Remembering Childhood: Nathan Field’s Theatrical Career

  • Edel Lamb
Part of the Early Modern Literature in History book series (EMLH)


Nathan Field, remembered in various seventeenth-century tracts, and subsequently, as one of the greatest players of Shakespeare’s age, is an intriguing figure. His theatrical career stretched from his childhood to his adulthood and encompassed a variety of duties as a performer, writer and manager.1 He was a leading player of the Children of the Queen’s Revels from their revival in 1600 to their dissolution in 1613. As a pupil of St Paul’s Grammar School prior to his impressment into this playing company in 1600, Field may have already been experienced in playing, which was regularly practised at English grammar schools. In 1613, at the age of 26, he became a leading player and sharer of the newly formed Lady Elizabeth’s Men, which was a combined version of the adult company of this name and the Queen’s Revels, and he functioned as their representative in court and legal documents.2 In 1615 or 1616 he progressed to the role of sharer and player of the King’s Men, and he remained with this company until his death at the age of 32 in 1619. Field was also a dramatist for all three companies. His first play, A Woman is a Weathercock, was written for and performed by the Queen’s Revels in c. 1610, and in c. 1611 his Amends for Ladies was also performed by this company.


Professional Identity Theatrical Institution Playing Company Theatrical Community Theatrical Career 
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© Edel Lamb 2009

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  • Edel Lamb

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