This article challenges Margot Heinemann's contention, in her book, Puritan
ism and the Theatre, that Thomas Middleton was an active propogandist for w
hat is termed the Parliamentary Puritan Opposition to King James. Middleton
systematically satirized Puritans, and the whole concept of an 'opposition
' to the King has been fundamentally questioned by revisionist historians.
The city merchants mentioned by Middleton are not shown by Heinemann to hav
e had any political affiliations. Middleton's civic entertainments contain
repeated compliments to the King, and A Game at Chess is centrally an attac
k on Spaniards and Jesuits, not on King James.