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Trying to get to 1584

2013 January 10
by Diane Jakacki

This afternoon I prepared to add the 1584 performance data to As I looked again at the data I realized that I had placed a long-term contract at York in 1584 when in fact it should have been added to 1583 – the performance dates were 11/11/1583-11/11/1584. I have gone ahead and made that correction to the map that you can view here. My initial observations about 1584, that I will try and publish this weekend, are that of the eleven performance records I’ve looked at, five are single- or two-day records: Whitehall, Kirtling, Cambridge (2 in one day), and Rye; four contracts extended from one to four months: Lydd, York, and Dover (two separate contracts); and only Hythe and Rye offered full-year contracts (down from six in 1583.)

The more I look at year-by-year data, the more I wonder how these contracts were negotiated. For example: the 1583 West-North summer tour reached as far north as Nottingham (9/2), so it would not make sense for the troupe or a representative to travel on to York to negotiate a year-long contract that would not begin until November. The York contract was for performances at the Minster – not the Guildhall or a private residence. Might these performances have been contracted at London (but by whom)?

And the more I look at the clunky pin system I’ve currently got in place on, I wonder how (and when, and at what cost) I can present these arguments in a more sophisticated manner.


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