Ben Jonson's ‘Villanous Guy’

Published in Notes and Queries (2009)

In Thomas Dekker’s Satiromastix the poet Horace is a blatant caricature of Ben Jonson. Throughout the play Captain Tucca, a character taken from Jonson’s Poetaster, is used to mercilessly criticise Jonson. In one scene Tucca mocks him for having been ‘a poore Iorneyman Player’ and then makes a reference to his involvement in the Isle of Dogs affair:

Death of Hercules, he could neuer play that part well
in's life, no Fulkes you could not: thou call'st Demetrius
Iorneyman Poet, but thou putst vp a Supplication to be
a poore Iorneyman Player, and hadst beene still so, but
that thou couldst not set a good face vpon't: thou hast forgot
how thou amblest (in leather pilch) by a play-wagon, in the
highway, and took'st mad Ieronimoes part, to get seruice
among the Mimickes: and when the Stagerites banisht thee
into the Ile of Dogs, thou turn'dst Ban-dog (villanous Guy) &
euer since bitest
, therefore I aske if th'ast been at Parris-garden,
because thou hast such a good mouth; thou baitst well,
read, lege, saue thy selfe and read

The general meaning of the words I have highlighted is reasonably clear. As Cyrus Hoy put it: ‘after his experience of The Isle of Dogs Horace (Jonson) turned satirist and has been snarling ever since’.[2] The precise meaning, though, is open to question. Hoy refers to Jonson’s ‘experience of The Isle of Dogs’, but this is vague. Which particular part of the experience caused him to turn satirist?

According to David Riggs, it was some action on the part of the actors: ‘In plain prose, Dekker alleged that the actors (“stage-wrights”, with a pun on stagirites, or Aristotelians) excluded Jonson (“Guy”) from their fellowship and made him into a snarling satirist, and he has been one ever since.’[3] Again, this interpretation seems generally correct, but is also too vague, suggesting only that the actors had ostracised Jonson in some way (excluded him ‘from their fellowship’). It is not at all obvious why such social or professional exclusion should have turned Jonson into ‘a snarling satirist’.

The uncertainty about Dekker’s precise meaning here is heightened by his insertion of the phrase ‘villanous Guy’ in parentheses after describing Jonson as having turned ‘Ban-dog’. What does ‘villanous Guy’ mean? Very few attempts have been made to explain the phrase. It is usually ignored (and sometimes even omitted entirely)[4] when the passage is quoted, testimony no doubt to the fact that the meaning is so elusive. But in such a satirically particularised passage as this Dekker must have had a very specific reason for using ‘villanous Guy’.

Looking at the word ‘Guy’, it cannot, of course, have the modern general meaning of ‘A man, fellow’, as this usage did not gain currency till the nineteenth century.[5] As a common noun, the word ‘guy’ had only two meanings at the start of the seventeenth century: ‘A guide; a conductor or leader’ and ‘A rope used to guide and steady a thing which is being hoisted or lowered etc’[6]. Neither appears relevant to the context of Dekker’s usage. The word is clearly used here as a proper noun. ‘Guy’ is a name.

Hoy noted that ‘Penniman … suggested that ‘the name as here used may have been that of a dog at the Bear-Garden,’[7] but both he and Scherer … see a reference to Guy of Warwick, and given Tucca’s habit of loading his speech with the names of romance, ballad, and stage figures, such a reference is possible.’[8] But a reference to Guy of Warwick here is surely more than possible; it seems the only option.

For some reason, then, Dekker is associating Jonson ‘turning satirist’ after the Isle of Dogs affair with Guy of Warwick. This is mysterious enough, but even more so when we consider that Dekker has added the word ‘villanous’. In what sense could Guy of Warwick - one of the Nine Worthies, figures who personified chivalry and heroism -  be described as ‘villanous’? Hoy suggests that ‘In the last decade of the sixteenth century, romances of the type of Guy of Warwick were coming under attack; this might account for Tucca’s epithet ‘villanous’’, citing, for example, Francis Meres’s statement  in Palladis Tamia that Guy of Warwick and other romances were ‘hurtfull to youth’. But Dekker’s reference is surely meant to be more specific than this.

