Privy Council Order to Restrain Plays due to Plague

TNA: PC2/39

p 752 (14 April) (Whitehall)


It was this day ordered by the Board, in regard of the great apprehension and appearaunce of the increase of the Sicknes: that all Stage Playes, Bearbeatinges and all manner of Assemblies for sportes, or Pastimes, shall bee forbidden; and their Lordships doe hereby pray and require the Lord Chamberlaine of his Maiestes househould, to take effectuall order, to suppresse and prohibite the same accordingly


  • Endnote

    The privy councillors listed as present at the meeting (p 752) were Thomas Coventry (1578–1640), first Baron Coventry, lord keeper of the Great Seal, 1625–40; Samuel Harsnett (c 1561–1631), archbishop of York, 1628–31; Richard Weston (c 1577–1635), lord treasurer, 1628–35; Edward Conway (c 1564–1631), first Baron and first Viscount Conway, lord president of the privy council, 1628–31; Henry Montagu (c 1564–1642), first earl of Manchester, lord privy seal, 1628–42; Thomas Howard (1585–1646), earl of Arundel, earl marshal, 1621–46; Theophilus Howard (1584–1640), earl of Suffolk; William Cecil (1591–1668), earl of Salisbury; John Egerton (1579–1649), first earl of Bridgwater; Thomas Erskine (1566–1639), earl of Kellie; Dudley Carleton (1574–1632), Viscount Dorchester; Henry Cary (c 1575–1633), first Viscount Falkland; Sir Humphrey May (1572/3–1630), vice-chamberlain of the Household, 1629–30; Sir John Coke (1563–1644), secretary of state, 1625–40; and Sir William Alexander (1577–1640).

    For an abstract of this record and details of its transcription in other printed sources, see the related EMLoT event.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Privy Council Order to Restrain Plays due to Plague
    Repository: TNA
    Shelfmark: PC2/39
    Repository location: Kew

    This privy council order on 14 April 1630 relates to the same mounting concern about plague reflected in orders to the mayor of London and JPs of Middlesex and Surrey recorded in the city's Remembrancia during the month of April. According to Charles Creighton, however, plague that year, in London at least, was 'a small affair'; see A History of Epidemics in Britain, vol 1, 2nd ed (London, 1965), 527. A copy of the privy council's letter ordering the restraint to the lord mayor of London survives in the City's Remembrancia; see Privy Council Order to the Lord Mayor and JPs for Middlesex and Surrey.

    24 December 1628–31 May 1630; English; paper; ii + 474 + ii; 418mm x 278mm; ink pagination 1–840 (replacing earlier foliation), followed by unnumbered contemporary index (11 leaves) and 43 unnumbered 19th-c. leaves (index); good condition; bound in maroon leather over boards, tooled, spine detached, gold-stamped title, very rubbed: 'CHARLES I. | VOL. V. | COUNCIL | REGISTER. | 24. DEC. 1628. | TO | 31. MAY. 1630.'

  • Manuscript Images

    © The National Archives (UK), ref. PC 2/39

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