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he may have made with the rest of the company for the sovereign: he had many important public duties to discharge regular contribution of dramas, in lieu perhaps of his own besides those belonging to his great office; and notwithpersonal exertions.
standing he had shown himself at all times a liberal patron In a work published a few years ago, containing extracts of letters, and had had many works of value dedicated to from the Diary of the Rev. John Ward, who was vicar of him, we may readily imagine, that although he must have Stratford-upon-Avon, and whose memoranda extend from heard of Shakespeare and Burbage, he was in some degree 1648 to 16794, it is stated that Shakespeare “in his elder of ignorance as to their individual deserts, which this comdays lived at Stratford, and supplied the stage with two munication was intended to remove. That it was not sent plays every year, and for it had an allowance so large, that to him by Lord Southampton, who probably was acquainted he spent at the rate of 1000l. a year, as I have heard.” We with him, may afford a proof of tlie delicacy of the Earl's only adduce this passage to show what the opinion was as mind, who would not seem directly to interpose while a to Shakespeare's circumstances shortly after the Restora- question of the sort was pending before a judge, (though tion? We take it for granted that the sum of 10001. (equal possibly not in his judicial capacity) the history of whose to nearly 50001. now) is a considerable exaggeration, but it life establishes that where the exercise of his high functions may warrant the belief that Shakespeare lived in good style was involved he was equally deaf to public and to private and port, late in life, in his native town. It is very possible, influence. too, though we think not probable, that after he retired to We have introduced an exact copy of the document in a Stratford he continued to write, but it is utterly incredible note", and it will be observed that it is without date; but that subsequent to his retirement he “supplied the stage the subject of it shows beyond dispute that it belongs to this with two plays every year.” He might not be able at once period, while the lord mayor and aldermen were endeavourto relinquish his old and confirmed habits of composition; ing to expel the players from a situation where they had but such other evidence as we possess is opposed to Ward's been uninterruptedly established for more than thirty years. statement, to which he himself appends the cautionary There can be no doubt that the object the players had in words, “ as I have heard.” Of course he could have known view was attained, because we know that the lord mayor nothing but by hearsay forty-six years after our poet's de- and his brethren were not allowed, until many years aftercease. He might, however, easily have known inhabitants wards, to exercise any authority within the precinct and of Stratford who well recollected Shakespeare, and, consid- liberty of the Blackfriars, and that the King's servants conering the opportunities he possessed, it strikes us as very tinued to occupy the theatre long after the death of Shakesingular that he collected so little information.
speare. We have already adverted to the bounty of the Earl of Southampton to Shakespeare, which we have supposed to have been consequent upon the dedication of “Venus and
CHAPTER XVIII. Adonis,” and “ Lucrece," to that nobleman, and coincident in point of date with the building of the Globe Theatre. Warrant to Daborne, Shakespeare, Field, and Kirkham, for Another document has been handed down to us among the the Children of the Queen's Revels, in Jan. 1610. Popupapers of Lord Ellesmere, which proves the strong interest larity of juvenile companies of actors. . Stay of Daborne's Lord Southampton still took, about fifteen years afterwards,
warrant, and the reasons for it. Plays intended to be acted
by the Children of the Queen's Revels. Shakespeare's in Shakespeare's affairs, and in the prosperity of the com
dramas between 1609 and 1612. His retirement to Stratford, pany to which he was attached.: it has distinct reference
and disposal of his property in the Blackfriars and Globé also to the pending and unequal struggle between the cor
theatres. Alleyn's purchases in Blackfriars in 1612. Shakeporation of London and the players at the Blackfriars, of
speare's purchase of a house in Blackfriars from Henry which we have already spoken. It is the copy of a letter Walker in 1613, and the possible cause of it explained. subscribed H. S. (the initials of the Earl) to some nobleman Shakespeare described as of Stratford-upon-Avon. in favour of our great dramatist, and of the chief performer in many of his plays, Richard Burbage; and recollecting THERE is reason for believing that the important question what Lord Southampton had before done for Shakespeare
, of jurisdiction had been decided in favour of the King's and the manner in which from the first he had patronized players before January, 1609–10, because we have an inour stage and drama, it seems to us the most natural thing strument of that date authorizing a juvenile company to in the world for him to write a letter personally on behalf exhibit at Blackfriars, as well as the association which had of parties who had so many public and private claims. We been in possession of the theatre ever since its original conmay conclude that the original was not addressed to Lord struction. One circumstance connected with this document, Ellesmere, or it would have been found in the depository to which we shall presently advert, may however appear of his papers, and not merely a transcript of it; but a copy to cast a doubt upon the point, whether it had yet been of it may have been furnished to the Lord Chancellor, in finally determined that the corporation of London was by order to give him some information respecting the charac- law excluded from the precinct of the Blackfriars. ters of the parties upon whose cause he was called upon to It is a fact, of which it may be said we have conclusive decide. Lord Ellesmere stood high in the confidence of his proof, that almost from the first, if not from the first, the
1 Diary of the Rev. John Ward, &c. Arranged by Charles Severn, and good behaviour, he hath be come possessed of the Blacke Fryers M. D. London, 8vo, 1839.
