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Manningham and Revels

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0062  Wednesday, 13 February 2013

 

[1] From:        Duncan Salkeld < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         February 12, 2013 8:32:10 PM EST

     Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Revels 

 

[2] From:        Tom Reedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

     Date:         February 12, 2013 11:27:48 PM EST

     Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Tannenbaum & Revels 

 

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Duncan Salkeld < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         February 12, 2013 8:32:10 PM EST

Subject:     RE: SHAKSPER: Revels 

 

John Briggs doubts the veracity of Manningham’s famous anecdote about Shakespeare and Burbage. But the memorandum is consistent with bawdy gossip shared by other members of the Inns of Court and of Chancery elsewhere. Here’s an extract from the Gesta Grayorum (1594, pub. 1688):

 

Moreover, I am to advertise your Honour, that on the 9th Day of January, in the Straits of Gulf of Clerkenwell, there was an hot Skirmish between a Merchant of St. Giles's, called Amarpso, and the Admiral of the Amazons, called the Rowse-Flower; wherein the Merchant having gained the Wind, came up with her in such close manner, that he brake his Bolt-sprite in her hinder Quarter.  

 

There’s a good deal more of this sort of stuff in the Gesta Grayorum. Bridewell prosecutions show that Rose Flower had worked as a prostitute since at least 1574, when Elizabeth Barnewell served as her bawd. She lived in Shoreditch where she ran a bawdy house for ‘euery foke 1 or 2 hores in her house for all that come’. She also worked from other bawdy houses elsewhere north of the Thames. Henry Boyer, a pimp living in Cowe Lane, just outside Clerkenwell, was said (on 2 July 1576) to have taken ‘Rose Flower’ to houses in Whitefriars and the Strand. Two years later, John Lee, who ‘also laye with Margarett Goldesmythe at Baynehams at Clerkenwell’ was recorded as having used Rose Flower: ‘John Lee in Lyme Strete did abuse Rose Flower at Shoreditch in her howse’. This John Lee claimed that ‘he went to Sir Henry Lees and there he could have a Lady when he lysted to be noughte’. Sir Henry commissioned the Ditchley portrait. 

 

Thomas Nashe in Have With You to Saffron-Walden (1596) seems to make an oblique reference to her: ‘ . . . as also examined his syrup of roses, wherein Rose Flowers is best experimented’.

 

Given that this sort of material was favoured by members of the Inns of Court, there seems no particular reason to doubt the integrity of the Manningham record.

 

Duncan Salkeld

 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------

From:        Tom Reedy < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         February 12, 2013 11:27:48 PM EST

Subject:     Re: SHAKSPER: Tannenbaum & Revels

 

Regarding the two Revels Accounts books, the inks were tested 100 years ago. The results indicating the books were authentic, as well as much other evidence in favor of their being genuine, were given in Ernest Law's Some Supposed Shakespeare Forgeries (1911), available at http://archive.org/details/somesupposedsha00laweuoft. A. E. Stamp showed that the wormholes penetrated the ink and paper at the same time in his address to the Shakespeare Association published as The Disputed Revels Accounts (1930).

 

This is all old stuff. In the absence of any new information, to suspect that the account books are forgeries in this day is to ignore all the evidence that has been amassed demonstrating their authenticity.

 

Tom Reedy

 
 

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