Category:Gabriel Spencer

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Gabriel Spencer, player, was a Londoner born; his christening is recorded in the parish register of Christ Church, Newgate, on 8 April 1576, as the child of Gabriel Spencer, pewterer. His first known association with the professional theater was as a member of Pembroke's men in 1597. He was one of the players who was imprisoned as a result of the investigation into "The Isle of Dogs" at the Swan playhouse; subsequently, he moved to the Admiral's men and joined litigation against Francis Langley over the break-up of the company. He is usually taken to have been in Pembroke's men much earlier due to the naming of a "Gabriel" in the stage directions of the folio version of 3 Henry VI (itself often attributed to Pembroke's men, 1592-3). As an Admiral's man, Spencer had sufficient authority to witness company transactions. On 22 September 1598, Spencer was killed by Ben Jonson in a duel. The records of Middlesex Sessions reveal that Spencer had engaged in an earlier duel with James Feake, on 3 December 1596; Feake died three days later. Spencer was buried in St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, on 24 September 1598. For further details, see items in the Works Cited below.

Works Cited

Eccles, Mark. "Elizabethan Actors IV: S to End," Notes and Queries 238.2 (n.s.40) (1993): 165-76, esp. 172.
Nungezer, Edwin. A Dictionary of Actors. 1929. rpt. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968.



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