playhouse, which hath bene imployed for playes sithence it was 2 Mr. Ward was appointed to the vicarage of Stratford-upon-Avon builded by his Father, now nere 50 yeres agone. The other is a man
no whitt lesse deserving favor, and my especiall friende, till of late 3 The copy was made upon half a sheet of paper, and without ad- an actor of good account in the companie, now a sharer in the
same, dress : it runs as follows:
and writer of some of our best English playes, which, as your Lord“My verie honored Lord. The manie good offices I haue receiued ship knoweth, were most singularly liked of Quene Elizabeth, when at your Lordship’s hands, which ought to make me backward in asking Court at Christmas and Shrovetide. His most gracious Maiestie King
the companie was called uppon to performe before her Maiestie at further favors, onely imbouldeneth me to require more in the same James alsoe, sence his coming to the crowne, hath extended his royal kinde. Your Lordship will be warned howe hereafter you graunt favour to the companie in divers waies and at sundrie tymes. This anie sute, seeing it draweth on more and greater demaunds. This other hath to name William Shakespeare, and they are both of one which now presseth is to request your Lordship, in all you can, good to the poore players of the Black Fryers, who call them selves by countie, and indeede allmost of one towne': both are right famous in authoritie the servaunts of his Majestie, and aske for the protection their qualityes, though it longeth not of your Lo. grauitie and wisoof their most gracious Maister and Sovereigne in this the tyme of their dome to resort vnto the places where they are wont to delight the troble. They are threatened by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of their way of life, whereby they maintaine them selves and their
Their trust and sute nowe is not to bee molested in London, never friendly to their calling, with the distruction of their wives and families, (being both married and of good reputation) as meanes of livelihood, by the pulling downe of their plaiehouse, which is a priuate theatre, and hath neuer giuen occasion of anger by anie well as the widows and orphanes of some of their
dead fellows. disorders. These bearers are two of the chiefe of the companie; one
6 Your Lo most bounden at com. Copia vera."
H. S." of them by name Richard Burbidge, who humblie sueth for your Lordship's kinde helpe, for that he is a man famous as our English Lord Southampton was clearly mistaken when he stated that the Roscius, one who fitteth the action to the word, and the word to the Blackfriars theatre had been built nearly fifty years : in 1608 it had action most admirably. By the exercise of liis qualitye, industry, I been built about thirty-three years.
Blackfriars theatre had been in the joint possession of the to proceed“; and it is a circumstance deserving notice, that Lord Chamberlain's servants and of a juvenile company “ the Children of the Queen's Revels” were thereby called the Children of the Chapel: they were also known as licensed not only to act “tragedies, comedies,” &c. in the “ her Majesty's Children,” and “ the Children of the Black- Blackfriars theatre, but “elsewhere within the realm of friars;" and it is not to be supposed that they employed England;" so that even places where the city authorities the theatre on alternate days with their older competitors, had indisputably a right to exercise jurisdiction were not but that, when the Lord Chamberlain's servants acted else- exempted. where in the summer, the Children of the Chapel com- It will be recollected that this had been a point in dismenced their performances at the Blackfriars. After the pute in 1574, and that the words “as well within our city opening of the Globe in 1595, we may presume that the of London " were on this account excluded from the patent Lord Chamberlain's servants usually left the Blackfriars granted by Elizabeth to the players of Lord Leicester, theatre to be occupied by the Children of the Chapel during though found in the privy seal dated three days earlier. the seven months from April to October.