Dekker uses ‘villanous’ to qualify his description of Jonson turning satirist as a response to the ‘Stagerites’ reacting to his role in the Isle of Dogs affair. Riggs rightly says that ‘Stagerites’ suggests ‘stage-wrights’, but interprets this as ‘players’. However, Dekker had already referred to the players as ‘Mimickes’. If  he had meant that the players had ‘banisht’ Jonson, the more natural construction would have been ‘… the Mimickes: and when they banisht thee into the Ile of Dogs’, not ‘when the Stagerites banisht thee into the Ile of Dogs’.  ‘Stage-wrights’ suggests ‘playwrights’,  not ‘players’. Jonson himself uses ‘stage-wrights’ exactly in this sense in The New Inn to differentiate the playwrights from the players: ‘The stagers and the stage-wrights too (your peers)’[9]. This suggests that the banishing of Jonson to the Isle of Dogs by the Stagerites refers not to the actors simply excluding Jonson ‘from their fellowship’, as Riggs would have it, but to attacks on Jonson by playwrights (i.e. in plays)  for his role in the Isle of Dogs affair, to which Jonson had responded with satires of his own. In that case, ‘Guy’ is likely to be Dekker’s hint at the identity of one of these plays, and ‘villanous’ probably refers to the fact that the play was a  satire[10]. Dekker’s ‘villanous Guy’ is thus not a description of Jonson, it is an allusion to a play by Jonson.

I suggest that this ‘villanous Guy’ play by Ben Jonson is The Tragical History, Admirable Atchievments and various events of Guy Earl of Warwick, printed in 1661 by Thomas Vere and William Gilbertson. Guy of Warwick[11] has attracted considerable attention in recent years because - despite the fact it was published in 1661 - it is generally agreed to be from the Elizabethan period, and appears to contain satire on Shakespeare. Moreover, the title page of Guy of Warwick ascribes the play to ‘B. J.’.

The main plot of Guy of Warwick deals with the life and death of the legendary Romance hero Guy of Warwick. The first half of Guy's career is summarised in a prologue, and thereafter the play concentrates on his marriage, subsequent exploits and death. Guy is accompanied much of the time by the play’s clown, called Sparrow, a very lively figure who tends to dominate proceedings.

In 1941, Alfred Harbage suggested that the following passage in Guy of Warwick with its very specific reference to a ‘high mounting lofty minded’ Sparrow ‘born in England at Stratford upon Aven’ was a satirical hit at Shakespeare:

Rainborne. Art thou a Christian? prethee where wer't born?

Sparrow. Ifaith Sir I was born in England at Stratford upon Aven in Warwickshire.

Wer't born in England? what's thy name?

Nay I have a fine finical name, I can tell ye, for my name is Sparrow; yet I am not no house Sparrow, nor no hedge Sparrow, nor no peaking Sparrow, nor no sneaking Sparrow, but I am a high mounting lofty minded Sparrow, and that Parnell knows well enough, and a good many more of the pretty Wenches of our Parish ifaith.

Harbage suggested that the play was written ca. 1592-3, at a time when plays based on Romance heroes, such as Huon of Bordeaux in 1593, and Godfrey of Boulogne in 1594, were popular. He offered no specific reason as to why Shakespeare would have been satirised at this time other than that ‘his mounting star was vexing new writers as well as old’[13]. Harbage assumed, without further discussion, that the ascription to ‘B.J.’ was an invention of the publishers: ‘Thomas Vere and William Gilbertson, having a stray theatrical piece to vend, wished to suggest the name which in 1661 and for a few years thereafter headed the roll of honor of past writers for the stage.’[14]

In 2001, Helen Cooper expanded on Harbage’s argument, suggesting that the play was probably written, or rewritten, ca. 1593-4, and that the reference to a ‘high mounting lofty minded Sparrow’ was specifically a satire on Shakespeare’s ‘upstart’ behaviour in publishing Venus and Adonis in 1593. Cooper took a more cautious approach to the identity of ‘B.J.’, noting thatthe existence of the initials does at least demand a consideration of whether the play might conceivably be by Jonson rather than Nashe or Dekker or merely Anon’. While not actually proposing him as the author, she pointed out that ‘eliminating Jonson turns out to be surprisingly difficult’[15].

