James Halliwell: A Life of William Shakespeare (1848), pages 164-182.

[ The story so far:     "Owner was a term of greater import than sharer, and we may conclude that Shakespeare in 1596 was in possession of a permanent interest in the Blackfriars theatre. ... It appears that Alleyn's Bear-garden was a source of annoyance to some of the inhabitants of Southwark who resided in its immediate vicinity, and in July 1596 they made a formal complaint of their grievances, Shakespeare being one of the complainants. It is thus established that Shakespeare resided near the Bear-garden in Southwark at that period." ]

      Shakespeare was still a very young man, and probably had not been familiar to a metropolitan audience for more than ten years, when, turning to the revered scene of his nativity, he meditated the first investment in property his professional gains enabled him to accomplish. The persecution of the great may have driven the poet from the home of his youth, and an undue exercise of power might, as in many other cases, have been an instrument for raising the oppressed, and indelibly marking the memory of him who was "drest in a little brief authority."  Be this as it may, it is certain that Shakespeare's departure from Stratford arose in no action of his own that would materially diminish the esteem and respect of his early neighbours and friends, for had this been the case, it would have been difficult to imagine the anxiety with which he seems to have established himself once more in his native town, on the first opportunity that presented itself. Early in the year 1597, he purchased one of the best houses in Stratford, a dwelling-house called New Place, described as consisting of one messuage, two barns, and two gardens, with their appurtenances. The exact period at which this purchase was p.165 / made has never before been ascertained, although Mr. Collier by a course of reasoning concludes that it was in 1597. Shakespeare bought New Place of William Underhill in the Easter Term, 39 Eliz. 1597, for 60, as appears from the following foot of the fine, levied on that occasion, preserved in the Chapter House, Westminster.

Plan of New Place, Stratford Upon Avon. Published size 6.2cm wide by 3.9cm high.

      Inter Willielmum Shakespeare quer. et Willielmum Underhill generosum deforc. de uno mesuagio, duobus horreis, et duobus gardinis, cum pertinentiis, in Stratford super Avon, unde placitum convencionis sum. fuit inter eos &c. scilicet quod prædictus Willielmus Underhill recogn. prædicta tenementa cum pertinentiis esse jus ipsius Willielmi Shakespeare ut illa quæ idem Willlielmus [lit.] habet de dono prædicti Willielmi Underhill, et ill. remisit et quietclam. de se et hæred. suis prædicto Willielmo Shakespeare et hæred. suis in perpetuum ; et præterea idem Willielmus Underhill concessit pro se et hæred. suis quod ipsi warant. prædicto Willielmo Shakespeare et hæred. suis prædicta tenementa cum pertinentiis in perpetuum. Et pro hac &c. idem Willielmus Shakespeare dedit prædicto Willielmo Underhill sexaginta libras sterlingorum.   [Pasch. 39 Eliz.]

      The annexed plan exhibits the site of New Place (A), with the extensive grounds (F) originally connected with it. In the garden (marked F) was the celebrated mulberry-tree said to have been planted by Shakespeare, a scion of which now flourishes on the site of the parent stock. It has been generally said that Shakespeare, having repaired the house when he purchased it of Underhill in 1597, changed its name to New Place. This must be an error, for in a survey taken in 1590, preserved in the Carlton Ride Record Office, p.166 / we are told that "Willielmus Underhill gen. tenet libere quandam domum vocatam the newe place cum pertinentiis per reddit. per annum xij.d. sect. cur."   It seems to have been one of the best houses in Stratford ; and early in the sixteenth century, when it belonged to the Clopton family, it was called the great house. In the eighteenth century it was again in the possession of the Cloptons, and it was thoroughly repaired, and a modern front added, by Sir Hugh Clopton, who died there in 1751. The next possessor, a Rev. Francis Gastrell, pulled down the house and destroyed the celebrated mulberry-tree. The tale has been too often told to need repetition, and the perpetrator of the mischief has already been sufficiently abused for his want of taste. No record has been preserved of the appearance of New Place as it existed in Shakespeare's time, but the following woodcut exhibits the house as it appeared after the alterations made by Sir Hugh Clopton.

View of New Place, about 1740. Published size 7.2cm wide by 4.9cm high.

      There seems to be every reason for believing that New Place was not purchased by Shakespeare as a mere investment, but that it continued to be the residence of himself and his family till his death in 1616 ; and I am inclined to believe that any abode he occupied in London after 1597 p.167 / was merely for his temporary convenience. A curious manuscript list, formed during a period when there was a great scarcity of grain, containing an account of corn and malt in Stratford in February, 1598, mentions Shakespeare as holding the large quantity of ten quarters, and it is further of importance, because it exhibits him as residing in Chapel-street ward, the part of the town in which New Place was situated. As a kind of negative evidence against the probability of John Shakespeare being then in good circumstances, it may be mentioned that his name does not occur in this list. The MS. is mentioned by Mr. Knight and quoted by Mr. Collier, but it is sufficiently curious to merit publication, and the reader will thus be enabled to judge of the proportion of corn held by Shakespeare in comparison with the quantity possessed by others :

