May 1st, 1850.        

      I hereby certify that the impression of "A New Boke about Shakespeare and Stratford-on-Avon" is strictly limited to seventy-five copies ; namely, fifty copies on ordinary paper, and twenty-five copies on very thick paper.

[Signed in handwriting:]      Thomas Richards     

      The present copy is No.   4       of those printed on thick paper.

Facsimile of Shakespeare's marriage bond, link
Facsimile of Shakespeare's marriage bond, from the original preserved at Worcester.
Enlargement or Larger .zip file version

p.iii ]



New Boke

About Shakespeare




J. O. Halliwell, F.R.S.


F O R   P R I V A T E   C I R C U L A T I O N.


p.v ]

P r e f a c e.

O LITTLE system has been observed in selecting the subjects of the present volume, that I fear this brief preface must chiefly consist of an apology to the reader for the miscellaneous nature of its contents. It was originally my intention to print (for private circulation) an extensive series of documents and fragmentary essays directly or remotely illustrating the life and works of Shakespeare. My own collections, gathered together during several years, would, I believe, furnish more than one volume of interest to the Shakespearian student. But important occupations, occasioned by unforeseen circumstances, impelled me to abandon my first design, and I have been induced to issue this limited instalment, which must be considered as a specimen only of what was intended.
      One of the chief objects proposed to be accomplished in this way was the gradual collection of fac-similes of every document of any real importance respecting Shakespeare. Nothing tends so / much to the settlement of literary questions, where manuscripts are concerned, as the publication of careful fac-simile copies. They prove, or invalidate, the authenticity of the documents, and give facilities for all competent judges to express opinions on any disputed reading with nearly, and sometimes quite, the same certainty as if the originals themselves were placed before them. The copy of the marriage-bond, which is here presented to the student for the first-time, will, it is believed, be considered an important contribution in this direction; and the fac-similes of the less important documents preserved at Dulwich College are not without their value.
      The illustrations to Washington Irving's elegant paper on Stratford were suggested by some collections on the subject amongst the papers of the late Captain James Saunders, belonging to the Royal Shakesperian Club, which were lately arranged by me for that society. They cannot fail to prove interesting to the numerous admirers of that celebrated essay.
      The reader is indebted for the woodcuts in the present volume to the careful pencil of F. W. Fairholt, Esq., F.S.A., the author of Costume in England.

  Avenue Lodge, Brixton Hill, near London.
8th April, 1850.

p.vii ]

C o n t e n t s.


p.viii /


p.1 ]


HE following curious and interesting fragment of a very early English metrical translation of the story of Apollonius, king of Tyre, is copied from a manuscript on vellum, formerly belonging to Dr. Farmer, consisting only of two leaves, which, having been converted into the cover of a book, the edges were cut off, and some words are thus entirely lost. The whole, indeed, is scarcely legible, and has been deciphered with difficulty. A few lines from it have been quoted by Steevens, Malone's Shakespeare, ed. 1821, vol. xxi, p. 221, but the modern editors do not appear to have noticed its existence, and it has even escaped the minute research of Mr. Collier, who has collected so much on the history of the tale of Pericles. The author or translator of this fragment appears to have resided at Wimborn Minster, in Dorsetshire, and it would appear from the language to be anterior to the appearance of Gower's Confessio Amantis, which contains another version of the story.

p.2 /

       .      .      .
.      .      .
.      .      .      .
.      .      .      .
.      .      .      .

      Sche was fairest of alle,
The kyng       .      .
      And on hys knees byfore hire falle;
.      .      .      .
      He offryde and alle that wit him were,
And afterw       .      .
   .      .       drery chere;
Of Tire I Ar       .      .
   .      .      myself there king,
Appolyn the      .      .
   .      .      wit myn ofryng;
As sone as       .      .
   .      .      upon my letterure,
The  .   ing   .   hedde
   .      .      was ful suyre;
I scholde him       .      .
   .      .      thulke cure,
Therfore he did       .      .
   .      .      
zaf gret huyre;

p.3 /

To Tarse y-fledde that deth to    .
   For hunger the cité was al nou
An hundred milianys they hadde of me
   Bushcelles of whete, as y am by-thou
Tho made they an ymage of bras,
   A scheef of whete he helde an honde,
That to my licknes maad was;
   Uppon a buschel they dyde hym stonde,
And wryte about the storye,
   To Appolyn this hys y-do,
To have hym ever in memorye,
   For he delyverede us fro woo.
Tho wente y unto Cirenen;
   The kings dou
zter he me zaf,
I ledde here fro here kyn;
zeyn ne brouzte hire nouzt saf,
Ffor sche dey
zde amydde the see,
   And ther sche bare this maide child,
That here stant byfore the;
   Goude goddesse, be to hire myld !
Tho tok y the dou
zter in Tarse to kepe,
   To Strangulion and dame Denyse,
Y couthe no  .   reed but ever wepe,
   Sorwe me tok in ech wyse;

p.4 /

I held me in the see ten and four zeer
   Wit sorwe, care, and wo;
I cam a
ze and fond hire nouzt ther,
   Tho nyst y what was best to do.
But, grete goddesse, y thanke the
   That evere sche deth so asterte,
That ever y my
zhte that day y-seo,
   To have this confort at my herte!
The whiles he expounede thus his lyf
   Wit sorwe and stedfast thou
He tolde hit to hys owene wyf;
   Sche knew him wel, and he hire nou
Heo cau
zt him in hire armes two,
   For joye sche ne my
zte spek a word ;
The kyng was wroth, and pute hire fro,
   Heo cryede loude,
ze beth my lord!
I am
zoure wyf, zoure leof y-core,
ze lovede so!
The kynges dou
zter y was bore,
   Archistrates he ne hadde na mo.
Heo clipte hym, and efter gan to kysse,
   And tolde that was byfalle;
Sche clipte and keuste withouten lysse,
   And saide thus byfore hem alle,—

p.5 /

"ze seeth Appolyn, the kyng,
   My maister that tau
zte me al my goud,
.      .      .      .
   .      .      .      .
.      .      
me out of my grace
   Archistra       .      .
.      .       wham the other forsok,
   And to my lord
zou ches;
My lord that leide me on cheste,
   Or y were cast into the see,
My lord that ofte me keuste,
   And never wende me more y-see,
My lord that y have founde,
   Y thanke God in Trinyté!"
Ure dou
zter on thys grounde,
ze, dame, par fay, this hys sche!
.   .    te he hire, me scholde nou
zt knowe,
   Ho was gladdest of the threo ;
.   .    they wepte alle arowe,
   That ech of other hadde pité
.   .    Ephese hit was couth,
   The goddesse had hire lord knowe,
.   .    an may no man telle wit mouth
   The grete mirthe that was mad, y trowe;

p.6 /

.   .    an song and made gleo
   In gret confort of here goddesse,
.   .    thes y-strezyt over al that cité
   An keverede for gret gladnesse:
They made a feste of gret plenté
   And fedde the citesaynes alle at ones,
They made of him gret denté,
   The feste was gret for the nones.
They made hym prest of the lawe,
   Here norry that sche loved mest,
.   .    the maner by har dawe,
   Wymmen dide that offys of prest.
.   .    the joye of that londe,
   Sche dizte hire wit here lord to fare,
.   .    e cité brouzte hem at stronde,
   For deel of blisse wexeth al bare.
.   .    nte hy to Antioche,
   zutt was him kept that kyndom,
.   .   zt fro thennes hys passage
   To his lond Tire he nom;
.   .    Made Anategora kyng,
   Hys douzter quene that was his heir,
.   .   ne hit was at her likynge,
   To schip hy wente alle y-fere

p.7 /

To Tarse they wente wit gret navye,
   Wederynge fel at wille,
And alle the citesaynes gonne crye,
   Welcome, lord, us tille:
.   .   yzte anon Strangulion take,
   And hys wyf, Denyse, also,
.   .   ed hem alle for here sake
   Wit hym to hare mothalle goo.
.   .   bet zif he hath trespased ouzt,
   Other eny offense ageyn hem do,
.   .   yde alle nay lord ryzt nouzt,
   ze beth oure lord for ever mo.
.   .   ge have to lorde y-core,
   For evere love zou we mote,
.   .   hadde ze be we hadde before,
   Of alle bales ze were bote;
An image of brass witnesse hys
   That we schulle zow nevere disceyve,
.   .   ollet deye for zou y-wys
   Rather than eny man schal zou greve;
.   .    Angulion, my douzter y tok,
   And Denyse that hys hys wyf.
.   .   .   .
.   .   .   .

p.8 /

.   .   .   .
.   .   .   .
That the citesaynes wit gret deol
   Hadde write hit to-fore zowre eyze:
Appolyn gan to calle,
   Tarse, douzter, wherevere you beo,
Schewe the forth byfore us alle,
   Fro deth to lyf arys aze !
Sche pytte hire forthe in riche atir,
   As fel to a quene,
To fulfille her fader desir;
   "Denyse," sche seyth, "hail ze!"
I grete the out of my grave
   Fro deth to lyve arered!
Wher hys Tiophele? him moste y have."
   He stoud sire aferyd.
"Madame, y am her at zoure wille!"
   He stod as he schulde sterve:
"Sche tok me the to spille,
   Deonyse wham y serve."
The citesaynes Strangulion toke,
   And hys wyf for hire trecherye,
Out of the cité drowe wit hoke
   Into a place ther-inne to dye:

p.9 /

They stened him wit stone,
   And so hy wolde Teophele also;
Tarse bygan him defende sone,
   To dethe he ne was nouzt do.
And saide, ze zaf me grace
   To pray God Almyzt,
I schal him zeve lyves space,
   Ellys ze ne hadde me never seye in sizt;
Appolyn dwellede ther fourty dayes,
   And gaf grete giftes to alle men;
He made festes and noble lawes,
   And thennes sailede to Cirenen:
zut was hys ffader-in-lawe alyve,
   Archistrates the goud kyng,
ffolk come azeynes him so blyve,
   As eny myzte by other thryng;
They songe, daunsede, and were blythe,
   That evere hy myzte that day y-seo,
And thankede God a thousand sythe;
   The kyng was gladdest, suyr be ze:
Tho he saw hem alle byfore,
   His douzter and hys sone in lawe,
And hys douzter so fair y-core,
   A kinges wyf, he was wel fawe:

p.10 /

And her child ther also,
   Al clene of kings blod;
He kuste them, he was glad tho;
   But the olde king so goud,
He made hem dwelle al that zer,
   And deyde in hys douzter arm,—
Wit gret gladnesse he deyde ther,
   If God nolde hit was harm.
Tho nolde Appolyn nevere fyne
   Ar he hadde the ffischere souzt,
That zaf him half hys sclaveyne,
   Tho he was firste to londe y-brouzt;
Knyztes him fette of gret honour,
   He was aferde to be slawe,
He zaf him londes and gret tresour,
   And made him erl by al hys sawe:
Olde man, ne dred the nouzt,
   For I am Appolyn of Tire,
That ones help of the bysouzt,
   Tho I lay byfore the in the myre;
Thou gave me half thy sclaveyne,
   And bed me y schulde thenke on the;
.   .   .   .
.   .   .   .

p.11 /

.   .   .   .
   Brouzte hym dyeinge.
Antiochus his deth hadde swore,
   He was marchaunt of many thynges;
.   .   the kyng to grete,
   He tok him up and gan him to kusse;
.    de he wolde him nevere lete,
   He scholde be on of hem to wysse;
.   im bothe lovde and lede,
   And made him erl a lite ther byside;
.   ful of wilde brede,
   Casteles and tourys that were wyde,
He made him chef of hys consail,
   For he fonde him ferst so..t fewe:
.    as evere wit-oute fail,
   He ne leet for no newe;
.   the kyng goud lyf and clene
   Wit hys wyf in gret solas,
.   .   .   and fourtene
   He lyvede after thys do was;
.   .   .   twey sones by junge age,
   That wax wel farynge men;
.   .   .   the kyndom of Antioche,
   Of Tire and of Cirenen,

p.12 /

Were nevere verre on hys lond,
   Ne hunger ne no mesayse,
.   .   hit zede wel an hond,
   He lyvede wel at ayse:
.   .   .    tweye bokys of hys lyf
   That onto his owene bible he sette,
.   .   at byddynge of hys wyf
   He lefte at Ephese so he hire fette;
.   .   .   hys lond in goud manere
   Tho he drow to age,
.   .   ora he made king of Tire,
   That was his owene heritage;
The eldest sone of that empire
   He made king of Antiage,
.   .   .   that he lovede dure,
   Of Cirenen that was    .   .
When he hadde al thys y-dyzt
   Cam deth and axede hys fee,
.   .   hys soule to God Almyzt,
   So wel God that hit bee;
.   .   de ech housbonde grace
   For to lovye so hys wyf,
.   .   y-fed hem witoute trespace,
   As sche dyde hym al here lyf;

p.13 /

.   .   ne on alle lyves space
   Heere to amende oure mysdede,
.   .   of hevene to have a place,
   Amen ze synge here, y rede.
.   .   ony thys was translatyd
   Almost at Engelondes ende,
.   .   .   to the makers stat,
   Tak sich an .   .   kynde;
.   .   have y-take hys bedys on hond,
   And sayd hys Pater Noster and Crede,
.   .   was vicary, y understonde,
   At Wymborne mynstre in that stede;
.   .   y thouzte zou have wryte,
   Hit is nouzt worth to be knowe,
.   .   that wole the sothe y-wyte,
   Go thider and me wol ye schewe:
.   .   Fader, and Sone, and Holy Gost,
   To wham y clepide at my begynnynge,
.   .   de he hys of myztes most,
   Brynge us alle to a goud endynge:
Graunte us voide the payne of helle,
   O God, Lorde, and persones threo,
And in the blysse of hevene dwelle!
   Amen, pour charité!
Explicit Apollonius Tyrus rex nobilis et vertuosus, &c.

