Queen'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.

Begun on 10 March 1583 under Elizabeth I, the Queen's Men cannibalized the leading companies of the day for the best players. The year coincides with the death of Elizabeth's Lord Chamberlain, Sussex, (who died about one month later on 16 April) and it has been argued that the company was created (by Francis Walsingham) to end the rivalries amongst Elizabeth's nobles to have their companies perform for the queen in the Christmas season. Evidence indicates that, whether intended or not, Elizabeth's nobles did not compete with their sovereign's company. For more information, see Gurr, Andrew The Shakespearian Playing Companies, Oxford UP, 1996.

Listed alphabetically

Adams, John

(fl. 1576-1588). Actor (Sussex's 1576; Queen's 1583-88). [ES ii, 296 [full citation] ; Nungezer, 1 [full citation] ]

[?] Allen, Richard (I)

(d.1601; fl. 1583-1601) (Alleyn). Actor. (Husband of Agnes Allen Marbeck) [ES ii, 299 [full citation] ; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation] ; Nungezer, 13 [full citation] ; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 51 (1931) [full citation] ; Eccles, 'Actors III', 298 (1992) [full citation] ; Cerasano, 'Henslowe/Forman', 155 (1993) [full citation] ]

Bentley, John

(circa1553-85, buried 19 August at St. Peter's Cornhill in the northern pit). Actor (Queen's 1583). [ES ii, 303 [full citation]; Nungezer, 44 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Wills' (1931) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I' (1991), 47 [full citation]; Wills, 55 (1993) [full citation] ]

Cooke, Lionel

(fl. 1583-1588). Actor (Queen's 1583-88). [ES ii, 312 [full citation]; Nungezer, 103 [full citation]; McMillin, 'Simon Jewell', 176 (1976) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men', 310 (1981) [full citation]]

[?]Cowper, John

(fl. 1598). Actor (?)(Queen's 1598) (possibly mistake for John Towne?). [Reed York, 481 (1979) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men', 310 (1981) [full citation]]

Dutton, John (I)

(circa1548-1614). Actor (Warwick's 1575-80; Oxford's 1580; Queen's 1583-92). (Brother of Laurence Dutton) [ES ii, 314 [full citation]; Nungezer, 123 [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I', 48 (1991) [full citation]; Mann, 'Sir Oliver Owlet's Men', 306-7 (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 230 (1993) [full citation]; Benbow, 'Dutton and Goffe versus Broughton' (1981) [full citation]]

Dutton, Laurence

(fl. 1571-96). Actor (Lane's 1571-2; Lincoln's 1573; Clinton's 1574; Warwick's 1575-80; Oxford's 1580; Queen's 1583-91). (Brother of John Dutton (I)) [ES ii, 314 [full citation]; Nungezer, 124 [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors I', 48 (1991) [full citation]; Mann, 'Sir Oliver Owlet's Men', 306-7 (1991) [full citation]; Benbow, 'Dutton and Goffe versus Broughton' (1981) [full citation]]

Garland, John

(d.1624). Actor (Queen's 1583-98; Lennox's 1604; Duke of York's 1610-14). [ES ii, 318 [full citation]; Nungezer, 146 [full citation]; Reed York, 481 (1979) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men', 310 (1981) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II' (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 141 (1993) [full citation]]

[?]Heminges, John

(1566-1630) (Heminge, Hemminge, Hemminges). Actor (Queen's?; Strange's 1593; Chamberlain's-King's 1594-1630), sharer. (Husband of Rebecca Edwards Knell Heminges; father of William Heminges; father-in-law of William Ostler) [ES ii, 320 [full citation]; Nungezer, 179 [full citation]; JCS ii, 465 [full citation]; Nosworthy, 'John Heminges' (1949) [full citation]; Riddell, 'Actors', 293 (1969) [full citation]; Bergeron, 'Actors', 26 (1972) [full citation]; Bawcutt, 'New Revels Documents', 326 (1984) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 457 (1991) [full citation]; Wills, 164 (1993) [full citation]; Wilson, Shakespeare: The Evidence (1993) [full citation]; Edmond, 'Yeomen', 33 (1996) [full citation]]

John Roberts, in Answer to Pope identifies him as a tragedian: actor, EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR; EVERY MAN OUT OF HIS HUMOUR; himself "Induction," MALCONTENT; actor, SEJANUS; VOLPONE; ALCHEMIST; CATILINE; performer, MIDDLE TEMPLE AND LINCOLN'S INN MASK;

Henslowe, Francis

(1566-1606) (Hensley). Actor (Queen's 1594; at Swan 1595; Lennox's 1606). (Nephew of Philip Henslowe) [ES ii, 323 [full citation]; Nungezer, 186 [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 459 (1992) [full citation]]

He was Philip Henslowe's nephew, son to Richard.