In 2007, a facsimile text of the play was edited by Helen Moore for the Malone Society. Moore adopted an agnostic stance on whether Sparrow is a satire on Shakespeare, but agreed with Harbage and Cooper in placing Guy of Warwick in the early 1590s, although suspecting that it may have been substantially revised in the seventeenth century. Like Harbage, Moore assumed that the initials ‘B.J.’ on the title page of Guy of Warwick were a deception on the part of Vere and Gilbertson: ‘B.J.’ ‘is a spurious ascription, most probably intended to exploit the cultural capital of Jonson’[16]

In dismissing Jonson as a possible author of Guy of Warwick, both Harbage and Moore took no account of the fact that the play is probably a collaborative work. Collaboration was, of course, common during the 1590s, and there is significant stylistic evidence within Guy of Warwick itself pointing to collaboration. Each act in the play begins with a chorus by Time. For acts 1, 4 and 5 Time’s choruses are in blank verse, except for a concluding rhyming couplet. However, for Act 2, Time’s chorus is entirely in rhyming couplets, while for Act 3 it is a mixture of rhymed and unrhymed lines, though predominantly rhymed. This significant stylistic divergence in the versification for Time’s choruses is clearly indicative of dual authorship. Time’s chorus to Act 2 also differs stylistically from the other choruses in having the initial letter of each line capitalized, and in concluding with a simple ‘Exit’ rather than ‘Exit Time’, as is the case for Acts 1, 4 and 5[17].

That there is such marked stylistic variation in Time’s chorus for Act 2 is especially significant given its position in the play. Sparrow is introduced at the end of Act 1, and Act 2, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Guy of Warwick legend, is entirely devoted to the comic exploits of the ‘Hedg-bird’[18] clown. The act includes verbal allusions to Mucedorus[19], an encounter with an enchanter, and a visit from Oberon and his fairies, who pull Sparrow down and pinch him. Cooper comments that the act is one ‘for which 'picaresque' would be a kind description’[20] and that it ‘seems to have wandered in from another play’[21]. More likely, it just wandered in from another author. In inserting Act 2, that author needed to write a bridging chorus by Time, and instinctively used his preferred verse style of rhyming couplets. This was Jonson’s style. While he used blank verse throughout his plays, the prologues are invariably written in rhyming couplets, and in poetry his preference for this verse form was marked, Drummond noting that ‘he detested all other rhime’ and ‘had written a discourse on poetry … where he proves couplets to be the bravest sort of verses.[22]

Once we accept that Guy of Warwick is probably a collaborative work, it frees us from the necessity to believe that if Jonson was ‘B.J.’ then he must have written the play in its entirety. Instead, we need only to consider the possibility that he wrote parts of it, and the stylistic marker of Time’s chorus to Act 2 suggests his main role would have been to write the comic scenes involving Sparrow. Though still surprising, this is far less difficult to believe than that he was responsible for the play as a whole. If Jonson’s main task was to write lines satirising Shakespeare as a low-bred Elizabethan clown, he was perfectly capable of doing so.

It is also important to consider the intent of Guy of Warwick. Both Moore and Cooper note the close connection between the following passage from Guy of Warwick and one in The Magnetic Lady where, as Cooper says, ‘Jonson describes his Platonic Idea of a bad play, in which elements of Guy of Warwick … are strong and unmistakable’[23]:

Spar. . . . my Miftris Parnell is as precious to me, as your Lady Phillis is to you, we have gotten them both with child; and all the difference is, that Phillis is your wedded Wife, and Parnell is my unmarried Mistris, and we must needs run up and down killing of Dun Cowes, Dragons, Wild-boars and Mastiff Dogs, when we have more work at home then we can well turn our hands to.[24]

Boy … So, if a Child could be borne, in a Play, and grow up to a man, i'the first Scene, before hee went off the Stage: and then after to come forth a Squire, and bee made a Knight: and that Knight to travell betweene the Acts, and doe wonders i'the holy land, or else where; kill Paynims, wild Boores, dun Cowes, and other Monsters; beget him a reputation, and marry an Emperours Daughter for his Mistris; convert her Fathers Countrey; and at last come home, lame, and all to be laden with miracles.[25]