p.14 /


      I. T
HE Arderns, or Ardens of Wilmecote, a hamlet in the parish of Aston Cantlowe, near Stratford on Avon, were ancestors, on the mother's side, of our great dramatist. The following document is one of the earliest known respecting this family, and it is of peculiar interest as exhibiting the early period at which they were interested in Snitterfield, the village which is presumed to have been the abode of Shakespeare's paternal ancestors. The deed is dated May 1501, or 16 Hen. VII, and is referred to in my Life of Shakespeare, p. 8, where I erroniously attributed it to a previous reign, not having seen the whole of the deed when that work was published:—
      "Sciant præsentes et futuri quod ego Johannes Mayowe de Snytterfeld dedi, concessi, et hac præsenti carta mea confirmavi Roberto Throkmerton armigero, Thomæ Trussell de Billesley, Rogero Reynolds de Heenley in Arden, Willielmo Wodde de Wodhouse, Thomæ Ardern de Wylmecote et Roberto Ardern filio ejusdem Thomæ Ardern, unum mesuagium cum suis pertinentiis in Snytterfeld prædict: una cum omnibus et singulis terris, toftis, croftis, pratis, pascuis et pasturis eidem mesuagio spectan: sive pertinen: in villa et in campis de Snytterfeld prædict: ac omnibus suis pertinentiis, quod quidem mesuagium prædictum quondam fuit Willielmi Mayowe et postea Johannis p.15 / Mayowe, et situatum est inter terram Johannis Palmer ex parte una et quandam venellam ibidem vocatam Merel lane ex parte altera in latitudine, et extendit se in longitudine a vico regio ibidem usque ad quendam rivulum secundum metas et divisas ibidem factas, Habendum et tenendum prædictum mesuagium cum omnibus et singulis terris, toftis, croftis, pratis, pascuis et pasturis prædictis, ac omnibus suis pertinentiis, præfatis Roberto Throkmerton, Thomæ Trussell, Rogero Reynolds, Willielmo Wodde, Thomæ Ardern et Roberto Ardern hæredibus et assignatis suis, de capitalibus dominis feodi illius, pro servicia inde debita et de jure consueta in perpetuum. Et ego vero prædictus Johannes Mayowe et hæredes mei mesuagium prædictum cum omnibus et singulis terris, toftis, croftis, pratis, pascuis et pasturis supradictis, ac omnibus suis pertinentiis, præfatis Roberto Throkmerton, Thomæ Trussell, Rogero Reynolds, Willielmo Wodde, Thomæ Ardern et Roberto Ardern, hæredibus et assignatis suis, contra omnes gentes warantizabimus et defendemus in perpetuum. Et insuper sciatis me præfatum Johannem Mayowe assignasse, constituisse, et in loco meo posuisse dilectos michi in Christo Thomam Clopton de Snytterfeld prædict: gentilman, et Johannem Porter de eadem, meos veros et legitimos attorn: conjunctim et divisim ad intrandum vice et nomine meo inde capiendum; et postquam hujusmodi seisina sic capta fuit ad deliberandum pro me ac vice et nomine meo præfatis Roberto Throkmerton, Thomæ Trussell, Rogero Reynolds, Willielmo Wodde, Thomæ Ardern et Roberto Arderne plenam et pacificam possessionem et seisinam de p.16 / et in eadem mesuagio, ac omnibus et singulis præmissis, secundum vim, formam et effectum hujus præsentis cartæ meæ; rat : et grat : habent : et habitur totum et quicquid dicti attorn: mei vice et nomine mei fecerint seu eorum alter fecerit in præmissis. In cujus rei testimonium huic præsenti cartæ meæ et scripto meo sigillum meum apposui, hiis testibus, Johanne Wagstaffe de Aston Cauntelowe, Roberto Porter de Snytterfeld prædicto, Ricardo Russheby de eadem, Ricardo Atkyns de Wylmecote prædicto, Johanne Alcokks de Newenham, et aliis. Datum apud Snytterfeld prædicto die lunæ proximo post festum Invencionis Sanctæ Crucis anno regni Regis Henrici septimi post Conquestum sextodecimo."
      2. The following are copies of deeds relating to a grant from Richard Rushby and Agnes his wife, the daughter and heiress of William Harvey, to Robert Ardern of a tenement in Snitterfield. They are dated December 14th and 21st, 1519:
      "Sciant præsentes et futuri quod nos Ricardus Rushby et Agnes uxor mea, filia et hæres Willielmi Harvy, dedimus, concessimus, et hac præsenti carta nostra confirmavimus Roberto Ardren unum tenementum in Sneterfeld prout jacet inter tenementum Ricardi Hardyng ex una parte et terram domini ex altera parte, habendum et tenendum prædictum tenementum, cum omnibus terris, pratis, pascuis, pasturis, et omnibus aliis suis pertinentiis, præfato Ricardo hæredis et assignatis suis in perpetuum, de capitalibus dominis feodi illius pro servicia inde debita et de jure consueta. Et nos vero prædictus Ricardus et Agnes uxor p.17 / mea et hæredes nostri prædictum tenementum cum omnibus terris, pratis, pascuis, pasturis, et omnibus aliis suis pertinentiis, ut prædictum est, contra omnes gentes warantizabimus et in perpetuum defendemus. In cujus rei testimonium huic præsenti cartæ nostræ sigilla nostra apposuimus, Hiis testibus, Ricardo Grauntte gen., Rogero Palmer capellano, Johanne Pardy, et aliis. Datum apud Sneterfeld quartodecimo die Decembris anno regni regis Henrici octavi undecimo.
      "Omnibus Christi fidelibus ad quos præsens scriptum pervenerit nos Ricardus Ruschby et Agnes uxor, mea filia et hæres Willielmi Hervy, salutem in Domino sempiternam. Noviter nos præfatos Ricardum et Agnetum, unanimi assensu et consensu, remisisse, relaxasse, et omnino pro nobis et hæredibus nostris in perpetuum quietclamasse Roberto Ardern in sua plena et pacifica possessione existente, hæredibus et assignatis suis in perpetuum, totum jus nostrum, titulum, statum, clameum, demand., et interesse quæ unquam hujusmodi habemus, seu quovismodo in futuro habere poterimus, vel poterint hæredes nostri, de et in uno tenemento cum suis pertinentiis jacent: in Scneterfeld [lit.] inter tenementum Ricardi Hardyng ex una parte et terram domini ex altera parte, cum omnibus terris, pratis, pascuis et pasturis, et omnibus eorum pertinentiis, Ita videlicet quod nec nos prædicti Ricardus Ruschby et Agnes uxor mea, nec hæredes nostri, nec aliquis alius per nos pro nobis, seu nomine nostro, aliquod jus, titulum, statum, clameum, demand., seu interesse de et in prædicto tenemento cum p.18 / suis pertinentiis cum terris, pratis, pascuis et pasturis, cum omnibus aliis suis pertinentiis, neque in aliqua parcella eorundem de cetero exigere vel vendicare poterimus nec debemus quovismodo in futuro, sed ab omni actione juris, tituli, stati, clamei, demand., ac interesse inde similiter penitus exclusi in perpetuum per præsentes. Et nos vero prædicti Ricardus et Agnes uxor mea, et hæredes nostri, prædictum tenementum cum omnibus terris, pratis, pascuis et pasturis, et omnibus aliis pertinentiis suis præfato Roberto Ardern hæredibus et assignatis suis contra omnes gentes warantizabimus et in perpetuum defendemus per præsentes. In cujus rei testimonium huic præsenti scripto nostro sigilla nostra apposuimus, Hiis testibus, Ricardo Graunt generoso, Rogero Palmer capellano, Johanne Pardy, cum multis aliis. Datum apud Scenterfeld vicesimo primo die mensis Decembris anno regni regis Henrici Octavi undecimo."


R. HUNTER, in his New Illustrations of Shakespeare, vol. i, p. 301, was the first to draw attention to the following ballad, which comprises romantic incidents similar to some which occur in the Merchant of Venice and in Cymbeline. "Of its age," says Mr. Hunter, "I can pronounce no opinion which would be of any value; but it appears to me not of modern date, that is, that there are expressions which seem to belong to the earlier ages of the existing p.19 / ballad poetry, and that the incidents are too numerous, and of too romantic a cast, to allow of its being considered as a modern invention." The earliest copy I am acquainted with is in my own possession, and was printed by J. White of Newcastle, who died in 1769.

The Northern Lord, or the Knight in Green. Shewing how
     a noble lord sold his daughter to a knight for her weight in gold; how he borrowed the money of a wealthy Jew, and that if he missed to pay at the appointed time, the Jew was to have so many ounces of the knight's flesh; how they fled to the German Court to escape from the Jew; and how the Dutch lord wagered a ton of gold, that he could enjoy the knight's lady.

A NORTHERN lord of high renoun,
Two daughters had: the eldest brown,
The youngest beautiful and fair.
By chance a noble knight came there.
   Her father said, kind sir, I have
Two daughters here; which do you crave?
One that is beautiful, he cry'd.
The noble lord he then reply'd:
   She's young, she's beautiful and gay,
And is not to be given away

p.20 /
But as jewels are bought and sold,
She must bring me her weight in gold.
   The price I think you need not grudge,
Since I will freely give as much
With her own sister, if I can
Find out some loving nobleman.
   With that bespoke the noble knight:
I'd sooner have the beauty bright
At that vast rate, renouned lord,
Than the other with a vast reward.
   So then the bargain it was made,
But e'er the money it could be paid,
He borrowed of a wealthy Jew
The sum so large, and writings drew—
   That if he fail'd or miss'd the day,
So many ounces he should pay
Of his own flesh instead of gold;
All was agreed, the sum was told.
   So he return'd immediately
Unto the lord, where he did buy
His daughter fine, I do declare,
And paid him down the money there.
   He bought her too, it was well known
Unto mankind, she was his own;
p.21 /

By her a son he did enjoy,
A sweet and comely handsome boy.
   At length the time of day drew near,
When the knight began to fear:
He dreaded much the cruel Jew,
Because the money it was due:
   His lady asked him why he griev'd:
He said, My jewel, I received
Such a sum of money of a Jew,
And now the money it is due:
   And now the day of payment's come,
I'm sure I cannot raise the sum;
He'll my flesh weigh by weight,
Which makes my grief and sorrow great.
   Pshaw! never fear him, she reply'd,
We'll cross the raging ocean wide,
And secure you from that fate;
To her request he yielded straight.

Then having pass'd the raging seas,
They travell'd on, till by degrees
Unto the German court they came,
The knight, his son, and comely dame.
p.22 /

   Unto the emperor he told
His story of the sum of gold
That he borrowed of a Jew,
And that for fear of death he flew.
   The emperor he did erect
A court for them, and show'd respect
Unto his guests, because they came
From Britain, the blest land of fame.
   As here he lived in delight,
A Dutch lord told our English knight,
That he a ton of gold would lay
That he could enjoy his lady gay.
   From her the Dutch lord was to bring
A rich and coastly diamond ring,
That was to prove and testify,
How he did with his lady lie.
   He tried, but never could obtain
Her favour, but with high disdain
She did abhor his base intent.
So to her chamber-maid he went,
   And told her if she would but steal
Her lady's ring, and so conceal
The same, and bring it to him straight,
She should enjoy a fine estate.
p.23 /

   In hopes of such a fine reward,
The ring she stole; then the Dutch lord
Did take it to the noble knight,
Who almost swooned at the sight.
   Home he goes to the lady straight,
And meeting her at the palace gate,
He flung her head-long into the moat;
A miller found her where she did float.
   Soon after that in clothes of green,
She like a war-like knight was seen;
And in most gallant gay deport,
She rode unto the emperor's court.
   Now when the emperor beheld
Her brave deportment, he was fill'd
With admiration at the sight,
Who call'd herself an English knight.
   The emperor he did reply,
We have an English knight to die
For drowning of his lady gay;
Quoth she, I'd see him if I may.
   'Twas granted, so to him she came,
And calling him by his name,
She said, kind sir, be of good cheer,
Your friend I'll be, you need not fear.
p.24 /

She to the emperor did ride,
And said, "now let this cause be try'd
Once more, for I've a mind to save
This noble gallant from the grave."
   It being done, the court was set,
The Dutch lord came, seeming to fret
About the ring, for he did fear
How truth would make his shame appear.
   And so it did, for soon they call
The maid, who on her knees did fall;
Before the court she did confess
The Dutch lord's unworthiness.
   The court replied, "and is it so?
The lady too, for ought we know,
May be alive; therefore we'll stay
The sentence till another day."
   Now the Dutch lord gave him a ton
Of gold, which he had fairly won;
And so he did with shame and grief,
And thus the knight obtain'd relief.
   The Dutch lord to revenge the spite
Upon our noble English knight,
Did send a letter out of hand,
p.25 /

And so the Jew did understand
   That he was in the German court;
And then upon this good report
The Jew he cross'd the ocean wide,
Resolving to be satisfy'd.
   As soon as e'er he fixt his eyes
Upon the knight, in wrath he cries,
Your hand and seal I pray behold,
Your flesh I'll have instead of gold.
   Then said the noble knight in green,
Sir, may not your articles be seen?
Yes, they may, reply'd the Jew,
And I'm resolv'd to have my due.
   Lo, then the knight began to read;
At length he said, I find indeed
Nothing but flesh you are to have:
Answers the Jew, that's all I crave.
   The poor distressed knight was brought—
The bloody-minded Jew he thought
That day to be reveng'd on him,
And part the flesh from every limb.
   The knight in green said, Mr. Jew,
There's nothing else but flesh your due;
And see no drop of blood you shed,
For if you do, off goes your head.
p.26 /

   Pray take your due, with all my heart,
But with his blood we will not part;
With that the Jew he sneaked away,
And had not one more word to say.
No sooner were these troubles past,
But his wife's father came at last,
Resolving for to have his life,
For drowning his beloved wife.
   Over the sea her father brought
Many fine horses: one was bought
By the pretended knight in green,
Which was the best that e'er was seen.
   So to the German court he came,
Declaring such-a-one by name
Had drowned his fair daughter dear,
And ought to die a death severe.
   They brought him from the prison then,
Guarded by many armed men,
Unto the place where he must die;
And the young knight was standing by.
   And from her side her sword she drew,
And run her gelding thro' and thro'.
Her father said, Why do you so?
I may, it is my own, you know ;
p.27 /

   You sold the gelding; 'tis well known
I bought it, making it my own,
And may do what I please with it.
And then to her he did submit.
   Here is a man arraign'd and cast,
And brought to suffer death at last,
Because your daughter dear he slew,
Which, if he did, what's that to you?
   You had the money when you sold
Your daughter for her weight in gold;
Therefore he might, it is well known,
Do what he pleased with his own.
   So having chang'd her garments green,
And drest herself like a fair queen,
Her father and her husband strait
Both knew her, and their joys were great.
   Soon they did carry this report
Unto the famous Grecian court,
How the renowned English knight
Had found his charming lady bright.
   So the emperor, and lords the same,
With cheerful hearts they did proclaim
An universal joy to see
His lady's life at liberty.

p.28 /

THE following list of the attendances of Shakespeare's father at the meetings of the corporation of Stratford-on-Avon has been compiled from the original records of that town. The subject will, on examination, be found to bear on several points in the history of the poet's family. See my Life of Shakespeare, p. 66.

