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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Actor's Church
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1273  Thursday, 9 May 2002

[1]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 May 2002 17:48:53 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1268 Re: Actor's Church

[2]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 May 2002 18:31:10 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 13.1268 Re: Actor's Church


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 May 2002 17:48:53 +0100
Subject: 13.1268 Re: Actor's Church
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1268 Re: Actor's Church

Judi Wilkins wrote:

> Someone mentions the Actor's Church (sic) in Covent Garden.  I hate to
> be picky, but who is the actor, and why does he have a private church?

Judi raises an important point: I can't find it documented anywhere, but
this is clearly a reference to Francis, fourth Earl of Bedford*.  The
soubriquet must have arisen from him playing a leading part in the Court
Masques, and this was obviously his reason why he commissioned his
friend Inigo Jones to design St Paul's Church and the buildings around
the Covent Garden piazza.  This development was entirely on land owned
by the earl, so yes, it was his private church!

John Briggs

*Or just possibly his son, William, fifth Earl and first Duke, who is
recorded as having acted (or danced) in the last of the Caroline
masques, Salmacida Spolia, in 1640.  See David Lindley (Ed), Court
masques: Jacobean and Caroline entertainments, 1605-1640, (Oxford UP,
1995).

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 8 May 2002 18:31:10 +0100
Subject: Re: Actor's Church
Comment:        SHK 13.1268 Re: Actor's Church

I believe that its official name is actually St Paul's Church in Covent
Garden. And as you say, maybe 'Actors' Church' might have been more
felicitous. Certainly many theatrical functions take place there, and it
is right on the edge of the piazza in Covent Garden that is usually
buzzing with life.

Can anyone think of other churches which have acquired theatrical
associations? Shakespearean or otherwise?

Stuart Manger

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