Page images
PDF
EPUB

pounds to be set forth by my executors during the life of my sister Joan Hart, and the use and profit thereof coming, shall be paid to my said sister Joan, and after her decease the said fifty pounds shall remain amongst the children of my said sister, cqually to be divided amongst them; but if my said daughter Judith be living at the end of the said three years, or any issue of her body, then my will is, and so I devise and bequeath the said hundred and fifty pounds to be set out by my executors and overseers for the best benefit of her and her issue, and the stock not to be paid unto her so long as she shall be married and covert baron; but my will is, that she shall have the consideration yearly paid unto her during her life, and after her decease the said stock and consideration to be 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 adjudged 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.

Brabantio, “ You'll have your nephews neigh to you ;” meaning his grand-children. Malone.

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, wherein she dwelleth, for her natural life, under the yearly rent of twelve-pence.

Item, I give and bequeath unto her three sons, William Hart, Hart, 3 and Michael Hart, five pounds apiece, to be paid within one year after decease.

Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Hall all my plate, (except my broad silver and gilt bowl,)s 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 Combes my sword; to Thomas Russel, esq. five

my

3

4

Hart,] It is singular that neither Shakspeare nor any of his family should have recollected the christian name of his nephew, who was born at Stratford but eleven years before the making of his will. His christian name was Thomas ; and he was baptized in that town, July 24, 1605.

MALONE. except my broad silver and gilt bowl,] This bowl, as we afterwards find, our poet bequeathed to his daughter Judith. Instead of bowl, Mr. Theobald, and all the subsequent editors, have here printed boxes. Malone.

Mr. Thomas Combe] This gentleman was baptized at Stratford, Feb. 9, 1588-9, so that he was twentyseven years old at the time of Shakspeare's death. He died at Stratford in July 1657, aged 68; and his elder brother William died at the same place, Jan. 30, 1666-7, aged 80.

[ocr errors]

pounds; and to Francis Collins 6 of the borough of Warwick, in the county 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] Sadler7 twenty-six shillings eight-pence, to buy bim a ring; to William Reynolds, gent. twentysix shillings eight-pence, to buy him a ring; to my godson William Walker, twenty shillings in

6

Mr. Thomas Combe by his will made June 20, 1656, directed his executors to convert all his personal 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, our poet's sword has wandered, I have 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, christened at Warwick. He died the year after our poet, and was buried at Stratford, Sept. 27, 1617, on which day he died. MALONE.

to Humnet Sadler -] This gentleman was godfather to Shakspeare's only son, who was called after him. Mr. Sadler, I believe, was born about the year 1550, and died at Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was buried, October 26, 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.

MALONE. to my godson William Walker,] This son of

7

8

[ocr errors]

gold; to Anthony Nash, 9 gent. twenty-six shillings eight-pence; and to Mr. John Nash,10 twenty-six shillings eight-pence; and to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, 11 twenty-six shillings eight-pence apiece, to buy them rings.

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 whatour author was the son of Mr. Henry Walker, who was elected an Alderman of Stratford, January 3, 1605-6. William 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, 1679-80. MALONE.

to Anthony Nush,] He was father of Mr. Thomas Nash, who married our poet's grandaughter, Elizabeth Hall. He lived, I believe, at Welcombe, where his estate lay; and was buried at Stratford, Nov. 18, 1622. MALONE.

to Mr. John Nash,] This gentleman died at Stratford, and was buried there, Nov. 10, 1623. Malone.

- to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burhage, 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, 1630.

MALONE.

9

[ocr errors]

10

11

soever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, 12 or taken, within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratfordupon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe,13 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 Blackfriars in London near the Wardrobe; 14 and

12

13

received, perceived,] Instead of these words, we have hitherto had in all the printed copies of this will, reserved, preserved. MALONE.

old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe,] The lands of Old Stratford, Bishopton, and Welcombe, here de. vised, 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 Bushatton, 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 feoffment, which it was not necessary to enrol. MALONE.

that messuage or tenementin the Blackfriars in London near the Wardrobe ;] [See p. xxxviii. n. 57.] 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.

14

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »