John Rhodes (17th century)

John Rhodes (17th Century)

John Rhodes (17th century)

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John Rhodes (fl. 1624 – 1665) was a theatrical figure of the early and middle seventeenth century. He rose to a brief prominence in 1660 when the London theatres re-opened at the start of the English Restoration era.


Rhodes was connected with the King's Men during the final phase of the development of English Renaissance drama. On 6 December 1624, Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, listed Rhodes among the "necessary attendants," the hired men of the company, who could not be arrested or "pressed for soldiers" without the consent of the Master of the Revels or the Lord Chamberlain.F. E. Halliday, A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964. Baltimore, Penguin, 1964; p. 391. Rhodes served as the wardrobe-keeper at the Blackfriars Theatre. Once the theatres were closed at the start of the English Civil War in 1642, Rhodes, like fellow King's Men Alexander Gough and Andrew Pennycuicke, became a stationer, or bookseller. Rhodes's shop was at the sign of the Bible, in Charring Cross.

There are also cryptic references to Rhodes being the "keeper" of the Cockpit Theatre from 1644 on. While the London theatres were formally closed from 1642 to 1660, evidence shows that there were repeated efforts to operate the theatres on a clandestine basis; and for some periods, as in 1647, plays were staged with some regularity. Rhodes may well have been involved in these...
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