By Neil Carson
Henslowe's 'diary' is a special resource of knowledge concerning the daily operating of the Elizabethan repertory theatre. Philip Henslowe, a theatrical entrepreneur, stored files of his monetary dealings with London businesses and actors from 1592-1604. The diary itself is tough to decipher. Neil Carson's research relies on a way more thorough correlation of Henslowe's entries than has been tried ahead of, breaking down into transparent tabular shape the most goods of source of revenue and expenditure and drawing conclusions in regards to the administration approaches of the corporations, the pro relationships of actors and playwrights and the ways that performs have been written, rehearsed and programmed. prior hypothesis has brushed aside Henslowe himself as ignorant, disorderly and greedy. Carson exhibits him to were a benign and effective businessman whose keep an eye on over the actors' expert actions used to be less wide than has usually been meant.
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Additional resources for A Companion to Henslowe's Diary
COMPANY ORGANIZATION If the business decisions reflected in the diary are those of the players, what do the entries tell us about the way those decisions were reached? An Elizabethan acting company was a two-tiered organization consisting of eight to twelve 'sharers' and a variable number of apprentices and hired men. As the term suggests, the sharers had invested in the company and collectively were responsible for its debts. The hired personnel, on the other hand, had no such legal or financial obligations, and simply worked for their weekly wages.
Weekly remittances in 1592 were probably licence fees for operating the theatre paid by the owner. The play licences mentioned in the second entry are quite distinct, and the cost of such licences should normally be a charge on the actors rather than the landlord. Subsequent notations probably refer again to fees for operating the theatre, but there is no indication of what sum was being paid out. Between 26 April and 12 July 1596, Henslowe recorded several other payments in the income accounts and collected signed acquittances in other sections of the diary where the money paid to the Master is sometimes described as 'paye' (f.
The Company, for its part, promised to repay Henslowe for expenditures made on any play 'vppon the second or third daie whereon the same play shalbe plaide'. They agreed to turn over one-half of the gallery receipts to Henslowe in repayment for a debt of £124, and also probably covenanted to pay the other half for rent (although this latter provision is not incorporated in the surviving document). The way in which this agreement actually worked out in practice may be surmised from two further documents entitled 'Articles of Grievance and Oppression against Philip Henslowe' (Ms 1,106).