The Elizabethan, Jacobean monarchs and their Lord Chamberlains’ fostered the leading playwrights of their age who were in receipt of their direct patronage.
Sophisticated drama was staged at Whitehall, Greenwich and many other palaces for visiting foreign dignitaries. The court of James 1st viewed no less than 138 plays compared with 32 staged at court during the reign of Elizabeth 1st. Strikingly, King James, Queen Anne, Princess Elizabeth and the Princes Henry and Charles were each patrons of a troupe of players. Queen Anne too was a great patron of the Court Masque. It was the Jacobean age that marked the high point of early Modern English that found its monumental expression in the First Folio of 1623.