Viewing Event Record: Audience members are injured and killed when parts of Paris Garden collapse during a Sunday bear-baiting


Parts of the audience scaffolding at Paris Garden collapsed during a Sunday bearbaiting on 13 January 1583. Five days later John Field wrote a pamphlet, soon printed, that interpreted the deaths of seven spectators and injuries of many others as a sign of God's displeasure with such entertainments during the Sabbath. In addition to bearbaiting, he encourages the city government to ban Sunday performances in theatres (naming the Theatre and Curtain specifically) and to close down dicing houses and cock-fighting pits. Field names the deceased audience members and gives their profession and place of residence.

Date Event Recorded

From: 17 January 1583 (Source of claim: original)

Date Event Happened

From: 13 January 1583 (Source of claim: original)


Paris Garden
Bear Garden


Name Event Role(s) Document Role(s)
Spencer, Adam audience member deceased, feltmonger
Cockram, William audience member baker, deceased
Burton, John audience member clerk, deceased
Mason, Mathew audience member deceased, servant
Peace, Thomas audience member deceased, servant
White, Alice audience member deceased, servant
Harrison, Marie audience member daughter, deceased
Harrison, John father waterbearer
Garland, ––– master
Tasker, Robert master

Event Type

  • anti-theatrical comment
  • audience context
  • bear-baiting
  • cultural context
  • death
  • performance context
  • playhouse context
  • public disturbance