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Jonson, Ben, 1573?-1637
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JONSON, BENJAMIN (better known as JONSON, BEN); b. probably in Westminster 1573; at school under Grant, his school expenses being paid by William Camden, then Second Master; escaped from his trade as a bricklayer to join English army in Flanders; on return to England began to work for the stage, and in 1597 was both “player” and “playwright” in the Admiral’s Company; briefly imprisoned in 1598 for killing a fellow actor in a brawl or duel; his first extant comedy, Every Man in his Humour, was performed in 1598 at the Globe Theatre by the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, with Shakespeare in the cast; his first extant tragedy, Sejanus, was performed in 1603 at the Globe Theatre by Shakespeare’s company; The Masque of Blackness, the first of his long series of Court Masques, was performed at Whitehall on Twelfth Night 1605; MA Oxford 19 Jul 1619, receiving degree when on a visit to his friend Richard Corbet (qv); although he states himself that he was MA of both Universities, no record of a Cambridge degree has been found; Chronologer to the City of London, 1628; his works have been edited by W. Gifford, 1816, and Lieut. -Col. Cunningham, 1875; d. 6 Aug 1637. Buried North Aisle of Nave, Westminster Abbey, memorial in Poets’ Corner. DNB.
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Users should note that the information recorded here that is not to be found in the first two volumes of the Record of Old Westminsters and its first Supplement has been assembled from various published and manuscript sources by Hugh Edmund Pagan MA FSA, and all new resulting text is his copyright, © 2014.
The Record of Old Westminsters: A biographical list of all those who are known to have been educated at Westminster School from the earliest times to 1927, Volumes 1 & 2, compiled by G. F. Russell Barker and Alan H. Stenning, London, 1928.
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