Seven Wise Masters, The

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Henry Chettle, John Day, Thomas Dekker, William Haughton (1600)


Historical Records

Payments to Playwrights (Henslowe Diary)

F. 67v (Greg, I. 118)

Receaved of mr hinchlowe the 1 march to paye to
harry chettell Thomas decker william hawton & John daye
for a boocke calld the 7 wise mrs the some of ………. xls
W birde.

Lent vnto Samewell Rowly the 8 of march 1599
to paye vnto harey chettell & John daye in fulle
payment of a boocke called the vij wisse masters
the some of ………. ls
Samuell Rowlye

F. 68 (Greg, I. 119)

Lent vnto hary chettell the 2 of march 1599
in earnest of a Boocke called the 7 wisse
masters the some of ………. xxxs

Payments, Miscellaneous (Henslowe's Diary)

F. 68 (Greg, I. 119)

Receaued of Mr Henslowe to lay out for the playe of
the 7 wise Mrs in taffataes & sattyns the some of
in behalfe of the …….. by me Robt Shaa
Company ………. xxll

Receaued more of mr Henshlowe to lay out
for the play of the 7 wise Maisters in behalf
of the Company ………. xll

Receaued more of Mr Henshlowe to lay out
for the play of the 7 wise maisters in behalf
of the Company ……….. viijll
by me Robt Shaa

Theatrical Provenance

The Admiral's men acquired "The Seven Wise Masters" in the spring of 1600, their first full year at the new Fortune playhouse. The payments of £38 for materials and other things suggests a relatively sumptuous production.

Probable Genre(s)

Tragi-comedy (Harbage); the story material would indicate a series of generically mixed playlets bound by the frame story of the seven masters and their tales.

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

References to the Play

Critical Commentary

Foakes notes (as Greg does not) that the entry on 1 March 1600 (above) is entirely in Birde's hand; that the signature for the entry of 8 March is Rowley's; and the second entry above for £8 is entirely in Shaa's hand (131, 132).

Knutson, "Toe to Toe."

For What It's Worth

Works Cited


Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; updated 30 October 2009.

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