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”. Marlowe is buried in the ancient church of St Nicholas in Deptford.
(*) Readers may also be interested to know that the recently-discovered site of the “Rose” playhouse in Southwark, where many of Marlowe’s plays were performed, is open to the public every Saturday from 10:00-5:00 (entry is free, although donations are of course welcome).