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The Globe Theatre March 12, 2013 12:00 AM | Tagged as Burbage, charms, Henry V, Henry VIII, jewelry, Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Globe, Wanamaker

To introduce my newest charm “The Globe” I wanted to give you a bit of history about the original Globe Theater in London.

During the early Elizabethan times, the acting companies usually acted at inns and inn-yards.  In 1576, the first building built for the express purpose of showing plays was built in London by James Burbage and he called it the Theatre, thus establishing the name that we still use today for playhouses.  It was built on leased land on a busy main road running north out of the city.

For twenty years the Theatre prospered, and during the 1580’s when William Shakespeare came to London, he joined this company.  But all was not smooth sailing for the Theatre, because in 1596 the landlord who owned the land refused to renew their lease.  Burbage looked for another playhouse instead of rebuilding and found one in Blackfriars which is new St. Paul’s but the wealthy locals did not like or approve of the Theatre going crowd and in November of the same year they were able to block the company form staging any plays there.

James Burbage died the following February, and for the next two years his sons, Cuthbert and Richard struggled to get the lease renewed for the Theatre but were unsuccessful.  At Christmas in 1598 the leased a plot of land across the river from St. Paul’s in Southwark just about fifty yards from another competing playhouse called The Rose.  The hired a carpenter to demolish the Theatre and bring as much of the building materials to the new site on Bankside.  There in 1599 the new theater was built and it was called the Globe.

Shakespeare became a one-eighth part owner in the new Globe theatre due to the Burbage brothers needing to economize when they moved to Bankside.  Their money was tied up in legal troubles, so in order to have the money to build the offered other leading actors in the company shares in the new building and William Shakespeare was one of five who joined in the syndicate.  This new arrangement also ensured the future of the company!

For fourteen years Shakespeare’s company prospered in the Globe theatre until in 1613 disaster struck during a performance of Henry VIII.  A piece of wadding fired from a stage cannon lodged in the thatch roof and smoldered for several hours before igniting, bursting into flames and burning the Globe to the ground.

When the company rebuilt the theater on the same foundations as the first Globe they used tile instead of thatch for the roof.  This theater survived until in 1642 when the Puritans had all the theaters closed and then it was pulled down around 1644 to make way for housing.

Today, about 750 feet from the original site stands Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.  It was the dream and work of the actor and director Sam Wanamaker to rebuild it and it was opened to the public in November 1995 with a production of Henry V.

If you have ever been to a replication of the Globe theatre, or have a desire to go to one, you need to celebrate it by buying our new beautiful Globe charm.  See the product page for details and a picture.

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