The Lord Chamberlain’s Company was the leading drama company in London during the final years of the 16th century. The company was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1594. As was the custom then, any enterprise of great magnitude such as a theatre needed a powerful patron and this company’s patron was Henry Carey, the Lord Chamberlain of Royal Court. Lord Chamberlain is the most senior member of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom. Henry Carey was in charge of the court entertainment then. The company changed its name a couple of times; first to the Lord Hunsdon’s Men when Henry Carey succeeded him and then to the king’s Men, when the king James ascended the throne and became the company’ patron.

            In 1599, the company built a theatre called the Globe Theatre. They had already another theatre in place, called ‘the Theatre’. However, due to certain disagreements between the players and the owner of the land on which the theatre stood, the group built the Globe Theatre, on the bank of the Thames River. The Globe Theatre, in fact, was built with the wooden planks of old theatre. It was bigger and better than the one it replaced.

            There is a general disagreement over the inaugural play in the Globe Theatre. Some say it was Shakespeare’s Henry V; some others, Julius Caesar or Ben Jonson’s Every Man out of His Humour. The theatre was destroyed in a fire in 1613 and was rebuilt in the next year.

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