} The noate of corne and malte taken the iiij.th of ffebruarii, 1597, in the xl.th yeare of the raigne of our moste gracious soveraigne ladie Queen Elizabethe, &c.
Woode Street Warde.   Townesmens corne.
   Jhon Sadler malte iij. qrs. malt.
   Wm. Slatter and Wid. Parrott iiij. quarters malte.
   Rychard Pyncke malte and bareley v. quarters, of wheate j. quarter.
   George Roase malte iij. quarters.
   Mr. Jhon Lane jun. ix. quarters, myle corne ij. quarters d.,* beanes iij. quarters.
   James Elliotts viij. quarters wheat, iij. strikes.
   Thomas Hornbie ij. quarters vj. strickes, myle corne j. quarter.
   Thomas Lemster with hym iij. quarters.
   Mr. Parsons malte viij. quarters, wheate ij. quarters d., woates xij. quarters, ffetches j. quarter, myll corne ij. quarters.
   Jhon Tubbe xiij. quarters ij. stricks.
   Thomas Wylkenson x. quarters.
   Robert Sperpoynt in hys howse x. str.
   Jhon Smythe draper ix. quarters d., mylecorne ij. strickes.
   Jhon Page in hys howse iij. quarters, barley j. quarter.
   Mr. Sturley v. quarters.

  This of course stands for a half. The numbers to each are repeated in the margin for the sake of casting up the total, but these do not seem to be worth giving.

p.168 /

   Cicely Bainton vid. viij. quarters, barley iiij. quarters.
   Rafe Lorde iij. quarters, myle corne viij. st.

Straingers malte.
   Mr. Lyttleton xij. quarters att Sadlers.
   Mr. Smythe of Wotton xj. quarters.
   William Gibbarde ij. quarters.
   Rychard Gibbarde j. quarter d.
   Mr. Anthonie Nashe att George Roases howse, malte vij. quarters, pease iij. quarters.
   Att Tubbes of one Walter Smythes j. quarter, and of William Yockesalls j. quarter.
   Att Tho. Wylkensons of Mr. Antho. Nashes x. strickes.
   Of Mr. Myddlemores iij. quarters.
   Smythe of Rychard Astons j. quarter d.
   Of Rychard Smythes of Roweington j. quarter halfe.
   Att Mr. Sturleys
          Sir Thomas Lucie xij. quarters d.
          Of Mr. Anth. Nashe viij. quarters d.
          Of Mr. Rychard Wyllyes iij. quarters.
   Att Rafe Lordes of Sir John Conwayes vij. quarters d.

Henley Street Warde.   Townesmens corne.
   Edwarde Hunte xij. quarters 6 st. of brede corne.
   Jhon Wheeler v. quarters of brede corne, xij. stricks.
   Of olde William Caudreys iiij. quarters.
   Robert Jonsons vij. strickes.
   Jhon Wylmer xij. quarters, mylne corne xiiij. strickes.
   Valentyne Tawnte iij. quarters.
   Rycharde Hornbie iiij. quarters, myle corne ij. quarters.
   Robert Willson jun. viij. quarters, brede corne ij. quarters, pease and beanes ij. quarters.
   Ancker Aynsworthe xviij. quarters, myll corne xiiij. strike.
   Thomas Allen baker, malte xxij. str. bred corne iiij. quarters.
   William Green v. quarters.
   Robert Brookes vj. quarters.
   William Smythe ij. quarters, bredcorne iij. quarters.

   Att Jhon Wheelers of Mr. Cowrtes of Oulborrowghe x. str.
   Of George Bartons iij. quarters.
   Att John Wyllmers of John, Sir ffowlke Grevyles cooke, xij. quarters.
   Att William Greens of Mr. Barnes of Clyfforde ix. quarters.
   Att Robert Brookes of one Jhon Coxe hys viij. quarters.
   Of William Coxe hys xj. str.
   Of another mans iij. quarters d.
p.169 /
Bridgstreet Warde.   Townesmens corne.
   Arter Cawdrey xj. quarters.
   Jhon Smythe alias Cowrte iij. quarters d. bred corne j. quarter.
   Rychard Aigne vj. strickes.
   Mr. Hen. Wyllson iiij. quarters, bred corne ij. quarters.
   Robert Butler vj. quarters d. bredcorne d. qr.
   Lewes Hycoxe d. quarter, breddcorne d. qr.
   Jhon Atwoode j. quarter, of John Luptons iiij. quarters.
   Mrs. Ann Nashes iij. quarters, pease v. quarters.
   Mr. Jhon Lane sen. xij. quarters more in green malte and barley xx.ti. quarters.
   Edwarde Sheffylde iij. quarters.
   Frauncys Bellars iij. quarters d.
   William Cawdrey iiij. quarters.