1564.6 Sept.J. S. Burg. Pres.    5 Sept.13 Eliz.Pres.
1565.16 Jan.7 Eliz. J. S. Burg. Pres.    24 Oct.13 Eliz.Pres.
15 Feb.7 Eliz.      Pres.    18 Jan.14 Eliz.Pres.
22 Mar.7 Eliz.      Pres.    7 Feb.14 Eliz.Pres.
2 May,7 Eliz.      Pres.    2 April14 Eliz.Pres.
4 July,7 Eliz.      Pres.    9 April14 Eliz.Pres.
9 May,7 Eliz.      Pres.    18 April14 Eliz.Pres.
12 Sept.7 Eliz. J. S. Ald.    28 May14 Eliz.Pres.
   Pres.    3 Sept.14 Eliz.Pres.
26 Oct.7 Eliz.      Abs.  9 Jan.15 Eliz.J. S.
1566. 15 Feb.8 Eliz.      Abs.    Ald.Pres.
1567 8 Jan.9 Eliz.      Pres.    9 Sept.15 Eliz.Pres.
16 July,9 Eliz.      Pres.    17 Feb.16 Eliz.Pres.
3 Sept.9 Eliz.      Pres.    1 Sept.16 Eliz.Pres.
20 April12 Eliz.      Pres.    29 Dec.17 Eliz.Pres.
23 Aug.12 Eliz.      Pres.    7 Sept.17 Eliz.Pres.
6 Sept.12 Eliz.      Pres.    7 Oct.17 Eliz.Pres.
24 Jan.13 Eliz.      Pres.    23 Nov.18 Eliz.Pres.
7 Feb.13 Eliz.      Pres.    5 Sept..18 Eliz.Pres.
2 May13 Eliz.      Pres.    5 Oct.18 Eliz.Pres.
11 July13 Eliz.      Pres.    5 Dec.19 Eliz.Pres.

p.29 /

           23Jan.   19 Eliz. among the
aldermen, "ab. Johannes Shax-
    19 Oct.
14 Dec.
22 Dec.
22 Eliz.
23 Eliz.
23 Eliz.
            8 May.   19 Eliz. J. S. again
absent, his name not being marked
as present.
    26 Jan.
22 Feb.
27 May
23 Eliz.
23 Eliz.
23 Eliz.
24 July19 Eliz. J. S. abs.    6 Sept.23 Eliz.Abs.
4 Oct.19 Eliz. J. S. Ald.
    20 Sept.
6 Oct.
23 Eliz.
23 Eliz.
6 Nov.19 Eliz.       Pres.    2 May24 Eliz.Abs.
4 Dec.20 Eliz.       Pres.    31 Jan.24 Eliz.Abs.
15 Jan.
29 Jan.
20 Eliz.       Abs.
20 Eliz.       Abs.
    Hall held 5 Sept. 24 Eliz.
Nomina Aldermannorum.
5 June20 Eliz.       Abs.    
m Johannes Shaxper, S.
18 June20 Eliz.       Abs.    
m Willielmus Tyler, q.
3 Sept.
24 Sept.
20 Eliz.       Abs.
20 Eliz.       Abs.
     10 Sept. 24 Eliz. J. S. Ald.
3 Oct.20 Eliz.       Abs.    19 Sept.24 Eliz.Abs.
19 Nov.21 Eliz.       Pres.    5 Oct.24 Eliz.Abs.
1578. 24 Nov.Abs.        2 Nov.24 Eliz.(Uncertain)
23 April21 Eliz.       Abs.    7 Nov.24 Eliz.Abs.
2 1579      Abs.    16 Nov.24 Eliz.Abs.
2 Sept.1579       Pres.    12 Dec.25 Eliz.J. S. Ald.
9 Sept.21 Eliz.       Pres.    Abs.
2 Oct.21 Eliz.       Abs.    11 Jan.25 Eliz.Abs.
— Dec.22 Eliz.       Abs.    23 Jan.25 Eliz.Abs.
20 Jan.22 Eliz.       Abs.    25 Jan.25 Eliz.Abs.
19 Mar.22 Eliz.       Abs.    1 Feb.25 Eliz.Abs.
3 Aug.22 Eliz.       Abs.    13 Mar.25 Eliz.Abs.
7 Sept.22 Eliz.       Abs.    17 April25 Eliz.Abs.
30 Sept.22 Eliz.       Abs.    7 May25 Eliz.Abs.

p.30 /

     25 May25 Eliz.       Abs.    13 Jan.27 Eliz.Abs.
     17 June25 Eliz.       Abs.    17 Feb.27 Eliz.Abs.
     26 June25 Eliz.       Abs.    17 Mar.27 Eliz.Abs.
     21 Aug.25 Eliz.       Abs.    28 April27 Eliz.Abs.
     4 Sept.25 Eliz.       Abs.    23 June27 Eliz.Abs.
     (He was the only one absent.)    7 July27 Eliz.Abs.
     4 Oct.25 Eliz.       Abs.    2 Sept.27 Eliz.Abs.
     16 Oct.25 Eliz.       Abs.    1 Oct.27 Eliz.Abs.
     5 Feb.26 Eliz.       Abs.    27 Oct.27 Eliz.Abs.
     10 April26 Eliz.       Abs.    16 Mar.28 Eliz.Abs.
     20 May26 Eliz.       Abs.    30 Mar.28 Eliz.Abs.
     4 Sept.26 Eliz.       Abs.    25 May28 Eliz.Abs.
     2 Oct.26 Eliz.       Abs.    6 July28 Eliz.Abs.
     21 Nov.26 Eliz.       Abs.    31 Aug.28 Eliz.J. S. Ald.
     28 Nov.27 Eliz.       Abs.    marked as being present, but this
     9 Dec.26† Eliz.      Abs.    must be an error, for see the
     († Sic, by error for 27.)    order printed in Malone, p.164.

p.31 /


HIS garland is here printed from a copy which was issued about the middle of the last century, and bears a similar character to the ballad of the Northern Lord. The story is the same with that of the Winter's Tale. The title-page of the garland is embellished with a rude woodcut, representing a man smoking on the sea-shore and a ship nearing the coast.



Part I. How the King of Bohemia, having married a
      most virtuous queen, and being afterwards visited by a foreign prince, of whom the king became jealous, and hired his cup-bearer to poison him; the prince being acquainted with it, went into his own country, and was soon after crowned there.
Part II. How the king put his wife in prison, where she
      was deliver'd of a daughter, who was by the king's order put into a boat, and left to the mercy of the sea.
Part III. How the king in a vision being assured of his
     wife's innocency, released her, who soon after died with grief.
Part IV. How the child was drove into that country where
      the prince reigned, taken up by a shepherd, and kept as his own.
Part V. How the king's son fell in love with her, and
     embark'd with her and the old shepherd for Italy.
p.32 /

Part VI. Being by a storm drove into Bohemia, were
     confined; and how the king thereof knew she was his own daughter.
Licensed and entered according to Order.
A TRAGICAL story I have now to relate;
A King of Bohemia in splendor most great,
This royal king wedded a fair virtuous queen,
The greatest of beauties that ever was seen.

An outlandish prince of honour and fame,
Unto this king's court he a visiting came,
Who then was attended with honour and state;
The king set his nobles upon him to wait.

And likewise to welcome this prince to the court,
Great feasting was made, with rare pastime and sport;
Now give your attention, and I'll shew you in brief,
How their joy was turn'd into sorrow and grief.

The king saw his queen in the garden one day
Walking with the young prince, which caus'd him to say,
I fear this young prince is too great with my queen,
And therefore I ever will bear him a spleen.

p.33 /

She proving with child, made his jealousy more,
Because she had never conceived before:
The king was enraged with much violence,
And swore he would soon destroy the young prince.

The king called his cup-bearer then with all speed,
Saying, When the prince comes to the table indeed,
Be sure give him poison to end his life,
For he has been naughty with my beautiful wife.

To humour the king, the cup-bearer he said,
Your majesty's orders shall now be obey'd:
Not willing to do it, this cup-bearer went,
And gave the young prince to know his intent.

So soon as he had the king's treachery told,
The prince gave him twenty bright pieces of gold:
Saying, I will now escape his blood-thirsty hand,
By steering away to my own native land.

Fearing the king's wrath, the prince durst not stay,
The wind proving fair, he soon sailed away,
And in a small time to his father's court came,
Where he was received with honour and fame.

p.34 /

Soon after, this royal prince married a wife,
Who was the whole comfort and joy of his life;
His old father died in a little space,
And then the young prince reigned in his place.

His wife she conceived, and brought forth a son,
Which joyful tidings thro' the kingdom did run;
So now I will leave them in plenty great store,
And turn to the King of Bohemia once more.

Now when the old king found that he was got clear,
Then to his fair wife he prov'd sharp and severe:
Close lock'd in a castle he did her confine,
For to have her burnt this king did design.

At length she was deliver'd, as we do hear,
Of a beautiful daughter, most charming and fair;
A child of such beauty was scarce e'er beheld.
Then with a great passion the king he was fill'd,

And taking the child with great violence,
Said, I'll kill it, because 'twas got by the prince;
'Tis like him, and therefore her blood shall run down,
No bastard shall ever inherit my crown.

p.35 /

His beautiful queen then in sorrow did say,
None but your ownself I e'er knew in that way.
I will not believe it, base harlot, says he,
For this great offence thou burned shall be.

To me, nor my infant, no mercy you'll shew,
On the throne above there's a just God I know,
That surely will plague you for your cruelty;
So with conscience clear I truly shall die.

With what you tax me God knows I am clear,
If you burn my body, I do not much fear
But my soul in heaven with angels may dwell,
While you may with devils be scorched in hell!

Soon after, ,this cruel king studied another way
The life of this innocent babe to betray;
He told to the queen, with abundance of spite,
He'd let her try swimming, because she was light.

Then a little boat he did straightway provide,
Resolving to send her away with the tide:
I'll send her a voyage when the wind fair doth blow,
She may come to fortune for aught that I know.

p.36 /

The queen she then begged upon her bare knees,
Let me see my infant once more, if you please?
The beautiful infant was brought her once more,
With tears she then kiss'd it a thousand times o'er.

A purse of fine diamonds she plac'd next her skin,
And fasten'd it likewise securely within;
A chain round her neck, and a mantle of gold,
Because she her infant no more might behold.

Oh, how it this cruel king's fancy did please,
To see this child floating upon the salt seas:
Where now we will leave this sweet infant, and show
The goodness of God, who all secrets does know.

This king in his sleep was disturbed in mind;
Three times was a voice heard, Oh, king most unkind,
That now has contriv'd to destroy the child's life
Thro' jealousy; there is no fault in thy wife.

Then waking from sleep, he was heartily vex'd,
His conscience was troubled, his mind was perplex'd:

p.37 /

He went to the castle when day did appear,
To ask the queen's pardon, and straight set her clear.

The worst of all wretches I surely have been,
For I have committed a base horrid sin,
My dear wife and infant so vilely to serve,
The worst of all punishments I do deserve.

The child of my bowels is sunk in the main,
I ne'er shall expect to have comfort again;
To think of these actions my panting heart bleeds;
Oh, how shall I answer for my unjust deeds?

The queen for her infant some time did lament;
Oh, there was a court full of sad discontent!
She took to her bed, where her heart soon was broke,
And this to the king was a terrible stroke.

The court was in mourning for several years,
And likewise the king did shed many tears:
And now we must leave them in sorrow to weep,
And return to the child that was left on the deep.

Now let me shew you how Providence smil'd
Upon this sweet, innocent, beautiful child:

p.38 /

By tempestuous waves it was drove on the shore,
Where that prince reigned king whom we spoke on before.

A shepherd, by chance, came down to the sea-side,
To look for some sheep, when the boat he espy'd;
And seeing the infant, he strangely did gaze,
Awhile the poor shepherd did stand in amaze.

Yet, nevertheless, he took up the sweet child,
Seeing what was about it the old shepherd smil'd;
And being ne'er bless'd with a babe in his life,
He carry'd this infant straight home to his wife.

His wife said, What infant is this I behold?
What bastard is this? And began for to scold.
The shepherd said, She was drove close to the shore:
But seeing the riches, she scolded no more.

The shepherd said, Wife, we'll not call it our own,
But keep it a while that it may not be known:
I need not to keep any more sheep on the plain,
I'll buy a farm, and so flourish amain.

p.39 /

The good wife said, Husband, hear me, if you please,
It is the best way to begin by degrees;
They'll say we have robbed upon the highway,
Therefore take my counsel, dear husband, I pray.

He took his wife's counsel, as we understand;
They in short time bought a small spot of land;
Thus in decent manner they went on, 'tis true,
And all his good neighbours commended him too.

This child she grew up endued with grace,
A modest behaviour, and sweet charming face:
And being now about the age of fifteen,
For beauty and wisdom none like her was seen.

First farmers, next 'squires, and knights of renown
To the shepherd's house they all came flocking down;
And strove to salute her with proffers most kind,
But still to Love's fancy she was not inclin'd.

It chanced the king's son rode a hunting one day,
And seeing this beauty in homely array,

p.40 /

Her charming sweet features did torture him so:
The young prince was wounded with Cupid's sure bow.

Oh, how this young prince was inflamed with love!
And studying how he might his passion remove
From a shepherd's daughter, so low, mean, and poor,
Yet nevertheless he was tortur'd the more.

The prince he walk'd out, and met her in the field
Amongst her young lambs, where he quickly reveal'd
His passionate story; saying, Charmer so sweet,
Grant me thy sweet love, or I die at thy feet.

She answer'd him straight, Royal prince of renown,
Woud you be disinherited quite from the crown?
Therefore, royal prince, sure that cannot be done,
Of a shepherd's daughter, and you a king's son.

My kingdom and crown, love, I value it not!
I'll make thee my own whate'er falls to my lot;
If you were a shepherd, dear prince, she reply'd,
I could love you dearly, and be your sweet bride

p.41 /

The prince went and put on shepherd's array,
And came to this beauty a-courting next day;
Said he, Charming shepherdess, if you'll be my wife
I ever will love you as dear as my life.

