King's Men (playing company)

The King's Men was the acting company to which William Shakespeare (1564–1616) belonged for most of his career. Formerly known as The Lord Chamberlain's Men during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they became The King's Men in 1603 when King James I ascended the throne and became the company's patron.

The royal patent of 19 May 1603 which authorised the King's Men company named the following players, in this order: Lawrence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillips, John Heminges, Henry Condell, William Sly, Robert Armin, Richard Cowley, "and the rest of their associates...." The nine cited by name became Grooms of the Chamber. On 15 March 1604, each of the nine men named in the patent was supplied with four and a half yards of red cloth for the coronation procession.