Short Biography of
the life of William Sly - Elizabethan actor
The following biography information
provides basic facts about the life William Sly:
Nationality - English
Lifespan - (1573 -1608)
Acting Troupes: Member of the
Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men
Career - Actor
Henry Condell and
William Sly joined as co-owners of the Globe Theatre in 1605
Will Sly also became a
co-owner in the
Blackfriar’s playhouse in 1608
Will Sly played " romantic
or soldierly parts such as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Laertes in Hamlet
and Hotspur in Henry IV".
Famous for : He was named as one of the 26 actors who performed in the plays which were listed in William
Shakespeare's First Folio
He died in March 1608
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
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.
about William Sly - Elizabethan actor
The following documented facts are related to William Sly 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 on 15 March 1604. 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."
The 1616 Folio of Ben
Jonson's Works contained cast lists for his plays.The cast list for Ben Jonson's
Sejanus, performed in 1603, includes "Ric. Burbadge, Aug. Philips, Will.
Sly, Ioh. Lowin, Will. Shake-Speare, Ioh. Hemings, Hen. Condel, and
Alex. Cooke." The cast list for
Jonson's Every Man in His Humor, which was performed in 1598, includes "Will
Shakespeare, Aug. Philips, Hen. Condel, Will. Slye, Will. Kempe, Ric.
Burbadge, Ioh. Hemings, Tho. Pope, Chr. Beeston, and Ioh. Duke."
The Chamberlain's Men Acting Troupe
The Chamberlain's Men, of which William Sly 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.
Interesting Facts and information
about the History, Life & Times of the famous Elizabethan actor, William Sly. Additional details, facts and information about the
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