Richard Cowley

Richard Cowley
  • Interesting Facts and information about Richard Cowley in Elizabethan Times
  • Short Biography about the life of Richard Cowley - the famous Elizabethan actor
  • Facts and History about the life and times of Richard Cowley
Richard Cowley

Interesting information about the life and times of Richard Cowley and the
Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London, England

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 'Curtain Theatre'
  • 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.

Documented facts 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."

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.

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