Moore notes that this passage in The Magnetic Lady is one of ‘the connections between Guy and a handful of works by Jonson’ that may have influenced Vere and Gilbertson to ascribe the play to ‘B.J.’ But because she assumes that Jonson did not have a hand in Guy of Warwick, she then argues – unconvincingly - that the very similar wording in the two passages may suggest not only that Jonson lifted his comic summary from a play of Guy of Warwick, but also that the play printed in 1661 is a close relation of this play as it was performed’[26]. The simpler explanation is, of course, that Jonson wrote both passages. At first glance, this seems inconsistent with the fact that the passage in The Magnetic Lady demonstrates, as Cooper points out, that Jonson considered the sort of Guy of Warwick play he describes as a  quintessentially bad play. The passage seems proof that Jonson would not have written a play like Guy of Warwick. But this ignores the likely satirical intent of the play. If the main aim was to satirise Shakespeare, then what better way to do it than to make him the Clown in a mouldy old tale like Guy of Warwick?

If Guy of Warwick is indeed the ‘villanous Guy’ play alluded to by Dekker, then it must have been written sometime between July 1597, when the Isle of Dogs affair erupted, and November 1601, when Satiromastix was entered in the Stationers’ Register, a date at odds with the current scholarly consensus that puts Guy of Warwick in the period 1593-4. However, I have pointed out previously that there is no hard evidence whatsoever for this date[27]. In suggesting the date,  both Harbage and Cooper suppose that a play featuring  Guy of Warwick would have been written around the same time as other plays based on romance figures, such as Huon of Bordeaux in 1593, and Godfrey of Boulogne in 1594. But we could equally suppose that a play on Guy of Warwick would have been likely following the popularity of Richard Johnson’s The Famous Historie of the Seuen Champions of Christendom (1596) and The Second part of the famous History of the Seauen Champions of  Christendome (1597). Indeed, since this second part of Johnson’s work concentrates on ‘the Princely prowesse of Saint Georges three Sonnes’ (as the title page highlights), the eldest of which is Guy of Warwick, a play about Guy after 1597 is just as, if not more, likely than a date in the early 1590s[28].

A date of 1593-4 for Guy of Warwick is also not necessary to find a plausible explanation for Sparrow’s description of himself as a 'high mounting lofty minded Sparrow'. Cooper sees the phrase  as a reference to Shakespeare’s artistic pretensions in publishing Venus and Adonis in 1593. However, Shakespeare also had social pretensions. In October 1596, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, thereby making his son William a gentlemen. A 'high mounting lofty minded Sparrow' could just as plausibly be seen as a swipe at a Shakespeare ‘ramping to gentilitie’[29] as a Shakespeare aspiring to poetic glory. This would put Guy of Warwick after late 1596, consistent with the date suggested by an association with Richard Johnson’s Seven Champions.

Since my argument in this paper relies on the cumulative impact of links between Guy of Warwick and Dekker’s allusion to a ‘villanous Guy’ play by Jonson, it is worthwhile at this point to summarise these links. First, Guy of Warwick is the only play of the period that has any significant connection with Guy of Warwick. Second, the title page ascribes the play to ‘B.J.’, and Jonson, as we have seen, is not so easily ruled out as author. Third, the play appears to contain satire on Shakespeare. Fourth, the play can be plausibly dated to a period consistent with Dekker’s allusion. There is thus, at the very least, a prima facie case that Guy of Warwick is Ben Jonson’s ‘villanous Guy’ – the play that Dekker says Jonson wrote as a response to criticism from another playwright over the Isle of Dogs affair, a playwright we can deduce from the clown Sparrow in Guy of Warwick was Shakespeare.

There is, however, one critical thing missing from this argument. Dekker says that Jonson’s turning ‘ban-dog’ was in response to satire on the Isle of Dogs affair, so if Guy of Warwick is, in fact, Jonson’s response to previous satire by Shakespeare, then there must have been a  Shakespeare play specifically satirising the Isle of Dogs affair. Tradition tells us that there is no such play, but I have argued in another paper in this journal that The Two Gentlemen of Verona is precisely such a play, Shakespeare using Lance and his dog Crab to satirise Nashe and Jonson for their roles in the Isle of Dogs affair[30]. This hypothesis is, of course, unproven at this stage, but it does mean that Two Gentlemen is the obvious – indeed, the only – candidate for the play that Guy of Warwick is a response to.

