In 1612 Mary Frith, alias Moll Cutpurse, the original of Middleton’s and Dekker’s The Roaring Girl, was brought before the ecclesiastical court to answer charges of public immorality,

and then and there she voluntarily confessed that she had long frequented all or most of the disorderly and licentious places in this city, as namely she hath usually in the habit of a man resorted to alehouses, taverns, tobacco shops, and also to playhouses, there to see plays and prizes [i.e. matches]; and namely being at a play about three-quarters of a year since at the Fortune [Theater] in man’s apparel, and in her boots, and with a sword by her side, she told the company there present that she thought many of them were of opinion that she was a man, but if any of them would come to her lodging they should find that she is a woman, and some other immodest and lascivious speeches she also used at that time. And also sat there upon the stage in the public view of all the people there present, in man’s apparel, and played upon her lute and sang a song.