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 companyapplying to Pembroke for patronageafter 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.