If Two Gentlemen was the play that provoked Jonson into satirising Shakespeare in Guy of Warwick, we would expect to find specific allusions to Two Gentlemen in Guy of Warwick. We might also expect to find that the one scene in the play Jonson would allude to is the scene where Shakespeare most obviously refers to the Isle of Dogs affair - Lance’s final soliloquy, where Crab humiliates him by, among other things, urinating under the table.

This is exactly what we do find. In Guy of Warwick, Sparrow, like Lance, has an extended closing soliloquy. Left alone with ‘a Fat legg of Pork’ when accompanying Rainborne to a dinner, Sparrow cannot resist stuffing it into his pocket. However, his actions are thwarted by none other than an errant dog:

Sparrow. Ha, ha, the world's well amended with me by-Lady, why? I am as plumb as a pudding now, for ever since I came to my young Master, I have been so puft up with good chear, that Barly puddings are no meat, nor Cheese-cakes, nor Custards, no banquetting stuffe with me; for as soon as ever we came into England, my young Master goes to the Court presently, where he and I were Counterpain'd with such implements as passes; I am tost up and down like a Shittlecock in every bodies mouth; for who but Master Sparrow, the greatest Traveller that has been at cost twenty Nobles and Jerico, and I cannot tell ye where; but for all that I was serv'd a Sluttish trick to day, for my Master being bidden to a great Gentlemans house to dinner, took me along with him to wait at the Table; wel as they were at Dinner, the Serving men as they took off the meat set it before the fire to keep it warm for themselves: I seeing the good chear standing in battle Ray, and having not broke my fast of all day, I began to draw near the fire, and look over my shoulder upon the victuals, at last I spyed a Fat legg of Pork; O how my Teeth did water to look upon't! I had not stood long, but seeing every body busie, I whipt the legg of Pork into my Pocket, and stood very mannerly with my hands at my back, as though I had done nothing; but it was not long, e're the Fat Pork with the heat of the Fire began to fry out of my Slops, & all the dogs in the House came Snukering and licking about my Breeches, and not content with that, but one unmannerly Cur above all the rest, popt his Nose into my Pocket, snatcht out the leg of Pork, & tore away all the tone side of my Breeches, that I was fain to go out edgling like a Crab ifaith; put i'le ne're steal Pork again while I live, i'le have one bit of Mutton whatsome're comes on't ifaith.[31]

After this, Sparrow - like Lance - has only a few minor lines and we hear no more of him. Significantly, Sparrow’s soliloquy bears no connection with the rest of the play. There has been no previous mention of a dog. It is a set piece.

The similarities between Sparrow and Lance here are surely not coincidental. Both are given a final soliloquy about an embarrassing scene brought on by the actions of a dog. In Two Gentlemen Crab steals a capon’s leg; in Guy of Warwick a dog snatches a leg of pork. Lance is thrust ‘into the company of three or foure gentleman-like-dogs’ and is humiliated by Crab urinating under the table; Sparrow is harassed by ‘all the dogs in the House’, with ‘one unmannerly Cur above all the rest’ humiliating him by tearing his breeches. Further, the author of Guy of Warwick just happens to describe Sparrow‘s exit as ‘edgling[32] like a Crab[33]. The passage certainly looks like a satirical rejoinder to Two Gentlemen.

Remarkably, there are also similarities between Sparrow’s and Lance’s opening soliloquies. When we first meet Sparrow, he is telling his father that ‘being a young Man and a Scholar’ he is leaving ‘to try the fruits of [his] Learning’. He then asks his father for forty pounds. As it turns out, Sparrow is really leaving because he has been accused of getting his neighbour Parnel pregnant. His father insists he should do the right thing and marry the woman, but Sparrow will have none of it. The father and Parnel then exit, and Sparrow is given a short soliloquy to finish the scene:

Clow. Nay do not cry good Father, do not weep sweet Parnel,
but even farewel and be hang'd, thats twice God bo'ye; I made
as though I had been sorry, but I could not weep and if I should
ha been hang'd; but now will I go serve the bravest Man in all
the world, his Name is Sir Guy of Warwick; they say he's going
to Jerusalem and Jerico; but if he goes to the Divel I'le go with
him, that's flat; and if Parnel be brought to bed before I come
again, some honest Fellow do so much as pay for the Nursing of
the Child, and Ile do as much for him another time.              Exit.[34]

