William Keeling

(1578—1620) naval officer in the East India Company

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Captain of the Dragon, an East India Company ship which in 1607, along with Hector and Consent, journeyed to the East Indies. His journal tells of performances of Shakespeare's plays on the High Seas, off Sierra Leone: 5 September:‘I sent the interpreter, according to his desire, aboard the Hector where he broke fast, and after came aboard me, where we gave the tragedy of Hamlet’ 30 September: ‘Captain Hawkins [of the Hector] dined with me, where my companions acted King Richard the Second’; 31 March 1608:‘I invited Captain Hawkins to a fish dinner, and had Hamlet acted aboard me; which I permit to keep my people from idleness and unlawful games, or sleep’.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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