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William Shakespeare - A Study of The Facts & Problems

E K Chambers

[Appendix A, Section]

[Facing p 1}

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(A) Stratford-on-Avon.

[From Register, printed in full by R. Savage (Parish Register Society); extracts in Var. ii. 610, H.P. ii. 51. The Register begins in 1558, but the entries to Sept. 1600 are a transcript in a single hand, probably that of the Vicar Richard Byfield, made in accordance with a provincial constitution of 25 Oct. 1597 (Savage, Baptisms, vii).]

1558, Sept. 15. C. Jone Shakspere daughter to John Shakspere.
1562, Dec. 2. C. Margareta filia Johannis Shakspere.
1563, Apr. 30. B. Margareta filia Johannis Shakspere.
1564, Apr. 26. C. Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere.

[There is no records of the actual birthday, which is most fully discussed by B. Corney, Argument on the Assumed Birthday of Sh. (1864); Ingleby, i. 21; Elton 22. All that can be inferred from the present entry and the words of the monumental inscription (no. xxv) 'obiit anno...aetatis 53' is that the birth was on a day not earlier than 24 Apr. 1563 or later than 23 Apr. 1564, since otherwise Shakespeare would have died either in his 54th or his 52nd year. This of course rests on two assumptions. One is that the draftsman of the inscription understood by an annus aetatis a current and not a completed year. He probably did in this case, as an interval of a year is not likely between birth and baptism, although the practice is by no means uniform in old datings. The other is that he followed the present legal convention by which a new year of life is treaeted as beginning at the first moment of the anniversary of the day of birth, without regard to the time of day at which the birth took place. The statement that the birth was April 23 seems to have been first made by Oldys (c. 1743 <> 50) in a note on Langbaine (App. C, no. xxxiv), where he also gave  the year as 1563. Presumably he took anno aetatis' as meaning 'aged', and made an incorrect use of the result, since, if Shakespeare had in fact been 53 on 23 Apr. 1616, he might have been born on any day not earlier than 24 Apr. 1562 and not later than 23 Apr.

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1563. Joseph Greene, Master of the Stratford Grammar School, also stated in the Gentleman's Magazine (1759, xxix. 257) that 'Shakespeare died at the age of 53', and gave Steevens through James West an extract from the Register with the note 'Born April 23, 1564'. The date was adopted in Steevens's edition of 1773 and by later editors, although Malone expressed doubt whether Greene had any authority beyond the monument.1 Halliwell, 1848, 32 was sceptical, thinking that the coincidence of the days of birth and death would have been noticed in the 17th century. Incidentally he said that 'three days was often the period which elapsed between birth and baptism'. So far as I know, there is no evidence that any special importance was ever attached to this interval; Halliwell's observation of it in the cases of two out of four children of John Dee does not, as he admitted, prove much; and later he adopted a suggestion of De Quincey that the marriage of Elizabeth Hall on 22 April may indicate her grandfather's birthday.2 The Prayer Book of 1559 directed baptism not later than the Sunday or other holy day next after birth. If therefore the birth was on April 23, itself a Sunday, the baptism should have been not on April 26, but on St. Mark's Day, April 25. Elton suggests that this day would be avoided, as 'unlucky' in popular belief. Halliwell's abandoned suggestion is adopted by Lee 8 in a confident assertion that baptism on the third day was 'a common practice at the time'; and this, with De Quincey's sentiment, probably accounts for the statement that Shakespeare 'was born on April 22 or 23, 1564'. Adams 21 follows suit, but leaves April 21 open as 'possible', and adds that 'the day <Apr. 23> of St. George, the patron saint of England, would be especially appropriate'. But Eileithuia cares little for St. George. There does not seem to me to be enough material for an opinion as to the exact birth-date.]

1566, Oct. 13. C. Gilbertus filius Johannis Shakspere.
1569, Apr. 15. C. Jone the daughter of John Shakspere.

[It must be inferred that the elder Joan had died.]

1571, Sept. 28. C. Anna filia magistri Shakspere.
1574, Mar. 11. C. Richard sonne to Mr John Shakspeer.
1579, Apr. 4. B. Anne daughter to Mr John Shakspere.
1580, May 3. C. Edmund sonne to Mr John Shakspere.
1583, May 26. C. Susanna daughter to William Shakespeare.


1 Var. ii. 63, 610. 2 H.P. ii. 332.

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1584, Feb. 10. C. Elizabeth daughter ot Anthony Shaksper of Hamton.
1584, Nov. 25. M. John Shakspere & Margery Roberts.

