Gurr, Andrew The Shakespearian Playing Companies, Oxford UP, 1996.

Listed alphabetically

[?]Belcher, William

(fl. 1592-1610). Actor(?). [Edmond, 'Pembroke's Men' (1974) [full citation] ; Eccles, 'Actors I', 41 (1991) [full citation] ]

Bird, William

(d.1624; fl. 1597-1624) (alias Borne) (Birde). Actor (Pembroke's 1597; Admiral's-Prince Henry's-Palsgrave's 1598-1621), playwright. (Husband of Mary Bird; father of Theophilus Bird) [ES ii, 303; iii, 236 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 48 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 52 (1931) [full citation]; JCS ii, 379 [full citation]; Bergeron, 'Actors', 22 (1972) [full citation]; Cerasano, 'Players' Wills', 299 (1985) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I', 40 (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 131 (1993) [full citation]]

actor, ISLE OF DOGS; Colmogra, Artabisus, 1 TAMAR CAM;

Downton, Thomas (I)

(d.1625). Actor (?Strange's, Pembroke's, Admiral's-Prince Henry's-Palsgrave's 1592-1618). (Father of Thomas Downton (II)) [ES ii, 313 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 117 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 54 (1931) [full citation]; JCS ii, 426 [full citation]; Bowers, 'Shoemaker's Holiday' (1949) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I' (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 146 (1993) [full citation]]

?actor, ISLE OF DOGS; Abdolmelec, BATTLE OF ALCAZAR; Tartar, Mango Cham, 1 TAMAR CHAM;

[?]Fletcher, Richard

(fl. 1579-92). Actor(?). [Edmond, 'Pembroke's Men', 132 (1974) [full citation]; Wentersdorf, 'Origin and Personnel', 61 (1979) [full citation]]

?Jeffes, Anthony

(1578(baptized 14 December, St. Saviour's, Southwark)—(?married Faith Jones 19 February 1601)—(described as "player" in St. Giles's register on 11 June 1602 and 1 May 1609; received 70 c. 1612 for his interest in the former Prince Henry's Company; described as a "brewer" in St. Giles's register on 30 May 1610 and 30 October 1619)—d. 1648). Actor (Germany 1592-96; ?Chamberlain's; ?Pembroke's; Admiral's-Prince Henry's 1597-1612). (Brother of Humphrey Jeffes) [ES ii, 324 [full citation]; Nungezer, 203 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 56 (1931) [full citation]; JCS ii, 482 [full citation]; Schrickx, 'English Actors', 157ff. (1980) [full citation]; Schrickx, 'German Archives', 151 (1982) [full citation]; Cerasano, 'Anthony Jeffes' (1984) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 460 (1992) [full citation]]

Young Mahamet, BATTLE OF ALCAZAR; Linus & a Moor, 1 TAMAR CAM;

Jeffes, Humphrey

(1576-buried 21 August 1618, St. Giles's, Cripplegate). Actor (?Chamberlain's; ?Pembroke's; Admiral's-Prince Henry's-Palsgrave's 1598-1616). (Brother of Anthony Jeffes) [ES ii, 324 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; JCS ii, 483 [full citation]; Nungezer, 204 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 56 (1931) [full citation]; Schrickx, 'English Actors', 157ff. (1980) [full citation]; Cerasano, 'Anthony Jeffes', 222n12 (1984) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 460 (1992) [full citation]]

actor, SIX YEOMAN OF THE WEST (lost); Muly Mahamet Xeque, BATTLE OF ALCAZAR; Otanes, 1 TAMAR CAM; "Humphrey" the serving man, LOOK ABOUT YOU; ?Humfrey with crossbow, 3 HENRY VI

Jewell, Simon

(d.1592). Actor (Pembroke's (?) 1592). [Edmond, 'Pembroke's Men' (1974) [full citation]; McMillin, 'Simon Jewell' (1976) [full citation]; Wentersdorf, 'Origin and Personnel', 59 (1979/80) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men' (1981) [full citation]; Wills, 58 (1993) [full citation]]
Jewell's will gives interesting insight to the preparations for a provincial tour.

Jones, Richard (I)

(circa1560-1624<). Actor (Worcester's 1583; Admiral's 1589-96 (in Germany 1592-93); Pembroke's 1597; Admiral's 1597-1602; Germany 1602-24), Revels patentee (1610). [ES ii, 324 [full citation]; Nungezer, 207 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 57 (1931) [full citation]; JCS ii, 486 [full citation]; Bowers, 'Shoemaker's Holiday' (1949) [full citation]; Riewald, 'Actors and Musicians', 36 (1959) [full citation]; Riewald, 'New Light', 75, 90 (1960) [full citation]; Schrickx, 'English Actors' (1980) [full citation]; Schrickx, 'Pickleherring', 140-44 (1983) [full citation]; Cerasano, 'Henslowe/Forman', 154 (1993) [full citation]]


