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The Fulke Greville Circle

In his lifetime, Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, was a member of almost every literary, scientific and philosophical circle of any note.


He was a founder member of The Areopagus with Sir Philip Sidney, Mary Pembroke and Edward Dyer. After Sidney’s death, The Areopagus morphed into the Wilton House Circle which attracted every writer of note in that time. Greville, who was tutored in philosophy and ‘magick’ by Dr John Dee, was a member of The School of Night and he hosted men of the calibre of Giordano Bruno in his house.


He was a patron and drinking companion of the University Wits, who gathered at the Steelyard Tavern, close to Greville’s house in the Steelyard.


Based on the evidence it can be shown that the Fulke Greville 'Circle’ included, at various times:


Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, Greville’s lover and literary collaborator (The Areopagus, The Wilton House Circle);


Sir Edward Dyer, Greville’s friend and rival poet; (The Areopagus, The Wilton House Circle)


Sir Francis Bacon, Greville’s protege, lawyer and literary collaborator;


Samuel Daniel, Greville’s friend, protege and literary collaborator (The Wilton House Circle);


John Florio, Greville’s Italian tutor and literary collaborator (The School of Night);


Matthew Gwinne​, Greville’s agent and literary collaborator (The School of Night).


Edmund Spenser, Greville’s client and rival poet (The Wilton House Circle);


Christopher Marlowe, Greville’s secret agent (The School of Night);


The Earl of Rutland, Greville’s cousin and friend;


Thomas Nashe, Greville’s client and drinking companion (The University Wits);


George Peele, Greville’s client and drinking companion (The University Wits);


Ben Jonson, Greville’s ‘servant';


Martin Peerson​, Greville’s protege;


(Sir) John Coke, Greville’s literary editor and ‘Johannes Factotum’;


The Earl of Southampton, Greville's protege/patron;


Giordano Bruno, Greville’s friend and house guest;


Dr John Dee, Greville’s tutor;


Sir Henry Nevill​, Greville’s friend and correspondent;


Inigo Jones, Greville’s architect;


William Campden, Greville's friend and protege;


Sir William Davenant​, Greville’s page and protege;


William Shakspere, Greville’s servant and ‘frontman’.

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