Interesting information about the life and times of William Sly and the
Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London, England
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 'Curtain Theatre'.
- 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.
Documented facts 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 Globe Theatre and other actors can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.