Erected in 1671 by Christopher Wren, it was opened by the Dukes Servants under the direction of Thomas Betterton Henry Harris and the widow of Sir W. Devenant, their former manager at the theatre in Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. There was a river frontage. The name came from the Duke of York (James 11). The theatre experienced much success during Charles's reign, with all Bettertons successes and also plays by Dryden, Otway and Aphra Behn.
With the accession of James in 1685, it was renamed the Queen's theatre as a compliment to his wife, Maria Este and her portrait was engraved on the passes which followed.
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