The Lesser Elizabethan Competitors: Oxford’s Hertford’s, and Chandos’s
Throughout the Elizabethan period, playing companies were struggling to get a secure place in the steep hierarchy of players with noble patrons. That security meant heading for London, both as cause and effect of rising in the hierarchy. Some of the companies existed mainly during the last twenty years of Elizabeth’s reign, standing below and competing for distinction with the Queen’s Men. The strongest five of these competitors were Strange’s/Derby’s and Pembroke’s, the Chamberlain’s, the Admiral’s, and Worcester’s. This chapter deals with the other companies that at one time or another from 1580, however briefly, found a foothold in London: Oxford’s Men, Hertford’s Men, and Chandos’s Men. It focuses on their history, performances, the plays they performed, the playhouses where they performed, their playing sharers, and their travelling records.
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