Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/469

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POLITICAL HISTORY inhabitants who formed the corporation were, and they objected to stage plays altogether, and with good grounds objected to the disorder which surrounded the play-houses and bear-pits. When these were erected therefore they were just outside the jurisdiction of the City. The Black- friars, where Sir Thomas Cawarden had had a house when he was Master of the Revels, had been a centre for amusements, close under the eyes of the corporation, from which it was protected by the ancient liberties of the friars ; but the Surrey side offered a more extensive field for braving their displeasure, while keeping close to the population who were to be amused. The rogues and vagabonds of the southern bound- aries of Surrey had their more civilized counterpart in the stage players who hung about South wark. So in 1580 a theatre was opened at New- ington Butts, called after the name of the place. In 1585 the Rose and the Hope were opened near Bankside, and in 1588 the Paris Garden Theatre. The Rose and the Paris Garden, perhaps the Hope also, could be used as either theatres or bear-pits. In 1595 the Swan was opened, and in 1599 the Globe. 1 They were all in the Clink Liberty or Paris Garden Manor, being very close together. The corporation prevailed upon the Privy Council to close all the theatres in Surrey, except the Globe, in 1601 ; but bear-baiting remained too popular for suppression. In James' reign theatres were opened again. But the era of the building of these houses marks the period when Southwark was, as we have said, more than merely annexed by London. It as a district became then a necessary part of London, developing a distinctive charac- ter of its own, and attracting a population of a particular kind, which separated it entirely in spirit and manners from the rural districts and country towns. It was no more a possibly debatable land ; there could henceforth be no question but that it was London. The theatres were outside the jurisdiction of the corporation, the actors of course lived inside. Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher all lived in Southwark at various times. Massinger at least died there, as did Shakespeare's brother Edmund. Not strictly contemporaneously, but within some ten years, from 1590 to 1600, Surrey contained four residents whom she could scarcely equal for their various claims to distinction by four at any other time. The lord admiral lived at Haling, Sir Francis Walsingham at Barn Elms, the queen constantly lay at Richmond, and Shakespeare had a house at the Boar's Head opposite St. Mary Overie. The first three died in Surrey. When the great queen had passed away in gloom and loneliness at Richmond there was no revolution in Surrey government. The queen had died early on March 24, 1603. That day the Earl of Northumber- land thrust himself into the Council, claiming a place in their delibera- tions. On the 25th, when they wrote to the Surrey justices ordering them to proclaim King James, it is amusing to find Northumberland's signature in the place of honour, far more prominent than the humble 1 The dates are Mr. Fleay's ; see Transactions R. Hist. S. 1888. See Topographical Section for a more detailed examination of the Surrey side theatres. 397