Straingers malte.
   Att Arter Cawdreys of Jhon Moores of Ipseley iiij. quarters.
   Of widdowe Bunnes ij. quarters.
   Att Mr. Hen. Wyllsons of Mr. Chyldes ix. quarters.
   Att William Cawdreys jun. of Mr. Anthonye Shrimpton v. quarters.
   Of ffrauncis Pallmers of Ladbrocke Perke v. quarters.
   Att Mrs. Anne Nashes vid. of hyr son Humfrey Nashes viij. quarters.
   Robert Wyllson sen. at Robert Butlers iij. quarters.

Sheep Street Warde.   Townsmens corne.
   Daniell Smythe viij. quarters, bredcorne j. quarter.
   Wid. Roocke of Jhon Archardes a bachelor xiij. strickes.
   Of wid. Byddles j. quarter.
   Henry Smythe ix. quarters.
   Mr. Rychard Tyler xv. quarters, myle corne j. quarter.
   William Wyate xj. quarters.
   Of old William Cawdrey iij. quarters.
   Edmonde Wall v. quarters, bredcorne vj. str.
   Rychard Boyes iiij. quarters d.
   William Smarte o. o. o.

   Att vid. Rookes of one Jhon Bakers of Charlecoate a bachelor v. quarters.
   Att William Wyates of George Bartons vj. quarters.
   Att Edmonde Walls of Jhon Hyggens of Tyddyngton ij. quarters.
   Att Rychard Boyes of Mr. Smythes of Burmingham iij. quarters.
   Of Robert Pennells, Sir Thomas Lucies servants, about xiij. quarters.
p.170 /
Chapple Street Warde.   Townsmens corne.
   ffrauncys Smythe jun. iij. quarters.
   Jhon Coxe v. quarters.
   Mr. Thomas Dyxon xvij. quarters.
   Mr. Thomas Barber iij. quarters.
   Mychaell Hare v. quarters.
   Mr. Bifielde vj. quarters.
   Hughe Aynger vj. quarters.
   Thomas Badsey vj. quarters, bareley j. quarter.
   Jhon Rogers x. str.
   Wm. Emmetts viij. quarters.
   Mr. Aspinall about xj. quarters.
   Wm. Shackespere x. quarters.
   Julii Shawe vij. quarters.

Julius Shaw's house, Stratford, 16th century. Published size 5.5cm wide by 6.9cm high.

Julius Shaw's house, Stratford.

   Rycharde Dyxon hathe of Sir Thomas Lucies xvj. quarters.
   Of Sir Edw. Grevyles x. quarters.
   Of Edw. Kennings iiij. quarters.
   Mr. Bifielde of his systers iiij. quarters.
   Hughe Ainger of hys wyves systers one quarter.
   William Emmetts of one Nickes of Whatcoate iiij. quarters, of ffrauncys Tybbatts vj. str.
p.171 /
Highe Street Warde.   Townesmens corne.
   Jhon Smythe vint. x. strickes.
   Smythe iremonger iij. quarters, myle corne d. qr.
   ffrauncys Boyes xj. quarters, one quarter bareley.
   Daniell Baker iij. quarters.
   Mr. Quyney xiij. quarters, bareley viij. strickes, mylecorne x. strickes.
   Henrye Walker vj. quarters, bareley j. quarter, beanes iiij. quarters.
   Mr. Thomas Rogers vij. quarters, rye iiij. quarters, myle corne ij. quarters.

   Francys Boyes hathe of Wm. Holmes of Bydforde iij. quarters.
   Daniell Baker of Mr. Toovies of Coventree ij. quarters halfe.
   Mr. Quyney of Mr. Huband hys malte vij. quarters.
   Of Mr. Littletons vj. quarters.
   Of one Gylles Rychardes v. quarters.
   Of one Smythes of the Woodlande ij. quarters.
   Mr. Rogers hathe of Mr. Hubands v. quarters iiij. str.

   Somme iiij. c. xxxviij. quarters vj. str. of malte of townes mens.
   Wheate and mylecorne xliiij. quarters halfe.
   Pease, beanes, and fetches, xv. quarters.
   Barley ix. quarters vj. stricke.
   Somme of straingers malte ij. c. lj. quarters halfe.

      From this period we find Shakespeare, at intervals of no long duration, engaged in transactions which exhibit him as a respectable inhabitant of Stratford, and if not occupied in agricultural matters, at least occasionally indulging in negotiations of a kindred character. This will appear more clearly by documents printed in a subsequent part of this volume. In 1598, the same year in which the MS. just printed was written, we discover him selling a load of stone to the corporation of Stratford, probably from his garden at New Place, for the sum of tenpence. This very curious fact I discovered in the Chamberlains' accounts for that year, and it seems to have quite escaped all notice,—

   Pd. to Mr. Shaxpere for on lod of ston    -    -      -       x.d.

