Sir William Killigrew



J. P. Vander Motten, Sir William Killigrew (1606-1695): His Life and Dramatic Works (Ghent, 1980)


Dramatic Works

Sir William Killgrew, brother of the playwright and theatre manager Thomas Killigrew, led a life, of mixed success, as a courtier and Member of Parliament. He is perhaps best known, however, for the few plays he wrote, although the stage success of any of them (if ever performed) is uncertain. Besides his revised manuscript of one play, The Siege of Urbin (*KiW 13), two known printed exempla of his collected plays that are heavily annotated by him (KiW 1-7, KiW 14-15) throw light on the creative processes, theatrical milieu, and political considerations of a Restoration dramatist.

Letters and Documents

A number of letters by Killigrew, relating to both his private and political life exist. Entries are given below for those recorded and printed in Vander Motten's Life (pp. 328-53), with a few additions (KiW 17-48). Motten also records various other documents by or relating to Killigrew. These include two among his edited letters which actually comprise a formal order to the Mayor of Reading, 7 November 1642 (pp. 331-2), and a letter to Charles II, 10 April 1660 (pp. 341-4) which is known only from early printed texts. The entries below record a few other miscellaneous documents signed by Killigrew (KiW 49-52), besides the registered copy of his last will and testament (*KiW 53) which is printed by Motten in full.

Peter Beal