Playwright William Haughton, who died in 1605, had a hand in a great number of Elizabethan plays. He worked exclusively for Philip Henslowe’s Admiral’s Men and Worcester’s Men. The only works ascribed to him as the sole author are the still performed Englishmen for My Money, or A Woman will have her Will (1598) and Grim the Collier of Croyden.

Haughton was an industrious collaborator, however, and worked with such famous playwrights as Thomas Dekker, Henry Chettle and John Day. He worked on The Spanish Moor’s Tragedy, better known as Lust’s Dominion, with Dekker and Day and Patient Grissel with Dekker and Chettle, where he wrote almost half of the text.

Almost nothing is known about his life although it is thought that he obtained an MA from Oxford a year before his death. In his diary entry of 10 March 1600 Henslowe records that  he lent Haughton ten shillings ‘to release him out of The Clink.’ He doesn’t say why Haughton found himself in prison.

There are still many Elizabethan plays whose authors have not been identified but recent textual studies have found Haughton’s hand in Wiley Beguiled, The Wit of a Woman, The Merry Devil of Edmonton, Captain Thomas Stukeley and A Warning For Fair Women.


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