[This John Shakspere was evidently not the Alderman, who is 'Mr' in the Register from 1571 onwards, but a second John as to whom facts are recorded in Var. ii. 51; Hunter, i. 14; H.P. ii. 137; M.A. iii. 155. Probably he was a son named in the will (1577) of Thomas Shaxper, corvizer or shoemaker of Warwick (cf. App. E), succeeded to the business on the drowning in the Avon of a brother William in 1579, married Joan Webbe on 17 July 1579, at St. Nicholas, Warwick, as Saxper alias Demayles, and is traceable in the Market Place there in Feb. 1582. If so, Margery Roberts, widow of Thomas Roberts, corvizer, of Back Bridge Street, Stratford, was his second wife. He took out his freedom as a foreigner to Stratford in 1586 on joining the Gild of Shoemakers, filled some minor corporation offices, was Master of his Gild in 1592, then disappears from the records and had probably left Stratford by 1595. He is probably a John Shakespeare buried at St. Mary's, Warwick, on 7 Feb. 1624. It must be presumed that he married a third wife after Margery's death in 1587, and that the Ursula, Humphrey, and Phillip of the Register are his children. The addition of these to the eight children of the Alderman and a failure to distinguish between the two Joans will account for Rowe's statement (App. C, no. xxv) that Shakespeare was one of a family of ten.]

1585, Feb. 2. C. Hamnet & Judith sonne and daughter to William Shakspere.

[It is idel to guess at the origin of common names, such as William. But the conjunction of unusual names here suggests that the godparents were Shakespeare's legatee, Hamnet Sadler, a baker of High Street, and his wife Judith Staunton of Longbridge. C. W. Bardsley shows that Hamonet - Hamnet and Hamolet or Hamelet - Hamlet were distinct derivatives of the Norman Hamon; that both are fairly common in medieval documents; that Hamnet prevailed in the north and Hamlet in the south; but that the forms were often confused.1 Sadler in fact appears in Stratford documents as Hamnet, Hambnet, and Hamlet. The Register also gives a Hassall, who is Hamonetus in 1561 and Hamoletius in 1564, and a Hamlet Holdar in 1576. And the name was also used as a surname. An inquisition was taken on 11 Feb. 1580 upon the body of Katherine Hamlett of

1 5 N.Q. v. 461.

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Tiddington, spinster, who was drowned in the Avon while fetching water in a pail.1 The resemblance of the name to that of the hero of Shakespeare's tragedy, which has a different Scandinavian origin, can hardley be more than a coincidence.]

1587, Oct. 29. B. Margery wife to John Shakspere.  
1589, Feb. 26. C. Thomas sonne to Richard Queeny.  

[For the Quineys, cf. no. xiii.]

1589, Mar. 11. C. Vrsula daughter to John Shakspere.
1590, Mar. 6. B. Thomas Green alias Shakspere.

[For the Greenes, cf. no. xix.]

1590, May 24. C. Humphrey sonne to John Shakspere.
1591, Sept. 21. C. Phillippus filius Johannis Shakspere.
1593, June 20. C. Thomas filius Anthonij Nash generosi.
1596, Aug. 11. B. Hamnet filius William Shakspere.
1600, Aug. 28. C. Wilhelmus filius Wilhelmi Hart.

[The marriage of Joan Shakespeare to William Hart is not recorded in the Register, but can be inferred from later entries and the mention in Shakespeare's will of 'my sister Johane Harte'. Nothing is known of Hart, except that he was a hatter and had some cases in the Court of Record. Possibly he only came to Stratford on his marriage. But he may have been a son, unrecorded in the Register, of a John and Margaret Hart or Hert, who both died in 1564. If so, he was presumably a good deal older than Joan.]

1601, Sept. 8. B. Mr Johannes Shakspeare.
1603, June 5. C. Maria filia Wilhelmi Hart.
1605, July 24. C. Thomas fil. Wilhelmus Hart Hatter.
1607, June 5. M. John Hall gentleman & Susanna Shaxspere.