For the same reason, probably, they are not contained in The success of the juvenile companies in the commence- the patent of James I. to Fletcher
, Shakespeare, and others, ment of the reign of James I., and even at the latter end in 1603. We may be satisfied that the warrant of 1609–10 of that of Elizabeth, was great; and we find Shakespeare to Daborne and his partners was not carried into effect, and alluding to it in very pointed terms in a well-known passage possibly on that account: although it may have been decided in “ Hamlet,” which we suppose to have been written in the at this date that the lord mayor and aldermen had no power winter of 1601, or in the spring of 1602. They seem to forcibly to exclude the actors from the Blackfriars, it may have gone on increasing in popularity, and very soon after have been held inexpedient to go the length of authorizing James I. ascended the throne, Queen Anne took a company, a young company to act within the very boundaries of the called “ the Children of the Queen's Revels," under her city. So far the corporation may have prevailed, and this immediate patronage. There is no reason to doubt that may be the cause why we never hear of any steps having they continued to perform at Blackfriars, and in the very been taken under the warrant of 1609–10. The word commencement of the year 1610 we find that Shakespeare stayed” is added at the conclusion of the draft, as if some either was, or intended to be, connected with them. At this good ground had been discovered for delaying, if not for period he probably contemplated an early retirement from entirely withholding it. Perhaps even the question of juristhe metropolis, and might wish to avail himself
, for a short diction had not been completely settled, and it may have period, of this new opportunity of profitable employment. been thought useless to concede a privilege which, after all,
Robert Daborne, the author of two dramas that have been by the operation of the law in favour of the claim of the printed, and of several others that have been lost," seems to city, might turn out to be of no value, because it could not have been a man of good family, and of some interest at court; be acted upon. Certain it is, that the new scheme seems and in January 1609-10, he was able to procure a royal to have been entirely abandoned; and whatever Shakegrant, authorizing him and others to provide and educate a speare may have intended when he became connected with number of young actors, to be called “ the Children of the it, he continued, as long as he remained in London, and as Queen's Revels.” As we have observed, this was not a new far as any evidence enables us to judge, to write only for association, because it had existed under that appellation, and the company of the King's players, who persevered in their under those of “ the Children of the Chapel” and “ the Chil- performances at the Blackfriars in the winter, and at the dren of the Blackfriars," from near the beginning of the reign Globe in the summer. of Elizabeth. Daborne, in 1609–10, was placed at the head It will be seen that to the draft in favour of “ Daborné of it, and not, perhaps, having sufficient means or funds of his and others," as directors of the performances of the Children own, he had, as was not unusual, partners in the undertak- of the Queen's Revels, a list is appended, apparently of ing: those partners were William Shakespeare, Nathaniel dramatic performances in representing which the juvenile Field, (the celebrated actor, and very clever author) and company was to be employed. Some of these may be conEdward Kirkham, who liad previously enjoyed a privilege sidered, known and established performances, such as “ Anof the same kind. A memorandum of the warrant to tonio," which perhaps was intended for the “ Antonio and “ Daborne and others," not there named, is inserted in the Mellida” of Marston, printed in 1602; Grisell," for the
Entry Book of Patents and Warrants for Patents,” kept Patient Grisell” of Dekker, Chettle, and Haughton, printed by a person of the name of Tuthill, who was employed by in 1603; and “K. Edw. 2.," for Marlowe's “Edward II.," Lord Ellesmere for the purpose, and which book is pre- printed in 1598. Of others we have no information from served among the papers handed down by his lordship to any quarter, and only two remind us at all of Shakespeare:
In the same depository we also find a draft “ Kinsmen," may mean “ The two Noble Kinsmen," in writof the warrant itself, under which Daborne and his partners, ing which, some suppose our great dramatist to have been therein named, viz. Shakespeare, Field, and Kirkham, were concerned; and “Taming of S,” is possibly to be taken for
1 See Hist. Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. iii. p. 275, where wife, hath for her pleasure and recreation appointed her servaunts such is conjectured to have been the arrangement.
Robert Daiborne, &c. to provide and bring upp a convenient nomber 2. "The Christian turned Turk,” 1612, and “The Poor Man's Com- of children, who shall be called the Children of her Majesties Revells, fort,” 1655. In “The Alleyn Papers,'' (printed by the Shakespeare knowe ye that we have appointed and authorized, and by these preSociety,) may be seen much correspondence between Daborne and sents doe appoint and authorize the said Robert Daiborne, William Henslowe respecting plays he was then writing for the Fortune the- Shakespeare, Nathaniel Field, and Edward Kirkham, from time to atre, By, a letter from him, dated 2nd August, 1014, it appears that time to provide and bring upp a convenient nomber of children, and Lord Willoughby had sent for him, and it is most likely that Da- 1 them to instruct and exercise in the quality of playing Tragedies, borne went to Ireland under this nobleman's patronage. It is certain Comedies, &c., by the name of the Children of the Revells to the that, having been regularly educated, he went into the Church, and Queene, within the Blackfryers, in our Citie of London, or els where had a living at or near Waterford, where, in 1618, he preached a within our realm of England. Wherefore we will and command sermon which is extant. While writing for Henslowe he was in you, and everie of you, to permitt her said servaunts to keepe a congreat poverty, having sold most of the property he had with his wife. venient nomber of children, by the name of the Children of the We have no information as to the precise time of his death, but his Revells to the Queene, and them to exercise in the qualitie of play"Poor Man's Comfort” was certainly a posthumous production: he ing according to her royal pleasure. Provided alwaies, that no playes, liad sold it to one of the companies of the day before he took holy &c. shall be by them presented, but such playes, &c. as have received orders, and, like various other plays, after long remaining in manu
the approbation and allowance of our Maister of the Revells for the script, it was published. His lost plays, some of which he wrote in tyme being. And these our lres. shall be your sufficient warrant in conjunction with other dramatists, appear from “The Alleyn Papers :) (this behalfe. In witnesse whereof, &c., 40 die Janij. 1609. to have been 1. Machiavel and the Devil; 2. The Arraignment of
6 Proud Povertie.
Engl. Tragedie. London ; 3. The Bellman of London ; 4. The Owl; 5. The She Saint;
False Friends. besides others the titles of which are not given.
