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Biography of Christopher Marlowe

Portrait of Christopher Marlowe

Christopher Marlowe was an Elizabethan dramatist.

Where and When was he born?

26th February 1564, Canterbury, Kent, England.

Family Background:

Christopher Marlowe was the second child and eldest son of John Marlowe, a shoemaker.


King’s School, Canterbury. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Timeline of Christopher Marlowe:

1587: Christopher Marlowe works on “Tamburlaine the Great” which was to set a new high standard for English tragedy of the period and used blank verse to great effect. “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus was probably written soon afterwards although not all the scenes are by Marlowe himself.

1588: First production of “The Jew of Malta”.

Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre, Southwark, reconstructed from an idea by Sam Wannamaker (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1590: First printing of “Tamburlaine”. First production of “Edward the Second” which is one of his most well worked plays. It is likely that he contributed material for some of William Shakespeare’s plays, in particular “Henry the Sixth” and “Titus Andronicus”. He was also an obvious influence on Shakespeare’s early work.

(1598): First publication of his unfinished poem “Hero and Leander”.

When and Where did he Die?

30th May 1593, Deptford, London, England. He was stabbed to death by Ingram Friyer in a brawl over a tavern bill.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1587: “Tamburlaine The Great” Part One.
1588: “Tamburlaine The Great” Part Two.
1589: “The Jew of Malta”.
1590: “Dido, Queen of Carthage”.
1592: “Doctor Faustus”. “Edward the Second”.
1593: “The Massacre at Paris”. “Lucains Pharsalia”.
1598: “Hero and Leander”.


Never married.

Site of Grave:

St. Nicholas’s Church, Deptford, London.

Places of Interest:


British Library.
St. Nicholas’s Church, Deptford.

Further Information:

Marlowe Society, c/o Fred Barker, 7 Richmond House, Rushival Close, Cheltenham, GL51 0JR.