[The researches of Hunter, i. 94, H.P. i. 219, ii. 320, French 386, Lee 463, and D.N.B., Stopes 92 and Cont. 173, A. Ransford in N.Q. clii. 438, have left the origin of John Hall obscure. His monument shows him a gentleman of coat-armour, bearing Three talbot's heads erased, and aged 60 at his death on 25 Nov. 1635. His own record (cf. p. 11) gives him as circa etatis 57 Die August 27 anno Salutis 1632. We may take it that he was born in

1 M.A. iii.50.

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the summer or autumn of 1575. The editor of the Observations says that he had been a traveller and knew French. Very possibly he took a foreign medical degree. But he is also described as generosus in Artibus Magister in a Stratforddocument of 1632,1 and this fact, with the coincidence of age, bears out Fripp's identification of him with the John Haule of Worcestershire, generosi filius, who matriculated from Balliol, Oxford, aged 16, on 4 Feb. 1592, and took his B.A. in 1595 and his M.A. from St. Edmund Hall in 1598.2 It is therefore primarily in Worcestershire, rather than Warwickshire, that we must look for him, and very possibly among the Halls of Henwick and Esbury in the parish of Hallow.3

The younger John took a lease of Henwick in 1575. His brother Edmund is probably the Edmund Hall of Grimley, close to Hallow, at whose house took place an irregular marriage of 1576.4 He had then himself a wife, and the not very common combination of names suggests that these were the Edmund and Emma Hall from whom John Shakespeare bought his Stratford houses (cf. no. iii) in 1575. It is possible that Dr. John Hall was their son. The Halls of Hallow bore Argent three talbots' heads erased sable, between nine crosses crosslet azure. John Hall's monumnet shows no tinctures, and there are no crosses. He might use a younger son's variant. But it must be added that the talbots' heads, variously combined, are in the arms of many Hall families in different parts of the country. Edmund Hall does not appear again in Stratford, although Richard Quiney had business with Mr. Hall of Esbury in 1601.5 Nothing obvious connects John with other Halls who do appear from an early date. A Richard of Stratford broke the park of the Lady of Bergavenny at Snitterfield in 14276 and is in a list of Warwickshire

1 Fripp, S.S. 57. 4 Gray 215.
2 Register, ii. 2. 187; 3. 190. 5 Fripp, Quyny, 173.
3 Harl. Soc. Visitations, xxvii. 64; V. H. Worc. iii. 368; T. Habington, Survey of Worc. i. 160, 403, 542; ii. 106; Stopes 94. 6 Cal. Pat. Rolls, 5 Hen VI, p. 2, m. 19d.

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gentry for 1433 (French 368). A Christiana of Stratford is in the Gild Register in 1504-5 and a John and his wife in 1506-7.1 A John who made his will in 1519 left a house in the town.2 He was of Hook Norton, and may belong to a group of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire Halls who bore Argent an eagle displayed gules. Among these were the Halls of Idlicote, to whom belonged a Richard Hall, who buried a wife Isabel at Stratford in 1559, and christened children, by Joyce, widow of Hugh Reynolds (p. 137), there in 1560 and 1562. He may be the 'Mr Hall' fined for not keeping his gutter clean in 1559. In 1583 his house at Idlicote was searched, when the priest Hugh Hall was concerned in a Catholic plot. He was overseer of the will of George Whateley of Stratford in 1593. Attempts have been made to connect John Hall with the Idlicote family, but are barred by their use of the eagle arms. Moreover Idlicote is in Warwickshire, not Worcestershire.3 A Robert Hall rented the old school house at Stratford and did masonry for the town.4 He married Isabella Wood and died in 1578. Another Robert, also a mason, with a wife Joan, both of whom died in1609, may have been his son. These were apparently not gentry. Yeatman 146, 233, citing a fine of 1622 for land in Rowington sold by John and Joyce Hall in 1598-9 to Thomas Shakespeare, says that Joyce Blunt (cf. no. xviii) married 'one Hall' of Stratford after the death of Hugh Reynolds, her first husband, and supposes Dr. Hall derived from these. But Hunter's Addl. MS. 24500, f. 55 gives the Rowington vendors as John and Joyce Hill. It may be added, for any one not satisfied with the Hallow origin, that a John Hall succeeded Richard Shakespeare as bailiff of Wroxall in 1535,5 and that an Edmund and an Anthony Hall were gentlemen or freeholders at Prior's Martson, Warwickshire, in 1580.6 The name, indeed, is too common to make any conclusion more than tentative.

Dr. Hall must have had some connexion with Acton in Middlesex, since his will7 and his daughter Elizabeth's settlement8 show that he owned a house there, as well as another in London. A John Hall of Acton christened a daughter in 1575.9 This seems to exclude him as our John's father; if he had twins, they would

1 Bloom 201, 208. 6 M.A. iii. 57.
2 Bloom, Top. Notes, i. 12. 7 H.P. ii. 61.
3 M.A. i. 93; iii. 53; Stopes 93, 179, and cont. 174; A. Ransford in N.Q. clii. 438; Fripp, S.S. 57; Barnard 105. 8 H.P. 1848, 309.
4 M.A. ii. 8, 116. 9 H.P. ii. 320.
5 Yeatman 134.  