Hate and Love. 3 He was one of the masters of the Children of the Queen's Revels
Taming of S. in 1603-4. See Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. i.
Triumph of Truth.
K. Edw. 2.
Mirror of Life.
4 It runs thus:--
“Right trusty and welbeloved, &c., James, &c. To all Mayors, Stayed.” Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, &c. Whereas the Queene, our dearest 5 See Hist. Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. i. p. 212.
“ The Taming of the Shrew," or for the older play, with close of 1612, and for aught we know, that might be the nearly the same title, upon which it was founded.
period Shakespeare had in his mind fixed upon for the ter" Troilus and Cressida” and “Pericles” were printed in mination of his toils and anxieties. 1609, and to our mind there seems but little doubt that they It has been ascertained that Edward Alleyn, the actorhad been written and prepared for the stage only a short founder of the college of “God's Gift" at Dulwich, purtime before they came from the press. With the single chased property in the Blackfriars in April 1612*, and alexception of “Othello," which came out in 4to in 1622, no though it may possibly have been theatrical, there seems other new drama by Shakespeare appeared in a printed sufficient reason to believe that it was not, but that it conform between 1609 and the date of the publication of the sisted of certain leasehold houses, for which according to folio in 1623. We need not here discuss what plays, first his own account-book, he paid a quarterly rent of 401. The found in that volume, were penned by our great dramatist brief memorandum upon this point, preserved at Dulwich, after 1609, because we have separately considered the certainly relates to any thing rather than to the species of claims of each in our preliminary Introductions. “ Timon interest which Shakespeare indisputably had in the wardof Athens," “ Coriolanus,” “ Antony and Cleopatra,” “ Cym- robe and properties of the Blackfriars theatre* : the terms beline,” “ The Winter's Tale,” and “ The Tempest," seem to Alleyn uses would apply only to tenements or ground, and belong to a late period of our poet's theatrical career, and as Burbage valued his freehold of the theatre at 10001., we some of them were doubtless written between 1609 and the need not hesitate in deciding that the lease Alleyn purperiod, whatever that period might be, when he entirely chased for 5991. 6s. 8d. was not a lease of the play-house. relinquished dramatic composition.
We shall see presently that Shakespeare himself, though Between January 1609–10, when Shakespeare was one under some peculiar circumstances, became the owner of a of the parties to whom the warrant for the Children of the dwelling-house in the Blackfriars
, unconnected with the Queen's Revels was conceded, and the year 1612, when it theatre, very soon after he had taken up his abode at Strathas been reasonably supposed that he quitted London to ford, and Alleyn probably had made a similar, but a larger
his permanent residence at Stratford, we are in investment in the same neighbourhood in 1612. Whatever, possession of no facts connected with his personal history. in fact, became of Shakespeare's interest in the Blackfriars It would seem both natural and prudent that, before he theatre, both as a sharer and as the owner of the wardrobe withdrew from the metropolis, he should dispose of his and properties, we need not hesitate in concluding that, in theatrical property, which must necessarily be of fluctuating the then prosperous state of theatrical affairs in the metroand uncertain value, depending much upon the presence polis, he was easily able to procure a purchaser. and activity of the owner for its profitable management. He must also have had a considerable stake in the Globe, In his will (unlike some of his contemporaries who expired but whether he was also the owner of the same species of in London) he says nothing of any such property, and we property there, as at the Blackfriars, we can only speculate. are left to infer that he did not die in possession of it, We should think it highly probable that, as far as the mere having disposed of it before he finally retired to Stratford. wardrobe was concerned, the same dresses were made to
It is to be recollected also that the species of interest he serve for both theatres, and that when the summer season had in the Blackfriars theatre, independently of his shares commenced on the Bankside, the necessary apparel was in the receipts, was peculiarly perishable: it consisted of the conveyed across the water from the Blackfriars, and rewardrobe and properties, which in 1608, when the city mained there until the company returned to their winter authorities contemplated the purchase of the whole estab- quarters. There is no hint in any existing document what lishment, were valued at 5001.; and we may feel assured became of our great dramatist's interest in the Globe; but that he would sell them to the company which had had the here again we need not doubt, from the profit that had constant use of them, and doubtless had paid an annual always attended the undertaking, that he could have had no consideration