Map

The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:

5 Annotations

Bill  •  Link

Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre stood in Portugal Row, or the south side of Lincoln's Inn Fields, at the back of what is now the Royal College of Surgeons. There have been three distinct theatres called "Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre;" all three erected on the same site, and all of interest in the history of our stage. The first was originally "Lisle's Tennis Court,"* converted into a theatre (The Duke's Theatre) by Sir William Davenant, and opened in 1660, "having new scenes and decorations, being the first that e're were introduc'd in England." Pepys went to "the new play-house," November 20, 1660, and saw Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggars Bush, and Mohun (or, as he writes it, Moone) play for the first time: "it is the finest playhouse, I believe, that ever was in England." Pepys's references to the Lincoln's Inn Theatre are very numerous: indeed he went there so often that it made Mrs. Pepys "as mad as the devil" Davenant died in April 1668, and Pepys went on the 9th to "the Duke of York's Play-house, there to see Sir W. Davenant's corpse carried out towards Westminster, there to be buried." The company continued at the Duke's till November 9, 1671, when they removed to Dorset Gardens, and their old house in Lincoln's Inn Fields remained shut till February 26, 1671-1672, when the King's company under Killigrew, burnt out at Drury Lane, made use of it till March 26, 1673-1674, when they returned to their old locality in Drury Lane, and Davenant's deserted theatre became "a tennis court again."

* Indenture signed by Sir W. Davenant, dated March 7, 1660-1661 (in possession of author); Aubrey's Lives, vol. ii. p. 308; Pepys says, "which was formerly Gibbons tennis-court."

---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

On 20 November 1660 Pepys writes "I to the new Play-house near Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields (which was formerly Gibbon’s tennis-court)." but this diary's link on that date is to "King's House (Theatre Royal, Vere St)." SP seems to have gotten the name of the converted tennis court wrong. (Both theatres seem to have been built on tennis courts!)

Brian's map link above would seem to be the "Duke's House."

King's House (Theatre Royal, Vere St): http://www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1611/

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References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

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