Johnson, William (I)

(fl. 1572-93). Actor (Leicester's 1572; Queen's 1583-88). [ES ii, 324 [full citation]; Bentley, 'St. Giles Cripplegate', 810 (1929) [full citation]; McMillin, 'Simon Jewell' (1976) [full citation]; Wentersdorf, 'Origin and Personnel', 63 (1979) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors II', 460 (1991) [full citation]]
A legatee in Tarlton's will, possibly the same William Johnson who was trustee of Shakespeare's Blackfriar's property between 1613 and 1618.

Knell, William

(d.1587). Actor (Queen's 1587). (Husband of Rebecca Edwards Knell Heminges) [ES ii, 327 [full citation]; Nungezer, 228 [full citation]; Eccles, Shakespeare, 82 (1961) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors III', 296 (1992) [full citation]; Wills, 227 (1993) [full citation]]

actor, FAMOUS VICTORIES OF HENRY V; Edward Alleyn once entered into a wager that he could surpass Knell in any of his parts.

Laneham, John

(fl. 1572-91). Actor (Leicester's 1572; Queen's 1583-91). [ES ii, 328 [full citation]; Nungezer, 234 [full citation]; Wills, 57 (1993) [full citation]]

Laneman's name on Sir Thomas More is probably a forgery.

Mils, Tobias

(d.1585; fl. 1583; buried 11 July 1585, St. Olave's, Southwark). Actor (Queen's 1583). [ES ii, 330 [full citation]; Nungezer, 251 [full citation]; Boswell, 'Seven Actors' (1985) [full citation]].

?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]]

Pursell, Baly

(fl. 1565-6). Actor (Queen's). [REED Shropshire, 210 (1994) [full citation]]

?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;

Singer, John

(d.1609; fl. 1578-1603). Actor (Queen's 1583-94; Admiral's 1594-1603), playwright(?). [ES ii, 339; iii, 492 [full citation]; Bentley, 'Shakespeare's Fellows' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 327 [full citation]; Greg, Dramatic Documents i, 63 (1931) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 169 (1993) [full citation]]

?Mauritius, FORTUNE'S TENNIS; Assinico, 1 TAMAR CAM; a famous stage fool

Symons, John

(fl. 1583-9). Actor/tumbler (Strange's 1583; Oxford's 1585; Strange's 1586-8?; Queen's 1588-9?). [ES ii, 341 [full citation]; Nungezer, 346 [full citation]]

Tarlton, Richard

(b. >1550 (Candover, Shropshire?)—1588, buried 3 September, St. Leonard's, Shoreditch). Actor (Leicester's?, Sussex's 1578; Queen's 1583-1588), playwright. [ES ii, 342; iii, 496 [full citation]; Nungezer, 347 [full citation]; Austin, 'William Withie's Notebook', 309 (1947) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 172 (1993) [full citation]; Wills, 57 (1993) [full citation]]

Dericke & Judge, FAMOUS VICTORIES OF HENRY V; undoubtedly the most popular and famous comedian in the Elizabethan age.

Towne, John

(d.1617). Actor (Queen's 1583-97). [ES ii, 347 [full citation]; Nungezer, 376 [full citation]; Eccles, Shakespeare, 82 (1961) [full citation]; George, 'Shakespeare and Pembroke's Men', 310n (1981) [full citation]; Eccles, 'Actors IV', 174 (1993) [full citation]; Cerasano, 'Henslowe/Forman', 155 (1993) [full citation]]

Wilson, Robert

(d.1600). Actor (Leicester's 1572-81; Queen's 1583-circa1593 (in Netherlands 1586)), playwright. [ES ii, 349; iii, 515 [full citation]; Baldwin, 'Nathaniel Field and Robert Wilson' (1926) [full citation]; Gourvitch, 'Robert Wilson' (1928) [full citation]; Nungezer, 394 [full citation]; Bald, 'Leicester's Men' (1943) [full citation]; Bowers, 'Shoemaker's Holiday' (1949) [full citation]; Mithal, 'Jesting Player' (1958) [full citation]; Bald, 'Jesting Player' (1959) [full citation]; Mithal, 'Two Wilsons Controversy' (1959) [full citation]; Eccles, Authors, 131 (1982) [full citation]; McMillin and MacLean, Queen's Men, (1998) [full citation]]