You're dress'd like a shepherd, sir, I may believe,
I know you, or else my eyes do me deceive;
Therefore do not lead me thus in ignorance,
I fear you're no shepherd, but a royal prince.

He kiss'd, and embrac'd her sometime in his arms,
Saying, I am the prince that must yield to thy charms;
To some foreign nation, dear love, let us go,
And we will be marry'd where none do us know.

He got a ship loaded, as we do understand;
With rich golden treasures, for another land:
And took a page with him, whom he could intrust,
Who always had proved right faithful and just.

The old shepherd hearing this, said, She'll be spoil'd,
I fear that the young prince will get her with child:

p.42 /

Oh, how shall we get her, wife, from the king's son?
I'll tell the king of it, or she'll be undone.

Then with the gold mantle he posted away,
The prince's page met him, and said, Old friend, this day
The king for some pleasure is gone on the seas,
I'll bring you on board to the king, if you please.

But when the old shepherd came onboard, pray mind,
Instead of the king, the young prince he did find,
And likewise this beauty, dress'd in rich array,
Then straight the old shepherd for pardon did pray.

The prince said, Old father, rise up from your knees.
The shepherd said, Put me on shore if you please,
Or else my poor wife will be grieved full sore.
No, said the prince, I'll not trust you on shore.

Now while the poor shepherd his case did bewail,
They had a fair wind, so they hoisted up sail:
The ship, as we hear, was to Italy bound,
But great grief & sorrow encompass'd them round.

p.43 /

A violent storm on the sea did arise,
Dove them to Bohemia; then taken for spies,
Their ship seized, and to prison they went;
Hearing of this beauty, the king for her sent.

So soon as this beautiful creature was brought,
The king then with lust to defile her he sought,
Yet still with the king for her honour she strove,
Saying, Let me die for to ransom my love.

Then finding that she would not yield, I protest
He sent her to prison, lock'd close from the rest:
His hot lustful love to hatred was turn'd,
He vow'd she should either be hang'd or burn'd.

At last they were brought to their trial, we hear,
Oh, how the old shepherd did tremble with fear!
May't please your grace, this child is none of my own
Then how he came by her made it all known.

He likewise produced the mantle of gold,
The king was amaz'd this strange sight to behold:
Tho' long time the shepherd made choice of the same,
The king knew it well, being wrought with his name.

p.44 /

He swooned away, but recovered again,
Saying, Thou art my child, whom I laid on the main
My child is alive, whom I thought to destroy.
The prince made himself known, too, which raised their joy.

With honour and triumph soon marry'd they were,
His father was sent for, who quickly came there;
And likewise dame Mopsy, the old shepherd's wife,
Whose dancing well pleased the court to the life.

The shepherd and his wife made pastime and sport,
The king made the shepherd a lord of his court;
Now, by what was thus acted, ye plainly may see
That nothing can hinder what Fate doth decree.


p.45 /


OME years ago I drew Mr. Collier's attention to a considerable number of documents, preserved at Dulwich College, which related to the dramatic affairs of the time of Shakespeare and Alleyn, and suggested the probability that they might yield something of interest and value. The results of Mr. Collier's examination were published in his Memoirs of Alleyn, printed by the Shakespeare Society in 1841; and amongst the discoveries were presented several papers of interest in which the name of our great poet occurred. With the view of establishing the authenticity of these records, I present the reader with fac-similes, carefully made from the originals by F. W. Fairholt, Esq., F.S.A.
      The first document is a small piece of paper, containing a list of inhabitants living in Southwark in July, 1596, who had complained of the Bear-garden, and who therefore, probably, resided in its immediate neighbourhood. The
   Signatures of Mr Barett and Mr Shaksper    
incessant noise and tumult raised by this place of amusement must have been a source of great annoyance to the inhabitants of the vicinity. The paper is entitled, "Inhabitantes of Southerk as have complaned this . . . . . Jully, 1596," and contains the following p.46 / names, "Mr. Markis, Mr. Tuppin, Mr. Langorth, Wilsone the pyper, Mr. Barett, Mr. Shaksper, Phellipes, Tomson, Mother Golden the baude, Nagges, ffilpott, and no more, and soe well ended." The conclusion of this precludes the possibility of the document having been an official one. It was, probably, a memorandum hastily drawn up by some person connected with the Bear-garden.
      The next document informs us that "Mr. Shakespeare," in April, 1609, was assessed at sixpence a week

Handwriting stating 'Mr Shakespeare...vid (sixpence)'

towards the relief of the poor in Southwark. If this relate to the poet, and I must acknowledge I entertain some doubt on the matter, it was most likely on account of his share in the Globe theatre, not for a dwelling-house, for, in the spring of the year 1609, Shakespeare appears to have been at Stratford. Two copies of this document, contemporary with each other, are preserved in the archives of Dulwich College.
      The third paper is perhaps the most curious, and

Verse from archives of Dulwich College

relates, as Mr. Collier observes, to some theatrical wager p.47 / in which Alleyn, one of the Lord Admiral's players, was, for a part not named, to be matched against Kempe, who belonged to the Lord Chamberlain's company. The verses were evidently written by a partisan of Alleyn's, and it is almost unnecessary to say that "Roscius Richard" was Richard Burbage. The lines are, unfortunately, not dated; but as Kempe appears to have left Alleyn's company either in, or before, 1596, the wager was, most probably, undertaken after that period.
      The fourth, and last document at Dulwich College which contains the name of Shakespeare, is dated April the 9th, 1604, and is the latest notice we have of him as an actor. The poet's name occurs in a list of the King's
   List of King's Company's players    

Company's players, attached to an order from the lords of the council, addressed to the lord mayor of London, and to the justices of the peace in Middlesex and Surrey, commanding them to permit the king's, queen's, and prince's companies to perform at the Globe, Fortune, and Curtain theatres, unless the weekly mortality from the plague in London exceeded the number of thirty. I have, however, some doubt whether Shakespeare's name might not have been retained in such a list as long as he continued to possess an interest in the profits of the theatre, even although he had relinquished his p.48 / profession as an actor. It seems evident from a document printed in my Life of Shakespeare, p.208, that, in 1604, he was occupied in pursuits of quite a different kind at Stratford, and the transactions there mentioned are of a character to lead us to believe he was then a resident in that town, especially as they are spread over a considerable period; but it must be borne in mind that the evidence in this respect is not sufficiently complete to enable us to decide with certainty the period of his permanent establishment at Stratford, for Aubrey's assertion, that "he was wont to goe to his native countrey once a yeare", sufficiently explains the circumstances of the case, if, indeed, we may venture to adopt the opinion of a writer whose other statements are so improbable.


HE name of Shakespeare occurs in the particulars attached to the following writ of certiorari—"Mr. Shaxpere one boke." The original document is preserved in the Council Chamber of Stratford-on-Avon, and has never yet been noticed. It either alludes to John Shakespeare, the poet's father, or to Shakespeare himself, for Shakespeare the shoemaker had left Stratford before this period. If the latter, as is most probably the case (for John Shakespeare had little to do with learning or books), it adds another presumptive proof to the several we already possess p.49 / that Shakespeare was thus early a frequent visitor to his native town. I follow the spelling of the original.
      Elizabeth, Dei gratia Angl. ffranc. et Hibern. regina, Fidei defensor, &c., ballivo burgi sive villæ de Stretford super Avon salutem, Quia in recordo et processu ac etiam in reddicione judicii loquele, que fuit coram vobis in cur. nostra burgi sive villæ prædict. sine brevi nostro, secundum consuetudinem ejusdem burgi sive villæ, inter Margaretam Yonge viduam et Johannam Parrett viduam, de quadam transgressione super casum eidem Margaretæ per præfatam Johannam illat. ut dicitur, Error intervenit manifestus ad grave dampnum ipsius Johannæ, sicut ex querela sua accepimus; nos errorem, si quis fuerit modo debito corrigi et partibus prædictis plenam et cæterem justiciam fieri volentes in hac parte vobis mandamus quod si judicium inde redditum sit tunc recordum et processum loquelæ prædictæ cum omnibus ea tangen. nobis sub sigillo vestro distincte et aperte mittatis et hoc breve, Ita quod ea habeamus a die Sancti Hillarii in xv. dies ubicunque tunc fuerimus in Angl. ut inspectis recordo et processu prædictis ulterius inde pro errore illo corrigendo fieri faciamus quod de jure et secundum legem et consuetudinem regni nostri Angl. fuerit faciendum. Teste meipsa apud Westm. tercio die Novembr. anno regni reginæ tricesimo octavo.
[1596.]Per Smyth.
Ric. Dixon.Nicolas James.
Thomas More.Thomas Bucke.
Willm Slater.Thomas Sharpe.
Humffrey CowperThomas Nycolls.
p.50 /
Humffrey Whelerffowlke Jonsons.
Roger Bragge.George Mace.

      Yowre yssue ys to enquere whether that a woman's gowne of sadd tawnie, faced withe vellett, to the value of fyve pound; one other woman's gowne, of skattes color, pryced iijli., one kyrtle, pryce xxxs., one pettie-cote, pryce xxxs., one cloke, pryce liiis. iiijd., two daggers, pryce xvjs. viijd., one coverlett, pryce xls., and iij. thre prayer bokes, pryce xs., the xxth day of July, ao. xxxvijo. Elizabethe regine, dyd come to the handes and possession of Johane Parrett wydo or not: yf yow finde for the playntyffe, yow must assesse damages, and also for costes of the sute.
      We fynd for the playntyf to be damnyfyd to the valeve of vli. ixs. iiijd. Costes, vjd.
      Jury betwen Margryt Younge, plantyv, and Jane Perat, defendant.

  Phyllyp Gren   oRoger Bragg, jur.
  Nycolas Tybates     Rychard Tayller
  Robert Bydell     Edward Walt
oRychard Dyxson, jur.     Henge Piggan
  John Whood   oNycollas James, jur.
  Rychard Hornbye   oThomas Bucke, jur.
  Robert Wylson     John Strayne
  Robert Janson     Laurens Holmes
oThomas More, jur.   oThomas Sharpe, jur.
oWyllyame Slater, jur.   oThomas Nycolles, jur.
oHumfrey Couper, jur.   oFoulke Jansones, jur.
oHumfrey Wheeller, jur.   oGeorge Mase, jur.

p.51 /

      [To this list of jurymen the following curious memorandum is attached.]
      Mr. Shaxpere, one boke.
      Mr. Barber, a coverlett, ij. daggars, the 3 bokes.
      Ursula ffylld the apparell and the bedding clothes at Whytsontyd was twelmonth.
      Emily Blacke.          Dettes due to the partie ded.


HE trust deeds made by Robert and Agnes Arden, on July 17th, 1550, in favour of their six children, exclusive of Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother, are quoted by Mr. Collier, p. 63, whom I have followed in an erroneous date, not having then seen the original document. One of these deeds is printed in my Life of Shakespeare, p. 6, and with the following will form a complete account of the transaction. There can be no doubt but that some arrangements of other property in Snitterfield were made in favour of Mary Arden, and indeed there is documentary evidence that such was the case, but the papers belonging to them at this period have not yet been discovered.
      "Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Robertus Ardern de Wylmecote in parochia de Aston Cantlowe in com. Warr. husbandman dedi concessi et hac presenti carta mea tripartit. indentat. confirmavi Adæ Palmer de Aston Cantlowe prædict. et Hugoni Porter de Snytterfylde in com. p.52 / prædicto, totum illud mesuagium meum et tres quartronas terræ cum prat. eisden pertinent. cum suis pertinen. in Snytterfylde prædict. quæ nunc sunt in tenura cujusdam Ricardi Henley, ac tot. illud cotagium meum cum gardino et pomario adjacen. cum suis pertin. in Snytterfyld prædict. quæ nunc sunt in tenura prædicti Hugonis Porter, Habendum et Tenendum omnia prædict. mesuagium cotagium gardinum pomarium terr. prat. et cætera premissa cum suis pertin. prædictis Adæ Palmer et Hugoni Porter hæredibus et assign suis ad usum et opus mei prædicti Roberti Ardern et Agnetis nunc uxoris meæ pro termino vitæ nostrum eorundem Roberti et Agnetis ac diucius viventis nostrum, et post decessum diucius viventis nostrum prædictorum Roberti Ardern et Agnetis nunc uxoris meæ tunc ad usus et opus sequent: Scilicet unam terciam partem omnium prædict. mesuagii cotagii gardini pomarii terr. prat. et ceterorum premissorum cum suis pertin. ad usum et opus Margaretæ Webbe nunc uxoris Alexandri Webbe de Bereley filiæ mei prædicti Roberti Ardern ac hæredum et assign. ejusdem Margaretæ Webbe in perpetuum, et alteram terciam partem omnium eorundem mesuagii cotagii gardini pomarii terr. et cæterorum præmissorum cum suis pertin. ad usum et opus Jocosæ Ardern aliæ filiæ mei prædicti Roberti Ardern ac hæredibus et assign. ejusdem Jocosæ Ardern in perpetuum, Aliamque terciam partem omnium prædictorum mesuagii cotagii gardini pomarii terr. prat. et cæterorum præmissorum cum suis pertin. ad usum et opus Aliciæ Ardern aliæ filiæ mei prædicti Roberti Ardern ac hæredum et assign. ejusdem Aliciæ Ardern in perpetuum p.53 / de capitalibus dominis feodi ill. per serviciam inde prius debit. et de jure consuet. Et ego vero prædictus Robertus Ardern et hæredes mei omnia prædict. mesuagium cotagium gardinum pomarium terr. prat. et cætera præmissa cum suis pertin. præfatis Adæ Palmer et Hugoni Porter hæredibus et assign. suis ad usus et opus supradict. contra omnes gentes warantizabimus et in perpetuum defendemus per præsentes. Sciatis insuper me prædictum Robertum Ardern plenam et pacificam possessionem et seisinam de et in prædict. mesuag. cotag. gardin. pomar. terr. prat. et ceteris præmissis cum suis pertin. præfatis Adæ Palmer et Hugoni Porter ad usus et opus superius specificatus secundum vim formam tenorem et effectum hujus præsentis cartæ meæ triplic. indentat. inde eis confect. in propria persona mea tradidisse et liberasse. In cujus rei testimonium cuilibet parti hujus præsentis cartæ meæ tripart. indentat. sigillum meum apposui. Datum decimo septimo die Jullii anno regni domini Edwardi Sexti Dei gratia Angliæ ffranc. et Hibern. regis Fidei defensoris, et in terra ecclesiæ Anglicanæ et Hibernicæ supremi capitis quarto.

p.54 /


HE most elegant paper on Stratford, regarding it in its connexion with our great poet, is the production of an American. Washington Irving's essay on the subject is, indeed, so exquisitely written, that, after an attempt to embody his allusions in a separate production, so as to afford an opportunity for introducing the woodcuts, I decided on reprinting it entire, merely subjoining a few explanatory foot-notes. Transatlantic readers will probably not find fault with this. The Red Horse Inn, and its "little parlour", are now added to the attractions of Stratford; and no true American will turn his steps from the town without having seen the temporary abode of "Geoffrey Crayon." The enthusiasm in this respect has extended itself so far that, some time ago, a small party abstracted the poker from this apartment; and the landlord, remembering, perhaps, the relation of the theft committed by the "sworn brothers in filching", Nym and Bardolph,—"in Calais they stole a fire-shovel"—despaired of its return; but in a few days the missing implement was forwarded to its owner, inscribed with the magic line, Geoffrey Crayon's sceptre, and there it remains, a relic more authentic at least, if not as interesting, as Shakespeare's chair.

p.55 /

The Red Horse Inn, Stratford

O a homeless man, who has no spot on this wide world which he can truly call his own, there is a momentary feeling of something like independence and territorial consequence, when, after a weary day's travel, he kicks off his boots, thrusts his feet into slippers, and stretches himself before an inn fire. Let the world go as it may; let kingdoms rise and fall, so long as he has the wherewithal to pay his bill, he is, for the time being, the very monarch of all he surveys. The arm-chair is his throne, the poker his sceptre, and the little parlor, of some twelve feet square, his undisputed empire.*

   * "This chair shall be my state, this dagger my sceptre, and this cushion my crown".—1 Henry IV, act ii, sc. 4.

