Short Biography of
the life of Richard Cowley - Elizabethan actor
The following biography information
provides basic facts about the life Richard Cowley:
Nationality - English
Lifespan - Date of birth
unknown - died 1618
Acting Troupes: Member of the
Admiral's Men, Lord Strange's Men in 1593 and a founder member of the
Lord Chamberlain's Men and the Kings Men
Career - Elizabethan Actor
Famous for being a founder
member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men and friend of William Shakespeare
The actor and co-owner of
the Globe Theatre, Augustine Phillips, bequeathed twenty shillings in
his will to Alexander Cooke
Richard Cowley died in 1618
He is buried at St
Leonard's, Shoreditch. St Leonards Church was often frequented by
Elizabethan actors as it was located near to the first purpose built
theatre called 'The Theatre' and also in close proximity to the
He was named as one of the 26 actors who performed in the plays which were listed in William
Shakespeare's First Folio
The First Folio
was published in 1623 and contained approximately 900 pages
containing 36 of the plays by William Shakespeare. It was entitled
"Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies"
The reputation of the early
Elizabethan Actors was not good and any were viewed as no better than
rogues and vagabonds - actors were not trusted. The standing of actors
improved when the purpose-built theatres were introduced and some
Elizabethan actors became the equivalent of today's superstars.
The Chamberlain's Men Acting Troupe
The Chamberlain's Men, of which Richard Cowley was a founder member, were the most
important company of players in Elizabethan England and led by the
Burbage family and William Shakespeare. Initially known as known as Hunsdon's Men, whose patron was Henry Carey the first Lord Hunsdon.
Hunsdon then took office as the Lord Chamberlain. The Chamberlain's Men
were taken under the royal patronage of James I in March 1603 and were
then known as the King's Men. The main rivals of the Chamberlain's Men
were the Admiral's Men Acting Troupe
led by Edward Alleyn and Phillip Henslowe.
about Richard Cowley - Elizabethan actor
The following documented facts are related to Richard Cowley and his life
as an Elizabethan actor together with details of his relationship with
fellow actors including William Shakespeare.
The Lord Chamberlain's Men
were licensed as the King's Men on 19 May 1603. The document lists
"Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustyne
Phillippes, Iohn Heninges, Henrie Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn,
Richard Cowly" as members of the troupe.
On 15 March 1604 King James,
Queen Anne, and Prince Henry rode through the City of London in a royal
entry postponed from the previous summer because of the plague. An
account by Sir George Home, who was Master of the Great Wardrobe, lists
the names of "Players" who were each given four yards of red cloth
apiece for the investiture of King James in London. The actors who were
named were "William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillipps, Lawrence Fletcher,
John Hemminges, Richard Burbidge, William Slye, Robert Armyn, Henry
Cundell, and Richard Cowley."
Interesting Facts and information
about the History, Life & Times of the famous Elizabethan actor, Richard Cowley. Additional details, facts and information about the
Globe Theatre and other actors can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.