✹ About Monday 28 September 1668 JB on 29 Sep 2021 • Link "Up betimes, and Knepp’s maid comes to me, to tell me that the women’s day at the playhouse is to-day, and that therefore I must be there, to encrease their profit." The following is from a little later in history, but it does shed light on the practice and how it developed from there.https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/230561902.pdf "A clear example of the Restoration actress’s success and popularity can be found in the figure of Elizabeth Barry. Barry is first listed as a member of the Duke’s Company in 1673-74 and acted until 1710, playing both majestic tragic roles and witty comic heroines. The actress was in fact the first performer to be awarded an annual benefit night, a significant way of boosting her income and an acknowledgment of her popularity with the audience. Benefits were nights on which a particular actor or actress would take home the evening’s takings minus the theatre’s operating expenses for the evening. Performers could earn more than £50 on such a night, a sum that could double the annual salary of a secondary company member. The actor or actress in question usually picked the play that would be staged for his or her benefit (often a role in which he or she was particularly popular) and was responsible for selling tickets to patrons, focusing on the upper classes, who could pay generously. Benefits became a key part of the theatre’s financial operations in the early eighteenth century. They were stipulated in performers’ contracts and the season would end with a run of benefit performances, usually with the company’s biggest star going first." I guess in our particular earlier case, the situation was more communal with the take being split amongst (at least the more prominent) ladies.