John a Kent, the Wise Man of Westchester

Douglas H. Arrell


Anthony Munday’s John a Kent and John a Cumber should be dated to the mid-1590s, not 1590. I argue that it is the same play as The Wise Man of Westchester, presented by the Admiral’s Men in 1594. The play’s extraordinary popularity caused resentment among other playwrights and motivated their satirical attacks on Munday. Wise Man was revived in 1602 and the Chamberlain’s Men produced another magician play, The Merry Devil of Edmonton, in 1603. This play clearly borrows from John a Kent and is further evidence that Wise Man and John a Kent are the same play.


Anthony Munday; John a Kent and John a Cumber; the Admiral’s men; John a Kent; The Wise Man of Westchester; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Merry Devil of Edmonton;

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Douglas H. Arrell
University of Winnipeg