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45 years old, 1609.
Lord Southampton's letter on behalf of Shakespeare, styling
Supposed period of his quitting London, and taking up his permanent residence at Stratford. One of the plaintiffs in a Chancery suit concerning the lease of tithes bought in 1605.
Richard Shakespeare buried February 4. William Shakespeare purchased a house in Blackfriars for 140, March 10; possibly with some view of convenience to his friends and former fellow-actors. Globe Theatre burned down June 29.
Fire at Stratford July 9. Shakespeare active to prevent the enclosure of common-land at his native place. Thomas Greene, clerk of the corporation, sent to London on the business, made a note, dated November 17, wherein he mentions going to see Shakespeare on his coming up to town. John Combe's legacy of £5 to Shakespeare.
No record: peace and content leave few traces to mark their existence. In the course of the last nine years had appeared Ant. and Cleo., Pericles, Winter's Tale, Tempest, Coriolanus, Timon, Julius Cæsar, and Cymbeline.
1616. Prepared his will January 25. Judith Shakespeare married to Thomas Quiney February 10. Executed his will March 25. A legend that Ben Jonson and Drayton paid Shakespeare a visit at Stratford, and that the hospitable reception he gave them hastened his end; in some respects a genial close, -entertaining his brother poets. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE expired April 23: but he ceased not to live.
IN THE PREROGATIVE OFFICE, LONDON.
Vicesimo quinto die [Januarii] Martii, anno regni domini nostri Jacobi, nunc regis Angliæ, &c. decimo quarto, et Scotia xlix°, annoque Domini 1616.
T. Wmi. Shackspeare.
In the name of God, amen! I William Shackspeare, of Stratford upon Avon in the countie of Warr., gent., in perfect health and memorie, God be praysed, doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followeing, that ys to saye, ffirst, I comend my soule into the handes of God my Creator, hoping and assuredlie beleeving, through thonelie merites of Jesus Christe my Saviour, to be made partaker of lyfe everlastinge, and my bodye to the earth whereof yt ys made. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my [sonne and] daughter Judyth one hundred and fyftie poundes of lawfull English money, to be paied unto her in manner and forme foloweing, that ys to saye, one hundred poundes in discharge of her marriage porcion within one yeare after my deceas, with consideracion after the rate of twoe shillinges in the pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbe unpaied unto her after my deceas, and the fyftie poundes residewe thereof upon her surrendring of, or gyving of such sufficient securitie as the overseers of this my will shall like of, to surrender or graunte all her estate and right that shall discend or come unto her after my deceas, or that shee nowe hath, of, in, or to, one copiehold tenemente, with thappurtenaunces, lyeing and being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaied in the saied countye of Warr., being parcel or holden of the mannour of Rowington, unto my daughter Susanna Hall and her heires for ever. Item, I gyve and
bequeath unto my saied daughter Judith one hundred and fyftie poundes more, if shee or anie issue of her bodie be lyvinge att thend of three yeares next ensueing the daie of the date of this my will, during which tyme my executours are to paie her consideracion from my deceas according to the rate aforesaied; and if she dye within the saied tearme without issue of her bodye, then my will ys, and I doe gyve and bequeath one hundred poundes thereof to my neece Elizabeth Hall, and the fiftie poundes to be sett fourth by my executours during the lief of my sister Johane Harte, and the use and proffitt thereof cominge shalbe payed to my saied sister Jone, and after her deceas the said 1." shall remaine amongst the children of my saied sister, equallie to be devided amongst them; but if my saied daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the saied three yeares, or anie yssue of her bodye, then my will ys and soe I devise and bequeath the saied hundred and fyftie poundes to be sett out by my executours and overseers for the best benefitt of her and her issue, and the stock not to be paied unto her soe long as she shalbe marryed and covert baron [by my executours and overseers]; but my will ys, that she shall have the consideracion yearelie paied unto her during her lief, and, after her deceas, the saied stocke and consideracion to bee paied to her children, if she have anie, and if not, to her executours or assignes, she lyving the saied terme after my deceas, Provided that yf suche husbond as she shall att thend of the saied three yeares be marryed unto, or att anie after (sic), doe sufficientlie assure unto her and thissue of her bodie landes awnswereable to the porcion by this my will gyven unto her, and to be adjudged soe by my executours and overseers, then my will ys, that the saied cl." shalbe paied to such husbond as shall make such assurance, to his owne use. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my saied sister Jone xx." and all my wearing apparrell, to be paied and delivered within one yeare after my deceas; and I doe will and devise unto her the house with thappurtenaunces in Stratford, wherein she dwelleth, for her natural lief, under the yearlie rent of xij. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto her three sonnes, William Harte, Hart, and Michaell Harte, fyve poundes a peece, to be paied within one yeare after my deceas [to be sett out for her within one yeare after my deceas by my executours, with thadvise and direccions of my overseers, for her best profitt, untill her mariage, and then the same with the increase thereof to be paied unto her]. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto [her] the saied Elizabeth Hall all my plate, except my brod silver and gilt bole, that I now have att the date of this my will. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto the poore of Stratford aforesaied
tenn poundes; to Mr Thomas Combe my sword; to Thomas Russell esquier fyve poundes; and to Frauncis Collins, of the borough of Warr. in the countie of Warr. gentleman, thirteene poundes, sixe shillinges, and eight pence, to be paied within one yeare after my deceas. Item, I gyve and bequeath to [Mr Richard Tyler thelder] Hamlett Sadler xxvj. viij. to buy him a ringe; to William Raynoldes, gent. xxvj. viij. to buy him a ringe; to my godson William Walker xx.' in gold; to Anthonye Nashe gent. xxvj. viij.; and to Mr John Nashe xxvj. viij." [in gold]; and to my fellowes John Hemynges, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell xxvj. viij.a a peece to buy them ringes. Item, I gyve, will, bequeath, and devise, unto my daughter Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to performe this my will, and towardes the performans thereof, all that capitall messuage or tenemente with thappurtenaunces, in Stratford aforesaid, called the New Place, wherein I nowe dwell, and two messuages or tenementes with thappurtenaunces, scituat, lyeing, and being in Henley streete, within the borough of Stratford aforesaied; and all my barnes, stables, orchardes, gardens, landes, tenementes, and hereditamentes whatsoever, scituat, lyeing, and being, or to be had, receyved, perceyved, or taken, within the townes, hamletes, villages, fieldes, and groundes, of Stratford upon Avon, Oldstratford, Bushopton, and Welcombe, or in anie of them in the said countie of Warr. And alsoe all that messuage or tenemente with thappurtenaunces, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, scituat, lyeng, and being, in the Blackfriers in London, nere the Wardrobe; and all other my landes, tenementes, and hereditamentes whatsoever, To have and to hold all and singuler the saied premisses, with theire appurtenaunces, unto the saied Susanna Hall, for and during the terme of her naturall lief, and after her deceas, to the first sonne of her bodie lawfullie yssueing, and to the heires males of the bodie of the saied first sonne lawfullie yssueinge; and for defalt of such issue, to the second sonne of her bodie lawfullie issueinge, and to the heires males of the bodie of the saied second sonne lawfullie yssueinge; and for defalt of such heires, to the third sonne of the bodie of the saied Susanna lawfullie yssueing, and of the heires males of the bodie of the saied third sonne lawfullie yssueing; and for defalt of such issue, the same soe to be and remaine to the ffourth [sonne], ffyfth, sixte, and seaventh sonnes of her bodie lawfullie issueing, one after another, and to the heires males of the bodies of the saied fourth, fifth, sixte, and seaventh sonnes lawfullie yssueing, in such manner as yt ys before lymitted to be and remaine to the first, second, and third sonns of her bodie, and to theire heires males; and for defalt of such issue, the saied premisses to be and