In the play ‘The Beggars Bush’ the election of Clause as the King of the Beggars in Act II Scene 1 is celebrated with a song sung by “orator” Higgen. The song was reproduced as a seperate text in many collections of songs. It is generally ascribed to John Fletcher. Much of the beggars material in ‘The Beggars Bush’ was taken from the rogue literature of the late sixteenth and early seventeeth century. However, the source for the song is a much earlier and more respectable text – The Colloquies’ of Desiderius Erasmus, the “Prince of Christian Humanists”
The usual explanation of the place name Beggars Bush is that it was a haunt of highwaymen or beggars. However, the record of Beggars boush in 1573 undermines these later explanations at Dublin, Donnybrook. Many historical works on Dublin give this. I believe they are examples of the tendency to adopt restrospective romantic explanations. Read the rest of this entry »
There are four early prints purporting to show Beggars Bush at Donnybrook. It is difficult to identify these with any recorded features or with each other. It seems that the two later prints take liberties with the features to present an artistic scene. Read the rest of this entry »
At the date of the earliest record in 1573 Baggotrath Castle would have been a prominent landmark in the countryside south east of the city. As However, as the record refers to both it appears to exclude the possibility that the place name Beggars Bush was an Anglicisation of Baggotrath. Read the rest of this entry »
In 1573 “the Old Shore” of South Dublin continued to Townsend Street, then called Lazey or Lazar’s Hill (also Louseyhill, Louzy Hill and Lowsyhill) from the leper hospital. This is too far away to have any direct connection with Beggars Bush at Donnybrook.
I have encountered an article by Sean Donnelly which speculates that connects the two sites in Dublin through Poor Robin’s An Almanack of the old and new fashion (1694) which says “Since the King of the Beggars was married to the Queen of the Sluts at Lowzy-Hill near Beggars-Bush, being most splendidly attended by a ragged Regiment of Mumpers.” I do not believe this has anything to do with Dublin. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the droll from The Wits, by Francis Kirkman (1673) which is based on the text of Act 2, Scene 1 of Beggar’s Bush, by Fletcher & Massinger.The text is take from “The Wits, or Sport Upon Sport”, ed. J. J. Elson (1932). The spelling is uncorrected. The notes on canting are based on the glossary in A V Judges, The Elizabethan Underworld. 
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“The Beggars Bush” is a play written by John Fletcher and Philip Massinger in 1622, but commonly included in the “Beaumont and Fletcher” canon. Through performance, print, characters and development of the original text it was likely to have made a substantial contribution to the survival and distribution of the literary phrase. As to the eponymous Beggars Bush itself the play is vague. It is a meeting place for the beggar characters, some of whom, it is revealed, are not beggars at all. It does not attempt to portray a real location – the play is not set in England but in and around Bruges.
Posted: March 20th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers, The Play | Tags: Ben Jonson, Clause, Dutch, Francis Beaumont, Francis Kirkman, Henry Chettle, Izaak Walton, John Day, John Fl, John Taylor, Literary, Londons Ordinary, Performance Chronology, Philip Henslowe, Philip Massinger, Publishing Chronology, The Lame Commonwealth, The Play, beggars, geuzen | No Comments »
Beggars Bush appears three times as boundary marker for Costley Warde, South Warde and Comedeane Walk parcel of Costley Ward in a Survey of The Forest of Ashdown taken by Edmund Twynyho, surveyor, in June 1565, for the Duchy of Lancaster (transcript of PRO DL 42/112 by Anne Drewery, also extracted in part as Appendix II to Teesdale).
There is also a mention of Beggars Bush in the survey of 1579, which exists only in the form af an 18th-century copy, which has a Beggars Bush on the boundary of the Maresfield borough of the hundred of Rushmonden – “…along the highway on the left hand unto Sweet Brook and from thence by a ghyll unto a ditch leading up to Huglets Pit within Ashdown and from thence to Woodhorne and from thence to a ghyll between Owls Oak and Old Lodge and along the same ghyll to Beggars Bush and from thence to Crown Brook and down by the same brook to the upper end of Reedom Mead now Henry Hodes and so from thence to the forenamed style” (ESRO ASH 1171A). Read the rest of this entry »
“I have here made bold to present to your illiterate protection, a beggarly Pamphlet of my threed-bare invention . . . I thought to have dedicated it to Beggars Bush, neere Andever, or to his Hawthorne brother within a mile of Huntingdon; but I considered at last, that the laps of your long Coate could shelter me as well [o]r better than any beggarly Thorne-bush.”
Taylor’s mock dedication from the introduction to his pamphlet was directed towards Archy Armstrong, King James’s Fool, and refers to his coat of motley, the symbol of the Fool. Taylor despised Armstrong, who was renowned for his illiteracy and venality. He refers elsewhere to Armstrong’s “nimble tongue, to make other mens money runne into your purse” and called him “the bright eye-dazeling mirrour of mirth, adelantado of alacrity, the pump of pastime, spout of sport and Regent of ridiculous Confabulations”.
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Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Filed under: Writers, The Play | Tags: Andover, Ben Jonson, Brian Twyne, Elector Palatine, Godmanchester, Huntingdon, John Fletcher, John Taylor, Philip Henslowe, Saxton, beggars, bush, errors, proverb | No Comments »
Phil Quinn takes a look at the ubiquitous place name of Beggars Bush and finds darkness at the edge of town
Quinn Beggars Bush 3rd Stone 1999
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As the purpose of this website is to put up for examination research into the place name Beggars Bush I felt I should include this article because it prompted my researches. Quinn’s hypothesis was that these were liminal sites on boundaries where begging or beggars were tolerated.