to the owner. The fee, or freehold, of the difficulty in finding parties to take it off his hands. Burbage house and ground was in the hands of Richard Burbage, we know was rich, for he died in 16196 worth 3001. a year and from him it descended to his two sons: that was a per- in land, besides his personal property, and he and others manent and substantial possession, very different in its would have been glad to add to their capital, so advantagecharacter and durability. from the dresses and machinery ously employed, by purchasing Shakespeare's interest. which belonged to Shakespeare. The mere circumstance It is possible, as we have said, that Shakespeare contiof the nature of Shakespeare's property in the Blackfriars nued to employ his pen for the stage after his retirement seems to authorize the conclusion, that he sold it before he to Stratford, and the buyers of his shares might even make retired to the place of his birth, where he meant to spend it a condition that he should do so for a time; but we much the rest of his days with his family, in the tranquil enjoy- doubt whether, with his long experience of the necessity of ment of the independence he had secured by the exertions personal superintendence, he would have continued a shareof five and twenty years. Supposing him to have begun holder in any concern of the kind over which he had no his theatrical career at the end of 1586, as we have ima- control. During the whole of his life in connexion with the gined, the quarter of a century would be completed by the stage, even after he quitted it as an actor, he seems to have
1 One copy of the folio is known with the date of 1622 upon the If this paper had any relation at all to the theatre in the Blackfriars, title-page. The volume was entered at Stationers' Hall on the 8th it is very evident that Shakespeare could neither grant nor sell a Nov. 1623, as if it had not been published until late in that year, lease; and it is quite clear that Burbage did not, because he remained unless we suppose the entry made by Blount and Jaggard some time in possession of the playhouse at the time of his death : his sons enafter publication, in order to secure their right to the plays first joyed it afterwards and Alleyn continued to pay 401. a quarter for printed there, which they thought might be invaded.
the property he held until his decease in 1626. 2 We ought, perhaps to except a writ issued by the borough court
5 We have already inserted an extract from an epitaph upon Burin June 1610, at the suit of Shakespeare, for the recovery of a small bage, in which the
writer enumerates many of the characters he susA similar occurrence had taken place in 1604, when our poet tained. The following lines in Sloane MS. No. 1786, (pointed out sought to recover 17. 15s. Od. from a person of the name of Rogers, for to us by Mr. Bruce) are just worth preserving on account of the emicorn sold to him. These facts are ascertained from the existing nence of the man to whom they relate. records of Stratford.
“An Epitaph on Mr. RICHARD BURBAGE, the Player, 3 See the “ Memoirs of Edward Alleyn," p. 105, where a conjecture
“ This life's a play, scean'd out by nature's art, is hastily hazarded that it might be Shakespeare's interest in the
Where every man has his allotted parte, Blackfriars theatre. Upon this question we agree with Mr. Knight
This man hath now, as many men can tell, in “Shakspere, a Biography," prefixed to his pictorial edition of the
Ended his part, and he hath acted well. Poet's works.
The play now ended, thinke his grave to bee 4 It is in the following form, upon a small damp-injured piece of
The retiring house of his sad tragedie; paper, and obviously a mere memorandum.
Where to give his fame this be not afraid :
Here lies the best Tragedian ever play'd."
From hence we might infer, against other authorities, that what "Money paid by me E. A. for the Blackfryers
was called the “tiring room" in theatres, was so called because the More for the Blackfryers
actors retired to it, and not attireil in it. It most likely answered More again for the Leasse
both purposes, but we sometimes find it called " the attiring room" The writinges for the same and other small charges 3li 68 811 by authors of the time,
been obliged to reside in London, apart from his family, for preferred to be called “of Stratford-upon-Avon," contemthe purpose of watching over his interests in the two thea- plating, as he probably did through the whole of his theatres to which he belonged: had he been merely an author, trical life, a return thither as soon as his circumstances after he ceased to be an actor, he might have composed his would enable him to do so with comfort and independence. dramas as well at Stratford as in London, visiting the me. We are thoroughly convinced, however, that, anterior to tropolis only while a new play was in rehearsal and pre- March, 1613, Shakespeare had taken up his permanent reparation; but such was clearly not the case, and we may sidence with his family at Stratford. be confident that when he retired to a place so distant from the scene of his triumphs, he did not allow his mind to be encumbered by the continuance of professional anxieties.
CHAPTER XIX. It may seem difficult to reconcile with this consideration the undoubted fact, that in the spring of 1613 Shakespeare Members of the Shakespeare family at Stratford in 1612. purchased a house, and a small piece of ground attached to Joan Shakespeare and William Hart: their marriage and it, not far from the Blackfriars theatre, in which we believe
family. William Shakespeare's chancery suit respecting him to have disposed of his concern in the preceding year.
the tithes of Stratford ; and the income he derived from The documents relating to this transaction have come down
the lease. The Globe burnt in 1613: its reconstruction. to us, and the indenture assigning the property from Henry
Destructive fire at Stratford in 1614. Shakespeare's visit
to London afterwards. Proposed inclosure of Welcombe Walker, “ citizen of London and minstrel of London," to fields. Allusion to Shakespeare in the historical poem of William Shakespeare, " of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the “The Ghost of Richard the Third,” published in 1614. county of Warwick, gentleman," bears date 10th Maro 1612-132: the consideration money was 1401.; the house The immediate members of the Shakespeare family rewas situated “ within the precinct, circuit, and compass of sident at this date in Stratford were comparatively few. the late Blackfriars," and we are, farther informed that it Richard Shakespeare had died at the age of fortys, only stood“ right against his Majesty's Wardrobe.” It appears about a month before William Shakespeare signed the to have been merely a dwelling-house with a small yard, deed for the purchase of the house in Blackfriars
. Since and not in any way connected with the theatre, which was the death of Edmund, Richard had been our poet's youngest at some distance from the royal wardrobe, although John brother, but regarding his way of life at Stratford we have Heminge, the actor, was, with Shakespeare, a party to the no information. Gilbert Shakespeare, born two years deed, as well as William Johnson, vintner, and John Jack- a half after William, was also probably at this time an inson, gentleman.
habitant of the borough, or its immediate neighbourhood, Shakespeare may have made this purchase as an accom- and perhaps married, for in the register, under date of 3rd modation in some way to his “friend and fellow' Heminge, February, 1611–12, we read an account of the burial of and the two other persons named; and it is to be re- Gilbertus Shakspeare, adolescens," who might be his son. marked that, on the day after the date of the conveyance, Joan Shakespeare, who was five years younger than her Shakespeare mortgaged the house to Henry Walker
, the brother William, had been married at about the age of vendor, for 60l., having paid down only 801. on the 10th thirty to William Hart, a hatter, in Stratford; but as the March. It is very possible that our poet advanced the 801. ceremony was not performed in that parish, it does not apto Heminge, Johnson, and Jackson, expecting that they pear in the register. Their first child, William, was bapwould repay him, and furnish the remaining 601. before the tized on 28th August, 1600, and they had afterwards chil29th September, 1613, the time stipulated in the mortgage dren of the names of Mary, Thomas, and Michael, born redeed; but as they did not do so, but left it to him, the spectively in 1603*, 1605, and 1608%. Our poet's eldest house of course continued the property of Shakespeare, and daughter, Susanna, who, as we have elsewhere stated, was after his death it was necessarily surrendered to the uses married to Mr. John, afterwards Dr. Hall, in June, 1607, of his will by Heminge, Johnson, and Jackson?.
produced a daughter who was baptized Elizabeth on 21st Such may have been the nature of the transaction; and February, 1607–8; so that Shakespeare was a grandfather if it were, it will account for the apparent (and, we have no before he had reached his forty-fifth year ; but Mrs. Hall doubt, only apparent) want of means on the part of Shake- had no farther increase of family.
down the whole of the purchase-money in the By whom New Place, otherwise called “the great first instance: he only agreed to lend 801., leaving the par- house," was inhabited at this period, we can only conjecture. ties whom he assisted to provide the rest, and by. repaying That Shakespeare's wife and his youngest daughter Judith him what he had advanced (if they had done so) to entitle(who completed her twenty-eighth year in February, 1612,) themselves to the house in question.
resided in it, we cannot doubt; but as it would be much Shakespeare must have been in London when he put his more than they would require, even after they were persignature to the conveyance; but we are to recollect, that manently joined by our great dramatist on his retirement the circumstance of his being described in it as “ of Strat- from London, we may perhaps conclude that Mr. and Mrs. ford-upon-Avon” is by no means decisive of the fact, that Hall were joint occupiers of it, and aided in keeping up his usual place of abode in the spring of 1613 was his the vivacity of the family circle
. Shakespeare himself native town: he had a similar description in the deeds by only completed his forty-eighth year in April, 1612, and which he purchased 107 acres of land from John and Wil- every tradition and circumstance of his life tends to establiam Combe in 1602, and a lease of a moiety of the tithes lish not only the gentleness and kindness, but the habitual from Raphe Huband in 1605, although it is indisputable cheerfulness of his disposition. that at those periods he was generally resident in London. Nevertheless, although we suppose him to have sepaFrom these facts it seems likely that our great dramatist rated himself from the labours and anxieties attendant
1 It was sold by auction by Messrs. Evans, of Pall Mall, in 1841, 3 The register of Stratford merely contains the following among for 1621. 15s. The autograph of our poet was appended to it, in the the deaths in the parish :usual manner. In the next year the instrument was again brought
6. 1612. Feb. 4 Rich. Shakspeare.”' to the hammer of the same parties, when it produced nearly the sum 4 It appears by the register that Mary Hart died in 1607. When for which it had been sold in 1841. The autograph of Shakespeare, Shakespeare made his will, a blank was left for the name of his neon the fly-leaf of Florio's translation of Montaigne's - Essays, folio, phew Thomas Hart, as if he had not recollected it; but perhaps it 1603, (which we feel satisfied is genuine) had been previously sold was merely the omission of the scrivener. The Harts lived in a by auction for 1001., and it is now deposited in the British Museum. house belonging to Shakespeare. We have a copy of the same book, but it has only upon the title- 5 It has been generally stated that Charles Hart, the celebrated page the comparatively worthless signature of the reigning actor after the Restoration, was the grand-nephew of Shakespeare, monarch.
son to the eldest son of Shakespeare's sister Joan, but we are without 2 By his will he left this house, occupied by a person of the name positive evidence upon the point. In 1622 a person of the name of of John Robinson, to his daughter Susanna.
Hart kept a house of entertainment close to the Fortune theatre, and he may have been the son of Shakespeare's sister Joan, and the father of Charles Hart the actor, who died about 1679.
upon his theatrical concerns, he was not without his an- had often acted, from which he had derived so much profit, noyances, though of a different kind. We refer to a chan- and in the continuance of the performances at which so cery suit in which he seems to have been involved by the many of his friends and fellows were deeply interested. purchase, in 1605, of the remaiuing term of a lease of part of He must himself bave had an escape from a similar disthe tithes of Stratford. It appears that a rent of 271. 13s. 4d. aster at Stratford in the very next year. F'ires had broken had been reserved, which was to be paid by certain lessees out in the borough in 1594 and 1595, which had destroyed under peril of forfeiture, but that some of the parties, disre- many of the houses, then built of wood, or of materials not garding the consequences, had refused to contribute their pro- calculated to resist combustion; but that which occurred on portions; and Richard Lane, of Awston, Esquire, Thomas the 9th July, 1614, seems to have done more damage than Greene, 'of Stratford-upon-Avon, Esquire
, and William both its predecessors
. At the instance of various gentlemen Shakespeare; "of Stratford-upon-Avon, gentleman,” were in the neighbourhood, including Sir Fulk Greville, Sir Richunder the necessity of filing a bill before Lord Ellesmere, to ard Verney, and Sir Thomas Lucy, King James issued a compel all the persons deriving estates under the dissolved proclamation, or brief
, dated 11th May, 1615, in favour of college of Stratford to pay their shares. What was the the inhabitants of Stratford, authorizing the collection of issue of the suit is not any where stated; and the only im- donations in the different churches of the kingdom for the portant point in the draft of the bill, in the hands of the restoration of the town; and alleging that within two hours Shakespeare Society, is, that our great dramatist therein the fire had consumed “fifty-four dwelling-houses, many of stated the value of his “moiety" of the tithes to be 601. per them being very fair houses, besides barns, stables, and
other houses of office, together also with great store of corn, In the summer of 1613 a calamity happened which we hay, straw, wood, and timber." The amount of loss is stated, do not believe affected our author's immediate interests, on on the same authority, to be “eight thousand pounds and account of the strong probability that he had taken care to upwards". What was the issue of this charitable appeal divest himself of all theatrical property before he finally to the whole kingdom, we know not. took up his residence in his birth-place. The Globe, which It is very certain that the dwelling of our great dramahad been in use for about eighteen years, was burned down tist, called New Place, escaped the conflagration, and his on 29th June, 1613, in consequence of the thatch, with property, as far as we can judge, seems to have been situwhich it was partially covered, catching fire from the dis- ated in a part of the town which fortunately did not suffer charge of some theatrical artillery? It is doubtful what from the ravages of the fire. play was then in a course of representation : Sir Henry The name of Shakespeare is not found among those of Wotton gives it the title of “ All is True," and calls it “a inhabitants whose certificate was stated to be the immediate new play;" while Howes, in his continuation of Stowe's ground for issuing the royal briefs, but it is not at all unAnnales, distinctly states that it was “ Henry the Eighth?" likely that he was instrumental in obtaining it. It is very possible that both may be right, and that Shake sure that he was in London in November following the fire', speare's historical drama was that night revived under a and possibly was taking some steps in favour of his fellownew name, and therefore mistakenly called a new play" | townsmen. However, his principal business seems to have by Sir Henry Wotton, although it had been nearly ten related to the projected inclosure of certain common lands years on the stage. The Globe was rebuilt in the next in the neighbourhood of Stratford in which he had an inyear, as we are told on what may be considered good autho- terest. Some inquiries as to the rights of various parties rity, at the cost of King James and of many noblemen and were instituted in September, 1614, as we gather from a gentlemen, who seem to have contributed sums of money document yet preserved, and which is now before us. for the purpose. If James I. lent any pecuniary aid on the individuals whose claims are set out are, “Mr. Shakespeare," occasion, it affords another out of many proofs of his dis- Thomas Parker, Mr. Lane, Sir Francis Smith, Mace, Arthur position to encourage the drama, and to assist the players Cawdrey, and “Mr. Wright, vicar of Bishopton.” All that who acted under the royal name? Although Shakespeare it is necessary to quote is the following, which refers to might not be in any way pecuniarily affected by the event, Shakespeare, and which, like the rest, is placed under the we may be sure that he would not be backward in using head of “ Auncient Freeholders in the fields of Old Strathis influence, and perhaps in rendering assistance by a gift ford and Welcome.” of money, for the reconstruction of a playhouse in which he "Mr. Shakspeare, 4 yard land?: noe common, nor ground
1 John Taylor, the water-poet, was a spectator of the calamity,
“The play house in Salisbury Court, in Fleete streete, was pulled (perhaps in his own wherry) and thus celebrated it in an epigram, down by a company of souldiers, set on by the Sectaries of these sad which he printed in 1614 in his “Nipping and Snipping of Abuses,"' times, on Saturday, the 24th day of March, 1649. &c. 4to.
