1769 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Alleyn

James Granger, in Biographical History of England (1769; 1824) 3:204.



Edward Alleyn was born in 1566, in the parish of Allhallows, Lombard-street. His mother was daughter of James Townley, esq. of Lancashire. He went on the stage at an early age, and soon acquired great celebrity in his profession, and was considered the Roscius of the day. He was the sole proprietor of the Fortune playhouse, in Whitecross-street, which he built at his own expense, and was also proprietor of a bear garden on the bankside, which being the fashionable amusement of the time, probably yielded him as much profit as his theatre. He had the office of master of the bears, which he held till his death. After he left the stage he retired to Dulwich, where he built and endowed the college for the maintenance of a master-warden, four fellows, six poor brethren, and six sisters, twelve scholars, six assistants, and thirty out-members. The building was finished in 1619, under the direction of Inigo Jones. Ob. 1626, aged 69. For a particular account see Lyson's "Surrey."