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have been christened together. The arms given for Hall, without mention of Acton, in Middlesex Pedigrees (Harl. Soc. lxv. 181) are not the doctor's. Nor can any connexion be traced with another doctor, John Hall of Maidstone, who died in 1566. The Bagley and Welles cousins of Lady Bernard's will (cf. no. xxiv) may have been on the Hall side.

1607, Dec. 17. B. Mary dawghter to Willyam Hart.
1608, Feb. 21. C. Elizabeth to John Hall gentleman.
1608, Sept. 9. B. Mayry Shaxspere, wydowe.
1608, Sept. 23. C. Mychaell sonne to Willyam Hart.
1612, Feb. 3. B. Gilbert Shakspere, adolescens.

[Little is known of Gilbert. H.P. ii. 298 thought that he had found him in a Coram Rege roll (1597) described as a haberdasher of St. Bride's, London, and standing bail for a Stratford clockmaker, but the records of the Haberdasher's Company do not reveal him, and do reveal a Gilbert Shepheard, whose name was probably misread.1 He took ddelivery for his brother of the conveyance of land at Old Stratford in May 1602 (no. xiv), and appended a well-written 'Gilbart Shakespere' as witness to a Stratford lease on 5 Mar. 1610.2 Malone thought that the adolescens of this entry was a son, and says that the elder Gilbert 'certainly' died before him.3 Lee 505 thinks that he survived and is the brother said by Oldys (App. C, no. xxxiv) to have reported a performance by the poet as an actor. But Capell's version (App. C, no. xliv) of the same tradition only makes the narrator 'related to Shakespeare', and it is safer to assume that there was only one Gilbert, who died in 1612. Gilbert is not in the poet's will. The term adolescens, applied to a man of 45, need not trouble us. Adoloscens, adolocentulus, adolocentula appear several times in the Register during 1603-11.4 My impression is that they mean no more than 'bachelor' and 'spinster'. I hope that Mrs. Stopes is jesting when she suggests that they may be malapropisms for 'deeply regretted'.]

1613, Feb. 4. B. Rich: Shakspeare.
1616, Feb. 10. M. Tho Queeny tow Judith Shakspere.

[Gray's transcript of proceedings in the Worcester Consistory Court

1 Stopes, Env. 64. 3 Var. ii. 615.
2 B.P. Cat. 58, with facs. 4 Stopes, Env. 65, 332.

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on a date before 11 May 1616 is wrong.1 I emend with the kind help of Dr. Greg and Dr. H. H. E. Craster.

viis et modis Officium domini contra Thomam Quynie et ejus vxorem.


Quod nupti fuerent absque licencia vir citatus per Nixon non comparuit in consistorio et <?> non comparuit vxor.
  Excommunicatio emanatur  

Presumably a licence should have been obtained for the marriage because it took place in the prohibited season between Septuagesima and the Octave of Easter. 'Viis et modis' is a formula of citation. The reasons for the irregularity and for the compliance of the Vicar of Stratford remain obscure. Possibly the event may have left some trace in the provisions of Shakespeare's will (no. xxiv). Thomas Quiney, on whose family cf. no. xiii, was a vintner at The Cage in Stratford from 1616 to about 1652, when he may have left the town. He was a man of some education and a competent chamberlain to the corporation. But in 1633 he was in financial difficulties, and John Hall and Thomas Nash acted as trustees for his wife and children. He was alive in 1655; the date and place of his death are unknown.2 The mark of Judith Quiney is facsimilied in H.P. i. 169, 254 and B.P. Cat. 60.]

1616, Apr. 17. B. Will. Harttt, hatter.
1616, Apr. 25. B. Will. Shakspere, gent.
1616, Nov. 23. C Shaksper fillius Thomas Quyny gent.
1617, May 8. B. Shakspere fillius Tho. Quyny, gent.
1618, Feb. 9. C. Richard fillius Thomas Quinee.
1618, Nov. 1. B. Micael filius to Jone Harte, widowe.
1620, Jan. 23. C. Thomas filius to Thomas Queeney.
1623, Aug. 8. B. { Mrs Shakspeare.
  Anna uxor Richardi James.

