Source One - A Sackful of News

Warrant for the arrest of players. Catalogue ref: PC2/7


The vth of Septembre, at St. James’, 1557

Thapparaunce as before, except the Lorde Treasourer.

A lettre to the Lord Maiour of London to gyve ordre fourthewith that sum of his officers do fourthwith repayre to the Bores Hed without Algate, where the Lords are enfourmed a lewde playe, called a “Sacke full of Newes,” shalbe plaied this daye, the players whereof he is willed to apprehende and to committ to salfe warde untill he shall here further from hense, and to take thiere playe booke from them and to send the same hither.

Simplified Transcript

The 5th of September at St James’ Palace, 1557

All in attendance except the Lord Treasurer.

A letter to the Lord Mayor of London to give the order immediately that some of his officers will go to the Boars Head in Aldgate, where the council has been informed a lewd play called ‘A Sack Full of News’ shall be played today. He is asked to apprehend and lock up the players until he hears otherwise and to take their play script from them and send it to the council.


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  1. Where is the play being shown?
  2. What does this suggest about the play and its audience?
  3. Why would the Privy Council censor the play? What are they worried about? [clue: think about the title of the play]
  4. Why would they seize the playbook?