May 30th – On this day in 1593, the colourful Christopher Marlowe, poet, playwright, lover of tobacco and boys and supposed spy, was fatally stabbed in a tavern in Deptford, under somewhat mysterious circumstances. The Coroner’s Inquisition at the time concluded that he had been killed in self-defence by one Ingram Frizer, during an argument about a bill or “reckoning”. It is believed that his death is alluded to, in his friend William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, as “a great reckoning in a little room”.
The recently discovered remains of the sixteenth-century “Rose Playhouse” in Southwark, where many of Marlowe’s plays were – and indeed periodically still are – performed, alongside those of Shakespeare and others, is visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk, and on our “Post-Medieval (Tudor and Stuart) London” themed special (*).
Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of our web-site.
(*) Readers may also be interested to know that the “Rose” is open to the public every Saturday from 10:00-5:00 (entry is free, although donations are of course welcome)
And that Marlowe’s “Edward II” is currently being staged, alongside Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, in the atmospheric period surroundings of the church of St Bartholomew the Great in West Smithfield, by the there-resident theatre group “Scena Mundi”. The last performance of “Edward II” is on July 2nd; the last performance of “Richard II”, on July 3rd.