It is a morsel of certainty, snatched from the midst of the uncertainties of life; it is a sunny moment gleaming out kindly on a cloudy day; and he who has advanced some way on the pilgrimage p.56 / of existence, knows the importance of husbanding even morsels and moments of enjoyment. "Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn?" thought I, as I gave the fire a stir, lolled back in my elbow-chair, and cast a complacent look about the little parlour of the Red Horse at Stratford-upon-Avon.*

   * The little parlour here immortalized is the first room on the left entering the gateway of the inn, and immediately opposite Bridge Street.

The Parlour at the Red Horse Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Parlour at the Red Horse.

      The words of sweet Shakespeare were just passing through my mind as the clock struck midnight from the tower of the church in which he lies buried.†

   † It is not an agreeable, perhaps not a wise, task to disturb a poet's thoughts. Truth will destroy the poetry of this passage. The clock was that at the Old Market Cross, not at the church, which did not contain one.

There was a gentle tap at the door, and a pretty chambermaid, putting in her smiling face, inquired, with a hesitating air, whether I had rung.‡

   ‡ "Sally Gardiner, the zealous housekeeper of the establishment, regrets that she did not shew herself on this occasion to our author, for she it was who actually p.57 / rapped at the door, and by subsequently allowing pretty Hannah Cuppage to attend him with the bed-candle and warming-pan to No. 15 (immediately over the little parlour), lost an immortality from his pen. On a future visit, however, she still hopes to exclaim,—' 'Tis now midnight, and by eight o'clock to-morrow I may be made immortal.' Sally is in a state of single blessedness."—Captain Saunders' MSS. belonging to the Shaksperian Club, Stratford-on-Avon.

p.56 / I understood it as a modest hint that it was p.57 /

   The Jubilee Amphitheatre at Stratford-upon-Avon
The Jubilee Amphitheatre.

time to retire. My dream of absolute dominion was at an end; so abdicating my throne like a prudent potentate, to avoid being deposed, and putting the Stratford guide-book under my arm, as a pillow companion, I went to bed, and dreamt all night of Shakespeare, the jubilee, and David Garrick.
      The next morning was one of those quickening mornings which we sometimes have in early spring; for it was about the middle of March. The chills of a long winter had suddenly given way; the north wind had spent its last gasp; and a mild air came stealing from the west, breathing the breath of life into nature, and wooing every bud and flower to burst into fragrance and beauty.
      I had come to Stratford on a poetical pilgrimage. My first visit was to the house in which he was born, and where, according to tradition, he was brought up to his father's craft of wool-combing.
      It is a small, mean-looking edifice of wood and plaster; p.58 / a true nestling place of genius, which seems to delight in hatching its offspring in by-corners.
      The walls of its squalid chambers are covered with

Room in which Shakespeare was born
Room in which Shakespeare was born.

names and inscriptions, in every language, by pilgrims of all nations, ranks, and conditions, from the prince to the peasant, and present a simple, but striking instance of the spontaneous and universal homage of mankind to the great poet of nature.
      The house is shown by a garrulous old lady, in a frosty red face, lighted up by a cold blue anxious eye, and garnished with artificial locks of flaxen hair, curling from under an exceedingly dirty cap. She was peculiarly assiduous in exhibiting the relics with which this, like all other celebrated shrines, abounds. There was the shattered

  Shakespeare's Matchlock
Shakespeare's Matchlock
stock of the very match-lock with which Shakespeare shot the deer, on his poaching exploits. There too was his tobacco-box, which proves that he was a rival*

   * It is somewhat singular that no allusion to tobacco in any way should be found in Shakespeare. Ben Jonson and his contemporaries are constantly alluding to it.

smoker p.59 / of Sir Walter Raleigh; the sword, also, with which he

[Picture of a sword]

played Hamlet; and the identical lantern with which Friar

  [Picture of a wooden lantern with a key in its small door]
Laurence discovered Romeo and Juliet at the tomb! There was an ample supply, also, of Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, which seems to have as extraordinary powers of self-multiplication as the wood of the true cross, of which there is enough extant to build a ship of the line.
      The most favourite object of curiosity, however, is Shakespeare's chair. It stands in the chimney-nook

[Picture of a chair with a broken bottom rung in front]
of a small, gloomy chamber, just behind what was his father's shop.
      Here he may many a time have sat when a boy, watching the slowly revolving spit with all the longing of an urchin, or, of an evening, listening to the cronies and gossips of Stratford, dealing forth church-yard tales, and legendary anecdotes of the troublesome times of England. In this chair it is the custom of every one that visits the house to sit: whether this be done with the hope of imbibing any of the p.60 / inspiration of the bard I am at a loss to say, I merely mention the fact; and mine hostess privately assured me

The room behind the shop at the Birth-place
The room behind the shop at the Birth-place

that, though built of solid oak, such was the fervent zeal of devotees, that the chair had to be new-bottomed at least once in three years. It is worthy of notice also, in the history of this extraordinary chair, that it partakes something of the volatile nature of the Santa Casa of Loretto, or the flying-chair of the Arabian enchanter; for though sold some few years since to a northern princess, yet, strange to tell, it has found its way back again to the old chimney-corner.

The shop at Shakespeare's birth-place
The shop at Shakespeare's birth-place

      I am always of easy faith in such matters, and ever willing to be deceived, where the deceit is pleasant, and p.61 / costs nothing. I am, therefore, a ready believer in relics, legends, and local anecdotes, of goblins and great men; and would advise all travellers who travel for their gratification to be the same. What is it to us, whether these stories be true or false, so long as we can persuade ourselves into the belief of them, and enjoy all the charms of the reality? There is nothing like resolute, good-humoured credulity in these matters, and on this occasion I went even so far as willingly to believe the claims of mine hostess to a lineal descent from the poet, when, unluckily for my faith, she put into my hands a play of her own composition which set all belief in her consanguinity at defiance.
      From the birth-place of Shakespeare, a few paces brought me to his grave. He lies buried in the chancel of the parish church; a large and venerable pile, mouldering with age, but richly ornamented. It stands on the banks of the Avon, on an embowered point, and separated by adjoining gardens from the suburbs of the Avon. Its situation is quiet and retired; the river runs murmuring at the foot of the churchyard, and the elms, which grow upon its banks, droop their branches into its clear bosom.
      An avenue of limes, the boughs of which are curiously interlaced, so as to form in summer an arched way of foliage, leads up from the gate of the yard to the church porch.
      The graves are overgrown with grass; the grey tombstones, some of them nearly sunk into the earth, are half covered with moss, which has likewise tinted the reverend p.62 / old building. Small birds have built their nests among the cornices and fissures of the walls, and keep up a continual flutter and chirping; and rooks are sailing and cawing about its lofty grey spire.
      In the course of my rambles I met with the grey-headed sexton, and accompanied him home to get the key of the church. He had lived in Stratford, man and boy, for eighty years, and seemed still to consider himself a vigorous man, with the trivial exception that he had nearly lost the use of his legs for a few years past. His dwelling was a cottage, looking out upon the Avon and its bordering

meadows; and was a picture of that neatness, order, and comfort, which pervade the humblest dwellings in this country. A low, white-washed room, with a stone-floor carefully scrubbed, served for parlour, kitchen, and hall. Rows of pewter and earthen dishes glittered along the dresser. On an old oaken table, well rubbed and polished, lay the family Bible and Prayer Book, and the drawer contained the family library, composed of about half a p.63 / score of well-thumbed volumes. An ancient clock, that important article of cottage furniture, ticked on the opposite side of the room; with a bright warming-pan hanging on one side of it, and the old man's horn-handled Sunday cane on the other. The fire-place, as usual, was wide, and deep enough to admit a gossip knot within its jambs. In

one corner sat the old man's granddaughter sewing, a pretty blue-eyed girl,—and in the opposite corner was a superannuated crony, whom he addressed by the name of John Ange, and who I found had been his companion from childhood.
      They had played together in infancy; they had worked together in manhood; they were now tottering about and gossiping away the evening of life, and in a short time they will probably be buried together in the neighbouring churchyard.*

   * As might be anticipated, this prophecy has long ere this been fulfilled. John Ange died on October 11th, 1824. The name of Ange has belonged to Stratford for many generations, and some of his ancestors were known, no doubt, to Shakespeare.

It is not often that we see two streams of p.64 / existence running thus evenly and tranquilly side by side; it is only in such quiet "bosom scenes" of life that they are to be met with. I had hoped to gather some traditionary anecdotes of the bard from these chroniclers, but they had nothing new to impart. The long interval during which Shakespeare's writings lay in comparative neglect has spread its shadow over his history, and it is his good, or evil lot, that scarcely anything remains to his biographers but a scanty handful of conjectures.
      The sexton, and his companion, had been employed as carpenters on the preparations for the celebrated Stratford Jubilee; and they remembered Garrick the prime mover of the fête, who superintended the arrangements, and who, according to the sexton, was a "short, punch man, very lively, and bustling".
      John Ange had assisted, also, in cutting down Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, of which he had a morsel in his pocket for sale; no doubt a sovereign quickener of literary conception. I was grieved to hear these two worthy wights speak very dubiously of the eloquent dame who shows the Shakespeare house. John Ange shook his head when I mentioned her valuable and inexhaustible collection of relics, particularly her remains of the mulberry-tree; and the old sexton even expressed a doubt as to Shakespeare having been born in her house.
      I soon discovered that he looked upon her mansion with an evil eye, as a rival to the poet's tomb; the latter having, comparatively, but few visitors. Thus it is that historians differ at the very outset, and mere pebbles make p.65 / the stream of truth diverge into different channels, even at the fountain head.
      We approached the church through the avenue of limes, and entered by a gothic porch, highly ornamented, with carved doors of massive oak. The interior is spacious, and the architecture and embellishments superior to those of most country churches. There are several ancient monuments of nobility and gentry; over some of which hang funeral escutcheons, and banners dropping piecemeal from the walls. The tomb of Shakespeare is in the chancel. The place is solemn and sepulchral. Tall elms wave before the painted windows, and the Avon, which runs at a short distance from the walls, keeps up a low perpetual murmur. A flat stone marks the spot where the bard is buried. There are four lines inscribed on it, said to have been written by himself, and which have in them something extremely awful. If they are indeed his own, they show that solicitude about the quiet of the grave which seems natural to fine sensibilities, and thoughtful minds.

Good friend, for Jesus' sake, forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be he that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
      Just over the grave, in a niche of the wall, is a bust of Shakespeare, put up shortly after his death, and considered as a resemblance. The aspect is pleasant and serene, with a finely arched forehead, and I thought I could read in it clear indications*

   * Washington Irving is right; but can any one trace them in the cooked p.66 / Chandos portrait, which, though probably the representation of some old Dutchman, has been palmed on the world by well-meaning but too credulous judges as a genuine likeness of the poet.

p.65 / of that cheerful, social disposition p.66 / by which he was as much characterized among his contemporaries, as by the vastness of his genius. The inscription mentions his age at the time of his decease,—fifty-three years; an untimely death for the world, for what fruit might not have been expected from the golden autumn of such a mind, sheltered as it was from the stormy vicissitudes of life, and flourishing in the sunshine of popular and royal favour.
      The inscription on the tomb-stone has not been without its effect. It has prevented the removal of his remains from the bosom of his native place to Westminster Abbey, which was at one time contemplated. A few years since, also, as some labourers were digging to make an adjoining vault, the earth caved in, so as to leave a vacant space almost like an arch, through which one might have reached into his grave. No one, however, presumed to meddle with his remains, so awfully guarded by a malediction; and lest any of the idle, or curious, or any collector of relics, should be tempted to commit depredations, the old sexton kept watch over the place for two days, until the vault was finished, and the aperture closed again. He told me that he had made bold to look in at the hole, but could see neither coffin nor bones, nothing but dust. It was something I thought to have seen the dust of Shakespeare.
      Next to this grave are those of his wife, his favourite p.67 / daughter, Mrs. Hall, and others of his family. On a tomb close by, also, is a full length effigy of his friend, John Combe, of usurious memory: on whom he is said to have written a ludicrous epitaph. There are other monuments around, but the mind refuses to dwell on anything that is not connected with Shakespeare. His idea pervades the place; the whole pile seems but as his mausoleum. The feelings, no longer checked and thwarted by doubt, here indulge in perfect confidence: other traces of him may be false and dubious, but here is palpable evidence and absolute certainty. As I trod the sounding pavement, there was something intense and thrilling in the idea, that, in very truth, the remains of Shakespeare were mouldering beneath my feet. It was a long time before I could prevail upon myself to leave the place; and, as I passed through the churchyard, I plucked a branch from one of the yew-trees, the only relic that I have brought from Stratford.
      I had now visited the usual objects of a pilgrim's devotion, but I had a desire to see the old family seat of the Lucys, at Charlecote, and to ramble through the park, where Shakespeare, in company with some of the roysters of Stratford, committed the youthful offence of deer-stealing. In this hair-brained exploit we are told that he was taken prisoner, and carried to the keeper's lodge, where he remained all night in doleful captivity. When brought into the presence of Sir Thomas Lucy, his treatment must have been most galling and humiliating, for it so wrought upon his spirit as to produce a rough pasquinade, which was affixed to the park-gate at Charlecote.

p.68 /

The keeper's lodge at Charlecote
The Keeper's Lodge at Charlecote.

