Oxford: Clarendon Press, Collier, J. Foakes, R. Henslowe's Diary.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage, Hall, Edwin T. Henslowe, Philip. The Henslowe papers. Foakes, Ed. London: Scolar Press, Hosking, George L. Life and Times of Edward Alleyn. Nungezer, Edwin. New York: Greenwood Press, Wraight, A. Christopher Marlowe and Edward Alleyn. Chichester: Adam Hart Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Created by Anniina Jokinen on November 14, Last updated June 29, Encyclopedia Project. What's New. Letter from the Editor.
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His mother remarried an actor named Brown. Alleyn, growing up in the home of an actor was believed to have been raised in the theatre culture. He created the parts, which were probably written especially for him. Edward Alleyn was known for his physical size and handling of commanding parts. The evidence for his stage career is otherwise fragmentary.
To illustrate Alleyn's dedication, in Alleyn and the rest of his fellow players were touring the provinces of England, including more rural areas and were apparently not earning enough money worth the travelling. At that time, the bubonic plague was wreaking havoc in London, but Alleyn and the other players were willing to risk their health for the success of the troupe and perhaps, their personal financial stability by staying in London.
The tour extended to Bristol , Shrewsbury , Chester , and York. Alleyn retired at the height of his fame around , and it is said that Queen Elizabeth requested his return to the stage, which he did in , the year after her death.
THE THEATRE SCENE IN 1592
Ben Jonson bestowed praise on Alleyn's acting. Although Alleyn had obtained a good amount of his fortune due to his marriage, he also made much of it from his acting career and owned a large estate in Sussex. Alleyn went into business with his father-in-law Philip Henslowe and became wealthy. He was part-owner in Henslowe's ventures, and in the end sole proprietor of several profitable playhouses, bear-pits and brothels. The Fortune was built for Alleyn and Henslowe in , the year after the rival Globe Theatre was completed south of the river, by the same contractor Peter Street, but was square rather than round;  it was occupied by the Admiral's Men , of which Alleyn was the head.
He filled, in conjunction with Henslowe, the post of "master of the king's games of bears, bulls and dogs. Joan was his wife but when she died, within the same year he married Constance.
Edward Alleyn and Philip Henslowe
Alleyn's connection with Dulwich began in , when he bought the manor of Dulwich from Sir Francis Calton. The landed property, of which the entire estate had not passed into Alleyn's hands earlier than , stretched from Sydenham Hill on whose summit now stands the Crystal Palace television transmission tower, to the crest of the parallel ridge, three miles nearer London, known in its several portions as Herne Hill , Denmark Hill and Champion Hill. He began the task of building and endowing the College of God's Gift at Dulwich.
There is a legend associated with the founding of Dulwich which attributes Alleyn's gift to an encounter with an apparition.
Edward Alleyn - Local History at St. Bartholomew's Church, Sydenham, SE26
English antiquarian John Aubrey was the first to record the legend, saying:. Alleyn, being a tragedian, and one of the original actors in many of the celebrated Shakespeare plays, in one of which he played a demon , with six others, surprised by an apparition of the devil , which so worked on his fancy that he made a vow, which he performed at this place Dulwich College. All was completed in except for the charter or deed of incorporation for setting his lands in mortmain. Delays occurred in the Star Chamber , where Lord Chancellor Bacon brought pressure to bear on Alleyn, with the aim of securing a portion of the proposed endowment for the maintenance of lectureships at Oxford and Cambridge.
Bacon's approach was in line with his skepticism about the impact of charitable foundations, compared to a scheme put forward by Sir Henry Savile and Sir Edwin Sandys that lacked funds.