1662 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Alleyn

Thomas Fuller, in History of the Worthies of England (1662) 2:224.



EDWARD ALLIN was born in the aforesaid Parish [Saint Botolph] near Devonshire-house, where now is the sign of the Pie. He was bred a Stage-player, a Calling which many have condemned, more have questioned, some few have excused, and far fewer conscientious people have commended. He was the Roscius of our age, so acting to the life that he made any part (especially a Majestick one) to become him. He got a very great Estate, and in his old age, following Christs Councel, (on what forcible motive belongs not to me to inquire) He made friends of his unrighteous Mammon. Building therewith a fair Colledge at Dulwich in Kent, for the relief of poor people.

Some I confess count it built on a foundered foundation, seeing in a spiritual sense none is good and lawfull money save what is honestly and industriously gotten; but perchance such who condemn Master Allin herein, have as bad Shillings in the bottome of their own bags if search were made therein; sure I am, no Hospital is tyed with better or stricter laws, that it may not Sagg from the intention of the Founder. The poor of his native Parish Saint Botolph Bishopgate, have a priviledge to be provided for therein before others. Thus he who out-acted others in his life, out-did himself before his death, which happened Anno Domini 16-.