      This flagitious attack upon the dignity of the knight so incensed him, that he applied to a lawyer at Warwick to put the severity of the laws in force against the rhyming deer-stalker. Shakespeare did wait to brave the united puissance of a knight of the shire, and a country attorney. He forthwith abandoned the pleasant banks of the Avon and his paternal trade; wandered away to London; became a hanger-on to the theatres, then an actor, and finally wrote for the stage; and thus,through the persecution of Sir Thomas Lucy, Stratford lost an indifferent woolcomber, and the world gained an immortal poet. He retained, however, for a long time, a sense of the harsh treatment of the lord of Charlecote, and revenged himself in his writings, but in the sportive way of a good-natured mind. Sir Thomas is said to be the original of Justice Shallow, and the satire is slily fixed upon him by the justice's armorial bearings, which, like those of the knight, had white luces in the quarterings.
      Various attempts have been made by his biographers to soften, and explain away, this early transgression of the poet; but I look upon it as one of those thoughtless p.69 / exploits, natural to his situation and turn of mind.*

   * The direct evidence afforded by the Merry Wives of Windsor, that a misunderstanding of some kind had taken place between Sir T. Lucy and Shakespeare, gives this tradition a greater appearance of authenticity than any other relating to the great dramatist.

Shakespeare, when young, had, doubtless, all the wildness and irregularity of an ardent, undisciplined, and undirected genius. The poetic temperament has naturally something in it of the vagabond. When left to itself, it runs loosely and wildly, and delights in everything eccentric and licentious. It is often the turn up of a die, in the gambling freaks of fate, whether a natural genius shall turn out a great rogue, or a great poet, and had not Shakespeare's mind fortunately taken a literary bias, he might have as daringly transcended all civil, as he has all dramatic laws.
      I have little doubt that, in early life, when running, like an unbroken colt, about the neighbourhood of Stratford, he was to be found in the company of all kinds of anomalous characters, that he associated with all the madcaps of the place, and was one of those unlucky urchins at mention of whom old men shake their heads, and predict that they will come one day to the gallows. To him the poaching in Sir Thomas Lucy's park was, doubtless, like a foray to a Scottish knight, and struck his eager, and as yet untamed imagination, as something delightfully adventurous.
      The old mansion of Charlecote, and its surrounding park, still remain in the possession of the Lucy family, and are particularly interesting from being connected with p.70 / this whimsical but eventful circumstance in the scanty history of the bard. As the house stood at little more than three miles distance from Stratford I resolved to pay it a pedestrian visit, that I might stroll leisurely through some of those scenes from which Shakespeare must have derived his earliest ideas of rural imagery.

The old mansion of Charlecote
The old mansion of Charlecote

      The country was yet naked and leafless; but English scenery is verdant, and the sudden change in the temperature of the weather was surprising in its quickening effects upon the landscape.
      It was inspiring and animating to witness this first awakening of spring, to feel its warm breath stealing over the senses, to see the moist mellow earth beginning to put forth the green sprout and the tender blade, and the trees and shrubs, in their reviving tints and bursting buds, giving the promise of returning foliage and flower. The cold snow-drop, that little borderer on the skirts of winter, was to be seen with its chaste white blossoms in the small p.71 / gardens before the cottages. The bleating of the new-dropt lambs was faintly heard from the fields. The sparrow twittered about the thatched eaves and budding hedges; the robin threw a livelier note into his late querulous wintry strain; and the lark, springing up from the reeking bosom of the meadow, towered away into the bright fleecy cloud, pouring forth torrents of melody. As I watched the little songster, mounting up higher and higher, until his body was a mere speck on the white bosom of the cloud, while the ear was still filled with his music, it called to mind Shakespeare's exquisite little song in Cymbeline:—

Hark ! hark ! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
   And Phœbus 'gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs
   On chaliced flowers that lies.

And winking Mary-buds begin
   To ope their golden eyes,
With every thing that pretty bin;
   My lady sweet, arise !

Indeed the whole country about here is poetic ground; everything is associated with the idea of Shakespeare. Every old cottage that I saw, I fancied into some resort of his boyhood, where he had acquired his intimate knowledge of rustic life and manners, and heard those legendary tales and wild superstitions which he has woven, like witchcraft, into his dramas. For in his time, we are told, it was a popular amusement in winter evenings "to sit round the fire, and tell merry tales of errant knights, queens, lovers, lords, ladies, giants, dwarfs, thieves, cheaters, witches, fairies, goblins, and friars".

p.72 /

      My route for a part of the way lay in sight of the Avon, which made a variety of the most fanciful doublings and windings through a wide and fertile valley; sometimes glittering from among willows, which fringed its borders; sometimes disappearing among groves, or beneath green banks, and sometimes rambling out into full view, and making an azure sweep round a slope of meadow land. This beautiful bosom of country is called the Vale of the Red Horse. A distant line of undulating blue hills seems to be its boundary, whilst all the soft intervening landscape lies in a manner enchained in the silver links of the Avon.
      After pursuing the road for about three miles I turned off into a foot-path, which led along the borders of fields, and under hedge-rows, to a private gate of the park; there was a stile, however, for the benefit of the pedestrian, there being a public right of way through the grounds. I delight in these hospitable estates, in which every one has a kind of property—at least as far as the foot-path is concerned. It in some measure reconciles a poor man to his lot, and what is more, to the better lot of his neighbour, thus to have parks and pleasure grounds thrown open for his recreation. He breathes the pure air as freely, and lolls as luxuriously under the shade, as the lord of the soil; and if he has not the privilege of calling all he sees his own, he has not, at the same time, the trouble of paying for it, and keeping it in order.
      I now found myself among noble avenues of oaks and elms, whose vast size bespoke the growth of centuries. p.73 / The wind sounded solemnly among their branches, and the rooks cawed from their hereditary nests in the tree-tops. The eye ranged through a long lessening vista, with nothing but a distant statue, and a vagrant deer stalking like a shadow across the opening.
      There is something about these stately old avenues that has the effect of gothic architecture, not merely from the pretended similarity of form, but from their bearing the evidence of long duration, and of having had their origin in a period of time with which we associate ideas of romantic grandeur. They betoken also the long-settled dignity, and proudly concentrated independence of an ancient family; and I have heard a worthy, but aristocratic old friend observe, when speaking of the sumptuous palaces of modern gentry, that "money could do much with stone and mortar; but, thank Heaven ! there was no such thing as suddenly building up an avenue of oaks."
      It was from wandering in early life among this rich scenery, and about the romantic solitudes of the adjoining park of Fullbroke, which then formed a part of the Lucy estate, that some of Shakespeare's commentators have supposed he derived his noble forest meditations of Jaques, and the enchanting woodland pictures in As you like it. It is in lonely wanderings through such scenes that the mind drinks deep, but quiet, draughts of inspiration, and becomes intensely sensible of the beauty and majesty of nature. The imagination kindles into reverie and rapture; vague, but exquisite images and ideas keep breaking upon it, and we revel in a mute and almost incommunicable luxury of p.74 / thought. It was in some such mood, and perhaps under one of those very trees before me, which threw their broad shades over the grassy banks and quivering waters of the Avon, that the poet's fancy may have sallied forth into that little song, which breathes the very soul of a rural voluptuary:—

   Under the greenwood tree,
   Who loves to lie with me,
   And tune his merry throat
   Unto the sweet bird's note?
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
      Here shall he see
      No enemy,
But winter and rough weather.

      I had now come in sight of the house. It is a large building of brick with stone quoins, and is in the gothic style of Queen Elizabeth's day, having been built in the first year of her reign. The exterior remains very nearly in its original state, and may be considered a fair specimen of the residence of a wealthy country gentleman of those days. A great gateway opens from the park into a kind of court-yard, in front of the house, ornamented with a grass plot, shrubs, and flower beds. The gateway is in imitation of the ancient barbican; being a kind of outpost, and flanked by towers, though evidently for mere ornament instead of defence.
      The front of the house is completely in the old style; with stone-shafted casements, a great bow-window of heavy stone work, and a portal with armorial bearings over it, p.75 / carved in stone. At each corner of the building is an octagon tower surmounted by a gilt ball and weathercock.
      The Avon, which winds through the park, makes a bend just at the foot of a gently sloping bank, which sweeps down from the rear of the house. Large herds of deer were feeding or reposing upon its borders, and swans were sailing majestically upon its bosom. As I contemplated the venerable old mansion, I called to mind Falstaff's encomium on Justice Shallow's abode, and the affected indifference and real vanity of the latter:—

Falstaff.—You have here a goodly dwelling, and a rich.
Shallow.—Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all,
   Sir John:—marry, good sir.

      Whatever may have been the joviality of the old mansion in the days of Elizabeth, it had now an air of stillness and solitude. The great iron-gateway, that opened into the court-yard, was locked; there was no show of servants bustling about the place; the deer gazed quietly at me as I passed, being no longer hurried by the moss-troopers of Stratford. The only sign of domestic life that I met with was a white cat, stealing with wary look and stealthy pace towards the stables, as if on some nefarious expedition. I must not omit to mention the carcass of a scoundrel crow which I saw suspended against the barn wall, as it shows that the Lucys still inherit that lordly abhorrence of poachers, and maintain that rigorous exercise of territorial power, which was so strenuously manifested in the case of the bard.

p.76 /

      After prowling about for some time, I at length found my way to a lateral portal, which was the every day entrance to the mansion.
      I was courteously received by a worthy old housekeeper, who, with the civility and communicativeness of her order, showed me the interior of the house. The greater part has undergone alterations, and been adapted to modern tastes, and modes of living: there is a fine old oaken staircase, and the great hall, that noble feature in an ancient manor-house, still retains much of the appearance it must have had in the days of Shakespeare. The ceiling is arched and lofty, and at one end is a gallery, in which stands an organ. The weapons and trophies of the chase, which formerly adorned the hall of a country gentleman, have made way for family portraits. There is a wide hospitable fire-place, calculated for an ample old-fashioned wood-fire, formerly the rallying place of winter festivity. On the opposite side of the hall is the huge gothic bow-window, with stone-shafts, which looks out upon the court-yard. Here are emblazoned, in stained-glass, the armorial bearings for many generations, some being dated in 1558. I was delighted to observe in the quarterings the three white luces, by which the character of Sir Thomas was first identified with that of Justice Shallow. They are mentioned in the first scene of the Merry Wives of Windsor, where the justice is in a rage with Falstaff, for having "beaten his men, killed his deer, and broken into his lodge". The poet had, no doubt, the offences of himself and his comrades in mind at the time, and we may suppose the family pride and vindictive threats p.77 / of the puissant Shallow to be a caricature of the pompous indignation of Sir Thomas.

   Shallow.  Sir Hugh, persuade me not; I will make a star-chamber matter of it; if he were twenty Sir John Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.
   Slender.  In the county of Gloster justice of the peace, and coram.
   Shallow.  Ay, cousin Slender, and custalorum.
   Slender.  Ay, and ratolorum too, and a gentleman born, master parson; who writes himself Armigero; in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, Armigero.
   Shallow.  Ay, that I do, and have done any time these three hundred years.
   Slender.  All his successors gone before him have done 't, and all his ancestors that come after him may; they may give the dozen white luces in their coat. * * *
   Shallow.  The council shall hear it; it is a riot.
   Evans.  It is not meet the council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot; the council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments in that.
   Shallow.  Ha ! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it !

Near the window thus emblazoned hung a portrait, by Sir Peter Lely, of one of the Lucy family, a great beauty of the time of Charles the Second: the old housekeeper shook her head as she pointed to the picture, and informed me that this lady had been sadly addicted to cards, and had gambled away a great portion of the family estate, among which was that part of the park where Shakespeare and his comrades had killed the deer. The lands thus lost had not been entirely regained by the family even at the present day. It is but justice to this recreant dame to confess that she had a surpassingly fine hand and arm.
      The picture which most attracted my attention was a great painting over the fire-place, containing likenesses of Sir Thomas Lucy and his family, who inhabited the hall in the latter part of Shakespeare's life-time. I at first p.78 / thought that it was the vindictive knight himself, but the housekeeper assured me that it was his son; the only likeness extant of the former being an effigy upon his tomb in the church of the neighbouring hamlet of Charlecote. The picture gives a lively idea of the costume and manners of the time. Sir Thomas is dressed in ruff and doublet; white shoes with roses in them; and has a peaked yellow, or as Master Slender would say, "a cane-coloured beard". His lady is seated on the opposite side of the picture, in wide ruff, and long stomacher, and the children have a most venerable stiffness and formality of dress. Hounds and spaniels are mingled in the family group; a hawk is seated on his perch in the foreground, and one of the children holds a bow;—all intimating the knight's skill in hunting, hawking, and archery—so indispensable to an accomplished gentleman in those days.
      I regretted to find that the ancient furniture of the hall had disappeared, for I had hoped to meet with the stately elbow-chair of carved oak, in which the country squire of former days was wont to sway the sceptre of empire over his rural domains; and in which, it might be presumed, the redoubted Sir Thomas sat enthroned in awful state when the recreant Shakespeare was brought before him. As I like to deck out pictures for my own entertainment, I pleased myself with the idea that this very hall had been the scene of the unlucky bard's examination on the morning after his captivity in the lodge. I fancied to myself the rural potentate, surrounded by his body-guard of butler, pages, and blue-coated serving-men p.79 / with their badges; while the luckless culprit was brought in, forlorn and chapfallen, in the custody of game-keepers, huntsmen, and whippers in, and followed by a rabble rout of country clowns. I fancied bright faces of curious housemaids peeping from the half-opened doors, while from the gallery the fair daughters of the knight leaned gracefully forward, eyeing the youthful prisoner with that pity "that dwells in womanhood".
      Who would have thought that this poor varlet, thus trembling before the brief authority of a county squire, and the sport of rustic boors, was soon to become the delight of princes; the theme of all tongues and ages; the dictator to the human mind; and was to confer immortality on his oppressor by a caricature, or a lampoon!
      I was now invited, by the butler, to walk into the garden; and I felt inclined to visit the orchard and arbour where the justice treated Sir John Falstaff and cousin Slender "to a last year's pippin of his own graffing, with a dish of carraways"; but I had already spent so much of the day in my ramblings that I was obliged to give up any further investigations. When about to take my leave, I was gratified by the civil entreaties of the housekeeper and butler, that I would take some refreshment; an instance of good old hospitality, which, I grieve to say, we castle-hunters seldom meet with in modern days. I make no doubt it is a virtue which the present representative of the Lucys inherits from his ancestors; for Shakespeare, even in his caricature, makes Justice Shallow importunate in this respect, as witness his pressing instances to Falstaff,—

   By cock and pye, sir, you shall not away to night. . . . I will not excuse you; p.80 / you shall not be excused; excuses shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you shall not be excused. . . . . Some pigeons, Davy; a couple of short-legged hens; a joint of mutton; and any pretty little tiny kick-shaws, tell William Cook.

      I now bade a reluctant farewell to the old hall. My mind had become so completely possessed by the imaginary scenes and characters connected with it, that I seemed to be actually living among them. Everything brought them, as it were, before my eyes, and as the door of the dining-room opened I almost expected to hear the feeble voice of Master Silence quavering forth his favourite sally:—

'Tis merry in the hall, when beards wag all,
   And welcome merry Shrove-tide.

      On returning to my inn, I could not but reflect on the singular gift of the poet; to be able thus to spread the magic of his mind over the very face of nature; to give things and places a charm and character not their own, and to turn this "working-day world" into a perfect fairyland. He is indeed the true enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the senses, but upon the imagination and the heart. Under the vizard influence of Shakespeare I had been walking all day in a complete delusion. I had surveyed the landscape through the prism of poetry, which tinged every object with the hues of the rainbow. I had been surrounded with fancied beings, with mere airy nothings, conjured up by poetic power, yet which, to me, had all the charm of reality. I had heard Jacques soliloquize beneath his oak; had beheld the fair Rosalind, and her companion, adventuring through the woodlands; and, above all, had been once more present, in spirit, with fat Jack Falstaff and his contemporaries, from the august p.81 / Justice Shallow down to the gentle Master Slender, and the sweet Anne Page.
      Ten thousand honours and blessings on the bard who has thus gilded the dull realities of life with innocent illusions; who has spread exquisite and unbought pleasures in my chequered path, and beguiled my spirit, in many a lonely hour, with all the cordial and cheerful sympathies of social life !
      As I crossed the bridge over the Avon, on my return, I paused to contemplate the distant church in which the poet lies buried, and could not but exult in the malediction which has kept his ashes undisturbed in its quiet and hallowed vaults. What honour could his name have derived from being mingled, in dusty companionship, with the epitaphs, and escutcheons and venal eulogiums of a titled multitude? What would a crowded corner in Westminster Abbey have been, compared with this reverend pile, which seems to stand in beautiful loneliness as his sole mausoleum! The solicitude about the grave may be but the offspring of an over-wrought sensibility; but human nature is made up of foibles and prejudices, and the best and tenderest affections are mingled with these factitious feelings. He who has sought renown about the world, and has reaped a full harvest of worldly favour, will find, after all, that there is no love, no admiration, no applause, so sweet to the soul, as that which springs up in his native place. It is there that he seeks to be gathered, in peace and honour, among his kindred and his early friends. And when the weary heart and failing head begin to warn him that the p.82 / evening of life is drawing on, he turns as fondly, as does the infant to the mother's arms, to sink to sleep in the bosom of the scene of his childhood.
      How would it have cheered the spirit of the youthful bard, when, wandering forth in disgrace upon a doubtful world, he cast back a heavy look upon his paternal home, could he have foreseen that, before many years, he should return to it covered with renown; that his name should become the boast and glory of his native place; that his ashes should be religiously guarded as its most precious treasure; and that its lessening spire, on which his eyes were fixed in tearful contemplation, should one day become the beacon, towering amidst the gentle landscape, to guide the literary pilgrim of every nation to his tomb!


OME years ago, it was the Editor's good fortune to meet with a manuscript copy of this play, transcribed about the middle of the seventeenth century, containing many hundred readings not to be found in any printed edition. This remarkable and valuable document, one of the only two early manuscripts of any of Shakespeare's plays known to exist, was purchased from an eminent bookseller, the late Mr. T. Rodd, who, not having considered it worth an attentive examination and collation, described it as a mere transcript from oen of the folio editions. This description, if correct, invested the volume with little, if any intrinsic p.83 / value; and the MS. remained many months in my possession before it occurred to me to test the accuracy of the bookseller's account. When I did so, little examination was required before the unexpected fact that it was a perfectly independent text was confirmed; a discovery of no little importance, for here was, no doubt, a copy of one of the long-lost playhouse versions. It may be interesting to the critical reader, to have a complete scene exactly as it stands in this manuscript, any one of which would suffice to establish the truth of the above statement; and I am the [lit.] rather disposed to do so, because Mr. Collier, in an unsupported conjecture (for the MS. has never been examined by that Editor) persists in considering it as a transcript from the folio. Random conjectures of this kind are productive of serious evil, and when adventured without sufficient grounds, as in the present instance, the facility with which they are disproved, only tends to excite surprise at the temerity with which they have been advanced. An account of the MS. was published in 1843, under the title of "An Account of the only known Manuscript of Shakespeare's Plays," 8vo. Since that period, another early copy of one of them was discovered in the archives of Sir Edward Dering, Bart., and, with great liberality, confided to the care of the Editor of the present volume.

Enter Evans, Simple, Page, Shallow, Slender, Host, Caius,
      Evans. I pray you, now, goot Mar. Slender's serving-man, and Friend Simple py your name; wch. way have you p.84 / looked for Mr. Caius, that call's himself Doctor of physick?
      Simple. Marry, sir, the pitty-wary, the park-ward; every way; Old Windsor-way, and ev'ry way but the Townway.
      Evan. I most fehemently desire you, you will also look that way.
      Simple. I will, sir.
      Evan. 'Plesse my soul; how full of chollers I am, and trempling of mind: I shall pe glat if he hafe deceivet me: how melanchollies I am! I will knog his urinalls apout his knave's costart, when I hafe goot opportunities for the 'orke: 'Plesse my soul: sings:
To shallow Rifers to whose Falls
Melotious Birts sing Matricalls:
There will me make our Peds of Roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies.
      To shallow, I hafe, 'mercy on me, a great tisposition to cry! sing's:
Melotious Birds sing Matrigalls:
When as I sat in Pabilon:
And a thousand vagram Poses.
To shallow, &c.
      Simple. Yonder he is comeing, this way, Mar. Parson.
      Evan. He's welcom :
To shallow Rifers, to whose Falls, &c.
Heav'n prosper the Right: what wepons is he?
      Simple. No weapons, sir: There comes my Mar., Mar. Shallow, and another Gentleman from Frogmore, over the stile, this way.

p.85 /

      Evan. Pray you gife me my Town, or else keep it in your Arms.

Enter All.
      Shallow. How now, Mar. Parson ? good morrow, good Sr. Priest: keep a gamster from the dice, and a good studient from his book, and it is wonderfull.
      Slender. Ah! Sweet Anne Page.
      Page. Save you, good Sr. Hugh.
      Evan. 'Pless you from his mercy sak, all of you.
      Shallow. What? ye Sword and ye word, do you study them both, Mar. Parson?
      Page. And youthfull still, in your doublet and hose, this raw rumatick day?
      Evan. There is reasons and causes for it.
      Page. We are come to you to do a good office, Mr. Parson.
      Evan. Fery well; what is it?
      Page. Yonder is a most reverend gentleman, who (belike) having received wrong by some person, is at most ods with his own gravity and patience that ever you saw.
      Shallow. I have liv'd 4 score years and upward; I never heard a man of his place, gravity, and learning, so wide of his own respect.
      Evan. What is he?
      Page. I think you know him: Mar. Dr. Caius, the renowned French Phisitian.
      Evan. Got's will and his passion of my hart! I hat as liff you woo't tell me of a mess of porridg.
      Page. Why?

p.86 /

      Evan. He has no more knowledge in Hibocrates and Galen, and he is a knafe besides: a cowardly knave as you woult tesire to be acquaint with all.
      Page. I warrant you he's ye man yt should fight with him.
      Slender. O sweet Anne Page.

Enter Caius.
      Shallow. It appear's so by his weapons; keep them asunder; here comes Dr. Caius.
      Page. Nay, good Mr. Parson, keep in your weapon.
      Shallow. So do you, good Mr. Dr.
      Host. Disarm them, and let them question: let ym keep their limbs whole, and hack our English.
      Caius. I pray you let-a-me speak a word wt your eare. Vherefor vill you not meet-a-me?
      Evan. Pray you vse yor patience in goot time.
      Caius. By gar, you are de coward; de Jack dog; John Ape.
      Evan. Pray you let vs not be laughing-stocks to other mens humors; I desire you in friendship, and I will one way or other make you amends; I will knog yor vrinall about yor knaves cogscomb.
      Caius. Diable, Jack Rugby, mine host de Jarteer, have I not stay for him to kill him? have I not, at de place I did appoint?
      Evan. As I am a Xians-soul, now look you: this is the place appointed, I'le be judgment by mine Host of the Garter.

p.87 /

      Host. Peace, I say, Gallia and Wallia, French and Welch, Soul-Curer and Body-Curer.
      Caius. I, dat is very good, excellaunt.
      Host. Peace, I say; hear mine Host of the Garter; am I politick? am I subtle ? am I machivell? shall I loose my Doctor? No. He gives me the potions and ye motions. Shall I loose my Parson ? my Priest ? my Sr. Hugh ? No, he gives me the Proverbs and the No-verbs. Give me thy hand (celestiall) so; Boys of Art, I have deceiv'd you both; I have directed you to wrong places; your hearts are mighty, your skins are whole, and let burnt-sack be the issue. Come, lay their Swords to pawne; Follow me, lad of peace, follow, follow.
      Shallow. Trust me, a mad host: follow, Gent.
      Slender. O sweet Ann Page.
      Caius. Ha' do perceive dat? Have you make-a-desott of vs, ha ha?
      Evan. This is well, he has made vs his vlowting-stog; I desire yt we may be Friends, and let vs knog our prains together to be revenge on this scurvy cogging companion the Host of the Garter.
      Caius. By gar, with all my heart; he promise me where is Ann Page; by gar, he deceive a-me too.
      Evan. Well, I will smite noddles. Pray follow.

p.88 /


T is with peculiar pleasure I am enabled to make these pages the means of perpetuating a rural scene, which, if not absolutely a Shakespearian relic, is a remnant far too graceful not to be appreciated by every pilgrim who, in his solitary musings in Stratford and its neighbourhood, has desired to bring to his mind the reality of the country as it existed in the days of the great poet, and regretted how much the difficulty of doing so is increased by even recent alterations. We cannot, indeed, expect that valuable improvements should give way to antiquarian associations; but it is surprising that the inhabitants of a locality which owes its sole attraction to the footsteps of one individual, should not be more solicitous to preserve the traces of his paths unmolested. Our readers will thank Mr. Fairholt for the very interesting letter he has kindly communicated on this subject, and for the elegant woodcut which accompanies it.
Y DEAR SIR.—The localities which connect themselves with Shakespeare's life in Stratford-on-Avon and the immediate neighbourhood, are now so few, that, like the other mementoes of our greatest poet, they become double dear from their rarity: and the eagerness with which an
         idolatrous fancy
Would consecrate his relics,

p.89 /

is pardonable in all enthusiastic admirers of the bard. But in spite of the sanctity which should invest such things, and which gives to his natal town an interest and an importance to which it could never otherwise lay claim; and attractive enough to induce visitors from the farthest regions of the civilized world; the spirit of renovation and change has altered or obliterated much that would gratify such earnest pilgrims. It is exactly eleven years ago since I first visited Stratford, and made some few sketches there;

a visit I afterwards repeated in September 1842, and I saw no differences; but on revisiting the town in the summer of 1847, I found a very important alteration had taken place in the court-yard of the grammar school where Shakespeare was educated, which had so entirely destroyed its original features that I was induced to set about securing notes and sketches of everything remaining in that town which connected itself with the poet, before a similar change occurred elsewhere. With this view I projected p.90 / and published the little illustrated hand-book, termed The Home of Shakspere. But there was one sketch, made in 1842, which I did not include in it, or in any other work with which I was connected, and which I now submit to you; it is the old wooden bridge which crossed the little brook immediately in the front of Anne Hathaway's cottage at Shottery. There is a field-path, a short mile in length, leading from Stratford to Shottery; the same that was trodden at "early morn and dewy eve" by the poet, in his love visits to his intended wife. "As you approach her house, a clear and ample brook crosses the road—an old wooden-bridge, affording accommodation for foot-passengers. Here we can imagine Shakespeare awaiting, at moon-rise, the coming of his Warwickshire lass, and weaving fancies as glorious as those which afterwards made him the idol of posterity". Such are the words of an enthusiastic describer of the scene in 1837; and it was with a similar feeling that I regarded this old bridge, and transferred its features to my sketch-book. Imagine my chagrin, when, in 1847, I found the old features of the grammar-school obliterated, and unrecorded, except in my own sketch; to find, also, on walking over to Shottery, "chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancies", this picturesque bridge entirely removed; and a brick-arch of narrowed dimensions, such as is made for a London sewer, occupying its place; the banks of the stream being contracted, and brick-bordering occupying the place of the wild water plants which once luxuriated on its banks. A row of the newest and plainest brick-cottages stared you in the face on the place where p.91 / grass and trees grew immediately in front of Anne's parental home; and the entire scene was modernized, or vulgarized, so thoroughly as to be totally distinct from my previous remembrance of its original features. Knowing how much you value all records of the kind, I therefore submit this sketch to your notice; and feel that in doing so I place it in the hands of one as competent to appreciate its interest as he has proved himself enthusiastic in homage to England's greatest bard.