That it relates to the poet there is no room for doubting, and this fact would almost appear evident from the list above p.172 / given. Shakespeare the shoemaker had left Stratford before 1598, and were not that the case, there is not the slightest probability that such an entry would refer either to him or to the poet's father.
      Shakespeare's increasing wealth, and the importance and respect with which he was regarded at Stratford at this period, are very curiously illustrated by a letter preserved in the Council Chamber of that town, written by Abraham Sturley, January 24, 1597-8, in which he urges his correspondent to persuade Shakespeare to make a purchase at Shottery, and, among other inducements, mentions "the frendes he can make therefore," clearly exhibiting that the poet's desire to establish himself influentially at Stratford was well known to Sturley. It also appears that the purchase would have been advantageous to the corporation ; "it obtained would advance him in deede, and would do us much good."  Sturley also alludes to the high price of corn, thus illustrating the document above printed. This letter has hitherto been printed so incorrectly, that the reader may not be displeased to have the opportunity of perusing a complete copy of it, carefully taken from the original :

      Most lovinge and belovedd in the Lord, in plaine Engl[i]she we remember u in the Lord, and ourselves unto u. I would write nothinge unto u nowe, but come home. I prai God send u comfortabli home. This is one speciall remembrance from ur ffathers motion. It semeth bi him that our countriman, Mr. Shakspere, is willinge to disburse some monei upon some od yarde land or other att Shottri or neare about us ; he thinketh it a veri fitt patterne to move him to deale in the matter of our tithes. Bi the instructions u can geve him theareof, and bi the frendes he can make therefore, we thinke it a faire marke for him to shoote att, and not unpossible to hitt. It obtained would advance him in deede, and would do us much good. Hoc movere, et quantum in te est permovere, ne necligas, hoc enim et sibi et nobis maximi erit momenti. Hic labor, hic opus esset eximiæ et gloriæ et laudis sibi.
      U shall understande, brother, that our neighbours are growne with the wantes they feele throughe the dearnes of corne (wc. heare is beionde all other countries that I can heare of deare and over deare), malecontent. Thei have
p.173 / assembled togeather in a great nomber, and travelld to Sir Tho. Luci on ffriday last to complaine of our malsters : on Sundai to Sir ffoulke Gre. and Sir Joh. Conwai. I should have said on Wensdai to Sir Ed. Grevll first. Theare is a metinge heare expected to-morrowe. The Lord knoweth to what end it will sorte !  Tho. West, returning ffrom the ij. knightes of the woodland, came home so full, that he said to Mr. Baily that night, he hoped within a weeke to leade of them in a halter, meaninge the malsters ; and I hope, saith Jho. Grannams, if God send mi Lord of Essex downe shortli, to se them hanged on gibbettes att their owne dores.
      To this end I write this cheifli, that as ur occasion shall suffer u to stai theare, theare might bi Sir Ed. Grev. some meanes made to the Knightes of the Parliament for an ease and discharge of such taxes and subsedies wherewith our towne is like to be charged, and I assure u I am in great feare & doubte bi no meanes hable to paie. Sir Ed. Gre. is gonne to Brestowe, and from thence to Lond., as I heare, who verie well knoweth our estates, and wilbe willinge to do us ani good.
      Our great bell is broken, and Wm. Wiatt is mendinge the pavemente of the bridge.
      Mi sister is chearefull, and the Lord hath bin mercifull and comfortable unto hir in hir labours, and, so that u be well imploied, geveth u leave to followe ur occasions for j. weeke or fortnight longer. I would u weare furnisht to pai Wm. Pattrike for me xj.li. and bring his quittance, for I thinke his specialtie is in Jho. Knight hand, due on Candlls. daie.
      Yestrday [lit.] I spake to Mr. Sheldon att Sir Tho. Lucies for the staie of Mr. Burtons suite, and that the cause might be referred to Mr. Walkrs of Ellington : he answered me that Mr. Bur. was nowe att Lond. and, with all his harte and good will, the suite should be staied, and the matter so referred. I have here inclosed a breife of the reckoninge betwene him and me, as I would have it passe, and as in æqitie it should passe, if he wilbe but as good as his faith and promise.
      Good brother, speake to Mr. Goodale that there be no more proceadinge i tharches bi Mr. Clopton, whom I am content and most willing to compounde withall, and have bin ever since the beginninge of the laste terme, and thearefore much injured bi somebodie, that I have bin put to an unnecessarie charge of xx.s. and upwardes that terme ; whereas I had satisfied Mr. Clopton, as I was credibli made beleve by some of his srvantes. I was allso assured of the staie of suite bi Mr. Barnes in the harvest, and bi Mr. Pendleburi the latter end of the terme. Mi brothr Woodwarde cometh up att the latter end of this weeke, who will speake with Mr. Clopton himselfe to that purpose.
      U understand bi mi letter I sent bi our countriman Bur'll, that masse Brentt dispatchd 50l. for u. Jh. Sdlr. bounde alone as yeat. Because Mr. Barbr might not have it for 12. moneths, he would none att all, wherebi I loste mi expectation, and [am] leafte, I assure u. in the greatest neede of 30l. that possibli maie be. In truth, brother, to u be it spoken and to nonne els, for want thereof knowe skarce wc. wai to turne me. Det Deus misericordiæ dominus exitum secundum bene placitum suum.
p.174 /
      Ur fathr with his blessinge and comendation, mi sister with her lovinge remembrance, comendes hir : in health both, with all ur children and houshold ; ur fathr, extraordinari hartie, chearefull and lustie, hath sent u this remembrance inclosed.
      It maie be u knowe him his executr and brother, I meane of whom our brothr Whte borowed for me the 80l. paihable att Mai next ; his name I have not att hand. He dwelleth in Watlinge Streate. If 40l. thereof might be procured for 6. monethes more, it would make me whole. I knowe it doeth u good to be doing good, and that u will do all the good u can.
      I would Hanlett weare att home, satisfied for his paines taken before his cominge, and so freed from further travell.
      Nunc Deus omnipotens, opt. max. pater omnimodæ consolationis, benedicat tibi in viis tuis, et secundet te in omnibus tuis per Jhesum Christum, Dominum nostrum ; amico dum ullus sum tuis tum (?)
Stretfordia, Januarii 24. ABRAH. STRL.   

