Queen Elizabeth had a different opinion from the players in regard to its popularity. In a conversation reported by William Lambard, her Keeper of the Rolls, she said:
'I am Richard II, know ye not that?'
W.L. 'Such a wicked imagination was determined and attempted by a most unkind Gent. the most adorned creature that ever your Majestie made.'
Her Majestie. 'He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors; this tragedy was played 40tie times in open streets and houses.'
(The Shakespeare Allusion Book, ed. J. Munro.
1909. Vol. I, pp. 100–101.)
If, again, Shakespeare's play be referred to, few others have the distinction of having been played so far from England at that early date. In the journal of Captain Keeling of the East Indiaman Dragon, off Sierra Leone (in Narratives of Voyages towards the North West, ed. Thomas Rundall. 1849) in 1607, appears the following passage:
September 5.—I sent the interpreter according to his desier abord the 'Hector,' whear he brooke fast, and after came abord mee, wher we gaue the tragedie of Hamlet. . . .
September 30.—Captain Hawkins dined with me, when my companions acted Kinge Richard the Second.
The authenticity of these entries has been questioned, but so sane a scholar as F. S. Boas has no doubt that they are genuine and that the plays were Shakespeare's. (Shakespeare at Sea: Contemporary Review, July, 1918.)
Still another pre-Restoration performance is recorded by Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels to James I, Charles I, and Charles II, June 12, 1631, when he received £5 6s. 6d. as his benefit from the second performance of a revived play, from the King's company, at the Globe. (The Dramatic Records of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels