Arden of Faversham

Printed excerpts

41 pages

Arden of Faversham

| 1739
Thomas Arden, Lord Cheyne, Lord Shorland, Franklyn, Alice Arden, Thomas Mosby, George Bradshaw, Black Will, Shagbag, Adam Foule

In his book A Short Account of Lord Cheyne, Lord Shorland and Mr. Thomas Arden, Henry Collyer, the owner of “liliputian popets”, revisits the account of a 1550 murder which led to the creation of Arden of Faversham – an anonymous play from the end of the 16th
century, whose authorship is unclear. It has been believed to be Thomas Kyd’s, Christopher Marlowe’s or even William Shakespeare’s. Today, it is considered the work of several authors.

A Short Account
provides clues about the way Collyer adapted Arden of Faversham for his puppet theatre. The author explains the conspiracy, describes the characters and their costumes, and includes several lines from his show so that the readers and future members of the audience can appraise the quality and style of his work. He makes a point of setting himself apart from other puppeteers – whom he deems vulgar and ignorant and accuses of having ruined the reputation of puppet theatre.

Punch plays the role of Adam Foule – the owner of the Flower de Luce inn.

Plot summary

A man is murdered by his wife and her lover

Arden of Faversham relates the murder of Thomas Arden - the mayor of Faversham - orchestrated by his wife and her lover.

Related works
Arden of Faversham1592
Composition date

First performance

Canterbury, Great Britain, 1737 -

Lilliputian Popets

Publications and translations


Henry Collyer, A Short Account of Lord Cheyne, Lord Shorland, and Mr. Thomas Arden. Canterbury: printed by the author, 1739.

Conservation place

Bodleian Library - Oxford
Literary tones
Animations techniques
Rod and string marionette
Not specified
Public domain



Written by

Cécile Decaix