Thomas Killigrew 1612-1683

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Thomas KILLIGREW 1612-1683

Armorial stamp of Thomas Killigrew (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

Born at Lothbury, London, son of Sir Robert Killigrew, courtier and MP. He entered court service and by 1632 was a page of honour to the King; shortly afterwards he began writing and staging plays, beginning with The Prisoner (1635). He travelled in Europe around 1640; supporting the King during the Civil War, he was again in Europe in the late 1640s and 1650s, with a series of diplomatic missions on behalf of the exiled court. At the Restoration he settled in London, where he and Sir William Davenant were licensed to erect two playhouses; Killigrew established the King's Company of players, and became a successful theatre manager, while continuing to write plays. Towards the end of his life, when he withdrew from the theatre, he was in some financial difficulties.


A small number of books decorated with his armorial stamps are recorded in the Armorials database; the extent of his library is not known. His will has no reference to books; most of his estate was left to his son Henry.