Name: The Lord Chamberlain, "The Licensing Act"

Date:  1500 - 1799

Location:  Europe

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion


Artist: The State

Confronting Bodies: writers

Date of Action: 1737

Specific Location: England

Description of Artwork: "The Licensing Act," 1737: By the "The Licensing Act" of this year the Lord Chamberlain was empowered to license plays, giving rise to the popular phrase "legitimate theater."

Description of Incident: 1737, England: The history of theater censorship is itself long and complicated, and extends at least from medieval Europe down to the present. But the particular function of the Lord Chamberlain led to many clashes over works that have since become classics.

Results of Incident: 1968, England: The power of the Lord Chamberlain to license plays was revoked by parliament.

Source: Banned Books 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D., by Anne Lyon Haight, and Chandler B. Grannis, R.R. Bowker Co, 1978.

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