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“ Vicesimo quinto die Martii, Anno Regni Domini nostri Jacobi nunc Regis Angliæ, fc. decimo
quarto, et Scotiæ quadragesimo nono. Anno Domini 1616. “ In the name of God, Amen. I, William Shakspere, of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, gent., in perfect health and memory, (God be praised !) do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following; that is to say:
“ First, I commend my soul into the hands of God my creator, hoping, and assuredly believing, through the only merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth whereof it is made.
Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful English money, to be paid unto her in manner and form following; that is to say, one hundred pounds in discharge of her marriage portion within one year after my decease, with consideration after the rate of two shillings in the pound for so long time as the same shall be unpaid unto her after my decease; and the fifty pounds residue thereof, upon her surrendering of, or giving of such sufficient security as the overseers of this my will shall like of, to surrender or grant, all her estate and right that shall descend or come unto her after my decease, or that she now hath, of, in, or to, one copyhold tenement, with the appurtenances, lying and being in Stratford-upon-Avon aforesaid, in the said county of Warwick, being parcel or holden of the manor of Rowington, unto my daughter Susanna Hall, and her heirs for ever.
“ Item, I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds more, if she, or any issue of her body, be living at the end of three years next ensuing the day of the date of this my will, during which time my executors to pay her consideration from my decease according to the rate aforesaid : and if she die within the said term without issue of her body, then my will is, and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my niece Elizabeth Hall, and the fifty 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, equally 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.
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, and Michael Hart, five pounds apiece, 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 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., five pounds; and to Francis Collins 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] 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, gent., twenty-six shillings eight-pence; and to Mr. John Nash, twenty-six shillings eight-pence; and to my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, 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 whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken, within the towns, hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford-uponAvon, 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 Blackfriars in London, near the Wardrobe; and all other my lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever; to have and to hold all and singular the said premises, with their appurtenances, unto the said Susanna 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 heirs males 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 heirs 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 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 bis wife, whom I ordain and make executors of this my last will and testament. And I do entreat and appoint the said Thomas Russel, esq., and Francis Collins, gent., to be overseers hereof. And do revoke all former wills, and publish this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand, the day and year first above-written.
William Shakspere. “ Witness to the publishing hereof,
Robert WHATTCOAT. “ Probatum fuit testamentum suprascriptum apud London, coram Magistro William Byrde, Legum
Doctore, &c. vicesimo secundo die mensis Junii, Anno Domini 1616; juramento Johannis Hall unius ex. cui, &c. de bene, 8c. jurat. reserrula potestate, sc. Susannae Hall, alt, ex. &-c. eam cum venerit, &c. petitur. &c.”
" By me,
NOTE ON SOME POINTS OF SIIAKSPERE'S WILL.
Tue solemn clause, “ My body to the earth whereof it is made,” was carried into effect by the burial of William Shakspere in the chancel of his parish church. A tomb, of which we shall presently speak more particularly, was erected to his memory before 1623. The following lines are inscribed beneath the bust :
“ Jvdicio Pylivm, GENIO Socratem, arte MARONEM,
TERRA TEGIT, POPVLVS MÆRET, OLYMPVS HABET.
