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decease the said stock and consideration to be | five pounds; and to Francis Collins of the
paid to her children, if she have any, and if not, to her executors or assigns, she living the said term after my decease: provided that if such husband as she shall at the end of the said three years be married unto, or at any [time] after, do sufficiently assure unto her, and the issue of her body, lands answerable to the portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjuged so by my executors and overseers, then my will is, that the said hundred and fifty pounds shall be paid to such husband as shall make such assurance, to his own use.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my said sister Joan twenty pounds, and all my wearing apparel, to be paid and delivered within one year after my decease; and I do will and devise unto her the house, with the appurtenances, in Stratford, whereing she dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelvepence.
Item, I give and bequeath unto her three sons, William Hart, -Hart.* and Michael Hart, five pounds a piece, to be paid within one year after my decease.
Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Hall all my plate (except my broad silver and gilt bowl †), that I now have at the date of this my will.
Item, I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforesaid ten pounds; to Mr. Thomas Combe my sword; to Thomas Russel, esq.
borough of Warwick, gent, thirteen pounds six shillings and eight-pence, to be paid within one year after my decease.
Item, I give and bequeath to Hamlet [Hamnet] Sadler † twenty-six shillings eight-pence, to buy him a ring; to William Reynolds, gent. twenty-six shillings eight-pence, to buy him a ring; to my godson, William Walker, twenty shillings in gold; to Anthony Nash, S gent. twenty six-shillings eight-pence; and to Mr. John Nash, ** twenty-six shillings eight-pence; and to my fellows, John Heminge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, †† twenty-six shillings eight-pence apiece, to buy them
not been able to discover. I have taken the trouble to ascertain the ages of Shakspeare's friends and relations, and the time of their deaths, because we are thus enabled to judge how far the traditions concerning him which were communicated to Mr. Rowe in the beginning of this century, are worthy of credit. MALONE.
to Francis Collins-] This gentleman, was, I believe, baptized at Warwick. He died the year after our poet, and was buried at Stratford, Sept. 27, 1617, on which day he died. MALONE, edit. 1821.
+ to Hamnet Sadler,] This gentleman was after him. Mr. Sadler, I believe, was born about godfather to Shakspeare's only son, who was called the year 1550, and died at Stratford-upon-Avon, in October, 1624. His wife, Judith Sadler, who was godmother to Shakspeare's youngest daughter, was buried there, March 23, 1613-14. Our poet probably was godfather to their son William, who was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 5, 1597-8. MA
+ to my godson, William Walker,] William, the son of Henry Walker, was baptized at Stratford, Oct. 16, 1608. I mention this circumstance,
because it ascertains that our author was at his
native town in the autumn of that year. Mr. William Walker was buried at Stratford, March 1, 1679-80. MALONE.
- Mr. Thomas Combe.] This gentleman was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 9. 1588-9, so that he was twenty-seven years old at the time of Shak-daughter, speare's death. He died at Stratford in July, 1657,
§ to Anthony Nash,] He was father of Mr. Thomas Nash, who married our poet's grandElizabeth Hall. He lived, I believe, at Welcombe, where his estate lay; and was buried
at Stratford, Nov. 18, 1622. MALONE.
aged 68; and his elder brother William died at the same place, Jan. 30, 1666-7, aged 80. Mr. Thomas Combe by his will, made June 20, 1656, --to Mr. John Nash,] This gentleman died directed his executors to convert all his personal at Stratford, and was buried there, Nov. 10,
property into money, and to lay it out in the purchase of lands, to be settled on William Combe, the eldest son of John Combe of Allchurch in the county of Worcester, gent. and his heirs-male; remainder to his two brothers successively. Where, therefore, out poet's sword has wandered, I have
tt - To my fellows,John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, These our poet's fellows did not very long survive him. Burbage died in March, 1619; Cundell in December, 1627; and Heminge in October, 1623. MALONE,
Item, I give, will, bequeath, and devise, unto my daughter, Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to perform this my will, and towards the performance thereof, all that capital messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, in Stratford aforesaid, called The New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two messuages or tenements, with the appurtenances, situate, lying, and being, in Henley-street, within the borough of Stratford aforesaid; and all my barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratfordupon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them, in the said County of Warwick; and also all that messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying, and being, in the Blakfriars in London near the Wardrobe; † and all other my lands, tencments, and hereditaments whatsoever to have and to hold all and singular the said premises, with their appurtenances, unto the said Su
-Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe.] The lands of Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, here devised, were, in Shakspeare's time, a continuation of one large field, all in the parish of Stratford. Bishopton is two miles from Stratford, and Welcombe one. For Bishopton, Mr. Theobald erroneously printed Bushaxton, and the error has been continued in all the subsequent editions. The word in Shakspeare's original will is spelt Bushopton, the vulgar pronunciation of bishopton.