[W. Harness3 started a theory that the bracket in this entry4 implies that Anne Shakespeare had remarried with Richard James,

1 Gray 67, 248. 3 Sh. Soc. P. ii. 107.
2 H.P. i. 257, 272; ii. 305; Fripp, Quyny, 205; B.P. Cat. 66. 4 H.P. ii. 372.

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and this has been revived by Appleton Morgan, who suggests that James made haste on his widow's death to sell manuscripts of Shakespeare's unpublished plays to Heminges and Condell for F1.1 It is quite untenable. Events of even date are usually recorded in the Register, not with a bracket, but with a repeated date or with the abbreviation 'eod <em die>'. But in the years 1622 and 1623, several baptisms, of members of different families, are exceptionally bracketed, just like these deaths. Moreover H.P. ii. 372 cites ' acontemporary transcript of the original notes that were made on the occasion' in the form -

August 8. Mrs Ann Shakespeare.
  8. Ann, wyfe to Richard James.

Dowdall (App. C, no. xviii) records a tradition that Anne desired to be laid in her husband's grave, but that the sexton feared the poet's curse. Her grave is in fact to the left of his in the chancel of Stratford church, below his monument. On the stone is a brass with the inscription:

  Vbera, tu mater, tu lac, vitamque dedisti.  
  Vae mihi: pro tanto munere saxa dabo?  
  Quam mallem, amoueat lapidem, bonus angelus orem  
  Exatvt, christi corpus, imago tua~~  
  Sed nil vota valent. venias citÚ Christe; resurget  
  Clausa licet tumulo mater et petet.  

Lee 506 prints this incorrectly, missing the m in orem, although the circumflex abbreviation is clear.]

1626, Apr. 22. M. Mr Thomas Nash to Mrs Elizabeth Hall.

[The Oxfordshire Visitation of 1574 (Harl. Soc. v, 218, 320) and Warwickshire Visitation of 1619 (Harl. Soc. xii. 147), with the Stratford Registers and the notes of Hunter, i. 101; French 384, 412; Lee 491, enable the following Nash pedigree-

1 Mrs. Shakespeare's Second Marriage (1926).

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Thomas i seems to have come to Stratford by 1575-6. He made payments in that and subsequent years to the Corporation in respect of tithes, as agent or farmer for his cousin Sir John Huband, as his son Anthony (cf. no. xvii) did for Shakespeare afterwards. Iterrogatories for Huband's executors in a dispute with the Corporation in or about 1591 include one as to their knowledge of Thomas Nash, sometime servant to Huband.2 The Harl. MS. 1167 copy of the Visitation contains a certificate showing that he came from Woodstock,3 and here I find Jerome and Richard Nash, presumably his brothers, concerned with Sir Henry Lee in 1609.4 Anthony and John, who farmed at Welcombe, was concerned in the Welcombe enclosure controversy (no. xix). Thomas ii, of the present entry, was his son, and was admitted at Lincoln's Inn on 15 May 1616.5 He owned in 1642 the house next New Place in Chapel St., but it is not clear that he ever lived in it.6]

1634, Apr. 13. C. Thomas filius Thomae Hart.


1 M.A. ii. 114. 4 2 Genealogist, ix. 21; xiii. 29.
2 Misc. Docts. v. 159; ix. 10. 5 Admissions, i. 173.
3 Hunter, i. 101. 6 H.P. ii. 91.

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1635, Nov. 26. B. Johannes Hall, medicus peritissimus.

[His gravestone, the second to the right of Shakespeare's in the chancel at Stratford, bears the arms of Hall, Three talbot's heads erased, impaling Shakespeare, and the inscription:

  DECEASED NOVER: 25. AO . 1635, AGED 60.  
  Hallius hic situs est medica celeberrimus arte;  
  Expectans regni Gaudia laeta Dei;  
  Dignus erat meritis, qui nestora vinceret annis;  
  In terris omnes, sed rapit aequa dies.  
  Ne tumulo, quid desit adest fidessima coniux,  
  Et vitae comitem nunc quoque mortis habet.  

Hall left a selection from his case-books, which was translated from the Latin and published by James Cooke, a Warwick surgeon, as Select Observations on English Bodies (1657). Hall's manuscript, used by Malone and Halliwell-Phillipps, is now Egerton MS. 2065, entitled Curationum Historicarum at Empjrjcarum, in certis locis et notis oersonis expertarum et probatarum libellus. Hall notes illnesses of his wife (f. 10) and daughter (f. 30v), and his own (f. 76v) in 1632. There is no mention of Shakespeare. Malone suggested one in error.2 The earliest dated case (f. 30v) is of 1617; many are undated, but the dates of others point to compilation late in Hall's life. Other details, extracted from Cooke by J. H. Fennell3; Hunter, i. 94; Elton 239, 264; Lee 463, 507; Stopes 98 and Cont. 173 show that Hall had a wide practice, not only at Stratford, but among families of position in Warwickshire and the neighbouring counties. One of his patients (f.10v) was Mr. Drayton, ' an excellent poet', whom he cured of a tertian fever by an infusion of violets. Hall writes like a protestant, and Yeatman 164, 192, 221 is clearly wrong in asserting that he was a Catholic; but we are told in the prefatory matter to the Observations that even 'such as hated his religion' were glad to use him as a doctor. He lived in a house in Old Stratford, but moved to New Place upon Shakespeare's death.4]

1636, Sept. 18. C. Georgius filius Tho: Hart.
1639, Jan. 28. B. Thomas filius Thomae Quiney.
1639, Feb. 29. B. Richardus filius Tho: Quiney.
1639, Mar. 29. B. Willielmus Hart.


1 Var. ii. 506, 617. 3 H.P. 1848, 285; Malone, Davenport, 51, 53.
2 1853, Shakespeare Repository, 9. 4 H.P. i. 220; ii. 321.

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1646, Nov. 4. B. Joan Hart, widow.
1647, Apr. 5. B. Thomas Nash, Gent.

[His stone, to the right of Shakespeare's in the chancel, has under the arms of Nash (<Az. > on a chevron between three ravens' heads erased <arg. > a pellet between four crosses crosslet <sa. >), quartered with Bulstrode, and impaling Hall quartered with Shakespeare:

  HE DIED APRILL 4. A. 1647, AGED 53.  
  Fata manent omnes, hunc non virtute carentum  
  vt ncque diuitiis, abstulit atra dies;  
  Abstulit, at referet lux ultima; siste viator,  
  si peritura paras per male parta peris.]  


1649, July 16. B. Mrs Sussana Hall, widow.

[Her stone, to the right of her husband's in the chancel, has under the arms of Hall impaling Shakespeare in a lozenge:

  1649, AGED 66.  
  Witty above her sexe, but that's not all,  
  Wise ti salvation was good Mistris Hall,  
  Something of Shakespeare was in that, but this  
  Wholy of him with whom she's now in blisse.  
  Then, Passenger, hast nere a teare,  
  To weepe with her that wept with all;  
  That wept, yet set her self to chere  
  Them up with comforts cordiall.  
  Her love shall live, her mercy spread,  
  When thou hs't ner'e a teare to shed.  

This, however, was erased for another interment in the 18th century and has been recut from a copy in Dugdale's Warwickshire.1

Susanna's reputation did not escape calumny. In July 1613 she brought an action for slander in the Consistory Court at Worcester2 against John Lane, junior, of Stratford, who had reported that she 'had the runninge of the raynes & had bin naught with Rafe Smith

1 Lee 512. 2 H.P. i. 242, with facs.; ii. 394; Gray 167.

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at John Palmer'. Lee 464 says 'and John Palmer' in error. Robert Whatcott, afterwards a witness to Shakespeare's will (no. xxiv), appeared for the plaintiff. The defendant did not appear and was excommunicated. Ralph Smith was a hatter of Stratford. The Lanes were gentry of Alveston manor, near Bridgetown,1 and the culprit was a first cousin of Thomas Nash (cf. p. 10).


1662, Feb. 9. B. Judith, vxor Thomas Quiney Gent.

[Judith's grave is unknown. All her children had predeceased her, presumably unmarried; and with the death of the childless Elizabeth Hall, remarried to John, later (1661) Sir John Bernard, of Abington, Northants, at Billesley on 5 June 1649, and buried at Abington on 17 Feb. 1670, the descent from Shakespeare was extinct.2]

(b) Budbrooke.

[From Register begun 1539, extracted by Savage at B.P.]

1573, Nov. 14. M. Antony Shaxspere Jonne Whetrefe were married.
1575, March 24. C. Henrie Shackespere the sonne of Shackespere and Jone his wif.

[A hamlet of Budbrooke Corley or Curlew, and here a Subsidy Roll for 1524-5, but not one for 1523,3 places a Richard

1 Fripp, Haunts, 148; Harl. Soc. xxi. 307. 3 Yeatman 142, 164; Stopes 13 from Joseph Hunter's Addl. MS. 24500.
2 French 386.  

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'Shakyspere'. It is not inconceivable, although it certainly cannot be taken for granted, that this was Shakespeare's grandfather, who is first traceable at Snitterfield (cf. no. li) in 1528 or 1529. For Anthony, cf. infra, s.v. Clifford Chambers. There was still a Nicolas Shakespeare, a recusant, at Budbrooke in 1640-1.1]

(c) Snitterfield.

[From Register begun 1561, extracted by Savage at B.P; Halliwell (1848) 8; H.P. ii. 211.]

