John Speller's Web Pages - Holy Innocents

Coventry Carol
Performances of the Coventry Mystery Plays were first recorded in a document of 13923, and it is even possible that they may have given a young William Shakespeare from nearby Stratford-upon-Avon his first experience of theatrical performances a few decades before their suppression under Queen Elizabeth I in 1579. Only two have survived, the Shearmen & Tailors' play, which portrayed the events from the Annunciation to the Massacre of the Innocents, and the Weavers' play, which the Purification and the Doctors in the Temple.

Download PDF

Performance of a medieval mystery play in Coventry. Engraving from Thomas Sharp, Coventry Mysteries (1825)
Site Contents Untitled