William Bradley (c. 1563-1589) was the son of William Bradley, Sr. and was raised on the corner of High Holborn and Gray’s Inn Lane. Bradley was frequently in trouble; his most famous fight involved Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Watson on Hog Lane in the fall of 1589. There are many conjectures about how this came about. A likely version is that Watson was collecting a debt from Bradley on behalf of innkeeper John Alleyn (brother of Edward “Ned” Alleyn) and made Bradley angry. On September 18, 1589, Bradley was walking down Hog Lane looking for Watson, but was confronted by Marlowe instead. Bradley and Marlowe drew swords; Watson appeared shortly after. Bradley struck first, stabbing Watson, but Bradley was no match for the other two men. Watson stabbed Bradley in the heart, killing him instantly. Bradley’s known associates include Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Watson, Hugo Swift, and John Allen.

Author: Pat Shore (Spring 2017); Editors: Ethan Vidyarthy and Julie Fitzpatrick (Fall 2017)

Bradley, William