Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1564

Christopher Marlowe is baptized

On this day, poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe is baptized in Canterbury, England, two months before the birth of his fellow playwright William Shakespeare.

Marlowe, the son of a Canterbury shoemaker, was a bright student. He won scholarships to prestigious schools and earned his B.A. from Cambridge in 1584. Historians believe Marlowe served as a spy for Queen Elizabeth while at Cambridge. He was nearly denied his master’s degree in 1587, until the queen’s advisers intervened, recommending he receive the degree and referring obliquely to his services for the state.

While still in school, Marlowe wrote his play Tamburlaine the Great, about a 14th-century shepherd who became an emperor. The blank verse drama caught on with the public, and Marlowe wrote five more plays before his death in 1593, including The Jew of Malta and Dr. Faustus. He also published a translation of Ovid’s Elegies.

In May of 1593, Marlowe’s former roommate, playwright Thomas Kyd, was arrested and tortured for treason. He told authorities that “heretical” papers found in his room belonged to Marlowe, who was subsequently arrested. While out on bail, Marlowe became involved in a fight over a tavern bill and was stabbed to death.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Mass graves discovered in Hue

Allied troops who had recaptured the imperial capital of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive discover the first mass graves in Hue. It was discovered that communist troops who had held the city for 25 days had massacred about 2,800 civilians whom they had ...read more

World Trade Center bombed

At 12:18 p.m., a terrorist bomb explodes in a parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City, leaving a crater 60 feet wide and causing the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors in the vicinity of the blast. Although the terrorist bomb failed to ...read more

Last U.S. Marines leave Beirut

The last U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a multinational peacekeeping force leave Beirut, the war-torn Lebanese capital where some 250 of the original 800 Marines lost their lives during the problem-plagued 18-month mission. In 1975, a bloody civil war erupted in Lebanon, ...read more

“The Chancellor” Dies

On this day in 1813, New York Patriot Robert R. Livingston dies. Robert R. (or R.R.) Livingston was the eldest of nine children born to Judge Robert Livingston and Margaret Beekman Livingston in their family seat, Clermont, on the Hudson River in upstate New York. The ...read more