OBIIT ANO. Doi, 1616. ÆTATIS 53. DIE 23. ap.” Below the monument, but at a few paces from the wall, is a flat stone, with the following extraordinary inscription :
Good FREND For Jesus SAKE FORBEARE
AND CURST BE HE Moves my Bones. In a letter from Warwickshire, in 1693,* the writer, after describing the monument to Shakspere, and giving its inscription, says, “ Near the wall where this monument is erected lie the plain freestone underneath which his body is buried, with this epitaph made by himself a little before his death.” He then gives the epitaph, and subsequently adds, “ Not one for fear of the curse above. said dare touch his grave-stone, though his wife and daughters did earnestly desire to be laid in the same grave with him.” This information is given by the tourist upon the authority of the clerk who showed him the church, who “was above eighty years old.” Here is unquestionable authority for the existence of this free-stone seventy-seven years after the death of Shakspere. We have an earlier authority. In a plate to Dugdale's ' Antiquities of Warwickshire, first published in 1656, we have a representation of Shakspere's tomb, with the following :-"Neare the wall where this monument is erected, lyeth a plain free-stone, underneath which his body is buried, with this epitaph
" Good frend," &c. But it is very remarkable, we think, that this plain free-stone does not bear the name of Shakspere - has nothing to establish the fact that the stone originally belonged to his grave. We apprehend that during the period that elapsed between his death and the setting-up of the monument, a stone was temporarily placed over the grave; and that the warning not to touch the bones was the stonemason's invention, to secure their reverence till a fitting monument should be prepared, if the stone were not ready in his yard to serve for any grave. We quite agree with Mr. De Quincey that this doggrel attributed to Shakspere is “ equally below his intelleet no less than his scholarship,” and we hold with him that “ as a sort of siste viator appeal to future sextons, it is worthy of the grave-digger or the parish clerk, who was probably its author.”
The bequest of the second-best bed to his wife was an interlineation in Shakspere’s Will. " He had forgot her,” says Malone. There was another bequest which was also an interlineation : " To • Published from the original manuscript by Mr. Rodu, 1838.
my fellows, John Hemynge, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell, twenty-six shillings eightpence apiece, to buy them rings.” It is not unlikely that these companions of his professional life derived substantial advantages from his death, and probably paid him an annuity after his retirement. The bequest of the rings marked his friendship to them, as the bequest of the bed his affection to his wife. She died on the 6th of August, 1623, and was buried on the 8th, according to the register
Her grave-stone is next to the stone with the doggrel inscription, but nearer to the north wall, upon which Shakspere's monument is placed. The stone has a brass plate, with the following inscription :
“ HEERE LYETH INTERRED THE BODYE OF Anne, wife of Mr. William SHAKESPEARE, WHO DEPTED. THIS LIFE THE 6TH DAY Of Avgvst, 1623, BEING OF THE AGE OF 67 yeares."
“ VBERA, TU MATER, TU LAC VITAMQ. DEDISTI,
VÆ MHI; PRO TANTO MUNERE SAXA DABO!
Exent ur Christi CorpuS, IMAGO TUA ?
CLAUSA LICET TUMULO MATER, ET ASTRA PETET." It is evident that the epitaph was intended to express the deep affection of her daughter, to whoin Shakspere bequeathed a life interest in his real property, and the bulk of his personal. The widow of Shakspere in all likelihood resided with this elder daughter. It is possible that they formed one family previous to his death. That daughter died on the 11th of July, 1619, having survived her husband, Dr. Hall, fourteen years. She is described as widow in the register of burials :
Guly) 16 mes you Wanna Hall widow
Ranging with the other stones, but nearer the south wall, is a flat stone now bearing the following inscription :
“ Heere LYETH YE. BODY OF SUSANNA, WIFE to John Hall, GENT. YE. DAVGHTER of Willjav SHAKESPEARE, GENT. SHE DECEASED YE. 11th or JvLY, Ao. 1649, AGED 66." On the same stone is an inscription for Richard Watts, who had no relationship to Shakspere or his descendants. Fortunately Dugdale has preserved an inscription which the masons of Stratford obliterated, to make room for the record of Richard Watts, who has thus attained a distinction to which he had no claim :
“ WITTY ABOVE HER SEXE, BUT THAT'S NOT ALL,
Wise to SALVATION WAS GOOD Mistris Hall,
To WEEPE WITH HER THAT WEPT WITH ALL?
THEM UP WITH COMFORTS CORDIALL.
WHEN THOU IIAST NE'RE A TEARE TO SHED." Judith, the second daughter of Shakspere, lived till 1662. She was buried on the 9th of February of that year: