William Shakespeare from the Drocshout painting now in the Shakespeare Memorial Gallery at Stratford-on-Avon. William Shakespeare from the Drocshout painting now in the Shakespeare Memorial Gallery at Stratford-on-Avon.



A Record of the Ancestors and Descendants of William Shakespeare





Author of

"The Bacon-Shakespeare Question Answered," "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries," "British Freewomen," Etc.


[Pg v]


When I was invited to reprint in book-form the articles which had appeared in the Genealogical Magazine under the titles of "Shakespeare's Family" and the "Warwickshire Ardens," I carefully corrected them, and expanded them where expansion could be made interesting. Thus to the bald entries of Shakespeare's birth and burial I added a short life. Perhaps never before has anyone attempted to write a life of the poet with so little allusion to his plays and poems. My reason is clear; it is only the genealogical details of certain Warwickshire families of which I now treat, and it is only as an interesting Warwickshire gentleman that the poet is here included.

Much of the chaotic nonsense that has of late years been written to disparage his character and contest his claims to our reverence and respect are based on the assumption that he was a man of low origin and of mean occupation. I deny any relevance to arguments based on such an assumption, for genius is restricted to no class, and we have a Burns as well as a Chaucer, a Keats as well as a Gower, yet I am glad that the result of my studies tends to prove that it is but an unfounded [Pg vi]assumption. By the Spear-side his family was at least respectable, and by the Spindle-side his pedigree can be traced straight back to Guy of Warwick and the good King Alfred. There is something in fallen fortune that lends a subtler romance to the consciousness of a noble ancestry, and we may be sure this played no small part in the making of the poet.

All that bear his name gain a certain interest through him, and therefore I have collected every notice I can find of the Shakespeares, though we are all aware none can be his descendants, and that the family of his sister can alone now enter into the poet's pedigree with any degree of certainty.

The time for romancing has gone by, and nothing more can be done concerning the poet's life except through careful study and through patient research. All students must regret that their labours have such comparatively meagre results. Though sharing in this regret, I have been able, besides adding minor details, to find at last a definite link of association between the Park Hall and the Wilmcote Ardens; and I have located a John Shakespeare in St. Clement's Danes, Strand, London, who is probably the poet's cousin. I have also somewhat cleared the ground by checking errors, such as those made by Halliwell-Phillipps, concerning John Shakespeare, of Ingon, and Gilbert Shakespeare, Haberdasher, of London (see page 226). I hope that every contribution to our store of real knowledge may bring forward new suggestions and additional facts.

In regard to his mother's family, I thought it important to clear the earlier connections. But it must not be forgotten that until modern times no[Pg vii] Shakespeare but himself was connected with the Ardens. Yet, having commenced with the family, I may be pardoned for adding to their history before the sixteenth century the few notes I have gleaned concerning the later branches.

The order I have preferred has been chronological, limited by the advisability of completing the notices of a family in special localities.

Disputed questions I have placed in chapters apart, as they would bulk too largely in a short biography to be proportionate. Hence the Coat of Arms and the Arden Connections are treated as family matters, apart from John Shakespeare's special biography. I have done what I could to avoid mistakes, and neither time nor trouble has been spared. I owe thanks to many who have helped me in my long-continued and careful researches, to the officials of the British Museum and the Public Record Office, to the Town Council of Stratford-on-Avon and Mr. Savage, Secretary of the Shakespeare Trust, to the Worshipful Company of the Haberdashers, for allowing me to study their records; to the late Earl of Warwick, for admission to his Shakespeare Library, and to many clergymen who have permitted me to search their registers.

Charlotte Carmichael Stopes.










































When, from the midst of a people, there riseth a man
Who voices the life of its life, the dreams of its soul,
The Nation's Ideal takes shape, on Nature's old plan,
Expressing, informing, impelling, the fashioning force of the whole.

The Spirit of England, thus Shakespeare our Poet arose;
For England made Shakespeare, as Shakespeare makes England anew.
His people's ideals should clearly their kinship disclose,
To England, themselves, the more true, in that they to their Shakespeare are true.

Shakespeare's Family

[Pg 1]




The origin of the name of "Shakespeare" is hidden in the mists of antiquity. Writers in Notes and Queries have formed it from Sigisbert, or from Jacques Pierre,[1] or from "Haste-vibrans." Whatever it was at its initiation, it may safely be held to have been an intentionally significant appellation in later years. That it referred to feats of arms may be argued from analogy. Italian heraldry[2] illustrates a name with an exactly similar meaning and use in the Italian language, that of Crollalanza.

English authors use it as an example of their theories. Verstegan says[3]: "Breakspear, Shakespeare, and the like, have bin surnames imposed upon the first[Pg 2] bearers of them for valour and feates of armes;" and Camden[4] also notes: "Some are named from that they carried, as Palmer ... Long-sword, Broadspear, and in some respects Shakespear."

In "The Polydoron"[5] it is stated that "Names were first questionlesse given for distinction, facultie, consanguinity, desert, quality ... as Armestrong, Shakespeare, of high quality."

That it was so understood by his contemporaries we may learn from Spenser's allusion, evidently intended for him, seeing no other poet of his time had an "heroic name"[6]:

"And there, though last, not least is Aëtión;
A gentler shepherd[7] may nowhere be found,
Whose Muse, full of high thought's invention,
Doth like himself heroically sound."

If the parts of the name be significant, I take it that the correct spelling at any period is that of the contemporary spelling of the parts. Therefore, when spear was spelt "spere," the cognomen should be spelt "Shakespere"; when spear was spelt "speare," as it was in the sixteenth century, the name should be spelt "Shakespeare." Other methods of spelling depended upon the taste or education of the writers, during transition periods, when they seemed actually to prefer varieties, as one sometimes finds a proper name spelt in three different ways by the same writer on the same page. "Shakespeare" was the contemporary form of the name that the author himself passed in correcting the proofs of the "first heirs of his invention" in 1593 and 1594; and "Shakespeare" was the Court spelling of the period, as may be seen[Pg 3] by the first official record of the name. When Mary, Countess of Southampton, made out the accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber after the death of her second husband, Sir Thomas Heneage, in 1594, she wrote: "To William Kempe, William Shakespeare,[8] and Richard Burbage," etc.

I know that Dr. Furnivall[9] wrote anathemas against those who dared to spell the name thus, while the poet wrote it otherwise. But a man's spelling of his own name counted very little then. He might have held romantically to the quainter spelling of the olden time as many others did, such as "Duddeley," "Crumwell," "Elmer."


[1] Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, ix. 459, x. 15, 86, 122; 7th Series, iv. 66; 8th Series, vii. 295; 5th Series, ii. 2.

[2] See Works of Goffredo di Crollalanza, Segretario-Archivista dell' Accademia Araldica Italiana, which were brought to my notice by Dr. Richard Garnett.

[3] Verstegan's "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence," ed. 1605, p. 254.

[4] Camden's "Remains," ed. 1605, p. 111.

[5] Undated, but contemporary. Notes and Queries, 3rd Series, i. 266.

[6] Spenser's "Colin Clout's Come Home Again," 1595.

[7] It was a fashion of the day to call all poets "shepherds."

[8] "Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber," Pipe Office, 542 (1594). See my English article, "The Earliest Official Record of Shakespeare's Name."—"Shakespeare Jahrbuch," Berlin, 1896, reprinted in pamphlet form.

[9] "On Shakespere's Signatures," by Dr. F.J. Furnivall, in the Journal of the Society of Archivists and Autograph Collectors, No. I., June, 1895.

[Pg 4]



We find the name occurs in widely scattered localities from very early times. Perhaps a resembling name ought to be noted "in the hamlet of Pruslbury, Gloucestershire,[10] where there were four tenants. This was at one time an escheat of the King, who gave it to his valet, Simon Shakespeye, who afterwards gave it to Constantia de Legh, who gave it to William Solar, the defendant." If this represents a 1260 "Shakespere," as there is every reason to believe it does, this is the earliest record of the name yet found. This belief is strengthened by the discovery that a Simon Sakesper was in the service of the Crown in 1278, as herderer of the Forest of Essex,[11] in the Hundred of Wauthorn, 7 Edward I. Between these two dates Mr. J. W. Rylands[12] has found a Geoffrey Shakespeare on the jury in the Hundred of Brixton, co. Surrey, in 1268.[13]

The next[14] I have noted occurs in Kent in the[Pg 5] thirteenth century, where a John Shakespeare appears in a judicial case, 1278-79, at Freyndon.

The fifth notice is in the north.[15] The Hospital of St. Nicholas, Carlisle, had from its foundation been endowed with a thrave of corn from every ploughland in Cumberland. These were withheld by the landowners in the reign of Edward III., for some reason, and an inquiry was instituted in 1357. The jury decided that the corn was due. It had been withheld for eight years by various persons, among whom was "Henry Shakespere, of the Parish of Kirkland," east of Penrith. This gives, therefore, really an entry of this Shakespere's existence at that place as early as 1349, and an examination of Court Records may prove an earlier settlement of the family.

There was a transfer of lands in Penrith described as "next the land of Allan Shakespeare," and amongst the witnesses was William Shakespeare,[16] April, 21 Richard II., 1398.

In the "Records of the Borough of Nottingham,"[17] we find a John Shakespere plaintiff against Richard de Cotgrave, spicer, for deceit in sale of dye-wood on November 8, 31 Edward III. (1357); Richard, the servant of Robert le Spondon, plaintiff against John Shakespere for assault. John proves himself in the right, and receives damages, October 21, 1360.

The first appearance yet found of the name in Warwickshire is in 1359, when Thomas Sheppey and Henry Dilcock, Bailiffs of Coventry, account for the property of Thomas Shakespere,[18] felon, who had left his goods and fled.[Pg 6]

Halliwell-Phillipps[19] notes as his earliest entry of the name a Thomas Shakespere, of Youghal, 49 Edward III. (1375). A writer in Notes and Queries[20] gives a date two years later when "Thomas Shakespere and Richard Portingale" were appointed Comptrollers of the Customs in Youghal, 51 Edward III. (1377). This would imply that he was a highly trustworthy man. Yet, by some turn of fortune's wheel, he may have been the same man as the felon.

In Controlment Rolls, 2 Richard II. (June, 1377, to June, 1379), there is an entry of "Walter Shakespere, formerly in gaol in Colchester Castle."[21] John Shakespeare was imprisoned in Colchester gaol as a perturbator of the King's peace, March 3rd, 4 Richard II., 1381.[22] At Pontefract, Robert Schaksper, Couper, and Emma his wife are mentioned as paying poll-tax, 2 Rich. II.[23]

The Rev. Mr. Norris,[24] working from original documents, notes that on November 24 (13 Richard II.), 1389, Adam Shakespere, who is described as son and heir of Adam of Oldediche, held lands within the manor of Baddesley Clinton by military service, and probably had only just then obtained them. Oldediche, or Woldich, now commonly called Old Ditch Lane, lies within the parish of Temple Balsall, not far from the manor of Baddesley.

This closes the notices of the family that I have collected during the fourteenth century. The above-noted Adam Shakespere, the younger, died in 1414,[Pg 7] leaving a widow, Alice, and a son and heir, John, then under age, who held lands until 20 Henry VI., 1441. It is not clear who succeeded him, but probably two brothers, Ralph and Richard, who held lands in Baddesley, called Great Chedwyns, adjoining Wroxall. Mr. Norris says that no further mention of the name appears in Baddesley, but one notice of the property is given later. Ralph and Joanna, his wife, had two daughters—Elizabeth, married to Robert Huddespit, and Isolda, married to Robert Kakley. Elizabeth Huddespit, a widow, in 1506 held the lands which Adam Shakespeare held in 1389.

The family of Shakespeare appears in the "Register of the Guild of Knowle,"[1] a semi-religious society to which the best in the county belonged:

1457. Pro anima Ricardi Shakespere et Alicia uxor
ejus de Woldiche.[25]

1464. Johanna Shakespere.
Radulphus Shakespere et Isabella uxor ejus et
pro anima Johannæ uxoris primæ.
Ricardus Schakespeire de Wroxhale et Margeria
uxor ejus.

1476. Thomas Chacsper et Christian cons. sue de
Johannis Shakespeyre de Rowington et Alicia
uxor ejus.

1486. 1 Hen. VII. Thomæ Schakspere, p aiaei.
Thomas Shakspere et Alicia uxor ejus de

Mr. Yeatman has studied the Court Rolls of this[Pg 8] period. It is to be wished he had published his book in two volumes, one of facts and one of opinions. He says that the earliest record of the Court Rolls of Wroxall[26] is one dated 5 Henry V. (1418). It is a grant by one Elizabeth Shakspere to John Lone and William Prins of a messuage with three crofts. (The same Rolls tell us that in 22 Henry VIII. Alice Love surrendered to William Shakespeare and Agnes his wife a property apparently the same.)

In 1485 John Hill, John Shakespeare and others, were enfeoffed in land called "Harveys" in Rowington, and John appears as witness in 1492 and 1496.[27]

There were Shakesperes at Coventry and Meriden in the fifteenth century. John Dwale, merchant of Coventry, left legacies by will to Annes Lane and to Richard Shakespere, March 15, 1499.[28]

Among the "foreign fines" of the borough of Nottingham,[29] Robert Shakespeyr paid eightpence for license to buy and sell in the borough in 1414-15. The same Robert complains of John Fawkenor for non-payment of the price of wood for making arrows. And French[30] tells us there was a Thomas Shakespere, a man at arms, going to Ireland on August 27, 18 Edward IV., 1479, with Lord Grey against the king's enemies.

John Shakespere, a chapman in Doncaster,[31] paid on each order 12d. Among the York wills, John Shakespere of Doncaster mentions his wife, Joan, 1458. In[Pg 9] the same year Sir Thomas Chaworth leaves Margery Shakesper six marks for her marriage.[32]

In 1448, William Shakspere, labourer, and Agnes, his wife, were legatees under the will of Alice Langham, of Snailswell, Suffolk.[33]

A family also belonged to London. Mr. Gollancz told me of a certain "William Schakesper" who was "to be buried within the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, in England," in 1413.[34] On reference to the original, I found there was no allusion to profession, locality or family. He left to an unnamed father and mother twenty shillings each, and six shillings and eightpence to the hospital. The residue to William Byrdsale and John Barbor, to dispose of for the good of his soul; proved August 3, 1413. There was also a Peter Shakespeare who witnessed the deed of transfer of the "Hospicium Vocatum le Greyhounde, Shoe Alley, Bankside, Southwark, February 16, 1483."[35][Pg 10]


[10] Coram Rege Roll, St. Barthol., 45 Henry III., Memb. 13, No. 117. Notes and Queries, 5th Series, ii. 146.

[11] Fisher's "Forest of Essex," p. 374. Notes and Queries, 9th Series, ii. 167.

[12] Records of Rowington.

[13] Coram Rege Roll, 139, M. 1, 52-53 Hen. III.

[14] Roll of 7 Edward I.: "Placita Corone coram Johanne de Reygate et sociis suis, justiciariis itinerantibus in Oct. St. Hil. 7 Edward I., apud Cantuar." See also Notes and Queries, 1st Series, vol. xi., p. 122. Mr. William Henry Hart, F.S.A., contributes a note on the subject and gives the entry.

[15] Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, vol. x., p. 122.

[16] Notes and Queries, 6th Series, iv. 126.

[17] "Records of the Borough of Nottingham," by Mr. W. Stevenson.

[18] See Dr. Joseph Hunter's MSS., Addit. MSS., Brit. Mus. 24,484, art. 246.

[19] In Shakespeare's "Life," prefixed to the folio edition.

[20] Notes and Queries, J. F. F., 2nd Series, x. 122; see "Rot. Pat. Claus. Cancellariæ Hiberniæ Calendarium," vol. i., part i., p. 996.

[21] Notes and Queries, 5th Series, i. 25.

[22] Close Rolls, 4 Richard II.; Notes and Queries, 7th Series, ii. 318.

[23] Yorksh. Archæological Journal, vol. vi., p. 3. Lay-Subsidies, 206/49, Osgodcrosse, West Riding.

[24] Notes and Queries, 8th Series, vol. viii., December 28, 1895; "Shakespeare's Ancestry," by the Rev. Henry Norris, F.S.A.

[25] Mr. W. B. Bickley's "The Register of the Guild of St. Anne at Knowle," 1894. Mr. Bickley, in the Stratford-on-Avon Herald, November 9, 1895, shows that "Woldiche," "Oldyche" and "Oldwich" are the same, being a farm in the hamlet of Balsall, in the parish of Hampton in Arden, and about three miles from Knowle.

[26] Mr. Yeatman's "Gentle Shakespeare," p. 135.

[27] Mr. J. W. Ryland's "Records of Rowington."

[28] Proved May 26, 1500, Somerset House; Moone, f. 2.

[29] Stevenson's "Transcript of Records of the Borough of Nottingham."

[30] French's "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 350, and 39/48 "Ancient Miscellanea Exchequer," Treasury of Receipt, Muster Roll of Men at Arms going with Lord Grey. At Conway, 18 Edward IV., August 24.

[31] Records of the House of Grayfriars. Yorksh. Archæological Journal, vol. xii., p. 482.

[32] Notes and Queries,6th Series, iv. 158.

[33] "Camden Soc. Publ.," 1851, Notes and Queries, 6th Series, vi. 368.

[34] Commissary Court of London Wills, Reg. II., 1413, f. 12.

[35] The deed is preserved at Cordwainers' Hall.



In the sixteenth century there were Shakespeares all over the country, in Essex, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Nottingham,[36] but chiefly in Warwick.

There the family had spread rapidly. But it is only the first half of the century that concerns us at present. There have been Shakespeares noted in Warwick, Alcester, Berkswell, Snitterfield, Lapworth, Haseley, Ascote, Rowington, Packwood, Beausal, Temple Grafton, Salford, Tamworth, Barston, Tachbrook, Haselor, Rugby, Budbrook, Wroxall, Norton-Lindsey, Wolverton, Hampton-in-Arden, Hampton Lucy, and Knowle.[37]

Most students, recognising Warwickshire as the ancestral home of the poet's family, exclude the town of Warwick from the field of their consideration, and select the Shakespeares of Wroxall, partly because more is known about them, and partly because what is known of them suggests a higher social status than is granted the other branches. From the "Guild of Knowle Records" we learn that in 1504 the fraternity was asked to "pray for the soul of Isabella Shakespeare, formerly Prioress of Wroxall,"[38] that the name of Alice[Pg 11] Shakespere was entered, and prayers requested for the soul of Thomas Shakespere, of Ballishalle, in 1511; and in the same year Christopher Shakespere and Isabella, his wife, of Packwood, Meriden, are mentioned. The name of "Domina Jane Shakspere" appears late in 1526. She is often spoken of as another Prioress. Now, it is important to notice that Dugdale mentions neither of these ladies. He records that D. Isabella Asteley was appointed July 30, 1431, and that D. Jocosa Brome, daughter of John Brome,[39] succeeded her. She resigned in 1524, and died on June 21, 1528.

Agnes Little was confirmed Prioress November 20, 1525, and at the dissolution of the house a pension of £7 10s. was granted her for life. The rest of her fellow nuns were exposed to the wide world to seek their fortunes. Now Dugdale, with all his perfections, occasionally makes mistakes. He either mistook Asteley for Shakespeare, or another Shakespeare prioress intervened between the two that he mentions. The "Guild of Knowle Records" give unimpeachable testimony as to the existence and date of the Prioress, Isabella Shakespeare. In the edition of Dugdale's "Warwickshire" by Dr. W. Thomas, 1730, and the edition of his "Monasticon," published 1823, there is mentioned in a note that a license for electing to the office was granted Johanna Shakespere, Sub-Prioress, September 5, 1525. So she might have had the empty[Pg 12] title of Domina, without the usual pension allowed to the Prioress on dissolution.[40]

After the name of Domina Johanna Shakspere in the Knowle Records occur those of Richard Shakspere and Alice, his wife; William Shakespere and Agnes his wife; Johannes Shakespere and Johanna his wife, 1526; Richard Woodham and Agnes his wife, who was the sister of Richard. This Richard Shakespere was probably the Bailiff[41] of the Priory, who shortly before the Dissolution collected the rents and held lands from the Priory. He, however, was replaced in his office by John Hall, who received a patent for it on January 4, 26 Henry VIII. Among the tenants of the dissolved Priory were mentioned[42] "Richard Shakespeare," "William Shakespeare," and "land in the tenure of John Shakespeare, demised to Alice Taylor, of Hanwell, in the county of Oxford."

Mr. Yeatman[43] transcribes a grant of land in Wroxall by the Prioress Isabella Shakespere to John Shakespere and Elene, his wife, in 23 Henry VII. (Richard Shakespere on the jury).[44] But there seems to be some error in the date, as the "Guild of Knowle Records" distinctly state that Isabella the Prioress was either dead in 19 Henry VII. or had retired from office.

Elena Cockes, widow, late wife of John Shakespere, and Antony, her son, appear about this land in a court held by Agnes Little, Prioress of Wroxhall, April 21, 25 Henry VIII. William Shakespeare and Agnes were concerned in it, Alice Lone, and many other connected[Pg 13] names. A Richard Shakespere was on the jury, and a Richard Shakespere was appointed Ale-taster. The Subsidy Rolls do not give a John resident in Wroxall at any date, but in 14, 15, and 16 Henry VIII. John, senior, and John, junior, were resident in the adjoining village of Rowington, and in 34 and 37 Henry VIII. there was one John Shakespeare there. In 16 Henry VIII.[45] there was a Richard Shakespere in Hampton Corley. The name also occurs at Wroxall in that year and in Rowington in 34-5 Henry VIII. There were also a Thomas and a Lawrence (mentioned as a cousin in a will of a John Shakespere, 1574), at Rowington at that time, and the name of William appears repeatedly in Wroxall. A Robert Shakespere was presented for non-suit. Rev. Joseph Hunter[46] gives a rental of Rowington 2 Edward VI. Among the free tenants of Lowston End was John Shakespere; at Mowsley End, Johanna Shakespere, a widow, who seems to have died 1557, as her will, though lost, is mentioned in the index at Worcester; a William Shakespere and a Richard Shakespere are also mentioned. In 3 Elizabeth Thomas Shakespere held a messuage in Lowston. In Rowington End John Shakespere held a cottage called "The Twycroft," and Richard Shakespere a messuage in Church End at the same time. In the reign of Edward VI. a Richard Shakespere was on the jury for Hatton, a Court in the Manor of Wroxall. The Wroxall Parish Registers begin too late to be of any use (1586). The Wroxall Court Rolls mention in 1523, Richard of Haseley; 1530-36, Richard and William; 1547, Ralph of Barston.

Ralph[47] Shakespere was on the jury for Berkswell November 11, 4 Edward VI. and 5 Edward VI. In[Pg 14] 1560 Laurence was presented, because he overburdened the commons with his cattle. John is mentioned in a transfer of property. Mr. J. W. Ryland gives us invaluable help in his publication of "The Records of Rowington." John Shakespeer and Robert Fulwood, gent., are mentioned as feoffees in the will of John Hill of Rowington, September 23, 1502. John Shakespeare elder and younger are frequently mentioned in the Charters of Rowington as feoffees or as witnesses, and a John had a lease of the Harveys for twenty-one years in 1554. A Joan Shakespeare, widow, and her son Thomas, lived at Lyannce in Hatton in 1547. In the Rental of Rowington, 1560-1, there are mentioned Thomas, William, John and Richard. Mr. Hunter mentions a Richard Shakespeyre, at Mansfield, co. Notts, about 1509; a Peter, in 1545; and a John at Derby, 36 Henry VIII. A Richard Shakespere was assessed at Hampton Carlew 16 Henry VIII.; Richard Woodham and Richard Shakspere had a farm at Haseley. The Haseley Registers begin in 1538, and are interesting for the fact that they record on October 21, 1571, the death and burial of "Domina Jane," formerly a nun of Wroxall, who would seem to have been the last sub-prioress, probably connected with Richard Shakespere, the Bailiff. In 1558 a Roger Shakespere was buried—by some supposed to be the old monk of Bordesley[48]—who received 100s. annuity.

The earliest Shakespeare will at Worcester, proved at Stratford, was that of Thomas Shakespere, of Alcester, 1539, who left 20s. each to his father and mother, Richard and Margaret. He had a wife Margaret and a son William.[49] Among other Worcester wills is that of Thomas Shakespere of Warwick, shoe[Pg 15]maker, May 20, 1557, who left his wife Agnes lands in Balsall for life; his daughter Jone, wife to Francis Ley, £4; to his sons Thomas and John 4 nobles each; and his son William was to be his heir. Richard Shakysspere of Rowington, weaver, June 15, 1560, left his property to his sons Richard and William. His brothers-in law John and William Reve were executors and Richard Shakespeare was a witness. In 1561 this William Reve in his will left a sheep to Margaret Shakspere, and in 1565 Robert Shakespeere of Rowington made his will.

But among all these Shakesperes we cannot certainly fix upon any one that is directly connected with our Shakespeare. It seems almost certain that John Shakespeare was son of Richard Shakespeare, of Snitterfield. And yet many doubt it on grounds worthy of consideration, which are treated later in the notice of John Shakespeare. Mr. Yeatman found that an Alice Griffin, daughter of Edward, and sister of Francis Griffin of Braybrook, married a Shakespeare. He takes it for granted that she married Richard of Wroxall, and that it was he who came to Snitterfield. We must beware of drawing definite conclusions, of making over-hasty generalizations. We only collect the bricks to help future investigators to build the edifice.

The Sir Thomas Schakespeir, Curate, of Essex, Bristol and London, who died 1559, is treated later among the Essex Shakespeares.

There is one curious mention of the name which no student seems to have worked out. A certain Hugh Saunders, alias Shakespere,[50] of Merton College, Oxford, became Principal of St. Albans Hall in 1501. He was Vicar of Meopham, in Kent, Rector of Mixbury, Canon[Pg 16] of St. Paul's, and Prebendary of Ealdstreet, in 1508; and Rector of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, in 1512. He died 1537. Now, such an alias was common at the time, when a man's mother was of higher social station than his father. We may therefore, seeing he was somehow connected with Shakespeare, imagine Hugh Saunders' mother to have been a Shakespeare. He is styled "vir literis et virtute percelebris."


[36] "George Shaksper complains against Agnes Marshall that she detains two rosaries," June 18, 1533.—"Common Trained Soldiers in Nottingham," Peter Shakespear, etc., 1596-97. Stevenson's "Nottingham Records."

[37] Halliwell-Phillipps' "Outlines," vol. ii., p. 252.

[38] Guild of Knowle Register.

[39] John Brome was Lord of the Manor of Baddesley Clinton, but was murdered in the porch of the Church of the White Friars, London, November 9, 1468, leaving a wife, Beatrice, three sons and two daughters, one of whom was Jocosa. His son Thomas succeeded, and died without heirs, and his second son Nicholas then inherited the property. Eight of his children are registered in the guild of Knowle. His son-in-law was Sir Edward Ferrers, who married Constance, to whom the property afterwards came. Their son was Henry Ferrers, the great Warwickshire antiquary, who succeeded at sixteen, and was Lord of the Manor for sixty-nine years ("Baddesley Clinton," Rev. H. Norris, p. 234).

[40] Nam Licentia concessa fuit Johanne Shakespere Sub priorisse ad. eligend., 5 Sept., 1525; et 20 Nov., 1525, Agnes Little confirmata fuit Priorissa de Wroxall. Vac. per resign. Joc. Brome. Dugdale's "Monasticon," ed. 1823, vol. iv., p. 89, and "Warwickshire," ed. 1730, p. 649.

[41] "Valor Ecclesiasticus," 26 Henry VIII. (1535).

[42] Ministers' Accounts, April 24, 28 Henry VIII., and Augmentation Books, Public Record Office.

[43] Yeatman's "Gentle Shakespeare," pp. 138-142.

[44] Court Rolls, General Series, Portfolio 207, No. 99.

[45] Addit. MSS., Brit. Mus. (24,500).

[46] Mr. Yeatman's "Gentle Shakespeare," p. 142.

[47] Court Roll, No. 10, p. 207.

[48] Nash's "Worcestershire," vol. ii., account of Tardebigg. See Augmentation Books, October 14, 1539, 233, f. 8.

[49] Hunter's "Prolusions," p. 9.

[50] Wood's Colleges. Fasti Oxoniensis, Bliss, 1815. Wood, Antiq. Oxon., L. 2, 341. Boase, Reg. Univ. Oxon. Newcourt's "Repertorium."

[Pg 17]




None of the family seem to have risen above the heraldic horizon till John Shakespeare applied for his coat of arms. Into the contest over that application it is well to plunge at once, and thence work backwards and forwards. Four classes of writers wage war over the facts: the Baconians, like the late Mr. Donnelly, who deny everything; the Romanticists, who accept what is pleasant, and occasionally believe manufactured tradition to suit their inclinations; the agnostic Shakespeareans, like Halliwell-Phillipps, who really work, but believe only what they can see and touch, if it accords with their opinions; and the ingenuous workers who seek saving truth like the agnostics, but bring human influences and natural inferences to bear on dusty records. Now, Halliwell-Phillipps does not scruple to affirm that three heralds,[51] [Pg 18]the worthy ex-bailiff of Stratford, and the noblest poet the world has ever produced, were practically liars in this matter, because they make statements that do not harmonize with the limits of his knowledge and the colour of his opinions. From his grave the poet protests—

"Good name in man or woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash....
But he who filches from me my good name
Robs me of that, which not enriches him,
But leaves me poor indeed."

Othello, Act III., Scene 3.

We must therefore at least start inquiry with the supposition that these men thought they spoke truth. There was no reason they should not have done so. Sir John Ferne[52] writes: "If any person be advanced[Pg 19] into an office or dignity of publique administration, be it eyther Ecclesiasticall, Martiall or Civill ... the Herealde must not refuse to devise to such a publique person, upon his instant request, and willingness to bear the same without reproche, a Coate of Armes, and thenceforth to matriculate him with his intermarriages and issues descending in the Register of the gentle and noble.... In the Civil or Political State divers Offices of dignitie and worship doe merite Coates of Armes to the possessours of the same offices, as ... Bailiffs of Cities and ancient Boroughs or incorporated townes." John Shakespeare had certainly been Bailiff of Stratford-on-Avon in 1568-9; the draft states that he then applied for arms, and that the herald, Cooke, had sent him a "pattern." Probably he did not conclude the negotiations then, thinking the fees too heavy, or he might have delayed until he found his opportunity lost, or he might have asked them for his year of office alone. No doubt John Shakespeare was deeply impressed with the dignity of his wife's relatives, and wished, even then, to make himself and his family more worthy for her sake. The tradition of this draft, or the sight of it, may have stimulated the heart of the good son to honour his parents by having them enrolled among the Armigeri of the county. John had appeared among the "gentlemen" of Warwickshire in a government list of 1580.[53]

The Warwickshire Visitations occur in 1619, after the death of the poet, without male heirs, and are no help to us here. In the first 1596 draft the claims are based on John's public office, on a grant to his antecessors by Henry VII. for special services on marriage[Pg 20] with the daughter and heir of a gentleman of worship (i.e., entitled to armorial bearings). Then a fuller draft was drawn out, also in 1596, correcting "antecessors" into "grandfather." Halliwell-Phillipps only mentions one at that date, but Mr. Stephen Tucker,[54] Somerset Herald, gives facsimiles of both. Halliwell-Phillipps calls these ridiculous assertions, and asserts that both parties were descended from obscure country yeomen. The heralds state they were "solicited," and "on credible report" informed of the facts. We must not forget that all the friends intimately associated either with the Ardens or the Shakespeares (with the exception of the Harts) were armigeri.

Nobody now knows anything of that earlier pattern, nor of the patents of the gifts "to the antecessors." But seeing, as I have seen, that sacks full of old parchment deeds and bonds, reaching back to the fifteenth century, get cleared out of lawyers' offices, and sold for small sums to make drumheads or book-bindings, and seeing that this process has been going on for 400 years, it does not seem to me surprising that some deeds do get lost. Generally, it is those we most wish to have that disappear. Lawyers do not, as a rule, concern themselves with historical fragments, but with the soundness of the present titles of their clients and their own modern duties. (I do think that historical and antiquarian societies should bestir themselves to have old deeds included among the "ancient monuments of the country" and entitled to some degree of protection.)

We must also consider how illiterate the inhabitants of the country were in the reign of Henry VII., how the nation was bestrid by officials of the Empson and Dudley type, and we have reason to[Pg 21] believe that various accidents, intentional or otherwise, caused many an old grant to disappear at that period.

It has struck me as possible that John Shakespeare may have intended ancestors through the female line. The names of his mother and grandmother are as yet unknown, and the supposition has never been discussed. But in support of John Shakespeare's claim, and in opposition to Halliwell-Phillipps's contradiction, we can prove there were Shakespeares in direct service of the Crown, not merely as common soldiers, though in 28 Henry VIII. (1537), Thomas, Richard, William and another Richard were mentioned as among the King's forces.[55]

But one Roger Shakespeare was Yeoman of the Chamber to the King, and on June 9, 1552, shared with his fellows, Abraham Longwel and Thomas Best, a forfeit of £36 10s.[56] This post of Yeoman of the Chamber was one of great trust and dignity; it was the same as that held earlier by Robert Arden, of Yoxall, the younger brother of Sir John Arden, and the election to it suggested either inherited favour, Court interest, or signal personal services. His ancestors might have been also the missing ancestors of John Shakespeare. He himself may be the Roger who was buried in Haseley in 1558, supposed by some to have been the monk of Bordesley. He may also have been the father of Thomas Shakespeare, the Royal Messenger of 1575, noticed later.

This record proves nothing beyond the inexactitude of Halliwell-Phillipps's sweeping statements, but it gives us a hope that something else may somewhere else be found to fit into it and make a fact complete. One of the facts brought forward as a reason for the grant of arms to John Shakespeare was "that he hath[Pg 22] maryed Mary daughter and one of the heires of Robert Arden in the same countie, Esquire." "Gent" was originally written, and was altered to "Esquire."[57]

Some have doubted that the grant ever really took place, but Gwillim, in his "Display of Heraldrie," 1660, notes, "Or, on a bend Sable, a tilting Spear of the field, borne by the name of Shakespeare, granted by William Dethick, Garter, to William Shakespear the renowned poet." Shakespeare's crest, or cognizance, was a "Falcon, his wings displayed, Argent, standing on a wreath of his colours, supporting a speare, gold." His motto was, "Non Sans Droict."

It is said there were objections made to this pattern on the ground that it was too like the old Lord Mauley's.[58] Probably they were only notes of a discussion among the heralds, when it was decided that the spear made a "patible difference," and a résumé of the qualifications was added.

This was answered on May 10, 1602, before Henry Lord Howard, Sir Robert Sidney, and Sir Edward Dier, Chancellor of the Order of the Garter: "The answere of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of arms, to a libellous scrowle against certen arms supposed to be wrongfully given. Right Honorable, the exceptions taken in the Scrowle of Arms exhibited, doo concerne these armes granted, or the persons to whom they have been granted. In both, right honourable, we hope to satisfy your Lordships." (They mention twenty-three cases.) "Shakespere.—It may as well be said that Hareley, who beareth gould, a bend between two cotizes sables,[Pg 23] and all other that (bear) or and argent a bend sables, usurpe the coat of the Lo. Mauley. As for the speare in bend, is a patible difference; and the person to whom it was granted hath borne magestracy, and was justice of peace at Stratford-upon-Avon. He married the daughter and heire of Arderne, and was able to maintaine that estate" ("MS. Off. Arm.," W. Z., p. 276; from Malone).

It has struck me that the attempt to win arms for his father was in order to continue them to his mother.

In the Record Office I found the other day a note that explains what I mean: "At a Chapitre holden by the Office of Armes at the Embroyderers Hall in London Anno 4o Reginæ Elizabethæ it was agreed, that no inhiritrix eyther mayde wife or widdow should bear or cause to be borne any Creast or Cognizaunce of her Ancestors otherwise than as followeth. If she be unmaried to beare in her ringe, cognizaunce or otherwise, the first coate of her Ancestors in a Lozenge. And during her Widdowhood to Set the first coate of her husbande in pale with the first coate of her Auncestor. And if she mary one who is noe gentleman, then she to be clearly exempted from the former conclusion."[59]


[51] Cooke, Dethicke and Camden.

In the description of England prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicles it is stated:

"A gentleman of blood is defined to descend of three descents of nobleness, that is to saie, of name and of armes both by father and mother" (p. 161). "Moreover as the King doth dubbe Knights and createth the barons and higher degrees, so gentlemen whose ancestors are not knowen to come in with William Duke of Normandie (for of the Saxon races yet remaining wee now make none accompt, much lesse of the British issue), doe take their beginning in England, after this manner in our times. Whosoever studieth the lawes of the realme, whoso abideth in the Universitie giving his mind to his booke, or professeth physicke and the liberall sciences, or beside his service in the roome of a captaine in the warres, or good counsell given at home, whereby his commonwealth is benefited, can live without manuall labour, and thereto is able and will beare the port, charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall for monie have a cote and armes bestowed upon him by heralds (who in the charter of the same doo of custome pretend antiquitie and service, and manie gaie things) and thereunto being made in good cheape be called master, which is the title men give to esquires and gentlemen, and reputed for a gentleman ever after" (Ed. 1586, pp. 161-2).

The same is repeated in "The Commonwealth of England and Maner of Government thereof," by Sir Thomas Smith, London, 1589-1594, Chap. XX.

In a contemporary play, quoted by John Payne Collier, the herald is made to say:

"We now are faine to wait who grows in wealth,
And comes to beare some office in a towne,
And we for money help them unto armes,
For what can not the golden tempter doe?"

Robert Wilson: The Cobbler's Prophecy.

[52] Sir John Ferne in "The Glory of Generositie," 1586.

[53] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., cxxxvii. 68. The gentlemen and freeholders in the countye of Warwick. Among the freeholders of Barlichway, John Shakespeare, father of William and Thomas Shakespeare, 69. In Stratford-on-Avon John Shaxspere, and at Rowington Thomas Shaxpere, April, 1580.

[54] "Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica," 2nd Series, 1886, vol. i., p. 109, since published in a volume.

[55] The Musters. Archers of Rowington and Wroxall, S.P.D.S.

[56] State Papers, Domestic Series, Edward VI., vol. xiv., Docquet.

[57] Nichols's "Herald and Genealogist," vol. i., p. 510, 1863; and "Miscel. Gen. et Herald.," Series II., vol. i., p. 109.

[58] See the papers in the Bodleian Library, Ashmol. MS. 846, art. ix., f. 50 a, b. "The answers of Garter and Clarencieux Kings of Arms, to the Scrowle of Arms, exhibited by Raffe Brookesmouth, caled York Herald," wherein they state that there is "a patible difference."

[59] State Papers, Domestic Series, Eliz., xxvi. 31, 1561.

[Pg 24]



In the later application to impale the Ardens' arms in 1599, the 1596 draft is repeated in only slightly altered terms. "Antecessors" is changed to "great-grandfather," and the dignity of Mary Arden's family further elucidated. Some writers consider that, following a custom of the day, John Shakespeare treated as his antecessors his wife's ancestors. The word "great-grandfather" tends to exclude this notion, as may be seen later, but the word "grandfather" would imply, if this had been intended, that Thomas Arden himself had had the grants. It has always been supposed that Brooke, York Herald, had exhibited some complaint against this grant also, as he very possibly did.[60] He was severely critical of the heraldic and genealogic matter in Camden's "Britannia," and very bitter at the slighting way the author speaks of heralds. He wrote a book called "The Discoveries of Certaine Errours in the edition of 1594," which he seems to have begun at once, as on page 14 he states, "If the making of gentlemen heretofore hath been greatly misliked by her Majestie in the Kinges of Armes; much more displeasing, I think, it will be to her, that you, being no Officer of Armes, should erect, make and put down Earles and Barons[Pg 25] at your pleasure." It must have been peculiarly galling to him that by the influence of Sir Fulke Greville, afterwards Lord Brooke, Camden was advanced over his head to the dignity he himself desired. After being appointed, for form's sake, Richmond Herald for one day, Camden was made Clarenceux, October 23, 1597, between the first and second Shakespeare drafts. This probably decided Brooke to publish his "Pamphlet of Errors," which, as he dedicated it to the Earl of Essex, "Lord General of the Royal Forces in Ireland," must have appeared in 1599. He wrote another book against Camden, which was forbidden to be published.

The draft for the impalement is also heavily corrected, probably in comparison and discussion. Of the Shakespeare shield a note adds: "The person to whom it was granted hath borne magistracy in Stratford-on-Avon, was Justice of the Peace, married the daughter and heir of Arderne, and was able to maintain that estate." The Heralds first tricked the arms of the Ardens of Park Hall, Ermine a fesse chequy or and az., but scratched them out, and substituted a shield bearing three cross crosslets fitchée and a chief or, with a martlet for difference.

I put forward several suggestions concerning this question in an article in the Athenæum.[61]

The critical strictures against the Shakespeare-Arden claim are best summed up by Mr. Nichols:[62]

1. That the relation of Mary Arden to the Ardens of Park Hall was imaginary and impossible, and those who assert it in error. 2. That the Ardens were connected with nobility, while Robert Arden was a mere "husbandman." 3. That the Heralds knew the claim was unfounded when they scratched out the arms of[Pg 26] Arden of Park Hall, and replaced them by the arms of the Ardens of Alvanley, of Cheshire. This was equally unjustifiable, but as the family lived further off, there was less likelihood of complaint.

Now we must work out the case step by step on the other side.

Robert Arden, of Park Hall, spent his substance during the Wars of the Roses, and was finally brought to the block (30 Henry VI.,[63] 1452). His son Walter was restored by Edward IV., but he would probably be encumbered by debts and "waste"; at least, he had but small portions to leave to his family when he made his will[64] (31 July, 17 Henry VII., 1502). Besides his heir, Sir John, Esquire of the Body to Henry VII., he had a second son,[65] Thomas, to whom he leaves ten marks annually; a third son, Martin, who was to have the manor of Natford; if not, then Martin and his other sons—Robert, Henry, William—should each of them have five marks annually. This is an income too small even for younger sons to live on in those days, so it is to be supposed the father had already either placed them, married them well, or otherwise provided for them during his life. Among the witnesses to the will are "Thomas Arden and John Charnells, Squires." Thomas, being the second son, might have had something from his mother Eleanor, daughter and coheir of John Hampden, of Great Hampden, county Bucks. This Thomas was alive in 1526, because Sir John Arden then willed that his brothers—Thomas, Martin, and Robert—should have their fees for life. Henry, and probably also William, had meanwhile died, though a William seems to have been established at Hawnes, in Bedfordshire. Seeing that Sir John was the Esquire[Pg 27] of the Body to Henry VII., it seems very probable that his brother Robert was the Robert Arden, Yeoman of the Chamber, to whom Henry VII. granted three patents: First, on February 22, 17 Henry VII., as Keeper of the Park at Altcar,[66] Lancashire; and second, as Bailiff of Codmore, Derby,[67] and Keeper of the Royal Park there; the third[68] gave him Yoxall for life, at a rental of £42—afterwards confirmed. Indeed, Leland in his "Itinerary" mentions the relationship,[69] and the administration of Robert's goods proves it.

Martin's family became connected with the Easts and the Gibbons, and his name and arms appear in the "Visitations of Oxfordshire." Where meanwhile was Thomas? There is no record of any Thomas Arden in Warwickshire or elsewhere, ever supposed to be the son of Walter Arden, save the Thomas who, the year before Walter Arden's death, was living at Wilmecote, in the parish of Aston Cantlowe, on soil formerly owned by the Beauchamps. On May 16, 16 Henry VII., Mayowe transferred certain lands at Snitterfield to "Robert Throckmorton, Armiger, Thomas Trussell of Billesley, Roger Reynolds of Henley-in-Arden, William Wood of Woodhouse, Thomas Arden of Wilmecote, and Robert Arden, the son of this Thomas Arden." This list is worth noting. Thomas Trussell, of an old family, is identified by his residence.[70] He was Sheriff of the county in[Pg 28] 23 Henry VII. No Throckmorton could take precedence of him save the Robert Throckmorton of Coughton, who was knighted six months later.[71]

These men were evidently acting as trustees for the young Robert Arden. Just in the same way this same Robert Throckmorton was appointed by Thomas's elder brother, Sir John Arden of Park Hall, as trustee for his children, in association with John Kingsmel, Sergeant-at-Law, Sir Richard Empson, and Sir Richard Knightley.[72] That a man of the same name, at the same time, in the same county, retaining the same family friends, in circumstances in every way suitable to the second son of Walter Arden, should be accepted for that man seems just and natural, especially when no other claimant has ever been brought forward.

But we know this Thomas Arden was Mary Arden's grandfather; this Robert was her father; this property, that tenanted afterwards by the Shakespeares, and left by Robert's will to his family.

As the deed of conveyance of the premises at Snitterfield from Mayowe to Arden has been often referred to, occasionally quoted, but never, so far as I know, printed in extenso, I should like to preserve the copy. It may save trouble to future investigators, and help to clear up the connection between the Shakespeares and the Ardens. It certainly strengthens very much Mary Arden's claim to connection with the Ardens of Park Hall, and her descent from "a gentleman of worship," a claim the heralds allowed.[Pg 29]

"Sciant presentes et futuri quod ego Johannes Mayowe de Snytterfeld dedi, concessi, et hac presenti carta mea confirmavi, Roberto Throkmerton Armigero, Thome Trussell de Billesley, Rogero Reynoldes de Henley in Arden, Willelmo Wodde de Wodhouse, Thome Arderne de Wylmecote, et Roberto Arderne filio eiusdem Thome Arderne, unum mesuagium cum suis pertinenciis in Snytterfeld predicta, una cum omnibus et singulis terris toftis, croftis, pratis, pascuis et pasturis eidem mesuagio spectantibus sive pertinentibus in villa et in campis de Snytterfeld predicta cum omnibus suis pertinenciis; quod quidem mesuagium predictum quondam fuit Willelmi Mayowe et postea Johannis Mayowe et situatum est inter terram Johannis Palmer ex parte una et quandam venellam ibidem vocatam Merellane ex parte altera in latitudine et extendit se in longitudine a via Regia ibidem usque ad quendam Rivulum, secundum metas et divisas ibidem factas. Habendum et tenendum predictum mesuagium cum omnibus et singulis terris Toftis, Croftis, pratis, pascuis, et pasturis predictis, ac omnibus suis pertinenciis prefatis Roberto Throkmerton, Thome Trussell, Rogero Reynoldes, Willelmo Wodde, Thome Arderne et Roberto Ardern heredibus et assignatis suis de capitalibus dominis feodi illius per servicia inde debita et de jure consueta imperpetuum. Et ego vero predictus Johannes Mayowe et heredes mei mesuagium predictum cum omnibus et singulis terris Toftis Croftis, pratis, pascuis et pasturis supradictis ac omnibus suis pertinenciis prefatis Roberto Throckmerton, Thome Trussell, Rogero Reynoldes, Willelmo Wodde, Thome Arderne et Roberto Arderne heredibus et assignatis suis contra omnes gentes Warrantizabimus et defendemus imperpetuum.

"Et insuper sciatis me prefatum Johannem Mayowe assignasse, constituisse et in loco meo posuisse dilectos[Pg 30] michi in Christo Thomam Clopton de Snytterfeld predicta gentilman et Johannem Porter de eadem meos veros et legitimos Attornatos conjunctim et divisim ad intrandum vice et nomine meo in predictum mesuagium cum omnibus et singulis premissis et pertinenciis suis quibuscunque et ad plenam et pacificam seisinam pro me ac vice et nomine meo inde capiendam et postquam hujusmodi seisina dicta capta fuerit ad deliberandam pro me ac vice et nomine meo prefatis Roberto Throkmerton, Thome Trussell, Rogero Reynoldes, Willelmo Wodde, Thome Arderne et Roberto Arderne plenam et pacificam possessionem et seisinam de et in eodem mesuagio ac omnibus et singulis premissis, secundum vim, formam et effectum huius presentis carte mee. Ratum et gratum habens et habiturus totum et quicquid dicti attornati mei vice et nomine meo fecerint seu eorum alter fecerit in premisses. In cuius rei testimonium huic presenti carte mee et scripto meo sigillum meum apposui. Hiis testibus Johanne Wagstaffe de Aston Cauntelowe Roberto Porter de Snytterfield predicta Ricardo Russheby de eadem, Ricardo Atkyns de Wylmecote predicta, Johanne Alcokkes de Newenham et aliis. Datum apud Snytterfield predictam die lune proximo post festum invencionis Sancte Crucis Anno Regni Regis Henrici Septimi post conquestum Sexto decimo."[73]

Mr. Nichols' second objection was that in records he is styled "husbandman"; but the word is an old English equivalent for a farmer, in which sense it is often used in old wills and records. And in the examination of John Somerville,[74] Edward Arden's son-in-law (also of high descent), he stated "that he had received no visitors of late, but certain 'husbandmen,'[Pg 31] near neighbours." The Arden "husbandman" of Wilmecote in 1523 and 1546[75] paid the same amount to the subsidy as the Arden Esquire of Yoxall[76] in 1590, when money was of less value.

Mr. Nichols' third assertion, that the heralds scratched out the arms of the Ardens of Park Hall, because they dared not quarter them with those of the Shakespeares, shows that he omitted certain considerations. That family was under attainder then.

Drummond[77] exemplifies many arms of Arden, and traces them back to their derivation. He notices that the "elder branch of the Ardens took the arms of the old Earls of Warwick; the younger branches took the arms of the Beauchamps, with a difference. In this they followed the custom of the Earls of Warwick." The Ardens of Park Hall therefore bore ermine, a fesse chequy, or, and az., arms derived from the old Earls of Warwick; and this was the pattern scratched out in John Shakespeare's quartering. But the reason lay in no breach of connection, but in the fact that Mary Arden was an heiress, not in the eldest line, but through a second son. A possible pattern for a younger son was three cross crosslets fitchée and a chief or. As such they were borne by the Ardens of Alvanley, with a crescent for difference. They were borne without the crescent by Simon Arden of Longcroft,[78][Pg 32] the second son of the next generation, and full cousin of Mary Arden's father. It is true that among the tombs at Yoxall the fesse chequy appeared, but there is evident confusion in their use. Martin Arden of Euston was probably in the wrong to assume when he did the arms of his elder brother; William Arden of Hawnes, if the sixth son, county Bedford, bore the same arms as those proposed for Mary Arden, and it is implied that Thomas, her father, had borne them. In the Heralds' College is the draft: "Shakespere impaled with the Aunceyent armes of the said Arden of Willingcote" (volume marked R. 21 outside and G. XIII. inside).

If the three cross crosslets fitchée were the correct arms for Thomas Arden as the second son of an Arden, who might bear ermine, a fesse chequy or, and az., the crescent would have been the correct difference, but it had long been borne by the Ardens of Alvanley, in Cheshire, who branched off from the Warwickshire family early in the thirteenth century. The heralds therefore differenced the crosslets with a martlet, usually, but by no means universally, the mark of cadency for a fourth son at that time.[79] Thus, Glover[80] enumerates among the arms of Warwickshire and Bedfordshire: "Arden or Arderne gu., three cross crosslets fitchée or; on a chief of the second a martlet of the first. Crest, a plume of feathers charged with a martlet or." If heraldry has anything, therefore, to say to this dispute, it is to support the claim of Thomas Arden to being a cadet of the Park Hall family, and thereby to include Mary Arden and her son in the descent from Ailwin, Guy of Warwick, and the Saxon[Pg 33] King Athelstan. Camden and the other heralds were only seeking correctness in their draft of the restitution of the Ardens' arms. The hesitation as to exactitude among the varieties of Arden arms was the cause of the notes. See "The Booke of Differ.," 61; see "Knights of E.I.," folios 2, 28, etc., on the draft.

It has been considered strange that, after the application and even after the grant (preserved in MS. "Coll. of Arms," R. 21), no use thereof can be proved, though the heralds added to the former grant: "and we have lykewise uppon an other escucheon impaled the same with the auncient arms of the said Arden of Wellyngcote, signifying thereby that it maye and shalbe lawfull, for the said John Shakespeare, gent., to beare and use the same shields of arms, single or impaled, as aforesaid, during his natural lyfe, and that it shalbe lawful for his children, issue, and posterity, to beare, use, quarter, and shewe the same with their dewe difference, in all lawfull warlyke faites and civill use" (Ibid., G. XIII.).

John Shakespeare did not live long after his application, dying in 1601.

Whether or not the grant of the impaled Arden arms was completed before his death, there is no record of his using them. Whether his son ever used the impalement we do not now know, but it does not appear on any of the tombs or seals that have been preserved. But the Shakespeare arms have been certainly used.

William Shakespeare was mercilessly satirized by his rivals, Ben Jonson and others,[81] about his coat of arms;[Pg 34] but it was the recognition of his descent that secured him so universally the attribute of "gentle." As Davies, addressing Shakespeare and Burbage in 1603, says:

"And though the stage doth stain pure gentle blood,
Yet generous ye are in mind and mood."[82]

We must not forget there would be possible ill-feeling among the families of the Arden sisters, when the youngest, whom they had probably always pitied and looked down on, because of her comparatively unfortunate marriage, should have the audacity to think of using the arms of their father, to which they had never aspired.

To face p. 35.


[60] He tried in every way to prove Camden wrong, but his bitterness only hurt himself. His strictures were confuted before the highest authority.

[61] August 10, 1895, p. 202.

[62] "Herald and Genealogist," vol. i., p. 510, 1863; and Notes and Queries, Series III., vol. v., p. 493.

[63] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 925.

[64] Preserved at Somerset House, 8 Porch.

[65] Dugdale places the sons in another order.

[66] Pat. Henry VII., second part, mem. 30, February 22.

[67] Same series, mem. 35, September 9.

[68] Pat. 23 Henry VIII., September 24, first part, mem. 12.

[69] "Arden of the court, brother to Sir John Arden of Park Hall." "Itinerary," vi. 20, about 1536-42.

[70] Sir Warine Trussell held Billesley 15 Edward III. The will of Sir William Trussell of Cublesdon, 1379, mentions a bequest to his cousin, "Sir Thomas d'Ardene" ("Testamenta Vetusta," Sir N. H. Nicolas, vol. i., p. 107). William Trussell was made a brother of the Guild of Knowle 1469, and there is an entry in 1504 of a donation "for Sir William Trussell and for his soul": "To Thomas Trussell, farmer of the said Bishop of Worcester; in Knowle for the Worke-silver 4/4" (37 Henry VIII., Report. "Register of the Guild of Knowle," Introduction, p. xxvi., by Mr. W. B. Bickley). Alured Trussell, born 1533, married Margaret, daughter of Robert Fulwood, and their daughter Dorothy married Adam Palmer, Robert Arden's friend. French thinks that the wife, either of Thomas or of Robert, was a Trussell.

[71] His son George succeeded him in 1520. Edward Arden, of Park Hall, was brought up in his care, and married Mary, his son Robert's daughter.

[72] See p. 184.

[73] Deed of Conveyance of Premises at Snytterfield. (Transcribed from the Miscellaneous Documents of Stratford-on-Avon), vol. ii., No. 83.

[74] State Papers, Domestic Series, Elizabeth, 1583, clxiii., 21.

[75] In the Subsidy Rolls 15 Henry VII., Thomas Arden was assessed on £12, and Robert Arden on £8 (192/128). Subsidy, Aston Cantlowe, March 10, 37 Henry VIII., 1546, Robert Arden, assessed on property valued at £10; Walter Edkyns, £10; John Jenks, £6; John Skarlett, £8; Thomas Dixson, £8; Roger Knight, £8; Richard Ingram, £6; Thomas Gretwyn, £5; Margaret Scarlet, £5; Richard Edkyns, £6; Robert Fulwood, £5; Nicholas Gibbes, £5; Richard Green, £5; William Hill, £5 (Mr. Hunter's "Prolusions," 37, note). Thomas Arden of Park Hall at the same time was assessed on £80; but Simon Arden was only assessed on £8 (192/179).

[76] French, "Genealogica Shakespeareana," p. 423; and Nichols' "History of Leicestershire."

[77] H. Drummond's "Noble British Families," vol. i. (2).

[78] See Fuller's "Worthies of Warwickshire."

[79] "The several marks of cadency which have of late years been made use of for the distinction of houses ... for the second son a crescent, the third a mullet, the fourth a martlet" (Glover's "Heraldry," vol. i., p. 168, ed. 1780).

[80] Ibid., vol. ii., ed. 1780.

[81] In the "Return from Parnassus," 1606, Studiosus says of the players:

"Vile world that lifts them up to high degree,
And treads us down in grovelling misery,
England affords these glorious vagabonds
That carried erst their fardels on their backs
Coursers to ride on through the gazing streets,
Sweeping it in their glaring satin suits,
And pages to attend their masterships.
With mouthing words that better wits have framed,
They purchase lands and now esquires are made."

Act V., Sc. 1.

The satire in "Ratsey's Ghost" also may refer to Shakespeare, though Alleyn and others might be intended.

Freeman, in his "Epigrams," 1614, asks:

"Why hath our age such new-found 'gentles' found
To give the 'master' to the farmer's son?"

But his high praise of Shakespeare elsewhere shows he does not refer to him.

[82] John Davies of Hereford's "Microcosmus, The Civil Warres of Death and Fortune."

[Pg 35]



It is unfortunate that we know so little about Thomas Arden, Mary Shakespeare's "antecessor." A quiet country gentleman he seems to have been, marrying for love, and not for property, or his wife's descent might have helped us to clear his own. I do not think she was a Throckmorton, but I think she was very probably a Trussell, which Mr. French also suggests. Joane was a Trussell name, and Billesley held some attraction to the family. We are not sure of anything about Thomas except the purchase of Snitterfield, the year before Sir Walter Arden's death, and his payment of the subsidies in 1526 and 1546. It is probable he was the "Thomas Arden, Squier," who witnessed the will of Sir Walter in 1502; it is possible he was the Thomas Arden who witnessed the will of John Lench[83] of Birmingham in 1525, though it is more likely that this latter Thomas was his nephew, the heir of Park Hall. Thomas of Wilmecote is supposed to have died in 1546, but no will has been discovered. Probably he had handed over his property to his son in his lifetime. There is no trace of another child than Robert.

Robert was probably under age when his father purchased Snitterfield, and hence the need of trustees in association with the purchase. On December 14[Pg 36] and 21, 1519, Robert Arden purchased another property in Snitterfield from Richard Rushby and Agnes his wife,[84] and he bought also a tenement from John Palmer on October 1, 1529.[85] One of his tenants was Richard Shakespeare. He and his tenant were both presented for non-suit of court in 30 Henry VIII.

He contributed to the subsidy in Wilmecote in 1526 and 1546. We know no more of his first wife than we know of his mother. She might have been either a Trussel or a Palmer. But we know that he had seven[86] daughters, who all bore Arden family names: Agnes, who married first John Hewyns, and secondly Thomas Stringer, by whom she had two sons, John and Arden Stringer; Joan, who married Edmund Lambert, of Barton-on-the-Heath, who had a son, John Lambert; Katharine, who married Thomas Edkyns of Wilmecote, who had a son, Thomas Edkyns the younger; Margaret, who married first Alexander Webbe of Bearley (by whom she had a son Robert), and secondly Edward Cornwall; Joyce, of whom there is no record but in her father's settlement and will;[87] Alice, who was one of the co-executors of her father's will, but of whom there is no further record; and Mary, the other executor, who married John Shakespeare. The exact dates of their birth are not known. Robert may be supposed to have been married about 1520, and it is probable that Mary was born about 1535. It is likely that she was of age when made executor in 1556, but not at all necessary.

Robert Arden married again when his family had grown up—probably in 1550—Agnes Webbe, who had been assessed as the widow of Hill of Bearley on £7, in 37 Henry VIII., 1546. On July 17, 1550, Robert[Pg 37] Arden made two settlements of the Snitterfield estates, probably upon his marriage.[88] In the first,[89] he devised estates at Snitterfield in trust to Adam Palmer and Hugh Porter, for the benefit, after the death of himself and his wife, of his three married daughters—Agnes, Joan and Katharine. In the second, a similar deed,[90] in favour of three other daughters—Margaret (then married to Alexander Webbe of Bearley), Joyce and Alice. Mary is not mentioned, probably because the Asbies estate was even then devoted to her.

Robert Arden, sick in body, but good and perfect of remembrance, made his last will and testament[91] November 23, 1556, and he must have died shortly after. This will of itself answers the question as to his worldly position, and as to the meaning of the word "husbandman" in his case. The wage of a working "husbandman" at the time was from 25s. to 33s. a year.[92] His will discloses property on a level with many "gentlemen" of his time and his county. It gives a strong suggestion that Mrs. Arden was not on the best of terms with her stepchildren. Robert bequeathed his soul "to God and the blessed Lady Saint Mary, and all the holye company of heaven," and his body to be buried in the churchyard of Saint John the Baptist at Aston Cantlowe. "Also I bequeathe to my youngest daughter Marye all my land at Willincote caulide Asbyes, and the crop upon the grownde sown and tythde as hitt is ... and vili xiiis iiiid of money to be paid her or ere my goodes be devided. Also I gyve[Pg 38] and bequeathe to my daughter Ales, the thyrde parte of all my goodes moveable and unmoveable in fylde and towne after my dettes and leggessese performyde, besydes that goode she hath of her owne all this tyme. Allso I give and bequethe to Agnes my wife vili xiiis iiiid upon this condysion that she shall sofer my dowghter Ales quyetly to ynjoye half my copyhold in Wyllincote during the tyme of her wyddewoode; and if she will nott soffer my dowghter Ales quyetly to occupy half with her, then I will that my wyfe shall have but iiili vis viiid, and her gintur in Snytterfelde. Item, I will that the residew of all my goodes, moveable and unmovable, my funeralles and my dettes dyschargyd, I gyve and bequeathe to my other children to be equaleye devidide amongeste them by the descreshyon of Adam Palmer, Hugh Porter of Snytterfelde, and Jhon Skerlett, whom I do orden and make my overseers of this my last will and testament, and they to have for their peynes takyng in this behalfe xxs apece. Allso I orden and constitute and make my full exequtores Ales and Marye my dawghters of this my last will and testament, and they to have no more for their paynes takyng now as afore geven to them. Allso I gyve and bequethe to every house that hath no teeme in the paryche of Aston, to every house iiiid. Thes being witnesses Sir William Bouton Curett, Adam Palmer, Jhon Skerlett, Thomas Jhenkes, William Pytt, with other mo." Proved at Worcester, December 16, 1556, by Alice and Mary Arden. It is interesting to learn from the inventory the nature of the furniture, and the prices of the period. There were eleven "painted cloths" in the various rooms, the substitutes for ancient tapestry even in good homes.

The value of the goods, movable and unmovable, independently of the landed property, was calculated to be £76 11s. 10d. This was a large sum for the[Pg 39] period. Probably even then the goods were worth much more, as the prices entered are relatively low for the date. Certainly it is necessary to multiply the value by ten to translate it into modern figures, and that would give a good estimate for the saleable value of a houseful of furniture now.

After her sister's and her stepmother's legacies of £6 13s. 4d., after the payment of 4d. to every family in the parish, and of 20s. to the overseers, all debts being paid, Alice was to have a third—that is, the third that by old English law belonged to the dead. She would thus have at least £13 worth in kind, along with her interest in Snitterfield and what goods "she had of her own." The others would have about £5 each. It may be noted the widow was left no furniture or goods. She may have claimed the widow's third, though the effect of her jointure was to disturb the law of dower. She seems to have had furniture of her own. She evidently stayed on in her husband's home, and apparently brought her own children there.

Mary Hill was married to John Fulwood, November 15, 1561, at Aston Cantlow. Agnes Arden, widow, made her will in 1578. The opinion that there was no great friendliness with her husband's family is strengthened thereby, yet there was not the absolute estrangement some writers have supposed. Halliwell-Phillipps states that she does not mention a member of her husband's family. She left legacies to the poor, to her godchildren, to her grandchildren, and the residue to her son and son-in-law in trust for their children. She left twelve pence to John Lambert, her stepdaughter Joan's son, and twelve pence to each of her brother Alexander Webbe's children, one of whom, at least, was the son of her stepdaughter Margaret. She left nothing to any of her stepdaughters, and nothing to any of the young Shakespeares. The overseers[Pg 40] were Adam Palmer and George Gibbs; so she had been able to keep friendly with her husband's friend. The witnesses were Thomas Edkins (a stepdaughter's husband), Richard Petyfere, and others. She was buried on December 29, 1580, and the inventory of her goods was taken January 19, 1580-81. The low rate at which it is calculated is remarkable. "Item 38 sheep £3; fivescore pigs £13 4s.," etc. The sum total was £45. The will was proved on March 31, 1581.

The friendliness between the Shakespeares and the other Arden families seems to have been unstable. Aunt Joan's husband, Edmund Lambert, of Barton-on-the-Heath, and their son John, through rather sharp practice for cousinly customs, became owners of Asbies. There is a hazy suspicion even about the bonâ fides of the Edkins. Agnes had settled rather far off at the home of the Stringers, in Stockton, co. Salop. In February, 1569, Thomas Stringer devised to Alexander Webbe his share of Snitterfield. John Shakespeare was one of the witnesses to the indenture. Alexander Webbe, it is true, made John Shakespeare, his brother-in-law, the overseer of his will at his death in 1573.

Joyce Arden and Alice Arden seem both to have died unmarried, without leaving a will. There is no further mention of Alice, the wealthier of the two maiden sisters, resident at Aston Cantlow, neither has there hitherto been made any suggestion concerning Joyce, and her death does not appear in the parish registers. Now, it was an exceedingly common custom of the time for poorer single relatives to enter into the service of wealthier members of the family; for "superfluous women" even, who were not poor, to go where they were wanted in other homes. Might she not have gone in such a capacity to one of the houses of the Ardens of Park Hall? In Worcestershire, near Stourbridge, there is a parish called Pedmore, and a[Pg 41] hall of the same name, then inhabited by the Arden family. The registers there record the death of a "Mistress Joyce Arden" in 1557, to whose family there is no clue: and I cannot but think she was Shakespeare's aunt, as the Joyce of Park Hall was married.

The Webbes[93] gradually bought up the reversionary shares of the other Arden sisters in Snitterfield, and held the whole as tenants under Mrs. Arden, widow. But the story of the Shakespeares' transfer is so curiously mixed up with their other actions that they must be taken together, in order to get a contemporary view of the matter. We find that John Shakespeare had apparently pinched himself in 1575 to purchase two houses in Stratford-on-Avon for £40, believed to be in Henley Street[94]. By 1578, for some reasons not explained, he was excused his share in municipal charges[95], and by a will of "Roger Sadler" Baker in that year, we know that he was in debt to him, and under circumstances that necessitated a security. "Item of Edmund Lambert and —— Cornish for the debte of Mr. John Shakesper vli[96]." John Shakespeare mortgaged Asbies to Edmund Lambert for a loan of £40 on November 14, 1578[97], the fine being levied Easter, 1579, the mortgagee treating the matter as a purchase[98].[Pg 42]

There is a curious complexity caused by a lease of the same property being apparently granted to George Gibbes, and a double fine levied[99]i.e., parties brought in who were strangers to the title; and a double fine appears to have been levied for technical purposes when the estate was entailed[100]. These other names were Thomas Webbe and Humphrey Hooper[101]. The mortgage loan was made repayable at Michaelmas, 1580, when the lease commenced to run, and things seemed to have been made safe for the Shakespeares. Then they proceeded to sell a parcel[102] of the Snitterfield property to Robert Webbe for £40 on October 15, 1579. The description is worded loosely: "John Shakespeare yeoman and Mary his wife ... all that theire moietye, parte and partes, be yt more or lesse, of and in twoo messuages," etc. The indenture is long[103], and written in English, and would seem to have been signed at Wilmcote[104].

A bond was drawn up on the 25th of the same month, carrying a penalty of twenty marks against the Shakespeares if they infringed the above conditions, also signed in the presence of Nicholas Knolles, the Vicar of Auston or Alveston[105]. Another deed, the final concord,[106] is drawn up in Latin: "in curia domine Regine apud Westmonasterium a die Pasche in quindecim dies anno regnorum Elizabethe ... vicesimo secundo ... inter Robertum Webbe querentem et Johannem Shackspere et Mariam uxorem ejus, deforciantes de sexta parte duarum partium duorum messuagiorum ...[Pg 43] idem Robertus dedit predictis Johannis et Marie quadraginta libras sterlingorum." On this sale Robert Webbe paid a fine of 6s. 8d. for licence of entry to the Sheriff of the County.[107]

Now, this apparently second sale has puzzled many Shakespeareans, as well as the "fraction." Even Halliwell-Phillipps[108] supposes that "John Shakespeare had some small interest in Snitterfield of his own," which he parted with for £4, and that "Mary Shakespeare was entitled to a share through an earlier settlement." Others have thought, however, that the first was but a draught deed of the indenture, the £4 the earnest money, and the "final concord" for £40 the conclusion of the whole. This is supported by the absolute indefiniteness of the first as to part or parts in two messuages, and by the apparent definiteness of the second. But the peculiar wording has further puzzled many writers. In referring to Robert Arden's settlements, we find that one tenement is settled upon three daughters, and the other tenement settled upon other three daughters, Mary's name not being mentioned. How, then, was she empowered to sell any share? It could only be by inheritance or by gift from some of her other sisters. The course of events showed it was not of free gift. But Joyce and Alice had apparently vanished from the scene. If they left no will, their shares would be divisible into equal parts among their surviving sisters by common law, and through her fraction of their shares Mary Shakespeare could step in as part owner of Snitterfield. Now, it is quite possible that the first sale of 1579 was an indefinite sale of Mary's share of Joyce's portion; and it is[Pg 44] possible that Alice died in that year, and increased the share of her sisters, so that the two portions were treated together in the deed of 1580. Seeing that the two portions of the property had long been held together by the Webbes, it is quite natural to read "the sixth part of two" rather than "the third of one," as each sister originally read her share. Now, if Mary had lost both of her sisters, it is quite natural to read her share as "the sixth part of two parts or portions of two tenements." This has not yet been thus simply explained. But it is not strictly correct; for while the share of the first sister would bring Mary "the sixth part of one part of two tenements," the death of the second sister should have secured her the fifth part of one part of two tenements, plus the fraction already inherited by the second from the first, or, more simply, the fifth part of two parts of two tenements. It was near enough, however, for all practical purposes, and Robert Webbe seems duly to have handed over the money to John Shakespeare. Robert Webbe's eagerness to buy, and the Shakespeares' need of the money, seems to have determined the price. Forty pounds was a large sum for such a fraction of the whole. Robert Webbe's readiness may be accounted for, because he was on the eve of marriage. There was a new settlement[109] of estates at Snitterfield on the occasion of his marriage to Mary, daughter of John Perkes, September 1, 23 Elizabeth, and an agreement between Edward Cornwall[110] (stepfather to Robert Webbe) and William Perkes, respecting an estate in Snitterfield, and a proviso against any claim from the Ardens.

But it was not from the Ardens that any difficulty arose. Before the death of Mrs. Agnes Arden, she was called to support her claim and that of all her stepdaughters, based on a supposition of entail, against[Pg 45] the descendants of the Mayowe who had sold his property to Thomas and Robert Arden in 1501. Being described as old and infirm, a Commission was directed to Bartholomew Hales, Lord of the Manor of Snitterfield, and Nicholas Knolles, Vicar of Alveston, to take her deposition concerning it, in July, 1580.[111] She died in December of that year; and in 1582 John Shakespeare,[112] and his brother Henry, and Adam Palmer, with others, were called on to give evidence in the case between Thomas Mayowe and Robert Webbe, before Sir Fulk Grevyle, Sir Thomas Lucy, Humphrey Peto, and William Clopton, Commissioners. Their depositions in support of the deed of transfer seem to have been sufficient, and we hear no more of Mayowe. The newly-married couple settled down on the inheritance of the Ardens, and the old home of the Shakespeares.

Concerning Mary Arden's special inheritance at Asbies, there is a sadder story to tell. Whether John Shakespeare could read or not, he was certainly not a Latin scholar, and though not ignorant of many points of common law, was not up to all the technicalities used at times to confuse the truth. It is evident that there had been some verbal agreement between him and Edmund Lambert on which he relied, but that the written deed was all that John Lambert accepted.[113] On selling the main portion of his wife's property at Snitterfield, John Shakespeare seems to have walked right off with the money to Edmund Lambert, of Barton-on-the-Heath, to redeem his mortgage, and reinstate himself as owner of Asbies, free to grant a lease or sale on his own terms. But through a quibble, which "was not in the bond," Edmund Lambert refused to accept this until certain other debts were[Pg 46] also paid. Thereby he gained the shelter of time, which "was in the bond," and put Shakespeare at a legal disadvantage, though it is evident from the later papers that a verbal agreement had taken place to extend the time, seeing that the money had been tendered. We may be sure that the property was worth more than £40 in hard cash to either, and more, in romantic associations, to the Shakespeares. For it was a part of Thomas Arden's original property. How he came by it, no one is sure. French[114] suggests it might have been given him by the Beauchamps of Bergavenny, who had intermarried with the Ardens, and had been more than once known to have been in friendly relations. The guardian of Robert Arden, his grandfather, had been the Lady of Bergavenny, and Elizabeth Beauchamp was godmother to Elizabeth Arden, daughter of Walter and sister of Thomas, whom we take to be the Thomas of Aston Cantlow.

Edmund Lambert died in 1587, and his son John seems to have been threatened by the Shakespeares with a law-suit for the recovery of Asbies, and proposed as a compromise to pay a further sum of £20, thereby securing Asbies as by purchase. To this, however, the consent, not only of Mary, but of William, her heir, was necessary, and the poet is supposed to have come down to Stratford on the occasion to act with his parents. But probably there was some other hitch: the £20 may have been held to be covered by the "other debts," which already had done service for Edmund Lambert; or the Shakespeares weighed their desire to have back the land, which they probably then wished, with their growing family, to farm themselves. Nothing seems then to have been settled, and they were too poor to risk the perils of a great law-suit. Doubtless, with sad hearts and bitter retrospect, they[Pg 47] regretted their unlucky purchases in 1575, which seemed to have pinched them so, and wished at least they had been contented with the half, with the one tenement in Henley Street that formed part of their residence. For, had they only spent £20 then instead of £40, they could have repaid their hard-dealing relative not only the smaller mortgage, but the "other debts," out of the £40 they received for Snitterfield from the more liberal Robert Webbe.

Finding John Lambert even harder to deal with than his father, John Shakespeare brought a Bill of Complaint against him in the Court of Queen's Bench,[115] 1589, by John Harborne, attorney, in which his wife and son are mentioned. Nothing seems then to have been done. On November 24, 1597, backed by their son's influence and money, John and Mary Shakespeare, plaintiffs, without associating their son's name, made a formal complaint to the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Egerton,[116] stating that Edmund Lambert was to hold it only until repaid the loan, that the money had been duly tendered to him on the agreed date, that he had refused it, and that his son John holds the land still, and makes secret estates of the premises, the nature of which they cannot describe, as the papers have been withheld them; that their papers and evidences are open to the court. They add further that "the sayde John Lamberte ys of greate wealthe and abilitie, and well frended and allied amongst gentlemen and freeholders of the county ... and your saide oratores are of small wealthe and very fewe frendes and alyance in the said countie. They pray a writ of subpœna to be directed to John Lambert to appear in the Court of Chancery."[Pg 48]

John Lambert, pointing out the uncertainty and insufficiency of the plaintiff's bill, also that the bill had already been exhibited against him in the same court, and he had fully answered it, asserts that the arrangement was a deed of sale, with the conditional proviso that if John Shakespeare should pay £40 on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, 1580, to Edmund Lambert, in Barton-on-the-Heath, the bill of sale should be void. He did not pay the money on the day, and therefore his father was legally seized of the estate.

To this John and Mary Shakespeare replied, and again explained that the money was tendered at the date, and that Edmund Lambert refused to receive it unless other moneys also were paid, of which no condition had been fixed; that on the death of Edmund, John had stepped into possession, and refused to hear anything from them.[117] John Lambert had another quibble, that John Shakespeare had exhibited two bills against him, one in his own name, and one associating his wife's. On July 5, 1598, July 10, 1598, and May 18, 1599, further steps were taken, but still no decision was reached. Therefore, on June 27, 1599, a commission was appointed to examine both parties. In the Index Trin. Term, 41 Elizabeth, there is the entry "Shackspeere contra Lambert," but the page that contained further notice is lost.

On October 23, 1599, another entry of the case is recorded: "Yf the defendant show no cause for stay of publicacion by this day sevenight, then publicacion ys granted"; but nothing more has come to us. Probably delay helped the more powerful, certainly possession proved nine-tenths of the law, and the expenses of legal action even then were paralyzing.[118] It is strange[Pg 49] that the fate of Asbies as a property is unknown. There are traces of its being in the possession of Adam Edkins in 1668, of one John Smith after him, and of Clement Edkins in 1699,[119] but the name seems to have vanished, and with it all remembrance of the boundary of the inheritance of the Ardens of Wilmcote.


[83] See "Survey of Birmingham," 1553, Clement Throckmorton, p. 3, edition by Mr. W. B. Bickley.

[84] Stratford Miscellaneous Records, No. 436.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Halliwell Phillipps mentions Elizabeth Skerlett as an eighth, surely in error.

[87] I believe that I have found the register of her death in association with the Ardens of Park Hall, see p. 41.

[88] This supposition is strengthened by the language of the lease which Mrs. Arden granted her brother of a farm in Snitterfield, May 21, 1560, of which "estate was made to me the said Agnes by my late husband in the fourth year of the raigne of the late King Ed. VI., 1550; ... now in tenure of Richard Shakespeare, John Henley, and John Hargrave."

[89] See Records of Stratford-on-Avon.

[90] Ibid.

[91] Worcester Wills. Consistory Court.

[92] See Sir George Nichols' "History of the English Poor Law."

[93] See "Release from Thomas Stringer of Stockton, co. Salop, to Alexander Webbe of Snitterfield, husbandman, 12th Feb., 11 Eliz., witness John Shaxpere," confirmed after the marriage of Margaret to Edward Cornwall, October 16, 18 Elizabeth. "A transfer from John Shakespeare and Mary his wife" of her shares of Snitterfield, 21 Eliz., for £4; 15 Oct., 22 Eliz., for £40; and 23 Eliz., 6s. 8d. "Release from Thomas Stringer and Thomas Edkins to Robert Webbe, 23rd Dec., 21 Eliz." "A grant from Edmund Lambert and Joane his wife to Robert Webbe of their interest in Snitterfield, 2nd May, 23 Eliz." (Stratford-on-Avon Records).

[94] Stratford-on-Avon Miscellaneous Papers.

[95] Chamberlain's Accounts, Stratford-on-Avon.

[96] Worcester Wills.

[97] Reply of John Lambert in 1597, Chancery Proceedings.

[98] Note of the fine (Halliwell-Phillipps' "Outlines," ii., 11 and 202).

[99] Notes and Queries, 8th Series, vol. v., pp. 127, 296, 498.

[100] West's "Symboleography Concords," pp. 10, 11.

[101] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 202. Wilmcote Fines, Hilary term, 21 Eliz.

[102] Halliwell-Phillipps points out that it is for £4, which is an evident error ("Outlines," ii. 179).

[103] Ibid., p. 179.

[104] "Sealed in the presence of Nycholas Knooles, Vicar of Auston."

[105] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 182. Dugdale, Alveston.

[106] Ibid., ii. 176.

[107] Warr. Fines. "In onere Georgii Digbie Armigeri Vicecomitis comitatu prædicti de anno vicesimo tercio Regine Elizabethe, fines de Banco anno vicesimo secundo Regine Elizabethe pro termino Pasche," etc. "Recepta per me Johannem Cowper sub vice comitem."

[108] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 179.

[109] Stratford-on-Avon Miscellaneous Documents.

[110] Ibid.

[111] Stratford Miscellaneous Papers.

[112] Ibid.

[113] Court of Chancery Records.

[114] French, "Genealogica Shakespeareana," p. 484.

[115] Coram Rege Rolls, Term Mich., 31 and 32 Elizabeth; also Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 11.

[116] Chancery Cases, 40-41 Elizabeth, S.s. 24 (21), Stratford, P. R. O.; also Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 14.

[117] Chancery Papers, S.s. 24 (21), Stratford, in dorso, "40-41 Eliz."; Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 204.

[118] Notes and Queries, 8th Series, v. 127, 296, 478.

[119] Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 205.

[Pg 50]



Richard Shakespeare was in tenure of the property at Snitterfield, which Robert Arden settled on his wife and daughters July 17, 4 Edward VI., Adam Palmer and Hugh Porter being trustees. On November 26, 1557, he, along with the executors of Robert Arden and Thomas Stringer, was returned as indebted to the late Hugh Porter of Snitterfield. On September 13 he prised the goods of Richard Maydes, and on June 1, 1560, of Henry Cole, of Snitterfield. He is believed to have been the father of John, Henry, and possibly of Thomas Shakespeare.

John Shakespeare must have come to Stratford-on-Avon, probably from Snitterfield, some time before 1552, for in that year he is described as a resident in Henley Street, and fined for a breach of the municipal sanitary regulations, along with Humphrey Reynolds and Adrian Quyney, twelvepence a piece.[120] This relatively large sum implies that he must have been even then a substantial householder. The determination of the house he then dwelt in becomes interesting in its bearing on the tradition as to the poet's birthplace. Nothing is recorded of John for the next few years, but he seems to have prospered in business, trading in farmers' produce. In a law-suit of 1556, with Thomas Siche of Arscot,[Pg 51] Worcester, he was styled a "glover." In that year he bought from George Turner a freehold tenement in Greenhill Street, with garden and croft, which is not mentioned in any of his later transactions, and from Edward West a freehold tenement and garden in Henley Street, the eastern half of the birthplace messuage. Each of these was held by the payment of sixpence a year to the lord of the manor and suit of court. Whether he had previously lived in this eastern tenement, or in the western half, as a tenant has not been absolutely decided.

He was summoned on the Court of Record Jury this year, and was party to several small suits, in all of which he was successful. In 1557 he was elected ale-taster, and curiously enough he was amerced for not keeping his gutters clean, in company with Francis Harbage, Chief Bailiff, Adrian Quyney, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Clopton. He is believed to have married Mary Arden in 1557. The registers of Aston Cantlow, where it is likely that Mary was married, do not begin so early. She was single at the time of her father's death in 1556, and on September 15, 1558, "Jone[121] Shakespeare, daughter to John Shakespeare, was christened at Stratford by Roger Divos, minister." In 1558 John Shakespeare was elected one of the four Constables of the town,[122] and, in 1559, one of the affeerors or officers appointed to determine the imposition of small arbitrary fines. In 1561 he was elected one of the Chamberlains, as well as one of the affeerors. He remained Chamberlain for two years, and apparently so well did he discharge his financial duties in that office that he was called on to assist later Chamberlains[Pg 52] in making up their accounts. It is generally supposed that he could not write, because in attesting documents he made his mark. But I am not sure that this habit is a certain sign of his ignorance of the art. Camden himself chose a mark as a signature based on his horoscope. (See his letter to Ortelius, Sept. 14, 1577.)

In 1561 Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield died, and his goods were administered by his son, "John Shakespeare, Agricola, of Snitterfield," Feb. 10, 1561-62.[123] Many doubt that, even if he had any interest in Richard's property, such a description would have been given of the Chamberlain of Stratford-on-Avon. It must not be forgotten that there had been a John Shakespeare presented and fined twelvepence on October 1, 1561, in Snitterfield Court, but he may have been the Stratford John. In the description of a neighbouring property in 1570, we learn that there was a "John Shakespeare of Ingon," a farm in the neighbourhood of Snitterfield; and John Shakespeare of Ingon was buried September 25, 1589, according to Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps.[124] Hence arose reasonable doubts of the identity of John of Stratford with John, the heir of Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield. Still, the evidence is much stronger in support of his identity than against it.

On December 2, 1562, the Stratford baptismal register records the christening of "Margaret, daughter of John Shakspere." At the making up of the Chamberlain's accounts for 1562-63 in January, 1563-64, the Chamber was found in debt to John Shakespeare 25s. 8d., as if he had been the finance Chamberlain of the two. Both of his daughters were dead when, on April 26, he christened his firstborn son William. That summer the plague raged in Stratford; the Council meetings were held in the garden, to avoid[Pg 53] infection, and collections were made among the burgesses for the relief of the poor, to each of which John Shakespeare contributed.

In 1565 he was chosen alderman, and not only rendered the Chamberlain's accounts, but seems to have borne their financial liabilities, as in the accounts for the year is noted, "Item, payd to Shakspeyr for a rest of old det £3, 2, 7-1/2," the sum which was really entered as a debt in favour of the acting Chamberlains. The following year he again made up the accounts for the Chamberlains, and the Chamber was found to be in debt to him 6s. 8d., a sum that was not repaid until January, 1568.

From the number of petty actions for debt in which he appeared, either as plaintiff or defendant, one would believe that the business men of Stratford did not care to pay up until they were obliged to do so. In 1566 there occurs an interesting suit, which shows that John Shakespeare was even then acquainted with the Hathaways. In two actions against Richard Hathaway—one for £8, and one for £11—John Shakespeare had been security, and his name was substituted in the later proceedings for that of the defendant.

On October 13, 1566, his son Gilbert was christened.

In 1567 he was assessed on goods to the value of £4[125] for the subsidy 3s. 4d.; and in another entry on £3, 2s. 6d. This was not at all a small entry for a tradesman of the time. Everyone tried to make his estimate as small as possible, as men do to-day, when taxes depend on it. He was nominated that year, though not elected, to the post of High Bailiff, to which office, however, he was elected on September 4, 1568. In the precepts that he issued he is styled "Justice of the peace and Bailiff of the Town."[126] In the Chamberlain's accounts[Pg 54] of January 26, 1568-69, there is mentioned, "Item to Mr. Balyf that now is 14/-," a sum not explained or accounted for; and in 1570 the Chamberlains "praye allowance of money delivered to Mr. Shaxpere at sundry times £6," during their year 1569-70, as if he had been doing work for the town.[127] On April 15, 1569, another daughter Joan was christened; and on September 28, 1571, his daughter Anna. After his year of office, John Shakespeare was always called "Master," a point to be remembered in determining the meaning of various little records in a town where others of the name came to reside. In 1571 he was elected Chief Alderman, and in 1572 he attained what may really be considered as his chief honour. "At this Hall yt is agreed by the asent and consent of the Aldermen and burgeses aforesaid, that Mr. Adrian Queney now bailif and Mr. John Shakespeare, shall at Hilary term next ensuing deale in the affairs concerninge the commen wealthe of the Borroughe according to their discrecions." This was an important consideration to devolve on the shoulders of a man if he could not read or write, and it very probably involved a visit to London.[128] In 1574, March 11, his son Richard was born; and in 1575 we find the locality of his house in Henley Street determined by William Wedgewood's sale, September 20, to Edward Willis for £44, of his two tenements "betwyne the tenement of Richard Hornbee on the east part, and the tenement of 'John Shakesper yeoman' on the weste part"—the street on[Pg 55] the south, and the waste ground called Gilpittes on the north. This shows, therefore, that the east tenement of the birthplace was then in his occupation, and that somehow he was entitled yeoman. But in October he himself also bought two houses for £40 from Edmund and Emma Hall, the locality not specified. One of these has been supposed by some to have been the birthplace, or perhaps both, seeing that later entries make John Shakespeare responsible to the lord of the manor for 13d. for his western tenement, and the garden or toft to the west of it, as against the 6d. due for his eastern tenement.

To face p. 55.

We must then face the question, either John Shakespeare owned the birthplace in 1552, and resided in it until he added the wool-shop in 1556; or he rented the wool-shop in 1552, which he purchased in 1556; or he rented the birthplace in 1552, which he purchased in 1575 from the Halls. Under whatever circumstances he secured these, both remained free to him during all his financial difficulties, and descended to his son. But these uncertainties create the doubt that remains in the mind of some, Was the poet really born in the birthplace which tradition has assigned to him, or not? To me it seems that the balance of all considerations remains in favour of the birthplace. It is hard to account for a purchase in 1575 (that evidently galled him) of any other premises save those in which he resided. Little is known of John Shakespeare or his family during 1576 and 1577, but in 1578 begin the records of his temporary poverty, which I have noted under the account of his relations to his wife's relatives. For the Town Council, doubtless in consideration of his past services, excused him paying 3s. 4d., as his share of "the furniture of the pikemen," etc.; and, along with Mr. Robert Bratt (the poorest member of the Corporation), he was excused the 4d. a week imposed on the aldermen for[Pg 56] relief of the poor. Then came the mortgage of Asbies in 1578-79.[129] The following year he again left unpaid his share of the levy for armour—3s. 4d.; and he began, probably through shamefacedness, not to show himself at the Halls, though the State Papers still enter him among the gentlemen and freeholders of Warwickshire. But another influence began to affect his circumstances prejudicially about this time, and that is, the evil fortunes of his brother Henry of Snitterfield. How his biographer, in the "Dictionary of National Biography," could call this brother "a prosperous farmer," I know not.

In 1574 there had been a free fight, wherein blood was drawn, between him and Edward Cornwall, who afterwards became the second husband of his brother's sister-in-law, Margaret Webbe, née Arden. In the year 1580 there was an extra long series of actions against him for debt; threats of excommunication for withholding tithes; fines for refusing to wear the statute caps on Sunday; fines for not doing suit of court. Altogether he seems to have been a high-spirited fellow, who brought on himself, through lack of prudence, much of his ill-luck, and who had the unfortunate knack of involving other people in his troubles.

In 1582 both brothers were summoned as witnesses in support of Robert Webbe against the Mayowe appeal.

In November of that year John's eldest son William, of whom no earlier direct mention had been preserved, added to his embarrassments by a premature marriage, and in the following year John was made a grandfather by the birth of Susanna Shakespeare. In 1584 the twins Hamnet and Judith were added to his anxieties.[Pg 57] About this time the Stratford Records notice how a John Shakespeare was worried by suits brought against him by John Brown, in whose favour a writ of distraint was issued against Shakespeare in 1586. But the answer was returned that "he had nothing whereon to distrain."

There are several reasons for believing that this John was not the poet's father. The prefix Mr. is not used in the entries; it is certain that he retained his freeholds in Henley Street all his life, and if he had "no goods whereon to distrain," he could hardly have been received as sufficient bail at Coventry, on July 19 of that year, for Michael Price, tinker, of Stratford-on-Avon, or as security for his brother Henry's debts. In 1586 he was removed from his office of alderman.[130]

Just in the year of the death of Edmund Lambert, when the possession of money would have given him power to have renewed his efforts to regain Asbies, Henry Shakespeare became a defaulter, and Nicholas Lane, by Thomas Trussell, his attorney, sued John Shakespeare in his place, 1587. William Court was his attorney in a weary case, which must have led both sides into heavy costs, over the recovery of £22.[131]

On September 1, 1588, he paid a visit to John Lambert at Barton-on-the-Heath, in the vain hope of inducing him to surrender Asbies; instituted proceedings against those who owed him money in Stratford, and, in 1589, against Lambert in the Queen's Bench at London, probably acting in the latter case through William. From the inquisition post-mortem of the[Pg 58] Earl of Warwick, in 1590, we know Mr. John Shakespeare still owned the two houses in Henley Street.

In 1592 Mr. John Shakespeare appraised the goods of two important neighbours—of Ralph Shawe, wool-driver, July 23, and Henry Field, tanner, August 21. Thomas Trussell, the attorney, drew up the inventory, and denominated his associate as Mr. John Shaksper, Senior, for no clear reason, but possibly to distinguish him from the shoemaker John. The attestation is witnessed only by a cross. During this year Sir Thomas Lucy and others were drawing up the lists of Warwickshire recusants[132] that had been "heretofore presented." Among these they included several members of the sorely-oppressed family of the Ardens of Park Hall, and in Stratford-on-Avon "Mr. John Shackspere" and eight others. Probably some friendly clerk, wishing to spare them fines, added: "it is sayd that these last nine coom not to Churche for feare of process for debte." But it is quite possible it might refer to John Shakespeare the shoemaker, who, having been Master of the Shoemakers' Company, might have been called "Mr."[133] In the earlier undated draught from which this was taken the Commissioners state: "wee suspect theese nyne persons next ensuinge absent themselves for feare of processes, Mr. John Wheeler, John his son, Mr. John Shackespeere," etc.

Away up in London in 1593 the tide was beginning to turn for the family through the efforts of the poet and the affection of the Earl of Southampton.

In this year Richard Tyler sued a John Shakespeare for a debt, but it is not at all certain it was not one of the others of the name. In a case brought by[Pg 59] Adrian Quyney and Thomas Barker against Philip Green, chandler, Henry Rogers, butcher, and John Shaxspere, in 1595, for a debt of £5, the absence of a trade after Shakespeare's name has made Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps suppose that he had retired by this date. A John Shakespeare attested by a cross the marriage settlement of Robert Fulwood and Elizabeth Hill in 1596, which represents probably the name of the poet's father. In 1597 he sold, to oblige his neighbour, George Badger, a narrow strip of land at the western side of his Henley Street garden, 1-1/2 feet in breadth, but 86 feet in length. For this he received £2 10s., and his ground-rent was reduced from 13d. to 12d., the odd penny becoming Badger's responsibility. He also sold a plat, 17 feet square, in the garden, behind the wool-shop, to oblige his neighbour on the other side, Edward Willis.

The application made for coat-armour, initiated in 1596, ostensibly by John Shakespeare, but really by William Shakespeare, as well as the Lambert case, dragged on through the later years of the century.

That he had not lost credit with his fellow-townsmen may be seen by John's latest recorded piece of work.

Early in 1601 an action was brought by Sir Edward Greville[134] against the Corporation respecting the toll-corn; and John Shakespeare, with Adrian Quyney and others, assisted to draw up suggestions for the use of the counsel for the defendants. On September 8 of that year the funeral of the old burgess took place at Stratford-on-Avon, but there is no trace now left of any sepulchral monument or memorial of any kind. No will or inventory, or even inquisition post-mortem, has come down to us.

It is quite possible that the Henley Street houses[Pg 60] were entailed upon his eldest son, or that he may have bought up all rights during his father's lifetime to such an extent that "inheritance" could hardly be talked of. He seems to have indeed supported all the family, as there is no trace[135] of any of them, except Edmund the player, engaging in any trade or profession. Whether his mother resided in Henley Street or at New Place is not clear. There is nothing further known of her save the register of her burial: "September 9th, 1608, Mayry Shaxspere Wydowe."

No sepulchre or memorial of her has come down to our time. We only know that somewhere in the consecrated ground by Stratford Church lies the dust of John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, the parents of the poet.



[120] Stratford-on-Avon Chamberlain's Accounts, April 29, 6 Edward VI.

[121] Stratford-on-Avon Baptismal Register.

[122] All these references are from the Chamberlain's Accounts, and accounts of the Halls at Stratford-on-Avon. Those who have not had access to them may refer to Halliwell-Phillipps's "Outlines," i. 29; ii. 179 et seq.

[123] Worcester administration bonds, 1561. Notes and Queries, 8th Series, xii. 413.

[124] This statement is, however, evidently erroneous.

[125] Roll for Stratford, Longridge MS.

[126] Stratford Borough Records.

[127] The first notice of municipal employment of players appears during his year of office, the Queen's Company and that of the Earl of Worcester having performed before the council. A case was tried at the Warwick assizes, Easter, 11 Elizabeth, concerning the tithes of Rowington, and John Shakespeare, of Stratford-on-Avon, was on the jury.—Ryland's "Records of Rowington."

[128] See Chamberlain's accounts for "the expenses of Mr. Queeney in London," also for the expenses of the dinner given to Sir Thomas Lucy and others, at which Quiney and Shakespeare presided.

[129] In 1579 he buried his daughter Anne "with the pall and the great bell." On May 3, 1580, his youngest child Edmund was christened.

[130] "At this halle William Smythe and Richard Court are chosen Aldermen in the places of John Wheler and John Shaxspere, for that Mr. Wheler doth desire to be put out of the company, and Mr. Shaxspere doth not come to the Halles when they be warned, nor hath not done of long tyme."—Borough Reports. It is noteworthy that he was never fined for absenting himself as others were.

[131] Controlment Rolls, 29 Elizabeth, Stratford-on-Avon.

[132] State Papers, Domestic Series, Elizabeth. It may be noted that there was no Mrs. Shakespeare among the recusants. Other wives were noted, as Mrs. Wheeler.

[133] It remains a fact that John Shakespeare, shoemaker, is heard of no more in Stratford-on-Avon, and shortly afterwards his house was tenanted by another man.

[134] Stratford Corporation Records.

[135] Halliwell-Phillips is in error in stating that Gilbert was a London haberdasher.

[Pg 61]



William Shakespeare was thirty-seven when he became head of the family in 1601. His previous life must have been a stirring one, though we know only too little about it. Still, certain inferences may be soundly based on known facts. He must have been educated at the Stratford Grammar School, free to the sons of the burgesses, a high-class school for the time. Its head-master had a salary then double that of the Master of Eton. A taste for learning had certainly imbued William's spirit even in early years, but he doubtless warmly shared in the difficulties of his father's life, and knew the anxieties of debt, the oppression of the strong hand—the "cares of bread," as Mazzini calls it—and the sickening weariness of the law's uncertainty and delay. Most of his relatives were farmers, and his actions show that he would gladly have followed the same course of life, with the relaxation of field sports, of course, if he could have attained his desire. But the genius within him was to be welded by fiery trials, and he was driven on a course that seemed at discord with his nature, and yet led to its own fulfilment. In the enthusiasm of a first love, he married early, not, it must emphatically be noted, over-early for the custom of the period, when the means of support were assured, but over-early, as it would then have been considered, solely from a financial standpoint. He[Pg 62] had no assured means of support. His hope of securing his inheritance of Asbies was fading. He did not marry an heiress. Many vials of wrath have been poured on the devoted head of Anne Hathaway by those who do not consider all sides of the question. Harrowing pictures of the relations of young Shakespeare and "his aged wife" are drawn, even by such writers as Dr. Furnivall. Now, it is a well-known fact that almost all very young men fancy girls older than themselves, and it is an artistic fact that a woman under thirty does look younger, and not older, than a man of the same age, if she has led a natural and simple life. It is much more than likely that the well-grown, responsible eldest son of anxious John Shakespeare looked quite as old as Anne Hathaway, seven years his senior, especially if she was slight and fair and delicate, as there is every reason to believe she was. And the masterful spirit marks its own age when it goes forth to woo, and determines to win the first real fancy of his life. It must not be forgotten, in association with the situation, that Richard Hathaway of Shottery (for whom John Shakespeare had stood surety in 1566) had made his will on September 1, 1581, and died between that time and July 9, 1582, when it was proved, leaving his daughter Agnes, or Anne, the small but very common marriage portion of £6 13s. 4d. A break had come into her home life; doubtless she went off to visit some friends, and the young lover felt he could not live without his betrothed, and determined to clinch the matter.

Much unnecessarily unfavourable comment has been made on the peculiar circumstances of the marriage. People forget the complexity of religious and social customs of the time, the binding force of betrothals, the oppression of Catholics. In Robert Arden's settlement of July 17, 1550, he speaks of his daughter Agnes[Pg 63] as the wife of Thomas Stringer, though she did not marry him until October 15, 1550.[136] The perplexity is increased by the entry of the marriage license of a William Shakespeare and Anne Whately of Templegrafton, the day previous to that of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway of Stratford, November 28, 1582.[137] It all seems possible to explain. Travelling was inconvenient on November roads; Will set out for the license alone, as bridegrooms were often wont to do, when they could afford the expense of a special license. He might give his own name, and that of his intended wife, at a temporary address. The clerk made an error in the spelling, which might have been corrected; but meanwhile discovered that Shakespeare was under age, was acting without his parents—that the bride was not in her own home, and that no marriage settlement was in the air. No risk might be run by an official in such a case; the license was stayed; sureties must be found for a penalty in case of error. So poor Will would have to find, in post-haste, the nearest friends he could find to trust him and his story. And who so likely to ask as Fulk Sandells and John Richardson, friends of the Hathaways—the one supervisor, and the other witness to the will of Anne's father Richard? They might have been at Worcester market with him.

They were both "good men" in the financial sense, and their bond for £40 was accepted at the Bishop of Worcester's Registry in support of the assertion that there was no impediment against this marriage by ground of consanguinity or pre-contract. If this were all right, and if the bride's friends were willing, by which must have been intended her mother and brothers, then the marriage might be solemnized. It was clearly a question in which the woman's friends[Pg 64] were the proper parties to summon. The bond of John Shakespeare would not then have been good for £40, and the would-be bridegroom had nothing of his own. The place where they were married has not yet been discovered; it is quite possible to have been at "a private mass," as was the case in another marriage with a similar bond at the same registry.[138] But they were married somehow, and William probably brought home his fatherless bride to his father's house, and there her little portion of £6 13s. 4d. might go the further. But a wife and a family of three children sorely handicapped a penniless youth, not yet of age, bred to no trade, heir to no fortune, whose father was himself in trouble.

The after-date gossip of wild courses, deer-stealing, and combats with Sir Thomas Lucy, are, I think, quite unfounded on fact. I have discussed this fully in my article in the Athenæum[139] on "Sir Thomas Lucy," and in my chapter on "The Traditional Sir Thomas and the Real."[140] It is much more than likely Shakespeare was concerned in the religious turmoil of the times, was somewhat suspected, and was indignant at the cruel treatment of Edward Arden, head of the house, the first victim of the Royal Commission[141] in 1583.

Eventually he went to London, probably with introductions to many people supposed to be able and willing to help him. There were both Ardens and Shakespeares in London, and many Warwickshire men, and they thought that some place might be[Pg 65] found even for him, the landless, unapprenticed, untrained son of a straitened father. But there were so many in a similar case. It is evident he succeeded in nothing that he hoped or wished for. His own works prove that. He was unable to act the gentleman, but was determined to play the man. He may have dwelt with, and certainly frequently visited, his old Stratford friend Richard Field, the apprentice, son-in-law, and successor of Vautrollier, the great printer. In his shop he learned not only much technical detail of his art, but refreshed his education—or, rather, went through another course, reading with a new inspiration and a kindled enthusiasm.

I have shown elsewhere how very much his mental development owed to books published by Vautrollier and Field,[142] sole publishers of many Latin works, including Ovid, of Puttenham's "Art of Poetrie," of Plutarch's "Lives," and many another book whose spirit has been transfused into Shakespeare's works. We know that he had tried his hand at altering plays, at rewriting them, and making them popular; we know that he had translated them upon the stage before 1592, because of Greene's notice then published by Chettle, of "the upstart crow."[143] And he probably had written some. But his first firm step on the staircase of fame was taken in the publication of his "Venus and Adonis" by his friend Richard Field in April, 1593, and his first grip of success in his dedication thereof to the young Earl of Southampton. The kindness of his patron between 1593 and 1594 had ripened his admiration into love; and the dedication of the "Rape of Lucrece" in the latter year placed the relations of the two men clearly before the world. A careful study of the two dedications leads to the con[Pg 66]viction that the "Sonnets" could only have been addressed to the same[144] patron. A study of the poems and sonnets together shows much of the character, training, and culture of the author—love of nature, delight in open-air exercise and in the chase, sympathy with the Renaissance culture, and a moral standard of no common order.

In his first poem he shows how preoccupation preserves Adonis from temptation; in the second how the spiritual chastity of Lucrece is triumphant over evil. The one poem completes the conception of the other, and both lead into the sonnets. In these the author explains much of his thought and circumstance—

"Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made myself a motley to the view;
Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offences of affections new."

"Oh, for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
That doth not better for my life provide
Than public means, which public manners breeds."[145]

Southampton did not only chide with Fortune, but took her place. Through his stepfather, Sir Thomas Henneage, who had succeeded Sir Christopher Hatton in 1589[146] as Vice-Chamberlain of the Royal Household, he was able to assist the players, and Shakespeare is for the first time recorded as having played twice before the Queen, at Greenwich on St. Stephen's Day, December 26, 1594, and on Innocents' Day, December 28 of the same year.[147] On the latter day[Pg 67] at night, amid the turmoil of the Gray's Inn revels, Shakespeare's play of the "Comedy of Errors" was represented by his company, doubtless through the interest of the Earl of Southampton, then a student at Gray's Inn. At his coming of age in October, 1594, the young nobleman would be the better able to assist his poet. Tradition has reported that he gave Shakespeare a large sum of money, generally said to be £1,000.

To face p. 67.

However it was, the tide of Shakespeare's fortunes turned with his introduction to the Earl of Southampton, and his exertions during the remaining years of the century began to tell in financial returns. It is significant that the first known use to which he put his money was the application for the coat of arms. In that same year fortune gave him a cruel buffet in the death of his only son.[148] Nevertheless, he went on with his purchase of the largest house in his native town; so that, if the bride of his youth had waited long for a home of her own, he did what he could to make up for the delay by giving her the best he could find.[149] That he was cautious in his investments was evident. He had seen too much suffering through rashness in money affairs not to benefit by the experience. Thereby he made clear his desire for the rehabilitation of himself and family in the place where he was born. By 1598 we have irrefragable testimony to the position he had already taken, alike in the world of letters as in the social life of Stratford. In the autumn of that year appeared the perennial advertisement of Meres, the Professor of Rhetoric at Oxford, Master of Arts of[Pg 68] both Universities, who ranks him among the first of his day, as an epic and lyric poet, and as a writer of both tragedy and comedy. "As the soule of Euphorbus was thought to live in Pythagoras, so the sweet wittie soul of Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare.... As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy and Tragedy among the Latins, so Shakespeare ... among the English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage ... witness his 'Gentlemen of Verona,' his 'Errors,' his 'Love's Labour's Lost,' his 'Love's Labour Wonne,' his 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' and his 'Merchante of Venice'; for tragedy his 'Richard II.,' 'Richard III.,' 'Henry IV.,' 'King John,' 'Titus Andronicus,' and 'Romeo and Juliet.'"[150]

On the other hand, the Quiney correspondence shows the estimation in which his fellow-townsmen held him—that he had money, that he wanted to invest, and was already styled "master." He was considering the policy of buying "an odd yard land or other" in Stratford, when Richard Quiney, who was in the Metropolis, was urged by his brother-in-law, Abraham Sturley, to induce Shakespeare to buy one of the tithe leases. "By the friends he can make therefore, we think it a fair mark for him to shoot at; it obtained, would advance him in deed, and would do us much good." Richard Quiney was in the Metropolis at the end of 1598 on affairs of the town, trying to secure the grant of a new charter, and relief from subsidy; but either on his own account, or the affairs of the town, he applied to Shakespeare for a loan. As there are no letters of Shakespeare's extant, and this is the only one addressed to him, it is worth noting very specially. It could hardly have been sent, as it was found among[Pg 69] the Corporation Records. Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps suggests that Shakespeare may have called to see Quiney before the letter was sent off, and given his reply verbally.

"Loveinge contreyman, I am bolde of yow, as of a ffrende, craveinge yowr helpe with xxxli uppon Mr. Bushells and my securytee, or Mr. Myttons with me. Mr. Rosswell is nott come to London as yeate, and I have especiall cawse. Yow shall ffrende me muche in helpeing me out of all the debettes I owe in London, I thancke God, and muche quyet my mynde, which wolde nott be indebeted. I am nowe towardes the Cowrte, in hope of answer for the dispatch of my buysness. Yow shall nether loase creddytt nor monney by me, the Lord wyllinge; and nowe butt persuade yourselfe soe, as I hope, and you shall nott need to feare, butt, with all hartie thanckefullness, I wyll holde my tyme, and content yowr ffrende, and yf we bargaine farther, you shal be the paie-master yowrselfe. My tyme biddes me hastene to an ende, and soe I comitt thys (to) yowr care, and hope of yowr helpe. I feare I shall nott be backe thys night ffrom the Cowrte. Haste. The Lorde be with yow and with us all, Amen. From the Bell in Carter Lane the 25th October, 1598. Yowrs in all kyndeness Ryc. Quyney.

"To my loveinge good frend and contreymann Mr. Wm. Shackespere deliver thees."[151]

And Shakespeare then befriended the man whose son was to marry his daughter. The reply seems to have been as prompt as satisfactory, for on the very same day Quiney wrote to his brother-in-law Sturley, who replied on November 4: "Your letter of the 25th of October came to my hands, the last of the same at night per Greenway,[152] which imported that our[Pg 70] Countryman Mr. William Shakespeare would procure us money; which I will like of, as I shall hear when and where and how; and I pray let not go that occasion, if it may sort to any indifferent conditions."

It is evident that Shakespeare had at some time or other associated himself with Burbage's company. Now, James Burbage, "was the first builder of playhouses" who had planned in 1576, and in spite of evil report and professional rivalry, of municipal and royal restrictions, legal and other expenses, had successfully carried on "The Theatre" in Finsbury Fields. In 1596 he had purchased the house in Blackfriars, against the use of which as a theatre was sent up to the Privy Council a petition, which Richard Field signed.[153] The Burbages let this house for a time to a company of "children," but eventually resumed it for their own use, and in it placed "men-players, which were Hemings, Condell, Shakespeare," etc. On Burbage's death in 1597, there was a dispute about "The Theater" lease, and his sons transferred the materials to Southwark, and built the Globe in 1599. On the rearing of the Globe at heavy cost, they joined to themselves "those deserving men Shakespeare, Hemings, Condell, Philips and others, partners in the Profits of what they call the House, but making the leases for twenty-one years hath been the destruction of ourselves and others, for they, dying at the expiration of three or four years of their lease, the subsequent yeares became dissolved to strangers, as by marrying with theire widdowes, and the like by their children." (See the papers concerning the shares in the Globe, 1535: 1. Petition of Benfield, Swanston and Pollard to the Lord Chamberlain Pembroke (April). 2. A further petition. 3. The answer of Shank. 4. The answer of C. Burbage, Winifred, his brother's widow, and William his son. 5. Pembroke's[Pg 71] judgment thereon (July 12). 6. Shanke's petition (August 7). 7. Pembroke's final decision.)[154]

Burbage, Shakespeare, Condell, Hemings had been housekeepers with four shares each. These originally died with the owner, but in later years could be inherited. Shakespeare's income therefore arose from:

1. Possibly some small sum allowed him by Richard Field and the publishers for various editions of his poems, as well as the liberality of the Earl of Southampton on their account.

2. Direct payments by the proprietors for altering and writing plays. Shares in their publication he never seems to have had.

3. His share as a player of the money taken at the doors.

4. His share as a partner in the house of the money taken in the galleries, etc.

5. His share of royal largesse in performances before the Queen, or similar gifts from noblemen.[155]

6. His share of performances in various performing tours.

And thence he acquired money enough to buy New Place; to appeal to the heralds for his father's coat of arms, and to pay the costs; to contest the Lamberts' claim through successive applications for Asbies; and to buy land and tithe leases. The death of his only son Hamnet did not deter him in his earnest efforts to regain social position, and to restore the fortunes of his family. An almost exact parallel may be found in the efforts and aims of Sir Walter Scott. But Shakespeare, having borne the yoke in youth, had acquired the experience and prudence necessary to steer himself past the dangers of speculation and the rashness of exceeding[Pg 72] his assured income, which proved fatal to the less severely-trained novelist.

In May, 1602, he purchased from the Combes for £320 about 107 acres of land near Stratford-on-Avon, of which, as he was not in the town, seisin was granted to his brother Gilbert. On September 28, 1602, Walter Getley transferred to him a cottage and garden situated in Chapel Lane, opposite the lower gardens of New Place, quite possibly intended for the use of his brothers. It appears from the roll that he did not appear at the Manorial Court in person,[156] then held at Rowington, there being a stipulation that the estate should remain in the hands of the lady of the manor, the Countess of Warwick, until he appeared to complete the transaction with the usual formalities. On completing these, he surrendered the property to his own use for life, with remainder to his two daughters, a settlement rearranged afterwards in his will. It is mentioned as in his possession in a subsequent subsidy roll of the town.[157]

The only time in which he touched politics and State affairs he was unfortunate. There is no doubt he must have trembled at the time of the Essex Conspiracy, not only for his friend Southampton's life, but even for his own; for Philips, the manager of his company, was called before the Privy Council to account for the performances of the obnoxious play of "Richard II."

The danger passed. Probably the Privy Council thought it futile to attack the "Puppets." Nevertheless, after fulfilling their engagements they hastened from the Metropolis.[158] Some of his company went[Pg 73] to play in Scotland, as far north as Aberdeen.[159] I am inclined to think Shakespeare went with them. The scenery in "Macbeth"[160] suggests vivid visual impressions, and the favour of James VI. must have been secured before his accession to the throne of England, for almost the first act the King did on his arrival at the Metropolis, May 7, 1603, was to execute a series of Acts that practically gave his company a monopoly.

"Pat. I., Jac. I., p. 2, m. 4. Pro Laurentio Fletcher et Willielmo Shakespeare et aliis.[161]

"James by the grace of God, etc., to all Justices, Maiors, Sheriffs, Constables, Hedboroughs, and other our Officers and lovinge Subjects, Greetinge. Knowe ye that wee, of our Speciall Grace, certeine knowledge and mere motion, have licensed and authorized, and by these presentes doe license and authorize theise our Servaunts, Laurence Fletcher, William Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustyne Philippes, John Hemings, Henrie Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn, Richard Cowly, and the rest of their Associates Freely to use and exercise the Arte and Facultie of playing Comedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Morals, Pastoralls, Stage-plaies, and such others like as theie have alreadie studied or hereafter shall use or studie, as well for the Recreation of our loveinge Subjects as for our Solace and Pleasure, when wee shall thincke good to see them, during our pleasure; and the said Commedies, Tragedies, Histories, Enterludes, Moralls, Pastoralls, Stage-playes, and suchelike, to shewe and exercise publiquely to their best Commoditie, when the Infection of the Plague shall decrease, as well[Pg 74] within theire nowe usuall House called the Globe within our Countie of Surrey, as also within anie Toune Halls or Moute Halls, or other convenient Places within the Liberties and Freedom of anie other Cittie, Universitie, Toune or Boroughe whatsoever, within our said Realmes and Dominions.

"Willing and commanding you and everie of you, as you tender our Pleasure, not onelie to permit and suffer them herein, without anie your Letts, Hindrances, or Molestations, during our said Pleasure, but also to be aiding and assistinge to them if anie Wrong be to them offered, and to allow them such former Curtesies as hath been given to men of their Place and Qualitie; and also what further Favour you shall shewe to theise our Servaunts for our sake, Wee shall take Kindlie at your Handes. In witnesse whereof, etc.

"Witnesse our selfe at Westminster the nynetenth Daye of Maye.

"Per Breve de Privato Sigillo."

[The privy seal for this issued on May 17.]

As James made more stringent the laws concerning "vagabonds," as he took from the nobles the power of patronage of players, reserving it only for the Royal Family, this passport gave enormous power to the players, favoured by the King in Scotland.

Shakespeare's early patron, the Earl of Southampton, had been released from the Tower on April 10, and had gone to meet his new Sovereign, doubtless speaking a good word for the company of players. His later patron, the Earl of Pembroke, was recalled to Court favour. The King visited him in his royal progress August 30 and 31, 1603, and held his Court at Wilton, Winchester,[162] and Basing during most of October,[Pg 75] November,[163] and December, during which time the players were summoned on December 2. "To John Hemyngs on 3rd December, for a play before the King, by the King's men at Wilton, and for coming from Mortlake in Surrey, £30."[164]

On March 15, 1603-1604, the King's players were summoned to the Triumphant Royal Procession, received robes for the occasion, and took rank at Court[165] with the Grooms of the Chamber. Henceforth Shakespeare's genius revelled in the opportunities fortune had made for him, and in the taste he had himself educated. The world appreciated his work the better "that so did take Eliza and our James."[166] The snarls of envy witnessed his success; the eulogiums of admirers perpetuated his appreciation. On May 4, 1605, Augustine Phillips died, leaving by will "to my fellow William Shakespeare a thirty-shilling piece in gold." In July of that year (July 24, 1605) Shakespeare completed his largest purchase, in buying for £440 the unexpired term of the moiety of the tithe-lease of Stratford, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe.

In that year John Davenant took out the lease of the Crown Inn at Oxford, where the following year his son William was born. Gossip, supported, if not originated, by himself, suggests that William Davenant was the son rather than the godson of Shakespeare, an unfounded slander disposed of by Halliwell-Phillipps.

On June 5, 1607, Susanna Shakespeare married Dr. Hall. Elizabeth, their only child, and the only grandchild Shakespeare saw, was born in February,[Pg 76] 1607-1608, and in September of that year John Shakespeare's widow—Shakespeare's mother—died.

It is probable Shakespeare returned home to his mother's funeral, as he was chief godfather on October 16 to the William Walker of Stratford to whom he bequeathed 20s. in gold in 1616. In 1608 and 1609 Shakespeare instituted a process for debt against John Addenbroke and his security Hornebie. His attorney was his cousin, Thomas Greene, then residing, under unknown conditions, at New Place. In the latter year he instituted more important proceedings concerning the tithes. The papers of the complaint by Lane, Green, and Shakespeare to Lord Ellesmere in 1612, concerning other lessees, give details of the income he derived therefrom.[167]

In 1610 he purchased 20 acres of pasture-land from the Combes to add to his freeholds. The concord of the fine is dated April 13, 1610, and, as it was acknowledged before the Commissioners, he is believed to have been in Stratford at the time. In a subscription list drawn up at Stratford September 11, 1611, his name is the only one entered on the margin, as if it were a later insertion, "towards the charge of prosecuting the Bill in Parliament for the better repair of Highways." A Parliament was then expected to meet, but it was not summoned till long afterwards. In 1612 Lane, Green, and Shakespeare filed a new bill of complaint concerning the tithes before Lord Ellesmere.

In March, 1613, he made a curious purchase of a tenement and yard, one or two hundred yards to the east of the Blackfriars Theatre. The lower part had long been in use as a haberdasher's shop. The vendor was Henry Walker, a musician, who had paid £100 for it in 1604, and who asked then the price of £140. Shakespeare, however, at this raised price secured it,[Pg 77] leaving £60 of it on mortgage. The date of the conveyance deed is March 10, 1613,[168] probably signed on the 11th, on which day it was enrolled in the Court of Chancery. Besides the witnesses to this document, there was present Henry Lawrence, the scrivener who had drawn it up, who unfortunately lent his seal to the poet, which still exists, bearing the initials "H. L."

Shakespeare is believed to have written two plays a year while he was a shareholder. On June 29, 1613, the Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire while the history of Henry VIII. was being enacted. Burbage, Hemings, Condell, and the Fool were so long in leaving the theatre that the spectators feared for their safety. It is not known whether this fire would prove a loss to him. In June of that year a malicious piece of gossip was circulating in Stratford against the good name of Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna Hall. The rumour was traced to a man called Lane, who was summoned to appear before the Ecclesiastical Court at Worcester on July 15, 1613. He did not venture to appear, and he was duly excommunicated for perjury.

It was the custom for the Corporation then to make complimentary offerings of wine to those whom they wished to honour, and thus they honoured an itinerant preacher, quartered at New Place, in the spring of 1614, with a quart of sack and another of claret, and this has been supposed to prove that the poet had turned Puritan. John Combe, one of the chief men of the neighbourhood, died in July, 1614, leaving Shakespeare £5. Shakespeare would probably never receive it. The will, dated January 28, 1612-13, was not proved till November, 1616. It is clear, however, that these men were friendly at that time, and that the mock elegy, attributed to Shakespeare, could not then have[Pg 78] been written, or, if written, was only laughed at. The Globe Theatre was rebuilt at great cost that year. Chamberlain, writing to a lady in Venice, said: "I hear much speech of this new playhouse, which is sayde to be the fayrest that ever was in England" (June 30, 1614).

In the same year, William Combe, the new Squire of Welcombe, attempted enclosure of some of the common fields, a design resisted by the Corporation. This scheme materially affected Shakespeare through his tithes, and much discussion has been waged over the true meaning of the entries of his cousin, Thomas Green, the Town Clerk of Stratford-on-Avon, and his attorney. Unfortunately, these are badly written, and the composition is dubious; but to my mind it seems clear that Green meant to say that Mr. Shakespeare could not bear the enclosing of Welcombe.[169]

In the opening of 1615-16 Shakespeare found himself "in perfect healthe and memorie—God be praised"; and yet, for some reason, he wished to make a new will, "revoking all other wills," and his solicitor, Francis Collins of Warwick, drew up a draft. Halliwell-Phillipps thinks this was done in January, and that it was intended to have been signed on the 25th of that month. I own that the date, erased to be replaced by "March," looks to me more like "February." An important difference it would be, because in January he might not have known that his daughter, Judith Shakespeare, aged 32, had made up her mind to marry Thomas Quiney, aged 28. By February 25 she had already done it. On February 10, 1616, Thomas Quiney was married, at Stratford-on-Avon, to Judith Shakespeare without a license, an irregularity for which both the parties were summoned to appear[170] [Pg 79]before the Ecclesiastical Courts some weeks afterwards, and threatened with excommunication, but probably the fact of Shakespeare's illness and death would act as an excuse in high quarters.

Though it seems to me that the will must have been drawn up before Judith's marriage, the possibility of such a change of state is clearly considered. There is no sign of indignation at the later date of the signing of the will, and £300 was a large portion; and there are no alterations in his bequests to her, except a curious one. The first bequest was originally intended to have been in favour of "my sonne and daughter Judith," but the "sonne" was erased. Of course, this possibly arose from the scrivener intending to start with the Halls. But the less important bequests came first. One hundred and fifty pounds was to be paid to Judith within a year, in two instalments, the £100 in discharge of her marriage portion, and the £50 on her surrendering her share in the copyhold tenement in Stratford-on-Avon (once Getley's) to her sister, Susanna Hall. Another £150[171] was to be paid Judith, or any of her heirs alive at the date of three years after the testator's death. If she had died without issue at that date, £100 thereof was to go to Elizabeth Hall, and £50 to his sister Joan and her children. If Judith were alive, the stock was to be invested by the executors, and only the interest paid her as long as she was married, unless her husband had "assured her in lands answerable to her portion."

Sister Joan was to have £20, the testator's wearing apparel, and a life-rent in the Henley Street house, under the yearly payment of one shilling. Five pounds a piece were left to her sons. Elizabeth Hall was to[Pg 80] have all the plate, except his broad silver-gilt bowl, which he left to Judith. Ten pounds he left to the poor, his sword to Mr. Thomas Combe, £5 to Thomas Russell, £13 6s. 8d. to Francis Collins. Rings of the value of 26s. 8d. each were left to Hamnet Sadler, William Reynolds, gent., Antony Marsh, gent., Mr. John Marsh; and in interpolation "to my fellows, John Heming, Richard Burbage, and Henry Condell," and to William Walker, his godson, 20s. in gold.

To enable his daughter Susanna to perform all this, she received "the Capital Messuage called New Place, wherein I now dwell, two messuages in Henley Street, and all my Barns, Stables, Orchards, Gardens, Lands, Tenements and hereditaments whatsoever lying in Stratford-upon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, in the County of Warwick"; and "that Messuage in Blackfriars in London near the Wardrobe wherein one John Robinson now dwelleth."

The descent was to be to her sons if she had any, failing whom to the sons of his grand-daughter Elizabeth, failing whom to the sons of his daughter Judith, failing whom "to the right heires of me William Shakespeare for ever."

Item interpolated: "I give unto my wife my second-best bed, with the furniture."

Everything else to his "sonne-in-law John Hall, gent., and to his daughter Susanna, his wife," whom he made executors.

Thomas Russell, Esq., and Francis Collins, gent., were to be overseers. There were several witnesses. It was proved June 22, 1616, by John Hall, at Westminster, but the inventory is unfortunately lost.

Much discussion has taken place over Shakespeare's legacy to his wife. It may very simply and naturally have arisen from some conversation in which a reference had been made to giving her "the best bed."[Pg 81] But that was the visitor's couch. "The second-best" would have been her own, that which she had used through the years, and he wished her to feel that that was not included in the "residue." That was to be her very own. As to any provision for her, it must have taken the form of a settlement, a jointure, or a dower. There is no trace of the first or second. But the English law then assured a widow in a third of her husband's property for life and the use of the capital messuage, if another was not provided her. The absence of all special provision for Mrs. Shakespeare seems to have arisen from her husband's knowledge of this and his trust in the honour of Mr. John Hall, and the love of his daughters for their mother. It also supports my opinion of her extreme delicacy of constitution. She was not to be overweighted by mournful responsibilities.

The indefiniteness of the residuary inheritance leaves room for surmise. A curious reference, not, it seems to me, hitherto sufficiently noted, occurs in the Burbage Case of 1635. Cuthbert, Winifred, the widow of Richard, and William his son, recite facts concerning their father James, who was the first builder of playhouses. "And to ourselves we joined those deserving men, Shakspere, Hemings, Condell, Phillips, and others, partners[172] in the profittes of that they call the House; but makeing the leases for twenty-one yeares hath been the destruction of ourselves and others, for they dying at the expiration of three or four yeares of their lease, the subsequent yeeres became dissolved to strangers, as by marrying with their widdowes and the like by their children."

If Shakespeare's "lease" had not then expired, which seems to me implied, it would have been "dissolved to a stranger" in the person of Dr. Hall.[Pg 82]

Some ready money would be required for the carrying out of the will. Three hundred pounds left to Judith, and £73 13s. 4d. in smaller bequests, would certainly run up to £400 by the payment of debts and funeral expenses. The eagerness to leave all land to his own children is another proof of Shakespeare's earnest desire to found a family.

Shakespeare did not immediately die after the signing of his will. Probably the devoted care of his wife and daughters and the skill of his son-in-law soothed his dying moments. But one cannot but have a lurking suspicion of maltreatment through the crude medical notions of the time: of bleeding when there should have been feeding; of vile medicines when Nature should have been supported and not undermined by art. At all events, Dr. John Hall had not the happiness and honour to record the name of his illustrious father-in-law in his book of "Cures."[173] This was the one great failure of his life.

To face p. 83.

The April 23 on which Shakespeare closed his eyes completed his cycle of fifty-two years, according to ordinary reckoning. But strangely enough there is entered on his tombstone "Ætatis 53," and this suggests that he had been born on April 22. No records of his funeral have come down to us, but it must have made a stir in his native place. He was a native of the town, known to all in his youth, and loved by many. Yet, on the other hand, he had offended all the traditions of the borough. He had descended from the safe levels of trade to the vagabond life of a "common player," especially detested in Stratford-on-Avon (see notes); he had made money somehow in the city, and had returned to spend it in his native town, but he had never taken office, and had never been "one of them." And at the end he was to be[Pg 83] buried in the Chancel, the select spot for nobles and prelates and "great men." Verily the tongues of the gossips of Stratford would wag on April 25, 1616. The authorship of the doggerel lines on his tomb has been attributed to various people. Probably they were a part of the stock-in-trade of the stone-cutter, that satisfied Shakespeare's widow as expressing a known wish of her "dear departed." Rude as they are, they have fulfilled their end:

"Good Frend, for Jesus' sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased here;
Bleste be the man that spares thes stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones."

Meanwhile Shakespeare's friends had been planning a monument to be placed on the northern wall of the Chancel. The bust is said to have been prepared from a death-mask, and to have been sculptured by one Gerard Johnson, son and successor of the Amsterdam tomb-maker, whose place of business lay between St. Saviour's Church and the Globe Theatre. He may be presumed to have frequently seen Shakespeare in his lifetime. The exact date of its erection is not known, but it would seem to have been some time before 1623, as Leonard Digges refers to it in his poem prefixed to the First Folio, "To the Memorie of the deceased Authour, Maister W. Shakespeare":

"Shakespeare, at length thy pious fellowes give
The World thy Workes—thy Workes, by which outlive
Thy touche thy name must; when that stone is rent,
And Time dissolves thy Stratford monument,
Here we alive shall view thee still."

Crude and inartistic as it is, the bust must have had some likeness in its earlier days to have satisfied critical eyes; but it has passed through so many vicissitudes, and suffered so much restoration, that the likeness may have entirely vanished by this time. Nevertheless, it remains a witness to the affection of[Pg 84] the surviving, and a witness, Puritans though they were, that it was on account of the power of his pen that he deserved special remembrance.

Upon a mural tablet are other verses, which would seem not to have been composed by his own friends, as they speak of Shakespeare's lying "within this monument." Whoever wrote them, the family accepted them, and the world has endorsed them:

William Camden had finished his "Britannia" by 1617 (commenced in 1597), printed in 1625. He says of Stratford Church: "In the chancel lies William Shakespeare, a native of this place, who has given ample proof of his genius and great abilities in the forty-eight plays he has left behind him."

It is evident that the First Folio, 1623, was intended by his "fellows" at the Globe to stand as their monument to his memory, built of the plays that had become their private property by purchase. The verses that preface it, written by W. Basse, suggest that Shakespeare should have been buried by Chaucer, Spenser, Beaumont, in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. But the author withdraws his wish.

"Sleep, Brave Tragedian, Shakspere, sleep alone
Thy unmolested rest, unshared cave
Possess as Lord, not tenant to thy grave," etc.
[Pg 85]

Archy's "Banquet of Jests," printed in 1630, tells of one travelling through Stratford, "a town most remarkable for the birth of famous William Shakespeare." In the same year is said to have been written Milton's memorable epitaph (printed 1632), a noble testimony from the Puritan genius to the power of his play-acting brother:

"What needs my Shakspere for his honoured bones,
The labour of an age in pilèd stones?
Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid
Under a star y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What needst thou such weak witness of thy fame?
Thou, in our wonder and astonishment,
Hast built thyself a live-long monument," etc.

By 1651 had already been suggested an annual commemoration of his life in Samuel Sheppard's "Epigram on Shakspere," verse 6:

"Where thy honoured bones do lie,
As Statius once to Maro's urn,
Thither every year will I
Slowly tread and sadly turn."

The State Papers even show the appreciation of his age.[174] But I was pleased to find that the first recorded student of Shakespeare was a woman. On January 21, 1638,[175] Madam Anne Merrick, in the country, wrote to a friend in London that she could not come to town, but "must content herself with the study of Shakespeare and the 'History of Women,'" which seem to have constituted all her country library. The Judges of King Charles I. reproached him with the study of Shakespeare's Plays.[176]

These records also contain a bookseller's (Mr. Moseley's) account[177] for books, probably provided to[Pg 86] Lord Conway, among which are "Ben Jonson's poems, 6d., Beaumont's poems, 6d., Shakespeare's poems, 1/-," etc.

Other references to Shakespeare's works occur in the same records. But as this is not intended as a literary biography, I forbear to reproduce them now.


[136] Bearley Registers.

[137] Worcester Marriage Licenses.

[138] Francis Throgmorton, son and heir of Sir John Throgmorton, of Feckenham, to Anne Sutton, alias Dudley, daughter of Sir Edward Sutton, June 3, 1571. See my "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries," p. 111.

[139] See July 13, 1895, p. 67.

[140] "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries," ii., p. 12. Sir Thomas had no park, and Justice Shallow bore no resemblance to him, etc.

[141] Ibid., vi., p. 48; also Athenæum, February 8, 1896, p. 190.

[142] "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries," i. Richard Field, Stratford-on-Avon Press.

[143] Greene's "Groatsworth of Wit."

[144] See my articles "The Date of the Sonnets," Athenæum, March 19 and 26, 1898, pp. 374, 403, and "Mr. W. H.," August 4, 1900, p. 154.

[145] Sonnets CX. and CXI.

[146] See my English article (reprinted) "The Earliest Official Record of Shakespeare's Name," "Shakespeare Jahrbuch," vol. xxxii., Berlin, 1896.

[147] Declared Accounts, Treasury Chamber, Pipe Office, 542.

[148] August 11, 1596 (Stratford Burial Register).

[149] William Underhill, the Lord of Idlicote (by Barton-on-the-Heath), conveyed New Place to Shakespeare at Easter, 1597, and died in July of that year. His son Fulke died without issue, and his brother Hercules, who succeeded, being under age, did not complete the transfer till 1602.

[150] Meres' "Wit's Treasury," second part of "Wit's Commonwealth."

[151] From the original at the birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon.

[152] Greenway was the Stratford carrier.

[153] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., cclx. 116.

[154] The Burbage and Benfield Case, the Lord Chamberlain's Papers, 1635, P.R.O. See also Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," i. 312, and Fleay, "Hist. of Stage," p. 325.

[155] See Accounts of Treasurer of the Chamber, etc.

[156] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," i. 205; ii. 19. Court Rolls of Rowington.

[157] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., Subsidy List., 1605.

[158] The title-page of "Hamlet" (Stat. Reg., July 26, 1602) implies that the company had been travelling to Oxford and Cambridge.

[159] See Dibden's "History of the Edinburgh Stage."

[160] See my own paper on "The Scottish and English Macbeth."—"Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature," 1897.

[161] Rymer's "Fœdera," V. xvi. 505.

[162] Nichols's "Progresses of James I.," vol. i.

[163] See Letters and Proclamations in State Papers, Domestic Series, of the time.

[164] Dec. Acc. Treasurer of the Chamber (November, 1603-4).

[165] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," i. 212.

[166] Ben Jonson's verses, 1623, folio.

[167] Fleay's "Life of Shakespeare," p. 7.

[168] This deed is preserved in the Guildhall Library, and an account of it appears in the Antiquary, New Series, iv. 204.

[169] See Dr. Ingleby, "Shakespeare and the Welcombe Enclosures."

[170] Worcester Bishops' Books.

[171] Justice Shallow tells Anne Page that his cousin Slender will maintain her as a gentlewoman: "He will make you a hundred and fifty pounds jointure."—The Merry Wives of Windsor, III., 4.

[172] See Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," i. 312.

[173] See next chapter, p. 98.

[174] See Dr. Ingleby's "Century of Praise," and my own "Bacon-Shakespeare Question Answered."

[175] State Papers, Domestic Series, Charles I., 409 (167).

[176] J. Cooke's appeal to all rational men, 1649.

[177] Ibid., 478 (16).

[Pg 87]



William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, of a respectable family, supposed to be of Shottery. He had three children: Susanna, and Hamnet and Judith, twins. The boy died young, in 1596, before the grant of arms was completed. Anne Hathaway is described as of Stratford in the marriage bond, but so were Fulk Sandells and John Richardson, the bondsmen, known to be of Shottery. Indeed, the village lay within the parish of Stratford.

Gwillim mentions arms,[178] "Sable, a bugle, or hunter's horn, garnished and furnished argent. This coat-armour is of very ancient erection in the church of Rewardine, in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, and pertained to the family of Hatheway of the same place." Again he says, "Paleways of six, Argent and sable, on a bend Or, three pheons[179] of the second, by the name of Hatheway."[180]

The Hathaways from whom Anne Shakespeare descended have not been proved to be of the Gloucestershire stock, nor is it absolutely certain to which of the three Shottery families she belonged. In the Warwickshire Survey (Philip and Mary) it is stated that John Hathaway held part of a property at[Pg 88] Shottery, called Hewlands, by copy of Court Roll dated April 20, 1542. He was possibly the same as the archer of that name, mentioned in the Muster Roll 28 Henry VIII., and was probably father of the Richard befriended by John Shakespeare in 1566. The Stratford registers record the birth of Thomas, son of Richard Hathaway, April 12, 1569; John, February 3, 1574, and William, November 30, 1578. Anne Hathaway, we know, from the words on her tombstone, must have been born before the register commenced (1558). There is not another Agnes, or Anne, recorded that could represent the legatee of Richard Hathaway's will of September, 1581. To his eldest son, Bartholomew, he left the farm,[181] to be carried on with his mother; to his second and third sons, Thomas and John, he left £6 13s. 4d. each; to his fourth son, William, £10; to his daughters, Agnes (or Anne) and Catherine, £6 13s. 4d., to be paid on the day of their marriage; and to his youngest daughter, Margaret, £6 13s. 4d. when she was seventeen. Witnessed by Sir William Gilbert, clerk and curate of Stratford.

The farm was not a freehold; Bartholomew did not become its owner until 1610, when he purchased it from William Whitmore and John Randall. Richard Hathaway mentions in his will his "shepherd, Thomas Whittington of Shottery." This man died in 1601, and by his will bequeathed to the poor "Forty shillings that is in the hand of Anne Shaxspere, wife unto Mr. Wyllyam Shaxspere, and is debt due to me." It was a common custom of the days before savings-banks, for poor earners to deposit their savings in the charge of rich and trustworthy friends, and this little link seems to associate Anne Shakespeare doubly with that particular family of Hathaways.

To face p. 88.

[Pg 89]

Shakespeare does not mention any of his wife's relatives in his will, but that does not necessarily imply coldness of feeling. Dr. John Hall, his son-in-law, was made overseer of Bartholomew Hathaway's will in 1621, and in 1625 he was one of the trustees at the marriage of Isabel, his granddaughter, the daughter of Richard Hathaway of Bridge Street. A Richard is mentioned in the registers as being baptized in 1559 (but it is not clear that he was the son of this Richard or of Bartholomew), who became a baker in Bridge Street, an important member of the Town Council, and Constable in 1605. He was elected High Bailiff of Stratford in 1526, and was styled "gent." Many of the name are buried in Trinity Church, Stratford.

In the rather remarkable testament of Thomas Nash,[182] first husband of Shakespeare's only granddaughter, Elizabeth, he left £50 to Elizabeth Hathaway, £50 to Thomas Hathaway, and £10 to Judith Hathaway. His wife also remembered them, as will be afterwards shown. William Hathaway, of Weston-upon-Avon, in the county of Gloucester, yeoman, and Thomas Hathaway, of Stratford-upon-Avon, joiner, were parties to the New Place settlement of 1647.

All this shows that the Shakespeares were not ashamed of their mother's relatives. We do not know anything about Anne Shakespeare after her husband's death until we reach the record of her own, "August 8th, 1623, Mrs. Shakespeare."[183]

Tradition says that she earnestly desired to be buried in her husband's grave. The survivors were not able to secure this, but they buried her as near him as they could. Her daughter Susanna's grief is[Pg 90] recorded in touching lines, probably Latinized by Dr. Hall, placed on her tombstone:

"Thou, my mother, gave me life, thy breast and milk; alas! for such great bounty to me I shall give thee a tomb. How much rather I would entreat the good angel to move the stone, so that thy figure might come forth, as did the body of Christ; but my prayers avail nothing. Come quickly, O Christ; so that my mother, closed in the tomb, may rise again and seek the stars."[184]

Of Anne Shakespeare's children we have already spoken. Susannah was born May 26, 1583, Hamnet and Judith, February 2, 1584-85. Hamnet—surely the model of Shakespeare's sweet boys—had died on August 11, 1596. So the name Shakespeare had glorified was doomed to die with himself, and was not to be borne by lesser men. His property the poet could and did devise.

Much discussion has taken place concerning the poet's views of his younger daughter and her marriage. I do not think these views at all supported by his will. Three hundred pounds was a very large portion indeed at the time. It was demised to her doubtless before her marriage, but it was not altered in relation to her after her marriage. It would be hard indeed to believe that[Pg 91] such a ceremony, even without a license, could be performed in the gossipy town of Stratford without the news of it somehow reaching the father's ears, if there had been any attempt really to deceive. There is no reason to imagine Shakespeare disapproved of the alliance. The young man came of an old Stratford family. It is possible, however, that the poet foresaw a certain degree of instability of character in the youth, and therefore wished to make his will act as a marriage settlement that would secure his daughter from starvation. The second half of his bequest might only be touched by her husband, if he had settled on her land of equal value. This Thomas Quiney does not seem to have done.

Richard Quiney had died 1601-2, and his widow Elizabeth kept a tavern, in which she was probably at one time assisted by her younger son Thomas. In December, 1611, she conveyed a house to William Mountford for £131, and Judith Shakespeare was a subscribing witness. But neither she nor her future mother-in-law signed their names, nor even the customary cross, but a strangely-penned device of their own. Thomas Quiney lived in a small house in the High Street until after his marriage. It was probably his wife's money that enabled him to lease the larger house on the other side, called "The Cage," and to start therein business as a vintner.

At first he was successful. He was made a burgess in 1617, and was Chamberlain from 1621 to 1623. His accounts for the latter year are headed by a French proverb, as to the happiness of those who become wise through the experience of others, that might have had an opposite meaning to his contemporaries. It shows us that he could not only read and write English, but at least a little French. By 1630 he was involved in lawsuits, left the town council, and tried to dispose of[Pg 92] the lease of his house. In 1633 Dr. Hall and Thomas Nash acted as trustees for his estate. His fortunes seemed to have become worse and worse. In 1652 he went to the Metropolis, where his elder brother Richard was a thriving grocer in Bucklersbury, in company with Roger Sadler. Richard, in August, 1655,[185] made a will, in which he left, besides handsome provision for his children—Richard, Adrian, Thomas, William and Sarah—his brother Thomas £12 a year for life, and £5 for the expenses of his funeral, out of his messuages at Shottery. The Quiney coat of arms is entered among those of the London burgesses at Guildhall,[186] "Mr. Quiney of ye Red Lyon in Bucklersbury."

The family of Thomas Quiney and his wife Judith was not a large one. In the year that the poet died they christened their eldest son, "Shaksper, filius Thomas Quyny gent.," November 23, 1616. But the child died in a few months. On May 8, 1617, was buried "Shakespere, filius Thomas Quyny, gent."

On February 9, 1617-18, "Richard filius Thomas Quinee" was baptized, and on January 23, 1619-20, "Thomas, filius Thomas Queeny." These lads may have followed to the grave their grandmother, Mrs. Shakespeare, and their uncle, Dr. Hall; and they may have been present at the marriage of their cousin, Mrs. Elizabeth Hall, to Mr. Thomas Nash. But they died within a month of each other, probably of some infectious fever, the younger first—"Thomas filius Thomæ Quiney, Jan. 28th, 1638-9"; "Richardus filius Tho. Quiney, Feb. 26th, 1638-9." There were no other children, and no prospect of more, and these early deaths affected the devolution of the poet's property, as may hereafter be seen.

Unfortunately, we know nothing concerning Dr.[Pg 93] John Hall before his marriage to the poet's elder daughter Susanna on June 5, 1607, he being then thirty-two and she twenty-five. He cannot have been the son of Dr. John Hall, of Maidstone, Kent, whose translation of Lanfranc's "Chirurgerie," with portrait of the translator, appeared in 1565. He would have been an eminently suitable father, distinguished alike in his art and his character, author of "The Court of Virtue," and many metrical Bible translations; but he died in 1566, and the Stratford Dr. John Hall was born in 1575. Halliwell-Phillipps[187] suggests that he may have been connected with the Halls of Acton, Middlesex, because he left his only daughter his "house and meadow at Acton." A John Hall was married in that parish, it is true, on September 19, 1574,[188] to Margaret Archer. But he had a daughter Elizabeth christened on June 5, 1575, about the very date at which the Stratford "John" must have been born. Any connection, therefore, must have been further off than filial, and the name is too common to be easily followed.

There were Halls in Worcester,[189] in Rowington, and in Coventry, and it may be remembered that a John Hall supplanted Richard Shakespeare as Bailiff of the Priory of Wroxall during the last year of its existence. There was a Richard Hall of Stratford in the list of the gentry 12 Henry VI., 1433. There was also a Richard Hall, gentleman,[190] of Idlicote, in the sixteenth century, who seems to have moved about a good deal, as there is a record of "Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hall, Generosus, bapt. February 14th, 1560," at Idlicote, and of "Maria filia Richardi Hall, Generosus, March 17th, 1561," in Stratford. I have not traced[Pg 94] any of the name of John christened in Idlicote or elsewhere at the date.

The Idlicote Halls were suspected recusants, as may be proved by the search made in their house when Edward Arden was dragged away from Park Hall in 1583.[191] There was a "Mr. Hall" Alderman of Stratford 1558, and in 1575 Edmund Hall and Emma his wife sold two messuages to John Shakespeare. Were they contemplating going abroad at the time? They are not further referred to in Stratford records. In a manuscript of the British Museum a table is sketched of the Halls of Henwick in Hallow. John Hall of Henwick had a son Thomas, who married, first, Anne, daughter of William Staple, and, second, a daughter of Hardwick. He had at least two sons, John, who married Margaret, daughter of William Grovelight, of London, and Edmund, who married Emma, daughter of —— (?). John had Edward, Anne, Elizabeth, and Emma, and the descendants of Edmund are not entered.[192] Catholicism might have been a reason for realizing their property and going abroad.

Now, John Hall expressly calls himself a Master of Arts, though his name is not recorded in the Books of the English Universities. He would not have done so had he not taken his degree. It possibly might have been in Paris, and he might have followed it up with foreign study. This would quite accord with his[Pg 95] appearance in Stratford after the death of Elizabeth. A Warwickshire gentle origin[193] may somewhat account for the degree of intimacy he seems to have had with the county families, both Puritan and Catholic. His fame as a physician rapidly spread. He resided in a house in Old Town, on the way from the church to the chapel. His only daughter, Elizabeth, was baptized at Stratford on February 21, 1607-8,[194] during her grandfather's (William Shakespeare's) life. His name occurs in the town records in 1611,[195] among the supporters to a Highway Bill, and he leased from the Corporation a small stretch of wooded land on the outskirts of the town in 1612. He must have remained on friendly terms with his father-in-law, as he and his wife Susanna were left residuary legatees and executors of Shakespeare's will, which he proved in June of that year, in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Registry at London.

He shortly afterwards moved to New Place, beside his mother-in-law, where the vestry notes of February 3, 1617-1618, record him as resident. He was elected a Burgess of Stratford in 1617, and again in 1623, but was excused from taking office on account of his professional engagements. On April 22, 1626, Mr. Thomas Nash married his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Hall. Hall gave the church a costly new pulpit, and in 1628 was appointed a borough churchwarden, in 1629 a sidesman, and in 1632 was compelled to become a burgess, and was soon after fined for non-attendance at the council meetings.

In 1633 he was made the Vicar's churchwarden,[Pg 96] and in that year the Vicar, Thomas Wilson, induced him to join in a Chancery action against the town. He was already in trouble with his fellow councillors, who in October of that year expelled him for his "breach of orders, sundry other misdemeanours, and for his continual disturbance at our Halles." Evidently Dr. John had opinions of his own, and had the courage to express them. He was a deeply religious man, and, though he has been supposed to have shown Puritan tendencies in later life, it was a Puritanism that did not eschew Catholicism. His was a religion of constant reference to the Unseen. He was always a helper of those in trouble for conscience' sake; and probably this was the reason he supported the unpopular Vicar.

Shortly after, in 1635, there was a petition sent up from the Corporation of Stratford for their wives to have the pew in Stratford Church occupied by Dr. Hall, his wife, and his son-in-law and his wife. Each family had a pew at each side of the church, while there was not room for the burgesses' wives to sit or kneel in. It was true that the said Mr. Hall had been a great benefactor to the church, and the Bishop of the diocese had appointed him his pew; but his family were asked to choose which of their large pews they preferred to keep, along with Mrs. Woodward and Mrs. Lane, so that they might allow the aldermen's wives to have the other.

John Hall died on November 25, 1635, and was buried next day in the chancel of the parish church, though he had already disposed of the lease of the tithes purchased by his father-in-law.

The burial register of the next day describes him as "Medicus Peritissimus." By a nuncupative will, he left a house in London to his wife, a house in Acton and a meadow to his daughter Elizabeth, and his study of books to his son-in-law Thomas Nash. The[Pg 97] manuscripts he would have given to Mr. Boles had he been present, but Nash was to keep them and use them as he pleased. It is probable that Mr. Boles was Richard Boles, Rector of Whitnash, not far from Stratford—an eccentric person, a writer of epitaphs, who had set up his own in his church while he yet lived.[196]

On the monumental slab of Dr. Hall is a shield of arms: "Sable, three talbots' heads erased or" for Hall, impaling Shakespeare or on a bend "sable, a spear of the first, the point steeled." "Here lyeth ye Body of John Hall, gent: Hee marr: Susanna ye daughter and coheire of Will: Shakespeare, gent., Hee deceased Novr 25, Anno 1635, aged 60.

"Hallius sic situs est, medica celeberrimus arte
Expectans regni Gaudia læta Dei;
Dignus erat meritis qui nestora vinceret annis,
In terris omnes, sed capit æqua dies;
Ne tumulo quid desit adest fidessima conjux
Est vitæ comitem nunc quoq. mortis habet."[197]

It has been thought that this proves the epitaph was not written until after Mrs. Hall's death. She may have wished the words set up, to determine her resting-place; or Mr. Boles may have helped Thomas Nash with the Latin.

After his death his son-in-law, Thomas Nash, came to reside at New Place, and took the position of head of the family. Indeed, in one of his letters he speaks of "Mrs. Hall, my mother-in-law, who lives with me." But the house and everything in it, saving the study of books, belonged to Mrs. Hall, of course.

We know nothing of the nature or the fate of the[Pg 98] bulk of these manuscripts, though many have longed to trace them. Possibly among them, though it is not likely (being in bound volumes) were two notebooks of Dr. John Hall's observations, from which James Cooke, a physician introduced later to Mrs. Hall, translated the materials for a little book entitled, "Select Observations on English Bodies; or, Cures both Empericall and Historicall Performed on very Eminent Persons in Desperate Diseases, first written in Latine by Mr. John Hall, Physician living at Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire where he was very famous, as also in the counties adjacent, as appears by these observations, drawn out of severall hundreds of his as choycest, now put into English for common benefit by James Cooke, practitioner in Physick and Surgery, 1657." Cooke, in the introduction, relates the strange manner in which he became possessed of them, Mrs. Hall not knowing they were in her husband's handwriting, and, believing they were part of a poor scholar's mortgage, transferred them to him with other books. Cooke used the books as guides in his own practice, and then expanded the contractions, translated and published them, "being acquainted with his apothecary." It is no slight compliment to a physician to have his cures published twenty-two years after his death, and to have them run through more than one edition. Cooke mentions: "Mr. John Hall had the happiness to lead the way to that practice almost generally used now by the most knowing of mixing scorbutics to most remedies." It is to Cooke we owe information concerning Hall's education abroad; concerning the physician, his relative, on terms of intimacy with Mrs. Hall, who introduced him to New Place; and concerning the "other book" of Dr. John Hall, also prepared for the press. We wonder what it contained.[Pg 99]

The book published by Cooke records only cures. We are inclined to echo, "Where are they that were drowned?" Doubtless Hall had attended his father-in-law in his last illness, but his skill and affection were not sufficient to save him. And because of this failure, we do not know the symptoms shown by the poet after the traditional "merrymaking with Ben Jonson and Drayton," when later gossips say he "drank too much." The earliest dated cure is 1617. But is it too much to imagine that the undated illness of Drayton, recorded in "Obs. XXII.," occurred at the same time as the death of the poet? Was he at any later time ill in Warwickshire, and likely to be attended by Dr. John Hall? "Mr. Drayton, an excellent poet, labouring of a Tertian, was cured by the following treatment." Let us suppose it was April, 1616, and it may account for the poet's illness, otherwise than by over-drinking.

In "Obs. XIX." Hall mentions without date an illness of his wife, Mrs. Hall. "Obs. XXXVI." concerns his only daughter, and supports my opinion of a constitutional delicacy of Anne Hathaway and her family. It is not insignificant that her grandchild should suffer from "tortura oris," or convulsions of the mouth, and ophthalmia. She was cured of one attack on January 5, 1624. In the beginning of April she went to London, and on returning on the 22nd of the same month, she took cold, and fell into the same distemper, which affected the other side of her face. This second time, "By the blessing of God, she was cured in sixteen days." But on May 24 of the same year she was struck down with an erratic fever. Sometimes she was hot, by-and-by sweating, again cold, all in the space of half an hour. Her father's treatment again healed her; "the symptoms remitted daily till she was well, thus was she delivered from[Pg 100] death and deadly diseases, and was well for many years." Many other familiar names occur in this volume—"Mrs. Queeny," Mrs. Smith, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Throgmorton, Mrs. Sheldon, Mrs. Greene, John Nason, the Underhills, Mrs. Baker, Dr. Thornbery, Bishop of Worcester (aged eighty-six on February 1, 1633), Mrs. Combe, Katherine Sturley, "Mrs. Grace Court, wife to my apothecary." In "Obs. LXIV." he speaks of treating "the only son of Mr. Holyoake, which framed the dictionary." "Obs. LXXXII.," Book II., records the restoration from the gates of death of Mr. John Trapp, minister; and Obs. "LX.," Book II., gives an account of Hall's own dangerous illness in 1632, when his anxious wife sent for two physicians, who pulled him through; and he records his prayer to God on the occasion. We must not forget that this was the date of his quarrel with the Corporation.

The death of the young Quineys in 1638-39 affected the details of the poet's will; for it may be remembered the property was settled on Susanna Hall and her heirs male, failing whom, on the heirs male of Elizabeth Hall, failing whom, on the heirs male of Judith, in default of such heirs male, on the right heirs of William Shakespeare for ever. The failure in the heirs male of Judith therefore entitled Elizabeth Nash to the full inheritance as heir-general, and within a few weeks after the unexpected death of her cousins, Susanna Hall, widow, joined with Mr. and Mrs. Nash, May 27, 1639, in making a new settlement of Shakespeare's entails on Mrs. Hall for life, after whom on Mr. and Mrs. Nash, and the longer liver of them, after them, to the heirs of their body, and in default of such, to the heirs of the said Elizabeth. Should she die first without heirs, the property was secured to the heirs and assignes of the said Thomas Nash, a reversion[Pg 101] certainly not fair to Joan Hart, the poet's sister, and her children. Still, it all seemed too far off to consider. To this document Mrs. Hall appended her signature and her seal, with the arms of Shakespeare impaled with those of Hall.

Thomas Nash seemed to have believed this fully settled everything on himself, and that he was likely to outlive his mother-in-law and his wife, for on August 20, 1642, he executed, without his wife's sanction or knowledge, a mysterious will, that afterwards led to trouble.

The importance of New Place, the largest house in the town, and the liberality and loyalty of its owners, were curiously signalized in the following year. Queen Henrietta Maria, in July, 1643, marched from Newark to Kineton by way of Stratford, where she was reinforced by Prince Rupert and 2,000 men. She held her court for three days[198] in Shakespeare's house, probably accompanied by only her immediate personal attendants. On July 13, the Queen and Prince Rupert moved off to meet the King in the vale of Kineton near Edgehill.[199]

Thomas Nash died on April 4, 1647, and was buried in the chancel beside Shakespeare. "Heere resteth ye body of Thomas Nashe Esq. He mar. Elizabeth, the daug. and Heire of John Halle, gent. He died Aprill 4, A. 1647. Aged 53.

"Fata manent omnes, hunc non virtute carentem
ut neque divitiis, abstulit atra dies
Abstulit at referet lux ultima; siste, viator,
si peritura paras per male parta peris."

The coat of arms was double quarterly of four, First, 1 and 4 argent on a chevron between three ravens' heads erased azure, a pellet between 4 cross-crosslets sable, for Nash; 2 and 3 sable a buck's head caboshed[Pg 102] argent attired or, between his horns a cross patée, and across his mouth an arrow, Bulstrode. Second, 1 and 4, for Hall, 2 and 3 Shakespeare.

When the notable will was opened, and proved in the following June, the widow declined to follow out its provisions as concerned her own property, which Thomas Nash had treated as if entirely his own. "Item, I give, dispose and bequeath, unto my Kinsman Edward Nash, and to his heires and assignes for ever, one messuage or tenement with the appurtenances comonly called or knowne by the name of The New Place ... together with all and singular howses, outhowses, barnes, stables, orchards, gardens, etc, esteemed or enjoyed as thereto belonging ... also fower yards of arable land meadowe and pasture ... in old Stratford, and also one other tenement with the appurtenances in the parish of —— London; called or known by the name of the Wardropp, and now in the tenure of one —— Dickes."

Mrs. Nash had soldiers quartered on her at New Place during the very month of her husband's death, one of whom was implicated in the robbery of deer from the park of Sir Greville Verney on April 30, 1647. But she did not fail in legal knowledge of what she ought to do under the unexpected provisions of her husband's will, of which she was left sole executrix and residuary legatee. She and her mother combined in levying a fine on the property,[200] and reconveying it to the sole use of her mother and herself, and their heirs for ever. She was not yet thirty-nine years of age, and did not feel inclined even then to take it for granted she would not marry again, even if Edward Nash agreed, as he could be made to agree, that his inheritance could only come to him on her decease without issue.[Pg 103]

But Edward Nash did not like her proceedings, and filed a Bill in Chancery on February, 1647-48, against Elizabeth Nash, and other legatees, to compel them to produce his uncle's will in court, and execute its provisions. Mrs. Nash admitted its contents, but averred the testator had no power to demise property which had belonged to her grandfather, and had been left to herself. She explained that her mother was still living, and that in conjunction they had levied the fine. She only disputed that part of her husband's will concerning her own property, and mentioned her deeds and evidences. Her answer was taken by commission, at Stratford, in April, 1648, and in June it was ordered that the defendants should bring into court the will and other evidences, and the writ was personally served on Mrs. Nash.

The will of Thomas Nash was produced before the Examiners in Chancery in November, but Mrs. Nash defied all orders concerning the other "evidences," as may be seen from the affidavit filed at the Six Clerks' Office in December, 1649. She was brave in her determination that her own rights and her mother's should not be assailed, and she was perhaps prudent in her opinion that the fewer papers that were produced the shorter time would the suit last. No replication or decree is recorded. The litigation apparently terminated in a compromise, doubtless hastened by Mrs. Nash's second marriage. Perhaps Edward Nash by this time realized the injustice or the impracticability of his claim. The only further allusion to it occurs in Lady Barnard's will.[201] She directs her trustees to dispose of New Place with the proviso "that my loving cousin, Edward Nash, Esq., shall have the first offer or refusal thereof, according to my promise formerly made to him."[Pg 104]

Elizabeth Nash married Mr. John Barnard, of Abington, Northamptonshire, at Billesley, a village four miles from Stratford, June 5, 1649, where the Trussels resided. Why did she go there to be married? A puzzling question indeed, which cannot be answered by the register, as it is lost. Whether her marriage weakened her mother's health, or whether the state of her mother's health had hastened her marriage, we know not; but a month later, on July 11, 1649, Mrs. Hall died, and, being buried beside her husband on the 16th, made his tomb complete. The Latin scholars of the family were all gone, and it is not too much to suppose that Elizabeth herself, Shakespeare's grandchild, composed her mother's epitaph:

"Here lyeth the body of Susanna, wife of John Hall, gent., the daughter of William Shakespeare, gent. She deceased the 11 day of July, Anno 1649, aged 66.

"Witty above her sex, but that's not all,
Wise to Salvation was good Mistress Hall,
Something of Shakespeare was in that, but this
Wholly of him with whom she's now in blisse.
Then, passenger, hast nere a tear
To weep with her that wept with all
That wept, yet set herself to chere
Them up with comforts cordiall?
Her love shall live, her mercy spread
When thou hast nere a tear to shed."

A lozenge bore the arms of Hall and Shakespeare impaled. In the early part of last century these verses were erased to make space for the record of the death of one Richard Watts, who owned some of the tithes and had the right to be buried in the chancel. But they, fortunately, had been preserved by Dugdale;[202] and in 1844 the Watts record was erased and Mrs. Hall's verses restored.

Her death limited Shakespeare's descendants to two[Pg 105]—Judith Quiney, daughter, and Elizabeth Barnard, granddaughter. A fine was levied on New Place in 1650, in which John Barnard and Henry Smith were made trustees to the settlement of 1647, instead of Richard Lane and William Smith. In 1652 a new settlement was made, devising it to the use of John Barnard and his wife, and the longer liver of them, to the heirs of the body of Elizabeth, failing whom to any persons she might name. In default of such nomination, the property was to go to the right heirs of the survivor. A fine was again levied on this settlement. Mr. John Barnard was knighted by Charles II. in 1661. The Stratford Register of 1661-62 records the death of Elizabeth's aunt, Judith, "uxor Thomas Quiney, gent., Feb. 9th, 1661-2." The use of the word "uxor" is no certain proof that he was alive at the time.

Judith's death, at the age of seventy-seven, left Lady Elizabeth Barnard the poet's sole survivor. She had no children by her second marriage, about which we have no other detail. It has been surmised that it was not a happy one. Sir John Barnard was a widower, and had already a family. There is no mention of this family in Lady Barnard's will, and a limitation to the barest law and justice towards her husband, whom she did not leave her executor. The will was drawn up on January 29, 1669-70, and she died at Abington in February. "Madam Elizabeth Bernard, wife of Sir John Bernard, Knight, was buried 17th Feb., 1669-70."[203] No sepulchral monument was raised in memory of the granddaughter and heir of Shakespeare, but she probably lay in the same tomb as her husband, who died in 1674. A memorial slab still remains to his memory in Abington Church, but the place of his burial is unknown, and the vault below this stone is used by another family.[Pg 106]

By his death his wife's will[204] came into force, written while she was still "in perfect memory—blessed be God!—and mindful of mortality." She recounted the settlement of April 18, 1653, to which the trustees were Henry Smith, of Stratford, gent., and Job Dighton, of the Middle Temple, London, Esquire. Henry Smith, her surviving trustee, or his heirs, six months after the death of her husband, Sir John Barnard, was to sell New Place, giving the first offer to her loving cousin, Edward Nash, and the money was to be used in legacies. Her cousin, Thomas Welles, of Carleton, in county Bedford, was to have £50 if he be alive, and if he be dead, her kinsman, Edward Bagley, citizen of London, was to receive the amount. How she was connected with these men I have been unable to find out. "Judith Hathaway, one of the daughters of my kinsman, Thomas Hathaway, late of Stratford," £5 a year or £40 in hand. Unto Joane, the wife of Edward Kent, another daughter of the said Thomas Hathaway, £50, failing whom to her heir, Edward Kent the younger, at his coming of age. To this same Edward Kent she left £30 for his apprenticeship. To Rose, Elizabeth, and Susanna, three other "daughters of my kinsman, Thomas Hathaway, £40 a piece." Henry Smith was to have £5 for his pains, and Edward Bagley to be residuary legatee. "To my kinsman, Thomas Hart, the son of Thomas Hart, late of Stratford, all that my other messuage or Inne commonly called the Maydenhead, with the next house thereto adjoining, with the barne belonging to the same, now in the occupation of Michael Johnson; to Thomas Hart and his heirs, failing whom to his brother George Hart and his heirs," failing whom to her own right heirs for ever. She made her "loving kinsman Edward Bagley" executor, "in witness of which I set my hand and[Pg 107] seal." It may be seen that she retained absolute power of the poet's purchases, but justly left his inheritance from his father John to his sister's descendants. But she did no more than justice.

It is not clear how the connection is traced between her and her other legatees, but it is very noticeable her preference for the Hathaway connections to those of the Shakespeare side.

Ere she died the poet's Blackfriars tenement had been reduced to ashes in the Great Fire of 1666. What right in it or its site remained, accrued to Edward Bagley, "citizen of London," her executor and residuary legatee, who proved her will, March 4, 1669, though it is stated to have been sold in Shakespeare's Biography in the Dictionary.

Edward Nash did not buy New Place, after all. It was bought by Sir Edward Walker, at one time Secretary of War to Charles I., and then Garter King-at-Arms. Halliwell-Phillipps states[205] it was sold by the "surviving trustee," but Sir Edward Walker's own will[206] puts it a little differently. He left to his dear daughter Barbara, wife of Sir John Clopton, various bequests, among which appear "A yarde land in Stratford field I bought of Mr. Hall, of the value of £12 10s. by year ... fyftly Land I bought of Sir John Clopton in the mannor of Clopton, of the yearely value of £10. Sixtly 4 yard land lying in Stratford and Bishopton fields which I bought of Mr. Bagley, and a house called the New Place, situated in the Towne of Stratford upon Avon, of the yearely value about fyfty fyve pounds ... my deare daughter and her husband Sir John Clopton, sole executors, 30th June, 1676." He died early the following year, and his will was proved March 10, 1676-77.[Pg 108]

Thus, the property Shakespeare had put together became dispersed shortly after his family became extinct, and New Place came back to the heirs of the Cloptons, from whom it was purchased. I had hoped we might find something from the will of Edward Bagley, but he died intestate,[207] and the administration mentions nothing of interest to Shakespeare.

It is therefore quite clear that the whole period covered by Shakespeare's life and that of his descendants was 105 years, i.e., from 1564 to 1669, and that no lineal descendants can survive. Yet, as if in illustration of the methods of fabrication of tradition, when it is desired, I have heard of many of the name who boast a lineal descent from the poet; and of one even who boasts of having inherited not only the Shakespeare's dinner-service, but his teapot! Yet that the presence of the name is a certain bar to the descent, as above shown, no such claimants seem to have taken the trouble to find out, as they easily might do. I am told that in Verona, by the tomb of Romeo and Juliet, a modern visitor has described himself as "Shakespeare, descendant of the poet who wrote the play." William Shakespeare's poems alone are his posterity.

Even under another name they are not to be accepted.[208] In the Cambridge Chronicle obituary, January 1, 1842, appears: "Died on the 28th ult. at Exning, Suffolk, aged 87, Mrs. Hammond, mother of Mr. Wm. Hammond, of No. 8, Scots Yard, Cannon Street, London, Indigo Merchant. The deceased was one of the few remaining descendants of Shakespeare." So lately as June, 1857, there was recorded the death of William Hammond, Esq., of London, "one of the last lineal descendants of Shakespeare."

Dr. Bigsby says that Colonel Gardner, descendant[Pg 109] of the Barnards, had some Shakespeare letters, and claimed descent from Lady Elizabeth Barnard.[209]

A correspondent remembered to have seen when a boy the Shakespear Inn, Lower Northgate Street, Gloucester, kept by an old gentleman named Smith. Outside the passage to the inn was a signboard, "The Shakespear Inn, by William Smith, descendant from and next of kin to that immortal bard."[210]


[178] Gwillim's "Display of Heraldry," p. 315.

[179] Ibid., pp. 378, 420.

[180] Hathaway is also a name in the Beverston Registers (Notes and Queries, Fifth Series, xii., 101).

[181] French, "Shakespeareana Genealogicæ," p. 376.

[182] Will dated August 26, 1642, proved April 4, 1647. He also left rings to his uncle Nash and his aunt, his cousin Sadler and his wife, his cousin Richard Quiney and his wife his cousin Thomas Quiney and his wife.

[183] Stratford Burial Registers.

[184] The inscription would imply that she was born in 1556; but, as in her husband's case, it may be she was reckoned as sixty-seven very shortly after completing her sixty-sixth year, or even before she completed it, as was done in the case of Lady Joyce Lucy. We may note, at least, that Shakespeare, fifty-three in 1616, is only seven years younger than one reckoned sixty-seven in 1623.

[185] Henry Waters, "Genealogical Gleanings."

[186] See coats of arms of the burgesses, Guildhall MS. 491.

[187] "Outlines," i. 219.

[188] Acton Registers.

[189] See Worcester Wills and Marriage Licenses.

[190] See List of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Warwick, 1577, by Henry Ferrers; Nichols's "Coll. Top. et Gen.," vii., p. 298, and State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., 137 (38).

[191] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., lxiii. 55.

[192] The arms of these Halls were three talbots' heads erased sable, between nine cross-crosslets azure. Shakespeare's son-in-law bore the talbots' heads only, which may merely have been a mark of cadency. A suit in Chancery in the time of Elizabeth was brought by Giles Fletcher, LL.D., Joan his wife, and Phineas his eldest son, against John Hall (not the physician) concerning the site of the manor of Henwick and the land of Hallow. In the chapel is a mural monument to Edward Hall, Esq., who married Anna, eldest daughter of Sir Paul Tracey, having by her four sons and seven daughters. He died September, 1616, aged fifty-four. Addit. MSS., Brit. Mus., 19,816.

[193] It has been suggested by Mr. A. Hall that he might have been son of the John Hall who married Elizabeth Carew, niece to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. He had a son of the name.

[194] Stratford Registers.

[195] Miscellaneous Documents and Corporation Records, Stratford-on-Avon.

[196] Notes and Queries, Fifth Series, vii. 287.

[197] Dugdale's "Warwickshire Antiquities," ed. 1656, p. 518. This may be translated thus: "Here is the dust of Hall, most famous in medical art, awaiting the glorious joys of the Kingdom of God. Worthy was he to have surpassed Nestor in well-earned years, in every land, but impartial Time has snatched him away. Lest anything be wanting to the tomb, his most faithful spouse is there, and he has the companion of life now also in death."

[198] Sir Hugh Clopton to Theobald.

[199] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 108.

[200] Easter Term, 23 Car. I.

[201] Somerset House, 96, Alchin, also in Juxon.

[202] "Warwickshire Antiquities," ed. 1656, p. 518.

[203] Abington Parish Registers.

[204] Somerset House, 96, Alchin, also in Juxon.

[205] Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 119.

[206] Somerset House, 36 Hale.

[207] Admin., October, 1686; Somerset House.

[208] Morning Herald—Obituary.

[209] Notes and Queries, Fifth Series, VII. 287. But she had no children, as proved both by the registers and the wills. She was Sir John Barnard's second wife.

[210]Ibid., 519. Smith really descended from the Harts.

[Pg 110]



John Shakespeare had other sons than William. There were three—Gilbert, Richard and Edmund. These all died comparatively young, and none of them was married.

Edmund, the youngest child of John and Mary Shakespeare, seems to have been the only one who followed his eldest brother to London. He also chose the stage as a profession, but we never hear of any success. From London registers we know that on August 12, 1607, in the parish of St. Giles', Cripplegate, was buried "Edward, the base-born son of Edward Shakespeare, Player," and that on December 31 of the same year was buried within the Church of St. Saviour's, Southwark,[211] "Edmund Shakespeare, Player," "with a forenoon knell of the Great Bell."[212] The poet paid every honour he could to his brother.

Gilbert, born two and a half years after William, seemed often to have been his practical helper and representative in Stratford-on-Avon. Some writers have imagined that because the clerk added the word "adolescens" to the burial entry in 1611 of "Gilbert Shakespeare,"[213] that it could not have been this Gilbert, but some other, probably a young son of his. But there is no record of a marriage, of the birth of any[Pg 111] child, of the death of his wife, or of his own death, if this entry be given another translation than the natural one. We may well imagine the clerk did not fully understand the meaning of the word. Shakespeare often satirizes the ignorant use of learned terms at his time. There is no saying what hazy notions might have floated through the writer's brain of the age or position of the defunct. He would be no worse than a Mrs. Malaprop if he intended "adolescens" to represent "deeply regretted."

Of the last surviving brother, Richard, born 1573, we know nothing, except that he died February 12, in the year 1612-13.[214]

The negative evidence of the registers is supported by the negative evidence of the Shakespeare wills; there is no mention of a Shakespeare in the wills of William Shakespeare (so anxious to perpetuate his family and his name) or in those of his descendants.

We may therefore hold it as proved that there are no collateral lines of Shakespeares descending from the poet's brothers, and therefore none entitled to bear John Shakespeare's famous coat of arms without a new grant. Yet we find some bearing the arms, and many claimants of such descent. Sir Thomas Winnington asks if the Shaksperes of Fillongly are a branch of the poet's family, as the well-known armorial bearings appear on the tomb of George Shakespeare, who died there in 1690.[215]

The Rev. Mr. Dyer wrote to Mr. Duncombe from Coningsby, November 24, 1756: "My wife's name was Ensor, whose grandmother was a Shakespeare, descended from the brother of everybody's Shakespeare."[216] Such claims may be explained by a natural error.[Pg 112] Another John Shakespeare has often been mistaken for ours, and real pedigrees have been traced back to him.

But there were collateral descents from Shakespeare's sister. The only person who might have impaled the new Shakespeare arms, had he himself borne arms to make this possible, was William Hart, the hatter, who married Shakespeare's sister Joan, and who lived in Shakespeare's old house in Henley Street, and died a few days before the poet.[217] The pedigree of the Harts is printed in French's "Shakespeareana Genealogica,"[218] and need not be repeated here. The Rev. Cornelius Hallen[219] also gives a genealogical table of the various connections, and thus provides us with the collateral descent nearly up to date.

Though the early members of this family seem to have been content with a very modest position and very unromantic occupations, the later members have become more ambitious.

The Harts thought of contesting the will of Lady Barnard, who, with her mother, Mrs. Hall, had cut off the entail, or rather altered, as they thought, the proviso of Shakespeare's will regarding his heirs. But, as she left them the Henley Street house, and a contest for more would have been attended with certain expense and uncertain results, they on full consideration let the matter drop.

Even from this family sprang claimants for lineal descent. On a tombstone in Tewkesbury appears: "In Memory of John Hart, the sixth descendant from the poet Shakespeare, who died January 22, 1800, aged 45," etc.

To face p. 113.


[211] Registers of St. Saviour's, Southwark.

[212] Churchwardens' Accounts, St. Saviour's, Southwark.

[213] Stratford-on-Avon Registers.

[214] Stratford-on-Avon Registers.

[215] Notes and Queries December, 1865, Third Series, viii. 501.

[216] Ibid., Sixth Series, xii. 424.

[217] April 17, 1616.

[218] P. 296.

[219] See "Descent of Hallen and Shakespeare."

[Pg 113]



It is certain that Shakespeare had many cousins on the Arden side. A notice of the Stringers, the Lamberts, the Edkins, and the Webbes has been already given. The Hart family, as has also been noticed, provided a large number of relatives not of the name.

On the Shakespeare side the poet may have had cousins, though we are not able to prove their descent from records at present in hand. More than one family claim to have descended from cousins, and presumably from Shakespeare's grandfather Richard. But we must not forget there were other Richards at his time. The Richard of Wroxall, Mr. Yeatman insists, must be the same as the Richard of Snitterfield, though it seems hardly possible, seeing we find the one officially associated with the Priory of Wroxall 26 Henry VIII., 1535,[220] and the other presented for non-suit of court at Snitterfield 20 and 22 Henry VIII.; for infringing the rights of pasture there, October 1, 1535; and receiving a legacy from a friend that suggested continued residence: "Unto Richard Shakespere of Snytfield my foure oxen which are now in his keeping" (will of Thomas Atwode, alias Tailor, of Stratford-on-Avon, 1543). Three successive Richards[Pg 114] lived in Rowington. One, "Richard Shakysspere, of Rowington, Weyver," died in 1560, and mentioned his sons William and Richard in his will drawn up the year before, on June 15, and proved on June 30 (goods prised by John Shakspere and Richard Sanders). Another Richard of the same place made a will in 1591 and died in 1592, whose children were John, Roger, Thomas, William, and Dorothy Jenkes; his wife's name was Joan. There was also a grandson, Thomas, son of John.[221] Another Richard died in 1614,[222] whose eldest son was William. But each of these Richards, from his family and connections, can be proved to be a different man from the Richard of Snitterfield. We are reasonably sure that our John was the son of the latter, if he administered his goods after his death in 1560-61[223]; and if so, we are sure that Henry also was his son, as Henry was the brother of John. This is mentioned in the Declaration of 1587,[224] when Nicholas Lane proceeded against John as surety for his impecunious brother Henry. Henry was also summoned with John to appear as witness in the Mayowe and Webbe case, 23 Elizabeth. He had a wife called Margaret, whose death immediately follows his own in the Register of Snitterfield;[225] but we are not sure that he had any children. "Henry Sakspere was buryed the 29th day of Dec., 1596." "Margaret Sakspere, widow, being tymes the wyff of Henry Sakspere, was bured ix Feb., 1596." It is quite probable that when Robert Webbe married and settled in Snitterfield, or Edward Cornwall came into power there, that Henry moved thence.[226] Just about the[Pg 115] time we find in the Registers of Hampton-on-Avon or Bishop Hampton, "Lettyce, daughter of Henry Shakespeare of Ingon,[227] bapt. June 4th, 1583." "Jeames, son of Henry Shakespeare, bapt. Oct. 15th, 1585." Yet he appears as one of "the pledges" at the baptism of Henry Townsend, of Snitterfield, September 4, 1586. "Jeames Shakespeare, of Ingon, buried Oct. 25th, 1589,"[228] is also mentioned by Malone. This is the correct reading of the "Joannes" mentioned by Halliwell-Phillipps as being buried in the same place so near the same date as September 25, 1589.

A William Shakespeare appears once in Snitterfield as prising the goods of John Pardu in 1569; but we do not know his age and residence, and there is no clue to any relationship with him.

A William prised the goods of Robert Shakespeare of Wroxall, 1565, and the goods of John Shaxper of Rowington, 1574.

An Anthony occurs among the billmen of Snitterfield in the muster book of 1569. John Shakespeare of Rowington, who held land at Wroxall 22 Henry VIII., had a son Antonio, rather an unusual name. Tradition says the poet had an uncle or grand-uncle, Antonio. But we must beware of using tradition as a staff to lean upon. No Anthony appears in any family papers. An Antony Shaxspeare married Joane Whitrefe at Budbrook (in which parish is Hampton Corley), November 14, 1573; and in the Register we find: "Henrie Shackspere sonne of Shackspere and Joane his wife, baptized 24th March, 1575." "Elizabeth, daughter to Antony Shaksper of Hamton, baptized Feb. 10th, 1583," in the Stratford Registers; and "Henry, son of Antonio Shakespeare, buried June 18th, 1583," in[Pg 116] Clifford Chambers. This wandering makes his life rather confusing to us.

Thomas Shakespeare might have been an uncle. Thomas was presented as a regrator or forestaller of barley and wheat at Snitterfield Court, held April, 1575. A Thomas, probably the same, appears in Stratford Records between 23 and 28 Elizabeth. He was sued for the price of malted barley in 23 Elizabeth. He had a son named John, baptized at Snitterfield March 10, 1581-2. Of this child we know nothing further, but I make a suggestion in a later chapter that may interest readers.

There was a Johanna Shakespeare,[229] whose burial record in Snitterfield, in 1595, makes no allusion to any male relative. She might have been an aunt, a great-aunt, or even a grandmother of the poet, and the widow of Richard. Similar entries of wives and widows have been found in the neighbourhood. Joan was an important name in John Shakespeare's eyes, and he gave the name to two of his daughters.

Richard had probably a daughter who became Mrs. Green. A "Thomas Green, alias Shakespeare," was buried in Stratford-on-Avon, March 6, 1590. He was probably the father of Thomas Green, solicitor, in whose "Diary and Correspondence" we find allusions to his cousin Shakespeare: "My cosen Shakspeare has commyng yesterday to towne; I went to see him how he did."[230] Jovis, Nov. 17.[Pg 117]

It was he who conducted the Addenbrooke prosecution (1608), at which time, we know not for what reason, he appears to have been living in Shakespeare's home, New Place, in Stratford-on-Avon.

There might have been an indefinite number of cousins by marriage among the Hathaways. I only mention this now in relation to one strange example of the desire of association somehow with Shakespeare. In the catalogue of the Shakespeare Library of Warwick Castle is the title of a book written by a Hathaway clergyman of Tewkesbury, said to be "a descendant of Anne Hathaway," ignoring the fact that Anne Hathaway was Mrs. Shakespeare. Yet he might after all have been a cousin twice removed.


[220] See "Valor Ecclesiasticus," Warwickshire, at Dissolution, Henry VIII.

[221] Worcester wills.

[222] Ibid.

[223] Admin. Bond at Worcester.

[224] "Henricus Shaksper, frater dicti Johannis," February 1, 29 Elizabeth, 1587.

[225] Snitterfield Registers.

[226] Henry had a fight with Edward Cornwall, and drew blood, October 12, 1574. See Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," vol. ii., p. 209.

[227] Ingon is in the parish of Hampton-on-Avon.

[228] Malone's "Life," vol. ii., p. 23, ed. 1821.

[229] "Johana Shaxspere mortua est et sepulta January quinto, anno 1595." No record has been found of the death of Richard's wife, if this be not she.

[230] Green's "Diary," Nov. 17, 1614, Stratford-on-Avon Records. See also Ingleby's "Shakespeare and the Enclosure of Welcombe." Thomas Green was a Councillor of Middle Temple and a solicitor. (See Quyney's Town Accounts, January and February, 1600-1.) He was appointed Steward of the Court of Record, Stratford-on-Avon, on September 7, 1603. There was no Town Clerk then, and the Steward did the duties until the Charter granted to the town by James I., July 8, 1610, created the office of Town Clerk. He held part of the remainder of the tithes, the half of which were held by Shakespeare.

[Pg 118]



Outside the immediate family of the poet there were many contemporaries in Warwickshire, who may have been connected in some far-off degree.

There was the John Shakespeare, shoemaker, who came to Stratford about 1580, probably as apprentice or journeyman of Roberts, the shoemaker, in whose house he dwelt till 1594, and whose daughter Margery he married.[231] He became Member of the Company of Shoemakers and Saddlers, paying £3, in 1580, and Master of the Shoemakers' Company, and was elected Ale-taster for the town in 1585. He paid 30s. for his freedom January 19, 1585-86, and became Constable in the autumn of 1586. His wife was buried on October 29, 1587, but he must shortly afterwards have married again, as he had three children christened[232] in the parish church. On February 17, 1587, he was[Pg 119] in receipt of Thomas Oken's money, and in 1588 became guardian to Thomas Roberts's sons. The poet's father, after 1570, was always mentioned as Mr. John Shakespeare; this other appears simply as John, or John the Shoemaker, or Corvizer, or some other epithet (see Records of Stratford-on-Avon). Hunter thinks that he was the third son of Thomas Shakespeare, a shoemaker, of Warwick, who held land under the manor of Balsall, and mentioned in his will, 1557, four children—William, Thomas, John and Joan, ux. Francis Ley, mentioned in Warwick registers.

This John of Stratford seems to have left the town before 1595, as his house was inhabited by others then, and no further mention appears of him in record or register.

Beside John Shakespeare's double of Stratford-on-Avon, there was a John Shakespeare of Clifford Chambers, a village a mile or two out of Stratford, who has also been confused with him. He married there, on October 15, 1560, Julian Hobbyns, widow. He sued William Smith, of Stratford, for debt, in 1572; and in the will of John Ashwell, of Stratford, 1583, it is stated that "John Shakespeare, of Clifford Chambers, was in his debt." It is quite probable he was the John often in debt, who had "no goods to seize," in Stratford-on-Avon, generally supposed to be the poet's father.

Other notices of the name, besides the Henry and Antonio above-mentioned, appear in the Clifford Registers. Charles Malary and Alice Shakespeare were married in 1579. Katharine Morris, servant to John Shakespeare, was buried in 1587; Julian Shakespere buried July 22, 1608; John Shakespere buried October 20, 1610. His will was proved at Gloucester in 1611. These latter dates set the question of identity at rest.[Pg 120]

An agricultural John was in occupation of Ingon in 1570.[233] I believe him to be our John, the brother and surety of Henry. We must not forget that as Ingon was so near Snitterfield, John of Ingon may be the John Shakespeare, Agricola, of Snitterfield, who administered Richard's goods, and was fined, October 1, 1561, at the Snitterfield Court. And there are many Johns of Rowington, fully entered in Mr. Rylands' "Records of Rowington."

Just as his father had doubles, so had William. There was a William Shakespeare drowned in the Avon, and buried at St. Nicholas, Warwick, July 6, 1579.[234] The world would not have known what it had lost had this fate overtaken "our Will," but it makes us shiver now as we think of it, even as a past possibility. It has been thought that this youth was the son of Thomas Shakespeare, shoemaker, of Warwick, and brother of John the shoemaker of Stratford. But he seems rather young for that relationship.

Another contemporary William seems to have been in a small way of business as a farmers' agent, sometimes as a lender, and sometimes as a borrower. Among the Shakespeare manuscripts at Warwick Castle are preserved bonds for 2s. 6d. for a quarter of a year's use of £5 by William Shakespeare in 1620, 1624, and 1626. Another of "three quarters of oats to Will Shakespeare for a quarter's use of £5 due upon the 10th of May last, 1621," and some for the sale of malt.[235][Pg 121]

It has seemed to me much more than probable that this was the William who sued Philip Rogers in the Court of Record at Stratford-on-Avon,[236] in 1604 for the price of a strike of malt sold and other money due. "The declaration filed by William Shexspere" in the Court has been accepted by Halliwell-Phillipps and all the Baconians as concerning the poet. But, in the first place, any such declaration at that date would then have designated our Shakespeare "gent."; in the second, he would have employed his cousin, Thomas Greene, as his attorney, and not William Tetherton, and Thomas Greene would have spelt his name otherwise than it is written. In the third place, there is no corroborative testimony that the poet ever sold malt, and there is concerning this contemporary William.

The early registers of Rowington are lost, but we have shown from the wills that there were Shakespeares there bearing this Christian name. The Richard of Rowington who died in 1561 mentions a son William in his will. The second Richard of that place had a son William mentioned in the will of 1591. The third Richard and his wife Elizabeth had four sons—William, Richard, Thomas, John, and a daughter Joan. William had worked as a labourer without wages on his father's property, with expectation of succeeding to it. But some years before his father's death he went, with his father's permission, out to service, and married a certain Mrs. Margery. His father was incensed against him, and left the little property to his youngest son, John, November 13, 1613, proved in 1614.[237] Legal proceedings were com[Pg 122]menced in 1614 at Worcester by William about the property of his mother, Elizabeth. A Chancery suit between the brothers was instituted in the Star Chamber,[238] and the case was heard at Warwick, in 1616, before four Commissioners, one of whom was Francis Collins, gent., the overseer of the will of the poet. William the plaintiff was then about forty years old. This is probably the same man who felt injured by his family while supported by his wife's money in his lawsuits. The mark of a William Shakespeare is found on a roll of the Customs of the Manor of Rowington, confirmed by the jury in 1614. Was he the same? And if not, which of these was the William Shakespeare whose name appears in the list of the trained soldiers of Rowington,[239] taken before Sir Fulke Greville at Alcester, September 23, 1605, erroneously by some believed to be the poet?[240]

There is preserved a petition of William Shaxsper, Richard Shuter, and others of Rowington, co. Warwick, to the Committee for the Safety of Coventry and Warwick. About St. Andrew's Day they had some sea-coal which lay at Barford, near Warwick, which they had sold to Lady Lucy, but the soldiers of the city finding fuel scarce, had burnt £5 10s. worth of it. They pray satisfaction for their coals. Underwritten by Mr. Basnet is an order to pay this sum, April, 1646.[241]

A William Shakespeare, of Hatton, married Barbara Stiffe in 1589; styled "gent." at baptism of his daughter Susannah, 1596. John Weale granted to Job Throgmorton the cottage in which William Shakespeare dwelt at Haseley, March 4, 1597.[242][Pg 123]

In the Star Chamber proceedings is the notice of a fine levied "inter Willielmum Shackespeare et Georgium Shackespeare, quer. et Thomam Spencer, arm. Christopherum Flecknoe et Thomam Thompson deforc. de octo acris pasturæ cum pertinentiis in Claverdon, alias Claredon, 12 Jac. I. (1615)."[243]

I have collected these illustrations in order to show that the name William was not by any means rare in the Shakespeare family, and to account for some of the errors made concerning descents.

In 1589, also in the Star Chamber proceedings, we find there is a case brought by "Mary Ruswell against John Vale and Katharine his wife, and Aylese Shackspire." This Alice Shakespeare was John Vale's mother-in-law and a widow. Is it not possible she might be the sister "Alice Shakespeare" referred to in the Griffin will?

In most of the Warwickshire districts where the name is found in the earlier half of the sixteenth century it is found in the latter half, and also in the seventeenth century, though sometimes branches migrated to new neighbouring localities. It would be impossible to work out every family in detail in a work such as this.

And yet some notices are necessary to complete the rapid survey. The Shakespeares appear in two groups, one north and east of Stratford-on-Avon, as at Ingon and Snitterfield. One family had settled at Tachbrook, nine miles north-east by east from Stratford. There was baptized "Roger, son of Robert Shakespeare, 21 April, 1557." Robert was a weaver, and was probably son of Richard Shakespeare, of Haseley, weaver, in the reign of Henry VIII. He had also a son John, born 1574; a daughter, Alice, buried 1559; another, Isabel, baptized 1560.[Pg 124]

Roger married Isabel Parkins in 1592, and Alice Higgins in 1595, and seems to have had a son, John, not in the register. But on April 22, 1628, Elizabeth Shakespeare, the daughter of John and Christian his wife, was baptized, and on April 4, 1630, Judith Shakespeare, the daughter of John and Christian Shakespeare. Later generations of the families of Roger, John, and Walter are recorded there.[244]

A few Shakespeares have been found in Alcester. But the older centre lay further north. By far the greatest number of names are found in the villages to the west of a line drawn between Coventry and Warwick, including Meriden, Hampton-in-Arden, Berkswell, Knowle, Balsall, Kenilworth, Packwood, Lapworth, Baddesley Clinton, Wroxall, Haseley, Hatton, Rowington, and Budbrooke.

The early parish registers of Wroxall are lost, and only begin with 1586.

On Dec. 9, 1588, Fraunces Shaxper ... was buried.
May 29, 1592, Nicholas Shaxper and Alice Edmunds m.
March 25, 1593, Peter, fil. Nicolas and Alice Shaxper, bap.
Nov. 17, 1594, Susannah, daugh. of Nicolas and Alice Shaxper, bap.
Sep. 17, 1595, Elizabeth, ux. William Shaxper, buried.
Sep. 10, 1596, Cornelius, fil. Nic. and Alice Shaxper, bap.
Feb. 3, 1599, Annah, dau. of Nic. and Alice Shaxper, bapt.
April 9th, 1600, Annah, dau. of Nic. and Alice Shaxper, buried.
June 15th, 1603, Hester, dau. of Nic. and Alice Shaxper, bapt.
(No Registers from 1604 to 1641.)
1641, Peter Shakspeare buried.
May 17th, 1642, William Smith and Catherine Shakspere, m.
Sept. 25, 1645, Nicolas Shakspere buried.
May 16th, 1665, Ralf Stokes and Margaret Shakspeare m.
Jan. 26, 1670, Robert Shakespeare and Ann Averne m.
Oct. 4, 1678, Jane, dau. of Robert Shakespeare the elder, buried.
March 29, 1681, Robert, fil. Richard Shakespeare and his wife, bapt.
May 30, 1714, Ann, ux. Robert Shakespeare, buried.
May 13, 1719, Robert Shakespeare buried.

From the Hatton and Haseley Registers, which recorded the[Pg 125] death of Roger Shakespeere, 1558, and of Domina Jane, 1571, we also find:

Isabel, uxor Thomas Shakspere, formerly wife of John Tybotes, buried April 4, 1570.
Nov. 5, 1570, Katharine Shakespere, filia Nicolas Shakespere, bapt.
Jan. 6th, 1579, Elizabeth, dau. of Nicolas Shakespere, bapt.
Jan. 6th, 1589, William Shakespere and Barbara Stiffe, married.
March 25, 1593, Peter, son of Nicolas and Alice Shakespeare, bapt.
Sept. 8, 1593, Thomas, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Shakspere, bapt.
March 14, 1596, Susannah, dau. of Wm. Shakspere, gentleman, and Barbara, bapt. (March 6th, 1597. This child was buried.)
July 23rd, 1598, Katherine, dau. of Wm. and Barbara Shakspere, baptised.
Sep. 21, 1606, Thomas Shaxper buried.
Dec. 26, 1607, Nicholas Shaksper of Busall buried.
Jan. 26, 1607, Elizabeth Shaksper of Busall buried.
Aug. 28, 1608, Marie, daughter of Thomas Shaxsper, bapt.
Feb.—, 1610, Barbara, wife of Mr. William Shakspere, buried.
Jan. 20, 1612, John Hastings and Susanna Shaxper, married.

The parish registers of Haseley and of Hatton are mixed.

There are many Shakespeare wills preserved in Lichfield. Christopher Shakespere of Packwood, August 31, 1551, proved August 15, 1558, mentions a wife Isabel, and sons, Richard, William, Roger, Christopher, and John, and daughters Alice and Agnes; Elizabeth Shakspere of St. Werbergs, Derby, 1558; Roger Shakspere of Tachbrook, August 2, 1605; wife Alice and son John; William Shakespeare of Coventry, shoemaker, March 18, 1605-6; Administration of John Shakespeare's goods, 1606; Thomas Shakespeare of Packington Parva, April 28, 1610, had a wife, Phillip, and sons, George (who was to have Coleshill lands), Thomas, Andrew, and a daughter, Alice Croft; Anne Shakespeare of Knowle's will, 1743.

There has been a group entered in the Calendar in relation to the Shakespeare and Ensor connection (Nichols's "Herald and Genealogist," vol. ii., p. 297):

Thomas Shakespeare of Coventry, admin. 1693.
George Shakespeare of Fillongley, will 1700.
Sara Shakespeare of Pen,        admin. 1712.
Thomas Shakespeare of Arley,      "    1720.
William Shakespear of Coventry,  "    1724.
William Shakespear of Arley,      "    1729.
George Shakespear of Coleshill,  "    1734.
Anne Shakespeare of Coventry,    "    1751.
George Shakespeare of Fillongley, "    1754.
Mary Shakespeare of Aston,        "    1768.

There was an administration granted to Elizabeth Shakespeare, widow, of the estate of Roger Shake[Pg 126]speare, of Chesset Wood, in the parish of Hampton-in-Arden, April 15, 1597.

John Shakespeare, of Knowle, Warwickshire, left to his eldest son, Henry, £5, and to each of his children £5—John, Elizabeth, Henry, Thomas; to his granddaughter, daughter of John, £5; his property he left to his youngest son, John, 33 Charles II., September 30, 1681.[245] A William Shakespeare,[246] of Knowle, is mentioned in 12 George II., as "tenant to the precipe."

The will of Robert Shakespeare, of Wroxall, March 19, 1565, shows that he had a son Nicolas, that another Nicolas owed him money, and that his goods were prised by a William Shakespeare. John Shaksper, of Wroxall, labourer, leaves his goods between his son Edward and his wife; mentions his sister Alice, his brother Woodam's children, his cousin, Laurence Shaxper, of Balsal, or Beausal, his brothers, William and Nicolas, and his daughter, Alice Windmiles, December 15, 1574.

William Shakespeare, of Wroxall, husbandman, in his will, dated November 17, 1609, left legacies to brothers and sisters not named.

John Shakespere of Budbrooke, left his best suit to Nicolas Shakespeare; to his father-in-law, Thomas Burbidge, his best boots; to Mary Shakespeare, two shillings; to Isabel Poole, late servant to Nicolas Shakespeare, ten shillings. Anne Burbage, now the wife of William Shotteswell, sole executrix, December 28, 1642.[247] He was buried December 30, 1642.[248]

Nicolas Shakespeare,[249] of Budbrooke,[250] being aged and weak, leaves £4 to the poor; £10 to his mother-in-[Pg 127]law, Penelope Parkes; £40 to his brother-in-law, Richard Parkes; £10 to his cousin, Richard Naso; £10 to William Sattlewell, of Packwood. Residue to his dear wife Marie, sole executrix, October 23, 1655.

John Shakespeare,[251] yeoman, of Lapworth, made his will October 30, 1637; proved by his wife Dorothy 1638. He had no children, and his nephew, John Twycross, came in for most of his possessions. He left his brother Christopher sixpence a week. Christopher's son John, and his two grandsons, John and Thomas, had each twenty shillings. There was another brother not named, whose three sons, Edward, William and Thomas, and three daughters were to have £3 6s. 8d. each. Edward's two sons had also legacies. The testator also mentions his sister, Catharine Shotteswell, Catharine, Elizabeth, Winifred, Humphrey, Thomas, and John Shakespeare. Overseers, John Fetherston, of Packwood, Esq., and John Shaxpere, of Ringwood. Dorothy Shakespeare left no will. Letters of administration were granted to her nephew, Antony Robbins, July 13, 1655.[252] In the table of benefactions in Lapworth Church (near Knowle) it is recorded that John Shakespeare and John Twycross gave each two shillings a year to the poor of Lapworth and Packwood. "Humphrey Shakespeare gave twenty shillings to the poor of this parish, and the like to the poor of Rowington, 1794."

Thomas Shakespeare, of Lapworth, fuller, February 21, 1655, desires to be buried in Rowington. He leaves to his kinsman, Richard Shakespeare, of Kenilworth, his implements and £5; to his kinsman, Thomas Shakespeare, of Lapworth, £5; to his kinsman and godson, Thomas Shakespeare, of Rowington, £5; to his kinsman, Richard Shakespeare, £6 13s. 4d.;[Pg 128] to his kinswoman, Mary Shakespeare, £5; to his kinsman, John Shakespeare, £5; to his brother William's son's daughter Elizabeth, sixpence, if demanded; to the poor of Rowington, forty shillings. The executrix was his kinswoman, Elizabeth Shakespeare, and the overseers, Thomas Sly, of Lapworth, and his kinsman, Thomas Shakespeare, of Whittlygate in Rowington; proved May 18, 1658.[253]

It may be seen that Rowington was the central source of most of these Shakespeares. Besides those already mentioned, we may note that there was a case of John Shakesper versus William Skinner, farmer, of the Church of Rowington; an answer of William Skinner to the Bill of Complaint; a document relating to Thomas Shakespeare, of Rowington, 1571, marked "Skinner"; and another concerning John Shakespeare. John Shaxper of Rowington's will was drawn up in 1574.[254] He left his property called Madywattons, at Shrawley, to his son George, with remainder to his daughter Annis, and £20 to his son Thomas. He left legacies to his brothers Nicolas and Thomas and his Aunt Ley, the midwife. His wife's name was Eleanor. His goods were prised at £8 6s. 8d. by Thomas and William Shaxper, among others. The will of Richard Shakespere, of Rowington, November 13, 1613, which caused so much heartburning, showed that his son William had a son John, and that his son Richard had four sons (Thomas, William, Richard and John). Thomas and John's children are not mentioned. Another will[255] in the same year of Thomas Shakespeare, of Mowsly and Rowington, October 13, 1613, mentions sons—John, Thomas and Richard; and daughters—Eleanor, Joan and Annis. John had two sons—William and John. John Shakespeare de le Hill, Rowington,[Pg 129] made his will January 20, 1652; his wife was Mary; his children, William, John, and Margaret Vernon.

The Shakespeares from the Register of Rowington, printed by Mr. Rylands, are given in the notes.

In 1593 Thomas Shakespeare and Florence, his wife, with her sister, Alice Grace, sued Thomas Grace[256] and John Harding for certain lands not specified, settled by their father on them. Thomas Shackspeare, of Rowington, was assessed for the subsidy of 1597.[257] Thomas Shaxper, senior, of the same place, in 7 Jac. I., 1610. A survey of Crown lands in Warwickshire, 4 Jac. I., 1607, in the Land Revenue Office shows Thomas, George, Richard and John as holding property there. A Thomas Shakespeare was presented in 1632.[258]

Thomas Shakespeare, of Rowington, temp. John Pickering, Lord Keeper, and Maria, his wife, daughter and heir of William Mathews, deceased, filed a bill in Chancery concerning various tenements in Hatton, Shrawley, Rowington, Pinley and Clendon.[259] Hil., 16 Elizabeth, Hugo Walford, Quer., and Thomas Shakspere and Marie, his wife, defendants, concerning cottage and 5 acres of land in Norton Curlew. Easter, 20 James I., Thomas Shakespere, Quer., and John Hall and Joyce, his wife, defendants, of 12 acres of land in Rowington, which were sold to the said Thomas Shakespeare, 41 Elizabeth.[260] There was a license granted to a Thomas Shakespeare, aged twenty-three, to pass beyond the sea, June 13, 1632, to the Low Countries, to serve as a soldier.[261] At a court of the Queen's Majesty, Henrietta Maria, Thomas Shake[Pg 130]spere paid a fine of 6s. 8d. for admission to lands surrendered by himself, to himself and others, 1647.

Among the manuscripts of the Free Library at Birmingham there remains a fine, 7 Charles I., between Adrian Shakspere, Quer., and Thomas Green and Anna, his wife, about land in old Fillongley; a bond for £40 of Adrian Shakespere, of Meriden, yeoman; and another fine, Easter, 26 Charles II., between Thomas Brearley, gent., and Thomas Shakspeare, gent.

There were Shakespeares also still at Baddesley Clinton. In the Diary of Henry Ferrers of that place, we find him speak of "napkins received from Henry Shakespeare, Nov. 4th, 1620"; of "Peeter Shakespeare, Nov. 5." "I ow Shakespeare none, Nov. 6th." "Henry Shakespeare sent his boy for a mark for his napkin. Nov. 12th, 1628-9." "Shakespeare of Kingswood, Feb. 4th." "Shakespeare of Rowth(?), Feb. 18." "John Shakespeare came hither about his court."[262] This is the Henry Ferrers who wrote the Catalogue of all the Noblemen and Gentlemen resident in Warwick in 1577-78.[263]

There is a tombstone on the walls of Rowington Church:

"In memory of John Shakespeare, of Baddesley Clinton, and Mary his wife, who died, he, August 26, 1722, 61; she, September 3, 1722, 56.

"They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided."

There seems to have been a large number of Shakespeares in the town of Warwick.

A John Shakespeare was assessed 1d. a week for relief of the poor, 1582, in Market Place Ward, and a Thomas Shakespeare at the same time in West Street Ward.[264][Pg 131]

In the inquisitions post-mortem of Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, 32 Elizabeth, a Thomas Shackspere was one of the witnesses.

A Thomas Shakespeare had a grant from Mr. Henry Ferrers of two messuages, one orchard, four gardens, and four acres of pasture in Warwick for £80, Michaelmas, 39 Elizabeth, 1597.

There was a Thomas Shakespeare—probably the same—who married on June 21, 1598, Elizabeth Letherbarrow, daughter of the Mayor of Coventry. He became Bailiff of Warwick November 1, 10 Jac. I., 1613. The only notice of the name in the "Visitation of Warwickshire" in 1619 is that of "Thomas Shakespeere, gent., one of the principal Aldermen of Warwick."

It is not clear whether or not he was the son of Thomas Shakespeare, the shoemaker, who held land of the manor of Wroxall, and died in 1557, leaving William, Thomas, John, and Joan, ux. Francis Ley.[265]

In Birmingham Registers there was a William, 1637, and an Anne Shakespeare of Knowle, 1743.

More might be said of the Shakespeares of Coventry and Fillongley. There is a tablet recording Shakespeare benefactions in Fillongley Church, and many still bear the name among the neighbouring peasantry. But to complete the pedigrees of the Warwickshire families, we must follow them to other abodes.


[231] November 25, 1584, Stratford-on-Avon Register. Mr. R. B. Wheeler, writing in the Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1816, takes for granted the poet's father had three wives; a belief which Rowe also held. See Reed's ed., vol. i., p. 136.

[232] "Ursula, daughter of John Shakespeare, bapt. March 11, 1588-89; Humphrey, son of John Shakespeare, bapt. May 24, 1590; Philip, son of John Shakespeare, bapt. September 21, 1591."—Stratford-on-Avon Register.

"This Humphrey was ancestor to the George Shakespeare living in Henley-in-Arden in 1864, and since in Wolverhampton." See French's "Shakespeareana Genealogica."

[233] See "Rot. Claus.," 23 Elizabeth.

[234] See St. Nicholas' Churchwardens' Accounts, transcribed and printed by Mr. Richard Savage, of Stratford-on-Avon. The register states: "1579. July Sexto die huius mensis, sepultus fuit Gulielmus Shaxper, qui demersus fuit in Rivulo aquæ, qui vel vocatur Avona."

[235] A collection of thirty-five MSS. containing the name of Shakespeare. Besides these of William, there are papers of Thomas Shakespeare of Tamworth, 1679; Edward Shakespeare in the Manor of Solihull, October 2, 1688, and in 1690; John Shakespeare, 1707, 1709, 1710, 1711, 1712; Widow Shakespeare, 1712-1714; Benjamin Shakespeare, 1713; Benjamin Shakespeare's Barne, 1714.

[236] Stratford-on-Avon Records.

[237] Notes and Queries, Third Series, xii., pp. 81 and 161, August 3, 1867, contains all the papers. A draft bill of their Chancery suit is preserved among the miscellaneous documents of Stratford-on-Avon.

[238] See "MS. Episc., Worcester," and Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines," ii. 256.

[239] Dom. Ser., State Papers, James I., xv. 65, September 23, 1605.

[240] "Mr. Collier says we have intelligence regarding no other William Shakespeare than the poet at that date" (French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 526).

[241] Dom. Ser., State Papers, Car. I., Dxiv. II.

[242] "Hist. MS. Com. Rep.," Appendix II., Davenport MSS.

[243] French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 540.

[244] Communicated in full by the Rev. E. T. Codd to Notes and Queries, Third Series, vol. viii., December, 1865, p. 185.

[245] Somerset House, 88 Drax, proved July, 1683.

[246] Notes and Queries, First Series, vol. xii., p. 123, August 18, 1855.

[247] Somerset House, 131 Fines.

[248] Budbrooke Registers.

[249] 7 St. John, and 168 Aylett, Somerset House.

[250] The name of Nicolas Shakespeare of Budbrooke appears in a Recusant Roll of 16 Charles I.

[251] Somerset House, 51 Lee.

[252] Admin. 1654, f. 127, July 13.

[253] Lib. 7, 318, Wotten, Somerset House.

[254] Worcester Wills.

[255] Worcester Wills.

[256] Chancery Cases, S.-s. 25.

[257] Subsidy Rolls, Warwick, 35 Elizabeth, 193/235, and 39 Elizabeth, 193/247, P.R.O.

[258] See Rowington Court Rolls, 65.

[259] Mr. Yeatman's "Gentle Shakespere," p. 146.

[260] Chancery Cases, S.-s. II.

[261] Exchequer Q.R. licenses to Pass Beyond Seas, No. 17, June 13, 1632.

[262] Dr. Macray's Transcript, Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, v., 190.

[263] Published in Nichols's "Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica," vol. viii., p. 298.

[264] See "Book of John Fisher," p. 81.

[265] A Jone Ley was buried in St. Nicholas, Warwick, the same year. The administration of the goods of Mary Shakespeare, Warwick, was granted 1723.

[Pg 132]



The Warwickshire Shakespeares overflowed into the surrounding counties. There were Shakespeares in Stafford,[266] Worcester,[267] Gloucester,[268] Northampton,[269] Leicester,[270] Berkshire[271] and Oxford.

The three latter are worth noting. In 1597 there resided at Lutterworth, only a few miles from Stratford, a Thomas Shakespeare, who was employed by William Glover, of Hillenden, in Northamptonshire, gent., as[Pg 133] his agent to receive and give an acquittance for a considerable sum of money.[272] It is not clear whether it was this same person or a son who was the Thomas Shakespeare, gent., of Staple Inn, Middlesex, who presented a certificate to some unnamed court, October 12, 1604, accounting for his non-appearance in a case.[273] John Perkyns was the plaintiff; Thomas Shakespere, William Perkyns, William Teery and others, defendants. He had been summoned at the suit of Perkyns to appear, in the Octaves of Trinity, but he had been required to be seventy miles out of London on the Saturday of the Octaves of Trinity in a Chancery Case. He only rested on the Sabbath at home, started on the Monday, and appeared in court on Wednesday. The other defendants were allowed the explanation; that it was denied to him seemed to be of malice. I cannot find the decision. I searched the Lay Subsidies of Leicester,[3] in Lutterworth and elsewhere, for this Shakespeare in vain; but I find that in 1594 a William Perkins paid in bond for Richard Perkins in Wigston Parva.[274] A bond of Thomas Shakespeare, of Lutterworth, November 27, 1606, to James Whitelocke for 26s. 8d., is mentioned in the Historical MSS. Com.[275] A letter addressed to the Mayor of Leicester by certain leading inhabitants of Lutterworth about the plague is signed first by Thomas Shakespeare,[276] and Mr. French found in the Admission Books of Staple Inn,[277] "Thomas Shakespeare, of Lutterworth, in Com. Leic., gent., etc., 15th Feb., 5 Jac. I., 1607." Does the following entry[Pg 134] refer to him or to Thomas Shakespere of Warwick? "John, son of Thomas Shakespeare, gent., baptized July 18th, 1619."[278]

John Shakespear (1774-1858),[279] Orientalist, was born at Lount, near Ashby, in Leicestershire, son of a small farmer there. He became Professor of Hindustani, and gave £2,500 towards preserving the birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon. He did not marry, and his property came to his nephew, Charles Bowles, who took the surname of "Shakespeare."

A William Shakespeare was convicted at Leicester Assizes of night-poaching.[280]

The Oxford Shakespeares deserve fuller attention than they have yet received. The Saunders alias Shakespeare, already mentioned,[281] was possibly a native of another county. But we find some in the shire, contemporary with the poet. Among the "Original Wills at Somerset House there is one of Thomas Shackspeare, Innkeeper," in the suburbs of Oxford. He wished to be buried in the Church of St. Giles, Oxford, bequeathed property to his four children—Robert, Ellen, Mary, and Elizabeth, £10 each when they came of age—and left his wife Elizabeth residuary legatee and sole executrix; overseers, Mr. Ralf Shillingworth and Henry Hedges. A remembrance was left to the preacher of his funeral sermon, and to his loving friend Mr. Harris, of Yarnton, and he "set his hand and seale thereto," May 27, 1642;[282] witnesses, Thomas Champe and Nathaniel Harris. It is curious that the seal used should represent a winged heart bleeding, surmounted by a ducal coronet.

Curiously enough, a notice of this one family is pre[Pg 135]served in Notes and Queries,[283] though it is not mentioned in the index. It was transcribed from St. Mary Magdalene's, Oxford, by Dr. Macray while he was yet curate. "Thomas Shakspere, the sonne of Thomas Shaxspere, was baptised the 19th day of August, 1628;" Marie, April 15, 1630; Elizabeth, June 29, 1632; "Robert, the sone of Thomas Shaxspere, Inkeeper, was baptized September the 24th, 1634." Among the burials appear, "Thomas, the son of Thomas Shaxespere, was buried Nov. 4th, 1642; Thomas Shaxsper, Inkeper, buried Nov. 11th, 1642; Ellinor Shaxsper was buried May second, 1643." The earlier records of the Church are lost. It is a pity the other Oxford registers have not been thoroughly searched for the name, or printed.

A John Shakespeare,[284] of St. Mary's Hall, took the degree of B.A. in 1666. The Oxford Chronicle[285] of April 20, 1765, mentions a Richard Shakespeare as being committed to Coventry Gaol as a forger.

Some of these Shakespeares gravitated towards London. In the will of Leonard Wilmot, of Clanfield, co. Oxon., gent., 1608, there is a bequest to "Leonard Shackspire, my godson, servant to John Prince, of Abington, Vintner, 5li, and to John Shackspire, of Newnam, 5li."[286] This John may be father of Leonard, and may be the John referred to in the note. "John Shakespeare, of Nuneham Courtney, co. Oxford, an old feeble man, had been drinking in his house, 25th Nov., 1633."[287] A Leonard is mentioned in the register of Sunningwell, Berks, as being married to Alyce Parkes of Abingdon, September 12, 1614. This is probably the Leonard[Pg 136] of Isleworth, Middlesex, vintner, who at an advanced age made his will,[288] March 26, 1664. He left his wife Elizabeth two tenements in Isleworth for life, then to his son John and his heirs; to his son William, 12d.; to his son Ralph, 12d.; to his daughter, Elizabeth King, £20 after his wife's death; to his son William's son William, 2s. 6d.; to his daughter Elizabeth, a feather bed; to his daughter Sara, 12d.; to his daughter Robina, 12d.; if John died without heirs, the tenements to go to his sons Ralph and William. His wife Elizabeth executrix; his friend, Mr. William Dance, and his son-in-law, Robert Parsons, overseers. Was it a stepmother's influence that made him cut off his two sons with a shilling?[289]

Working for another purpose at a later date, I found Shakespeares in the little village of South Stoke in Oxfordshire. Among the baptisms are: "John, April 8th, 1751; Mary, Oct. 22nd, 1752; Hannah, Sept. 29, 1754; Elizabeth, Aug. 24th, 1756; Ann, July 6th, 1760, all children of Robert and Mary Shakespeare." "Susanna, base-born daughter of Catharine Shakespeare, Dec. 24th, 1784." "Elizabeth, daughter of John Shakespeare, and Eleanor his wife, Nov. 12, 1786." Among the marriages are "John Birt and Mary Shakespeare, 7th December, 1773." Among the burials are "William, March 13th, 1768," and "Robert, July 20th, 1786." In the same volume are Richard and Thomas, sons of Richard Burbage, 1577 and 1579, who both died in infancy, and there are many other Shakespearean names.

In counties still further from Warwickshire the name is also found, as we may note in Hertfordshire, Derbyshire,[290] Hampshire, Surrey, Bedfordshire. There was[Pg 137] administration granted to Lucy Shakespear, widow, of the goods of her deceased husband Thomas, of the town of Hertford, October 10, 1626; and Luke Shakespear, of Layston, co. Herts, fishmonger, made his will[291] May 7, 1707. His wife was Joyce, and he had a sister and two brothers not named.

In Layston[292] Churchyard there are the tombs of "Mr. John Shakespeare, late citizen and founder of London," 1732, and of "Henry Mond Shakespear, Citizen and Loriner of London," 1784.

In Portsmouth, 1662, William Shakespeare was contractor for the old Gun Wharf. A public-house, called Shakespeare's Head, is supposed to have been the place where he paid his men.[293] On April 25, 1747, in St. Gregory's by St. Paul's, were married "John Shakespeare of Portsea, and Mary Higginson of St. James', Westminster." Joseph Champ and Martha Ham, married at Portsmouth April 22, 1736, had John Shakespeare, of Portsmouth, as one of their bondsmen; and George Poate and Anne Loch, October 6, 1802, had Samuel Shakespeare one of their bondsmen.[294] The London Shakespeares seem to have had a residence in Hampshire also, for "Mrs. Shakespeare, widow of Alderman Shakespeare, of London, died at Bramdean, co. Hants, aged 80, in March, 1807."[295]

Aubrey speaks of the wife of John Shakespeare, of Worplesdowne, in Surrey, who made as good butter there as she ever did at Wroxall or Bitteston. She was a North Wiltshire woman.[296] At Walton-upon-[Pg 138]Thames, Surrey, tombstones remind us of Matthew Shakespeare and George Shakespeare, who died August 8, 1775; also of John Shakespeare, of Weybridge, January 13, 1775; of William Shakespeare of this parish, 1783; and of George Shakespeare, architect, Oxford Street, London, 1797.[297]

On March 13, 1663, "William Shakespeare of Faucat was buried, and on July 23, 1668, Ann Shackspere, daughter to Will Shackspear, was buried in Toddington, co. Beds."[298]

There were Shakespeares also in Essex. Mr. Veley collects a few particulars regarding them from the unregistered wills of the Archdeaconry of Essex.[299] The oldest is that of Thomas Shakespeare, priest, August 26, 1557. He leaves legacies to "8 priests of Jesus Commons, wherein I now dwell," to sing masses, and something to the maintenance of Jesus Commons, and to poor people, to the sisters of Sion, the fathers of Sheen, the observant friars of Greenwich, the Black-Friars of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield, the nuns of King's Langley, and "to the parryshe church of Seynt Mildryd in Bred Streete in London, towards the byeing of a pyxt or monstrat to carry the blyssyd Sacrament, vli. To my brother, Robert Shakespeare; my brother, Harry Wyllson; my brother, John Cooke; my sister, Grace Starke; my sister, Jone Shackspere: my sister, Cicely Richardson; to John Cooke, of Jesus Commons; to Mother Agnes, of the Commons, and Goodwyfe Blower." The strange thing about this will is that it seems to have been made by the same Sir Thomas Shakespeare, clerk, whom I enter among the[Pg 139] pre-Shakespearean London Shakespeares in August 22, 1559.[300] His will is preserved at Somerset House.[301]

The two years that intervened between the drafting of the two wills were years of great import. Mary had died, Philip had vanished, and Elizabeth was seated on the throne. Therefore it is not surprising that there are fewer priestly legacies in the later will, that it mentions also fewer relatives, and no brother Robert. But there are still sisters, Thomasine Cook, Grace Storeton, Jone Shackspere, and a relative, Anne Wilson; and the legacy to the Church of St. Mildred's, Bread Street, London.[302] Mr. Veley does not know of this later will, which is the one that was proved. He takes it for granted Thomas was an Essex man, though he lived in London. He probably was so.

Mr. Veley also mentions a Joseph Shakespeare of Havering, who made his will 1640. He had a brother Samuel, of Hornchurch, whose widow Susan made her will in 1678; a Samuel, of Romford, her son, who married Judith, had a daughter Ann, and died in 1707; a Thomas, of Hornchurch, also son of Susan, who made his will in 1702; and a William, probably a third brother, who married Susannah, was father to John of Rawreth, and made his will March 2, 1723. John of Rawreth's goods were administered by his daughter Judith, wife of Asser Vassall, 1731. Mr. Veley also finds a John and Elizabeth mentioned, but unfor[Pg 140]tunately does not print the contents of these other wills.

It may be noted that there is a considerable gap between the date of the priest and his brother Robert and these later Shakespeares. I was glad to find among the administrations at Somerset House[303] the name of "Alice Shakespeare, Widow, of Ginge Margretting, Essex, 1581." She might have been the widow of this Robert, and might also have been, at an advanced age, the sister Alice Shakespeare mentioned in the will of Francis Griffin, of Braybrook, 37 Henry VIII., who, Mr. Yeatman insists, must have been the poet's grandmother. Francis Griffin remembers another sister, Agnes Crosmore. The goods of this Alice Shakespeare were administered by her sister, Agnes Williams, of Barking. I have made a prolonged search among the Subsidy Rolls of Essex to locate this family. Nowhere have I found the spelling of the name so varied, from Shakesphere to Shakespurr, Saxper, and even Shaksby and Shucksby. Cross-references prove these to be intended for the same name.[304] In 3 Jac. I., in Foulness, Essex, a Nicholas Saxper; in Rochford,[305] 21 Jac. I., John Shuxbye, and in Stambridge Magna, 4 Car. I., both Shakesby and Shukesby. The Hearth Tax,[306] Essex, Car. II., mentions Samuel Shexpere, and the Subsidy Rolls of 14 Car. II., Samuel Shaksper, of Harold's Wood Ward. In 1666[307] there appear in the Hundred of Witham Thomas Shakesby and Edward Shakesby, a Samuel Shakespeare of the North End of Hornchurch, and a Samuel Shakespeare of Harold's Wood Ward.

In the Hundred of Chafford, William Shakespeare,[Pg 141] gent., of Langdon Hills, appears among the collectors of the subsidies. It is possible there may have been many more of the name assessed; but some of the Rolls are lost and many are decayed in various ways. I have searched several of the outlying registers without success, but others have found the name in Romford, Barking, Hornchurch, Rawreth, and Rochester.

In the county where we find an early notice of the family the name occasionally appears. Mr. J. M. Cowper, Canterbury, tells us that "Judith filia Leonardi Shakespeare was baptized Feb. 27, 1596-7, at Warehorne, Kent."[308] The name does not occur again. In Rucking, Kent, February 24, 1599, John, son of Reginald Shakespear, was baptized, and on May 30, 1600, Reginald Shakespeare was buried.[309]

Mr. W. J. Lightfoot, the transcriber, says that he is acquainted with several other neighbouring parishes, and that the name does not occur in their registers—a statement which, curiously enough, Mr. French reproduces without the "not."

George Austin and Margaret Shakespeare, of Biddenden, Kent, widow, were married July 26, 1639.[310]

In the North, where the early Shakespeares were attached to land, they seem to have survived and spread, as may be seen from the directories of Northern towns to-day.[311] Ireland, too, owns Shakespeares, possibly descended from the Thomas of Youghal.


[266] Notes and Queries, Second Series, vi. 285; Third Series, viii. 33. "George, descendant of Humphrey," etc. Mr. Dickenson tells me there are many of the name in the parish of Bredon.

[267] By fine levied Hil. 1655, Shakespere conveyed tenements in Inckbarrow, Worcestershire, Notes and Queries, Second Series, vii. 336.

[268] There is the will of John Shakespeare, of Newington Bagpath, Cook, among the Gloucester Wills, Index Library, and in "The Shakespeares of Dursley," by John Henry Blount, we find James Shakespeare buried at Bisley, March 13, 1570; Edward, son of John and Margery Shakespeare, bapt. at Beverston, September 19, 1619. Thomas Shakespeare, weaver, was married to Joan Turner at Dursley Church, March 3, 1677-78, and of their children, Edward was bapt. July 1, 1681; Mary, 1682; Thomas, 1685; and Mary, 1691. John Shakespeare was a mason in Dursley from 1704 to 1739; and Thomas Shakespeare had a seat-place allotted him in 1739. Betty Shakespeare received poor money from 1747 till 1754. Some still exist in the adjoining parish of Newington Bagpath, and claim kindred with the poet.

[269] Edward Shakespeare of Syresham, 1626-30; Thomas Shakespeare of Litchborough, 1610-41 (Northamptonshire and Rutland Wills, Index Library).

[270] Notes and Queries, First Series, vii. 405 and 546.

[271] A John Shakespeare of Finchhampstead, Berkshire, made his will in 1644. See Berkshire Wills.

[272] Notes and Queries, First Series, vii. 405 and 546.

[273] State Papers, Domestic Series, Jac. I., ix. 72.

[274] Lay Subsidies, Leicester, Goodlaxton, 39 Elizabeth, Wigston Parva, 134/235 and 134/254.

[275] Hist. Man. Com., vol. iii., Report 1872, p. 190.

[276] Ancient Records of Leicester, Trans. Lit. and Phil. Society, 1855, and Notes and Queries, Third Series, v. 383.

[277] Admission Books, Staple Inn, vol. i., f. 58, and French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," 542.

[278] From the Register of St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London.

[279] "Dict. Nat. Biography."

[280] Notes and Queries, Fifth Series, viii. 386.

[281] See p. 15.

[282] Proved November 4, 1643, by his relict Elizabeth.

[283] Notes and Queries, Third Series, viii. 124.

[284] "Catalogue of Oxford Graduates," Clarendon Press.

[285] Notes and Queries, Second Series, xii. 469.

[286] French, "Shakspeareana Genealogica."

[287] Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, vi. 344. See "Liber Actorum," Bodleian Library.

[288] Somerset House, 88 Bruce, proved July 1, 1664.

[289] The Hearth Tax for Isleworth, 1666, 252/32, notes "Ralph Shakespeare 2 hearths, Widow Shakespeare 1 hearth."

[290] Elizabeth Shakspere, of St. Werbergs, Derby, made her will 1558. Pegge's "Collection for the History of Derbyshire" contains a sheet of printed verses "on the death of the Rev. Mr. Shakespear" (Nichols's "Col. Top. and Gen.," iii. 244).

[291] Wills of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

[292] See Genealogical Magazine, January, 1898.

[293] Notes and Queries, Fourth Series, iv. 275.

[294] Hampshire Marriage Licences.

[295] Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lxxvii., p. 280.

[296] Aubrey's "Natural History of Wiltshire," 1680.

[297] Manning and Bray's "Surrey," vol. ii.

[298] "Misc. Gen. et Herald.," Second Series, vol. ii. Register of Toddington, co. Beds.

[299] See "The Shakespeares of Essex." by Augustus Charles Veley, Registrar of the Archdeaconry of Essex, Essex Archæological Society's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 70, 1865.

[300] See my article in the Athenæum, April 23, 1892, entitled "Pre-Shakespearean London Shakespeares."

[301] 40 Chayney.

[302] Auditors' Patent Books, vol. vi., 1538-1553. Thomas Shakespeare, formerly minister of Colebray, in the parish of St. Mildred's, in the ward of Bread Street, London, on September 1, 2 Ed. VI., received a patent for 100 shillings per annum. There is no absolute proof, but every probability, that this is the same Sir Thomas Schaftespeyr mentioned in the will of Joan Jons of Bristol, and other Bristol Wills. See the abstract contained in the "Great Orphan Book," and Book of Wills in Council House at Bristol, 1886, by the Rev. J. P. Wadley, Rector of Naunton Beauchamp.

[303] Admin. Vicar-General's Books, No. 268, 1574-1583.

[304] Lay Subsidies, Essex, 111/575.

[305] Lay Subsidies, Essex, Rochford, 112/602, 112/634, 112/642.

[306] Subsidy Rolls, Chelmsford, Essex, 112/707, do. 112/708.

[307] Subsidy Rolls of several Hundreds in Essex, a paper book, 246/19.

[308] Notes and Queries, Third Series, vi. 324, and French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 541.

[309] Notes and Queries, Third Series, vi. 324, and French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 541. Mr. C. G. Dickenson tells me his will is at Canterbury, v. 52, f. 36.

[310] Registers of Sutton Valence, Kent, kindly sent by a correspondent.

[311] "Misc. Gen. et Herald," New Series, i. 143.

[Pg 142]



By far the most interesting search can be made in London, that great centre where congregate representatives of all the families and counties of the kingdom.

It is strange that a William was one of the earliest recorded burials in the registers of St. Margaret's, Westminster. "William Shakespeare was buried April 30, 1539." A comparatively modern hand has written against this the foolish scribble, "Query if this be the poet or not?" He may have been in the service of the Court, but there are no signs that he was a man of wealth. In the churchwardens' account[312] he was only charged 2d. for the candles at his funeral, a common charge, but not for great people. He may have been the son of the fifteenth-century William, or of Peter of Southwark, and father or brother of Roger the royal yeoman.

The discovery that Shakespeare lived in St. Helen's Parish, Bishopsgate, has been claimed for an American, though Hunter mentioned in his "Life of Shakespeare," 1845, that in the Subsidy Rolls of London a William Shakespeare was assessed in 1597 in that district.[313]

Transcriber's note: click on map for a larger image.

Between pp. 142, 143.

[Pg 143]

The entry is: "Affid. William Shakespeare on vli goods,[314] assessed xiii iiiid." The "affid." affixed to it shows that the Shakespeare named tried to avoid payment on some grounds. It has surprised many, and satisfied others as suitable, that the poet should have lived in this neighbourhood, near so many of his theatrical friends. But I do not think it is certainly proved that it was our Shakespeare at all. Two references of Collier seem to locate him in Southwark in 1596, and in 1609, near the site of the Globe Theatre. Several of the name lived near Bishopsgate before and after his death.

John Scatcliffe, of St. Botolph's, Aldersgate, cook, bachelor, twenty-four, and Mary Shakespeare, of the same, spinster, twenty-four, at St. Botolph's, December 20, 1637;[315] in later years, Nathaniel[316] Shaxspere and Elizabeth ——, widow, married August 18, 1663, in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate; Henry Shakespeare, of St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, bachelor (twenty-five), and Elizabeth Hartwell, of same, spinster (twenty), her parents dead, with consent of her grandmother, Elizabeth Gaye, of same, at St. Botolph's, March 26, 1663; William[317] Winch and Abigail Shaxpere, married September 30, 1680; Francis Hill and Saray Saxspere, September 28, 1682; John Shakespeare and Edith Murry, married at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, January 2, 1699; William Shakespear and Anna Maria Carter, both of this parish, July 9, 1733.

There was a Matthew Shakespere who, on February 5, 1566-67, married Isabel Peele in Christ[Pg 144] Church,[318] Newgate Street. She was probably daughter of James Peele, Clerk of Christ's Hospital from 1562 to 1585, and sister of George Peele,[319] the dramatist, educated in the Grammar School there. They seem to have had a large family.[320] On January 18, 1569, Johanne, daughter of Matthew Shakespere, was baptized, and buried on February 11. On March —, 1574, Francis, son of Matthew Shakespere, baptized; on August 27, 1578, Jane; on April 7, 1583, Thomas. There was also a Humphrey entered as son of Hugh Shakespeare, August 5, 1571. But as among the burials there appears "Humphrey, son of Matthew Shackspere, Aug. 30, 1571," it would seem to be an error. Johanne, daughter of Matthew Shackespere, was buried December 26, 1572, the second of the name; Jayne, on September 5, 1577, the first of the name. Robert, son of Matthew Shackspeare, was buried May 5, 1580. Besides these were buried Francis Shakespeare, October 7, 1571, and Robert Shakespeare, May 24, 1577. These might be grandfather and uncle of the family, which might have reckoned a William among its members.

There was a Thomas Shakespeare, royal messenger, in 1572, payments to whom I have found in the State Papers.[321] And in "Archæologia" there is printed his request for payment, in 1577, for carrying letters from the Privy Council to the Bishop of London at Fulham, the Bishop of York at Tower Hill, the Bishop of Chichester at Westminster, the Bishop of Durham in Aldersgate Street, and to the Bishop of Worcester in St. Paul's Churchyard.[322][Pg 145]

Mr. Hunter and many others supposed that at the time of the poet there was only one other of the name in London—John of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

In the churchwardens' accounts there were found notices of a John Shakespeare about 1605. Mr. French thinks that he might be the John, son of Thomas, of Snitterfield.[323] I have worked through these books and the registers, and have gleaned a good many scraps about him. He appears there too early. John of Snitterfield was born in 1581-82. John of St. Martin's, on January 22, 1589, was married[324] to Dorothea Dodde, daughter of the Vestry Clerk (her sister Jane had, the year before, married a Christopher Wren) of that parish; and on December 23, 1593, it is to be supposed he had a daughter, "Maria Shakespeare," christened, mentioned there, as is customary in that register, without the name of her father.

In 1594 Mrs. Shakespeare's sister was staying with her, as among the burials is entered, "Elizabeth Dod, from Shakespeares."

John[325] Shakespeare, "on the land side of the parish," in 1603, contributed to the new casting of the bells five shillings, and in 1605 was one of the sidesmen. "Paid to John Shakespeare, one of the sidesmen, that he laid out at the registers office for putting in the Recusants Bills 3s. 4d." In 1609 "Dorithie Shakespeare" was buried, and her expenses brought in to the churchwardens 32s. 2d., relatively a large sum, as Sir Thomas Windebanck's funeral cost only 16s. In that same year John contributed also ten shillings to the repair of the church. On June 20, 1613, the churchwardens "received from John Shakespeare, by the hands of Edward Thickness, the sum of £10, given as a legacy by Mrs. Dimbleby, deceased" (which[Pg 146] suggests that he was her executor), and in 1617 they "gave to John Shakespeare's daughter 7s. 6d."—a curious entry, which I cannot explain. She may have done some work for the churchwardens, as they often employed women; it may have been a debt due her father, a present on her marriage, or an aid in sudden poverty. The death of a "John Shakespeare, a man," is noted in 1646, in apparent poverty, as the funeral cost only 1s.—a different cost from that of Mrs. Dorothy Shakespeare in 1608. I had thought it possible that this sum represented only a fee for a burial in another parish, but I find that theory is untenable. Whether the John of 1646 was the same as the sidesman of 1605 or not, he was certainly buried in the parish. From the vestry books I found many notices of John Shakespeare as contributing to the expenses of the poor, first on the "waterside" of the parish, and then on the "landside"; and I believed, reasoning from a State Paper Bill, that he was referred to in the entry, "received for a pewe, from the Princes' Bitmaker 30s., 1639-40." His name disappeared from the books long before 1646; and I fancied he had gone farther east to the parish of St. Clement's Danes, which joined that of St. Martin's at several points. "Paid to William Wright for a stone engraved with letters on it, which is sett in the wall of the Earl of Salisbury at his house at Ivie Bridge to devide the two parishes of St. Martin's in the Fields and St. Clement's Danes in that place." I gave up theorizing until I could see the registers of St. Clement's Danes, and from various causes three years passed before I had an opportunity of clearing up the puzzle. These registers prove that in London, as in Stratford-on-Avon, I had been confused by double entries, and that there was another John Shakespeare. The St. Martin's John lost his wife Dorothy in 1608;[Pg 147] the St. Clement's John married his wife Mary in 1605. "3rd Feb. 1604-5, Johne Shakspear and Mary Godtheridg." He was the wealthy bitmaker to the King, of whom I had discovered notices in the State Papers and wills that turned my attention to St. Clement's Danes, a hitherto unsuspected locality for Shakespeare finds. I thought at first that he might have been John the shoemaker who vanished from Stratford. But it was hardly likely that he should have changed his trade from shoemaking to bitmaking, or that he would have been successful in it. The St. Clement's John might have been a son of the St. Martin's John, but there is no christening of a John in that parish, or in any other London parish that I know. So here I thought I might justly theorize, and state my opinion that he really was the John, son of Thomas, of Snitterfield, born 1581-82, of whom is no record of further life or burial in his own neighbourhood. He would be of a suitable age, and there was in his case a reason for Court success.

William Shakespeare the poet had by this time made his mark, not only in literature and the drama, but in Court influence and financial possibilities. His patron, the Earl of Southampton, was in favour with the King. Supposing this John was Shakespeare's first cousin, as I believe he was, what more likely than that the poet, who had lost his only son, would help, as far as he could, his nearest male relative? I trust to find further proof of this some day, but I may state what I do know about this St. Clement's John. He had a large family. The registers record in the baptizings: "John Shaxbee sonne of John 28th Aug. 1605." "Susan Shasper daughter of John 19th Feb. 1607." "Jane Shakespeer the daughter of John 16th July 1608." "Anthony Shaksbye son of John 23rd June 1610." "Thomas Shackspeer son of[Pg 148] John 30th June 1611." "Ellyn Shakspear the daughter of John 5th May 1614." "Katharine Shakspeare daughter of John 25th Aug. 1616." Now, to set against these we have the burials of: "Anthony Shakesby the son of John 26th June 1610." "Thomas Shakspeer the son of John 1st July 1612." "Susan Shakspere daughter of John 3rd Aug. 1612." "Katharine Shakespeare d. of John 26th Aug. 1616." Of two of the remaining children, John and Ellen, we have further information; concerning the other, I believe we have an interesting error, bearing on the credibility of parish clerks.

Among the burials appears that of "Jane Shackspeer, daughter of Willm, 8. Aug. 1609." Now, this might have been a daughter of the Bishopsgate William, or of some country William up in London for a holiday. It might even have been a hitherto unknown daughter of the poet himself. But I believe that the clerk's mind was wandering when he wrote, and that he was thinking of "William" when he should have written "John," because John's family seem to have been delicate and have chiefly died young, and his daughter "Jane" would have been just about a year old at the time. No other notice of "William" or of "Jane" appears in the register.

The phonetic varieties of the spelling of the name may have been noticed, but it is as well I copied all such. Among the Bishop of London's marriage[326] licenses I find on "May 28, 1631, John Shackspeare of St. Clement's Danes, Bittmaker, Bachelor, 26, had a license to marry Margaret Edwards of St. Bride's Spinster, 28, at same Parish Church."[327] The age of John Shackspear coincides with the age of John Shaxbee, which is the only resembling entry near the[Pg 149] date, and the trade and the parish are the same. He was duly married in St. Bride's,[328] and soon afterwards christenings began in St. Clement's Danes. "12th April 1632, John Shackspeare son of John Shackspeare Junior, and Margaret, ux." "4th May 1633, Mary Shackespeare, daughter of John Shackespeare, and Margaret, ux." "17th Aug. 1634, Mary Shackspeare, daughter of John Shackespeare and Margaret, ux." "3rd March 1635-6 John Shakespear son of John and Margaret his wife." The reason for the repeated names lies in the burials: "John Shackspeare son of John 17th May, 1632." "Mary Shakespeare daughter of John 16th Julie 1633." "Mary Shakespeare, infant, 1st May 1635." The more important entry of the burial of their grandfather is fortunately clear—"John Shackespeare, the King's Bitmaker, 27th Jan. 1633."[329] The name of trade or profession was but rarely mentioned in this parish, and in this case it fixes the State Paper entries. A large sum (£1,612 11s.) due to her husband by the Crown was paid to a widow Mary after the death of her husband, John Shackespeare,[330] His Majesty's bit-maker, 1638, for wares delivered to the royal stables, and she had already been paid £80. "Warrant to pay to the Earl of Denbigh Master of the Wardrobe £1612, 11 0, to be paid to Mary Shackspeare widow & executrix of John Shackespeare, his Majesty's Bitmaker deceased, in regard of her present necessities, in full of a debt of £1692, 11 for sundry parcels of wares by him delivered[Pg 150] for his majesty's service in the Stables, as by a certificate appeareth, whereof there has been already paid unto her £80. Subscribed by order of the Lord Treasurer procured Dec. 18th, 1637, and paid Jan. 21, 1637-8."

For some reason her daughter Ellen was made her heiress. Among the State Papers at Dublin Castle relating to settlements and explanations after the Restoration there is a reference to this lady, and there was some dispute about what she was entitled to receive. "It appears by an order of the Revenue side of the Exchequer[331] that Ellen, daughter and heiress of Mary Shakespeare, of ye Strand, widow, was married to John Milburne." In Mary Shakespeare's will, December 24, 1553, she left to her daughter, Ellen Milburne, £60; money to her grandchildren Milburne; £50 to her grandson, John Shakespeare, son of her son John; 10s. to her sister, Anne Brewer; 5s. to her daughter-in-law, Margaret Shakespeare; 2s. 6d. to Sarah Richardson, her brother's daughter; and the same to Mary Shakespeare, wife of Thomas Allon (proved March 2, 1654).[332]

The Mary Shakespeare of St. Martin's parish does not seem to have died there. She may have been the Mary Shakespeare, wife of Thomas Allon, of the above will, or the Mary Shakespeare who was buried in the Church of St. Thomas Apostle,[333] November 14, 1644. There was a John Shakespeare, who might have been one of those three now mentioned, or who might have been a fourth of the name, not very far off, mentioned as one of the defaulters by the Collectors of the Loan in the Hundred of Edmonton, and part of the Hundred of Ossulton, County Middlesex, in 1627.[334][Pg 151]

There were Shakespeares further west and further east than the Strand. Adrian Shakespeare, of St. James's, within the liberty of Westminster, left £550 on trust with his brothers-in-law, William Gregory and William Farron, for his daughter Elizabeth and an unborn child; his father, Thomas Shakespeare, and all his brothers and sisters to have a guinea apiece, residue to his wife Christian, November 26, 1714.[335] Perhaps he descended from the William of 1539.

At St. George's, Hanover Square, William Fellows, widower, and Margaret Shakespear, spinster, were married May 28, 1730;[336] at St. George's, Hanover Square, William Guy and Rebekah Shakespeare, of St. Mary-le-Bone, March 29, 1758;[337] at St. George's Chapel, Hyde Park Corner, William Shakespeare and Mary Waight, of St. Giles, Cripplegate, July 29, 1751;[338] James Barnet, of St. James's, Westminster, and Elizabeth Shakespear, February 9, 1760.[339] A George Shakespeare, of Westminster, Arm., matriculated at Wadham College, June 10, 1785, aged twenty-seven.[340]

Manasses Shakespeare, of St. Andrew's, Holborn, widower, and Mary Goodwin, spinster, of same, married at St. James's, Duke's Place, April 27, 1710.[341]

Benjamin Shakespear, of the parish of St. Christopher, painter, made his will 1707, and bequeathed to his father, Benjamin Shakespear, of Tamworth, in Warwickshire, his wearing apparel, and left a legacy to his mother Joyce, his wife Judith being sole executrix[342] (proved December 4, 1714).

In the records of the Leather Sellers' Company is[Pg 152] preserved the apprenticeship of George, son of Thomas Shakespeare, of Arley, county Warwick,[343] October 12, 1693. George, son of William Shakespeare, also of Arley, was apprenticed 1732. Thomas Shakespeare, son of George, citizen and leather-seller of London, was apprenticed to William Jephson, vintner.[344]

An important branch of the family settled in the east. John Shackspeer, of Rope Walk, Upper Shadwell, appears in 1654. His father has still to be found, but his posterity believe he descended from the poet's grandfather. I had hoped to satisfy them through the St. Clement's Danes registers. But his age at his marriage precludes this, for it gives the year of his birth as 1619. The only John that I know to be born in that year was John, son of Thomas Shakespeare, gent., baptized July 18, 1619, in St. Gregory by St. Paul's. I had taken him to be the son of Thomas, the Staple Inn student and lawyer of Leicester, but I cannot prove it. On June 14, 1654, John married Martha Seeley,[345] and had four sons and four daughters, of whom survived Martha, Samuel, Benjamin, Mary, John and Jonathan. A trade token of his still exists.[346] Ropemaker Shakespeare was summoned, with others, to appear before the Admiralty regarding a breach of contract for ropes, January 26, 1656-57.[347] John Shakespear, son of John of Shadwell, ropemaker, was[Pg 153] apprenticed to John Grange, of Upper Shadwell, chafer, 1663-64.[348] Jonathan, the youngest son, born February 6, 1670, succeeded his father, who died 1689. He married,[349] April 26, 1698, Elizabeth Shallet, of Clapham, aged nineteen, and had thirteen children. Samuel Wilton was apprenticed to Jonathan Shakespeare, citizen and broiderer of London, April 7, 1725. He died 1735. The business of ropemaking was carried on by the eldest son, Arthur, born 1699, who died 1749, leaving the property and business to his youngest brother John, on condition he brought up his heir to ropemaking. This John, twelfth child of Jonathan, born 1718, married, 1745, Elizabeth, daughter of Colin Currie, and Anne, daughter of the Honourable John Campbell; and had eleven children. He became Ropemaker to the Board of Ordnance in succession to his brother Arthur, May 12, 1749; Trustee of Middlesex Turnpike Roads 1751; Ranger of Waltham Forest 1761; Deputy-Lieutenant for Middlesex 1763; alderman of the ward of Aldgate 1767; sheriff 1768. He was originally of the Broiderers' Company, as was his father, but was translated from that guild to the Ironmongers', of which he became master 1769.[350] He died 1775. "The alderman used the same coat of arms as the poet, there being but the one known." It is engraved in Noorthouck's "History of London," ed. 1773.

The Shakespear tomb in Stepney Churchyard records his death, and that of Bennet Shakespear, son of Jonathan, 1756, and Jonathan, son of Jonathan, 1768, brothers of the alderman; also Mrs. Elizabeth Shakespeare, his widow, February 15, 1807, aged eighty, at Bramdean, co. Hants; Arthur Shakespear, eldest son of[Pg 154] the alderman, M.P. for Richmond, in Yorkshire, 1818, aged seventy; his wife Jane, 1805, aged fifty-five; Matthew John Shakespeare, son of Arthur, April 2, 1844; and several children who died young. The sons of the Alderman John Shakespeare and Elizabeth his wife were I. Arthur; II. John; III. David; IV. Samuel; V. Colin.

I. Arthur, the M.P. for Richmond, married Jane, daughter of Sir Matthew Ridley, and had two sons, Matthew John, and Arthur William. His wife died in Pall Mall in February, 1805,[351] and he died June 12, 1818, in Albemarle Street,[352] aged seventy. His son, Matthew John Shakespeare, willed away the Shadwell property to his cousins, the children of Mary Oliver, 1844. The rope-factory was destroyed by fire in the autumn of 1860, but a street in the neighbourhood is still called Shakespeare's Walk.

II. John. The second son of Alderman John was born May 6, 1749. He married, in 1782, Mary, daughter and heir of the Rev. William Davenport, of Bredon, co. Worcester, and of Lacock Abbey, co. Wilts, by his wife, Martha Talbot, of the old family famed by Shakespeare the poet.

The sons of John Shakespear and Mary Davenport, his first wife, were: (1) John Talbot; (2) William Oliver; (3) Henry Davenport; (4) Arthur.

1. John Talbot Shakespear entered the East India Company's service, and had four sons by Emily, eldest daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray: (1a) John Dowdeswell Shakespear, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Bengal Artillery, who married Margaret, only daughter of Joseph Hodgson, F.R.S. He died without issue, April 6, 1867, aged sixty.[353] (2a) William Makepeace Shakespear, (3a) George Trant Shakespear, who both died[Pg 155] unmarried. (4a) Sir Richmond Campbell Shakespear, 1812-61, "youngest son of John Talbot Shakespear, of the Bengal Civil Service. He came to England with his cousin, William Makepeace Thackeray, for his education. He served with distinction in India, was knighted in 1841, the only occasion on which he returned to England. His cousin, Thackeray, in the 'Roundabout Papers' (Letts's Diary), paid a tribute to his chivalry and liberality. He married Marian Sophia Thompson in 1844, and died at Indore, October 28, 1861, leaving a family of three sons and six daughters."[354] A memorial-stone is raised in memory of him in the cloister walls of Charterhouse Chapel.[355] Thackeray drew the portrait of Colonel Newcome from his elder brother, Colonel John Dowdeswell Shakespeare. His eldest son, Richmond Shakespear, Captain H.M. 36th Regiment N.I., died in India, August 12, 1865. His daughter, Selina, married, in 1868, Lieutenant Ninian Lowis, Bengal Staff Corps.

Mr. John Talbot Shakespear had also four daughters—Emily, Augusta, Charlotte, Marianne.

2. The second son of John Shakespear and Mary Davenport, William Oliver Shakespear, was Judge of the Provincial Court of Appeal in the Madras Presidency. He married Charlotte Maxton, and had five sons and two daughters, (1b) William, who died young; (2b) Henry, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, who was shipwrecked in a frigate in the Indian Seas, 1833; (3b) Charles Maxton Shakespear, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Madras Army; (4b) Arthur Robert, who died in 1844; (5b) George Frederick Shakespear, Lieutenant-Colonel Madras Staff Corps, who was married, and had a son born in 1865.[356]

3. The third son, Henry Davenport Shakespear,[Pg 156] was member of the Supreme Court of India. He married Louisa Muerson, and had three sons and seven daughters. (1c) Henry John Childe Shakespear, Commandant of the Nagpore Irregular Horse; (2c) Alexander Shakespear, a Judge in India; (3c) William Ross Shakespear, Madras Cavalry, who married Fanny Isabella, daughter of Sir Robert North Collie Hamilton, of Alveston, co. Warwick, 1854, and had two sons, William and Robert; he died in 1862. The daughters of Henry Davenport Shakespear were Louisa, Harriet, Augusta, Jane, Agnes, Mary, Henrietta. He died in 1838.

4. The fourth son of John Shakespear and Mary Davenport, Arthur Shakespear, was Captain in the 10th Hussars, served as aide-de-camp to Lord Combermore during the Peninsular War, and was Brigade-Major of the Hussars at Waterloo. He married, April 19, 1818, Harriet Sophia, daughter of Thomas Skip Dyott Bucknall, of Hampton Court. He died in 1845, leaving six sons and two daughters, (1d) George Bucknall Shakespear, Colonel Royal Artillery, who married Henrietta Panet. His eldest son was Arthur Bucknall Shakespear. (2d) William Powlett Shakespear[357] was a Lieutenant in the 2nd Bombay Fusiliers, and lost his life at Samanghur in trying to save a wounded sepoy. (3d) Colonel John Talbot Shakespear, who married Emma Waterfield, and had a son, Leslie, born 1865. (4d) Lieutenant-Colonel John Davenport Shakespear, served in the Crimean War. He married, in 1855, Louisa Caroline, daughter of Robert Sayer, of Sibton Park, co. Suffolk, and had a[Pg 157] son, Arthur Franklin Charles Shakespear, 1864, and a daughter, Ida Nea. He claimed descent from the poet's family in 1864.[358] (5d) Rev. Wyndham Arthur Shakespear, fifth son of Arthur Shakespear, of Boxwell, co. Gloucester, Arm. Exeter College, matriculated May 29, 1855, aged nineteen, B.A. from Litton Hall, 1860, and M.A. He has held various curacies.[359] (6d) Robert Henry Shakespear, who married, in 1858, Octavia, daughter of Charles Fenwick, Consul-General for Denmark. He has a son, Lionel Fairfax Shakespear. His elder daughter, Harriet Blanche, married, 1868, Lieutenant-Colonel James Edward Mayne, Deputy-Judge, Madras; the younger, Rosaline, married William Sim Murray, M.D., surgeon, 66th Foot, 1867.

II. John Shakespeare's first wife, Mary Davenport, died in 1793; and he married, secondly, Charlotte, the daughter of —— Fletcher, Esq., by whom he had a son—

5. Owen, who died unmarried, and two daughters, Georgiana and Henrietta Matilda. His second wife, Charlotte, died in 1815, and he died January 16, 1825, and was buried at Lacock Abbey.

III. The alderman's third son, David, settled in Jamaica, and left a family, whose descendants still exist there. In 1867 the Hon. John Shakespear, grandson of David, was a member of the Legislature and proprietor of Hodges-Penn, St. Elizabeth's parish.

IV. I have been unable to find particulars of Samuel, the fourth son.

V. Colin, the fifth son of the alderman, was in the East India Company's Civil Service, as collector at Saharapore. He married Harriet Dawson, and his daughter Harriet married William Woodcock, Esq.[Pg 158]

The alderman's eldest daughter Sarah married Joseph Sage; his second daughter, Anne, John Blagrove, of Cardiff Hall, Jamaica; his third, Martha, the Rev. John William Lloyd, of Aston Hall, co. Salop; his fourth, Mary, Laver Oliver, Esq., to whose children the rope-factory descended.

Whatever may have been the fortunes of the other branches, it is very clear that the chief modern Shakespeares have descended from the Shadwell stock. John Shakespear, the second son of the Alderman, left a memorandum declaring his belief that the family was derived from the poet's grandfather. There has as yet, however, been found no proof of any such connection, though it is perfectly possible that it existed. If Richard, of Snitterfield, was the father of John, Henry, and Thomas, there were two possible lines of descent. Henry may have had children christened at other places than Snitterfield, whose descent no one has traced. Thomas had a son John, born in 1581-82, clearly too old to have been the first John of Shadwell. He may have had a son of the proper age; but, as I have stated above, I have found no John of the right age, except John, son of Thomas.

A Hannah[360] Shakespeare, born 1777, is mentioned in the pedigree of Esterby and Sootheran.

Henry Shakespear, of London, was a broker Loriner, 1775, connected with Hertford (see p. 137).

On June 29, 1794, was baptized Joshua,[361] son of Thomas and Ann Shakespeare.

A warm eulogy of the charity and virtues of William Shakespeare, Esq., of Hart Street, Bloomsbury, who died in January, 1799, aged seventy-three, is given in the Gentleman's Magazine[362] of that date; and in May of the same year the death is noticed, in Paddington, of[Pg 159] George Shakespeare, Esq., son of the late George Shakespeare, Esq., of Walton-upon-Thames, and Pimlico, Middlesex.[363]

M. L. Jeny, in L'Intermédiaire, March 25, 1889, states that "he had read in L'Abeille du Cher of Friday, November 18, 1836, that a poor old man of seventy-seven, named George Shakspeare, was found dying with cold and hunger in the middle of the frightful night of Wednesday preceding, in Clarence Street, London, and was taken to the Hospital, and died there. He was one of the poet's descendants."[364]

So late as November, 1880, there was a Mrs. Anne Shakespeare who died at Brighton, aged 102.[365]

There are several American branches of Shakespeares, some of them literary, and two of the name are settled in Vancouver's Island.[366]

Among the list of authors[367] we find the names of Alexander Shakespear, on the "North-West Provinces of India," 1848; Edward Shakespear, "A Book of Divinity," 1740; and Sophia Shakespear, 1753, a biography; Henry Shakespear, "Province of Bengal," 1824, and "Wild Sports of India," 1860; H. W. Shakespear's "Refutation of Mr. Tryon," 1847; John Shakespear's Hindustani books; Emily Shakespeare's "Tennyson Birthday Book," 1877; and Mrs. O. Shakespear, a novel, in 1895. Edward O. Shakespeare, of Washington, U.S.A., has a medical work on "Inflammation."[Pg 160]

Mr. Russell French, from whose pages I have gleaned the bulk of the facts concerning these modern Shakespeares, expatiates on the glories of the later Shakespeare marriages. By the Currie alliance he traces back descent to the royal Scottish families of the Bruces and the Stewarts; by the Talbot alliance he traces back their pedigree to Edward I.; by the Davenport alliance he again connects them with the Ardens, through Sir Thomas Leighton and the eighth Lord Zouch, who married Joan, daughter of Sir John Denham, by his wife Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Richard Archer, who married Joan, the second daughter and coheir of Giles de Arden, grandson of Sir Robert de Arden, the descendant of Turchil; but these rather tend to glorify the modern branches than the poet's name.

It were to be desired that there were more concerted study of registers and other records concerning the name. Much more might thus be found, and much of the energy now dissipated in futile searches might be utilized in connecting the scattered links, because the study of genealogy is the ancient form of the very modern inquiries into heredity which interest so many followers of Mr. Francis Galton. It is after all worth knowing who were the ancestors of William Shakespeare, what heroic, chivalric, poetic, philosophic strains went to form the nature of the perfect poet; and it is of mildly sentimental interest to us that we should know whether any of his line is left on the earth. Of sentimental interest, I say, for rarely, if ever, does genius repeat itself, nor do different environing circumstances weld and mould genius in the same way. Its nature is very easy to kill, or dwarf, or distort, but it is our excuse for being concerned with those who bear the honoured name.

In the unsatisfactory inquiries relating to Shake[Pg 161]speare's ancestors I have exhausted all that I can find concerning his father's family; but so much remains to be said concerning his mother's family, that in consideration of the old proverb, "like mother, like son," it has seemed to me worth incorporating into this volume some account of the Ardens.


[312] Churchwardens' Accounts of Thurston Amere and William Combes, from June 8, 1538, to May 8, 1540, 48th week, 1st year.

[313] Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, vii. 483, June 22, 1889. Compare Third Series, iii. 318; Third Series, viii. 418; Savage's "Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers in New England," ii. 528; John Timbs' "Curiosities of London," ed. 1855, p. 238, and ed. 1867, p. 297; "Annals of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate," 221, 322.

[314] Subsidy Rolls, London, Ward of Billingsgate and others, 39 Eliz., 146/369, P.R.O.

[315] Marriage Licenses, Faculty Office, Harl. Publ.

[316] Bishop of London's Marriage Licenses, Harl. Publ.

[317] Register, St. James's, Clerkenwell.

[318] Registers of Christ Church, Newgate Street, Harl. Soc. Publ.

[319] He died 1598, and was at one time connected with the Theatre as shareholder. Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, vii. 188.

[320] Registers of St. James's, Clerkenwell, Harl. Publ.

[321] Account of the Treasurer of the Chamber, 1572, et seq.

[322] "Archæologia," vol. xiii., appendix, p. 403.

[323] Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, ii. 247.

[324] Registers of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

[325] Churchwarden's Accounts, St. Martin's-in-the-Fields.

[326] Bishop of London's Licenses, Harl. Soc. Publ.

[327] Registers of the Church of St. Bride's.

[328] Registers of the Church of St. Bride's.

[329] Among the expenses of the Royal Household are entered: 1621—"To John Shakespeare for one gilt bit for the sadle aforesayd £3 13s. 6d. To John Shakespeare for fourteen bittes, guilt silvered and chased, at £5 10s. a peice. For one payre of bosses, richly enamelled, 52s. 6d., £73 12s. 6d. For 7 bittes for the sadles aforesayd at 52s. 6d. each, £18 7s. 6d."—"Early Illustrations of Shakespeare," published by the Shakespeare Society.

[330] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Car. I., ccclxxiv. 20, Docquet.

[331] State Papers, Irish, Dublin Castle, Vol. M., p. 338. Notes and Queries, First Series, vi. 289, 495.

[332] Somerset House, 268, Aylett.

[333] The Registers of St. Thomas Apostle, London.

[334] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Car. I., lxxvi. 41.

[335] Somerset House, 249, Aston.

[336] Lic. Fac. Office, Harl. Publ.

[337] Reg. of St. George's, Hanover Square.

[338] Marriage Licenses, Bishop of London, Harl. Publ.

[339] Bishop of London's Licenses, Harl. Publ.

[340] Foster's "Alumni Oxonienses."

[341] Bishop of London's Mar. Lic., Harl. Publ.

[342] Somerset House, 248, Aston.

[343] Notes and Queries, Third Series, vii. 175.

[344] "Book of Apprentices," 1666-1736, f. 756

[345] His son stated that he was seventy-seven at the time of his death, in 1689, but his marriage certificate makes him younger. "Publications and Marriages, 1654: John Shakespear, of Ratcliffe Highway, ropemaker, aged thirty-five, and Martha Seeley, of Wapping Wall, mayde, nineteen years. Married before John Waterton, Esquire, on ye 14th June. Richard Mathews, Robert Connolly, witnesses" (French, 547). He might have been a son of John, son of Thomas of Snitterfield, b. 1582.

[346] Notes and Queries Second Series, x. 188, 402; Third Series, vii. 498.

[347] State Papers, Dom. Ser., 1656-57, Commonwealth, cliii., Nos. 55, 56.

[348] "Misc. Gen. et Herald.," Second Series, v., 371, and Merchant Tailors' "Book of Apprentices."

[349] Bishop of London's Marriage Licenses, Harl. Publ.

[350] Herbert's "Twelve Livery Companies."

[351] Gentleman's Magazine, 1805.

[352] Ibid., 1818.

[353] French, 551, and Times, April, 1867.

[354] "Dict. Nat. Biog."

[355] Register of Charterhouse Chapel.

[356] French, p. 556.

[357] A writer in Notes and Queries, Sixth Series, i. 494, speaks of a "large silver salver bearing a lion passant and a leopard's head crowned. In the centre are the arms and crest of Shakespeare, and on an escutcheon of pretence three stags' heads caboshed. It bears the inscription, 'William Powlett Powlett, Esq., D.D. William Powlett Shakspear, 1821.' There is a legend this was made from plate owned by the poet. What is the date of the salver?"

[358] Times, June 13, 1864, and Notes and Queries, Third Series, vii. 498.

[359] Foster's "Alumni Oxonienses."

[360] "Misc. Gen. et Herald.," New Series, i., p. 143.

[361] Register of St. Bartholomew the Less.

[362] Gentleman's Magazine, vol. lxix., p. 83.

[363] Manning and Bray's "Surrey," vol. ii., under Walton-upon-Thames, mentions the tomb of Matthew Shakespear and of George, aged fifteen, August 8, 1775; John Shakespear, of Weybridge, January 3, 1775, aged sixty-seven; William, January 23, 1783, aged seventy-seven; also of George Shakespear of Oxford Street, London, late of this parish, architect, who died March 29, 1797, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.

[364] Notes and Queries, Seventh Series, viii. 89.

[365] Ibid., Sixth Series, ii. 53.

[366] Ibid., Third Series, ix. 346, 398.

[367] British Museum Catalogues.


[Pg 162]



"No Saint George was born in England:
He was but an Eastern saint;
And the Dragon never vexed him,
As the later legends paint.

"But our Saint was born in Berkshire,
And to Warwick linked his name;
'Twas Saint Guy who killed the Dragon—
Quenched the Giant Colbrand's fame."—C. C. S.

Few families in the country have a descent so nationally interesting as that of the Ardens. Great Norman families who "came in with the Conqueror" are numerous enough, but there are few that claim to be "merely English," and have such a record to show. The fables that have grown around the memory of the hero do not invalidate the pedigree. Rohand was Earl of Warwick in the days of King Alfred and King Edward the Elder, when the title was an official one, not necessarily hereditary, save of the King's will. Rohand was a great warrior, and was enriched with great possessions. He dwelt in the Royal Castle of Warwick,[368] said by Rous to have been founded[Pg 163] by the British King Cymbeline, enlarged by his son Guiderius, and repaired by Ethelfleda, daughter of King Alfred, the Lady of Mercia. Rohand had one fair daughter and heir, Phillis, or Felicia, who demanded great proofs of valour in her suitors. She at last consented to marry the famous hero Guy, slayer of the Northern Dragon,[369] son of Siward, Baron of Wallingford, whom the Welsh claim as British by descent. Dugdale[370] says that in her right Guy became Earl of Warwick, though of course this was only possible through the King's favour. Some difficulties are brought forward by Mr. Pegge.[371] Some time after his marriage, says the legend, Guy went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and on his return, in the third year of King Athelstan, 926, he found the kingdom in great peril from an invasion of the Danes. They were, however, secure in their faith in their champion, Colbrand the Giant, willing to leave the issue to the result of a single contest between him and any of the King's knights. King Athelstan's chief warriors were either dead or abroad, and he mourned in his spirit. A vision revealed to him that he must welcome at the gate of Winchester an unknown pilgrim as the defender of the country. The King obeyed the vision in faith, unwittingly welcomed Guy, and laid on him the responsibility of becoming the national champion.

To face p. 162.

[Pg 164]

Footsore, half-starved, and far from young, the pilgrim required rest before he dared prudently attack the Danish opponent. At the end of three weeks, however, he triumphantly encountered the giant, and the Danes kept their promise and retired. The pilgrim, who refused to reveal his name or receive any reward, also departed. He found that his son and heir, Raynborn, had been stolen away, and that his faithful servant Heraud was abroad in search of him. Affected by the strange religious notions of the day, he returned to Warwick, not to gladden the heart of his sorrowing spouse, but to receive charity at her hands among other poor men for three days, and then to retire to a hermitage at a cliff near Warwick, since called Guy's Cliff. There he remained till his death in 929, in the seventieth year of his age.[372] He sent a herdsman with his wedding-ring to tell his wife of his death, bidding her come to him and bury him properly, and she should shortly afterwards follow him. She fulfilled his wishes, set her house in order, left her paternal inheritance to her son Raynborn, and within a fortnight was laid beside her ascetic hero.

Heraud succeeded in finding young Raynborn in Russia, to whom, on his return, the grateful King Athelstan gave his beautiful daughter Leonetta in marriage. He, too, seems to have been of a wandering disposition. He died abroad, and lies buried in an island near the city of Venice. He left a brave son, Wegeat, or Wigatus, at home to succeed him, who was noted for his liberality to the Church, in which virtue, however, his son and successor, Huve,[373] or Uva,[374] seems to have exceeded him.[Pg 165]

Huve died about the beginning of the reign of King Edward the Martyr, and Wolgeat, his son, succeeded him. In early life[375] he enjoyed the special favour of King Ethelred, but was deprived, at least for a time, of his honours and possessions about 1006. It was probably during the disorganized state of the earldom, in consequence of his "evil courses," that the Danes ravaged it so frequently. Wigod, or Wigotus, his son, a potent man and a great warrior, succeeded to the earldom, and enjoyed it during the latter part of the reign of King Ethelred, and through the reigns of King Edmund and the Danish Kings. He married Ermenhild, the sister of the famous Leofric, Earl of Coventry and Leicester in the time of Edward the Confessor. His son, Ailwin, Earl of Warwick, was contemporary with King Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror. Turchil, son and heir[376] of Ailwin (Harleian MS., 853, says "grandson"), was Earl at the Conquest. His first wife was the Countess of Perche; his second, Leverunia, grand-daughter of Leofric. In the Conqueror's Survey he is called Vice-Comes rather than Comes, but this seems to have arisen from the royal interest in the castle, and the direct service he owed the King, though some authorities state that he was under Leofric, Earl of Mercia. He fought with William against Harold, and was ostensibly left in full possession of all his lands, rights and privileges. He is called Turchil of Warwick by the Normans, but Turchil of Eardene, or of the Woodland, by himself, being one of the first to adopt the Norman habit of local names. In Domesday Book, begun in the fourteenth year of the Conqueror,[Pg 166] he is entered as in possession of forty-nine manors in Warwickshire, among which were Curdworth, Coughton, Rotley, Rodbourn, Compton (Winyate), Nuneaton. Warwick town and castle were recorded as belonging to the King. He had but a life-interest, however, his son, Siward, receiving none of them as his heir, but by favour of the King.

The title of Earl of Warwick was given by William the Conqueror to Henry de Novoborgo, or Newburgh, younger son of Roger de Bellomont, Earl of Mellent, and William Rufus added to the gift the whole of Turchil's lands, including even those given away by himself and his ancestors to the Church. It was a hard lesson to friendly Saxon noblemen. A gloss of justice, or at least of consideration, was shown in the marriage of Henry de Novoborgo to Margaret, one of the daughters of Turchil, and sister of Siward de Arderne.[377]

Turchil's sons were Siward de Ardena, Ralph of Hampton,[378] William, and Peter the Monk of Thorney, by his first wife, and Osbert by his second wife. Some of their lands were left to the Ardens by grace of the Novoborgos, who became their overlords. These lands were gradually diminished by devotion to the Church, by the increase of the family, and division of the properties, though this was somewhat balanced by wealthy marriages.

Siward by his wife Cecilia had a large family: Hugh de Rotley[379] (dapifer or sewer to his kinsman William de Newburgh), Henry de Arden, Joseph, Richard, Osbert, Galfridus, a monk of Coventry,[Pg 167] Cecilia, Felicia. Osbert, his stepbrother, was the father of Osbert, Philip,[380] Peter de Arden, and Amicia, who became the wife of Peter de Bracebridge, and the ancestress of the Bracebridges of Kingsbury, seat of the Mercian Kings. Her brother Osbert had daughters only, Amabilia and Adeliza, who left no children.

The main line was carried on by Henry de Arden, son of Siward, who married Oliva, and whose eldest son and heir was Thomas de Arden, of Curdworth (9 John). He had also William de Arden of Rodburn, Herbert, and Letitia. Thomas de Arden married Eustachia, widow of Savaricius de Malaleone, and had a son of his own name, Sir Thomas de Arden of Rotley and Spratton, who took part with Simon de Montfort and the rebellious Barons, 48 Henry III. This cost him dear. In 9 Edward I. he handed over, either in sale, lease, or trust, his lands in Curdworth to Hugh de Vienna; to the Knights Templars the interest he had in Riton; in 15 Edward I., to Nicholas de Eton the manor of Rotley, and to Thomas Arden de Hanwell and Rose his wife, Pedimore, Curdworth, Norhull, Winworth, Echenours, and Overton, and made a covenant with William de Beauchamp and Maud, his wife, of all his fees throughout England.

It is not probable that Turchil, the last Saxon Earl of Warwick, bore anything that might be strictly called armorial bearings. When the heiress of the Novoborgos married into their family, the Beauchamps added to their own the Newburgh arms. But they used them in a peculiar way, as if they considered they were associated, not so much with the family as with the earldom. Only the eldest sons bore the Chevron chequy, the rest of the family bore the[Pg 168] Beauchamp crosses crosslet. In some such way the Ardens also seem to have made a similar distinction, though in later times the meaning was occasionally forgotten, and the usage became confused.

Drummond suggests that the Ardens might also have borne these arms to suggest that they, too, had a claim to the earldom of Warwick. The arms Thomas bore were Chequy or and azure, a chevron gules, which his ancestors assumed to show they held their lands from the Earls of Warwick, whose Chevron was Ermine on the like field.[381]

The descendants of William of Rodburne,[382] the second son of Henry de Ardern, were more fortunate than their cousins. Thomas de Draiton was the elder, and William de Rodburne the younger. Thomas married Lucia (6 John), and had Thomas de Arden of Hanwell, Sir Robert de Arderne de Draiton, and Ralph.[383] Thomas,[384] who bore as arms Ermine a fesse chequy, or and azure, as now borne, married Rose, daughter of Ralph de Vernon, with whom he obtained the lordship of Hanwell. He was living in 1287, and had a son, Thomas, who presented to the church of Holdenby, 1334. This Thomas married Johanna de —— (?), and had an only daughter, Joan, who married Sir John Swynford. Ralph married Alicia de Bellocampo.

Sir Robert de Arderne de Draiton married Nichola,[385][Pg 169] widow of William de Boutvilein. His son, Sir Giles, had a son, also Sir Giles. This latter had an only daughter, Margaret, who married Ludovic Greville, and carried Draiton into the possession of that Warwickshire family.

Ralph, son of Ralph, the second son of Thomas of Hanwell, married Isabella, daughter of Anselm de Bromwich, and lived at Pedmore, Warwickshire, 16 Edward II. In 17 Edward II. he was certified to be one of the principal esquires in the county. His son, Sir John, was knighted 33 Edward III., and bore for his arms the same as his ancestor, Thomas of Hanwell: Ermine, a fesse chequy or and az. He had only one daughter and heir, Rose, who married Thomas Pakeson, afterwards an outlaw. To John succeeded in Curdworth his brother Henry, whose wife was Elena, the first to establish himself in Park Hall, which was confirmed to him by Sir John de Botecourt, 47 Edward III., releasing him of all service, save only of an annual red rose. He was devoted to Thomas de Beauchamp, then Earl of Warwick, who granted him several other manors, also on payment of a red rose. In 4 Richard II. his niece, Rose, released to him her interest in Pedmore, Curdworth, Winworth, Sutton, and Norhull, of her father's inheritance. Sir Henry bore the fesse chequy or and az., with three crescents for difference,[386] before his brother's death (see Roll, Edward III., and arms in Lapworth Church). He left his son, Sir Ralph, heir, who served under the Earl of Warwick at the siege of Calais.[Pg 170]

Ralph settled on his mother, Elena, for life, the manors of Wapenham and Sulgrave, in Northamptonshire, with remainder to his brothers Geoffrey and William. He married Sibilla (2 Henry V.), and left by her two sons, Robert and Peter.[387] Robert was from the age of eight years a ward of Joan Beauchamp, Lady of Bergavenny. He married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Richard de Clodeshall; was in the King's service, was Sheriff of the County, and Knight of the Shire. He sided with the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses, was taken, attainted of high treason by James, Earl of Wiltshire, and other judges appointed to try such cases, and was condemned. He was executed on Saturday after the Feast of St. Laurence the Martyr, 30 Henry VI. The custody of his lands was granted to Thomas Littleton, Serjeant-at-Law, Thomas Greswold and John Gamell, Esquires.

Two years after his death his son Walter obtained the King's precept to his escheator to hand over the lands of his mother's inheritance to him, and shortly afterwards he secured his father's also. He married Eleanor, daughter of John Hampden of Hampden, in Buckinghamshire, and appears in the register of the Guild of Knowle, 1457, with his "wife Alianore." He had a large family, each of them in some special point interesting to the genealogist, and therefore worthy of some attention and of careful detail. It must not be forgotten that his father's attainder and the Wars of the Roses had temporarily crippled the resources of the family.

Walter Arden's will, July 31, 1502, is preserved at Somerset House,[388] an interesting will in many ways. His eldest son and heir was John, Esquire of the Body to Henry VII., who was to pay 20 marks for his[Pg 171] funeral. "Item. I will that my sonne Thomas have during his lief x marc, which I have given him; and that my sonne Martyn have the manor of Nafford during his lief, accordyng as I thereof made him astate yf it canne be recorded, and yf not, thenne I will that the same Martyn and every of my other sonnes, Robert, Henry and William have eche of them 5 marc by yere during eche of their lives, and that my feoffees of my landes make eche of them a sufficient astate of londes & tenements to the yerely value of 5 marc during every of their lives." He left his wife, Eleanor, executrix, Edward Belknap and John Bracebridge, Squiers, and John Boteler of Solihull, overseers, "Richard Slystre, Vicar of Aston, John Charnell[389] & Thomas Ardern,[390] Squiers, witnesses."

Dugdale seems to have read the will, and is interested in the mortuary bequest, but, curiously enough, supposes Martin to be older than Thomas. Perhaps this error arose from the testator's desire to settle Natford upon Martin. This does not seem to have been so settled. Martin had his five marks, married an heiress, Margery East, settled at Euston, in Oxfordshire, and appears in the Visitations there, associated with the Easts and the Gibbons. Robert was the Arden made Yeoman of the King's Chamber, a presumption made definite by Leland's[391] remark that "Arden of the Court was younger brother to Sir John Arden, of Park Hall." On February 22,[392] 17 Henry VII., he received a Royal Patent as Keeper of the Park at Altcar, Lancashire; another, as Bailiff of Codmore,[393] Derby, and Keeper of the Royal Park there; a third[Pg 172] gave him Yoxall for life,[394] apparently, however, for a payment of £42.

A Robert Arden, who had been Escheator to the Crown for Nottingham and Derby under Henry VII., received a new patent 2 Henry VIII.[395] On June 28, 7 Henry VIII., order to cancel five recognizances amounting to £200; one made by Robert Arderne, of Holme, co. Notts, may concern the same gentleman.[396]

Henry seems to have died young. William settled at Hawnes,[397] in Bedfordshire, bore as arms three cross-crosslets fitchée or, on a chief of the second, a martlet for difference. He seems to have died before his eldest brother. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Francklin of Thurley in County Bedford, and widow of George Thrale. His son Thomas married Anne, daughter of Richard Bowles of Wallington and widow of Thomas Gonnel. His daughter Joan married John Moore; his daughter Elizabeth married John Lee of Harlington.

Thomas certainly survived Sir John, Henry, and possibly also William. Sir John married Alice d. of Richard Bracebridge of Kingsbury, and died in 1526. His will was drawn up on June 4 of that year.[398] After various bequests to churches, he left some special heirlooms to his son and heir, Thomas, to his son John an annuity from Natford of five marks a year for life, with other land, and gifts to him, his wife, and their heirs. "Item. I will that my brothers Thomas, Martin[Pg 173] & Robert have their fees during their lives." That is, it may be remembered, ten marks for Thomas, and five marks each for the other two. "Item. I will that Rauf Vale and Hugh Colyns[399] have their fees as they have had during their lives." Bequests of furniture were left to "my daughter Geys Braylys," "my daughter Katerine Muklowe,"[400] "my daughter Brown," "my daughter Margaret Kambur," "my sister Margaret Abell," "my sister Alice Buklond," "my son Thomas Bralis." To Joane Hewes, Agnes Abell, John Charnell, various remembrances, his son Thomas to be sole executor, Sir John Willoughby overseer; witnesses, Martin Ardern, Robert Ardern, Symon Broke, clerk; John Charnell, John Croke, Rauf Vale. The will was proved June 27, 1526.

Where was Thomas, son of Walter, meanwhile? I have only been able to find two of the name contemporary with the cadet of Park Hall. A Thomas Arden of Saint Martin's Outwich, London, citizen and clothworker, on November 29, 1549, drew up a short will,[401] leaving his wife, Agnes, his sole heir and executrix, proved January, 1549. I endeavoured to learn if by chance he had come from Warwickshire, but the apprentice-books of the company do not begin early enough. There was a commercial family of Ardens in London, of whom he more probably was a member. The possibility of his being a Warwickshire man I thought worthy of careful consideration, but have been able to bring no further facts forward.

There was also a Thomas Arden of Long Itchington[Pg 174] mentioned in the Subsidy Lists, whose will is preserved at Lichfield.

The other Thomas Arden was settled at Wilmecote, in the parish of Aston Cantlow, on lands formerly owned by the Beauchamps. There is no record how he acquired them. Aston Cantlow[402] had been settled, with the castle and Honour of Bergavenny, upon Sir William de Beauchamp, second son to Thomas, Earl of Warwick. He died 12 Henry IV., and Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, his son and heir, inherited all his lands. Richard's daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married Sir Edward Neville, a younger son to Ralph, Earl of Westmorland, who was forthwith summoned to Parliament as Lord Bergavenny. Dugdale gives us the arms depicted on the roof of the chancel of Aston Cantlow Church, three varieties: "Gules, a fesse betwixt six cross-crosslets or" (Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick); "Argent 6 cross-crosslets fichée Sable, upon a chief Azure two mullets or" (Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon); "Argent, 3 cross-crosslets fichée Sable upon a chief Azure a mullet and a Rose Or." But Dugdale does not know the family this represents. Could it be a variety of the Ardens?

The Thomas Arden who resided here paid subsidy of 26s. 8d. on £10 land, being one of the largest landholders in the parish. He bought certain lands at Snitterfield on May 16, 16 Henry VII., associated with certain gentlemen whose names are suggestive, as I have shown on page 28. John Mayowe transferred his property to Robert Throgmorton, Armiger,[403] afterwards knight, Thomas Trussell[404] of Billesley, Roger Reynolds[Pg 175] of Henley in Arden, William Wood of Woodhouse, Thomas Arden of Wilmecote, and Robert Arden, the son of this Thomas Arden. We know that Robert Throgmorton was an intimate friend of the Ardens of Park Hall, and his association with Thomas of Wilmecote strengthens the supposition that the latter was the son of Walter. We know that this Thomas was the father of Robert Arden, who was the father of Mary, Shakespeare's mother, and her six sisters. It does not seem unlikely he bore arms, and was the Esquire witness of Walter Arden's will, who has never been located elsewhere. If he bore arms, it is more than likely that, as a younger son, they were derived from the Beauchamps, and might even have been those found by Dugdale in the Aston Cantlow Church, where he was buried. It is probable that Robert bore the cross-crosslets with a difference, as did his contemporary, William Arden of Hawnes. We have at least Glover's[405] testimony that among the arms of Warwickshire and Bedfordshire are "Arden or Arderne gu, three cross-crosslets fitchée or; on a chief of the second a martlet of the first. Crest, a plume of feathers charged with a martlet or." When, therefore, John Shakespeare made application to impale the arms of his wife in his new coat, it might seem natural that the fesse chequy, arms of the head of the house, should be struck out, and those substituted more customary for a younger son, and probably borne by Thomas, his wife's grandfather, or by Robert Arden, his wife's father.

Thomas Arden, the son of Sir John, succeeded to Park Hall and the other family estates in 1526. He married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Andrew of Charnelton, by whom he had a large family: William, the[Pg 176] eldest; Simon, the second; George, the third, slain at Boulogne; Thomas, a student of law; and Edward. His daughter Jocosa, or Joyce, married Richard Cade, of London (see visitation of Hertfordshire, 1634); Elizabeth married—Beaupré, Cicely married Henry Shirley, Mary married Francis Waferer.

William, the eldest son, died before his father. Simon, the second son of Thomas of Park Hall, was a wonderful man, of whom there will be more to say elsewhere. He was elected Sheriff of the County in 1569, and bore, while in Warwickshire at least, the arms three cross-crosslets[406] and a chief or, without a difference. Shortly after that time he purchased the property of Longcroft, in the Manor of Yoxall, Staffordshire, and his descendants bear the fesse chequy, and are noted in another county history.

The will of William Arden does not seem to have been noted by the family genealogists, probably because it was drawn up in London. The Calendar at Somerset House enters it as "William Arden,[407] of St. Brigyde, London, and Saltley,[408] Warwickshire," 7 July, 36 Henry VIII. Its details shed much light on the fortunes of the family, especially in relation to the other family wills. He had married Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward Conway, of Arrow, and left two sons and eight daughters. He desired to be buried in the "Parish Church of Saint Brigyde in Fleet Street, within the suburbs of London," and left "to my youngest sonne, Francis Arden, all my purchased land, which I purchased of my grandfather's youngest son, John Arden, and another part lying[Pg 177] within the Lordship of Saltley.[409] Item, I bequeath to him the lease I have taken of my Lord Ferris for 31 years, which also lyeth within the Lordship of Budbrooke, so that he come to his full age, and during his nonage, the profits thereof to be taken up by mine overseers to the use of my daughters. If it happen the said Francis to dye without lawful issue, then I will my eldest sonne and heire, Edward Arden, when he cometh to his full age, to enjoy the said purchased land and lease to his heires. Item, I bequeath to the said Francis £6 13s. 4d., to be payd yearely during the term of his naturall life, by the hands of my eldest sonne, Edward Arden, when he cometh to his lands. Item, I give unto my eight daughters, Anne,[410] Ursuley, Brigid, Barbara, Joyce, Jane, Urseley, and Fraunces Arden the whole rent that my ferme beareth me," etc. "I bequeath to my brother, Edward Arden, my black Satin cote." "I bequeathe my long gowne eggyd with velvet to my father, Thomas Arden, in recompense of the money which he lent me, whom I make the Overseer of this my will, with my father-in-law, Edward Conway." Edward Arden, his son and heir, was to be sole executor. The witnesses were: Christopher Drey, Francis Waferer (his brother-in-law), and John Tayloure, Vicar of St. Brigyde, and it was proved April 14, 1546, by John, afterwards Sir John Conway, uncle of the heir.

William's father, Thomas, died in 5 Elizabeth, 1563. I have not traced his will. Edward, son of William,[Pg 178] succeeded him. This Edward had been ward to Sir George Throckmorton, of Coughton (though his grandfather was alive), and he married Mary, third daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton. Brodesley,[411] Dudston, and Hybarnes were delivered to him 7 Elizabeth, and in 15 Elizabeth he was called upon to prove his title to Curdworth and to Berewood[412] Hall, which had been given by Hugh Arden to the Canons of Leicester (Henry II.), and after the Dissolution purchased by his grandfather, Thomas, and uncle, Simon, for £272 10s., with a yearly rent of 30s. 4d., and settled on William, 37 Henry VIII. Various purchases of land are recorded in Coke's "Entries."[413] He impaled the park of Minworth on the other side of the Tame, to add to that of his own Park Hall.[414]

Edward seems to have been highly respected in his time, and was Sheriff of the County in 1575.[415] But he had offended Leicester[416] by refusing to wear his livery (as many of the gentlemen of the county were proud to do) and by disapproving openly of his relations with the Countess of Essex before her husband's death. Leicester waited his time. Edward Arden's sons were Robert (who married Elizabeth, daughter of Reginald Corbet, Justice of the Royal Pleas, about 1577), Thomas, Francis. Of his daughters, Catherine married Sir Edward Devereux, of Castle Bromwich; Margaret, John Somerville, of Edreston; Muriel, William[Pg 179] Charnells, of Snareston, Leicestershire; and Elizabeth, Simon Shugborough, of Napton, co. Warwick.

Edward Arden bore the family arms: Ermine, a fesse chequy or and azure. Crest: On a chapeau azure, turned up erm., a boar passant or. Motto: Quo me cunque vocat patriam.

He appointed Edmund Lingard to Curdworth Church, 1573.

Edward Arden was a temperate follower of the old faith; but his son-in-law, John Somerville, an excitable youth, seemed to chafe under the increasing oppression of the Catholic Church and its adherents.[417] The evil reports concerning the Queen and Leicester increased the friction. Shut out from travel or active exercise, as all Catholics then were by law, he studied and pondered, and his mind seemed to have given way in his sleepless attempts to reconcile faith and practice. He started off suddenly one morning before anyone was awake, attended only by one boy, who soon left him, terrified; and when he reached a little inn on the lonely road by Aynho on the Hill, he spoke frantically to all who chose to hear that he was going to London to kill the Queen.[418] Then followed arrest, examination before Justice D'Oyley, a march to London with twelve guards,[419] examination in the Gatehouse, imprisonment in the Tower. Thereafter went forth the mandate to arrest Edward Arden, his wife, Francis Arden, of Pedmore, his brother, Somerville's wife and sister, and the priest, Hugh Hall. Sir John Conway, his wife's grand-uncle, was also commanded up to London, and seems to have been confined for a time. Examinations, probably under torture, followed fast on each other.[Pg 180] John Somerville, Edward Arden, his wife and brother, and the priest, Hugh Hall, were tried, found guilty, and condemned to the traitor's death. Hugh Hall is said to have turned Queen's evidence, but I have found no proof of it. Somerville and Arden were carried forth from the Tower on December 19, 1583, to Newgate, in preparation for their execution on the morrow; Somerville was found two hours afterwards strangled in his cell; Edward Arden suffered the full penalty of the law December 20, 1583.[420] Robert of Leicester had his revenge. Mrs. Arden and Francis[421] seem to have suffered a term of imprisonment, and then to have been released.

This first noble victim of the tyrannical Royal Commission was praised by all the writers of his time, and pitied by all Europe. Burleigh lived to be ashamed of his part in his death; and in his "Life" one can still read in the index "On the Case of Arden" an explanation which has been excised from the text.

It is more than probable that the active part that Sir Thomas Lucy took in his arrest told more on the fortunes and feelings of young Shakespeare than the fabulous deer-stealing story. The touching tragedy, to which Froude has given but little attention or study, is given in full detail in the State Papers. The traitor's lands, of course, fell to the Queen, and were granted to Edward Darcy.[422] But Robert Arden,[423] "who was a[Pg 181] prudent person" (doubtless fortified by his brother-in-law's interest, and his own knowledge of the law), by virtue of an entail executed on his marriage got back by degrees most of his father's lands. He found, however, every tree in his parks had been cut down by Darcy, who seems to have been a difficult person to deal with, as may be gathered from Simon Arden's petition (p. 185); this Robert lived to a great age, dying on February 27, 1635. His son and heir, Sir Henry, who had been born April, 1580, had predeceased him in 1616.[424] He had married Dorothy, daughter of Basil Fielding, of Newnham, and had one son, Robert, and four daughters. Robert seems to have been a brilliant youth, but he died single at Oxford. In the Bodleian[425] are some verses deploring his loss. His four sisters were his coheirs: Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Pooley, of Boxsted, in Suffolk; Goditha,[426] wife of Herbert Price; Dorothy, wife of Hervey Bagot; Anne, wife of Sir Charles Adderley, of Lea.

In Worcestershire, near Stourbridge, there is a parish of Pedmore, and a hall of the name that seems at one time to have belonged to the Ardens, as well as the Pedmore Manor, near West Bromwich, Warwickshire. By the kindness of Mr. W. Wickham King, now resident there, I am told that "Mistress Joyce Arden" was buried there in 1557; Jane Ardern and Hugh Hall were married in 1560; Alice Ardeney and Thomas[Pg 182] Carter married 1578; while John Arden, son of Mr. Robert and Mistress Elizabeth, was christened there in 1578. Frances Arden and Edward Wale married 1658; Arthur buried 1668, and Judith Arden, widow, 1682. The arms in the church are those of the Park Hall Ardens, and "Mr. Robert" was the heir of Edward (p. 41 and notes).

The Pakingtons of Worcester quarter Ermine on a fesse componé or, and az. an annulet for Arden.


[368] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 372; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; "Guy of Warwick," ed. Zupitza, Early English Text Society, etc.; Harl. MS., 1167, f. 57; "Dictionary of National Biography."


"Guy of Warwick, I understand,
Slew a dragon in Northumberland."

Romance of Sir Bevis of Hampton.

"In Warwick the truth ye shall see
In arras wrought full craftily."

Romance of Sir Guy.

"Gy de Warwic ad a noun
Qui occis le Dragoun."

Legend round the Mazer Bowl, at Harbledon Hospital, Canterbury.

[370] "Warwickshire," p. 374; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; Leland's "Itin.," iv. 63; Heylin's "History of St. George," p. 63.

[371] Nichols's "Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica," iv. 29.

[372] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 372-374; Drummond's "Noble British Families"; Cox and Jones' "Popular Romances of the Middle Ages," pp. 63, 64, 297-319; Ward's "Catalogue of Romances in British Museum," i. 470.

[373] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 373.

[374] Drummond's "Noble British Families," ii.

[375] Harleian MS., 853, ff. 113, 114.

[376] "Guthmund, Ailwin's second son, held Pakington under Turchil; his son was Sir Harald de Arden, Lord of Upton" (French, "Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 432).

[377] According to Dugdale and Drummond; Harleian MS., 853, differs.

[378] Ralph and William are witnesses to a charter from Henry de Clinton to Kenilworth Priory, Henry I. ("Monasticon," vi. 3).

[379] Hugh de Arden and Adela; William de Arden and Agnes were witness to Henry's gifts ("Monasticon," v. 210-212).

[380] Philip, Osbert's second son, who took the name of Compton (Drummond; Dugdale's, 'Warwickshire,' 549).

[381] Novoborgo: or and az., er. Thomas Arden de Rotley: or and az., gu. A fesse betwixt 6 cross-crosslets or—Beauchamp. The Warwickshire Visitation gives the coat of Sir Herald de Arden as three cross-crosslets fitchée and a chief or. See Drummond, p. 5.

[382] Whalley's "Northampton," p. 464; Baker's "Northampton"; "Parliamentary Roll of Arms," 862. "Sire ... Ilm de Arderne ... de ermyne a une fesse chekere dor e de aszure" (Genealogist, New Series, xiii.). I do not know which William this refers to.

[383] He married Isabella, daughter of Sir Roger Mortimer of Chirk. She afterwards married John Fitzalan (Berry's "Essex Genealogies").

[384] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 927.

[385] "This lady seems to have married for a third time. Robert de Wyckham sued Thomas Wake and Nicholaa, his wife, and Giles de Arderne for the next presentation to the church of Swalclyve. Robert, father of plaintiff, had given the advowson to John de Arderne, and John had enfeoffed Robert de Wyckham and Elizabeth his wife. Nicholaa had been married to Robert de Arderne" (Genealogist, New Series, ix.).

[386] See Visitation, 1619.

[387] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 928; Harleian MS., 1992, f. 121, "The Ancient Family of Arderne." Ralph died 8 Henry V.

[388] 17 Blamyr.

[389] Walter Arden's son-in-law.

[390] The decision of the residence of this Thomas would solve a knotty question.

[391] Leland's "Itinerary," vi. 20. See also admin. of goods, granted to his sister Alice Buklond and his nephew John, son of Sir John.

[392] Patent 17 Henry VII., February 22, second part, mem. 30.

[393] Same series, September 9, mem. 35.

[394] Patents 23 Henry VIII., September 24, first part, mem. 12.

[395] Pat. Henry VIII., p. 1, m. 16.

[396] Letters and Papers, Henry VIII., Gairdner.

[397] Bedfordshire Visitation, 1566. (See Glover.) There was in Edward VI.'s reign a William Arderne, Clerk of the Market of Struton Oskellyswade, Bedford (Est. of Office, Edward VI. to Elizabeth). And in the accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber there are mentioned among the "Extraordinary Yeomen of the Guard, 1570," "William Arden and his son Robert Arden."

[398] Somerset House, 8 Porch.

[399] The name Collins appears in connection with the Ardens in Wiltshire also.

[400] See Visitation of Worcester, 1569: "Richard Muklowe of Hodon, Worcestershire, married Katherine, daughter of John Arden." The Gloucester Visitation records that Richard Cotton of Sedenton, married Agnes, daughter of Sir John Arden of Park Hall, sister of Thomas.

[401] Commissary Wills, Somerset House, 31a Clyffe.

[402] Dugdale's "Warwickshire."

[403] "Stratford-on-Avon Miscell. Papers," see p. 410, Genealogical Magazine, 1897. He was also trustee in a settlement made by Sir John Arden of Park Hall, in association with Sir Richard Empson and others. See Petition of Simon Arden, p. 184.

[404] It is curious that in a will of Sir William Trussel of Cublesdon, 1379, there is a bequest mentioned as having been made to him by his "cousin Sir Thomas d'Ardene" (Sir N. H. Nicolas, "Testamenta Vetusta," i. 107).

[405] Glover's "Heraldry," vol. ii., ed. 1780.

[406] Fuller's "Worthies."

[407] 7 Alen. Inquis. P.M. at Warwick, June 27, 37 Henry VIII., Edward, son and heir, aged twelve.

[408] See Close Roll, 32 Henry VI., m. 11. Saltley came into the family with Elizabeth Clodshalle (who married Robert Arden in the time of Henry VI.), and remained in it till the death of Robert Arden, 1643, when it fell to the share of his sister Anne.

[409] By some family arrangement, the old family seat of Pedmore seems to have been settled on him, as he was always styled Francis Arden of Pedmore.

[410] Anne married John Barnesley of Barnesley (see Visitation of Worcester, 1569); Bridget, Hugh Massey; Barbara, Richard Neville, son of the last Lord Latimer, and claimant of that title and the earldom of Westmorland; Joyce, John Ladbrooke. Was this Jane Arden the lady of this name who married into the Brownlow family about 1553? See Pedigree of Brownlow.

[411] "Originalia et Memoranda." Lord Treasurer's side of the Exchequer, Hilarii Recorda, 7 Elizabeth, Rot. 82.

[412] Ibid., Hilarii Recorda, 15 Elizabeth, Rot. 55.

[413] Coke's "Entries," f. 39b.

[414] In an account of the Grevilles, when the eldest son still resided at Drayton, it is noted: "Though a great part of the Lands of Sir Giles Arden came to Lewis Greville through his wife, yet there is one Arden at this time in Warwickshire that is a man of three hundred marks land by the yeare." Addit. MS., 5937, f. 88, British Museum.

[415] See "Liber Pacis," Eg. MS., 2345.

[416] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 884, 927.

[417] See Athenæum, Feb., 1896, p. 190, and my little volume on "Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries" (Stratford-on-Avon Press), p. 48.

[418] State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, clxiii., 21 et seq.

[419] Accounts of Treasurer of the Chamber, 1583-84.

[420] Burke makes an extraordinary error in stating that Shakespeare's mother was a daughter of Sir Edward Arden, of Park Hall ("Hist. Landed Gentry," edition 1882, vol. i., p. 34). Now, Edward was never knighted, and must have been born about the same year as Mary, daughter of Robert Arden, who married John Shakespeare.

[421] The Accounts of the Wardens of the Tower mention Francis Arden's board, up to June 24, 1585, and he sued shortly after for Pedmore, on the death of Sir George Digby, to whom it had been granted (State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, ccii., 40).

[422] State Papers, Dom. Series, Elizabeth, clxxi. 35; also Patents, Elizabeth, 28, c. 10.

[423] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 927. I find also several pensions allowed by the Crown to a Robert Arden, early in James I. These may refer to Robert of Park Hall (Book of Patents, xi. 212).

[424] Inventory of his property is at Lichfield, where also is that of his wife, Lady Dorothy Arden, 1635-36, and will of his son, Robert Arden.

[425] Ashmolean MSS., 36, f. 125: "Robert Arden, Colonel and Sheriff of Warwickshire." An elegy upon his death in Oxford of small-pox, August 22, 1643: "Seeing these tapers and this solemn night," etc. Signed, "Peter Halstead."

[426] She was a Lady of the Privy Chamber to the Queen-mother, and survived her husband. See the burial of her daughter, Mrs. Henrietta Maria Stanhope, October 23, 1674.

[Pg 183]



This main line of Ardens having thus become extinct, we have to go back some generations to find the younger branch that carried on the name. Simon, the second son of the Thomas Arden who died in 1563, brother of the William Arden who died 1546, and uncle of Edward Arden, who was executed 1583, seems to have been an important man in his own day. He was much trusted by his father and nephew, and was elected Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1569, when he bore as arms three cross crosslets fitchée, and a chief or.[427] His first wife was Margaret; his second Christian,[428] widow of Thomas Bond, of Ward End. In a catalogue of all the noblemen and gentlemen resident in Warwickshire, 1577-78, by Henry Ferrers, of Baddesley, is mentioned Edward Arden, of Park Hall, and Simon Arden, of Saltley, his uncle;[429] and in the Subsidy for Warwickshire, 1581, he is mentioned as one of "those collecting, and not assessed themselves."[430] During the first half of Elizabeth's reign he purchased Longcroft, in the parish of Yoxall, Staffordshire, a property that had previously been in the family. In 18 Elizabeth (1576) he found one light horse for the royal service[Pg 184] there, and paid to the Subsidy of 1590, 26s. 8d. for his lands at Yoxall, valued at £10.[431] He seems, however, to have got into trouble in his old age. The draft of a petition of his (circa 1595-98) is preserved among the Longcroft papers,[432] which is well worthy of being transcribed:

"To the most honourable the Lord High Treasurer of England.

"The most humble petition of Simon Arden, of the age of 100 years or thereabouts, praying your good Lordship's aid in his owld age against the great wrongs and oppressions offered by Edward Darcie, Esquire, one of the grooms of her Majestie's Privy Chamber.

"As by the enclosed may plainlie apeare:

        {The Pedigree. John Arden had issue Thomas.

        {Thomas had issue William, Simon, George, Edward, Thomas.

        {William had issue Edward & Francis.

        {Edward had issue vivens Robert.

"The said John Arden did infeff John Kingsmel, Sergeant-at-Lawe, Sir Richard Empson, Sir Richard Knightley, Sir Robert Throgmorton,[433] Knights, and others, of the manor of Crudworth, and other lands in the county of Warwick, to divers uses; the said Thomas, being seized in fee, granted to me, and his said other sons, dyvers several annuities, being all the patrimony he provided for the same his younger sons. The said Thomas did afterwards make other assurances to the said William. The said annuities were paid unto all the said younger sons during their lives, and[Pg 185] unto me till the attainder of Edward Arden. By which means the premises came into the hands of her Majestie, in what time that the same remained in her hands, by your Honor's order I was paid mine annuitie, being 20 marks by the year. And after that the same was granted to the said Edward Darcie, your Lordship did likewise very honorably apporcion how much thereof should be yearely paid unto me by the said Edward Darcie, and how much otherwise, according to which aporcionment the said Edward Darcy paid his part thereof unto me foure or five yeares, and about six yeares sithence denyd so to do, urging me with seutes in the Court of Requests, and in the Honourable Court of Exchequer Chamber, and at the Common Law. Also for the space of vi yeares now together seeking by this countenance to oppress me. The said Robert Arden payeth unto me the porcion of the said annuity apointed by your Lordship's order, or rather more thereof than he was charged with by your order, and I have desired but ye residew of Mr. Darcie. I have had judgment against him in the Common Place, he hath removed the record into the King's Bench by writ of Error; so yt by injunction out of the Court of the Exchequer Chamber to entertain time and delay me til death hath wholy interred my ancient bodie already more than half in grave, knowing, Mors solvit omnia, by my death my cause wil be remeadiless.

"Be therefore so much, my good Lord, as to take my cause into your own hands, and for God's sake to end it. I protest mine adversary hath caused me to spend more then such an annuity is worth to purchase. Age wold have ease, which is expedicion in causes of suit and molestacion, and expedicion in justice is the most Honour that may be; which is no small part of your Honor's comendacion. Almighty God long pre[Pg 186]serve you in all felicity, that this Realm of England may more and more long take profit of your most wise and grave counsels."

Perhaps on his coming to Longcroft he found the old Arden arms there. Before the grant to his grand-uncle Robert there had been Ardens in Yoxall.[434] Certain it is that after that date they appear in Longcroft Hall and in the parish church. The headship of the family fell to his heirs in 1643. Simon's son[435] Ambrose[436] married Mary Wedgewood 1588, and died 1624. His son Humphrey[437] married Jane Rowbotham at Marchington, December 1, 1630. Of his family, Henry married Catherine Harper, but died without children, November 26, 1676; John, of Wisbeach, married Anne, and died without heirs, April 2, 1709, aged 84;[438] Humphrey, of Longcroft, who married the daughter of —— Lassel, and died January 31, 1705, aged 74. His daughters Elizabeth and Katharine died unmarried. His son Henry married Anne Alcock, and[Pg 187] died 1728, aged 63. Humphrey's son and heir, John, was born 1693, and died 1734, aged 40. He married, first, Anna Catherine Newton, and second, Anne, daughter of the Rev. John Spateman, Rector of Yoxall, 1730. He was High Sheriff of the County in 3 George II. His son, Henry Arden, of Longcroft, married Alethea, daughter of Robert Cotton, Esq., of Worcester, and died June 22, 1782. The full pedigree is given, and the monuments at Yoxall are described in Shaw's "Staffordshire," and in French's "Shakespeareana Genealogica." Descendants still survive in this country and the Colonies.


[427] Fuller's "Worthies."

[428] Administration of goods of Christian Arden, wife of Simon, 1563 (Lichfield Wills).

[429] Nich., "Col. Top. et Gen.," vol. viii., p. 298.

[430] Lansdowne MS., xxx. 27, 30.

[431] Subsidy Rolls, Yoxall, 1590; Shaw's "Staffordshire," i., pp. 100-102 and 499; and Talbot Papers, Heralds' College, Dugdale p. 932.

[432] See also manuscript notes on the copy of Shaw's "Staffordshire," by Samuel Pipe Wolferstan, Esq., of Statfold, preserved in the British Museum, p. 102.

[433] Note that this is the same man appointed trustee by Mary Shakespeare's grandfather.

[434] "Nichola, d. of Geff de. Shenton, sued Joan, formerly wife of Ralph de Anderne, of Yoxhale, for a messuage in Yoxhale" (De Banco, Trin., 23 Ed. III.).

[435] His will proved 1625 at Lichfield. Simon's daughter Elizabeth became second wife of Clement Fisher of Wincote, addressed by Sir Aston Cokaine in verses alluding to Shakespeare (Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 1140).

[436] Shaw's "Staffordshire," p. 102; MS. notes of the author, Brit. Mus.

[437] Ambrose had another son Ambrose, whose family appears in the registers of Barton:

Frances, daughter of Ambrose Arden, bapt. February 19, 1631, buried June 7, 1634.

Humphrey, son of Ambrose Arden, bapt. November 2, 1634.

Henry       "       "       "        "       October 7, 1637.

Benjamin        "        "        "        "       July 19, 1642.

John        "        "       "       "       September 3, 1643.

William        "        "        "       "        January 8, 1647 (buried Sept. 18, 1666).

Robert Masson and Elizabeth Arden were married December 22, 1644.

Ambrose Arden, gent., buried July 15, 1656.

[438] His father had been married twice; but this second Humphrey is the son of Jane Rowbotham. See Registers of Marchington.

[Pg 188]



It would be interesting to know more of some of the other Warwickshire Ardens, particularly those mentioned in the Register of the Guild of Knowle, as some have suggested that Shakespeare's mother may have descended from them:

"1460. John Arden and Agnes, his wife, of Longehychyngton.

"1504. Richard Arden and Margaret, his wife, and for the souls of John and Johanna, their parentes, of Longeychyngton.

"1506. For the souls of John Arderne and his wife, of the same.

"... Richard Salway, and Estell his wife, and for the soul of John Arderne.

"1512. Alicia Arderne, and for the soul of William."

On turning to the Subsidy Rolls to find any further notice of the Ardens of Long Itchington, I found only the following: "14 and 15 Hen. VIII. Co. Warr., Knighton Hundred, Bilton [the next parish to Long Itchington].[439] Thomas Arderne, land, 4 marks, 2/6. Solks. Henry Arderne in goods 40/- 4d." The latter is twice repeated.

In the same Guild Register appears as member:[Pg 189]

"1496. Robert Arderne, Master of Arts, Rector of Lapworth."

He does not appear in the preserved pedigree, as Robert, the son of Walter, who died 1502, was in the King's service. The Warden and scholars of Merton College appointed Robert Ardern, Master of Arts, to the Rectory of Lapworth, January 10, 1488. On the rood loft of the church are the arms of Sir Henry Arden:[440] Ermine, a fesse chequy, or and az., with a crescent for difference, arms, by some thought to be the parson's.

Henry de Arden,[441] in the time of Henry II., had two sons: Thomas of Curdworth[3] and William de Rodbourn.[442] The descent of Thomas we have already noticed, as well as the descent of Thomas Arden, of Drayton, elder son of William Arden de Rodbourn. The second son of William was another William of Rodbourn, killed in 17 Henry III. He married Avisia, daughter of Robert de Kyngeston, and had also a son, William of Rodbourn, whose heir was William, who sold the manor in 1369.

Dugdale says that Little Grafton was called Arden's Grafton because it was bought by William de Arden in 10 John. In 52 Henry III. William de Arden was certified to hold it of the Earl of Warwick; but he transferred it to Edward I. in exchange for Offord, near Aston Cantlowe, in the parish of Wootten Wawen.

A seal used by William D'Arderne, clerk, of Offord, Warwickshire, is preserved in the British Museum,[443] appended to a deed in which he and John D'Arderne were concerned, 1366. It has a shield of arms, three cross-crosslets fitchée, on a chief a lion passant, on the border: "S. Nicholai de Ardena." I have not traced[Pg 190] a Nicholas. But Nichola de Arden presented John de Arden to Cotesbrook Church, Northampton, May, 1361 (see p. 195).

Among other charters in the same collection occur the seals of—

Thomas de Arderne, of Newton, co. Warwick, 1280-90, on a shield, a fesse chequy Ardern, "Sigillum Secreti."[444]

Thomas de Arderne, Lord of Peddymore, co. Warwick, 1281, on a shield chequy, a chevron, "Sig. Thome de Arderne."[445]

Thomas de Arderne, 1286, a shield chequy, a chevron, "S. Thome de Arderne."[446]

William de Ardena de Hamtune (i.e., Hampton in Arden, Warwickshire) used a seal with a pointed oval shield thereon, a lion rampant contourné, circa1188-98.[447]

Dugdale says concerning Hampton in Ardern,[448] that it is not quite certain that Ralph de Arderne was a son of Turchil.[449] He is mentioned in 5 Stephen and in 33 Henry II. as a Justice Itinerant. Hampton in Arden was not altogether his own, but his son Robert purchased it for 500 marks. Robert was a clergyman, Archdeacon of Lisiaux, in Normandy, and gave his estate here to his brothers Peter and Roger. Peter became a clerk also, and gave his share to Roger, whose sons were William de Ardena, 5 Henry III.; Walter, a Clerk; Roger, a Clerk. William's children were: Hugo de Ardena, a Justice of Assize, 35 Henry III.; Oliva, who married Robert le Megre; and Hawisia, who married Richard Peche. Hugh's sons were William and Richard. William sided with the Montforts, was pardoned, but was soon after slain by[Pg 191] Richard de l'Isle. He left no family; his brother Richard was an idiot; and his estates went to the heirs of his aunts, John Peche and William le Megre[450] (Plea Rolls, Ed. I.).

There is so much confusion regarding the most distinguished of these early Ardens, that I would like to examine his story more closely. Dugdale, as I have already noted, is not absolutely certain that Ralph de Ardern, of Hampton, was a son of Turchil, but believes it sufficiently to put him in the pedigree. Yet he goes on to state that this Ralph was a justice itinerant in various reigns. Now, it is not only dates that make this impossible: Turchil had married, first, the Countess of Perche, and, second, Leverunia; and Ralph de Arderne, of Hampton, is given as of the first family. But the mother of Ralph the justice was a De Bohun. I propose, therefore, tentatively, to consider that the first Ralph de Hampton married a De Bohun, and hope to find the records true of an eldest son Ralph, brother of Robert, the Archdeacon of Lisiaux, of Peter the clerk, and of Roger of Hampton. This view is supported by many facts, and it gives time. Ralph was at the height of his power in 1188, the very date at which William de Ardene, of Hampton, the son of Roger, draws up a deed and affixes his seal.[451] According to Dugdale, this should be his grandson. The name of Ralph's son and heir is Thomas, not Roger. It was very unusual for a noble family to bring up the eldest son to the Church, and yet the Archdeacon of Lisiaux is considered by Dugdale as the eldest son of Ralph, who gives up his inheritance to his brothers. But if we find a Ralph to be the eldest son, we can easily account for his giving up the Hampton in Arden home. He had made his[Pg 192] fortunes elsewhere. Ralph was in high favour with the King,[452] Henry II., and had married Amabilia, daughter and coheir of Ranulph de Glanville,[453] the great lawyer, author, statesman, soldier, and crusader, who, while Sheriff of York, had made prisoner William the Lion of Scotland, and laid the King of England under an obligation. Ralph's mother was a daughter of Savaric FitzCana, and sister of Ralph, Gelduin, and Savaric FitzSavaric. Ralph FitzSavaric having died without heirs, on the death of his uncle Savaric, Franco, the son of Gelduin, laid claim to his vast possessions in England and the fief of Bohun in Normandy. It is believed that Gelduin had married within the forbidden degrees, without dispensation, and that this was the reason that Ralph de Arderne put forward his mother's claims. Henry II. decided in his favour at a court at Caen in 1187. But on the accession of Richard I., Ralph fell into disgrace, ostensibly through some delay in rendering his accounts at Westminster while Sheriff of Hereford, and Henry's decision was reversed 1189.[454] But it was evidently a doubtful question. Franco died in 1194, and when his son and heir Engelger came of age, 1198, Ralph de Arderne revived his claim, which was settled by a compromise. After the disturbances in Normandy, 1208, a new dispute arose between Engelger, the son of Franco FitzSavaric, and Thomas, the son of Ralph Arden, which ended in a new compromise.

The offices held by Ralph were numerous. He was Sheriff of Hereford 1184-89,[455] and also justice itinerant. He married a second wife in 1194, Agnes de la Mara, heiress of the Barony of Holgate in Shropshire, after[Pg 193] which he regained royal favour. He received a gift from the King of land in Essex, for which he paid[456] £362 16s. 8d. He was made custodian of the temporalities of Canterbury at the time of the troubles there Bailiff of Pont-Audemar in Normandy, 1198; in 1202 attended King John at La Suse in Anjou; in 1203 was sent on an embassy to Otho, King of the Romans; in 1204 went to Flanders on the King's service. He was said to have acted as justice at Shrewsbury, 1208, but Foss[457] believes this was his grandson, and states that Coke says so. Ralph de Arderne endowed the Priory of Butey, Sussex, founded by Ralph de Glanville, with half the town of Bawdsey. He founded the Priory of Shulbrede, near Midhurst, and endowed it with half a knight's fee in Lavington. His son Thomas was engaged in a lawsuit[458] with his aunt about the partition of his grandfather Glanville's property. "Thomas de Ardern, et Radulphus filius Roberti ponunt loco suo Mag. Will. de Lecton versus Will. de Auberville et Matilda uxorem ejus," etc. There is no mention of Thomas after 14 John, 1213. Lands in Hereford, Sussex, Essex, and Yorkshire were known to have belonged to him, and many scattered branches in later periods may represent his descendants. I have not found his arms; were they the same as William de Ardern of Hampton's, already referred to?

Though Shakespeareans are only concerned with the Ardens who remained in their own county, genealogists are interested in the fortunes of the whole family. A volume would be necessary for a complete account, and at present I only attempt to collect and preserve the scattered facts I have found in various printed and manuscript authorities.[Pg 194]

It is too often taken for granted that individuals do not belong to a family because their names do not appear in the pedigrees collected at the Visitations. We know that the descendants of younger sons and daughters are frequently omitted, and the sons and daughters themselves occasionally ignored. For instance, the Sir Robert Arden who was executed in the time of Henry VI., 1451, is stated[459] to have left seven children, but the name of his heir, Walter, is alone preserved. Such omissions are more likely to have occurred in earlier times. The Ardens frequently held land in more counties than one, and thus may appear in county histories as doubles; while their general use of common Christian names at other times makes it difficult to separate recorded incidents. Wills, inquisitions, and other records often strangely bring into closer relationship individuals not known to be connected, and the severe test of dates often separates those supposed to be near in blood.

The main line had estates in Northampton. Robert de Arden had a charter of free warren in Wapenham and Sudborough.[460] In 7 Henry IV. Wapenham was assigned as dower to Elena, widow of Sir Henry de Arden, by Ralph his son, with remainder to Geoffrey de Arden, his brother (see p. 170). After the death of Elena and Geoffrey it reverted to Ralph, and to Robert, his son, who in 20 Henry VI. received the King's pardon for alienating it without licence. The[Pg 195] manor of Sulgrave[461] was sold by the Traffords to Sir Henry Arden, and it remained in the family until Sir Robert sold it in 20 Henry VI. Laurence Washington, Mayor of Northampton 1538, had a grant of the dissolved priory of St. Andrews there. On April 26, 1564, William Arderne of Sulgrave[462] left to his sister Mary all the portion his father, Richard Arden,[463] had left her, and all his own goods. He left a legacy to Robert,[464] son of Laurence Washington, and Laurence was the overseer of his will. There is preserved a bond by John Ardern, Laurence Washington, and others for £100, July 4, 1587.

An Adam de Arden, clerk, was incumbent of Croughton 1218. Another Adam was Rector of Thornhagh and Bolewyck 1336 and of Barby 1361. Nichola de Arden presented John de Arden to Cotesbrook Church, May, 1361. Thomas de Arderne was incumbent of Laxton, July 9, 1310, and of Clopton-on-the-Wold, 1325. Robert de Ardern, clerk, is mentioned August 16, 1322. Thomas de Ardern, diac., was presented to Nether Heyford, 1455. Eustachia de Ardern, patron of Holdenby, 1263, presented Ralph de Ardern, and Thomas, son of Thomas Ardern, of Hanwell, recognised as co-patron Thomas Ardern, of Rotley.


[439] The will of Thomas Arden of Long Itchington was proved 1552, at Lichfield. Sons, Edmund, William and Thomas, and six daughters.

[440] Dugdale, 926.

[441] Baker's "Northampton"; Whalley's "Northampton."

[442] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 927.

[443] Add. Charters, 21, 492.

[444] Cotton MS. Charters, xxii. 15.

[445] Egerton Ch., 368.

[446] Brit. Mus., Ch. lxxxii. 15.

[447] Cott. Ch., xi. 36.

[448] Dugdale's "Warwickshire," 952.

[449] I think the dates show that there must have been two generations of Ralphs. One appears in another county.

[450] See Genealogist, New Series, XIII.

[451] A lion rampant contourné. See Brit. Mus., Ch. lxxxii. 15.

[452] Nichols's "Herald and Genealogist," vi. 432, and vii. 299-311.

[453] Foss's "Lives of the Judges," i. 379. Campbell's "Lives of the Chief Judges," i. 19.

[454] Pipe Roll, 1 Richard I., pp. 208 and 145, Charter, Richard I., signed at Gorron in Maine, March 31, 1190.

[455] Fuller's "Worthies of Hereford."

[456] Pipe Roll, Essex, 6 Richard I.

[457] Foss's "Lives of the Judges," i. 338.

[458] Coke, 8th Report, ii. 29, and Blomfield's "Norfolk," viii. 341.

[459] Harleian MS., Visitation of Warwickshire, 1167, f. 57.

[460] Concerning forest rights in Clyve, Northamptonshire, Gilbert de Arden appeared for the Prior of Markyate, Cherchebikenhull, Kynesbury, 26 Edward I. (55, Inquis. P. M.).

William de la Zouch de Haryngworth enfeoffed Adam de Arderne and Simon Ward in Boroughley Manor of the Honour of Peverel, Northampton; Eton, Weston, Ing, Houghton Manors, Bedford; Calston Manor, Wilts; Totnes Castle, Devon; Weston-in-Arden Manor, Wolfareshull, Foulkeshull, and Kelpesham Manors, Warwick, probably as trustees, 33 Edward III. (79, Inquis. P. M.).

[461] Whalley's "Northampton," i. 25, 263.

[462] 7, Crymes, Somerset House Wills.

[463] Of Whitfield, 29, Street, Somerset House.

[464] Robert's son Laurence sold Sulgrave, went to America, and became the great-grandfather of George Washington.


[Pg 196]


In the Conqueror's time the Manor of Watford, Northamptonshire, was recognised as belonging to Gilbert the Cooke, to whom his son Baldwin succeeded. But the next owner was Eustace de Arden,[465] son of Alexander and Agnes Arden, in the time of Henry II. The first Eustace, born about 1140, was probably the Eustachius de Arderne who granted Watford Church to the Abbey of St. James. His son, also named Eustace,[466] died in 1213. The dower of his widow Hawisia was in Watford and Silvesworth, and Ranulph III., Earl of Chester, became her security that she would not marry again without license from the King.[467] Her two sons were Eustace[468] and John de Arderne. Eustace died in 4 Edward I., 1221, leaving a son Eustace. The line ended with four daughters, coheiresses—Aveline, Mary, Jane, Elena, 1275. The arms of Eustace were: Gules, on a chief argent, a label azure.[469] I have wondered if the following entries concerned younger sons of this family: "To Master William of Watford 50 marks for his expenses going[Pg 197] as a messenger to the King beyond the sea";[470] and, "Paid to William de Watford, Keeper of the Queen's palfreys."[471]

John, the second son of the second Eustace and brother of the third, received either an original grant, or the confirmation of a grant, from the Earl of Chester of the Manor of Aldford, in Cheshire. He was probably the son-in-law of the Richard de Aldford who preceded him.[472] As the Earl of Chester was Hawisia's surety, he may have been her son John's guardian. John afterwards granted part of this fee to Peter, the Earl's clerk, and another part to Pulton and Chester Abbey. On November 28, 1213, he compounded with the King for his father's annual payment for lands in Watford, and granted to Eustace, his brother, the lands he had received there from his father. He executed this deed in Aldford, August, 1216. In that year he received, as a Knight of Ranulph, Earl of Chester, then in the Holy Land, a grant of the lands of Geoffrey de Sautemaris. Sir Walkelyn, his son, succeeded him in or before 1237-38. Through his wife, Agnes de Orreby, he acquired Elford, in Staffordshire, with Alvanley, Upton, and other manors in Cheshire. He was frequently at Court, as his attestations to various charters prove, about 41 Henry III. In 1264-65 he granted the Manor of Alvanley to his eldest son, Sir Peter, who succeeded to all the family estates on the death of his father, about 1268. He bore arms based not on those of Eustace de Watford, or on those of the Earl of Chester, from whom he held land, but on those of William de Beauchamp, who had succeeded to the Earldom of Warwick in 1257, as if to claim descent from the Warwickshire family. His seal appears first[Pg 198] in 17 Edward I. in a release to Sir John de Orreby of a debt due.[473] It bore a shield with three crosses crosslet pattées, a chief Arderne, with the motto, "Frange, lege tege." See also the charters in the British Museum.[474] His son and heir by Margery, his wife, was Sir John, who married Margaret, daughter of Griffin ap Madoc, Lord of Bromfield, of royal Welsh extraction.[475]

Sir John de Arderne at the tournament at Stepney, 2 Edward II., in the retinue of the Earl of Lancaster, bore "Gules, 10 crosses crosslet, and a chief or."[476]

But it is said that after his marriage the Arden arms were temporarily varied to gules, crusule or, and a chief or.[477]

In 9 Edward II. he purchased part of Haselover from Geoffrey Salveyn.[478]

In that year the "Nomina de Villarum" gives the name of "Sir Henry de Ardena" as Lord of Elford. John's name, however, is given in the list by the Lieutenant of the Knights and men-at-arms of the county, 17 Edward II., 1324; and he was one of the Knights summoned to attend the great council at Westminster, 17 Edward II. John and Margaret had two sons—John, who succeeded to Aldford, Alderley, Alvanley, and Elford, 19 Edward III., and Peter, afterwards of Over Alderley. John married, first, Alice, daughter of Hugh de Venables, and had by her two sons, John and Peter, and a daughter Margaret. His second wife was Joane, daughter and heiress of Sir Richard de Stokeport, by whom he had no issue; and his third wife was[Pg 199] Ellen Wasteneys, by whom he had two sons, Thomas and Walkelyn, born before marriage, and two daughters, Isabel, wife of Sir Hugh Wrottesley, and Maud, wife of Robert Leigh, of Adlington, and a son, born after marriage (about 1341), who evidently died soon.

Then occurred an extraordinary hitch in the history of primogeniture. His eldest son, John, had died without issue before his father. Peter, the second son, and natural heir of his brother and father, then aged twenty-four, on his father's death found by the inquisition[479] that he died possessed of "no lands,"[480] all his vast possessions being settled on himself and his wife Ellen only for life, and secured by a deed of gift, in reversion to Thomas, the elder illegitimate son of Ellen Wasteneys. By an appeal, however, to the courts, based on the previous settlement on his great-grandfather, Peter, the legitimate heir recovered Alvanley. He married Cicely,[481] daughter and heiress of Adam de Bredbury, who inherited Hawarden from her father, and henceforward Alvanley and Hawarden were the chief seats of the Cheshire Ardens. It is evident, therefore, that the root-meaning of Hawarden, or Harden, has no relation to the family name.

The favoured Thomas received Aldford, Etchells, and Nether Alderley, Cheshire; and Elford, Staffordshire. He was knighted before 1359, and died 1391. He married Katherine, daughter of Sir Richard Stafford, heiress of Clifton Campvile, Pipe, Haselover, and Statfold, and was buried in Elford Church, where his beautiful marble monument still remains. He is represented in full knightly armour, wearing a rich collar, with the letters "S.S." interwoven, his basinet bearing the words "The Nazarene." His wife lies by[Pg 200] his side, richly robed, and also wearing a collar with "S. S." His son and heir, John, born at Elford, March 12, 1369, was over twenty-one at his father's death,[482] 15 Richard II. He married Margaret Pilkington, and died in 1408, leaving no male heir.[483] A large monument in memory of him in Elford Church is almost decayed.

In his inquisition, his nearest male relatives are stated to be Robert de Legh, of Adlington, aged forty, and Hugh de Wrottesley, aged eight. His only daughter was Matilda, aged twelve, who was granted Alderley and Etchells only. She married Thomas de Stanley.[484] John's widow, Margaret, took for her second husband Sir Robert Babthorpe, and died 1423. Her Inquisition Post Mortem is very interesting. She died seized of Nether Alderley only, which reverted to her daughter, Matilda Stanley.

"The Prince of Wales as Earl of Chester versus Margaret, formerly wife of John, son of Thomas de Arderne, to determine the right to the manors of Aldford, Alderdelegh, and Echells, the advowsons, and 10 marks a year from the manor of Upton, in Wyrehale. It mentions that Thomas and Walkelyn were illegitimate; but Walkelyn died s.p., and pleaded the settlement" (Chester Pleas, 10 Henry IV., m. 9, Genealogist, New Series, vol. xv.).

Another Chester Plea Roll records the suit of Richard, son of John de Radcliff and Matilda his wife, against Isabella, formerly wife of John de Legh, Chivalier, for land in Modberlegh, which John de Ardene gave to John de Legh for his life, with remainder to John, son of John de Legh and Matilda, daughter of John de[Pg 201] Ardene, and to the heirs of the bodies of John de Legh and Matilda (Genealogist, New Series, vol. xiii.).

Sir Thomas Arden and Sir John bore as arms the three crosses crosslet, and the chief or, the same as the legitimate family.

Hugh, the son of Peter Arden, of Alvanley and Hawarden, carried on the main line, and had full possession of his estates by 1372. He married twice—first, Agnes Hulme, by whom he had Peter and Ralph;[485] and second, Cicely de Hyde,[486] by whom he had John, who lived in the service of the King. The seal of Peter, son of Hugh de Arderne, of Macclesfield, co. Chester, 1372,[487] is preserved in the British Museum, and bears three crosses crosslet and a chief Arderne. Old and infirm, Hugh was granted exemption from military service in 1408.

Charles Arden, son of John, son of Peter, married Elizabeth Radcliffe in Edward III.'s time, and through her inheritance became owner of Timporley, and founded the Timporley branch of Ardens.

The pedigree of the family is given in extenso in Drummond, Earwaker, Ormerod, and the Visitations of Cheshire, so that it is unnecessary to repeat it here. Further intermarriages with the Hydes[488] are recorded. Ralph Ardern, of Harden, led his tenantry against the Royalists, 1642, and died 1657. Sir John, head of the family, in 1660 was Sheriff of Cheshire. One of his brothers was the Rev. James Arden, Dean of Chester, 1691.[Pg 202]

John, who was Sheriff in 1760, married Sarah Pepper, who brought Pepper Hall into the family. Their son, Richard Pepper Arden, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, was created Baron Alvanley[489] 1801. He had three sons, John, William, and Richard. The title became extinct 1857.[490] The arms were the three crosses crosslet and a chief or; crest, a double row of ostrich feathers out of a ducal coronet.

There is a curious will at Somerset House[491] (January 9, 1614) of Thomas Arden, of Hornsey, gentleman, who seems to have been connected with this family. After trifling legacies, he leaves his lease in Cheshire of Melton Farm to his dear and well-beloved sister, Ann Ardern. "Executors, my beloved sister Anne Arderen, ever faithful friend, and Richard Drape of Hornsey gent."—proved January 17, 1614. But another similar will of the same man was again proved, 1615, by Anne and another co-executor.

In Berry's "Sussex Genealogies" we find that George Ardern, son of George Ardern, born in Chester, came to Chichester, married Catharine, daughter and coheir of Robert Palmer, Esq., and had three sons—George, John, and Richard. Richard married Margaret, daughter of Thomas Green, and had three sons and a daughter—Thomas, George, Richard, and Catherine.

An important official Arden was John, who in the reign of Henry V. was Clerk of the Works.[492] His patent was renewed under Henry VI., and payments are recorded to him for making the tomb of King Henry V.[493] in St. Peter's, Westminster, of Caen stone, £23 6s. 8d.; for repairs in the Tower; in the palace of[Pg 203] Westminster; and in the castle of Wallingford. He was also Clerk of the Works at York, and in 22 Henry VI. was made Baron of the Exchequer, and had various grants.

Foss believes him to be the father of Sir Peter Arderne,[494] also in royal service. In 18 Henry VI. he was deputy of William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, chief seneschal of the Duchy of Lancaster. He took the coif February 14, 1443, and was made King's Serjeant and Chief Baron of the Exchequer May 2, 1448. Dugdale does not mention him as a Judge of Common Pleas, but he received his patent July 7, 26 Henry VI., and must have held double office. In 1461 his patents were renewed, but in the following year there was a new Chief Baron, though Sir Peter retained his other offices. He had a tun of wine annually for life. His will[495] is so interesting from a literary point of view, as well as a genealogical one, that it is worthy of fuller notice. He and his wife Katharine had founded a chantry in Netteswell, Essex, and a chapel in the parish of Latton, Essex, where they resided. He left to these and many other charitable purposes handsome legacies; and to his wife, Dame Katharine, he left his "daily Primer," much plate and furniture, a crucifix, the furniture of a chapel, his "book of legends in English, and his English translation of 'Bonaventura de vita et passione Christi.'" To his "son, John Bohun," armour, and his book in English of "Boys de Consolacione Philosophiæ, with the booke of Hunting therein." To his daughter, Anne Bohun, furniture, and a French booke, "Giles de Reginum Principii." To his daughter, Elizabeth Skreene,[496] furniture and a mass-book. To his son,[Pg 204] John Skreene, "myne owne volume of old statutes with the Register, and ye new Lawes therein; my newe statutes and a boke of termes of parchemyn, and a good boke compiled of Law with a yallow leather covering, and a booke of law of termes of 2 Ed. II. in parchemyn, a greate booke of gramer, with the Siege of Troy borded, a greate booke called Catholicon borded, and a good new bounden fair little book compiled of Assises." "To my ward, Thomas Bibbesworth, his own marriage free to himself,[497] my best Register of Lawe, my owne gret compiled booke of Lawe covered with red leather, and a horn upon it ... a booke of lawe in parchemyn compiled and bokeled, a boke of terms of Law on paper, with Ao 32-Ao 39 and other yeares therein." "To my niece, Margaret Newport, a table of ivory with the Salutation of our Lady in ymages of silver. To my brother, Master Thomas Arden, my scarlet gowne furred, my book flowered Barthm. his own booke of Lucerna, conscience, his Sawter glosed, my booke of the Life of St. Thomas of Canterbury." To his cousin, Master John Roclif, a hoode; to his brother, parson of Hadham, a cloke; to his nephew, Guy Arden, a gowne. Other remembrances follow. His interest in the forest of Galtuce, in Yorkshire, in the towns of Hoby and Esmeswold, to be sold to pay his debts. His wife to have all the residue if she remain unmarried. The manors of Monkhall and Enfield to his wife, reverting to his daughters; the manor of Swale in Godilston to his wife, and to any heir she chooses. Executors: Dame Katherine Arden, his wife, and Master Thomas[498] Ardern, his brother, and others,[Pg 205] February 20, 1466, proved July 10, 1467. A rubbing of the sepulchral brass in memory of Sir Peter and his wife[499] at Latton is preserved in the British Museum. His arms were: Or, three pellets azure on a chief gules, three lozenges argent.[500] Bobbingworth Hall, Ongar, Essex,[501] was conveyed to Richard Ardern 1423, and to Sir Peter Ardern 1446. In that year also Gregory Wery released Latton Hall, Harlow Half Hundred, to Peter Ardern and his heirs for ever.[502] The will of the Guy Arden,[503] nephew of Sir Peter, was drawn up July 24, 1498. He left legacies to the master, every brother, and every servant of St. John's College, Cambridge; to Sir Christopher Wright, Fellow of St. John's, his journal; to Mr. Bowes, of King's College, his great beads; to the Lady Prioress of Crabhouse, "2 portuess of written hande and xs, and to her convent 6s 8d." The residue to Dr. William Robinson and Master John Basse, Bach. of Civill Lawe.

A curious group of wills seem to prove that the Alice Green who married John Holgrave, one of the Barons of the Exchequer, must have previously married an Arden,[504] and had children by him. Sir John Holgrave's will was drawn up on August 6, 1486.[505] After church bequests, he leaves to his son Thomas some plate, "of the gift of Elizabeth Greene, my mother-in-[Pg 206]law," forty marks to his son John, and fifty marks to his daughter Elizabeth. "To the brotherhood of the Clerkes of London, wher I am a brother, 13/4." To Katherine Coleyn, 100s; to Alice Green, 100s; to Richard Arden, towards his learning, 10 marks, and one of his best gowns; to Master Walter Ardern, parson of Cheyham, 100s; the residue to his wife Alice. Executors: Alice, his wife, Thomas Holgrave, his son, Master Walter Arden, and Richard Ardern. If his sons and daughters die without heirs, his estate to go to Richard Arden, his son-in-law, and Master Walter Arden. His wife Alice made her will in 1487.[506] Her son Thomas was to have fifty marks, her son John £100, and her daughter Besse £100. "Also to Richard, my son, 100 marc; to Mr. Wat, my son, 100 marc; to Katerine, my daughter,[507] £40; to Elizabeth, my daughter, 10 marc." "Cousin Alice Skreene"[508] was to have 10 marks also. There were gifts of plate to her sons Thomas and John and daughter Besse, to Richard and Mr. Water, her sons, and her daughter Katharine. Executors: My son Mr. Walter Ardern, my son Richard Ardern, my son Thomas Holgrave. Overseers: Master Litton and my daughter Katharine. Proved September 21, 1487.

The above-mentioned Master Walter Arden,[509] parson of Cheyham, Surrey, September 13, 1482, left legacies to every household in his parish; and 10 marks each to Richard, my brother, to Thomas, my brother, to John, my brother, to Elizabeth Ardern, my sister, to Elizabeth Holgrave, my sister, to the daughters of my sister Collyns, and to various cousins. Also to the daughters of Mr. Codyngton, and 10 marcs to poor scholars. Twenty shillings to reparation of St. Mary's, Cambridge. The residue to Richard Arden, my brother.[Pg 207] Executors: John Deye, Sir John Norwood, and John Codyngton, the younger, with 10 marks each. Proved October 2, 1492.

Seven years afterwards Richard Arden, of Bosham,[510] Sussex, and of Bermondsey, left legacies to various churches, and to his brothers Thomas and John Holgrave. Johane, his wife, sole heir and executor,[511] with reversion to John Holgrave. Overseers: John of Lee, of Addyngton, Richard Culpepper, of Ardyns Lee, and John Chaloner, Huwild, 1499.

The name "Collins" makes one think there may be some connection with the following: Walter Arden,[512] of Hampton, in Highworth, Wilts, makes his will on April 1, 1540. He leaves to Thomas Ardern, the elder son of my brother, Richard Arden, £40 and farm stock; to Johane Arden, my servant, sister to Thomas, £20; to Margaret Sewell, my daughter, £100 and all my lands; to Elizabeth Palmer, my sister's daughter, and to other grandchildren, money gifts. My daughter Elizabeth sole executrix; Simon Yate supervisor.

The goods of Edith Arden, Hampton Turvil, Wilts, were administered in 1578, and those of Richard Arden, of Chilton, 1641.

John Arden,[513] of Hampton Turville, Highworth,[Pg 208] Wilts, yeoman, August 16, 1585, leaves half his goods to his wife Amy as long as she is unmarried, reversion to Thomas Arden, his son; to Editha Collyns, £6 13s. 4d.; to Agnes Collyns, 20s.; to Elizabeth Collyns, 20s.; to Walter Arden, my godson, 10s.; to Elizabeth Arden, the daughter of my brother, Henry Arden, a sheep; to each of the children of my brother Richard a sheep. All the residue to my son, Thomas Arden, executor. Overseers, brothers Thomas and Virgill Arden, who were also witnesses. Proved November 28, 1585.

The will was proved of Thomas Arden, of Hampton Turvill, Highworth, Wilts, yeoman, February 3, 1621. His wife Agnes to live in the house in convenient rooms and have £10 a year, payable out of the manor of Westthroppe, in the parish of Heynes; or, if she does not like her diet, £20 a year. He stands possessed for a terme of 1,000 years in the moitie and one-half part of one-fifth of the manor of Westthropp, to be given to eldest son, Thomas Arden, and heirs male; if no heirs, to John Arden, his second son; then to Edward Arden, his third son; to Nicholas Arden, his fourth son, each of which are to have £100. To Henry Arden, my son, £4 a year, and his dwelling in the house at Hampton and good usage there, and if he does not like his treatment, to have £10 a year. To John, my son, my tenements in Birdlip, Gloucester; to Edward, my son, a house in Highworth and the Chantrey House. My kinsman, Thomas Arden, of Fairford, Gloucester, oweth me £40. I give this to Agnes, my daughter, wife of Henry Gearinge. Thomas, his son, sole executor. His loving brother, Thomas Stratton, and Henry Gearing, overseers.[514][Pg 209]

The Ardernes of Cottesford and Kirtlington, Oxford, bore the same arms as the Park Hall Ardens, with a mullet for difference;[515] but the relationship is not given in the pedigree of the Visitation. It only starts with Robert Arden of Cottesford, whose son William[516] married Agnes Stotesby of Evenley, and he had, first, Thomas, second, John, third, William, fourth, George. His daughter Alice married Thomas Thorne of Northampton. Thomas predeceased his father and John succeeded, who married, first, Isabel Woodward, widow of Richard Swillington, who bore him a son, Leonard, who became a priest, and Eleanor, married to Anthony Yate. John married, second, Isabell, daughter of John Gifford, of Twyford, Bucks, by whom he had John Arden, of Cottesford (who married Catharine, daughter of John Cheyney, and whose son was John Arden), Richard, and Anthony, who married Margery, daughter and heir of Walter Coxe, of Kirtlington, through whom he acquired this property. Anthony's family consisted of John, Thomas,[517] Henry,[517] Alice, Margaret, and Mary.

There were Indentures drawn up between Henry VIII. and "John Arderne, of Cotisford" (see Cromwell's "Remembrances," 1534).

The will of John Arden, of Cottesford, Oxfordshire, gentleman,[518] November 12, 1557, furnishes us with some particulars. He wished to be buried before the cross in Cottesford beside his father's tomb. To Katharine,[519] his wife, if she claimed no jointure, an[Pg 210] annuity of £13 6s. 8d. (to be paid by brother Richard Arden, in the lordship of Willaston), 300 marks, and the house they dwell in, with half the furniture, etc. "To every of the children of Roger Arndern, of Evynley, now living, twenty shillings." To his cousin, Robert Thorne, to his cousin, Nicholas Thorne's wife, to his sister, Eleanor Yates, legacies. "To John Ardern, son of Anthony Ardern,[520] my young brother," tenements, etc.; failing whom, they were to pass to Henry Ardern, third son of his said brother. To the wives of Richard and Anthony, his brothers, four angels. To Richard, his brother, all his titles to Cottesford and Willaston, and to Anthony, his younger brother, the title of his lease of Shelliswell. Residue to his brothers, the executors; desiring Mr. Walter Wright, Doctor of the Civil Law and Archdeacon of Oxfordshire, to be overseer. Witnesses, Nicholas Thorne, Walter Prior, and John Tench. "Memor.: Laurence Pate, parson of Harwicke, had to hide the will in his coffer till Arden's death."[521]

Robert Arden, of Berwyck, writes to the Earl of Leicester about Mr. Arden, of Cotesford, March 1, 1588.

John Arden in 1595 prays some Court service. But in January, 1595-96, he has been sent to the Marshalsea on suspicion of treason, when he was about to marry. Nicholas Poutor, in October, 1601, promises to pay £100 to John Ardern, of Kirtlington, in October, 1602.

These Ardens are evidently connected with those of Evenly in Northamptonshire. Thomas Arden, of Evenly, died between 1520-26; Roger Arden, of Evenly, 1537-40; William Arden, of Norton, 1548-61.[522][Pg 211] The Inventory of the goods of John Arden, of Evenley, gent., was taken November 9, 1559. On the back of this is a settlement, dated 1576, between John and Thomas Arden, and others.[523]

It is not clear whether the Cottesford Ardens are in any way connected with a family residing at Henley-on-Thames, co. Oxon. In a will of Robert Arden he left everything he had to his wife Margery, August 8, 1493;[524] and on February 24, 1525, John Arderne, of Henley,[525] drew up a will leaving to his daughter Margery £6 13s. 4d.; and to his wife Johane all his lands and tenements, with remainder, first to his son and heir, Humphrey Arderne, after him to his son Robert, after him to his son John, after him to his son Edmund or their heirs. His wife Johane, executrix; James Hayles, overseer. Proved May 4, 1526.

Beyond the more important habitats, we find Ardens in many English counties. John Yate, the elder, of Bockland, Berks, gent., in his will, January 12, 1578,[526] mentions his son-in-law, Mr. John Arderne, and Anthony Arderne, son of his daughter Bridget, deceased. John Daubeney, of Woolmeston, gent., April 6, 1625, mentions his brother-in-law, Guy Arden, of West Chinnock.[527]

The State Papers mention this family.

The names of such of the guard under the Earl of Leicester "as have been lately preferred to your excellency in Holland, and by whom:

"John Arden, by Mr. Thomas Dudley, January 12, 1585."

"The names of the Household, Flushing, July 21, 1585, Clerk Comptroller, Thomas Arden."[528]

John Arderne, will June 5, 1605; ob. s. p. Decem[Pg 212]ber 17, 1605. Inq. at Woodstock, 5 Jac. I. Oxford and Berks. Thomas, brother and heir, æt. 60.

Thomas Arderne, ob. s. p. August 31, 9 Jac. I. Inq. at Oxford, November 12, 14 Jac. I., Oxford. Henry, brother and heir, æt. 60.

Henry Arderne, ob. May 4 ult. Inq. at Oxford. August 22, August 20, 20 Jac. I. Oxford and Somerset. Margaret, d. and h., æt. 10 years 11 months 14 days.

Of this family probably sprung the Arden mentioned in Bishop Scory's letter from Whitborn:[529] "Messrs. Mug, Blaxton, Arden and Gregory, popish priests, were driven out of Exeter, but received elsewhere, and feasted in the streets with torch-light."—August 17, 1561.

In a search for Arden and other prisoners who had escaped, Popish relics were found in the house of Francis Yeates, of Lyfford,[530] February 12, 1587. "The examination of John Arden,[531] gent., son of Laurence Arden, of Chichester, concerning an attempt made against the King of Spain, and his dealings with Dr. Hall and other fugitives. His brother Robert had been 24 years a Canon of Toledo in Spain."—December 27, 1590 (?). A prisoner named Arden is noted for years among the accounts of the Tower for the boarding of prisoners, and a Mr. Arden[532] escaped thence with Father Gerard by the assistance of John Lily and Richard Fulwood, October 8, 1597.

Thomas Arden, Canon of Worcester 1558, was deprived for Catholicism in 1562. (See Wood's "Athenæ Oxonienses"; and also "John Arden(?), late prebendary of Worcester, accused of heresy 1561.")


[465] Ormerod's "Cheshire." Ormerod's "Miscellanea Palatina," 72.

[466] Earwaker's "East Cheshire."

[467] Close Roll, 1213.

[468] Bridge's "Northampton"; Whalley's "Northampton," i. 568; Baker's "Northampton."

[469] Nichols's "Top. et Gen.," i. 47-480.

[470] Issue Roll. Michaelmas, 41 Henry III.

[471] Ibid., 9 Edward II.

[472] Ormerod's "Miscellanea Palatina," 73; Nichols's "Coll. Geneal. et Topog.," i. 47.

[473] Nichols's "Top. et Gen.," vi. 324.

[474] Charters lxxxii., 14.

[475] Earwaker's "East Cheshire," i. 324.

[476] Nichols's "Top. et Gen.," iv., p. 67.

[477] Nicolas's "Roll of Shropshire," 27 Edward II., p. 98, and Nichols's "Top. et Gen.," vi. 324. No. 967, Parliamentary Roll of Arms (Genealogist, New Series, xii.).

[478] Shaw's "Staffordshire."

[479] Inquis., December 23, 23 Edward III., 1349. See also Shaw's "Staffordshire."

[480] Ormerod's "Miscellanea Palatina."

[481] Earwaker's "East Cheshire," i. 13, 324.

[482] See Inquis. P. M., 15 Richard II., Sir Thomas of Elleford, Haselor, Kingsbromley, etc.

[483] See Will at Somerset House, 17 March. Inquis. P. M., 10 Henry IV., John of Elford, Lichfield, Kingsbromley, etc.

[484] A Cecilia de Arderne also appears as wife to a John Stanley.

[485] Ralph married Catharine, daughter of Sir W. Stanley, and had a son Thomas, from whom the Leicestershire Ardens descended.—"Cheshire Visitations."

[486] Drummond's "Noble British Families."

[487] Add. Ch., 20, 492.

[488] Ashmolean MSS., Bodleian Library. 833, f. 51-59. The family of Hyde and Arderne, 837, f. 128, and 1137, f. 135 (Arderne pedigree. Harleian MS., 2074, f. 113). Frances Marbury, née Arden, married Thomas Marbury, Esq., Marbury (Chester Funeral Certificates, 1634). Earwaker's "East Cheshire," i. 472.

[489] Earwaker's "East Cheshire," 472.

[490] Burke's "General Armory."

[491] Commissary Court of London, vol. for 1614, ff. 387 and 443.

[492] Foss's "Lives of the Judges," iv. 281. Was he son of Peter of Alvanley and Cicely de Hyde?

[493] Issues of the Exchequer.

[494] Foss's "Lives of the Judges," iv.

[495] 19 Godyn, Somerset House.

[496] See in 1510 pardon and release to Elizabeth Skreene, alias widow of Richard Harpur, alias widow of Andrew Dymock, daughter of Sir Peter Ardern (Papers, Henry VIII.).

[497] Thomas de Bibbesworth, who died 1485, held a moiety of the manor of Latton (Morant's "Essex," ii. 487).

[498] Newcourt, ii. 543. A Thomas Arden, S.T.B., Prebend of Reculverland in St. Paul's; Rector of Hadham Magna, exchanged for St. Bride's, London; Rector of Stambridge Parva 1472. One of the masters of the college of Pleshy was also called Thomas Arden, 1477, but seems to have been another of the name. William Arden was presented to Stambridge, 1474.

[499] Add MS., xxxii. 490 (u. 9).

[500] Morant's "Essex," ii. 487.

[501] Ibid., i. 148.

[502] Close Rolls, 24 and 25 Henry VI.

[503] 24 Horne. Vicar of Littlebury, February 16, 1463; Strethall, April 25, 1467; Upminster, March 2, 1483 (Newcourt, ii. 394).

[504] Could it have been John Arden, executor of Walter Green? See Will of Walter Green, Lord of the Manor of Hayes in Middlesex, December 6, 35 Henry VI., 1456, proved on February 12 by Elizabeth his wife, John Gaynsford, his son-in-law, John Arden, Robert Green, his son, and John Catesby, his son-in-law. His daughter Alice was wife of Sir John Holgrave (Nichols, i. 211).

[505] 4 Milles.

[506] 5 Milles.

[507] Katharine Collins. See previous will.

[508] See will of Sir Peter Arderne, p. 203.

[509] 9 Dogett.

[510] Moone. Commissary Wills.

[511] Byfleet Manor in Busselagh parish, Surrey, belonged to John de Arderne, 2 Edward III. (see Close Roll, 2 Edward III., m. 24), and Mitcham (Inquis. P. M., 22 Edward III.). Leigh Place, near Reigate, belonged to the Ardernes temp. Henry VI. John Arderne was Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1432. In Leigh Church is a sepulchral brass in memory of John Arderne and Elizabeth his wife and six children, without date. Also one to the memory of Richard Arderne and Johanna his wife, which Richard died November 22, 1489(?). His arms were a Fesse chequy between three crescents impaling a chevron three stags. Among gentlemen 12 Henry VI., "John Ardern of Lye," arm. (Fuller's "Worthies of Surrey," 33; in Rot. Capella. Inquis. P. M., 15 Henry VII., Richard Arden). Brayley's "Surrey," iv. 282.

[512] 8 Alenger.

[513] 54 Brudenell. See "Berkshire Wills." The Loan, 1523. The certificate of Simon Yate, Highworth, and of Westropp, Walter Arden. Pap. Henry VIII., P. R. O. In 1539 Simon and Thomas Yate each find a horse, harness, bill, sword and dagger, and Walter Arden a horse and harness with bows and arrows; Thomas Arden a harness.

[514] 53 Dale.

[515] See Harl. MS., 1095, f. 93. Harl. Public., Visit. Oxford. Sir Thomas Phillipps' "Oxfordshire Visitations."

[516] Fuller's "Worthies of England," Oxfordshire, 343, gives among the county gentry of 12 Henry VI. a William Anderne(?). Fuller thinks the Commissioners passed too many gentry for this small shire. In others it was the cream, here the thin milk.

[517] Inquis. P. M. of Thomas, 14 James I., of Henry, 20 James I.

[518] 52 Wrastley.

[519] Katharine, daughter of John Cheney of Woodaye, Esq., married to John Arderne of Cottesford, co. Oxon. See Visitation of Wiltshire, 1565 (Genealogist, New Series, xii.).

[520] He had to prove his right to Kirtlington and Jackley, Oxfordfordshire (Hil. Rec., 10 Elizabeth, Rot. 38).

[521] Anthony's will was proved in 1572, 3 Peter, Somerset House.

[522] Northampton and Rutland Wills.

[523] Inq. P. M., 1 & 2, Ph. & M.

[524] 11 Vox, Somerset House Wills.

[525] Ibid., 6 Porch.

[526] Somersetshire Wills, printed, Fourth Series.

[527] Ibid.

[528] Cotton MS., Galba, c. viii.

[529] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., xix. 24.

[530] Ibid., cxcviii. 12.

[531] Ibid., ccxxxiv. 66.

[532] "Life of Father John Gerard," by John Morris, p. cxv.

[Pg 213]



An interesting Arden whom I have not been able to connect with any relatives was John Arderne, of Newark,[533] a physician who practised with distinction at the time of the plague, 1349, and whose medical books were freely quoted by Johannes Argentein and succeeding medical writers.

I have not found his arms. There is, indeed, the seal of a John Arderne, son and heir of Sir Adam de Arderne, of Lincolnshire, 1312, in the British Museum, bearing a shield[534] "Ermine, on a bend three crosses crosslet, depending from a tree of three small branches," who might have been the same person.

Richard Arderne owned a messuage in Stanford, Lincoln, 27 Edward III., Inquis. P.M. As late as 1501 an Edmund Arden,[535] of St. Martin's, Lincoln, left a gown to his brother Thomas, a gown to Pierce Arden, and other legacies. John Gedney married Mary, daughter of John Arden, of Sibsey, co. Lincoln (Visitation, 1592). In the neighbourhood there was a noted Robert de Arderne, of co. Norfolk, 1315, whose seal bears two shields side by side in fesse; Dext. ermine a fesse chequy Arden; Sinist. on a fesse three garbs with[Pg 214] cabalistic letters, explained in Journ. Brit. Arch. Ass., xl. 317.[536]

Nothing brilliant is recorded of the Ardens of Yorkshire. Sir —— de Arderne, bearing arms Arg. a lion ramp. az. debruized by a baston gu., appears in Planché's Roll of Arms of Henry III.[537] John de Ardern, of Yorkshire, is in the list of gentlemen of 43 Edward III. He is mentioned also as witness for Haselden, of Goldyngton, 41 Edward III. Thomas Arden, of Marton, near Bridlington, 1455, and Margaret, his wife, 1458, were buried in Bridlington Priory.[538] William Ardern, of Belthorp, was among the gentlemen of 12 Henry VI.[539] John Arderne, of Kelingthorpe, secured an exemption from serving on juries, April 1, 8 Henry VIII., at Greenwich.[540] There are many documents in the Record Office concerning the sale of the lands of John Ardern, of Kelingthorpe,[541] York; and a receipt from Thomas Perpoint, draper, London, of £516 paid him by John Arden; also a release to Perpoint and John Arden by Thomas Hennage of the Cardinal's household. To this Hennage, Arden grants the wardship of his son Peter; and, if he should die, the wardship of Raffe; failing whom, the wardship of John, his third son, 1533. His wife was Margery. Sir Raff Ellerker married Jane, daughter of John Arden, Esq. (Visitation, Yorks, 1563). There is also noted the Inquis. P. M., of Peter Arden, of York, 22 Henry VIII.,[542] and William Arden's lease of Yaresthorpe, Yorks. The[Pg 215] priory of nuns at Arden, founded 1150, was suppressed in 1536.[543]

To face p. 214.

The Ardens appeared also early in Essex. At the Conqueror's Survey, Earl Eustace of Boulogne owned Horndon-on-the-Hill,[544] but the next owners were Ardernes, who built Ardern Hall. In 1122 Thomas Ardern and his son Thomas gave to the monks of Bermondsey the tithe of the corn in their lordship of Horndon. Sir Ralph de Ardern, of Horndon, was Sheriff of Essex, 39 and 40 Henry III.[545] His seal bore on a shield a fesse chequy between two roundels.[546] Sir Thomas de Arderne, the son of Ralph, used "a seal, bearing two trumpets, mouthpieces in base, between nine crosses crosslet in fesse, three and three, in pale S. Thome de Arderne."[547] John Lovetot, who died in 1295, held land of him in Horndon, by the service of one rose of yearly rent; and John de Arderne granted lands in Rochford 33 Edward I.[548] The manor of Walkefares, in Clavering, Essex, belonged to Walter Arden some time previous to 1340.[549]

The property of Timothy Arden, Somerset, was administered 1631.[550]

There was an Inquisition Post Mortem of William de Arderne, of Chelesworthy Manor, Devon, in 56 Henry III. (39). Another of Adam de Ardern, 53 Henry III. (35), owner of Colverden, Walesworth, and Berton juxta Gloucester.

In 1 Edward VI. Inquisition Post Mortem of William Arden, Wig, the administration of the goods of[Pg 216] Richard Arden, of Worcester, was granted his wife Margaret, 1636 (Admins., 1636-38, f. 116, Worcester).

William Arden, parson, of Wennington, in 1582, left small legacies to his sister-in-law, Bridget Doulton, and all the rest to his two daughters, Alice Arden, who married a Stevenson, and Margaret Arden.[551]

In the Visitation of the Cheshire Ardens, it is stated that from Thomas, son of Ralph and brother of John, the Leicestershire Ardens are descended.[552]

In the great "History of Leicestershire," edited by Nichols, there are a few notices of the name, and these chiefly of the Warwickshire Ardens, who held property in the shire. Baldwin Freville owned certain lands at Ratcliffe held by Roger de Ardern 1387.[553] Sir Robert of Park Hall was Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire 16 Henry VI.

"Thomas Ferrars holds of the heirs of Roger Arden the third part of the feod of Radcliffe, Leicestershire," 37 Henry VI., Inquis. P. M. (34).

Simon de Ardern and Hugo de Arderne were priests 1387.[554]

In Bedford, the earliest entry I have found is the record of lands of Sir Thomas de Arderne, "utlagatus pro feloniis et transgressionibus," Rokesden Manor and Bereford Cottage in Bedfordshire, 21 Edward III. (Inquis. P. M. 60).

To face p. 216.

William Ardern of Struton, in Oskellyswade, co. Beds, Clerk of the Market to the King's household, Crest a boar quarterly, or and az., granted by Barker (Stowe, 692; "Misc. Gen. et Her.," Harwood, New Series, xii. 13).[555] A William Ardern wrote to Cromwell, from Hawnes, May 27, 1535, on behalf of Mr.[Pg 217] Franklyn, cited before my Lord of Lincoln (Letters and Papers Henry VIII., Gairdner). Can these be the same? Compare pp. 171, 172, 188 and notes.

There was an Inquisition Post Mortem on the property of Isabel Arden, Ideot, Bedfordshire, 10 Elizabeth.

The manor of Lyesnes, in Kent, was released to Thomas Ardern in 37 Henry VIII.[556] There are many notices of the Kent Ardens in Hasted's "History of Kent." But perhaps public attention was drawn most to the member of the family who was murdered.[557] The story is closely followed in the "Tragedy of Arden of Feversham," by some attributed to Shakespeare, though with little probability.

Burke[558] gives many other branches; as, for instance, Arden of Sunbury Park, Middlesex, and Rickmansworth Park, Herts; arms: Ermine, two barrulets compony or and azure, in chief three boars' heads erased of the last, armed of the second, langued gu.

Ardens of East Burnham, Bucks, same arms. Arden of Blackden Hall, co. Chester, Ermine, a fesse chequy or and az.; same crest as the Park Hall arms, but with different motto.

Various Ardens drifted to London, but there seems to have been one business family settled there from early times. Thomas of Plumstede left rents and a cellar, called Drynkwater Taverne, in the parish of St. Magnus, to John Arderne, fishmonger, September 26, 1361.[559] John Hanhampsted left the reversion of tenements held for life by John Arderne, Esquire, in the parish of St. Mary Aldermanchurch, May 4, 1424.[560] An[Pg 218] administration of goods of John Arderne, of St. Sepulchre's, was granted February 15, 1508.[561]

In May, 1534, a pardon was granted John Appowell for abetting John Done, a thief, who stole a gown and a piece of cloth belonging to Thomas Ardrenne from the house of Thomas Chief, May, 1534.[562]

Thomas Arden, September 29, 1549, citizen and clothworker, left all his goods to Agnes, his wife; will proved January 27, 1549.[563]

Robert Arden, of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, vintner, and Agnes Mather of the same, were licensed to be married at any church in the jurisdiction of Westminster, November 27, 1568.[564]

A Robert Arden was assistant to the Clerk of the Accatory, 1577.[565]

Several deliveries to him of Government victuals are noted in State Papers, 1594-97.

I do not know whether or not he is the Robert Arden who writes a letter to the Government about the composition of ling and cod from the Iceland fisheries, landed in Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, September 14, 1593, a letter interesting as showing the relative trade of the towns at that date.[566]

At St. Saviour's, Southwark, Robert Stillard and Bridget Arden were married August 21, 1618.[567]

Among marriage licenses[568] are those of Richard Bromfield and Jane Arden, February 14, 1564; John Arden and Dorothy Hazard, of the city of Westminster, June 16, 1639;[569] Hugh Phillips, gent., of St. Margaret's,[Pg 219] Westminster, and Elizabeth Arden, of same, November 17, 1641;[570] Henry Arden, of Chelmsford, Essex, gent., widower, and Mary Boosie, of Writtle, spinster, at St. Magnus the Martyr, London, February 22, 1664;[571] Thomas Arden, of the city of Westminster, Esq., to Theodosia Long, October 10, 1664; William Ardern, junior, gent., Bach., of St. Martin's, Ludgate, and Mrs. Margaret Smith, of Great Wigborough, Essex, widow, to be married there, March 21, 1665-66;[572] John Arden, of St. James's, Westminster, widower, aged about fifty, and Mrs. Elizabeth Wright, spinster, twenty-two, January 12, 1687-88.

Gabriel Josselyn, gent., of St. Michael, Bassinghall,[573] and Elizabeth, daughter of —— Arden of same, deceased, December 1, 1587.

John Brown, of St. Olave's, Hart Street, London, haberdasher, and Anne Arden, of St. Andrew's,[574] Holborn, widow of John Ardern, Fletcher, February 10, 1595.

The will of Robert Arden, gent., Deptford, was proved 1579.[575]

An Alexander Arderne, of Deptford, wished to be buried in the churchyard beside the hawthorn-tree; he had a wife, Elizabeth, a brother-in-law, William Inson, and no children, February 26, 1639.[576] Administration of the goods of James Arden, London, was granted his wife Anne,[577] 1639. Thomas le Barber, from Peter de Arderne, held tenements in the parish of St. Clements Danes.[578] Alicia Arderne, who was wife of Richard Hampton, left tenements in the parish of St. Mary in the Strand and in the parish of St. Clement's Danes, 1466.[Pg 220]

It seems wiser to group a set of records not generally accessible to students, which, though preserved in London, concern the Ardens of many branches—I mean a set of deeds, charters, and conveyances preserved among the Guildhall Records of London:

"Johanna Arden, wife of Roger de Arden, tailor, 1295. Roll 24.
"Henry de Arderne, A.D. 1305. Roll 34 (35).
"Cecilia, wife of Henry de Arderne, 1307. Roll 36 (26).
"Agnes, wife of William de Arderne, 1307....
"Henry, son of William de Arderne....
"John, son of William de Arderne, 1337 and 1345.
"Hugh de Arderne, 1321. Roll 50 (5); A.D. 1342. Roll 70 (2).
"Alice, wife of Hugh de Arderne ... Johanna, wife of ...
"Giles de Arderne, 1351. Roll 80 (29).
"John Arden, called Mordon, Stockfishmonger, 1363. Roll 91 (87) (93); also 1371, 1373, 1374, 1377.
"Margaret, wife of John, called Mordon....
"Isabella, wife of Richard Arden, and widow of John Melbourne, co. Surrey, 1392. Roll 121 (143).
"Alice, wife of Thomas de Arden, Brewer, 1371. Roll 99 (83).
"... 1372. Roll 100 (54) (55), 1373, 1376; 104 (145).
"Alice, widow of Richard de Arderne, 1403. Roll 131 (61).
"John Arden, Esq., 1413. Roll 141 (25-36); 1421 (Roll 149).
"... 1426. Roll 154 (50); 1457, Roll 185 (32).
[Pg 221]"Margaret, wife of John Arden, gent., 1413 and 1421; same Rolls.
"Peter Ardern, chief Baron of the Exchequer, 1459. Roll 188 (37).
"Thomas Arden, clerk, 1466. Roll 196 (17).
"John Arden, of Creechurch, merchant tailor, 1625. Roll 302 (15).
"Francis Arden, son of Richard, Cit. and Loriner, of London, 1646, Apprentice."

The Royalist Composition Papers,[579] 1644-57, mention as "Delinquents," "Mr. Arden," "John," "Robert" is mentioned twenty-three times, "Thomas," "Ann," "Elizabeth," "Godetha," "Mary," "Mrs. Arden," "John and Mary Arderne." And many other allusions could be added to the list of references to the various members of this distinguished family.

Colonial Ardens.

In speaking of the Ardens of Victoria, Burke[580] disclaims their right to arms, but nevertheless derives them from Humphrey Arden. He says: "The first recorded ancestor, Humphrey Arden, of Longcroft, co. Stafford, died in 1705, and so far from being able to show descent from Siward, they are unable even to prove connection with the extinct family of Arden of Park Hall."

Here Burke is clearly in the wrong. If they can prove their descent from Humphrey of Longcroft, they can through him claim descent from the Ardens of Park Hall and from Siward, as can be seen from all pedigrees.


[533] Ashmolean MS., 829, iii., and 1434, i.; also Sententiæ, 1437, Art. xv., alluded to in Gerard's "Herbal," 657.

[534] Harl. Chart., 45, D. 9.

[535] 23 Moone, proved May 26, 1501.

[536] "Misc. Gen. et Her.," N. S., iv. 21; "Yorksh. Archæo. Journ.," xi. 12.

[537] Burton's "Monasticon Eboracense," p. 250.

[538] Fuller's "Worthies of Yorkshire."

[539] Letters and Papers Henry VIII., 1524, et seq., Gairdner.

[540] Pat. 9 Henry VIII., p. 1, m. 14.

[541] Add. Chart. 8069. See also Blomfield's "Hist. of Norfolk," viii. 533.

[542] Peter Arden, son and heir of John, ob. May 20, 21 Henry VIII.; Inq. at Poklyngton, York. Ralph Arden, brother and heir of Peter, then aged eighteen.

[543] Burton's "Monasticon Eboracense," p. 90.

[544] Morant's "History of Essex," i. 216.

[545] Fuller's "Worthies of Essex," 341.

[546] Harl. Charters, 45, D. 8, Brit. Mus. See also p. 193.

[547] Add Chart., 19,967.

[548] Inquis. Post. Mort., 33 Edward I., 117.

[549] Morant's "Essex," i. 148. John Arderne was Vicar of Harwich Chapel, March 23, 1388. Will Arderne, Vicar of Tolleshunt Darcy, April 4, 1676.

[550] Administrations, Somerset, f. 4, 1631-33.

[551] Consistory Court, f. 162, Sperin, and 291, Bullock.

[552] Visitation of Cheshire.

[553] "History of Leicester," iv. 939.

[554] Ibid., 19.

[555] This William Arden left a son, Thomas, who had no heirs ("Grants and Certificates of Arms," Genealogist, New Series, xiii.).

[556] Originalia et Memoranda on the Lord Treasurer's side of the Exchequer.

[557] "Receyved of Mr. Arden for a payer of wheels and the hedd of an old pageant, 2s. 8d. 1504." "Payd. For the charges of brenning Mrs. Arden, and the execution of George Bradshaw, 43s."—Chamberlain's Accounts, City of Canterbury, 1550-1.

[558] Burke's "General Armory."

[559] Wills of the Court of Hustings, ii., p. 63.

[560] Ibid.

[561] Commissary Court Admins., 1508.

[562] Papers of Henry VIII., P.R.O.

[563] 31a Clyffe, Commissary Court Wills.

[564] Chester's "Marriage Licenses of Bishop of London."

[565] State Papers, Dom. Ser., Eliz., cxx. 34.

[566] Brit. Mus., Add. MS., 34,729.

[567] Registers of St. Saviour's, Southwark.

[568] "Marriage Licenses of Dean of Westminster," Harl. Publ.

[569] Ibid.

[570] "Marriage Licenses of Dean of Westminster," Harl. Pub.

[571] Ibid.

[572] Ibid.

[573] Chester's "Marriage Licenses."

[574] Ibid.

[575] 35 Bakou.

[576] 5 Stevenson, Somerset House.

[577] Administrations, 1639, f. 36, Somerset House.

[578] Inquis. P.M., 1 Edward III. (12).

[579] See Index Library (12).

[580] Burke's "Colonial Gentry," Genealogist, New Series, xiii.

[Pg 222]


Page 2.—Mary, Countess of Southampton, was the mother of Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton, to whom he dedicated "Venus and Adonis" in 1593, and "The Rape of Lucrece" in 1594. In both of these poems, probably corrected by himself, his name is spelt Shakespeare. In 1594 the Countess married Sir Thomas Henneage, the Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, and that same year Shakespeare was invited to act at Court. Sir Thomas died the following year, after a lingering illness, and his widow had to superintend the making up of his official books, and check the bills. And thus it happened that it was she who introduced the first official record of Shakespeare's name, and probably spelt it correctly, according to the contemporary usage.

Page 5.—Mr. Nanson, the town clerk of Carlisle, has in his possession the deed which concerns the Shakesperes of Penrith, 21 Richard II.

Page 22.—Shakespeare's shield bore an ordinary canting pattern, or one that was based upon the supposed meaning of the name. But the use of the falcon in the crest requires explanation. French says: "The falcon was one of the badges of Edward IV., father of Henry VII.'s Queen Elizabeth. No person would venture to adopt this without special favour" ("Shakespeareana Genealogica," p. 523). There is something keenly suggestive of expected objections in the motto, "Non sanz droict." Some day, perhaps, it may be discovered why this crest and motto were assumed.

Page 27.—Aston Cantlow, with the castle of Abergavenny, was settled on Sir William de Beauchamp, second son of Thomas, Earl of Warwick, 12 Henry IV. It descended to his son, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, whose daughter Elizabeth married Sir Edmund Neville, and brought it to him (Dugdale's "Warwickshire").

Page 27.—Another opinion of the derivation of Thomas Arden has been discussed. It has been supposed possible that he might have been descended from Thomas Arden of Leicestershire, son of Ralph Arden of Alvanley, by his wife Catharine, daughter of Sir William Stanley, of Hooton. This would account for the grant of the Cheshire arms, and would not thrust him out of the Arden pedigree; but the theory is not satisfactory on other grounds. One main objection is that there was no known Thomas of suitable date in that family. But in the Park Hall family there was a Thomas known to be alive during the period between 1502 and 1526, who has never been traced, if he did not go to Aston Cantlow.[Pg 223] Members of the Arden family accept him as the missing brother of Sir John, and believe that it was through a careless mistake of the heralds that the fesse chequy was struck out, and that the Shakespeares resented the substitution of another in place of the arms to which they had a right, and never accepted the grant. During the discussion John Shakespeare died.

Page 27.—The pedigrees of those associated with the Ardens are worth noting, and their wills might suggest connections.

Page 32.—It would be interesting to find and group the Warwickshire Ardens who bore the three cross-crosslets and the chief or, for it has never been done.

Page 35.—Thomas Arden was presented for owing suit of Court in 1526, 1529, 1531. (See Portfolio 207, Court Rolls, No. 88.)

Page 36.—Thomas and Robert Arden's purchase at Snitterfield had been witnessed by John Wagstaff,[581] Richard Rushby, of Snitterfield, Richard Atkins, of Wilmecote, John Alcokkes, of Newenham. The overseers of Robert Arden's will were Adam Palmer,[582] of Wilmecote, Hugh Porter,[583] of Snitterfield, and John Skerlett, of Wilmecote; the witnesses, Sir William Bouton Curett, Adam Palmer, John Scarlet, Thomas Jenkes, William Pitt. Adam Palmer was overseer of Mrs. Agnes Arden's will, in conjunction with George Gibbes, who had, later, the lease of Asbies from the Shakespeares at the time of its mortgage to Lambert.

Page 45.—A Thomas Mayo had a seat in the Church of St. Nicholas, Warwick, 1595; an Elizabeth Mayo was buried there in 1596; and Henry Maio in 1601. (See Churchwarden's Accounts of St. Nicholas, Warwick, edited by Mr. Richard Savage.) The Webbes of Snitterfield appear among the gentry of the country in 1580 (State Papers, Domestic Series, Eliz., c. xxxvii. 68).

Page 51.—It is difficult to imagine John Shakespeare making up the bills for the other Chamberlains, or conducting so many financial responsibilities, if he was unable to read and write, as well as reckon well—as Halliwell-Phillipps says he was.

Page 52.—The goods of Richard Shakespeare were prised at £35 17s., and the bond for their just administration entered into by John Shakespeare and Thomas Nicols, of £100, seems disproportionably large, unless there were some unusually heavy responsibilities attached. John Shakespeare may very well have been termed a farmer if he had been brought up as one, and if he had been superintending his father's farm at the time of his death. In the description of a neighbouring farm, Ingon is mentioned as "now or late in the occupation of John Shaxspere or his assignes." It is quite possible that he was the responsible farmer, and that[Pg 224] Henry his brother was his "assigne." Ingon, though in the parish of Hampton-on-Avon, was very near Snitterfield.

Page 56.—Henry Shakespeare probably quarrelled with Mr. Cornwall, the second husband of Margaret Arden, about the resettlement of Snitterfield farm, and went to reside at Ingon, though taken in his brother's name. The Court Rolls show that he was "contumaceous" in not paying tithes, May 22, 1582, and was "excommunicated." "Of Henry Shaxper, for not labouring with teems for the amending of the Queen's Highway, 2/6." "Of Henry Shaxper for having a dich between Redd Hill and Burmans in decay for want of repair, Oct. 22nd, 1596." Probably the man was ill and dying then. He was buried two months later.

Page 58.—The petition of the burgesses of Stratford-on-Avon for relief of burdens shows that the borough had fallen into decay through the decline in the wool trade. From this general depression John Shakespeare probably suffered.

Page 61.—"The Book of John Fisher of Warwick" shows that the master of the Grammar School there had a salary of £10 a year. Seeing that the master of Stratford-on-Avon Grammar School had £20 a year, it is probable that the burgesses had a better selection of scholars as candidates.

Page 62.—It is too often forgotten that Anne Hathaway lost her father in the summer of 1582. It is probable that the betrothal would therefore be a quiet one. It is also more than likely that she went to reside with a friend or relative after her father's death, and that this caused the confusion in the address in the marriage bond. The bridegroom in general only required one guarantee for a bond of the kind; but Shakespeare being under age, the one became his representative, and the other guarantor for that representative.

Page 67.—"The Comedy of Errors" was doubtless one of the plays performed before the Queen at Christmas, 1594, seeing that it was ready to be put upon the boards at the Gray's Inn Revels on the spur of the moment. I have discussed this at full in my paper, "The Earliest Official Record of Shakespeare's Name," Berlin (a copy at the British Museum); also in a long letter to the Times, January, 1895.

Page 70.—James Burbage bought the part of a house in Blackfriars from Sir William More, February 4, 1596, which he afterwards converted into a theatre. Regarding the quarrel with Allen and "the Theatre" lease, see the depositions in the case of Burbage v. Allen taken at Kelvedon, in Essex, August, 1600, reproduced in Halliwell-Phillips's "Outlines," i. 350. Further illustration of the earning proportions of players and proprietors may be learned from the article by Mr. James Greenstreet, "The Whitefriars Theatre at the Time of Shakespeare" (The New Shakespearean Society's Transactions, 1888).

Page 77.—In John Combe's will there is mentioned a field in Ingon Lane, called Parson's Close, or Shakespeare's Close. This may have been one of the poet's minor purchases, or merely a name come down from Henry's time.[Pg 225]

Page 78.—A petition was sent up to the Lord Chief Justice from the Corporation of Stratford-on-Avon, to restrain William Combe, Esq., son and heir of John Combe, March 27, 1616. He overthrew the Aldermen who came peaceably to hinder his digging, whereof great tumult arose. In spite of orders to the contrary, he continued his enclosures, and another petition was addressed to the Privy Council, describing "Mr. Combe of so unbridled a disposition," etc. On February 14, 1618, a reply came signed, "Francis Verulam," "Pembroke," "Naunton," "Fulke Greville" (Wheler Collection, Stratford-on-Avon).

Page 82.—From the town clerk's account of what took place at the Halls during Shakespeare's lifetime, we are sure that his position must have been anomalous.

"The Halle, 17 Dec., 45 Eliz. Plays. At this Halle yt ys ordered that there shalbe no plays or enterludes played in the Chamber, the Guild Halle, nor in any parte of the House or Courte, from hensforward, upon payne that whosoever of the Baylif, Aldermen, and burgisses of this boroughe shall give leave or licence thereunto shall forfeit for everie offence 10s.

"7 Feb., 1611-12, 45 Eliz."

"... The inconvenience of plaies being verie seriouslie considered of, with their unlawfulness, and how contrarie the sufferance of them is against the orders heretofore made, and against the examples of other well-governed cities and burrowes the Compaine here are contented, and they conclude that the penaltie of 10s. imposed in Mr. Baker's year, for breaking of the order shall from henceforth be £10 upon breakers of that order, and this to holde until the next common council, and from henceforth for ever, excepted that be then finally revoked and made void." This was the period of Shakespeare's retirement to Stratford-on-Avon.

Page 84.—It may be noted as a coincidence that the plays were published in folio the year of Mrs. Shakespeare's death. Some change among the leases, or the termination of the connection with his family through the death of his widow, may have suggested this.

Page 93.—A Robert Hall rented the old School House in Stratford-on-Avon, and paved the Guild Hall, 1568. A Richard Hall was churchwarden of St. Nicholas, Warwick, in 1552, who died in 1558, and among the churchwarden's accounts are notices of Richard Hall the younger, Nicholas Hall, John, Alice, Simon and "Eme Hall." "Received of Ric. Hawle the younger for the benevolence that Richard Hawle gave unto the poor out of his lands in Church Street, World without end," 1566-67. Richard Hall was churchwarden in 1600 and in 1606 (Churchwarden's Accounts, St. Nicholas, Warwick, Mr. Richard Savage).

Page 99.—Michael Drayton frequently visited Sir Henry Rainsford at the Manor House, Clifford Chambers. This gentleman had married Anne Goodyere of Polesworth, whose parents were[Pg 226] Drayton's patrons. She was the "Idea" of his sonnets. (See introduction to "Michael Drayton," by Oliver Elton, 1895.)

Page 103.—Susanna Hall's signature appears on the settlements of 1639, and on that of 1647, in which her daughter joined.

Page 104.—"15th Dec., 1648. Tithes: Mrs. Elizabeth Nashe for Shottery Corne Tithes, being of the yearly value of one hundred pounds, £5." "28th June, 1650. Mrs. Elizabeth Barnard for Shotterie Corn tythes of the yearly value of one hundred and twentie pounds, £6." (Wheler's Notes, Stratford-on-Avon.)

Page 107.—There are many Bagleys in the parish registers of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and also Hathaways. It may be they were connections.

Page 110.—Halliwell-Phillipps states that in the "Coram Rege Roll of 1597, Gilbert Shakespeare is named as one of those standing bail for a clockmaker of Stratford"; and adds that he is described as "Haberdasher of St. Bridget's Parish, London." Through the kind permission of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, I have been allowed to go through their books at leisure, and find that there is no trace of a Shakespeare anywhere, and in the sixteenth century, no trace even of a Gilbert, except "Gilbert Shepherd," who took up his freedom in 1579. Neither is there any trace of him in the registers of St. Bridget's or St. Bride's, nor in the Subsidy Rolls, but in both places appear Gilbert Shepherd. I am, therefore, forced to the conclusion that Halliwell-Phillipps misread "Shepherd" as "Shakespeare." See my article in the Athenæum, Dec. 22, 1900, "John Shakespeare, of Ingon, and Gilbert of St. Bride's."

Page 112.—William Hart, the hatter, died a week before his brother-in-law, probably of the same epidemic. Joan Hart, his widow, survived till November 4, 1646. Their eldest son William was an actor. (See Royal Warrant, May 17, 1636; Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 129.) In William Hewitt's "Visits to Remarkable Places," 1839, he mentions Stratford and a boy whom he had noticed from his likeness to the poet. He turned out to be a descendant of his sister Joan Hart, and was called William Shakespeare Smith (Notes and Queries, 5th Series, VIII. 475). Probably the same referred to on page 109.

Page 116.—Thomas Shakespeare seemed to have been somewhat like Henry in character. He was entered on the Court Roll at a rental of £4 in 1563. "At the Court 31st March, 23 Eliz., he incurred a penalty of 4d. for not having and exercising bows; for not wearing cappes 4d.; for leaving his swine unringed in the fields 12d." He appears also as a juror several times in court.

Page 121.—Mr. Rylands' "Records of Rowington" supply many details, as, for instance:

"In 1576, a lease by feoffees, among whom was Thomas Shakespeare, was granted Richard Shakespeare of Rowington, weaver of the 'Tyinges.'"

In the same year a lease of "the Harveys" was granted to "Elenor Shakespeare, widow, of Rowington," 20 Feb., 18 Eliz.[Pg 227]

The customary rent of Rowington, 1605, mentions "Thomas Shakespeare, one close, 2/; one tofte and 16 acres, 13/4; one messuage, etc., 10/4."

"George Shakespeare, one cottage and 2 acres, 2/."

"Richard Shakespere, one messuage, half a yd land (14 acres), 14/."

"John Shakespeare, one cottage and one quarter yd land (9 acres), 6/8."

The Court Rolls, 1633, give:

"Imprimis of Jane Shaxper for default of sute of court fined, 4d."

"Thomas Shaxper, vitler, for breaking assize of ale and beer, 4d."

"1634, Richard Shaxper, for encroaching on common, 2d."

"1647, fine of admittance to land, Thomas Shaxper, 6/8."

"Exchequer lay subsidies," Thomas in 1595, 1598, 1599, "assessed on goods valued £4,8/."

"Lay subsidies 1668," Thomas, "assessed on land, 30/ and 4/."

In 1674 John Shakespeare, in the name of the other tenants of Rowington, was empowered to bring an action against enclosures.

A grant of a fee of 20/ a year by will of Humphrey Shakespeare, 1794, was payable out of premises in Kingswood.

This cottage was the subject of a lawsuit in which Jane Lord and John Slye v. Humphrey Shakespeare and one Culcup were at variance. Humphrey had a 200 years' lease, and left it to the poor of the parish.

Shakespeares from the Register of Rowington.

"1616, Mar. 16. Baptisms: Thomas Shaxspere, son of William Shaxspire."

"1619, Ap. 28. William Shakespeare, son of John Shakespeare."

"Aug. 13. William Shakespeare, son of Thomas Shakespeare."

"1621, Aug. 18. Thomas Shaxper, son of Thomas Shaxper."

"Nov. 4. Elizabeth, dau. of John Shaxper."

"1622, William Shaxpere was Churchwarden."

"1624, April 26. Clement Shaxpire, son of John Shaxpire, bapt."

"July 23. John Sheldon and Jone Shaxspear married."

"1630, Ap. 4. Baptisms: Elizabeth Shaxspeare, d. of Thomas Shaxspire."

"1633, Ap. 20. Thomas Shaxspeare, son of Thomas Shaxspeare."

"1634, Dec. 30. Thomas Shakspeare, son of John Shaxspeare."

"1635, May 5. Burial: John Shakespear buried."

"1637. Baptisms: July 18, Mary, dau. of Thomas and Elizabeth Shakesper."

"1638, Aug. 17. Burial: Christopher Shakspeare buried."

"1639, Mar. 8. Baptism: John, son of John Shakespeare and Mary bapt.

"William Shaxspere Churchwarden."

"1640, Aug. 3. Burials: Anne, d. of Thomas Shakespeare, buried."

"1641, April 10. Thomas Shakespear, son of Thomas Shakespear and Margaret, bur."[Pg 228]

"Oct. 30. Mary, daughter of Thomas Shakespear, buried."

"1642, Feb. 14. Thomas, son of John Shakespeare, buried."

"1643, June 14. Clement, son of John Shakespeare, buried."

"1645, Sept. 18. Anne Shakespeare, widowe, buried."

"1646, July 12. William Shakespeare buried."

"July 24. The wife of William Shakespeare buried."

"Feb. 20. William Shakespeare, senior, buried."

"Mar. 8. Thomas Shakespeare buried."

"1647, Sep. 20. Mary, dau. of William Shakespeare, junior, and Elizabeth his wife, buried."

"Oct. 1. Elizabeth, d. of John Shakespear, buried."

"Nov. 4. Elizabeth, dau. of William Shakespeare, jun., and Margaret his wife."

"1649, Oct. 5. William Shakspeare, junior, buried."

"1650, Dec. 25. John Shakespeare, junior, buried."

"1651, Mar. 3. Widow Shakspeare buried."

[A gap in the registers.]

"1662, Feb. 17. John, sonne of John Shakspeare of Kingswood, bapt."

"1663, Mar. 29. Thomas, son of John Shakspeare of ye hill, bapt."

"1664, Feb. 8. Josiah, sonne of John Shakespeare of ye hill, bap. Feb. 8, buried Feb. 17."

"1665, Ap. 3. Richard, son of John Shakespeare of Kingswood, bapt."

"1665, Dec. 3. Mary, dau. of John Shakespeare, bapt."

"1666, Mar. 18. John Shakspeare of Kingswood brook buried."

"1667, Aug. 6. Old William Shakespeare of Brookfurlong buried."

"Nov. 23. Margaret Shakespeare of Whitehall, widdow, buried. John Shakesper Churchwarden."

"1668, June 1. Samuel, son of John Shakespeare and Rebecca, his wife, bapt., buried June 6."

"June 28. Rebecca, wife of John Shakespeare of the Hill, buried."

"1669, Nov. 20. Old Thomas Shakespeare of Whitley Elme, buried."

"1670, Sep. 29. Widdow Shakespeare of ye Hill buried."

"Oct. 20. Thomas Shakespear the weaver was buried."

"1672, Ap. 9. Ann, dau. of Mr. Shakespeare of ye Hill, bapt."

"1676, Mar. 18. (Mary) the wife of Thomas Shakespeare, of Lowston End, buried."

"1677, April 21. Widdow Shakespeare of Whitley Elme, buried."

"1679, July 31. William Shakespeare and Alice Jennings married."

"1679-80, Jan. 27. Thomas Shakespeare of Lapworth buried."

"1680, Nov. 9. Alice, wife of William Shakespeare, buried."

"1682, Oct. 19. William, son of William Shakespeare, of Lowston ford, bapt., and buried Dec. 27."

"1683, Ap. 24. Thomas Shakespeare and Anne Biddle married."

"1686, June 21. William Shakespeare of Brookfurlong buried."

"Dec. 12. John, son of Thomas Shakespeare, bapt."[Pg 229]

"Feb. 19. Thomas Shakespeare of Rowington buried."

"1687, Sep. 15. William, son of John Shakespeare, jun., bapt."

"1688, Dec. 10. Thomas Shakespeare buried."

"1693, Nov. 14. John, son of Thomas Shakespeare of Lapworth, buried."

"1695, Aug. 10. William Shakespeare, senior, buried."

"1696, Nov. 11. Thomas, son of William Shakespere, bapt."

"1697, May 12. Henry Shakespeare of London buried."

"1707, July 1. Thomas Shakespear buried."

"1710, July 13. John Shakespeare, senior, buried."

"1721-2, Jan. 30. (By licence) Francis Chernocke, of Killingworth, co. Warr., gent., about 24, and Mary Shakespeare, of Rowington, about 24, maiden, his father consenting, her parents dead. He sealed ... within ... on a bend ... three crosses crosslet[584] in sinister ... chief a mullet for difference" (see Worcester Marriage Licenses).

From overseers' books: "Buried in Woolen":

"1695, Aug. 10. William Shakespere, senior."

"1697, May 12. Henry Shakespere of London."

"1707, March 24. Edward Shakespeare."

"1710, July 13. John Shakespeare, senior."

"1716, Dec. 4. William Shakespere, Blacksmith."

Page 131.—In "The Book of John Fisher, Bailiff of Warwick in 1580," edited by Mr. Thomas Kemp, deputy-Mayor of Warwick, are several notices of Shakespeare. In the first page he is mentioned, and later on we find that he lived in the Market-Place Ward, and was assessed 1d. weekly for relief of the poor.

A "Thomas Shakesper" lived at the same time in West Street Ward, and was assessed the same amount. These may be the Thomas and John, sons of Thomas Shakespeare, shoemaker, of Warwick, who made his will in 1557. There is also a casual allusion to Shakespeare the turner, of Rowington; and in 1580-81 John Fisher notes: "I paid to —— Shakesper, servant to Mr. Humphrey Catheryns, for fees for the discharge of 39/7-1/2 charged upon the Church of St. Maryes, in Mr. Boughton's account for subsidy supposed to be due in the 5th yere of Queen Elizabeth, 9/-."

"Thomas Shakespeare of Warwick's son John was apprenticed to William Jaggard the Stationer of London 1609" (Rylands's "Records of Rowington").

"John, son of Thomas Shakespeare of Coventry, co. Warwick, pleb. p.p. St. John's Coll., matric. 18th Oct., 1662, aged 18; B.A. from St. Mary Hall 1666 (subscribes serv.)"—(Oxford Alumni and graduates). "Vicar of Anstrey, co. Warwick, 1670" (Foster's "Index Eccles.").

Page 134.—The registers of All Saints', Oxford, date from 1549; St. Michael's, 1559; St. Peter's-in-the-East, 1563; St. Martin's[Pg 230] Carfax, 1569; St. Giles', 1576; St. Peter-le-Bailey, 1585; St. Mary's, 1599; St. John Baptist's, 1616.

Page 134.—"Thomas Shakespeare and Jane Toupe married ye 2nd Maie, 1625." (Register of Mere. Notes and Queries, 9th Series, iii. 109.) The county not named. It may be either Cheshire, Wiltshire or Lincolnshire.

Page 141.—One, at least, of the Irish Shakespeares was a suspicious character. "William Shakespeyre, formerly of Kilmaynham Hibernia, laborer, arrested for suspected felony 6 Ed. VI." ("Chester in the Plantagenet and Tudor Reigns," Canon Rupert Morris; also Notes and Queries, 8th Series, x. 192).

Page 147.—I find that "Gutheridge" was a Stratford-on-Avon name. Mr. Gutheridge was a dealer in leather there (see will of Joyce Hobday, 1602); and John Milburn was a Rowington man (see the Records of Rowington)—which two facts much increase the likelihood of John, of St. Clement's Danes, being at least a Warwickshire man, if not the Snitterfield one.

Page 151.—"Edward Shakespear, Clare, A.B. 1728; A.M. 1736" ("Cantabrigensis Graduati").

"Joh. Jos. Art. Shakespear, Trin., A.B. 1844; A.M. 1848" ("Cantabrigensis Graduati").

Page 162.—The first Earl of Warwick, Arthgal, was said to have slain a bear with a blow from a young tree which he had pulled up, and afterwards he used as a badge "the bear and the ragged staff"—a device borne by succeeding earls.

Page 166.—Osbert de Ardern granted an estate near Tamworth to Walter de Somerville, 2 Henry II. (Shaw's "Staffordshire," i. 118).

Page 168.—Among the Rowington charters is (No. 11) a grant by Robert de Arderne, son and heir of Thomas le Hayward, of Shrewley, 2 Edward III. No. 12 is a "Grant from Nicholas Wylemyn de Shrewely to his son John of his Shrewley tenements and lands, which Thomas de Arderne formerly held of John, Lord of Shrewley, 2 Edward III." Mr. Rylands thinks these refer to the same people and property.

The Nottingham Visitation (under Blondeston) refers to the pedigree. Sir Thomas Arden, 9 Edward II., married Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Swinford; their son was Roger Arden, whose wife was unknown, but his daughter and heir Beatrix married William Chamber.

Page 171.—William may have been the member of the Guild of Knowle for whose sake masses were said in 1512. "Alicia" may have been his wife, or his sister Alice before she married "Buklond." But I confess I am puzzled with this William.

Page 171.—The tombs of Walter and Eleanor are well preserved in Erdington's Chantry of the Church of St. Peter and Paul, at Aston, near Birmingham. He died August 5, 1502.

Page 173.—The Shropshire Visitation gives: "William de Chettleton m. Katharine, d. of Sir John Ardern; Elizabeth, d. of Reginald Corbet of Stoke, Justice of the Royal Pleas, m. Robert[Pg 231] Arden of Park Hall." "Katharine Mucklow" also is mentioned; and "William Wall m. Elizabeth, d. of Thomas Ardren, of Billingsly, in co. Salop."

Page 173.—Sir John Arden's will is long and interesting. It directs that the furniture of the King's chamber should be kept as heirlooms, also "the silver cup." "It is said that it was Henry VII. who honoured him by staying in his house, and that he then granted Sir John a Cap of Maintenance, purpure turned up crimson, upon which the wild boar is represented instead of on a wreath as before" (Arden MSS.).

Page 175.—The indenture of a lease by Thomas Arderne, Esq., and Mary his wife, to William Wilmer, of Longly, co. Warwick, husbandman, of a messuage, lands, etc., in Wilmer, late in the tenure of Robert Wilmer, deceased, was drawn up July 15, 23 Henry VIII., 1541. The lease was for thirty years, the yearly rent 10s. 3d., with a heriot of the best beast, the lessee to "furnish a sufficient horse for a harnesseman to ryde upon, when the King shall call upon the said Thomas Arderne for harnessyng of men." This is Thomas of Park Hall (Wheler Collection, Stratford-on-Avon).

Page 178.—The tomb of Sir Edward Devereux (died 1622), and of his wife, Katharine Arden (died 1627), are preserved in the church of Aston, near Birmingham, beside those of her ancestors, Walter and Eleanor.

Page 181.—In the "Visitation of Warwickshire," published by the Harleian Society, there are many evident slips in proper names, which must be checked from other sources. It makes one extraordinary statement: "The younger house of the Ardens were Lords of Upton in Warwickshire, and grew to be surnamed Uptons. The heire generall of them was married to one Fenne of Banburie, who, removing his dwelling to Hungerford in Wiltshire, was there called by the name of Moeles, of whom the Moeles, ancestors to the Lord Hungerford, seem to be descended." It gives the coat of arms as, Chequy or and azure, a chevron ermine.

Stow MS. 692 contains the arms of the gentry and the grants by Sir Christopher Barker, 1536-49. Among these are: "Ardern goules, a cheff engrayled and three cross crosslets fitchée in gold. Ardern silver, a fesse chequy, gold and azur between three cressards gules. Arderne, Sir Robert, Ermine a fesse or and azur, Warwickshire." Among the grants is one to William Arderne, of Struton, Oskellyswade, Bedford, Clerk of the Market to the King's most honourable household. It omits the shield and only gives, "Crest a boar quarterly, gold and silver and Fleurs de luce, goules." As the Park Hall Ardens had a boar on their crest, he may have claimed connection.

In Dugdale's account of Clodshalle's Chantry, near Birmingham, he says it was founded by Walter de Clodshalle of Saltley, 4 Edward III. The patronage remained with the Clodshalles until Robert Arden's marriage to Elizabeth Clodshalle. Robert Arden, arm., was patron in 1441, 1449, 1455; Walter Ardern, arm., in 1468, 1469, 1489; John Ardern de Lee Lodge, presented in[Pg 232] 1510; and Nicholas Cotterell, of Yardley, co. Wig., through concession of Thomas Ardern, 1537.

According to Dugdale, Upton was possessed by the Ardens in Henry II., one Haraldus filius Gunfridi having made sale to Godfrey de Arden, a monk of Coventry, and son to Siward de Arden, of certain lands for the Monastery. In Richard I., Thomas de Ardern granted certain lands there to the canons of St. Sepulchre's, Warwick. A family who assumed their name from their residence there held it of the Ardens, but Thomas de Ardern sold it to Guy de Gyllebrok, who passed it to Will. de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

Page 181.—Pedimore, Warwickshire, on the Ebroke, at the north of the Tame, was the chief seat of the Ardens at one time, but was allowed to go to ruin when the family settled at Park Hall on the south side of the river. It was all levelled except its double moat by Dugdale's time.

Pedmore, Worcestershire, where "Mistress Joyce Arden" died in 1557, was part of the possessions of Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Clodeshalle, which she brought to Robert Arden, of Park Hall, 4 Henry VI., 1425. He died, seized of Pedmore, Yardly and Stockton, Worcestershire, 3 Henry VI., 1453. There are entered as residents William Arden, 1455, John Arden, 1468-83, Thomas Arden, 1530, Edward Arden. But in the State Papers Edward's brother Francis was entered as "Francis Arden of Pedmore," in 1583, at the time of the attainder, so it may have been granted him as a second residence, or it may have been the ruinous old home in Warwickshire he held. The registers here prove that Robert, Edward's heir, was residing here, and already married, before 1578, an important point to be noted in the family history.

Page 183.—Simon in Longcroft, according to Shaw, used the Arden arms with a difference, the arms being "Ermine a fesse chequy G. and B. Crest on a Chapeau, Erm. and Gu., a boar passant or." At the north end of the village of Longcroft was an old half-timbered house, which was purchased by John of Wisbeach, who died 1709, and thus became the property of the family of Longcroft.

Page 187.—Shaw mentions the tombstones: "Henry Arden died 1674"; "Henry Arden died 1698, aged 24"; "Humphrey Arden died 1705, aged 74; Elizabeth his daughter died 1689, aged 21; Katharine, his eldest daughter, died 1722; John Arden died 1709, aged 84."

Henry Arden died 1728, and Anna his wife and Catherine his twin sister. The stone erected by John, his son. "John died 1734, aged 40; Anna Catherina, wife of John Arden, and daughter of John Newton of King's Bromley, died 1727, aged 29." "Also to the memory of Anne, second wife, daughter of Rev. John Spateman, died 1764, without issue, aged 67."

"Henry Arden, 1782, aged 59. Alethea, his wife, daughter of Robert Cotton, Esq., died 1783, aged 60."

Clement Fisher, of Wincot, married as his second wife Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey Arden.

(MS. notes in British Museum; copy of Shaw's "Staffordshire.")[Pg 233]

Page 189.—The Rev. Robert Arden, of Lapworth, might have been one of the six unnamed younger children of the Robert executed during the Wars of the Roses.

Nicholaa was widow of William de Boutvilein when she married Sir Robert de Arderne de Draiton. After her husband's death she was involved in a contest with Robert de Wyckham about the presentation to the church of Swaldyve. There is no doubt that the name on the seal mentioned in the last line of p. 189 is in the masculine genitive; but I am inclined to believe that the die-cutter made a mistake, and that it was really the seal of Nicholaa.

Page 193.—In Blomfield's account of Bawsey, Norfolk, he states that it belonged to the family of Glanville in 6 Richard I. "Thomas de Ardern and Ralph, son of Robert, impleaded Sir William de Auberville and Maude his wife for their portion in Bawsey and Glosthorp." Maud, the eldest daughter of Ralph de Glanville, married Sir William de Auberville; Amabil, the second, married Ralph de Arden; and Helewise married Robert FitzRalph de Middleham, Yorkshire (Blomfield's "Norfolk," viii. 341-342).

Page 194.—John Arderne was a priest at Oxburgh in 1386 (Blomfield's "Norfolk," vi. 191). Mortimer's Chapel, Attleborough. A benefactor thereto was John Arderne, buried therein 1479. Other entries may concern his descendants. Sir Edward Warenne, of Boton, in 1365 married Cecily, daughter and coheir of Sir Nicholas de Eton, widow of John, son and heir of Sir John Ardern (ix. 370). John Arderne, Rector of Brinton 1452 (ix. 370). Isolda de Arderne presented to Plasset and Attleborough in King John's time (i. 503, 523). She was a benefactress to the Abbey of Windham (ii. 516, 525). She was a daughter of Alured de Plesseto, and left her body to be buried at Windham, and benefactions to the Abbey, with the consent of William de Arderne, her son. Thurston Holland, of Denton, married Jane, daughter of John Ardern, of Hawarden (i. 342). Elizabeth, Duchess of Norfolk, presented Robert Arderne to the Rectory of Aldeburgh (149), and at his death, 1504, gave it to Will Taylor (v. 353). Peter Arderne trustee for John Copputdike, of Witlingham, in 1432 (v. 456).

Page 196.—In relation to the Cheshire Ardens, Burke says that "the elder branch of Ardens became extinct by the death of Walkelin Ardern, temp. Richard II. Sir John Arden, younger brother, became head of the family. A younger branch of Arderns settled at Alderley (Edward III.), and ended in a few descents in a female heir, who married into the Weever family, whose heiress married the ancestor of Sir J. Stanley. The Ardernes of Leicestershire descended from Thomas, the younger son of Sir Ralph Arderne of Harden, 1420, and brother of John of Harden." This is confusing and unsatisfactory.

Page 199.—Does the following notice refer to this Thomas Arden of Elford, etc.? "Thomas de Arderne, Chivaler, who was in Gascony in the retinue of Ed. Prince of Acquitaine and Wales, had letters of protection granted him for a year, Feb. 13, 1367.—Vascess. Roll, 41 Edward III." (sent me by a member of the family).[Pg 234]

Page 201.—In reading through the books of the Haberdashers' Company, I find that "William Arden of Timporley, co. Cestr., Armiger, apprenticed John Wigge 1583."

Page 202.—Debrett states that Baron Alvanley descended from Ailwin de Arden. Vincent's "Cheshire Collections" state that he descended from Ralph de Hampton. Ormerod disagrees with both.

"Mrs. Anne Goldsmith, of Nantwich, Chester, left a legacy to her grandson, John Arden, 1709" (Marshall's "Genealogist," ii.).

Page 204.—The letters of the Rev. Thomas Arden, 1472, are among the MSS. of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.

Page 205.—John Arderne is mentioned in the Inquisition Post-Mortem of Edward Green, 18 Henry VII., as owning property in London.

Page 207.—The Visitation of Surrey gives "the Ardens' Arms as Azure, the sun in splendour, argent," but it does not mention the family.

Page 210.—In the Haberdashers' books I found: "Ralphe Arderne, son of Robert Ardern de Berwick-sup-Twede, in co. Northumberland, gen., apprenticed to Edmund Walden, Citizen and Haberdasher, for 8 years from Christmas, 1589" (October 30, 1589).

Page 211.—Edmond Yate, of Bockland, Berks, Arm., appears as a surety in 1583, in the Haberdashers' books.

Page 213.—Gerard says: "John of Arderne hath set down a composition for wounds, etc., from Alkanet" (Gerard's "Herbal," 1597, p. 657).

Page 214.—"Yorkshire. Thomas Crake m. Jane, d. and coheir of Thomas Arden of Marton" ("Visitation of Yorkshire," 1564).

An Agnes Arden married John Middleton, son of Sir John Middleton, of Stockeld Park, co. Yorkshire ("Visitation of Essex," 1588). She afterwards became the second wife of Sir Thomas More, and her arms may be seen on the Chelsea tomb—Ermine a fesse chequy (Notes and Queries, 4th Series, iv. 61; Gent. Mag., 1833, ii. 481-486).

Sir Edmund Talbot married Agnes, third daughter and coheiress of John Arderne, of Nether Derwind, co. Lancaster, and quartered the arms of the Cheshire Ardens. (See Dugdale's "Visitation of Yorkshire," 1665; Surtees Society's Publications, 1859, vol. xxvi., p. 239.)

Several notices of the name occur in the Yorkshire Archæological Journal, vol. xi., p. 392; vol. xii., p. 212, etc.

Page 215.—Among "the Recusants, 1717," is mentioned Anne Arden, widow of John Arden, late of Grafton, co. Worcester, gentleman.

Page 216.—"Visitation of Shropshire": William de Chettleton, Arm., m. Katharine, d. of Sir John Ardern. Elizabeth, d. of Reginald Corbet, of Stoke, Justice of the King's Pleas, mar. Robert Arden, of Park Hall. Katharine Arden, daughter of John Arden,[Pg 235] who married Richard Muklowe, of Hodon. William Wall married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Ardren, of Billingsley, in co. Salop.

The "Visitation of Suffolk," notes: "In the shield of Lady Elizabeth Morrison, daughter of Nicholas Clerk, of Weston, in Oxfordshire, the Ardern arms are quartered, a Fesse chequy or and azure, at Great Saxham, Suffolk."

The will of Robert Arden of Maggotifilde, Gloucester, was proved in 1560 (11 Loftes), and that of Robert Arden of Westtray, Charlton, co. Gloucester, 1583 (24 Rowe, Somerset House).

"Visitation of Derbyshire," 1569-1611: Robert Ratcliffe of Mellon's 2nd wife was Jane, daughter of Perkin Ardren:

From Musgrave's "Obituary" (Harleian Publications):

Rev. R. Crewe Arden, of Tarporley, Lancashire, brother of the Master of the Rolls, August 25, 1787 (G.M., 838).

Rev. James Arden, Dean of Chester, F.R.S. 1668, September 18, 1691 (Carter's "Cambridge," 1235; Neve's "Fasti," 344).

James Arden, Captain in the Army, February 24, 1771 (L.M., 175; G.M., 142).

Mary Arden, aunt of Sir Richard P. Arden, the Master of the Rolls, August 17, 1788 (G.M., 758; E.M., 152).

Robert Arden, proctor at Oxford (Clar., 1486; Pointer's "Oxford," 223).

Rev. Robert, Preb. Worcester, October 25, 1768 (G.M., 542).

John Ardern, Harden, Cheshire, May 27, 1703, æt. 40, (Neve's "Mon.," 64).

Richard Arderne, proctor, Oxford (Clar., 1538; Pointer's "Oxford," 226).

William Arderon, F.R.S. 1745, at Norwich, November 25, 1767 (L. M., 687; G. M., 610).

Sir John Ardon, K.B., 1399.

Arden wills preserved at Lichfield:

1541. Margery Arden.

1552. Thomas Arden, of Long Itchington (39).

1561. William Ardren (22).

1562. Henry Arden (29).

1563. Christian Arden, admin. (45).

1575. William Arden (64).

1608. George Ardron, of Barlborough, admin.

1616. Sir Henry Arden, Knight, admin. (80).

1616. Richard Arden (182).

1625. Dame Dorothy Arderne, admin. (306).

1625. Ambrose Arden, Esq. (7).

1634. Humphrey Arden (inv.).

1635. Robert Arden, Esq.

1647. Joan Arden, of Enville.

Berkshire wills:

1578. Edith Arden, Hampton Turvil, Wilts, admin.

1641. Richard Arden, of Chilton.

[Pg 236]

It may interest some to have the following unrecorded entries:

From the register of St. Bridget's or St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London:

"Marriages: John Hoare and Agnes Arden, 27 June, 1596."

"John Arderne and Dennis Harsted by lycence, 8 Nov., 1609."

From the register of St. Martin-in-the-Fields:

"Johannes Arden duxit Juditham Battersby per. lic. 24 Nov., 1638."

From the register of St. Clement's Danes, London, in the Strand:

"Marriages: Edward Arden and Mary Waulkner, 11th Nov., 1587."

"Hamond Rightwood and Elizabeth Arden, 3 Dec., 1618."

"John Foxwell and Mary Arden, 12th July, 1629."

"Baptisms: Thomas Arden, son of Thomas and Anne, 20th July, 1627."

"Guy Arden, son of Thomas Arden and Anne, uxor, 9th Oct., 1632."

"Burials: Elizabeth Arden, daughter of Thomas, 25th March, 1629."

"Alethia Arden, daughter of John, 21 Feb., 1617."

Also from the Diocese of Bath and Wells (Harleian Publications):

"Marriage Licenses: Thomas Arden of Lopen, bachelor, and Elizabeth Plumer of same, spinster, 10th March, 1755."

Bishop of London's Marriage Licenses:

"Rich. Bromfield and Jone Aorden of St. Margaret's, Westminster, Feb. 4, 1564."

"Jan. 15th, 1569-70. John Ardren and Elizabeth Lee 'Puella' of St. Andrew's, Holborn, to marry there."

"Nov. 9, 1641. Hugh Phillips gent of Westminster, and Elizabeth Arden, to marry at St. Faith's."

"December 22, 1623. Luke Yates of St. Sepulchre's, and Frances Arden, d. of —— Arden of Whethamstead, Herts."

"June 15, 1639. John Arden and Dorothy Hazard of Westminster."

"Feb. 22, 1664. Henry Arden of Chelmsford and Mary Boosie."

"Oct. 16. 1664. Thomas Arden of Westminster and Theodosia Long of Parmenter, co. Kent."

"William Ardrene Junior of St. Martin's, Ludgate, gent., and Mrs. Alice Smith of Great Wigborough, Essex, widow. March 21, 1665-6."

Mar. Allegations, Reg. Vic. Gen. Cant.:

"William Elwes of St. Clement's Danes and Mrs. Dionysia Arden of same at St. Saviour's, Southwark, Surrey. Ap. 14, 1688."[585]

"John Arden of St. James, Westminster, and Mrs. Elizabeth[Pg 237] Wright of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, Jan. 12, 1687, married at Westminster Abbey."

"John Arden of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, gent., and Mrs. Anne Ratcliffe, Sept. 28, 1691."

"Francis Marlow of Westham, co. Essex, and Bridget Arden of St. Sepulchre's, London, September 16, 1674."

Register of St. James, Clerkenwell, Burials: "Feb. 14, 1688. Ellinor Arden."

"Marriages: Jan. 11, 1561-2. John Arden and Anne Phillips."

"Sept. 15, 1596. Thomas Jerome, and Helen Arden."

"Christenings: March 6, 1712. Ann, d. of Richard Ardin and Elizabeth his wife."

"Jan. 29, 1685-6. James, son of Christopher, and Elizabeth Ardon."

"June 25, 1676. Mary, d. of Robert and Jane Arden."

Registers of St. George's, Hanover Square:

"Marriages: May 14, 1757. John Hutchins and Miriam Arden, Lic."

"October 30, 1786. Thomas Ardren, and Elizabeth Head."

"August 5, 1786. Samuel Ardron, and Mary Bellamy Higdon."

"March 19, 1787. Thomas Oliver, and Susannah Ardrenn."

"Hon. Thomas Walpole and the Right Hon. Margaret Perceval. Spec. Lic. Witnesses Lord Arden, H. Walpole, and M. E. Arden."

"Sep. 3, 1788. William Carter and Mary Ardren."

"Sep. 29, 1811. John Exley Adams and Anna Maria Arden, Lic., Oct. 24, 1811."

[At the marriage of H. F. Compton Cavendish and Sarah Fawkenor, a witness is Catharine Emma Arden. Also Lord Walpole to Mary Fawkenor, July 23, 1812, witnesses Catharine Emma Arden and Henrietta Arden.]

"Dec. 28, 1815. John Ardin and Sarah West."

"Feb. 12, 1832. James Ardren and Harriet Pugh."

[B. R. Arden witness to marriage of Rich. Pennefather and the Rt. Hon. Lady Emily Georgiana Butler, July 26, 1836. Lord Arden witness to Charles Scrase Dickins and the Rt. Hon. Frances Elizabeth Compton, Feb. 18, 1829.]

Registers of St. Dionis, Backchurch:

"Marriages: October 16, 1653. Edmund Webberley and Elizabeth Ardourne."

"Dec. 13, 1694. John Arden of St. Faith's, London, and Grace Lansdale of the same Parish."

"Oct. 27, 1696. Humphrey Arden of Rotherhithe co. Surrey, and Elizabeth Page of St. John's, Wapping."

Registers of St. George, Hyde Park Corner:

"May 7, 1750. John Pearce of Westminster and Mary Arden of St. Margaret's, Westminster."

"Jan. 12, 1752. William Houghton and Susannah Arden of St. James, Westminster."

"June 14, 1753. James Ardern and Elizabeth Bath."

[Pg 238]

Registers of St. Paul's:

"Nott Fettiplace, Esq., of the Middle Temple, London, and Anna Catherina Arden of Longcroft Hall in the County of Stafford, were married by Licence by me in this Cathedral. Thomas Spateman, 15th Nov., 1753."

Registers of St. Thomas Apostle, London:

"Burial: Thomas Arden, December 11, 1750."

Registers of Kensington Parish:

"Christenings: July 8th, 1649. Elizabeth daughter of John and Mary Ardin."

"July 24, 1642. Thomas, s. of John and Mary Ardin."

"Dec. 29, 1644. Thomas, s. of John and Mary Ardin."

"March 14, 1646. Mary, daughter of John and Mary Arden."

"Feb. 15, 1651. Christening: Edward son of John and Mary Arden."

"March 27, 1653. James, son of John and Mary Arden."

"March 27, 1640. Richard, son of John and Mary Arden."

"April 16, 1656. Daniell, son of John and Mary Arden, at Brompton (buried Nov. 9th, 1656)."

Registers of St. Antholin:

"Marriage: June 22, 1578. Roger Cumber and Joyce Arden."

Christ Church, Newgate Street:

"Burial: Anne Arden, a prisoner, Jan. 31, 1733."

Registers of St. Michael's, Cornhill:

"Marriage: June 8, 1675. John Arden and Elizabeth Briscoe, by Lic."

"Robert Ardone and Agnes Holder, Aug. 29, 1565."

"Christenings: Dec. 6th, 1670. Thomas, son of John Arden and Mary his wife, Dec. 6, 1670."

"Richard, son of John Arden and Mary his wife, Dec. 20, 1672."

"Aug. 20, 1683. Alice, daughter of John Arderne and Elizabeth his wife."

"May 25, 1686. Ralph, s. of John Ardern and Elizabeth his wife."

"Burials: Sept. 9, 1674. Mary, d. of John Arden and Mary his wife."

"Thomas, son of John Arden the Parish Clerk in the Churchyard, Ap. 24, 1679."

"Thomas Arden, a Stranger, in the Cloister, May 20, 1705."

Chancery Proceedings in reign of James I.:

B.A., 2, 8. Arderne v. Arderne.

B.A., 5, 70. Arden v. Askrigg.

B.A., 7, 49. Arden v. Biddulph and others.

B.A., 8, 16. Ardern et al. v. Rysbrook et al.

B.A., 9, 28. Arden v. Hodges et al.

B.A., 10, 26. Arden v. Hodges.

B.A., 4, 13. Ardern v. Greenfield, etc.

B.B., 20, 28. Browne Mil. v. Arden et al.

Will in the Public Record Office, 5 G.T., p. 20: "No. 8. John Arden, 16 May, 1718."


[581] Robert Arden purchased another tenement from him and his wife Agnes in 1619.

[582] Robert Arden purchased another tenement from John Palmer in 1529.

[583] Adam Palmer and Hugh Porter were trustees for Robert's settlements on his daughters.

[584] In St. Mary's, Warwick, a marble monument bears similar arms sacred to the memory of "Franciscus Chernocke of gen. antiqua. Baronet cognominum in com. Bedford, familia oriundus. Obiit 1727, æt. 69."

[585] Lieutenant, R.N.; died, s.p., 1691. Mrs. Elwes died, s.p., 1718 (Marshall's "Genealogist," i. 149).

[Pg 239]


Abel, Margaret, 173

Abell, Agnes, 173

Abington, 105

Adams, John Exley, 237

Addenbroke, John, 76, 117

Adderley, Sir Charles, 181
Lady Anne, 181

Ailwin, 32, 165, 234

Albans, St., Hall, 15

Alcester, 10, 14, 122

Alcock, Anne, 186

Alcokkes, John, 30, 223

Alderley, 198, 200
Nether, 199, 200

Aldford, 197, 198, 199

Aldford, Richard de, 197

Alfred, King, vi, 163

Allen v. Burbage, 224

Alleyn, 34

Allon, Thomas, 150

Altcar, 171

Alvanley, 197, 198, 199, 201-202

Amabilia, 167
de Glanville, 192, 233

Amicia, 167

Andrew, Mary, 175
Sir Thomas, 175

Appowell, John, 218

Archer, Joan, 160
Margaret, 93
Sir Richard, 160

Archivists, Society of, 3

Archy's "Banquet of Jests," 84

Arden, Arderne, or de Arden
Adam, 195, 215
Sir Adam, 213
Adela, 166
Adeliza, 167
Agnes, 166, 173, 196, 208, 218, 220
Agnes, of Wilmecote, m. (1) Hewyns, (2) Stringer, 36, 37, 40, 49,
Agnes Webbe, m. (1) Hill, (2) Arden, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 45, 223
Her will, 39, 40, 41, 223
Alethea, 186, 232, 236
Alexander, 196, 219
Alianore, 170
Alice, 209, 216, 220, 230, 238
Alice of Wilmecote, 37, 38, 39, 40, 43, 44, 49
Alicia, 168, 188, 219, 230
Amabilia, 167
Amabilia de Glanville m. Ralph de Hampton, 192, 233
Ambrose, 186, 235
Amicia, 167
Amy, 208
Anna, 232
Anna Catharine, 187, 238
Anna Maria, 237
Anne, 172, 177, 181, 186, 202, 219, 221, 234, 236, 237, 238
Anthony, 209, 210, 211
Arthur, 182
Aveline, 196
Barbara, 177
Beatrix, 230
Benjamin, 186
B. R., 237
Bridget, 177, 211, 218, 236
Catharine, 178, 202, 232, 238
Catharine Emma, 237
Cecilia, 166, 167, 200, 220
Charles, 201
Christian, 183, 235
Christopher, 237
Cicely, 176, 202
Daniell, 238
Dionysia, Mrs., 236
Dorothy, 181, 235
Edith, 207, 235
Edmund, 188, 211, 213
Edward, 30, 64, 94, 176, 208, 221, 230, 232, 236, 238
Edward, of Park Hall, 1532-1583. 30, 64, 94, 177, 178, 179, 180, 183, 184, 185
Eleanor, 49, 170, 171, 209, 230, 231
[Pg 240]Elena, 169, 170, 194, 196
Elizabeth, 170, 172, 176, 181, 182, 186, 206, 208, 219, 236, 237, 238
Mistress, 182
Ellinor, 237
Eustace, 196, 197
Eustachia, 167, 195
Felicia or Phillis, 163, 164, 167
Frances, 177, 182, 186, 201, 236
Francis, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 184, 221
Fraunces, 177
Galfridus, 167
Geoffrey, 170, 194
George, 176, 184, 202, 209, 235
Giles, Sir, 160, 169, 220
Godfrey, 232
Goditha, 181, 221
Guy, 204, 205, 211, 236
Harald, 165
Hawisia, 190, 196
Helen, 237
Henry, 26, 49, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 181, 186, 187, 188, 189, 209, 211, 219, 220, 232, 235, 236
Henry, Sir, of Park Hall, 169, 181, 195, 198, 235
Henrietta, 237
Heraud, 164
Herbert, 167
Hugh, 166, 178, 190, 201, 216, 220
Hugh de Vienna, 167
Isabel, 199, 200, 209
Isabella, 217, 220
Isolda, 233
James, Rev. Dean, 201, 235
James, Captain, 235
James, 219, 237
Jane, 177, 181, 186, 196, 214, 218, 234, 235
Joan, 168, 172, 207, 235
Joan, of Wilmecote, m. Lambert, 36, 37, 39, 49
Johane, 207, 211
Johanna, 168, 220
John, 169, 171, 172, 176, 182, 185, 188, 190, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 205, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237
John, Sir, Park Hall, Esquire of the Body, 26, 49, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 184, 223, 230, 231, 232, 234, 236
John, Sir, 169, 233
John, of Pepper Hall, 202
John, Clerk of the Works, 202, 203
John, of Newark, 213
John, of Wisbeach, 186, 232
Jone, 236
Joseph, 166
Joyce, 41, 176, 177, 238
Joyce, of Wilmecote, 36, 37, 40, 41, 43, 49, 111, 181
Joyce, Mistress, 41, 181, 232
Judith, 182
Katharine, 203, 204, 205, 209, 230, 231, 234
Katharine, of Wilmecote, m. Edkins, 36, 37, 49
Laurence, 212
Leonard the priest, 209
Letitia, 167
Leverunia, 165
Lucia, 168
Margaret, 166, 169, 178, 183, 198, 200, 209, 212, 214, 216, 220
Margaret, of Wilmecote, m. Webbe, 36, 37, 224
Margery, 198, 211, 214
Martin, 26, 27, 32, 49, 171, 172, 173
Mary, 175, 178, 179, 180, 185, 195, 196, 209, 213, 221, 231, 235, 237, 238, 239
Mary, of Wilmecote, m. Shakespeare, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 45, 49, 51, 60, 175, 180
Matilda, 200
Maud, 199
Miriam, 237
Muriel, 178, 180
Mr., of Feversham, 217
Mrs., 180, 217, 221
M. E., 237
Nicholaa, 168, 169, 190, 195, 233
Nicholas, 189, 190, 208, 233
Oliva, 167, 190
Osbert, 166, 167, 230
Perkin, 235
Peter, 166, 167, 170, 190, 191, 197, 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 214, 221
Peter, Sir, of Latton, 203, 204, 205, 206, 221
Philip, 167
Pierce, 213
Ralph, 168, 169, 170, 186, 194, 195, 201, 214, 215, 216, 222, 233, 234, 238
Ralph, of Hampton, 166, 190, 191, 192, 193, 234
Ralph, Sir, of Park Hall, 168, 169
Ralph, Sir, of Hornden, 215
[Pg 241]Richard, 167, 188, 190, 191, 202, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 213, 216, 220, 221, 235, 238
Richard Pepper, Baron Alvanley, 202, 234, 237
Robert, 166, 168, 169, 170, 172, 173, 176, 178, 180, 181, 182, 189, 190, 194, 195, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 218, 219, 221, 233, 235, 237, 238
Robert, of Berwick-upon-Tweed, 234
of Cottesford, 209, 210
of Henley, 211
de Draiton, 168, 233
of Lapworth, Rector, 189, 233
of Park Hall, 26, 27, 46, 49, 170, 181, 182, 184, 185, 194, 195, 216, 232, 233
of Norfolk, 213
Robert, of Wilmecote, 22, 25, 27, 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 49, 50, 175, 180, 184
His will, 37, 38
Robert, of Yoxall, 171, 172, 173, 189
Roger, 190, 191
R. Crewe, Rev., 235
Rose, 167, 168, 169
Samuel, 237
Sibilla, 170
Simon, 31, 174, 176, 178, 181, 183, 184, 185, 232
of Longcroft, 175
Siward, 168
Susannah, 237
Thomas, 167, 168, 171, 172, 176, 178, 188, 190, 191, 192, 195, 199, 200, 201, 202, 204, 205, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 217, 219, 220, 221, 222, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238
Thomas de Draiton, 168
Thomas de Hanwell, 167, 168, 169
of Long Itchington, 173, 188
of St. Martin's, Outwich, 173, 218
of Park Hall, 26, 27, 31, 35, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178, 183, 184, 231
Thomas, of Wilmecote, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 35, 45, 46, 49, 174, 175, 184, 222, 223
Thomas, son of Walter, 171, 172
Timothy, 215
Turchil, 165, 166, 167
Ursula, 177
Ursuley, 177
Virgil, 208
Walkeline, 197, 199, 200, 233
Walter, of Park Hall, 26, 27, 28, 35, 49, 170, 174, 208, 215, 230, 231
His will, 26, 170, 171
William, 26, 32, 49, 166, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 175, 176, 183, 184, 186, 188, 189, 190, 191, 193, 195, 202, 205, 209, 210, 214, 215, 216, 219, 230, 232, 233, 234, 235
William, son of Thomas of Park Hall, his will, 176, 177
William, of Hawnes, 172, 173, 175, 216, 231

Ardens' Arms, The, 26, 31, 32, 33, 168, 169, 174, 175, 176, 179, 182, 189, 190, 193, 196, 198, 201, 202, 209, 216, 217, 221, 223, 230, 231, 232, 234, 235
Impalement of the, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 175, 223

Ardens, The, 161, 162, 174, 178, 181, 194, 201, 216, 222, 223

Ardens, The, of Alvanley, 197
Bedfordshire, 32, 216
Burnham, Bucks, 217
Cheshire, 31, 32, 196, 197, 234
Cottesford, 209, 210
Essex, 215
Feversham, Tragedy of, 217
Kent, 217
Kirtlington, 209
London, 217, 220, 236
Longcroft, 183
Oxfordshire, 209, 211, 212
Park Hall, 25, 26, 28, 31, 32, 33, 36, 40, 41, 45, 58, 162, 169, 175, 209, 222
Victoria, 221
Warwickshire, 188, 189, 190, 191
Wilmecote, 28, 31, 33, 35, 36
Yorkshire, 214

Ardeney, Alice, 181

Arden's Grafton, 189

Arderon, William, 235

Armyn, Robert, 73

Arthgal, 230

Asbies, 37, 40, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 56, 57, 62, 71, 223

Ashby, 134

Ashwell, John, 119

Astley, Isabella, Prioress of Wroxall, 11

Aston Cantlow, 27, 31, 39, 40, 51, 174, 175, 222

Athelstan, King, vi, 33

Athenæum, 25, 64, 66, 139, 179, 226

Atkins or Edkins, Richard, 30, 223

Atwood, Thomas, 113

Auberville, Matilda de, 93, 232
William de, 93, 232

[Pg 242]Averne, Anne, 124

Babthorpe, Margaret, 200
Sir Robert, 200

Baconians, The, 17, 121

Baddesley Clinton, 6, 7, 11, 124, 130

Badger, George, 59

Bagley, Edward, 106, 107, 108

Bagleys, The, 226

Bagot, Hervey, 181
Dorothy, 181

Baker's "Northampton," 168, 189, 196

Balsall, 7, 14, 119, 124

Barbor, John, 9

Barber, Thomas le, 219

Barker, Herald, Sir Christopher, 216, 231
Thomas, 59

Barking, 140

Barnards, The, 105, 109

Barnard, Sir John, 104, 105, 106, 109
Lady Elizabeth, 103, 105, 109, 226

Barnesley, John, 177
Anne, 177

Barnet, James, 151

Barston, 13

Barton, 186

Barton-on-the-Heath, 45, 48, 57

Basnet, Mr., 122

Basse, Master John, 205
William, 84

Bath, Elizabeth, 237

Battersby, Judith, 236

Bawdsey, or Bawsey, 233

Bearley, 36, 37

Beauchamps, de, or Bellocampo, 27, 31, 46, 167, 168, 174, 175
Arms, 167, 174, 175
Alicia de, 168
Elizabeth, 46, 174, 222
Joan, 170, 197
Lady, of Bergavenny, 46, 170
Lord, of Bergavenny, 174
Maud, 167
Richard, Earl of Worcester, 174, 221
Thomas, 169, 174, 221
William, 167, 174, 221, 232

Beaumont, 84
His poems, 86

Beaupré, 176
Elizabeth, 176

Bedfordshire, 26, 32, 172

Belknap, Edward, 171

Bell in Carter Lane, 69

Bellomont, Roger de, Earl of Mellent, 166

Benfield, Swanston and Pollard v. Burbage, 70, 71, 81

Berewood Hall, 178

Berkshire, 132

Berkswell, 13, 124

Berry's "Genealogies," 168, 202

Beverston Register, 87

Bevis, Sir, of Hampton, 163

Bibbesworth, Thomas, 204

Bickley, Mr. W.B., 7, 28, 35

Biddle, Anne, 228

Bigsby, Dr., 109

Billesley, 27, 29, 35, 104

Bilton, 188
Birmingham, 35, 130, 131

Birt, John, 136

Blackfriars' tenement, 76, 80, 107
Theatre, 70, 76

Blagrove, John, 158

Blaxton, Rev. Mr., 212

Blomfield's "Norfolk," 193, 214, 233

Blount, John Henry, 132

Bodleian Library, 22

Bohun, Anne, 203
John, 203
D.A., 191

Boles, Rev. Mr., 97
Christian, 183
Thomas, 183

Boosie, Mary, 219, 236

Bordesley, 14, 21

Botecourt, Sir John de, 169

Boteler, John, 171

Boulogne, Earl Eustace of, 215

Bouton, Sir William, Curate, 38, 223

Boutvilein, Nicholaa de, 169
William de, 169

Bowes, Mr., of King's College, 205

Bowles, Anne, 172
Richard, 172

Bracebridges, The, of Kingsbury, 167
Alice, 172
John, 171
Peter, 167
Richard, 172

Bradshaw, George, executed, 217

Bratt, Mr. Robert, 55

Brayley's "Surrey," 207

Braylys, Geys, 173
Thomas, 173

Brearley, Thomas, 130

Bredon, Worcestershire, 132

Brewer, Anne, 150

Bridge's "Northampton," 196

Brigide's, St., Church, 149, 176, 226, 235

Briscoe, Elizabeth, 238

Bristol Wills, 139

Broadspear, 2

Brodesley, 178

Broke, Simon, Clerk, 173

Brome, Beatrice, 11
Jocosa, Prioress, 11, 12
John, 11
Nicholas, 11
Thomas, 11

Bromfield, Richard, 218, 236

Brook, Ralph, York Herald, 22, 24, 25

Brown, daughter, 173
John, 57, 219

[Pg 243]Brownlow pedigree, 177

Bucknall, Thomas Skip Dyott, 156
Harriet Sophia, 156

Budbrook, 11, 115, 124, 126, 177

Buklond, Alice, 171, 173, 230

Burbage, Anne, 126
Cuthbert, 70
James, 70, 81, 224
Richard, 34, 36, 70, 73, 77, 80, 136
Thomas, 81, 126, 136
William, 70, 81
Winifred, 70, 81

Burke's "Landed Gentry," 180, 202, 221
"Colonial Gentry," 221

Burleigh, 180

Bushell, Mr., 69

Butler, Lady Emily Georgiana, 237

Byrdsale, William, 9

Cade, Richard, 176
Joyce, 176

Cage, The, 91

Camden, 17, 33, 52, 84
His "Britannia," 84

Campbell's "Lives of the Judges," 192

Campbell, Hon. John, 153
Anne, 153

Carew, Elizabeth, 95

Carlisle, 5

Carter, Maria Anna, 143
Thomas, 182
William, 237

Catesby, John, 182, 205

Catheryns, Humphrey, Mr., 229

Cavendish, H. F. Compton, 237

Chacsper, Thomas, 7

Chafford, 140

Chaloner, John, 207

Chamber, William, 230

Champe, Thomas, 134

Champ, Joseph, 137

Chancery Cases, 48, 77, 121, 123, 129, 133

Charles I., a student of Shakespeare, 85, 101

Charnells, John, 26, 173
William, 179

Charterhouse Chapel, 155

Chaucer, 84

Chaworth, Sir Thomas, 9

Chedwyns, The, 7

Chelesworthy Manor, Devon, 215

Cheney, Katharine, 209
John, 209

Chernocke, Francis, 229

"Cheshire Collections," Vincent's, 234

Chester, Earl of, Prince of Wales, 200
Ranulph, 196, 197

Chettle, publisher, 65

Chettleton, William de, 230

Chief, Thomas, 218

Children's Company of Actors, 70

Church End, Rowington, 13

Claredon, or Claverdon, 123, 129

Clement's Danes, St., Register, 146, 147, 148, 149, 236

Clerk, Nicholas, 235

Clifford Chambers, 119

Clifton Camvile, 199

Clinton, Henry de, Earl of Huntingdon, 174

Clodeshalle, Elizabeth, 170, 176, 231, 232
Richard de, 170, 232
Walter de, 231

Clopton, Barbara, 107
Sir Hugh, 108
Sir John, 107
Mr., 51
William, 45

Cockes, Elena, 12

Codd, Rev. E. T., 124

Codmore, 171
Bailiff of, 171

Codyngton, Mr., daughters of, 206

Cokaine, Sir Aston, 186

Colbrand, 163

Cole, Henry, 50

"Colin Clout's Come Home Again," Spenser's, 2

Collier, J. P., 143

Collins, Agnes, 208
Edith, 208
Elizabeth, 208
Francis, 80, 122
Katherine, 206
name of, 207

Colyns, Hugh, 173

Combe, John, 72, 77, 224, 225
Mr. Thomas, 80
Mrs., 100
Mr. William, 78, 225

"Comedy of Errors," The, 67, 68, 224

Compton, Rt. Hon., Frances Elizabeth, 237

Compton, Philip, 167

Compton Winyate, 166

Condell, Henry, 70, 73, 77, 80, 81

Conway, Edward, 176
Elizabeth, 176
Sir John, 177, 179
Lord, 85

Cooke, Gilbert the, 196

Cooke, Dr. James, 98, 99
J., 85
Thomasine, 139

Cooke, the Herald, 17

Corbet, Elizabeth, 138, 178, 230, 234
Reginald, Justice, 178, 230, 234

Cornish, 41

Cornwall, Edward, 36, 41, 44, 49, 56, 114

Cotgrave, Richard de, 5

Cotesbrook Church, 195

[Pg 244]Cotterell, Nicholas, 232

Cotton, Alethea, 187, 232
Robert, 187, 232

Coughton, 166, 169

"Court of Virtue," Dr. John Hall's, 93

Court, Mrs. Grace, 100
Richard, 57
William, attorney, 57

Coventry, 5, 124, 131

Cowley, Richard, 73

Cowper, John, Under-Sheriff, 43

Cowper, Mr. J.M., 141

Coxe, Margery, 209
Walter, 209

Crabhouse, Prioress of, 205

Croke, John, 173

Crollalanza, Goffredo di, 1

Cromwell, Lord, 216

Crosmore, Agnes, 140

Culpepper, Richard, 207

Cumber, Roger, 238

Curdworth, 166, 167, 169, 178, 179, 184

Currie, Colin, 153
Elizabeth, 153

Cymbeline, 163

Dance, Mr. William, 136

Darcy, Edward, 180, 181, 184, 185

Daubeney, John, 211

Davenant, John, 75
Sir William, 75

Davenport, Mary, 154, 157
Rev. William of Bredon and Lacock Abbey, 154, 157

Davies, John, "Microcosmus, the Civil Warres of Death and Fortune," 34

Dawson, Harriet, 157

Debrett's Peerage, 234

Denbigh, Earl of, 149

Denham, Joan, 160
Sir John, 160

Derbyshire, 136, 235

Dethick, Sir William, Garter, 17, 22

Devereux, Lady Catherine, 178, 231
Sir Edward, 178, 231

Deye, John, 207

Dibdin's "History of the Edinburgh Stage," 73

Dickenson, Mr. C. C., 132, 141

Dickins, Charles Scrase, 237

Dier, Sir Edward, 22

Digby, Sir George, 43, 180

Digges, Leonard, 83

Dilcock, Henry, of Coventry, 5

Dimbleby, Mrs., 146

Divos, Rev. Roger, 51

Dixson, Thomas, 31

Dodde, Dorothea (Mrs. Shakespeare), 145
Elizabeth, 145
Jane (Mrs. Wren), 145

Domesday Book, 165

Done, John, 218

Donnelly, Hon. Ignatius, 17

Doulton, Bridget, 216

D'Oyley, Justice, 179

Dragon, The, 163

Draiton, 169

Drape, Richard, 202

Drayton, Michael, the Poet, 99, 225

Drey, Christopher, 177

Drummond's "Noble British Families," 31, 162, 163, 164, 167, 168, 201

Dudley, Ambrose, Earl of Warwick, 131

Dudley, Mr. Thomas, 211

Dudston, 178

Dugdale, Sir William, 11
His "Monasticon," 11, 12, 113, 166
His "Warwickshire," 11, 12, 42, 97, 104, 162, 163, 164, 167, 168, 170, 171, 174, 175, 180, 184, 189, 190, 191, 222, 231, 232

Duncombe, Mr., 111

Dwale, John, 8

Dyer, Rev. Mr., 111

Ealdstreet, Prebendary of (Hugh Saunders, or Shakespeare), 15

"Earliest Official Record of Shakespeare's Name," 3, 66, 224

Earwaker's "East Cheshire," 198, 199, 201, 202

Echenours, 167

Edgehill, 101

Edkyns, or Atkins, Adam, 49
Clement, 49
Richard, 31
Thomas, senior, 36, 49
Thomas, junior, 36, 49
Walter, 31

Edmund, King, 165

Edmunds, Alice, 124

Edward I., 160

Edward the Confessor, 165
the Elder, 162
the Martyr, 165

Edwards, Margaret, 148

Elford, 197, 198, 199, 200

Elizabeth, Queen, 66, 139, 179

Ellerker, Sir Ralph, 214

Ellesmere, Lord, 76

Elton, Oliver, 225

Elwes, William, 236

Empson, Sir Richard, 174, 184

Engelger, 192

Ensors, The, 111, 125

Ermenhild, 163

Errors, Brooke's pamphlet of Camden's, 24, 25
Comedy of, 67, 68, 224

Essex, Countess of, 178
Earl of, 72
[Pg 245]Forest of, 4

Essex, Shakespeares of, 7, 138, 139, 140

Etchells, 199, 200

Ethelfleda, 163

Ethelred, 165

Eton, The Master of, 61

Eton, Cicely de, 233
Nicholas de, 167, 233

Euphorbus, 68

Eustace de Arden, 196, 197

Eustachia, 167

Euston, 171

Evenley, 209, 210

Farron, William, 151

Fawkenor, Mary, 237
Sarah, 237

Feckenham, 64

Felicia, or Phillis the Fair of Warwick, 163

Fellows, William, 151

Fenwick, Charles, 157

Fenwick, Octavia, 157

Ferne, Sir John, 17

Ferrars, Thomas, 216

Ferrers, Mr. Henry, 11, 93, 130, 131, 183

Fettiplace, Nott, Esq., 237

Field, Henry, tanner, of Stratford-on-Avon, 58
Richard, his son, printer, of London, 65

Fielding, Basil, 181
Dorothy, 181

Fillongley, 111, 131

Finsbury Fields, The Theatre in, 70

First folio of Shakespeare's Plays, 84

Fisher, Clement, 186, 232

Fisher, John, The Book of, 130, 224, 229

Fisher's "Forest of Essex," 4

Fitzalan, John, 168

FitzCana de Bohun, Engelger, 192
Franco, 192
Gelduin, 192
Ralph, 192
Savaric, 192

Fitzralph, Robert, de Middleham, 233

Fleay's "History of the Stage," 71
"Life of Shakespeare," 76

Flecknoe, Christopher, 123

Fletcher, Charlotte, 157
Giles, 94
Joan, 94
Lawrence, 73
Phineas, 94

"Fœdera," Rymer's, Patent to Shakespeare and others, 73, 74

Foss's "Lives of the Judges," 192, 193, 202, 203

Foxwell, John, 236

Franklin, Elizabeth, 172
John, 172

Franklyn, Mr., 217

Freeman's "Epigrams," 34

French, G. R., "Shakespeareana Genealogica," 8, 31, 35, 46, 88, 112, 122, 123, 133, 135, 141, 144, 160, 165, 187, 221

Freville, Baldwin, 216

Freyndon, 5

Fuller's "Worthies of England," 31, 192, 207, 209, 214, 215

Fulwood, John, 39
Mary, 39
Richard, 212
Robert, 59

Furnivall, Dr. F.J., 3, 62

Galton, Mr. Francis, 160

Gamell, John, 170

Garnett, Dr. Richard, 1

Gay, Elizabeth, 143

Gaynsford, John, 205

Gearing, Agnes, 208
Henry, 208

Gedney, John, 213

"Gentlemen of Verona," 68

George, St., 162

Gerard, Father, 212

Gerard's "Herbal," 213, 234

Getley, Walter, 72

Gibbes, George, 40, 42, 223
Nicholas, 31

Gibbons of Oxfordshire, 171

Gifford, Isabel, 209
John, 209

Gilbert, Sir William, Curate, 88

Gilpitts, The, 55

Glanville, Amabilia de, 192, 233
Helewise de, 193, 233
Matilda, or Maud de, 193, 233
Ralph de, 192, 193, 233

Globe Theatre, 70, 77, 78, 83, 84

Glover's "Heraldry," 32, 175

Glover, William, 132

Gloucester Wills, 132

Goldsmith, Mrs. Anne, 234

Gollancz, Mr. Israel, 9

Goodwin, Mary, 151

Goodyere, Anne, The "Idea" of Drayton, 225

Gotheridge, Mary, 147

Grace, Alice, 129
Thomas, 129

Grange, John, 153

Gray's Inn revels, 67, 224

Green, Alice, 205, 206
Anna, 130
Edward, 234
Elizabeth, 205
Margaret, 202
Mrs., 116
Philip, 59
Robert, 205
[Pg 246]Thomas, 116, 117, 121, 130

Green, Thomas, alias Shakespeare, 76, 78, 116
Walter, 205

Greene's "Groatsworth of Wit" and the "Upstart Crow," 65

Greenhill Street House, 51

Greenstreet, Rev. James, 224

Greenway the Carrier, 69

Greenwich, Shakespeare plays at, 66

Gregory, Rev. Mr., 212
William, 151

Greswold, Thomas, 170

Gretwyn, Thomas, 31

Greville, Sir Edward, 59
Sir Fulke, 25, 45, 122
Ludovic, 169, 178

Grevilles of Drayton, 178

Grey, Lord, 9

Griffin, Agnes, 140
Alice, 15, 140
Edward, 15
Francis, 15, 140

Guiderius, 163

Guildhall Library, 77, 92

Gutheridge, Mr., a Dealer in Leather, 230

Guthmund, 165

Guy of Warwick, vi, 32, 164

Guy's Cliff, 164

Guy, William, 151

Gwillim's "Display of Heraldry," 22, 87

Haberdasher's Books, The, 226, 234

Hales, Bartholomew, Lord of Manor of Snitterfield, 45

Hall, Alice, 225
Anne, 94
Edmund, 55, 94
Edward, 94
Elizabeth, 93, 94
Elizabeth, poet's grand-daughter, 75, 79, 80, 92, 95, 99, 100, 101, 105, 109
Eme, 225
Emma, 55, 94
Hugh, 181
Hugh, priest, 179, 180
John, 12, 93, 94, 129, 225
Dr. John of Maidstone, 92
Dr. John, the poet's son-in-law, 75, 80, 81, 82, 89, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 107, 109
his cures, 98, 99, 100
his epitaph, 97
Joyce, 129
Maria, 93
Mr., 51, 94
Mr. A., 95
Rev. Dr., 212
Richard, 93, 225
Robert, 225
Simon, 225
Susanna, the poet's daughter, 77, 79, 89, 93, 95, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 226
Her epitaph, 104
Thomas, 94

Halls, Arms of the, 104

Halls, the, of Henwick, 94
of Idlecote, 94
of Warwick, 225
of Worcester, 93

Hallen, Rev. Cornelius, 112

Halliwell-Phillipps, "Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare," 6, 10, 17, 20, 21, 39, 41, 42, 43, 47, 49, 51, 59, 69, 72, 75, 78, 81, 93, 107, 115, 121, 122, 224, 226

Halstead, Peter, 181

Hamilton, Fanny Isabella, 156
Sir Robert North Collie, 156

Hammond, William, 108
Mrs., 108

Hampden, Eleanor, 26, 49, 170
John, 26, 49, 170

Hampton in Arden, 10, 124, 125
Lucy, 10
-on-Avon, 115
Corley, 13, 115

Hanhampsted, John, 217

Harbage, Francis, 51

Harborne, John, 47

Hareley, 22

Hargrave, John, 37

Harold, 165

Harper, Catherine, 186

Harstead, Dennis, 236

Hart, George, 106
Joan, poet's sister, 49, 54, 79, 101, 107, 109, 226
John, 112
Thomas, 106, 109
William, 109, 112, 226
William Henry, F.S.A., 4

Harts, The, 42, 61

Hartwell, Elizabeth, 143

Harveys, The Rowington, 8, 14, 226

Haselden, 214

Haseley, 10, 13, 14, 122, 124, 125

Hasted's "History of Kent," 217

"Haste-vibrans," 1

Hastings, John, 125

Hathaway, Agnes or Anne, poet's wife, 62, 63, 64, 80, 81, 83, 87, 88, 89, 90, 99, 117, 224
Her epitaph, 90
Bartholomew, 88, 89
Catherine, 88
Elizabeth, 89, 106
Isabel, 89
Joan, 106
John, 87, 88
Judith, 89, 106
[Pg 247]Margaret, 88

Hathaway, Richard, 53, 62, 63, 88, 89, 224
Rose, 106
Susanna, 106
Thomas, 88, 89, 106
William, 88, 89

Hathaways, The, 87, 106, 117, 224.

Hatton, 13, 14, 124, 125, 129

Hatton, Sir Christopher, 66

Havering, 139

Hawarden, 199

Hawnes, Beds, 26, 172, 231

Hayles, James, 211

Hazard, Dorothy, 218

Head, Elizabeth, 237

Hedges, Henry, 134

Helen's, St., Parish, Bishopsgate, 142, 143

Hemings, John, 70, 73, 75, 80, 81

Henley, John, 37

Henley-on-Thames, The Ardens of, 211

Henley Street House, 41, 47, 50, 51, 54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 79, 112

Henneage, Sir Thomas, Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, 3, 66, 214, 222

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 101, 129

"Henry IV.," 68

"Henry VIII.," 77

Heraud, 164

Hertfordshire, 136, 137

Hewes, Joan, 173

Hewlands, 88

Hewyns, John, 49
Margaret, 49
Thomas, 49

Heylin's "History of St. George," 163

Higgins, Alice, 124

Highworth, Wilts, 208

Hill, Agnes (Mrs. Arden), 36, 49
Elizabeth, 59
Francis, 143
John, of Bearley, 36
John, of Rowington (1485), 8, 14
Mary, 39
William, 31

Hoare, John, 236

Hobbyns, Julian (Mrs. Shakespeare), 119

Hodgson, Margaret, 154
Joseph, 154

Holder, Alice, 238

Holgrave, Alice, 206
Elizabeth, 206
John, 206
Sir John, 205, 207
Thomas, 205, 206, 207

Holinshed's "Chronicles," 17

Holland, Thurston, 233

Holyoake, Mr., "who made the dictionary," 100

Hooper, Humphrey, 42

Hornby, Richard, 54, 76

Hornchurch, Shakespeares of, 139, 140

Horndon, 215

Hospicium Vocatum le Greyhounde, 9

Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, 9

Hospital of St. Nicolas, Carlisle, 5

Howard, Lord Henry, 22

Howitt's, William, "Visits to Remarkable Places," 226

Huddespit, Elizabeth, 7
Robert, 7

Hugh de Vienna, 167

Hulme, Agnes, 201

Hunter, Rev. Joseph, 13, 14, 33, 142, 145

Huva, or Uve, 164, 165

Hybarnes, 178

Hyde, Cecily de, 201

Ingleby, Dr. Thomas, 78, 85, 116

Ingon, 52, 112, 115, 123

Ingram, Richard, 31

Inson, William, 219

Jackley, 210

Jaggard, William, 229

James I., King, 73, 74

Jenkes, Dorothy, 114
John, 31
Thomas, 38, 222

Jennings, Alice, 228

Jeny, M.L., 159

Jephson, William, vintner, 152

Jerome, Thomas, 236

John, King, 68

John, St., of Jerusalem Hospital, 9

Jons, Joan, 139

Jonson, Ben, 75, 85, 99

Josselyn, Gabriel, 219

Kakley, Isolda, 7
Robert, 7

Kambur, Margaret, 173

Kemp, William, 3

Kenilworth, 124, 127

Kent, Edward, 106
Junior, 106

Kineton, 101

King, Mr. W. Wickham, 181

Kingsmell, John, Sergeant-at-Law, 28, 184

Kirkland, 5

Kirtlington, 209, 210

Knightley, Sir Richard, 28, 184

Knights Templars, 167

Knolles, Nicholas, Vicar of Alveston, 42, 45

Knowle, 124, 126, 131
[Pg 248]Guild of St. Anne of, 7, 10, 11, 12, 27, 28, 170, 188, 189

Kyngeston, Avisia de, 189

Kyngeston, Robert de, 189

Lacock Abbey, 154

Ladbroke, John, 177
Joyce, 177

Lambert, Edmund, 36, 40, 41, 45, 46, 48, 49, 57
Joan, 36, 39, 40, 49
John, 36, 39, 40, 45, 47, 48, 49

Lane, Annes, 8
Mrs., 96
Nicholas, 57, 114
Richard, 105

Lane, Green and Shakespeare complain of the tithes, 76

Lane slanders Susanna Hall, 77

Lanfranc's "Chirurgerie," 93

Langham, Alice, 9

Lansdale, Grace, 237

Lapworth, 127, 169, 189

Latton, Essex, 203, 206

Lawrence, Henry, scrivener, 77

Lee, Elizabeth, 236

Lee, John de, 207

Legh, de, Constantia, 4
John de, 200, 201
Matilda, 200, 201

Leicester, 133, 178, 180
Earl of, 178, 179, 210, 211
Mayor of, 133

Leicestershire, 31, 133, 134, 216
Ardens, 216
Shakespeares, 133

Leigh, John de, 201
Maud, 199, 200
Robert, 199, 200

Leighton, Sir Thomas, 160

Leland's "Itinerary," 27, 163, 171

Lench, John, 35

Leofric, Earl of Mercia, 165

Leonetta, 164

Letherbarrow, Elizabeth, 131

Leverunia, 165, 191

Ley, Francis, 15, 119
Joan, 15, 119, 137

Lichfield Wills, 125, 174, 186

Lightfoot, Mr. J. W., 141

Lily, John, 212

Lingard, Rev. Edmund, 179

L'Isle, Richard de, 191

Little, Agnes, Prioress of Wroxall, 11, 12

Littleton, Thomas, 170

Litton, Master, 206

Lloyd, Rev. John William, 158

Lone, Alice, 8-12

Long, Theodosia, 219, 236

Longcroft, 31, 176, 183, 185, 221, 232

Long Itchington, 173, 188

Longsword, 2

"Love's Labour's Lost," 68

"Love's Labour's Wonne," 68

Lovetot, John, 215

Lewis, Lieutenant Ninian, 155

Lowston End, Rowington, 13

Lucy, Sir Thomas, 45, 54, 58, 64, 180
Deer-stealing story fabulous, 180
Lady, 90, 122

Lutterworth, 132

Lyannce, Hatton, 14

"Macbeth," 73

"Macbeth," The Scottish and English, 73

Macray, Rev. Dr., 130, 135

Madoc, Griffin ap, 198
Margaret, daughter of, 198

Madywattons, 128

Malaleone, Eustachia, 167
Savaricius, 167

Malone's "Life of Shakespeare," 23, 115

Malory, Charles, 119

Manning and Bray's "Surrey," 159

Mara, Agnes de la, 192

Marbury, Frances, 201
Thomas, 201

Marchington Register, 186

Margaret's, St., Westminster, 237

Margery, Mrs., 121

Marlow, Francis, 236

Marsh, Antony, 80
Mr. John, 80

Martin's, St., -in-the-Fields, 145, 146, 147, 236

Mary, Queen, 139

Massey, Hugh, 177

Masson, Robert, 186

Mather, Agnes, 218

Matthews, Maria, 129
William, 129

Mauley's, Lord, Arms, 23

Maxton, Charlotte, 155

Maydes, Richard, 50

Mayne, James Edward, 157

Mayowe, "The Appeal," 56, 114
Elizabeth, 223
Henry, 223
John, 45, 174, 223
Thomas, 45, 56

Mazzini, 61

Megre, le, Oliva, 190
Robert, 190
William, 191

Melbourne, John, 220

Mellent, Earl of, 166

Mercia, 163

"Merchant of Venice," 68

Mere's, Professor of Literature at Oxford, "Wit's Treasury," 67, 68

Meriden, 8, 124, 130

Merrick, Madame Anne, 85

"Merry Wives of Windsor," 79

Merton College, Oxford, 15

[Pg 249]"Microcosmus," John Davies', 34

Middleton, John, 234
Sir John, 234

"Midsummer Night's Dream," 68

Milburn, Ellen, 150
John, 150, 220

Milton's epitaph on Shakespeare, 85

Minworth, 178

Mixbury, 16

Moeles, The, 231

Montfort, Simon de, 167

More, Agnes, 234
Sir Thomas, 234
John, 212

Morris, Katherine, 119, 212

Morrison, Lady Elizabeth, 235

Mortimer, Isabella, 168
Sir Roger, 168

Mortlake, 75

Moseley's, Mr., account, 85

Mountford, William, 91

Mowsley End, Rowington, 128

Muerson, Louisa, 156

Mug, Rev. Mr., 212

Muklowe, Katharine, 173, 231, 234
Richard, 173

Murray, Edith, 156
William Sim, 156

Myttons, Mr., 69

Nanson, Mr., Town Clerk of Carlisle, 221

Nash, Arms of, 101
Edward, 102, 103, 106, 107
Elizabeth, 96, 100, 101, 102, 101, 104, 109, 226
Thomas, 89, 91, 95, 96, 97, 100, 101, 102, 109

Nash's "Worcestershire," 14

Naso, Richard, 127

Nason, John, 100

Natford, 171, 172

Neville, Barbara, 177
Richard, 177
Sir Edward, 174

Newburgh, Henry de, 166
Margaret de, 166
William de, 166

Newburghs, or Novoborgos, The, 166, 167, 168
their arms, 168

Newcome, Colonel, 155

Newcourt's "Repertorium," 15, 204

New Place, 60, 67, 71, 72, 76, 77, 80, 89, 95, 101, 102, 103, 107, 108, 117

Newport, Margaret, 204

Newton, Anna Catharine, 187, 232
John, 187, 232

Nicholas, St., Hospital of, Carlisle, 5
Parish, Warwick, 120, 225

Nichols, Sir George, "History of the English Poor Law," 37

Nichols's "Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica," 25, 30, 31, 93, 130, 137, 197, 198
"Herald and Genealogist," 125, 192
"History of Leicestershire," 216
"Progresses of King James," 74

Nicolas, Sir N.H., 21, 175, 198

Nicols, Thomas, 223

"Non Sans Droict," 22

Norhull, 167, 169

Norris, Rev. Henry, 6

Northampton, 194, 195

Northamptonshire, 195

Norton Curlew, 129

"Nottingham Records," edited by Mr. W. Stevenson, 5, 8, 10

Nuneaton, 166

Offord, 189

Oken's, Thomas, money, 119

Oldich, or Woldiche, 6, 7

Oliver, Mary, 154
Laver, 158
Thomas, 237

Ormerod's "Cheshire," 93, 196, 201
"Miscellanea Palatina," 197, 199

Orreby, Agnes de, 197
Sir John de, 198

Ortelius, 52

Oxfordshire, 134, 209, 211

Packwood, 127

Page, Elizabeth, 237

Pakeson, Thomas, 169

Pakingtons, The, of Worcester, 182
their arms, 182

Palmer, Adam, 8, 37, 38, 40, 45, 50, 223
Catherine, 202
Elizabeth, 207
John, 36
Robert, 202

Pardu, John, 115

Park Hall, 178

Parkes, Alice, 135
Penelope, 127
Richard, 127

Parkins, Isabel, 124

Parnassus, Return from, 33

Parsons, Robert, 136

Pate, Rev. Lawrence, 210

Pearce, John, 237

Peche, John, 191
Richard, 190

Pedimore, or Pedmore, Warwickshire, 169, 177, 181, 232
Worcestershire, 40, 181, 232

Peele, George, 143
Isabel, 143
James, 143

Pegge, Mr., 163

[Pg 250]Pembroke, Earl of, 70, 71, 74

Pennefather, Richard, 237

Penrith, 5

Pepper, Sarah, 202

Perche, Countess of, 165, 191

Percival, Right Hon. Margaret, 237

Perkes, John, 44
Mary, 44, 49
William, 44

Perkyns, John, 133
Richard, 133
William, 133

Perpoint, Thomas, 214

Peto, Humphrey, 45

Petyfere, Richard, 40

Philip, King, 139

Phillips, Anne, 237
Augustine, 72, 73, 75
Hugh, 218, 236
Sir Thomas, 209

Phillis, or Felicia, of Warwick, 162

Pickering, John, Lord Keeper, 129

Pilkington, Margaret, 200

Pinley, 129

Pipe Office accounts, 3, 66

Pitt, William, 223

Plague in Stratford, 52

Planché's Roll of Arms, 213

Plautus, 68

Players, Earl of Worcester's, 54
King's Company, 73, 74, 75
the Lord Chamberlain's, 66
the Queen's Company, 54

Plays not to be performed in Guildhall, Stratford, 82, 225

Plesseto, Alured de, 233

Plumer, Elizabeth, 236

Plumstead, Thomas of, 217

Plutarch's "Lives," 65

Poate, George, 137

Pole, William de la, Earl of Suffolk, 203

Pollard, Benfield, and Swanston v. Burbage, 70, 71, 81

Poole, Isabel, 126

Pooley, Elizabeth, 181
Sir William, 181

Porter, Hugh, 37, 38, 50, 223
John, 30
Robert, 30

Portingale, Richard, 6

Pouter, Nicholas, 210

Powlett, William, D.D., 156

Pre-Shakespearean London Shakespeares, 139

Price, Goditha, 181
Herbert, 181
Michael, 57

Prince, John, of Abingdon, 135

Prins, William, 8

Prior, Walter, 210

"Pruslbury," 4

Pugh, Harriet, 237

Puttenham's "Art of Poetrie," 65

Pythagoras, 68

Pytt, William, 38

Quiney, Adrian, 50, 51, 54, 59, 92
Elizabeth, 91
Judith, poet's daughter, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 89, 91, 92, 100, 105, 109
Richard, of London, 89, 92
Richard, of Stratford, 68, 89, 91
Richard, son of Thomas and Judith, and grandson of the poet, 92, 100
Sarah, 92
Shakespere, son of Thomas and Judith, and grandson of the poet, 92, 100
Thomas, poet's son-in-law, 78, 79, 89, 91, 105, 109
Thomas, son of Thomas and Judith, and grandson of the poet, 92, 100
William, 92

Radcliffe, Elizabeth, 201
John de, 200
Matilda de, 200
Richard de, 200

Rainsford, Lady Anne, 225
Sir Henry, 225

Randall, John, 88

"Rape of Lucrece," 65, 66, 222

Ratcliffe, Mrs. Anne, 237
Robert, 235

"Ratsey's Ghost," 34

Rawreth, 140

Raynborn, 164

Reve, John, 15
William, 15

Rewardine, Gloucestershire, 87

Reynolds, Humphrey, 50
Roger, 27, 29, 30, 194
William, 80

"Richard II.," 68, 72

"Richard III.," 68

Richardson, Cicely, 138
John, 63
Sarah, 150

Ridley, Jane, 154
Sir Matthew, 154

Rightwood, Hamond, 236

Robbins, Antony, 127

Roberts, Margery, 118
Thomas, shoemaker, 118, 119

Robinson, Dr. William, 205
John, 80

Rocliff, Master John, 204

Rodburn, 166

Rogers, Henry, 59
Philip, 121

"Romeo and Juliet," 68, 108

Roses, The Wars of the, 26, 170

Rosswell, Mr., 69

[Pg 251]Rotley, 166

Rous, John, 162

Rowbotham, Jane, 188

Rowington, 4, 8, 13, 14, 21, 54, 93, 113, 114, 115, 124, 127, 128, 129
Court Rolls, 4, 8, 13
Records of, edited by Mr. J.W. Rylands, 4, 14, 54, 80, 121, 122, 129, 130, 220, 226, 227

Rucking, Kent, 141

Rupert, Prince, 101

Rushby, Agnes, 36
Richard, 30, 36, 223
Thomas, 80

Ruswell, Mary, 123

Rymer's "Fœdera," the grant of Shakespeare and others, 73, 74

Sadler, Hamnet, 80
Judith, 80
Roger, baker, 41

Sage, Joseph, 158

Sakesper, Simon, 4

Sakspere, Henry, 114
Margaret, 114

Salisbury, Earl of, 146

Saltley, 176, 177, 183

Salveyn, Geoffrey, 198

Sandells, Fulke, 63

Sanders, Margaret, 114
Richard, 114

Sattlewell, William, 127

Saunders, Hugh, alias Shakespeare, 15, 16, 134

Sautemaris, Geoffrey de, 197

Savage, Mr. Richard, 120, 225

Saviour's, St., Church of, 83, 110

Saxper, Nicholas, 140
Saray, 143

Sayer, Louisa Caroline, 156
Robert, 156

Scarlett, or Skerlett, Elizabeth, 36, 223
John, 31, 38
Margaret, 31

Scatcliffe, John, 143

Schakespeir, or Schaftspeire, Sir Thomas, priest, 15, 139

Scory, Bishop, 211

Scotland, Shakespeare in, 73

Scott, Sir Walter, 71

Seeley, Martha, 152

Seneca, 68

Sewell, Margaret, 207

Shackspeare v. Lambert, 48, 57, 59

Shakespeare, Abigail, 143
Adam, of Oldiche (1389), 6, 7
the Younger (1441), 6
Adrian, 130, 151
Agnes, 8, 12, 15, 125, 156
Alderman, the, 137, 153, 154, 158
Alice, 7, 10, 12, 15, 40, 119, 123, 124, 125, 126, 140, 228
Alicia, 7
Alexander, 156, 159
Allan, of Cumberland, 5
Andrew, 125
Ann, 124, 136, 138
Annah, 124, 139, 158
Anne, 125, 131, 136, 139, 158, 227, 228
Anne, Mrs., 159
Anne, the poet's sister, 49, 54, 56, 109
Anne, the poet's wife, 80, 81, 88, 89, 90, 225
Annis, 128
Anthony, 115, 147, 148
Antonio, 115, 119
Antony, 12, 115
arms of, 17-34, 59, 153
Arthur, 137, 153, 154, 156
Arthur Bucknall, 156
Arthur Franklin, 157
Arthur Robert, 155
Arthur William, 154
Arthur Wyndham, Rev., 157
Augusta, 155, 156
Barbara, 125
Bennet, 153
Benjamin, 121, 151, 152
Betty, 132
Catharine, 124, 125, 127, 136, 148
Charles Bowles, 134
Charles Maxtor, 155
Charlotte, 155, 157
Christian, 7, 124, 151
Christopher, 11, 125, 127, 227
Clement, 227
Colin, 154, 157
Cornelius, 124
David, 157
Dorothy, 127, 145, 146, 147
Edmund, the poet's brother, 49, 56, 60, 109
Edward, 120, 126, 127, 132, 140, 150, 159, 229, 230
Edward O., 159
Eleanor, 128, 136
Elena, 12
Elizabeth (Huddespit), 7
Elizabeth, 7, 8, 121, 122, 124, 125, 126, 128, 134, 135, 136, 139, 143, 151, 153, 154, 227, 228, 230
Ellen, 134, 148, 150
Ellinor, 135, 226
Emily, 155, 159
Emma, 156
Florence, 129
Frances, 124
Francis, 144
Frederick George, 155
Geoffrey, of Brixton, 4
[Pg 252]George, 10, 111, 123, 125, 128, 129, 132, 138, 151, 152, 159, 226, 227
George Bucknall, 156
George Trant, 154
Georgiana, 157
Henrietta Matilda, 157
Gilbert, the poet's brother, 49, 53, 72, 100, 111, 226
Hamnet, the poet's son, 56, 67, 71, 90, 109
Hannah, 130, 136, 158
Harriet, 156, 157
Harriet Blanche, 157
Henrietta, 156
Henry (1349), of Cumberland, 5
Henry, 115, 119, 120, 126, 130, 137, 143, 155, 158, 159, 229
Henry, the poet's uncle, 45, 50, 56, 57, 109, 114, 158, 224
Henry Davenport, 154, 155, 156
Henry John Childe, 156
Hester, 124
Humphrey, 118, 127, 132, 144, 227
Hugh, 144
Hugh, alias Saunders, 15, 16
Ida Nea, 157
Isabel, 123, 125, 143
Isabella, Prioress of Wroxall, 7, 10, 11, 12
Isolda (Kakley), 7
James, 115, 132
Jane, 144, 147, 148, 154, 227
Jane, or Johanna, Domina, 11, 12, 14, 125
Jeames, 115
Joan, 8, 14, 114, 116, 128, 131
Joan, the poet's sister, 49, 51, 52, 54, 79, 109
Joane, 115, 119, 121, 128, 131
Joanna, 7
Johanna, 7, 13, 144
Johanna, or Jane, 12, 116, 144
Johannes (1526), 12
John, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 114, 115, 118, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 143, 150, 152, 153, 157, 159, 227, 228, 229
John, of Clifford Chambers, 119
of Doncaster, 8
of Ingon, 52, 115, 120, 226
of Kent (1278), 5
of Nottingham (1357), 5
of Oldiche (1414), 7
of Rowington, 114, 115
of St. Clement's Danes, 146, 147, 148, 149
of St. Martin's, 145, 146
of Snitterfield, Agricola, 52, 116, 120, 145, 147, 152, 223
of Warwick, 15, 130, 229
John, the shoemaker, 58, 112, 118, 119, 120, 147
John, the poet's father, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 31, 33, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 64, 94, 109, 110, 116, 158, 175, 223, 224
comes to Stratford-on-Avon, 50
marries, 51
alderman, 53
bailiff, 53, 54
place of residence, 55
Lambert's mortgage, 45, 57
death, 59
John Davenport, 156
John Dowdeswell, 154, 155
John Jos. Art., 230
John Joseph, 230
John, of Shadwell, 152, 153, 154, 155, 157, 158
John, of St. Clement's, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 230
John, of St. Martin's, 145, 146, 147
John Talbot, 154, 155, 156
Jonathan, 152, 153
Jone, 15, 131, 138, 139, 227
Joseph, 139
Joshua, 158
Josiah, 228
Joyce, 129, 137, 151
Judith, 124, 139, 141, 151
Judith, the poet's daughter, 56, 78, 81, 82, 90, 109
Julian, 119
Lawrence, 13, 14, 126
Leonard, 135, 136, 141
Leslie, 156
Lettyce, 115
Lionel Fairfax, 157
Louisa, 156
Lucy, 137
Luke, 137
Manasses, 151
Margaret, 14, 15, 124, 129, 141, 148, 149, 150, 151, 227, 228
Margaret, the poet's sister, 49, 52
Margaret, wife of Henry, 114
Margeria (1464), 7
Margery (1458), 9
Margery, Mrs., 121
Maria, 129, 145, 146
Marianne, 155
Marie, 125, 127, 129
Martha, 158
[Pg 253]Mary, 125, 128, 129, 131, 134, 136, 143, 149, 150, 152, 154, 156, 157, 158, 227, 228, 229
Mary, the poet's mother, 19, 22, 24, 25, 36, 37, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 58, 60, 76, 109, 110, 161, 184
heir and executor to her father Robert, 38
probable date of marriage, 51
she died, but no memorial left, 60, 76
Matthew, 138, 143, 144, 159
Matthew, John, 154
Mrs., 137
Mrs. O., 159
Nathaniel, 143
Nicholas, 124, 125, 126, 128
Owen, 157
Peter (1483), 9, 142
Peter (1596), 10
Peter, 14, 124, 125, 130
Philip, 118, 125
Radulphus, 7
Ralph, 7, 13, 136
Reginald, 141
Rebecca, 228
Rebekah, 151
Richard (1457), 7
Richard, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 123, 125
Richard, of Rowington, 14, 15, 114, 121, 226, 227, 228
Richard, of Snitterfield, probably poet's grandfather, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 21, 36, 37, 50, 52, 109, 113, 114, 116, 158, 223
Richard, the bailiff, 12, 13, 14, 113
Richard, the poet's brother, 49, 54, 109, 110, 111
Richmond, 155
Richmond Campbell, Sir, 154, 155
Robert, 8, 13, 15, 115, 123, 124, 126, 134, 135, 136, 138, 140, 144, 156, 157, 158
Robert, of Pontefract (1381), 6
Robina, 136
Roger, 21, 114, 123, 124, 125
Roger, the monk, 14, 21, 124
Roger, the Yeoman of the King's Chamber, 21
Samuel, 137, 139, 140, 152, 154
Sara, 125, 143
Sarah, 158
Selina, 155
Simon, of Gloucestershire (1260), 4
Sophia, 159
Susan, 139, 147, 148
Susanna, the poet's daughter, 56, 75, 77, 79, 90, 95, 109
her epitaph, 104
Susannah, 122, 124, 125, 136, 139
Thomas (1359), of Coventry, 5
Thomas (1375), of Youghal, 6, 141
Thomas (1476), 7
Thomas (1486), 7
Thomas (1511), 11
Thomas, 13, 14, 15, 19, 21, 114, 119, 120, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 137, 139, 140, 141, 144, 148, 151, 152, 226, 227, 228, 229
Thomas, of Ireland, 6, 8, 141
Thomas, of Lutterworth, 132, 133, 134
Thomas, of Oxford, 134
Thomas, of Snitterfield, 109, 115, 116, 145, 147, 158
Thomas, of Staple Inn, 132, 133, 152
Thomas, Royal Messenger, 21, 144
Thomas, Sir, the Priest, 15, 138
Ursula, 118
Walter, 124
Walter (1379), 6
Widow, 120, 136, 226, 228
William, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 21, 114, 115, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 131, 134, 136, 138, 142, 143, 151, 152, 155, 156, 158, 228, 229, 230
William (1398), of Cumberland, 5
William (1413), of London, 9
William Makepeace, 154
William Oliver, 154, 155
William, the money-lender and malt agent, 120, 121
William, the poet, 15, 18, 19, 22, 33, 34, 49, 57, 59, 64, 69, 73, 76, 79, 80, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 90, 95, 97, 100, 104, 108, 111, 112, 120, 121, 147, 148, 160, 180, 186, 217, 222, 227
he used the coat of arms, 33
consented to sale of Asbies, 46
marriage, 56
birth of children, 56
became head of family, 61
his betrothal, 62
marriage license, 63
friends in London, 64
sonnets and poems to same patron, 66
played before the Queen, 66
death of his only son, 67
Quiney's letter to Shakespeare, 69
Shakespeare in Scotland, 73
death of his mother, 76
his will, 78, 79
[Pg 254]his epitaph, 84
William, his poems, 86
William Powlett, 156
William Ross, 156
William of Westminster, 142
Winifred, 127
Wyndham, Rev. Arthur, 157

Shakespeare, the arms of, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 33, 59, 112, 153, 156, 222
Impalement of Ardens with, 24, 33, 175, 222

Shakespeare's ancestry, 6

Shakespeare's descendants, 87, 104, 108

"Shakespeareana Genealogica." See G.R. French.

Shakespeare Inn, Gloucester, 109

"Shakespeare Jahrbuch," Berlin, 3

Shakespeare Library in Warwick Castle, 117, 120

Shakespeare's Name, The Earliest Official Record of, 3, 66

Shakespeare signatures, 3

Shakespeares, the, of Alcester, 10, 124
Ascote, 10
Baddesley Clinton, 124
Balsall, 7, 10, 124
Beausal, 10
Bedfordshire, 136
Berkshire, 132
Berkswell, 10, 124
Budbrook, 10, 124
Cumberland, 5
Derbyshire, 136
Dursley, 132
Essex, 4, 10, 138
Fillongley, 111, 131
Gloucestershire, 4, 132
Grafton, 10
Hampshire, 136
Haseley, 10, 124
Hatton, 10, 122, 124
Hertford, 136
Kenilworth, 124
Kingswood, 130
Knowle, 10, 124, 126, 131
Lapworth, 10, 124
Leicestershire, 132, 133, 134
London, 137, 142
Meriden, 11, 124
Northampton, 132
Norton Lindsey, 10
Nottingham, 5, 8
Oxford, 132, 134, 135
Packwood, 10, 11, 124
Rowington, 8, 10, 12, 19, 124, 129
Snitterfield, 10, 28, 36
South Stoke, 136
Staffordshire, 10, 132
Surrey, 4, 136
Tachbrook, 10
Warwick, 10, 14, 130, 131, 132
Worcestershire, 10, 132
Wroxall, 10, 124

Shakespeares, The, 31, 39, 40, 123, 223

"Shakespeare's Warwickshire Contemporaries," 64, 65

Shakespeare, The name of, 1, 2, 3

Shakespeare v. Lambert, 47, 48, 57, 59

Shakespeye, Simon, 4

Shakesphere, 140

Shakespurr, 140

Shakspere, William (1413), 9

Shallett, Elizabeth, 153

Shallow, Justice, 64, 79

Shankes' Petition, 71

Shaw's "Staffordshire," 184, 185, 187, 198, 199, 232

Shaxsby, John, 140

Shawe, Ralphe, 58

Sheldon, Mrs., 100

Shenton, Geoff. de, 186
Nichola, 186

Sheppard's, Samuel, "Epigrams," 85

Shillingworth, Mr. Ralph, 134

Shirley, Henry, 176

Shottery, 87, 88, 226

Shotteswell, Catharine, 127
William, 126

Shrawley, 128, 129

Shugborough, Simon, 179

Shuter, Richard, 122

Siche, Thomas, of Arscote, 50

Sidney, Sir Robert, 22

Sigisbert, 1

Siward, 166

Skinner, William, 128

Skreene, Alice, 206
Elizabeth, 203
John, 204

Slender, 79

Sly, John, 227
William, 73

Smith, Mrs. Alice, 236
Henry, 105, 106
Mrs. Margaret, 219
Sir Thomas, 18
William, 57, 105, 109, 119, 124, 145
William Shakespeare, 226

Snitterfield, 27, 30, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 50, 113, 114, 123, 174, 223, 224

Solar, William, 4

Somerville, John, 30, 178, 179, 180
Margaret, 178, 179
Elizabeth, 179
Walter de, 230

Sonnets, The date of, 66

Southampton, Mary, Countess of, 2, 221
[Pg 255]Henry, Earl of, 58, 65, 66, 67, 71, 72, 74, 147, 222

Spateman, Anne, 187, 232
Rev. John, 187, 232
Thomas, 238

Spencer, Thomas, 123

Spenser, Edmund, 2

Spondon, Robert le, 5

Stafford, Sir Richard, 199
Katharine, 199

Stanhope, Mrs. Henrietta Maria, 181
John de, 200
Sir William, 201, 222
Thomas de, 200

Starke, Grace, 138

Stanley, Catherine, of Hooten, 201, 222

Statfold, 199

Stevenson's "Nottingham," 5, 8, 10

Stiffe, Barbara, 124

Stillard, Bridget, 218
Robert, 218

Stokeport, Joane, 198
Sir Richard, 198

Stokes, Ralph, 124

Storeton, Grace, 139

Stotesby, Agnes, 209

Stratford-on-Avon, 19, 41, 50, 51, 52, 58, 59, 79, 92, 101, 116
its records, 19, 37, 41, 50, 51, 53, 56, 57, 69, 95, 116, 119, 121
its church, 60, 84
its Grammar School, 61
the master of, 61

Stratton, Thomas, 208

Stringer, Agnes, 40, 41, 49, 62
Arden, 49
Ellice, 49
John, 49
Thomas, 40, 41, 49, 50, 63

Sturley, Abraham, 68
Katharine, 100

Suffolk Visitation, 234

Sulgrave, 170

Surrey Visitation, 234

Sutton, 169
Anne, or Dudley, 64
Sir Edward, Lord Dudley, 64

Swaldyve, 169, 233

Swanston, Benfield and Pollard v. Burbage, 70

Swillington, Richard, 209

Swynford, Sir John, 168
Roger, 230

Tachbrook, 123

Talbot, Sir Edmund, 234
Martha, 154

Talbots, The, 160, 234

Tardebigg, 14

Taylor, Alice, 12
Will, 233

Tayloure, Rev. John, Vicar of St. Brigyde, 177

Teery, Balsall, 10
William, 133

Temple, Grafton, 10

Tetherton, William, 121

Thackeray, Emily, 154
William Makepeace, 154, 155

Thickness, Edward, 145

Thomas, Dr. W., 11

Thompson, Marian Sophia, 155
Thomas, 123

Thornbury, Dr., Bishop of Worcester, 100

Thorne, Nicholas, 210
Robert, 210
Thomas, 209

Thrale, George, 172

Throckmorton, Clement, 35
Francis, 64
George, Sir, 28, 178
Job, 122
John, Sir, 64
Mary, 178
Mrs., 100
Nicholas, Sir, 95
Robert, Sir, 27, 28, 29, 178, 184

Thurley, 172

Timbs, John, "Curiosities of London," 143

Timporley, 201, 234

"Titus Andronicus," 68

Toupe, Jane, 230

Townsend, Henry, 115

Tracy, Sir Paul, 94

Traffords, The, 195

Trapp, Mr. John, 100

Trussell, Alured, of Billesley, 28
Dorothy, 28
Thomas, 27, 28, 29, 30, 57, 58, 174
Warine, Sir, 27
William, Sir, 27, 174

Tucker, Mr. Stephen, Somerset Herald, 20

Turchil, 160, 165, 166, 167, 190, 191

Turner, George, 51

Twycroft, The, Rowington, 13

Twycross, John, 127

Tybotes, John, 125

Tyler, Richard, 58

Underhill, Fulke, 67
Hercules, 67
William, 67

Underhills, The, 100

Upton, Cheshire, 200

Upton, Warwickshire, 231

Uva, or Huva, 164, 165

Vale, John, 123
Katharine, 123
Raufe, 173

"Valor Ecclesiasticus," 12, 113

Vassal, Asser, 139

[Pg 256]Vautrollier, Thomas, printer of London, 65

Veley, Charles Augustus, Archdeacon of Essex, 138, 139

Venables, Hugh de, 198
Alice, 198

"Venus and Adonis," 65, 66, 222

Verney, Sir Greville, 102

Vernon, Margaret, 129
Ralph de, 168
Rose, 168

Verstegan's "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence," 1

Wadley, Rev. J.P., 139

Waferer, Francis, 176, 177

Wagstaff, John, 30, 223

Waight, Mary, 151

Wake, Nicholas, 169
Robert, 169
Thomas, 169

Wale, Edward, 182

Wales, Prince of, as Earl of Chester, 200

Walker, Barbara, 107
Sir Edward, 107
Henry, 76
William, 76, 80

Wall, William, 231

Walpole, H., 237
Hon. Thomas, 237
Lord, 237

Walton-on-Thames, 137, 138, 159

Wapenham, 170, 194

Ward, Simon, 194

Wardrobe, The tenement in, 80, 102

Warehorne, Kent, 141

Warenne, Sir Edward, 233

Warwick, 10, 14, 119, 122, 124, 130, 131, 164
Castle, 117, 162, 166

Warwickshire, 19, 27, 31, 58, 87, 99, 118, 123, 131, 166, 173, 176, 178, 231
Countess of, 72
Earls of, 31, 58, 72, 137, 162, 163, 166, 168, 169, 174
Gentlemen of, 19, 93, 95, 130, 183

Washington, George, 195
Laurence, 195
Robert, 195

Wasteneys, Ellen, 199

Waterfield, Emma, 156

Watford, William of, 196, 197

Watford, 196, 197

Watts, Richard, 104

Waulkner, Mary, 236

Weale, John, 122

Webbe, Alexander, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 49
Agnes (Mrs. Arden), 36, 49
Margaret, 36, 37, 39, 49, 56
Robert, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 49, 56, 114, 223
Thomas, 42

Webberley, Edmund, 237

Wedgewood, Mary, 186
William, 54

Weever family, 233

Wegeat, or Wigatus, 164

Welcombe, 78, 80

Welles, Thomas, 106

Wennington, 216

Wery, Gregory, 205

West, Edward, 51
Sarah, 237

West's "Symboleography Concords," 42

Westmoreland, Earl of, 174, 177

Whalley's "Northampton," 168, 189, 196

Whateley, Anne, 63

Wheeler, John, 57, 58
Mrs., 58
Mr. R. B., 118, 226

Whitelock, James, 133

Whitmore, William, 88

Whitrefe, Joan, 115

Whittington, Thomas, 88

Whitefriars Theatre at the time of Shakespeare, 224

Wigatus, or Wegeat, 164

Wigod, or Wigotus, 165

William the Conqueror, 165
the Lion, 192
Rufus, 166

Williams, Agnes, 140

Willis, Edward, 54, 59

Wilmecote, 27, 36, 37, 38, 42, 49

Wilmer, Robert, 231
William, 231

Wilmot, Leonard, 135

Wilson, Anne, 139
Harry, 138
Rev. Thomas, 96, 100

Wilson's, Robert, "Cobbler's Prophecy," 18

Wilton, 74, 75

Wilton, Samuel, 153

Wiltshire, James, Earl of, 170

Winch, William, 143

Winchester, 74

Windebanck, Sir Thomas, 145

Winworth, 167, 169

Wolferstan, Samuel Pipe, 184

"Women, History of," 85

Wood, William, 27, 29, 30, 173

Woodcock, William, 157

Woodham, Agnes, 12
Richard, 12, 14, 126

Wood's "Athenæ Oxonienses," 15

Woodward, Isabel, 209
Mrs., 96

Wooten Wawen, 189

Worcester, 63, 93
Bishop of, 100
Earl of, 174
[Pg 257]his Court, 77, 79, 122

Worcester, his register, 63, 93
MS., 122
Wills, 13, 14, 37, 38, 52, 93, 128

Worcestershire, 40, 100, 181

Wren, Christopher, 145

Wright, Sir Christopher, 205
Mrs. Elizabeth, 219, 236
Rev. Walter, 210
William, 146

Wrottesley, Sir Hugh, 199, 200
Isabel, 199

Wroxall, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 21, 113, 115, 124, 137

Wyckeham, Robert de, 169, 233
Elizabeth, 169

Wylemyn, Nicholas, of Shrewley, 230

Yate, or Yates, Anthony, 209
Eleanor, 210
Francis, 212
John, 211, 234
Simon, 207, 208
Thomas, 208

Yates, Luke, 236

Yeatman's, Mr. "Gentle Shakespeare," 7, 12, 15, 113, 129

Yorkshire Archæological Journal, 234
Visitation, 234

Yoxall, 27, 31, 32, 172, 176, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187

Zouch, Lord, 160
William de la, 194

Zupitza, 162

Elliot Stock, Paternoster Row, London






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