      Commend me to Mr. Tom Bur'll, and prai him ffor me and mi bro. Da. Bakr. to looke that J. Tub maie be well hooped, that he leake not out lawe to our hurte for his cause : quod partim avidio non nihil suspicor et timeo.

   Receved of Mr. But :
    In beanes 23 qrs att 3s. 4d. the strike    -    -    - 30l.   13s.   4d.
    Barlei 8 qrs. and 4 str. att 4s. the str.    -    -    - 13l.   12s.   0d.
    Wheate 4 qrs. 4 str. att 6s. 8d. the str.    -    -    - 12l.     0s.   0d.
56l.    5s.    4d.
   I have paid and sowed theareof, 52l.  11s.  8d.

   Mi Lad. Gre. is run in arreages with mi sister for malt (as it seemeth), wc. hindreth and troubleth hir not a littell.

      The following curious letter, which contains a notice of Shakespeare, and has never yet been mentioned, tends to show that the poet was engaged in pecuniary transactions with persons at Stratford. It is not dated, but it was most

Autograph of Thomas Quiney, Shakespeare's son-in-law. Published size 3.85cm wide by 2cm high.

likely written in the same year as the last, 1598, and certainly before May, 1602, at which time died the writer, p.175 / Richard Quiny, whose son Thomas married Shakespeare's youngest daughter :

To my lovynge sonne Rychard Quyney at the Belle in Carter Layne deliver thesse in London.

      You shalle, God wyllynge, receve from youre wyfe by Mr. Baylye thys letter asurance of x.s., and she wolde have yow to bye some grocerye, yff hyt be resonable ; yow maye have carryage by a womman who I wylled to com to you. Mr. Layne by report hath receved a great summ of money of Mr. Smyth of Wotten, but wylle not be knowyn of hytt, and denyd to lend youre wyff any, but hys wyff sayd that he hade receved v.li. which was gevyn hyr, and wyshd hym to lent that to youre wyff, which he dyde ; she hopyth to mayk Aysshon to paye Mr. Combes and alle the rest. I wrot to yow concerning Jhon Rogersse ; the howsse goythe greatly to dekaye ; ask . . . . therin, and doo somewhat therein, as she ys in doubt that Mr. Parsonsse wylle not paye the 3li. 13s. 4d. Wherfore wryte to hym yff yow maye have carryage to bye some such warys as yow maye selle presentlye to profet. Yff you bargen with Wm. Sha. or receve money ther, or brynge youre money home, yow maye. I see howe knite stockynges be sold ; ther ys gret byinge of them at Aysshone. Edward Wheat and Harrye, youre brother man, were both at Evysham thys daye senet, and as I harde bestow 20li. there in knyt hosse ; wherefore I thynke yow maye doo good, yff yow can have money.

      Another letter, dated November 4th, 1598, contains a third allusion to Shakespeare, and also relates to the subject of money ; not a very poetical theme, but one in which the dramatist evidently took a lively interest, having seen, perhaps, that "if money go before, all ways do lie open," and that it is "a good soldier, and will on."  These are proverbial truths, the force of which have been felt in all ages and countries, and have not been in any way extinguished by the progress of civilization.

