Lifetime: 1576 - 1608 Passed: ≈ 416 years ago


Playwright, Pamphleteer



Edward Sharpham

Edward Sharpham (baptised 1576 – 1608) was an English playwright and pamphleteer. He is best known for his comedies The Fleer (1606) and The Fool (1609), which are both satirical examinations of early modern English society.


Sharpham was a keen observer of human nature, and his plays are full of insights into the foibles and vices of his contemporaries. He was also a strong critic of social injustice, and his plays often challenge the status quo.

Notable Works:

In addition to The Fleer and The Fool, Sharpham also wrote the plays The Maid's Revenge (1606) and Cupid's Whirligig (1607). He also wrote a number of pamphlets, including The Discovery of the Knights of the Post (1597) and Sharpham's Folly: Or, A Fool's Paradise (1609).


Sharpham's philosophy was based on the belief that human nature is flawed and that society is often unjust. However, he also believed that people have the potential to be good and that society can be improved. His plays are both funny and thought-provoking, and they challenge audiences to think about the world in new ways.

Death and Remembrance:

Sharpham died in 1608 at the age of 32. He is buried in St Giles-in-the-Fields, London. Sharpham's plays were popular in his own time, but they were largely forgotten after the Restoration. In recent years, however, there has been a renewed interest in his work, and his plays have been performed on stage and screen.

Interesting Facts:

  • Sharpham was born in Motcombe, Dorset, England.
  • He was educated at Oxford University.
  • After leaving Oxford, Sharpham worked as a lawyer.
  • He began writing plays in the early 1600s.
  • Sharpham's plays were performed by the Admiral's Men, one of the leading acting companies of the time.
  • Sharpham's plays were popular with audiences, but they were also controversial. His plays often satirized the aristocracy and the clergy, and he was accused of being a subversive.


Edward Sharpham was a talented playwright and pamphleteer who wrote some of the most insightful and satirical plays of the early modern English era. His plays are still relevant today, and they continue to be performed and studied by scholars and audiences alike.

Additional Information:

Sharpham's plays are notable for their realistic portrayal of everyday life in early modern England. His characters are drawn from all walks of life, and his plays offer a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people. Sharpham's plays are also notable for their use of language. His characters speak in a variety of dialects, and his plays are full of puns and wordplay.

Sharpham's plays were influential on other playwrights, including Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton. His plays also helped to shape the development of English comedy.

Books by Edward Sharpham

Cupid's Whirligig Cover image

Cupid's Whirligig

Love Children Comics Faith Jealousy London Fun

When Cupid strikes, no one is safe, not even a jealous husband. Cupid's Whirligig is a city comedy by Edward Sharpham, first published in 1607. The play is set in London and follows the misadventures of Sir Timothy Troublesome, a knight who is convi...