The Black Prince is in Jacobean and Restoration Plays.
The Black Prince is a Restoration historical tragedy written by Roger Boyle 1st Earl Orrery 1621-1679.
On 19 Oct 1667 was staged first by The King's Company at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane Convent Garden. The opening performance was attended by Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 (37).
Edward Kynaston Actor 1640-1706 (27) played The Black Prince.
In 1669 The Black Prince was published.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 19 October 1667. 19 Oct 1667. At the office all the morning, where very busy, and at noon home to a short dinner, being full of my desire of seeing my Lord Orrery's (46) new play this afternoon at the King's house, "The Black Prince", the first time it is acted; where, though we come by two o'clock, yet there was no room in the pit, but we were forced to go into one of the upper boxes, at 4s. a piece, which is the first time I ever sat in a box in my life. And in the same box come, by and by, behind me, my Lord Barkeley (65) [of Stratton] and his lady (29); but I did not turn my face to them to be known, so that I was excused from giving them my seat; and this pleasure I had, that from this place the scenes do appear very fine indeed, and much better than in the pit. The house infinite full, and the King (37) and Duke of York (34) was there.
By and by the play begun, and in it nothing particular but a very fine dance for variety of figures, but a little too long. But, as to the contrivance, and all that was witty (which, indeed, was much, and very witty), was almost the same that had been in his two former plays of "Henry the 5th" and "Mustapha", and the same points and turns of wit in both, and in this very same play often repeated, but in excellent language, and were so excellent that the whole house was mightily pleased with it all along till towards the end he comes to discover the chief of the plot of the play by the reading of along letter, which was so long and some things (the people being set already to think too long) so unnecessary that they frequently begun to laugh, and to hiss twenty times, that, had it not been for the King's being there, they had certainly hissed it off the stage. But I must confess that, as my Lord Barkeley (65) says behind me, the having of that long letter was a thing so absurd, that he could not imagine how a man of his parts could possibly fall into it; or, if he did, if he had but let any friend read it, the friend would have told him of it; and, I must confess, it is one of the most remarkable instances that ever I did or expect to meet with in my life of a wise man's not being wise at all times, and in all things, for nothing could be more ridiculous than this, though the letter of itself at another time would be thought an excellent letter, and indeed an excellent Romance, but at the end of the play, when every body was weary of sitting, and were already possessed with the effect of the whole letter; to trouble them with a letter a quarter of an hour long, was a most absurd thing. After the play done, and nothing pleasing them from the time of the letter to the end of the play, people being put into a bad humour of disliking (which is another thing worth the noting), I home by coach, and could not forbear laughing almost all the way home, and all the evening to my going to bed, at the ridiculousness of the letter, and the more because my wife was angry with me, and the world, for laughing, because the King (37) was there, though she cannot defend the length of the letter. So after having done business at the office, I home to supper and to bed.
Samuel Pepys' Diary 23 October 1667. 23 Oct 1667. Up, and Sir W. Pen (46) and I in his coach to White Hall, there to attend the Duke of York (34); but come a little too late, and so missed it: only spoke with him, and heard him correct my Lord Barkeley (65), who fell foul on Sir Edward Spragg (47), who, it seems, said yesterday to the House, that if the Officers of the Ordnance had done as much work at Shereness in ten weeks as "The Prince" did in ten days, he could have defended the place against the Dutch: but the Duke of York (34) told him that every body must have liberty, at this time, to make their own defence, though it be to the charging of the fault upon any other, so it be true; so I perceive the whole world is at work in blaming one another.
Thence Sir W. Pen (46) and I back into London; and there saw the King (37), with his kettle-drums and trumpets, going to the Exchange, to lay the first stone of the first pillar of the new building of the Exchange; which, the gates being shut, I could not get in to see: but, with Sir W. Pen (46), to Captain Cocke's (50) to drink a dram of brandy, and so he to the Treasury office about Sir G. Carteret's (57) accounts, and I took coach and back again toward Westminster; but in my way stopped at the Exchange, and got in, the King (37) being newly gone; and there find the bottom of the first pillar laid. And here was a shed set up, and hung with tapestry, and a canopy of state, and some good victuals and wine, for the King (37), who, it seems, did it; and so a great many people, as Tom Killigrew (55), and others of the Court there, and there I did eat a mouthful and drink a little, and do find Mr. Gawden in his gowne as Sheriffe, and understand that the King (37) hath this morning knighted him upon the place, which I am mightily pleased with; and I think the other Sheriffe, who is Davis, the little fellow, my schoolfellow,—the bookseller, who was one of Audley's' Executors, and now become Sheriffe; which is a strange turn, methinks.
Here mighty merry (there being a good deal of good company) for a quarter of an hour, and so I away and to Westminster Hall, where I come just as the House rose; and there, in the Hall, met with Sir W. Coventry (39), who is in pain to defend himself in the business of tickets, it being said that the paying of the ships at Chatham by ticket was by his direction, and he hath wrote to me to find his letters, and shew them him, but I find none; but did there argue the case with him, and I think no great blame can be laid on us for that matter, only I see he is fearfull. And he tells me his mistake in the House the other day, which occasions him much trouble, in shewing of the House the Duke of Albemarle's (58) letter about the good condition of Chatham, which he is sorry for, and, owns as a mistake, the thing not being necessary to have been done; and confesses that nobody can escape from such error, some times or other. He says the House was well satisfied with my Report yesterday; and so several others told me in the Hall that my Report was very good and satisfactory, and that I have got advantage by it in the House: I pray God it may prove so! And here, after the Hall pretty empty, I did walk a few turns with Commissioner Pett (57), and did give the poor weak man some advice for his advantage how to better his pleading for himself, which I think he will if he can remember and practise, for I would not have the man suffer what he do not deserve, there being enough of what he do deserve to lie upon him.
Thence to Mrs. Martin's, and there staid till two o'clock, and drank and talked, and did give her £3 to buy my goddaughter her first new gowne.... [Missing text: "and I did hazer algo con her;"] and so away homeward, and in my way met Sir W. Pen (46) in Cheapside, and went into his coach, and back again and to the King's playhouse, and there saw "The Black Prince" again: which is now mightily bettered by that long letter being printed, and so delivered to every body at their going in, and some short reference made to it in heart in the play, which do mighty well; but, when all is done, I think it the worst play of my Lord Orrery's (46). But here, to my great satisfaction, I did see my Lord Hinchingbrooke (19) and his mistress (23), with her father (55) and mother (54); and I am mightily pleased with the young lady, being handsome enough—and, indeed, to my great liking, as I would have her. I could not but look upon them all the play; being exceeding pleased with my good hap to see them, God bring them together! and they are now already mighty kind to one another, and he is as it were one of their family. The play done I home, and to the office a while, and then home to supper, very hungry, and then to my chamber, to read the true story, in Speed, of the Black Prince, and so to bed. This day, it was moved in the House that a day might be appointed to bring in an impeachment against the Chancellor (58), but it was decried as being irregular; but that, if there was ground for complaint, it might be brought to the Committee for miscarriages, and, if they thought good, to present it to the House; and so it was carried. They did also vote this day thanks to be given to the Prince and Duke of Albemarle (58), for their care and conduct in the last year's war, which is a strange act; but, I know not how, the blockhead Albemarle hath strange luck to be loved, though he be, and every man must know it, the heaviest man in the world, but stout and honest to his country. This evening late, Mr. Moore come to me to prepare matters for my Lord Sandwich's (42) defence; wherein I can little assist, but will do all I can; and am in great fear of nothing but the damned business of the prizes, but I fear my Lord will receive a cursed deal of trouble by it.