      Nov. 4, 1598.  All health, happines of suites and wellfare, be multiplied unto u and ur labours in God our ffather bi Christ our Lord.
      Ur letter of the 25. of October came to mi handes the laste of the same att night per Grenwai, which imported a stai of suites by Sr. Ed. Gr. advise, untill &c. and that onli u should followe on for tax and sub. presentli, and allso ur travell and hinderance of answere therein, bi ur longe travell and thaffaires of the Courte : And that our countriman Mr. Wm. Shak. would procure us monei, wc. I will like of, as I shall heare when, and wheare, and howe ; and I prai let
p.176 / not go that occasion, if it mai sorte to ani indifferent condicions.  Allso that if monei might be had for 30 or 40l., a lease, &c. might be procured. Oh howe can u make dowbt of monei, who will not beare xxx.tie or xl.s. towardes sutch a match !  The latter end of ur letter wc. concerned ur houshold affaires I delivered presently : nowe to ur other letter of the 1º. of November receved the 3d. of the same.  I would I weare with u ; nai, if u continue with hope of those suietes u wrighte of, I thinke I shall wt. concent ; and I will most willingli come unto u, as had u but advise and compani, and more monei presente, much might be done to obtaine our Cr. enlarged, ij. faires more, with tole of corne, bestes, and sheepe, and a matter of more valewe then all that ; for (sai u) all this is nothinge that is in hand, seeinge it will not rise to 80l. and the charges wilbe greate.  What this matter of more valewe meaneth I cannot undrstand ; but me thinketh whatsoever the good would be, u are afraid of want of monei.  Good thinges in hand or neare hand can not choose but be worth monei to bringe to hand, and beinge assured, will, if neede be, bringe monei in their mouthes ; there is no feare nor dowbte.  If it be the rest of the tithes and the College houses and landes in our towne u speake of, the one halfe weare abundantli ritch for us ; and the other halfe to increase Sr. Ed. riallties would both beare the charge and sett him sure on : the wc. I take to be your meaninge by the latter parte of ur letter, where u write for a copie of the particulars (wc. allso u shall have accordingli).  Oh howe I feare, when I se what Sr. Ed. can do, and howe neare it sitteth to him selfe, leaste he shall thinke it to good for us, and procure it for himselfe, as he served us the last time ; for it semeth by ur owne wordes theare is some of hit in ur owne conceite, when u write if Sr. Ed. be as forward to do as to speake, it will be done : a dowbt I assure you not without dowbt to be made : whereto allso u ad, notwithstandinge that dowbt, no want but monei.  Somewhat must be to Sr. Ed. and to each one that dealeth somewhat and great reason. And me thinketh u need not be affraid to promise that as fitt for him, for all them, and for urselfe.  The thinge obtained no dowbte will pai all.  For present advise and encouragement u have bi this time Mr. Baili, and for monei, when u certifie what u have done, and what u have spent, what u will do, and what u wante ; somewhat u knowe we have in hand, and God will provide that wc. shall be sufficient.  Be of good cowrage.  Make fast Sr. Ed. by all meanes, or els all our hope and ur travells be utterli disgraced.  Consider and advise if Sr. Ed. will be faste for us, so that bi his goodwill to us and his meanes for us these thinges be brought about.  What weare it for the fee-farme of his riallties, nowe not above xij. or xiij.l. he weare assured of the dowble, when these thinges come to hande, or more, as the goodnes of the thinge procured proveth.  But whi do I travell in these thinges, when I knowe not certainli what u intende, neither what ur meanes are, nor what are ur difficulties preciseli and bi name, all wc. must be knowe bi name, and specialli with an estimate of the charge, before ani thinge can be added either for advise or supplie.  I leave these matters therefore unto the Allmighties mercifull disposition in ur hand, untill a more neare possibilite or more leisure will encourage u or suffer u to write more plainli and particularli.  But withall the p.177 / Chancell must not be forgotten, wc. allso obtained would yeald some pretti gub of monei for ur present busines, as I thinke.  The particulars u write for shalle this morninge be dispatched and sent as soone as mai be.  All is well att home ; all your paimentes made and dispatchd ; mi sister saith if it be so that u can not be provided for Mrs. Pendllbur, she will, if u will, send u up x.l. towardes that by the next after, or if u take it up, pai it to who u appointe.  Wm. Wallford sendeth order and monei per Wm. Court nowe cominge, who hath some cause to feare, for he was neweli served with proces on Twsdai last att Alcr. per Roger S.
      Mr. Parsons supposeth that Weilock came the same dai with Mr. Baili that u writt ur letter. He saith he supposeth u mai use that x.l. ffor our borrowinge matters.  Wm. Wiatt answered Mr. Ba. and us all, that he would neither borrowe himselfe, nor submitt himselfe to the order, but bi those veri wordes make against it with all the strength he could possibli make, yeat we do this dai begin Mr. Bar,. and miselfe a littell for assai. My bro. D. B. att Shrewsburi or homeward from thence.  But nowe the bell hath runge mi time spent. The Lord of all power, glori, merci, and grace and goodnes, make his great power and mercie knowen towardes us in ur weakenes.  Take heed of tabacco, whereof we heare per Wm. Perri ; against ani longe journei u mai undertake on foote of necessiti, or wherein the exercise of ur bodi must be imploied, drinke some good burned wine, or aquavitæ and ale strongli mingled without bread for a taste, and, above all, keepe u warme.  Farewell, mi dare heart, and the Lord increase our loves and comfortes one to another, that once it mai be sutch as becometh Christianiti, puriti, and sinceriti, without staine or blemishe.  Fare ye well ; all ur and ours well.  ffrom Stretford, Novem. 4, 1598.

urs in all love in the best bond,

ABRAH. STURLEI.         


