Plays by the University Wits

The plays and pageants attributed to the University Wits with dates of publication.  Many other plays published anonymously at the time have been attributed over the years to one, several, or all of them by various historians.


A. Plays

1584:   Alexander, Campaspe, and Diogenes  “As it was played before the Queen on Twelfth Night by her Majesty’s children and the children of Pauls.”

1584:  Sapho and Phao “ Played before the Queen on Shrove Tuesday, by her Majesty’s Children, and the Boys of Pauls.  By John Lyly.”

1591:  Endimion, The Man in the Moon. “Played before the Queen at Greenwich on Candlemas day at night, by the Children of Pauls.

1592:  Gallathea. “As it was played before the Queen at Greenwich, on New Year’s day at night by the Children of Pauls.”

1592:  Midas. “Played Before The Queenes Majestie Upon Twelfe Day At night. By the Children of Paules. 1592.”

1594:  Mother Bombie. “As it was sundry times played by the Children of Pauls, London, 1594.”

1597:  The Woman in the Moon. “As it was presented before her Highness by John Lyly, Master of Arts. 1597.”

1601:  Loves Metamorphosis. “A Witty and Courtly Pastoral written By Mr. John Lyly. First played by the Children of Pauls and now by the Children of the Chappell.”

1632:  Six Court Comedies. Contains: Endymion, Alexander and Campaspe, Sapho and Phao, Gallathea, Midas, Mother Bombie. Ed. Blount.


A. Plays

1584:  The Arraignment of Paris. “A Pastoral presented before the Queen by the Children of her Chappell.”

1593:  The Famous Chronicle of king Edwarde the first “surnamed Edward Longshankes, with his return from the holy land. Also the life of Lleuellen, rebel in Wales. Lastly, the sinking of Queene Elinor, who sunk at Charingcross, and rose again at Potters-hith, now named Queenehith.”

1594:   The Battell of Alcazar “Fought in Barbarie, betweene Sebastian king of Portugall, and Abdelmelec king of Marocco. With the death of Captaine Stukeley. As it was sundrie times plaid by the Lord high Admirall his servants.”

1595:  The Old Wives Tale. “A pleasant conceited Comedie, played by the Queenes Majesties players. Written by G.P. Printed at London by John Danter, and are to be sold by Raph Hancocke, and John Hardie.”

1599:  The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe “With the Tragedie of Absalon. As it hath ben divers times plaied on the stage. Written by George Peele.”

B. Pageants for the City

1585:  The Device of the Pageant borne before Woolstone Dixi, Lord Mayor of the Citie of London. “An. 1585. October 29, 1585”

1589:  A Farewell. Entituled to the famous and fortunate Generalls of our English forces: Sir John Norris & Syr Frauncis Drake Knights, and all theyr brave and resolute followers. “Whereunto is annexed: A tale of Troy. Ad Lectorem. Parve nec invidio [sic] sine me (liber) ibis ad arma, Hei mihi, quod domino non licet ire tuo. Doone by George Peele, Maister of Artes in Oxforde. Anno. 1589.”

1589:  An Eglogue. Gratulatorie, Entituled: To the right honorable, and renowmed Shepheard of Albions Arcadia: Robert Earle of Essex “and Ewe, for his welcome into England from Portugall. Done by George Peele. Maister of arts in Oxon. 1589.”

1590:  Polyhymnia Describing, The honourable Triumph at Tylt, “before her Majestie, on the 17. of November last past, being the first day of the three and thirtith yeare of her Highnesse raigne. With Sir Henrie Lea, his resignation of honour at Tylt, to her Majestie, and received by the right honorable, the Earle of Cumberland. 1590.”

1591:  Descensus Astraeae. “The Device of a Pageant borne before M. William Web, Lord Mayor of the Citie of London on the day he took his oath, beeing the 29. of October. 1591.” Whereunto is annexed a Speech delivered by one, clad like a Sea Nymph; who presented a Pinesse on the water, bravely rigd and mand, to the Lord Mayor, at the time he tooke Barge to go to Westminster. Done by G. Peele Maister of Arts in Oxford.”


1594:  The Wounds of Civill War. “Lively set forth in the true Tragedies of Marius and Scilla. As it hath beene publiquely plaide in London, by the Right Honourable the Lord high Admirall his Servants. Written by Thomas Lodge, Gent. O vita! Misero longa, faelici brevis. 1594.”

(With Greene.) A Looking Glasse for London And England. See Sec. IIIA (i) above.


1600:  A pleasant Comedie, called Summers last will and Testament. “Written by Thomas Nashe. Imprinted at London by Simon Stafford for Water Burre. 1600.”

(With Marlowe.) Dido, Queen of Carthage

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