Fray Gabriel Téllez, el maestro Tirso de Molina, was born in Madrid c.1583, about the time Shakespeare began his theatrical career in London. In 1601 he took religious vows in the order of Nuestra Señora de la Merced. In 1613–1614, a few years before Ben Jonson published the first folio of his Works (1616), he wrote El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra, which was first published in an edited volume of plays by Lope de Vega. Tirso (the pseudonym means “the shepherd’s staff”) may have written over 400 plays, 86 of which survive. He was named Prior of the convent of Soria in 1645 and died in 1648.