      Mrs. Coomb, when Gilbert Charnocke paid them their monei, as he told me, said that if ani but he had brought it, she would not receve it, because she had not hir gowne ; and that she would arrest u for hit as soone as u come home, and much twattell ; but att the end, so that youe would pai 4l. toward hit, she would allowe u xx.s. and we shall heare att some leasure howe fruictes are, and hoppes, and sutch knakkes.  Att this point came Wm. Sheldon, the silke man, with a warrant to serve Wm. Walford againe upon a trespasse of 500l.

      To his most lovinge brother, Mr. Richard Quinei, att the Bell in Carterlane att London, geve these.  Paid 2d.

      I am scarcely willing to hazard the conjecture that after Shakespeare had obtained a capital in ready money, he increased it by supplying loans at interest ; but there really seems to be fair grounds for such an opinion. Mr. Wheler p.178 / possesses one of the most curious documents connected with Shakespeare known to exist, a letter from Richard Quiny to the poet, requesting the loan of 30 on his own security joined with that of a friend. It may relate to the same subject alluded to in the letter printed at p. 175, but it does not clearly appear that such was the case. Our readers must be warned to bear constantly in mind the value of money at that early period, 30 in 1598 being at least equivalent to 120 at the present time, and it will then be sene in what pecuniary circumstances Shakespeare must have been for an application to be made to him for a loan of that amount, Quiny evidently writing in the full conviction that the poet was able, without the slightest difficulty, to advance the money.

      Loveinge contreyman, I am bolde of yow, as of a ffrende, craveinge yowr helpe with xxx.li. uppon Mr. Bushells and my securytee, or Mr. Myttens with me.  Mr. Rosswell is nott come to London as yeate, and I have especiall cawse.  Yow shall ffrende me muche in helpeinge me out of all the debettes I owe in London, I thanck God, and muche quiet my mynde, which wolde nott be indebted.  I am nowe towardes the Cowrte, in hope of answer for the dispatche of my buysenes.  Yow shall nether loose creddytt nor monney by me, the Lorde wyllinge ; and nowe butt perswade yowrselfe soe, as I hope, and yow shall nott need to feare, butt, with all hartie thanckefullnes, I wyll holde my tyme, and content yowr ffreende, and yf we bargaine farther, yow shalbe the paie-master yowrselfe.  My tyme biddes me hasten to an ende, and soe I committ thys [to] yowr care and hope of yowr helpe.  I feare I shall nott be backe thys night ffrom the Cowrte.  Haste.  The Lorde be with yow and with us all, Amen !  ffrom the bell in Carter Lane, the 25. October, 1598.

Yowrs in all kyndenes,

    To my loveinge good ffrend and contreyman Mr. Wm. Shackespere deliver thees.
         Seal and autograph of Richard Quiney. Published size 3.7cm wide by 2.1cm high.

      A precious document in the history of Shakespeare's social life, one that brings him before us as occupied in the p.179 / ordinary business of ordinary men. This is one of the few genuine relics of the great poet, nearly the only one we can safely avouch to have ever been in his own hands, and it is the only letter addressed to Shakespeare known to exist. It is a very small document, folding up in the exact size here indicated, and directed in the customary style of the period.

Direction of letter addressed to Shakespeare. Published size 7.4cm wide by 5cm high.

      It appears probable that Shakespeare may, even at this early period, have had possessions of which no record, as far as he is concerned, now remains ; for Mr. Hunter discovered his name in a subsidy roll of 1598, assessed on property of the value of 5, in the parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. The original of this document is preserved at the Carlton Ride, and Mr. Hunter considers it proves Shakespeare was a resident in that parish in 1598, apparently overlooking the memorandum affid. attached to his name, which may possibly exhibit him as one of the parties who did not reside in the district, and were consequently compelled to produce certificates or affidavits of non-residence. If the poet ever did reside in that part of London it could only have been for a very short period. p.180 / Perhaps the exact nature of the property held by Shakespeare in St. Helen's may heareafter be discovered, but it is worthy of remark that his name does not occur in the roll of a subsidy levied two years afterwards. Mr. Hunter has considered the roll first mentioned sufficiently important to be quoted at considerable length, and I follow his example in printing the assessments for the parish of St. Helen's, correcting a few errors by the original document.


