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1609

Guilty by association

Desmond Barrit plays Falstaff at The New Inn
The Royal Shakespeare Company
performing Henry IV at the
New Inn, Gloucester
December: A Catholic touring company, The Simpsons of North Egmont, performing in the north, is reported by government informers for allegedly mocking and deriding the state religion during a performance of Shakespeare plays, punctuated by satirical entertainments.

The family playing host to the players, Sir John and Dame Julian Yorke, with other guests are fined, though it may be that the plays' supposed seditious qualities are overzealous, partisan interpretations of the text by the informers.

The scandal is enough to revive enmity in the descendants of Sir John Oldcastle, slandered by Shakespeare in early versions of Henry IV Part 1. In their attack on the playwright they effectively accuse him of being a closet papist.

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