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Anon. (1595) Underconstruction.jpg


Historical Records

Performance Records (Henslowe's Diary)

F. 12v (Greg, I. 24)

ye 29 of aguste 1595 ne ………. Res at longe shanke ………. xxxxs
ye 10 of september 1595 Res at longshancke ………. iijll

F. 13 (Greg, I. 25)

ye 30 of september 1595 ………. Res at longe shancke ………. xxxijs
ye 21 of october 1595 ………. Res at long shancke ………. xxxs

F. 14 (Greg, I. 27)

ye 9 of november 1595 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xxxiijs
ye 26 of november 1595 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xviijs
ye 10 of desember 1595 ………. Res at prynce longshanke ………. xxxs
ye 29 of desember 1595 ………. Res at longshanckes ………. xxxijs

F. 14v (Greg, I. 28)

ye 5 of febreary 1595 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xiiijs
ye 27 of febreary 1595 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xxxs

F. 15v (Greg, I. 30)

ye 21 of aprell 1596 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xiiijs
ye 28 of aprell 1596 ………. Res at longschancke ………. xxs

F. 21v (Greg, I. 42)

ye 2 of June 1596 ………. Res at longshancke ………. iijll
ye 9 of July 1596 ………. Res at longshancke ………. xvs

F. 107 (Greg, I. 169)

pd vnto my sone EA for ij bocke called
phillipe of spayne & Longshanckes the 8
of agust 1602 the some of ……………… iiijll

Henslowe's Inventory

The booke of the Inventary of the goods of my Lord Admeralles men, taken the 10 of Marche in the yeare 1598. (Greg, Papers, 113)

Gone and loste.
Item, j longe-shanckes sewte.

The Enventorey of all the aparell of the Lord Admeralles men, taken the 13th of Marche 1598, as followeth: (Greg, Papers, 121)

Item, j Longeshankes seute.

Theatrical Provenance

The Admiral's players introduced "Longshanks" in the opening week of their fall season at the Rose playhouse, August 1595. It was the first play of the season to be marked by Henslowe's enigmatic "ne." It received fourteen performances through 9 July 1596, and it returned an average of 31s. per performance to Henslowe. On 8 August 1602 the company purchased the playbook from Edward Alleyn, presumably for revival at the Fortune playhouse. The timing of the purchase suggests that "Longshanks" participated in Alleyn's own return to the stage after retirement in 1597; that return is generally viewed as a marketing strategy for the Fortune, newly built in 1600 and ready for business by the fall of that year.

Probable Genre(s)

History (Harbage).

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues


References to the Play

(insert David's suggestion here?)

Critical Commentary

Fleay tagged "Longshanks" as "a 'mended' version of Peele's "Edward I, surnamed Longshanks" (BCED, II, 304).

Greg accepted the identification of "Longshanks" with Peele's Edward I. Like Fleay, he found it plausible that the play in Henslowe's listings was marked "ne" because it was revised. He did point out that no revisions occur in the 1599 reprint of Peele's play, which had initially been published in 1593. Because Alleyn owned the play in 1602, Greg thought it likely that he had owned it when he was a member of Strange's men (II, 176, Item #75).

Hook, discussing "Longshanks" in his introduction to Edward I in the Yale edition of Peele's work, considers the lost play "almost certainly" Peele's play (7). His reasoning is that "Longshanks is a name used for no one but Edward I, and no other play is known to have been written about that monarch" (7). He considers the item of apparel listed as both "Gone and loste" and found in Henslowe's inventory ("long-shanckes sewte", "Longeshankes seute") as additional proof, conjecturing that the suit is no ordinary "royal robe" but the "special garment" specified in the opening stage direction for scene 3 in Edward I: Enter … king Edward in his sute of Glasse (7, 93). In a note, Hook cites Collier, Fleay, Greg, and Chambers as the line of authority that the identification of "Longshanks" as Edward I (with or without revisions) "is widely accepted" (7).

Braunmuller repeats the received wisdom on the identification of "Longshanks" as Peele's Edward I, considering the 1595-6 run as proof of Peele's "play's popularity" (87). In a note, Braunmuller raises but does not engage the issue of Henslowe's designation of "Longshanks" as "ne" (146).



See also Wiggins serial number 882 ("The Welshman") and 1007 ("Longshanks").

For What It's Worth

On 29 November 1595, Henslowe entered a performance of "the welche man," for which show he received 7s. Greg rejects Fleay's suggestion that this is an early appearance of Robert Armin's Valiant Welshman (1615); he also rejects its identification with a 1598 play in the Admiral's inventory, "Henry I and the Prince of Wales." He thinks it "just possible" this entry belongs with the performances of "Longshanks" (II, 178, item #83)

Works Cited

Braunmuller, A. R. George Peele. Boston, Twayne Publishers, 1983.
Gurr, Andrew. Shakespeare's Opposites: The Admiral's Company 1594-1625. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Hook, Frank S., ed. The Dramatic Works of George Peele. vol. 2. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961.
Knutson, Roslyn L. "Play Identifications: The Wise Man of West Chester and John a Kent and John a Cumber; Longshanks and Edward I." Huntington Library Quarterly 47.1 (1984): 1-11. (HLQ)

Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 27 October 2012.

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