1581, March 10. C. Baptizatus fuet John filius Thome Shaxper.
1586, Sept. 4. C. Henry Townsend the sonn John Townsed and Darrity, his wyff, William Meaydes, Henry Shexsper, Elizabeth Perkes, pledges.
1596, Jan. 5. B. Johanna Shaxspere mortua est et sepulta.
1596, Dec. 29. B. Henrey Sakspere was Bureyed.
1597, Feb. 9. B. Margret Sakspere widow, being times the wyff of Henry Shakspere, was bured.

[Records of which most and probably all refer to this Henry Shakespeare are collected by H.P. ii. 209, 241, 407 and Stopes, Env. 66. They show him a tenant from 1574 to his death in 1596, on the Hales manor in Snitterfield (cf. no. ii). Here he was fined at leets, as 'Shakespere' in 1574 for default of suit and for an affray with Edward Cornwaile; as 'Shackesper' in 1583 for default of suit and for not wearing caps to church; as 'Shaxper' on 22 Oct. 1596 for default of suit ' being resiaunt within the precinct of this leete', for not labouring with teams on the Queen's highway, and for having a ditch between Burman and Red Hill in want of repair. In 1580-2 ha had to answer, as 'Saxpere' and 'Shagspere', in an ecclesiastical suit for failure to pay tithes on crops in Snitterfield and was excommunicated as contumacious. Other records bring him into relation with John Shakespeare. In 1573 he witnessed, as 'Shaxspere', the will of Alexander Webbe, of which John was overseer, and as 'Shakspere' prised the goods with John. In 1582 both 'Hary Shakspere' and John appear in lists of witnesses for a law-suit which concerned a farm on the Warwick College manor in Snotterfield once occupied by Richard Shakespeare (cf. no. iv). In 1587


1 Yeatman 192.

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John Shakespeare was sued in the Court of Record by Nicholas Lane in respect of £10, which was part of a debt of £22 due to Lane from 'Henricus Shakspere frater dicti Johannis' and for which Lane alleged that John had made himself responsible. There are other evidences of debt. The will of Christopher Smith, alias Court, of Stratford in 1586 specifies £5 9s. 0d. due from 'Henry Shaxspere of Snytterfild'; and there were actions by other creditors in the Court of Record in 1591 and 1596. After his death, Bartholomew Hales and others were commissioned by the Court of Requests to inquire into an allegation by John Blythe of Allesley that he had sold Henry Shakespeare of Snitterfield two oxen for £6 13s. 4d., which had not been paid; that the money was in Henry's house when he died; and that William Meades of Coleshall, who dwelt near him, broke open his coffers on pretence of recovering a debt, took away not only money, but also a mare, the corn and hay from the barn, and all the goods and household stuff, and would not pay Blythe. Meades, however, said that he only went to the house to ask the widow Margaret about £4 6s. 8d. due to him, and went away quietly; and that William Rounde of Allesley, who was Henry's surety for the £6 13s. 4d., had removed the oxen while Henry was in prison for debt, and had given them back to Blythe. It seems reasonable to infer from these records that Henry, like John Shakespeare, was a son of Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield. Possibly he carried on Richard's copyhold farm on the Hales manor. Halliwell-Phillipps, however, if I understand him rightly, locates the fields which still retain the names of Burman and Red Hill in a different part of Snitterfield from Dawkins Close, near which Richard's farm seems to have been. It it possible that the Henry Shakespeare whose children appear (p. 16) in the Hampton Lucy registers may be the same.

Thomas Shakespeare, of whom notices are in H.P. ii. 212, was perhaps a freeholder on the Hales manor, as a rental of 1563 records a rent from him of £4. He was juror at leets of 1581 and 1583, and decennarius or tithingman in 1581. Nevertheless he was presented as a forestaller and engrosser of barley as 'Shakespeare' in 1575, and fined as 'Shaxper' in 1581, for engrossing and forestalling , for exceeding his rights of common, and for default of bows and arrows; and as 'Shackesper' in 1583, for not wearing caps on Sundays, and for having unringed swine on the common. Anthony 'Shaxpere' was a billman of Snitterfield in 1569.1 He was almost certainly a brother of Thomas.2 It is not possible to relate Johanna;

1 H.P ii. 213. 2 Cf. infra, s.v. Clifford Chambers.

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she might be the wife of Thomas or a daughter of either Thomas or Henry. That a William 'Shakspere' prised the goods of John Pardu of Snitterfield in 1569 does not prove him of Snitterfield.1]

(d) Hampton Lucy.

[From Register begun 1556, extracted by Savage at B.P., H.P. ii. 253, 373.]

1582, June 10. C. Lettyce the Daughter of Henrye Shakespere.
1585, Oct. 16. C. Jeames the sonne of Henrye Shakespere.
1589, Sept. 25. B Jeames Shakespere of Yngon.

[H.P. gave 'Joannes' for the last entry in error. Ingon is a hamlet in Hampton Lucy, formerly known as Bishop's Hampton. Close Rolls cited in Var. ii. 94 show that on 11 Dec. 1570, but not on 30 May 1568, John 'Shaxpere' or his assigns occupied a 14-acre freehold belonging to William Clopton called 'Ingon alias Ington meadowe' and rented at £8; and the will of John Combe in 1613 (cf. no. xviii) leaves to his brother George closes known as 'Parsons Close alias Shakesperes Close' in Hampton. This John Shakespeare might be either the poet's father or John of Clifford Chambers. If the former, perhaps his brother Henry was his assign.]

(e) Clifford Chambers.

[From Register begun 1538. The marriages are printed in W. P. W. Phillimore, Gloucestershire Registers, v. 133: the burials are from extracts by Savage at B.P.; H.P. ii. 253, 373.]

1554, Oct. 7. M. John Hobbyns and Julyan Brown.
1560, Oct. 15. M. John Shaxspere to Julyan Hobbyns, widow.
1579, Feb. 4. M. Charles Malary to Alice Shaxspere.
1583, June 10. B. Henry sonne vnto Antony Shaxspere.
1587, Oct. 18. B. Katheryn Morres, servunt vnto John Shaxspere.
1608, July 22. B. Julian Shakespeare.
1610, Oct. 29. B. John Shaxspere.

[A few notices of John Shakespeare of Clifford Chambers have been collected.2 He was a Rainsford tenant on the manor in 1571, let ('Shaxver') property at Stratford as one of the proctors for the

1 Yeatman 174, 179.
2 A. Ransford in N.Q. clii. 291; Bloom, Top. Notes, i. 41; Stopes 119.

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parish in 1572, and had debts in 1572 and 1583. A plate on a bier in St. Helen's Clifford records 'Will of John Shakespear of Clifford Chambers. To the Church Here. The Beere that is now in the Church, which I have caused to be made upon myne own cost and charges, 1608. Julian Shakespeare was buried ye 20th of June same year.' This date does not quite agree with the register. Mr E. I. Fripp has kindly given me the following extracts from the will at Gloucester:

'To my cousin John Shakespeare, son to my brother Thomas Shakespeare 45s, to my brother Anthony Shakespeare my son-in-law <step-som> John Hobbins yearly during the life of my sister Alice Mallory to ear plough and sow the land of my said sister.'

This makes it possible to link John of Clifford Chambers with Thomas of Snitterfield, who had a son John, and probably also with Anthony of Snitterfield. Nor do I see any reason to suppose that the Anthony of Budbrooke, who appears also as Anthony of Hampton <Corley> in the Stratford Register, is distinct. Anthony is not a common name. If so we get


Can we trace a further link between this family and that of the poet? The common connexion with Snitterfield suggest it. Jordan (App. C, no. xlvi) had no ground for giving William a cousin Anthony, beyond the occurence of the name in the Stratford register. Thomas might be the same who occasionally appears in Stratford records during 1578-86,1 and might be the Thomas Green alias Shakspere buried at Stratford in 1590. And the poet had a cousin Thomas Greene (cf. no. xix) of a Warwick family. We cannot arrive at any certainty. It is possible that John of Clifford and his brothers might derive from the Anthony who disappears after 1530 from


1 H.P. ii. 213.

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Wroxall (cf. App. E) with his mother Ellen Cockes. The name Cox, Cockes, Cokes, or Cokkes is found at Budbrooke, Snitterfield, and Clifford Chambers,1 but is too widespread to be indicative.]

(f) London.

(i) [From Register of St. Gile's, Cripplegate, extracted Collier, Actors, xv; Hunter, Addl. MS. 24589, f. 24; G. E. Bentley in P.M.L.A. xliv. 819.]

1607, Aug. 12. B. Edward sonne of Edward Shackspeere, Player: base-borne.

(ii) [From Register of St. Saviour's, Southwark, extracted Collier, Actors, xiv; H.P. ii. 343.]

1607, Dec. 31. B. Edmond Shakespeare, a player: in the Church.

[A fee-book adds ' with a forenoone knell of the great bell, xxs' Cf. Eliz. Stage, ii. 338.]


1 Yeatman 153, 174, 178, 188, 190; Fripp, Haunts, 90.


August 2004