Monday, April 6, 2009

Heminges takes payment (as usual)

April 5, 1609 -- Heminges takes payment (as usual) for King's Men

"Other narratives would have the King's Servants acting in Blackfriars during these plague periods because of recorded payments by the royal court to them for "private practice" (not in a particular location) during plague. John Heminges, who had annually collected the court moneys due the company from holiday performances since the beginning of James's reign, picked up payment at Whitehall on April 5, 1609, in Lent, for twelve plays presented at court during the preceding winter holidays. Then, twenty days later, Heminges was allotted an extra 40 [pounds sterling], a gratuity described as "his Majesty's reward for their private practice in the time of infection that thereby they might be enabled to perform their service before his Majesty in Christmas holidays [1608-] 1609." The reference here to "private" play would resurface a year later in a similar warrant for a royal gratuity to the King's Servants. This time Heminges picked up 30 [pounds sterling] for the King's Servants "being restrained from public playing within the City of London in the time of infection during the space of six weeks in which time they practiced privately for his Majesty's service."


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