The time of Elizabeth, truly the Augustan Age, made its mark on London. The rise of Drama dates from her reign, when Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Kit Marlowe, and Philip Massinger among the authors, and Richard Burbage and Edward Alleyn among the actors, gave it an impetus which lifted it entirely above the level of the older miracle plays and mysteries.
For the presentation of these dramas, to which Londoners flocked, theatres were erected, and many were to be seen along the banks of the Thames.
Close to the Temple was Whitefriars Theatre; another was in Salisbury Court, and another in Dorset Gardens, called the Duke's; even the magnificent Hall of the Middle Temple was no stranger to the sock and buskin.
In the city itself, within the liberty of the Blackfriars, where the Lord Mayor could not interfere with him, James Burbage, the father of Richard, erected a playhouse.
One might almost say under royal sanction, as he had received a patent from Elizabeth, to enrol certain other players to be called the Queen's servants.Next page: Blood sports