Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, Davies Amphitheatre, Bear Gardens, and 2 others in London

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On this site was built the Davies Amphitheatre 1662-1682 the last bear-baiting ring of Bankside visited by Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. To the north from mid 16th century was the Bear Gardens, a bear-baiting ring visited by Queen Elizabeth I and replaced by The Hope Playhouse 1614-1656, built for plays and bear-baiting where Ben Jonson's play 'Bartholomew Fair' was first performed

Samuel Pepys PRS, MP, JP, (/ˈpiːps/; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II.His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.

Source: dbpedia

Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen", "Gloriana" or "Good Queen Bess", Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born into the royal succession, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed two and a half years after her birth, with Anne's marriage to Henry VIII being annulled, and Elizabeth hence declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled as king until his death in 1553, whereupon he bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey, cutting his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary, out of the succession in spite of statute law to the contrary. His will was set aside, Mary became queen, and Lady Jane Grey was executed. In 1558, Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.Elizabeth set out to rule by good counsel, and she depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers led by William Cecil, Baron Burghley. One of her first moves as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. This Elizabethan Religious Settlement later evolved into today's Church of England. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir so as to continue the Tudor line. She never did, however, despite numerous courtships. As she grew older, Elizabeth became famous for her virginity, and a cult grew up around her which was celebrated in the portraits, pageants, and literature of the day.In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. One of her mottoes was "video et taceo" ("I see, and say nothing"). In religion she was relatively tolerant, avoiding systematic persecution. After 1570, when the pope declared her illegitimate and released her subjects from obedience to her, several conspiracies threatened her life. All plots were defeated, however, with the help of her ministers' secret service. Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, moving between the major powers of France and Spain. She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France, and Ireland. In the mid-1580s, war with Spain could no longer be avoided, and when Spain finally decided to attempt to conquer England in 1588, the failure of the Spanish Armada associated her with one of the greatest military victories in English history.Elizabeth's reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. Some historians are more reserved in their assessment. They depict Elizabeth as a short-tempered, sometimes indecisive ruler, who enjoyed more than her share of luck. Towards the end of her reign, a series of economic and military problems weakened her popularity. Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor, in an age when government was ramshackle and limited and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones. Such was the case with Elizabeth's rival, Mary, Queen of Scots, whom she imprisoned in 1568 and eventually had executed in 1587. After the short reigns of Elizabeth's half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.

Source: dbpedia

John Evelyn, FRS (31 October 1620 – 27 February 1706) was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries, or memoirs, are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time (the deaths of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, the last Great Plague of London, and the Great Fire of London in 1666). Over the years, Evelyn's Diary has been over-shadowed by Pepys's chronicles of 17th-century life.

Source: dbpedia

The Hope Theatre was one of the theatres built in and around London for the presentation of plays in English Renaissance theatre, comparable to the Globe, the Curtain, the Swan, and other famous theatres of the era.The Hope was built in 1613–14 by Philip Henslowe and a partner, Jacob Meade, on the site of the old Beargarden on the Bankside in Southwark, on the south side of the River Thames — at that time, outside the legal bounds of the City of London. Henslowe had had a financial interest in the Beargarden (the ring for bear-baiting and similar "animal sports") since 1594; on August 29, 1613 he contracted with the carpenter Gilbert Katherens to tear down the Beargarden, and to build a theatre in its place, for a fee of £360. (After the Hope was built, it was often still called the "Beargarden" in common parlance and in the extant documentary record.)Construction was slow, taking over a year. The Hope may have been delayed because the Globe was being rebuilt at the same time — it had burned down on June 29, 1613 — and two such large jobs, done simultaneously, may have taxed the personnel and resources of the "construction industry" of Southwark, such as it was at the time. (The Hope was located just to the northwest of the Globe, so that the two projects could have competed directly for men and materiel.) Also, the Hope was likely a more complex construction job, since it was designed as a dual-purpose facility from the start. The contract calls for a:Plaiehouse fitt & convenient in all thinges, bothe for players to playe in, and for the gameof Beares and Bulls to be bayted in the same, and also a fitt and convenient Tyre house and a stage to be carryed and taken awaie, and to stande vppon tressels....So, the Hope would have required facilities for keeping animals that the Globe did not need.Because Henslowe's original contract with Katherens survives, we know something about the specifics of the construction of the Hope, more so than for other theatres of the period. The contract states that the Hope must be built according to the pattern of the Swan, with two staircases on the outside, and the "heavens" built over the stage, without posts or supports on the stage to disrupt the audience's view — a somewhat different concept from current ideas about the theatres of the period. (The Hope's stage had to be removable, to make room for the "Beares and Bulls.")The Hope was completed and opened to the public in October 1614. On October 31, Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair was acted in the Hope by the Lady Elizabeth's Men. In the printed text of his play, Jonson describes the Hope as being "as dirty as Smithfield and stinking every whit" — Smithfield being the district of London dominated by the livestock market and slaughterhouses.On Henslowe's death in 1616, his son-in-law Edward Alleyn inherited Henslowe's share in the Hope, which Alleyn then leased to Meade. The Hope remained an active facility for the coming decades. In its early years the Hope was used more for playing than animal baiting — the days devoted to dramas outnumbered those devoted to animal sports by three to one. Lady Elizabeth's Men were joined by Prince Charles's Men around 1615; when the Lady Elizabeth's company left to tour the provinces in 1616, Prince's Charles's Men remained for another three years. Yet the mix of the two activities was never easy, and the actors grew more unhappy with the arrangements at the Hope as time went on. The actors left for the Cockpit Theatre in 1619, and the Hope was thereafter used for bear and bull baiting, prizefighting, fencing contests, and similar entertainments. The Corporation of London outlawed both play-acting and bear-baiting at the start of the English Civil War in 1642. Animal sports were suppressed by the Puritan regime in 1656. The last seven surviving bears were shot to death by a company of soldiers; the dogs and the cocks kept there were also killed. (The Commonwealth commander Thomas Pride was responsible for this action; in 1680 — 24 years after the bears' deaths, and 22 years after Pride's — an anonymous satirist composed Pride's confessional Last Speech...being touched in Conscience for his inhuman Murder of the Bears in the Beargarden.)By one (questionable) account, the Hope Theatre was "pulled down to make tenements, by Thomas Walker, a petticoat maker in Canon Street," on Tuesday, March 25, 1656. Yet the practice of animal sports resumed at the Restoration in 1660; if the Hope had been torn down, a replacement facility was soon established. The Diary of Samuel Pepys records a visit Pepys and his wife made to the Beargarden on August 14, 1666. The last word of animal sports at the facility dates from April 12, 1682. By 1714, a development called Bear Garden Square had been built on the site of the old Hope.

Source: dbpedia

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