, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 531-539
Date: 10 Mar 2010

John Squire: The Unknown Author of The Tryumphs of Peace, the London Lord Mayor’s Show for 1620

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Abstract

The Lord Mayor’s Shows for the inauguration of London’s mayor offered the street audience a mix of dramatic speeches, elaborate pageant devices, and a sumptuous procession, all financed and produced under the auspices of the city’s livery companies and written by some of the most successful playwrights of the seventeenth century: John Webster, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, Anthony Munday and Thomas Heywood. However, one show, John Squire’s The Tryumphs of Peace (London: Nicholas Okes, 1620), is written by a figure unknown to literary history. Since the typical writer of Lord Mayor’s Show in the early Stuart period was an established dramatist, who produced multiple shows, this paper considers why the Haberdashers’ Company would select a writer with no dramatic reputation to compose their mayoral show in 1620. This paper aims to establish the likely identity of the author and to discuss the connection to the guilds of this unknown literary quantity.