Sparrow, like Lance, is thus introduced to us as a variation on the Prodigal Son theme: the rebellious young man who leaves (while, of course, expecting money from) his family, so he may go and see the world. Shakespeare, of course, even puns on it: ‘I have received my proportion, like the prodigious son’. More importantly, both Sparrow’s and Lance’s lines focus on weeping, and the contrast between one character who cannot weep and those weeping around him. In Two Gentlemen, Lance’s entire family weeps uncontrollably, but the cruel-hearted Crab does not. In Guy of Warwick, Sparrow’s father and Parnell are both weeping, but Sparrow cannot: ‘Nay do not cry good Father, do not weep sweet Parnel…I made as though I had been sorry, but I could not weep’. This Sparrow who cannot weep looks very much like an ironic reversal of the Lance who could not stop weeping. By itself, we could perhaps dismiss this similarity in the opening soliloquies of Sparrow and Lance as coincidental. But knowing that there is an even stronger similarity in their closing soliloquies makes it difficult not to see Sparrow’s lines at the start of the play as also a deliberate allusion to Lance’s.

The identification of allusions to Two Gentlemen in Guy of Warwick is important in its own right, as it adds considerable support to those who argue that Sparrow is a satire on Shakespeare. However, it also provides the final link in the chain of evidence connecting Guy of Warwick with Dekker’s allusion in Satiromastix. It tells us the identity of the play that ‘banisht’ Jonson ‘into the Ile of Dogs’, turning him into a snarling satirist - it was The Two Gentlemen of Verona. I propose, then, that the following scenario best explains all the evidence I have presented in this paper:

1.   In The Two Gentlemen of Verona Shakespeare used the characters of Lance and Crab to satirise Nashe and Jonson for their roles in the Isle of Dogs affair.
2. In retaliation, Jonson wrote Guy of Warwick in collaboration with another playwright[35], using the clown Sparrow to satirise Shakespeare. Based on my proposed dating of Two Gentlemen in late 1597 or early 1598[36], Guy of Warwick was probably written and performed not long after, in the first or second quarter of 1598.

There will be a natural resistance to the idea that Ben Jonson could have written a play like Guy of Warwick, due to the apparent difficulty of reconciling such a play with the ‘classical’ Jonson of posterity. However, this Jonson was partly a creation of the man himself, designed to erase memory of the ‘poore Jorneyman Player’ that Dekker had mocked and the working playwright collaborating with other writers to earn a living. We should not forget that the Ben Jonson who wrote Every Man In His Humour and Every Man Out Of His Humour in the late 1590s also wrote the satirical Isle of Dogs in 1597 with Nashe, and was the same ‘Bengemen Johnson’ of Henslowe’s diary who worked on ‘Hoate anger sone cowld’ in 1598 with Henry Porter and Henry Chettle, ‘Pagge of Plim’ in 1599 with Thomas Dekker, and ‘Robart the second kinge of Scottes tragedie’ in 1599 with Dekker, Chettle ‘and other jentellmen’. That Ben Jonson could well have collaborated in 1598 in a play like Guy of Warwick - none of these other plays have come down to us, but all of them, we can be fairly certain, were not ‘Jonsonian’.

If the proposal I have put forward in this paper is correct, it would necessitate a significant reappraisal of our understanding of the literary lives of Shakespeare and Jonson and the connection between the two. Much further work would need to be done to prove the case. Nevertheless, there is, I believe, sufficient evidence before us now to at least say this: we need to take more seriously the possibility that ‘B.J.’, the creator of Sparrow, satirical scourge of Shakespeare in Guy of Warwick, was indeed Ben Jonson.