Jonson, Benjamin

(circa1572-1637). Playwright, masque writer, entertainment writer, actor (Pembroke's 1597). [ES iii, 352 [full citation]; Herford and Simpson, Ben Jonson (1925-52) [full citation]; Nungezer, 210 [full citation]; Stroud, 'Father Thomas Wright' (1947) [full citation]; Shapiro, 'Mermaid Club' (1950) [full citation]; Simpson, 'Mermaid Club' (1951) [full citation]; Sisson, 'Ben Jonson of Gresham College' (1951) [full citation]; Johnston, 'Ben Jonson of Gresham College' (1951) [full citation]; Bachrach, 'Sir Constantyn Huygens and Ben Jonson' (1951) [full citation]; Feldman, 'Playwrights and Pike-Trailers' (1953) [full citation]; Simpson, 'Westminster Schoolboy' (1953) [full citation]; JCS iv, 603 [full citation]; Bambrough, 'Early Life of Ben Jonson' (1960) [full citation]; McMillin, 'Jonson's Early Entertainments' (1968) [full citation]; Nethercot, Stuart Plays, 1 (1971) [full citation]; Edmond, 'Pembroke's Men', 133-36 (1974) [full citation]; Grove ix, 707 (1980) [full citation]; Phelps, 'Ben Jonson's Death' (1980) [full citation]; Eccles, Authors, 77 (1982) [full citation]; Miles, Ben Jonson (1986) [full citation]; DLB 62: 136 (1987) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Ben Jonson' (1988) [full citation]; Riggs, Ben Jonson (1989) [full citation]; DLB 121: 186 (1992) [full citation]; Wills, 234 (1993) [full citation]]

?Solimon (Zulziman), SOLIMON AND PERSEDA (see Satiromastix); ?actor, ISLE OF DOGS;

?Nicholls, Robert

(fl. 1592-95) (Nyccowlles). Actor (Pembroke's? Queen's?). [ES ii, 331 [full citation]; Nungezer, 261 [full citation]; Edmond, 'Pembroke's Men' (1974) [full citation]; McMillin, 'Simon Jewell' (1976) [full citation]; Wentersdorf, 'Origin and Personnel', 62 (1979) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men', 310 (1981) [full citation]]

?Shakespeare, William

(1564-1616). Playwright, actor, sharer. (Brother of Edmund Shakespeare) [ES iii, 479 [full citation]; Nungezer, 315 [full citation]; Chambers, William Shakespeare (1930) [full citation]; Eccles, Shakespeare (1961) [full citation]; Hamer, 'William Shakeshafte?' (1970) [full citation]; Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare (1975) [full citation]; Burkhart, 'Shakespeare's Lost Years' (1978) [full citation]; Grove xviii, 214 (1980) [full citation]; Honigmann, Shakespeare (1985) [full citation]; DLB 62: 267 (1987) [full citation]; Wills, 105 (1993) [full citation]; DLB 172: 217 (1996) [full citation]]

Old Knowell, EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR; ?Tiberius Caesar, SEJANUS;

?Shank, John (I)

(circa1580?—1636, buried 27 January, St. Giles's, Cripplegate) (Schanks, Shanck, Schancke, Shanckes, Shancks, Shanke, Shankes, Shanks, Shanucke). Actor (Pembroke's?; Queen's?; Prince Henry's-Palsgrave's 1610-13; King's 1619-31), sharer, writer. (Father of John Shank (II)) [ES ii, 338 [full citation]; Nungezer, 316 [full citation]; JCS ii, 562; v, 1049 [full citation]; George, 'Pre-1642 Cast Lists' (1977) [full citation]; Bentley, Profession of Player (1984), 113n1 [full citation]; Wills, 186 (1993) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 167 (1993) [full citation]]

actor, PROPHETESS; LOVER'S MELANCHOLY; Petella, WILD GOOSE CHASE (1631 revival); according to Wright Historica Histrionica he played Sir Roger in SCORNFUL LADY;

Shaw, Robert

(d.1603, buried 12 September, St. Savior's, Southwark) (Shaa). Actor (Pembroke's 1597; Admiral's 1597-1602). [ES ii, 339 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 323 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 62 (1931) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 168 (1993) [full citation]]

?actor, ISLE OF DOGS; Irish Bishop, BATTLE OF ALCAZAR;

?Sincler, John

(fl. 1590-1604) (Sinklo, Sincklo). Actor (Strange's circa1590; Pembroke's (?) circa1592-3; Germany 1596; Chamberlain's circa1598; King's 1604). [ES ii, 339 [full citation]; Nungezer, 326 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 49 (1931) [full citation]; Schrickx, 'German Archives', 155 (1982) [full citation]; Schrickx, Foreign Envoys, 127 (1986) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 168 (1993) [full citation]]

Keeper "Induction," Soldier "Envy," Captain, Musician "Sloth," ?Mercury "Lechery," 2 SEVEN DEADLY SINS; enters with crossbow, 3 HENRY VI; player, "Induction," TAMING OF THE SHREW; Beadle, 2 HENRY IV (V.iv.1); himself, "Induction," MALCONTENT; evidence exists that he might have been a thin actor;

Spencer, Gabriel

(1576-98). Actor (Pembroke's 1597; Admiral's 1598). [ES ii, 341 [full citation]; Nungezer, 336 [full citation]; Eccles, 'Jonson and the Spies' (1937) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 172 (1993) [full citation]]

?Messenger, 3 HENRY VI (I.ii.48); ?actor, ISLE OF DOGS; he was slain in Hogsdon Fields by Benjamin Jonson.