Thomas Kyd (1558-1594) was an influential Elizabethan playwright whose most famous plays include The Spanish Tragedy and The Tragedy of Soliman and Perseda. His parents were Anna and Francis Kyd; he was baptized at Saint Mary Woolnoth church in London on November 6, 1558. His father was a member of London’s Company of Scriveners. Kyd may have been a scrivener for some time, but there is little extant evidence. In 1565, he enrolled in Merchant Taylor’s School in London, a school for sons of middle class citizens. From 1587-1593 Kyd might have been a private secretary at the Queen’s Company of Players.  

Kyd shared rooms with fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe. When Crown authorities searched their rooms for evidence of Marlowe’s reputed atheism, Kyd was arrested and tortured. He never fully recovered and died penniless at the age of 35. He was  buried in St Mary Colechurch in 1594. 

Author: Zoe Argiriou; Editor: Ashka Ramanlal

Kyd, Thomas