6. The Phenix, in Druery Lane, was pulled down also this day,
being Saturday the 24th of March, 1619, by the same souldiers. "UPON THE BURNING OF THE GLOBE.
The Fortune play house, between White Crosse streete and GoldAspiring Phaeton, with pride inspirde,
ing Lane, was burned down to the ground in the year 1618. And Misguiding Phæbus carre, the worlde he firde ;
built againe, with bricke worke on the outside, in the year 1622; and But Ovid did with fiction serve his turne,
now pulld downe on the inside by these souldiers, this 1649. And I in action saw the Globe to burne.'
“The Hope, on the Banke side in Southwarke. commonly called 2 See “ Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage,”? vol. i. p. nesdayes, Fridayes, and Saterdayes; and for the baiting of the beares
the Beare Garden: a play house for stage playes on Mundays, Wed386, and vol. iii. p. 298.
on Tuesdays and Thursdayes--the stage being made to take up and 3 This fact, with several other new and curious particulars respect- downe when they please. It was built in the year 1610; and now ing the fate of the Blackfriars theatre, the Whitefriars (called the pulled downe to make tenements by Thomas Walker, a peticoate Salisbury Court) theatre, the Phenix, the Fortune, and the Hope maker in Cannon Streete, on Tuesday the 25 day of March, 1656. (which was also at times used for bear-baiting) is contained in some Seven of Mr. Godfries beares, by the command of Thomas Pride, then manuscript notes to a copy of Stowe's Annales, by Howes, folio, 1631, hie Sherefe of Surry, were shot to death on Saturday, the 9 day of in the possession of Mr. Pickering: they appear to have been made February, 1655, by a company of souldiers." just after the last event mentioned in them. The burning of the 4 We take these particulars from a copy of the document "printed Globe is there erroneously fixed in 1612. When, too, it is said that by Thomas Purfoot," who then had a patent for all proclamations, the Hope was built in 1610, the meaning must be that it was then &c. It has the royal arms, and the initials I. R. at the top of it as reconstructed, so as to be adapted to both purposes, stage-plays and usual. It is in the possession of the Shakespeare Society. bear-baiting. The memoranda are thus headed : " A note of such 5 The name of his friend. William Combe is found among the "espassages as have beene omitted, and as I have seene, since the print- quires" enumerated in the body of the instrument. ing of Stowe's Survey of London in 4to, 1618, and this Chronicle at 6 This fact appears in a letter, written by Thomas Greene, on 17th large, 1631."
November, 1614, in which he tells some person in Stratford that he “PLAY HOUSES.-The Globe play house, on the Bank side in had been to see his cousin Shakespeare," who had reached town the Southwarke, was burnt downe to the ground in the yeare 1612. And day before. new built up againe in the yeare 1613, at the great charge of King Malone informs us, without mentioning his authority, that James, and many noble men, and others. And now pulled downe to the fields of Old Stratford, where our poet's estate lay, a yard land the ground by Sir Mathew Brand on Munday, the 15 of April, 1644, contained only about twenty-seven acres,” but that it varied much to make tenements in the rome of it.
in different places : he derives the term from the Saxon gyrı land, 56 The Black Friers play house, in Black Friers London, which had virgata terre.--Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. ii. p. 25. According stood many yeares, was pulled down to the ground on Nunday, the to the same authority, a yard land in Wilmecote consisted of more 6 day of August, 1655, and tenements built in the roome.
i than fifty acres.