Little is known of the birth or early life of the playwright and actor William Rowley. He was the younger brother of Samuel Rowley who also acted and wrote for the commercial drama. From approximately 1607 William was an actor first in Queen Anne's company and then in the Duke of York's company, which became Prince Charles' company. Rowley became a leading actor in the Prince's company, which was formed as King James' gift to his seven year-old son in 1608. The company was the least favoured and least profitable of the six acting companies in London at this time. Often, the company was forced into difficult and unprofitable tours outside London, where they encountered substantial prejudice against their profession; in 1621, they had been thrown out of Devon once and Leicester twice, and…

1758 words

Citation: Stymeist, David. "William Rowley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 June 2003 [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

3871 William Rowley 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.