27 Facts About Edward Alleyn


Edward "Ned" Alleyn was an English actor who was a major figure of the Elizabethan theatre and founder of the College of God's Gift in Dulwich.


Edward Alleyn was born a younger son of Edward Alleyn with three brothers named John, William, and Edward.


Edward Alleyn's father was an innkeeper and porter to Queen Elizabeth I and his mother, Margaret Townley, was the daughter of John Townley.


Edward Alleyn said she was the daughter of John Townley of Townley but the claim does not easily fit with the available information on the Townley family tree.


Regardless of this, the road that passes Edward Alleyn's School was named after her in 1884.


Edward Alleyn was known to contemporaries as "Ned"; his surname is alternatively spelled Allen or Alleyne.


Edward Alleyn was four years old when his father died.


Edward Alleyn, growing up in the home of an actor was believed to have been raised in the theatre culture.


Edward Alleyn was rated by common consent as the foremost actor of his time; his only close rival was Richard Burbage.


Edward Alleyn played the title roles in three of Christopher Marlowe's major plays: Doctor Faustus, Tamburlaine, and Barabas in The Jew of Malta.


Edward Alleyn created the parts, which were probably written especially for him.


Edward Alleyn was known for his physical size and handling of commanding parts.


Edward Alleyn retired at the height of his fame around 1598, and it is said that Queen Elizabeth requested his return to the stage, which he did in 1604, the year after her death.


Edward Alleyn went into business with his father-in-law Philip Henslowe and became wealthy.


Edward Alleyn was part-owner in Henslowe's ventures, and in the end sole proprietor of several profitable playhouses, bear-pits and other rental properties.


Edward Alleyn began the task of building and endowing the College of God's Gift at Dulwich.


Mr Edward Alleyn, being a tragedian, and one of the original actors in many of the celebrated Shakespeare plays, in one of which he played a demon, with six others, surprised by an apparition of the devil, which so worked on his fancy that he made a vow, which he performed at this place.


At the time of its founding, Edward Alleyn was not a member of his own foundation, but guided and controlled its affairs under powers reserved for himself in the letters patent.


Edward Alleyn was buried on 25 November, in the church floor but his memorial stone was moved from the interior to exterior in 1925 to prevent further wear.


Edward Alleyn is unusual among figures in 16th-century drama because a large selection of his private papers have survived.


Edward Alleyn developed professional relationships with religious and political figures such as Sir Francis Bacon and Sir Julius Caesar.


Edward Alleyn had a private book collection of some significance which he bequeathed to Dulwich College.


The character of Edward Alleyn appears in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love, played by Ben Affleck.


Edward Alleyn is portrayed as a self-absorbed but well-admired actor who agrees to originate the role of Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet after being told that the play's title is Mercutio.


Edward Alleyn is depicted as advising Shakespeare to change the name to Romeo and Juliet to suit the focus of the play.


Edward Alleyn appears in the television show Will, portrayed by Henry Lloyd-Hughes.


Edward Alleyn appears as a vampire master in Carrie Vaughn's fantasy novel Kitty Steals the Show.