Goughe, Robert (DNB00)

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GOUGHE or GOFFE, ROBERT (d. 1624), one of the actors in Shakespeare's plays, appears twenty-third in the list of actors' names prefixed to the 1623 folio. In 1581 he took the female character of Aspatia in ‘Sardanapalus,’ a portion of a piece by Tarlton called ‘The Seconde Parte of the Seven Deadlie Sinns,’ of which ‘The Platt,’ all that survives, is among the manuscripts (No. xix.) at Dulwich College, and is printed in Steevens's additions to Malone's ‘Historical Account,’ and in Collier's ‘English Dramatic Poetry.’ In 1603 he had from Thomas Pope, whom Malone assumes to have probably been his master, a legacy of half of the testator's wearing apparel and arms. In 1611 he played the Usurping Tyrant in the ‘Second Maiden's Tragedy.’ He married on 13 Feb. 1602 Elizabeth Phillips, the sister of Augustine Phillips, the actor, who received from her brother a testamentary bequest of 10l. ‘of lawfull money of England.’ Under the name Robert Goffe, Goughe is a witness to Phillips's will, which is dated 4 May 1605. He resided in Southwark; was living in Hill's Rents in 1604, in Samson's Rents in 1605–6, and in Austin's Rents in 1612, where he seems to have stayed until 1622, if not to his death. Robert Goffe, once more described as a player, was buried on 19 Feb. 1624 at St. Saviour's Church. Elizabeth Goffe or Gough, daughter of Robert, a player, was baptised on 30 May 1605, Nicholas Goffe on 24 Nov. 1608, Dorothaye Goffe on 10 Feb. 1610, buried on 12 Jan. 1612, and Alexander Goffe on 7 Aug. 1614, all at St. Saviour's Church. The last-named, also an actor until the closing of the theatres, published in 1652 the ‘Widow,’ by Ben Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton, and according to Wright's ‘Historia Histrionica’ was ‘the woman actor at Black Friars,’ who, when in Cromwell's time the actors played privately in the houses of noblemen, ‘used to be the jackal, and give notice of time and place.’

[Malone's Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the English Stage, additions to the same by Chalmers and Steevens; Wright's Historia Histrionica, ed. Mr. R. Lowe; John Payne Collier's English Dramatic Poetry.]

J. K.