[1] Thomas Dekker, Satiro-mastix, London (1602), EEBO.
[2] Cyrus Hoy, Introductions, Notes, and Commentaries to texts in ‘The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker’, edited by Fredson Bowers, Volume 1, Cambridge (1980), 265.
[3] David Riggs, Ben Jonson: A Life,  Harvard University Press (1989), 34.
[4] See, for example, James P. Bednarz, Shakespeare & The Poets’ War, New York (2003), 220.
[5] OED n.2.d., ‘guy’.  Riggs equates ‘Guy’ with Jonson, anachronistically using  this modern meaning of the word.
[6] OED n.1 and n.2a., ‘guy’.
[7] That ‘Guy’ was the name of a dog at the Bear-Garden is unlikely, if only because it was the bears (Sackerson, Harry Hunks etc), not the dogs, who acquired individual fame.
[8] Hoy, 265.
[9] Ben Jonson, The New Inn, Revels Edition (2001), edited by Michael Hattaway, ‘Ode’, 35.
[10] That ‘Guy’ here may be a reference to a play is consistent with Roslyn Lander Knutson’s note in Playing Companies and Commerce in Shakespeare’s Time (Cambridge, 2001, 174) that with ‘Dekker’s many allusions to ballad and romance materials … It is tempting to conjecture that one or more of these references would have been recognized by audiences as the subjects of plays.’
[11] Two quite different abbreviations,  the ‘Tragical History’ and ‘Guy of Warwick’, have been used by scholars for The Tragical History, Admirable Atchievements and various Events of Guy Earl of Warwick’. Throughout this paper, I have used the form ‘Guy of Warwick’.
[12] Alfred Harbage, ‘An Early Attack on Shakespeare?’, Shakespeare Association Bulletin, xvi (1941), 42-9 and reprinted in modified form as ‘Sparrow from Stratford’, in his Shakespeare without Words and Other Essays (Cambridge, 1972), 143-52. 
[13] Harbage, Sparrow from Stratford’, 152.
[14] Harbage, Sparrow from Stratford’, 143.
[15] Helen Cooper, ‘Did Shakespeare play the Clown?’, TLS, 5116 (20 April, 2001), 26-7. This article was an early summary version of Helen Cooper, ‘Guy of Warwick, Upstart Crows and Mounting Sparrows’, in Takashi Kozuka and J.R.Mulryne eds., Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography (2006).  Cooper made the comment in the 2001 article, but omitted it from the 2006 paper.
[16] Helen Moore, GUY OF WARWICK 1661 (Malone Society Reprints 170) 2006, xix. All quotes from Guy of Warwick in this paper are from Moore’s edition, referencing Through Line Numbers (TLN).
[17] For Act 3 there is no ‘Exit’ at all.
[18] The term‘hedg(e)-bird’ used in Guy of Warwick is relatively uncommon. Jonson uses it, however, in Bartholomew Fair.
[19] Noted by John Peachman, ‘Links between Mucedorus and The Tragical History, Admirable Atchievements and various Events of Guy Earl of Warwick’,  N&Q  (December 2006) 464-7, and, independently, Moore, xxvii.
[20] Cooper, ‘Guy of Warwick, Upstart Crows and Mounting Sparrows’, 123.
[21] Cooper, ‘Guy of Warwick, Upstart Crows and Mounting Sparrows’, 119.
[22] Shakespeare Society, Notes of Ben Jonson’s Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden (London, 1842), 45.
[23] Cooper, ‘Guy of Warwick, Upstart Crows and Mounting Sparrows’, 120.
[24] Moore, 340-6.
[25] The Magnetic Lady, I, Chorus, 16-24 in Ben Jonson, ed. C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson and Evelyn Simpson, 11 vols. (Oxford, 1925-52), vi 527-8.
[26] Moore, xx-xxi.
[27] Peachman (2006), 465.
[28] The association was natural at the time. The copy of Guy of Warwick belonging to Worcester College, Oxford used by Moore for her edition was bound with John Kirke’s tragicomedy The Seven Champions of Christendome (1638) (Moore, vii).
[29] Jonson’s description of the ‘essential clown’ Sogliardo, thought by many to be a satire on Shakespeare, in Every Man Out Of His Humour.
[30] John Peachman, ‘Why a Dog? A Late Date for The Two Gentlemen of Verona’, N&Q (September 2007) , 265-72.
[31] Moore, 1387-1416.
[32] ‘Edgling’ is a comparatively rare word. Jonson uses it as ‘edge-long’ in The Magnetic Lady.
[33] My italics.
[34] Moore, 241-49.
[35] Although active collaboration seems the most likely situation, it is possible that Jonson took an existing manuscript and added Sparrow to it.
[36] Peachman (2007), 271.