Believe me, your's most sincerely,      
   21 Feb. 1850.


Small round box

HE tobacco-box, alluded to by Mr. Washington Irving, was taken away from Stratford by a son of Mrs. Hornby. It is a pocket-box of iron, and in the lid is inserted a burning-glass for igniting the "aromatic weed".
Open rectangular box of pocket-size.    
      The annexed cut represents a Spanish cardbox, embellished with the regal arms of King Philip, which is reported by the exhibitor to have been a present to Queen Elizabeth, and from her to Shakespeare!

p.92 /

      The real history of the lantern is, that Hart, the glazier, a descendant from the poet's sister, formed it out of the broken glass of the birth-place; which he inherited, and dwelt in. The following extract from a pamphlet by Mrs. Hornby, containing her account of the relics, may amuse the reader:—
      "William Shakspeare, the immortal poet, was born April 23rd, 1564; baptized, 26th; died, April 23rd, and buried, 26th, 1616, in the chancel of Stratford church. Joan Shakspeare, sister to William Shakspeare, married to William Hart, a hatter, in Stratford, he died in 1616. William Hart, their son, was a player, in London. He was instructed by William Shakspeare, his uncle. Buried March 22nd, 1639. Left issue Charles Hart, the celebrated comedian in the reign of Charles II. Shakspeare gave, by will, to his sister's descendant, his birth-place and other property, after the death of his grand-daughter.
      "To the memory of Thomas Hart, who was the fifth descendant in a direct line from Joan, eldest daughter of Joan Shakspeare, and sister to the immortal William Shakspeare. He died, May 23rd, 1793, aged 64. There is now surviving one daughter of Thomas Hart, Jane Iliff. And also four children of Mary, sister of Thomas Hart, viz., Joseph Mallison Smith, William Joan Smith, George and Sarah Smith. William Shakspeare Hart, John Hart, Sarah Hart, sons and daughter of John Hart.
      "Thomas Hart, son of Thomas Hart, was married September 15th, 1791, he had one daughter baptized, January 18th, 1793, who died young. Thomas Hart lived p.93 / in the house where Shakspeare was born, which was given him, and tied on his wife and her heirs. He requested Thomas Hornby, a relation by marriage, to take to the remains of the relics belonging to Shakspeare, and rent the house where Shakspeare was born, and take the things by valuation. The articles were valued by Thomas Taylor, auctioneer, of Stratford, May 20th, 1793; he lived there till his death, and his widow lived there till October, 1820, when she was compelled to leave by an extraordinary charge of rent. She now occupies a house nearly opposite.


      "The following articles, once the property of the great W
ILLIAM SHAKSPEARE, are now to be seen at the Shakspeare Museum, opposite his birth-place, by applying to Mary Hornby, and who alone can communicate to visitors many interesting particulars relative to the immortal bard.

      1. Shakspeare's Chair.
      2. A representation of David slaying Goliah, the Philistine, done in plaister, in 1606.—Upon it is inscribed the following lines, written by the bard himself:—

"Goliah comes with sword and spear,
   And David with his sling;
Altho' Goliah rage and swear,
   Down David doth him bring".
      3. A Spanish Card and Dice Box, surmounted with a pincushion. This valuable box was given to the poet by the Prince p.94 / of Castile, and has the prince's arms of Spain curiously embossed upon it.
      4. Part of a Spanish Matchlock. The remains of the identical piece that Shakspeare "shot the deer with" in Charlecote park.
      5. A piece of Mulberry-wood; part of the celebrated tree planted by the bard himself.
      6. Two Chairs, bearing the Southampton arms. These were given to the bard by his noble friend the Earl of Southampton.
      7. A small Oak Chair, made on purpose for Shakspeare's son, Hamlet.
      8. Shakspeare's Sword; a Spanish Toledo.
      9. The Iron Chest which contained Shakspeare's will.
    10. A large Spring lock, which locked the bard's room door.
    11. Carved Figures and Cornices belonging to Shakspeare's bedstead.
    12. A large carved Oak Chair, called Shakspeare's courting chair.
    13. A China Bowl, called the christening bowl.
    14. A Magnifying Glass.
    15. A Lanthorn, made of the remains of a window belonging to the poet's study, by a relation, during Shakspeare's lifetime.
    16. A Sick Glass, made from a model designed by Shakspeare.
    17. An old painting of Shakspeare and his Pegasus, or Flying Horse, under the celebrated crab-tree; done by his nephew.
    18. A gilded Torch Candlestick.
    19. A gold TissueToilet, or Table Cover ; a present to the bard from his friend and admirer, Queen Elizabeth.
    20. A Sallad Oil Bottle.

p.95 /

    21. A Goblet, with the arms of Shakspeare engraved upon it; made out of the highly-famed mulberry-tree.
    22. A Table, which Shakspeare wrote upon.
    23. Shakspeare's Wife's Slipper.
    24. Shakspeare's Walking-Stick."


OME years ago an attempt was made to present the poet's will in a form which should clearly exhibit to those who had not seen that interesting document, its original interlineations and corrections. The publisher, however, having discovered some errors in the transcription, carefully suppressed the tract; but finding, on examination, that the interlineations are very correctly given, as well as most of the corrections, I was induced, at the owner's death, to purchase the remaining copies, and I annex them to the present volume, pointing out here the chief blunders that the transcriber has made.
      The most portentous errors are those in the Latin sentences. Thus, at the commencement, unice should be nunc ;  Rx should be the letter R. with a contraction, of course standing for regis ;  Sextie should be Scotie ; and January should, of course, be Januarii. In the Latin at the end, we have Magistri Willielmi for Magistro Willielmo, etc. On p. 1, l. 27, we should have, are to paie her. Lower down, attaine should be att anie, the word time having been accidentally omitted in the original. At p. 2, p.96 / l. 7, the word her is cancelled in the manuscript. It will be observed that although these are, for the most part, very foolish blunders, they do not prevent the reader's having a much clearer view of the character of the original than in any edition of the will that has yet been published.

p.96 ]


      Vicesimo Quinto Die January insert markMtij Anno Regni Dni nri Jacobi unice Rx Anglie &c. Decimo Quarto & Sextie xlixo Annoq3 Dni 1616

T. Wmj Shackspeare
       In the name of god Amen I Willim Shackspeare of Stratford upon Avon in the countie of warr gent in pfect health & memorie god be praysed doe make & Ordayne this my last will & testamt in manñ & forme followeing That ys to saye ffirst I Comend my Soule into the hands of god my Creator hoping & assuredlie beleeving through th onelie meritts of Jesus Christe my Saviour to be made ptaker of lyfe everlastinge And my bodye to the Earth whereof yt ys made Itm I Gyve & bequeath unto my sonne & Daughter Judyth One hundred & ffyftie pounds of lawful English money to be paied unto her in manñ & forme followeing That ys to saye One hundred pounds insert markin discharge of her marriage porcon wthin one yeare after my deceas wth consideracon after the Rate of twoe Shillings in the pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbe unpaied unto her after my Deceas & the ffyftie pounds Residewe thereof upon her Surrendring insert markof or gyving of such sufficient securitie as the overseers of this my Will shall like of to Surrender or grante All her estate and Right that shall discend or come unto her after my deceas or insert markthat shee nowe hath of in or to one Copiehold teñte wth thapptenncs lyeing and being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaied in the saied countie of warr being pcell or holden of the mannor of Rowington unto my Daughter Susanna Hall & her heires for ever Itm I Gyve & bequeath unto my saied Daughter Judith One hundred & ffyftie pounds more if she or Anie issue of her bodie be Lyvinge att thend of three yeares next ensueing the Daie of the Date of this my Will during wch tyme my executors to paie her consideracon from my deceas according to the Rate aforesaied And if she Dye wthin the saied terme wthout issue of her bodye then my Will ys & I Doe gyve & bequeath One Hundred Pounds thereof to my neece Elizabeth Hall & the ffiftie Pounds to be sett fourth by my executors during the lief of my Sister Johane Harte & the use & pffitt thereof cominge shalbe payed to my saied Sister Ione & after her deceas the saied Ili shall Remaine Amongst the children of my saied Sister Equallie to be Devided Amongst them But if my said Daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the saied three yeares or anye yssue of her bodye then my will ys & soe I Devise & bequeath the saied Hundred & ffiftie pounds to be sett out insert markby my executors & overseers for the best benefitt of her & her issue & insert markthe Stock not insert markto be paied unto her soe long as She shalbe marryed & covert Baron by my executors & overseers but my will ys that she shall have the consideracon yearelie paied unto her during her lief & after her deceas the saied stock and consideracon to bee paied to her children if she have Anie & if not to her executorrs or assigns she lyving the saied terme after my deceas Provided that if such husbond as she shall att thend of the saied three yeares be marryed unto or attaine after doe sufficientle Assure unto her & thissue of her bodie lands Awnswereable to the porcon by this my will gyven unto her & to be adiudged soe by my executors & overseers then my will ys that the saied C lli shalbe paied to such husbond as shall make such assurance to hsi owne use Itm I gyve & bequeath unto my saied sister Ione xxli & all my wearing Apparrell to be paied & delivded wthin one yeare after my Deceas And I Doe will & devise unto her insert markthe house wth thapptenncs in Stratford wherein she dwelleth for her naturall lief under the yearlie Rent of xiid Itm I gyve & bequeath p.97 ] unto her three sonns Willim Harte        Hart & Michaell Harte ffyve pounds A peece to be payed wthin one yeare after my deceas to be sett out for her wthin one yeare after my deceas by my executorrs wth thadvise & direccons of my overseers for her best pffitt untill her marriage & then the same wth the increase thereof to be paied unto her Itm I gyve & bequeath unto her the saied Elizabeth Hall All my Plate insert mark(except my brod silver & gilt bole) that I now have att the date of this my will Itm I gyve & bequeath unto the Poore of Stratford aforesaied tenn pounds to Mr. Thomas Combe my Sword to Thomas Russell Esquier ffyve pounds & to ffrauncis Collins of the Borough of warr in the countie of warr gent thirteene pounds Sixe shillings and Eight pence to be paied wthin one Yeare after my deceas Itm I gyve & bequeath to Mr. Richard Hamlett Sadler Tyler theldr xxvis viijd to buy him A Ringe insert markto Willim Raynolds gent xxvj viij to buy him A Ringe to my godson Willm Walker xxs in gold to Anthonye Nashe gent xxvjs viiid & to Mr. John Nashe xxvjs viijd in gold insert mark& to my ffellowes John Hemyngs Richard Burbage & Henry Cundell xxvj viij Apeece to buy them Ringes Itm I Gyve will bequeath & devise unto my Daughter Susanna Hall insert markfor better enabling of her to pforme this my will & towards the pformans thereof All that Capitall messuage or teñte wth thapptenncs insert markin Stratford aforesaid called the newe place wherein I nowe Dwell & twoe Messuags or teñtes wth Messuags or teñtes wth thapptenncs scitvat lyeing & being in Henley Streete wthin the borough of Stratford aforesaied And all my barnes stables Orchards gardens lands teñts & hereditamts whatsoev scituat lyeing & being or to be had Receyved pceyved or taken wthin the towns Hamletts Villags ffields & grounds of Stratford upon Avon Oldstratford Bushopton & Welcombe or in anie of them in the saied countie of warr And alsoe All that Messuage or teñte wth thapptenncs wherein One John Robinson dwelleth scituat lyeing & being in the blackfriers in London nere the Wardrobe & all othr my lands teñts & hereditamts whatsoev To have & to hold All & singler the saied pmiffs wth their App rtenntcs unto the saied Susanna Hall for & during the terme of her naturall lief & after her deceas to the first sonne of her bodie lawfullie yssueing & to the heires Males of the bodie of the saied first Sonne lawfullie issueinge & for defalt of such issue to the Second Sonne of her bodie lawfullie yfsuinge and to the heires Males of the bodie of the saied Second Sonne lawfullie yfsuinge and for defalt of such heires to the third Sonne of the bodie of the said Susanna Lawfullie yssueing & of the heires males of the bodie of the saied third sonne lawfullie yssueing And for defalt of such yssue the same soe to be & Remaine to the ffourth Sonne ffyfth Sixte & Seaventh sonnes of her bodie lawfullie issueing one after Anothr & to the heires p.98 ] Males of the bodies of the saied ffourth fifth Sixte & Seaventh sonnes lawfullie yssueing in such manñ as yt ys before Lymitted to be & Remaine to the first second & third Sonnes of her bodie & to their heires males And for defalt of such issue the saied pmiffs to be & Remaine to my sayed Neece Hall & the heires Males of her bodie Lawfullie yssueing & for defalt of such issue to my Daughter Judith & the heires males of her bodie lawfullie issueinge And for defalt of such issue to the Right heires of me the saied Willm Shackspeare for ever insert markItm I gyve unto my wief my second best bed wth the furniture Itm I gyve & bequeath to my saied Daughter Judith my broad silver gilt bole All the Rest of my goods Chattels Leases plate Jewels & household stuffe whatsoev after my Detts and Legasies paied & my funerall expences discharged I gyve devise & bequeath to my Sonne in Lawe John Hall gent & my Daughter Susanna his wief whom I ordaine & make executors of this my Last will & testamt And I doe intreat & Appoint insert markthe saied Thomas Russell Esquier & ffrauncis Collins gent to be overseers hereof And doe Revoke All form wills & publishe this to be my last will & testamt In Witness whereof I have hereunto put my Seale hand the Daie & Yeare first above written.

[signed:] William Shakespeare

Witness to the publishing
hereof, Fra: Collyns
Julyus Shawe
John Robinson
Hamnet Sadler
Robert Whattcott
Probatum cora Magri Willimi Byrde
legum Dcore Comisson &c. xxiido die
menss Junij Anno Dni 1616 Juramto
Johannis Hall unius ex &c. Cui &c.
De bene &c. Jurat.—Resvat ptate
&c. Susanne Hall alt ex &c. cu?
venit &c. petitur.
(Invt ext)            

Enlargement, transcript of Shakespeare's Will—page 1
Enlargement, transcript of Shakespeare's Will—page 2
Enlargement, transcript of Shakespeare's Will—page 3

presscom logo
Website contents
Further pages on & from James Halliwell