The Red Lion and the White Horse: Inns used by Patronized Performers in Norwich, 1583-1624

  • Jennifer Roberts Smith University of Windsor


Two Norwich inns, the Red Lion and the White Horse, are known to have been used by patronised performers between 1583 and 1624. The non-theatrical documentary and material records presented here elucidate the inns’ locations, functions, and dimensions; ownership, status in the community, and relationship to the city government; popularity as performance venues; and fates in later centuries. At their heights, the inns were respectable, lucrative, reliable venues, well managed, well appointed, and individually stable for decades. They represent what was likely a thriving and long-lasting entertainment industry, supported by city government but operating outside official civic auspices.