Vortigern

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Image by Robert Vermaat, from Lambeth Palace Library MS6, folio 43v (Vortigern Studies)

Anon. (1596)


Contents

Historical Records

Performance Records (Henslowe's Diary)


F. 25v (Greg, I. 50)

ye 4 of desember 1596 ne ………. Res at valteger ………. ls
ye 8 of desember 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xxxvs
ye 16 of desember 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xxxvs
ye 21 of desember 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xxvs
ye 24 of desember 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xijs
ye 3[0]9 of desember 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xxijs
ye 1 of Jenewary 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xxxxvs
ye [7]8 of Janewary 1596 ………. Res at valteger ………. xijs
ye 21 of Janewary 1597 ………. Res at valteger ………. xijss


F. 26 (Greg, I. 51)

Under the heading, "Jn the name of god amen begininge the 25 of novemb[er] 1596 as foloweth the lord admerall players":


ffebreary
1597
. . 5 . . ne.. . . tt at valteger. . . . . . . . . . 01|09|05-13-09
begynyng in leant
march 1597
. . 12 . . . . tt at valteger. . . . . . . . . . 00|18|09-01-04
Easter mvnday . . 28 . .
twesday . . 29 . .
wensday . . 30 . .
mr pd . . 31 . .
Aprelle 1597
2 tt at valteger. . . . . . . . . 00|04|01-01-00


Payments for Apparel (Henslowe's Diary)


F. 22v (Greg, I. 44).

lente vnto my lord admerall players at several
tymes in Redey money as foloweth 1596


lent vnto Jeames donstall for to by thinges for the
playe of valteger …………… vli
lent vnto marten slater to by coper lace & frenge for
the playe of valteger the 2[9]8 of november 1596 ………… xxxxs
lent vnto marten slater the 29 of november 1596 to by for the play
of valteger lace & other things ……… xxvs



Payments to Playwrights (Henslowe's Diary)


F. 95 (Greg, I. 151)

Pd at the apoyntment of the company veto
my sonne E Alleyn for a Boocke called [m]vorti[m]ger
the 20 of november <the> 1601 the some of ……… xxxx<sp>s</sup>



Henslowe's Inventory


Under the heading, The Enventary of all the aparell for my Lord Admiralles men, taken the 10 of march 1598.— Leaft above in the tier-house in the cheast (Greg, Papers 116).

Item, j payer of hosse, & a gercken for Valteger.



Under the heading, The Enventorey of all the aparell of the Lord Admeralles men, taken the 13th of Marche 1598, as followeth: (Greg, Papers 118-19)

Item, Valteger robe of rich tafitie.



Theatrical Provenance


"Valteger" was performed by the Admiral's players at the Rose, 1596-7. It was given thirteen performances and returned receipts of 23s. to Henslowe on average. If the play called "henges" by Henslowe is a fourteenth performance of "Valteger," the play returned an additional sum (impossible to calculate because of Henslowe's opaque accounting system in June 1597). The play was probably revived shortly after November 1601, at which time the company purchased the script from Edward Alleyn.

Probable Genre(s)


History (Harbage)

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues


The website, Vortigern Studies, provides a substantial amount of information about Vortigern and his times (Vermaat).

References to the Play


Information welcome.

Critical Commentary


Greg considered "Vortigern" to be the "henges" on 22 June 1597, but he was dubious about its having a connection to the much later play, Hengist King of Kent by Thomas Middleton (II.181, Item 95).

Gurr sees no reason to connect "Vortigern" with Middleton's play "unless Middleton chose to rewrite this older play in about 1615 for the King's Men" (223n).

See also Wiggins serial number 1048.

For What It's Worth


The entry of "henges" (regularized to "Hengist" by Greg [2.180] and Foakes [341]) is taken to be yet another performance of "Vortigern."

F. 27 (Greg, I. 53)
midsomer
daye
. . 22 . . . . tt at henges. . . . . . . . . . 00|06|00-11-06


The item, "Vartemar sewtte," in Henslowe's inventory for 13 March 1598 has been read as "Valteger's suit" (Greg, Papers 119), though it may simply refer to Vortigern's son Vortimer, who may well have had a role in the play.

Works Cited


Gurr, Andrew. Shakespeare’s Opposites: The Admiral’s Company 1594-1625. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Vermat, Robert, Webmaster. Vortigern Studies (Web)



Site created and maintained by Roslyn L. Knutson, Professor Emerita, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; created 2 March 2013.

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