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In a Publik Place

The lazy star that hovers above the place

Shows you seldom fair of face

 

Do not let the cold maidens low of purse

Include you rigid within their curse  

 

Thrust a sword though her rotten heart

She begs you do  my friend apart

 

In 1823 a Miss Claire Clairmount was given the sole remaining page of a play by John Hunter (1540-1619) called In a Publik Place. The play was set in Sweden and is recorded as being a tragedy set during the reign of Gustav Vasa (1523-1560).

The fragment quoted above is thought to be part of the penultimate scene staged next to the grave of Maria Eleonora. The lines are those of Samuel to his incestuous sister Blanche shortly before her death.

Hunter’s fame rests mainly on his first two plays, A Chesham Library (1571) and The Frozen Maiden (1580). He is known to have completed In a Publik Place but the play was never performed. No reason was ever given for this.

Hunter moved to Worcestershire in 1588 and apart from a few poems was silent after 1590 living the life of a recluse until his death in 1619.

Although Miss Clairemount searched for the remaining pages of the play she achieved no success. Nothing more was heard of this single page until it came up for auction in 1978. It’s current whereabouts are  unknown.