I searched the Indexes in the Rolls Chapel from the year 1589 to 1616, with the hope of finding an enrolment of the purchase-deed of the estate here devised by our poet, and of ascertaining its extent and value; but it was not enrolled during that period, nor could I find any inquisition taken after his death, by which its value might have been ascertained. I suppose it was conveyed by the former owner to Shakspeare, not by bargain and sale, but by a deed of feoffinent which it was not necessary to enroll. MALONE.
that messuage or tenement-in the Blackfriars in London, near the Wardrobe ;] This Was the house which was mortgaged to Henry Walker.
By the Wardrobe is meant the King's Great Wardrobe, a royal house, near Puddle-Wharf, purchased by King Edward the Third from sir John Beauchamp, who built it. King Richard III. was lodged in this house, in the second year of has reign. See Stowe's Survey, p. 693, edit. 1618. After the fire of London this office was kept in Savoy: but it is now abolished. MALONE.
sanna Hall, for and during the term of her natural life; and after her decease to the first son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirs-males of the body of the said first son lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the second son of her body lawfully issuing, and to the heirs-males of the body of the said second son lawfully issuing; and for default of such heirs, to the third son of the body of the said Susanna lawfully issuing, and to the heirsmales of the body of the said third son lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, the same so to be and remain to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body, lawfully issuing one after another, and to the beirs-males of the bodies of the said fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons lawfully issuing, in such manner as it is before limited to be and remain to the first, second, and third sons of her body, and to their heirs-males; and for default of such issue, the said premises to be and remain to my said niece Hall, and the heirs-males of her body lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to my daughter Judith, and the heirs-males of her body lawfully issuing; and for default of such issue, to the right heirs of me the said William Shakspeare for ever.
Item, I give unto my wife my second best bed, with the furniture.*
Item, I give and bequeath to my said daughter, Judith, my broad silver gilt bowl. All the rest of my goods, chattels, leases, plate, jewels, and household stuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid, and my funeral expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son-in-law, John Hall, gent. and my daughter, Susanna, his wife, whom I ordain and make executors of this my last will and testament. And I do entreat and appoint the said Thomas Russell, esq. and Francis Collins, And do revoke gent. to be overseers hereof.
my second best bed, with the furniture.] Thus Shakspeare's original will.
It appears, in the original will of Shakspeare (now in the Prerogative-office, Doctors Commons), that he had forgot his wife; the legacy to her being expressed by an interlineation, as well as those to Heminge, Burbage, and Cundell.
The will is written on three sheets of paper, the last two of which are undoubtedly subscribed with Shakspeare's own hand. The first indeed has his name in the margin, but it differs somewhat in spelling as well as manner, from the two signatures that follow.
On William Shakspeare, who died in April, 1616.
For Shakspeare, in your three-fold, four-fold tomb.
To the Memory of my Beloved the Author,
Of all that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome,
Triumph, my Britain! thou hast one to show,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Of Shakspeare's mind, and manners, brightly shines
And despairs day, but for thy volume's light!
Upon the Lines and Life of the famous Scenic Poet, Master William Shakspeare
Those hands which you so clapp'd, go now and wring,
You Britains brave; for done are Shakspeare's days; His days are done that made the dainty plays,
Which made the globe of heaven and earth to ring: Dry'd is that vein, dry'd is the Thespian spring, Turn'd all to tears, and Phoebus clouds his rays; That corpse, that coffin, now bestic those bays,
Which crown'd him poet first, then poet's king. If tragedies might any prologue have,
All those he made would scarce make one to this; Where fame, now that he gone is to the grave, (Death's public tiring-house) the Nuntius is: For, though his line of life went soon about, The life yet of his lines shall never out. HUGH HOLLAND,
To the Memory of the deceased Author, Master
Shakspeare, at length thy pious fellows give
Both weep and smile; fearful at plots so sad,
Shall loath what's new, think all is prodigy
On worthy Master Shakspeare, and his Poems.
A mind reflecting ages past, whose clear And equal surface can make things appear, Distant a thousand years, and represent Them in their lively colours, just extent: To outrun hasty time, retrieve the fates, Roll back the heavens, blow ope the iron gates Of death and Lethe, where confused lie Great heaps of ruinous mortality: In that deep dusky dungeon, to discern A royal ghost from churls; by art to learn The physiognomy of shades, and give Them sudden birth, wond'ring how oft they live; What story coldly tells, what poets feign At second hand, and picture without brain, Senseless and soul-less shews: To give a stage,Ample, and true with life,-voice, action, age, As Plato's year, and new scene of the world, Them unto us, or us to them had hurl'd: To raise our ancient sovereigns from their herse, Make kings his subjects; by exchanging verse, Enlive their pale trunks, that the present age Joys in their joy, and trembles at their rage: Yet so to temper passion, that our ears
Take pleasure in their pain, and eyes in tears
This, and much more, which cannot be express'd
Which never fades; fed with ambrosian meat,
An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatick Poet,
What needs my Shakspeare for his honour'd bones,