      This indenture, made the first day of October, in the fortyth yeare of the reigne of our sovereigne Lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queene of England, Fraunce, and Ireland, Defendour of the Faithe, &c. Betweene the right honorable Sir Richard Salltonstall, knight, Lord Maiour of the cyttie of London, Sir John Hart, and Sir Henry Billingsley, knightes, the Queenes Majestes commissioners, amongest others authorized by hir hignes commission under the greate seale of England for the taxacion, levyeing, and gatheringe of the first subsydie of the three entire subsidies latelie graunted to hir Majestie by hir highnes lay subjectes, by act of Parliament holden at Westminster in the xxxix.th yeare of hir Majestes reigne, within the sayd cytie of London, on thone partie, and Ferdynando Clutterbooke draper, and Thomas Symons skynner, cittizens of the sayd cytie, whome the sayd commissioners have named, deputed, and chosen, and by theise presentes doe name, depute, and choose to be pettye collectours of the sayd first subsydie in the ward of Bushoppsgate within the sayd citie, on thother partie, Witnesseth that the sayd Ferdinando Clutterbooke and Thomas Symons soe named, deputed, appointed, and chosen to bee pettie collectours in the sayd ward, and, authorized thereunto by theise presentes, shall receive, levye, collect, and gather of all and everye the severall persons hereafter named to the Queenes Majestes use, all such severall sommes of mony as in this presente extract beene taxed and assessed uppon them, and every of them, for theire severall values and substances, rated, specified, and conteyned, as hereafter followeth ; that is to saye, of

St. Hellens Parishe.


Sir John Spencer, knight, a commissioner, ccc.li.—xl.li.
William Reade, in landes, cl.li.—xxx.li.
John Robinson the elder, c.li.—xiij.li.  vj.s.  viij.d.
Richard Taylor, doctour, in landes and fees, x.li.—xl.s.
Peter Turnor, doctour, in landes and fees, x.li.—xl.s.
Peter Dallyla, xxx.li.—iiij.li.
Robert Honywood, gent. in landes, xl.li.—viij.li.
p.181 /






John Allsoppe, l.li.—vj.li.  xiij.s.  iiij.d.
John Morrys, xxx.li.—iiij.li.
Roberte Springe, xxx.li.—iiij.li.
Edward Swayne, in landes and fees, x.li.—xl.s.
Jeames Scoles, xx.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
Joane Lomley, widdowe, iij.li.—viij.s.
Anthony Snoade, x.li.—xxvj.s.  viij.d.
Jeames Roking, iij.li.—viij.s.
Walter Briggen, v.li.—xiij.s.  iiij.d.
John Robinson the yonger, x.li.—xxvj.s.  viij.d.
John Prymme, iij.li.—viij.s.
William Shakespeare, v.li.—xiij.s.  iiij.d.
George Axon, iij.li.—viij.s.
Edward Jackson, iij.li.—viij.s.
Edward Jorden, viij.li.—xxj.s.  iiij.d.
John Jeffrey, iij.li.—viij.s.
Christofer Eland, iij.li.—viij.s.
Oswald ffetche, xx.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
John Stockett Jeckett, iij.li.—viij.s.
John Susan, xx.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
Sisley Eyoll, widdowe, iij.li.—viij.s.
William Winkefielde, iij.li.—viij.s.
Thomas Childe, iij.li.—viij.s.
Richard Rysbey. iij.li.—viij.s.
Tymothe Bathurst, xx.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
Jeames Elwicke, xx.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
William Cherle, iij.li.—viij.s.
Francis Wells, iij.li.—viij.s.
Henry Mawnder, iij.li.—viij.s.
Mr. Peole, x.li.—xxvj.s.  viij.d.
William Staffely, iij.li.—viij.s.
Thomas Morley, v.li.—xiij.s.  iiij.d.
Henry Hetherband, iij.li.—viij.s.


P. Sigill.

Leven Vander Stylt, l.li.—xiij.li.  vj.s.  viij.d.
Jarrone Martyn, x.li.—liij.s.  iiij.d.
Peter Vegleman, xx.li.—v.li.  vj.s.  viij.d.
Augustine de Bewly, xxv.li.—vj.li.  xiij.s.  iiij.d.
John de Clarke, xv.li.—iiij.li.
Leven Vander Stiltes wief, per poll, viij.d.
Esay Mislonde, Mathew Stilton, and  ¯\ per poll, ij.s.
  Barlery Capon, his servauntes,           _/
Doctor Cullymore, v.li.—xxvj.s.  viij.d.
Laurence Bassell, v.li.—xxvj.s.  viij.d.
p.182 /

P. Sig.

Peter his sonne, per poll, viij.d.
Peter Greade, Davye ffayrecooke, and    ¯\ ij.s.
  ffrauncis Dynne, servauntes, per poll, _/
Sherrett Bawkes, xl.s.—x.s  viij.d.
Joyce, his wief, Agnes, his servaunt, per poll, xvj.d.
Peter Vaudesker and his wief, per poll, xvj.d.
Anne Meredon, Augustine de Bewbynes mayd, viij.d.
Vincent Meringe and his wief, per poll, xvj.d.
John Varhagen vj.li.—xxxij.s.
His wief, per poll, viij.d.
Mary Martin, his mayde, per poll, viij.d.
Barbara Lumbo, widdow, per poll, viij.d.
Mary de Boo, widdow, per poll, viij.d.
Michael Coosen, per poll, viij.d.
Joane and Frauncis, his servauntes, per poll, xvj.d.
Abraham Grannere, per poll, viij.d.

Link to 'Life of Shakespeare', contents.
Link to 'Life of Shakespeare', part 3.      Link to 'Life of Shakespeare', part 5.