1687 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Heywood

William Winstanley, Lives of the Most Famous English Poets (1687) 96-97.



Thomas Heywood was a greater Benefactor to the Stage than his Namesake, John Heywood, aforesaid, he having (as you may read in an Epistle to a Play of his, called The English Travellers) had an entire hand, or at least a main finger in the writing of 220 of them. And no doubt he took great pains therein, for it is said, that he not only Acted himself almost every day, but also wrote each day a Sheet; and that he might lose no time, many of his Plays were composed in the Tavern, on the back-side of Tavern Bills; which may be an occasion that so many of them are lost, for of those 220. mentioned before, we find but 25. of them Printed, viz. The Brazen Age; Challenge for Beauty; The English Travellers; The first and second part of Edward the Fourth; the first and second part of Queen Elizabeth's Troubles; Fair Maid of the West, first and second part; Fortune by Land and Sea; Fair Maid of the Exchange; Maidenhead well lost; Royal King and Loyal Subject; Woman kill'd with kindness; Wise Woman of Hogsdon, Comedies. Four London Prentices; The Golden Age; The Iron Age, first and second part; Robert Earl of Huntingdon's downfal; Robert Earl of Huntingdon's death; The Silver Age; Dutchess of Suffolk, Histories; And Love's Mistress, a Mask. And, as if the Name of Heywood were destined to the Stage, there was also one Jasper Heywood, who wrote three Tragedies, namely, Hercules Furiens, Thyestes, and Troas. Also, in my time I knew one Mathew Heywood; who wrote a Comedy, called The Changeling, that should have been acted at Audley-end House, but, by I know not what accident was prevented.