Tuesday, June 14, 2011


[Ancestral Link: Harold William Miller, son of Edward Emerson Miller, son of Anna Hull (Miller), daughter of William Hull, son of Anna Hyde (Hull), daughter of Uriah Hyde, son of Ezra Hyde, son of William Hyde, son of Samuel Hyde, son of William Hyde, son of Beatrice Calverly (Hyde).]

A Yorkshire Tragedy 1605-1608, Calverley, Yorkshire, England
A Yorkshire Tragedy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Yorkshire Tragedy is an English Jacobean tragedy printed in 1608. The title page claims that William Shakespeare was its author. This attribution has rarely been believed, since the play was not included in the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare's works. Furthermore, stylistic analysis of the text does not indicate Shakespeare's hand, and does indicate strongly the hand of Thomas Middleton.

The real incidents that gave rise to the play occurred at Calverley Hall, Yorkshire, early in 1605, and were reported in an anonymous pamphlet by John Stow the chronicler, and by a balladeer. The murders were also dramatized in a play entitled The Miseries of Inforst Marriage (1607, by George Wilkins). A Yorkshire Tragedy was acted at the Globe Theatre and listed in the Stationer's Register as being by "Wylliam Shakespere."

The protagonist is based on the Master of Calverly Hall (known as Calverley), a vicious rake and gambler, but he is known in the play only as 'The Husband'. In keeping with the pamphlet's version of events, the play emphasizes the Husband's cruelty and his violence. He grows indebted at gambling and lavish living. When the Master of the College brings him to his senses and convinces him of his sins, the Husband repents, but his repentance turns to a strange sense of shame. He realizes that he has left his noble family in ruin, he kills two of his children, so that they will never "ask an usurer bread," and he then seriously wounds his wife.

The play is unusual in consisting of only ten scenes. The original printed text of the play identifies it as "ALL'S ONE. OR, One of the foure Plaies in one, called a York-Shire Tragedy...." This plainly implies that the existing play was one of a quartet of related works that were performed on stage together. (In that respect it must have resembled Four Plays, or Moral Representations, in One, from circa 1608-13, a play in the John Fletcher canon in which Fletcher wrote the last two parts of the quartet, while another playwright, most likely Nathaniel Field, wrote the others.) The nature and authorship of the three lost pieces that accompanied A Yorkshire Tragedy can only be a matter of conjecture. In the existing quarter-play, curiosity about a Shakespearean connection has centered on the fourth scene: a minority of commentators has allowed a possibility of a Shakespearean presence in Scene iv, especially in the protagonist's soliloquy, "O thou confused man...."

The play was reprinted in 1619, as part of William Jaggard's False Folio.
David J. Lake, The Canon of Thomas Middleton's Plays (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1975), pp. 163-74.
jessderrick added this on 22 Jul 2007

Middleton is an ancestral surname and coincidentally (?) the surname of the assumed author of A Yorkshire Tragedy re: the cruelty of Calverley.
found on ancestry.com

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