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Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
ca. July 1605 - January
1608

BRT2/1, p. 59

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BRT2/1, p. 59
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
Date: ca. July 1605-January 1608
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRT2/1, p. 59

Item Title
Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
Item Date
ca. July 1605-January 1608
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRT2/1, p. 59

BRT2/1, p. 59, detail

View Image Assets
BRT2/1, p. 59, detail
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
Date: ca. July 1605-January 1608
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRT2/1, p. 59

Item Title
Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
Item Date
ca. July 1605-January 1608
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRT2/1, p. 59, detail

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Bridgewardens
Date: ca. July 1605-January 1608
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRT2/1, p. 59

On January 16, 1598 the Corporation entered a survey of its property into the “Bridge Book” (Minutes and Accounts, v, pp. 124-31). This book formerly belonged to the Stratford-upon-Avon bridge wardens, but by 1569 the Corporation had taken it over to record details of its own property holdings. The 1598 survey was regularly updated, including the edit regarding Shakespeare’s lease on the Stratford tithes, shown here on p. 59.

The Corporation’s most valuable single asset, entered on p. 59, was a large portion of the Stratford tithes, comprising the great tithes (of grain and hay) from the fields of Old Stratford, Bishopton and Welcombe, and the privy tithes of the whole parish. When the Crown granted these tithes to the Corporation in 1553, they had been valued at £34 a year. This income was supposed to primarily pay the vicar’s and assistant minister’s stipends. However, all of the parish tithes (including the portions granted to the Corporation) were subject to a 92-year lease dating from 1544, requiring the leaseholder to pay the Corporation £34 a year in rent for the portion it now owned. In 1580, John Hubaud acquired this lease, thus making him liable for this annual payment to the Corporation. Under his will of 1583, Hubaud further divided the lease of these tithes between two beneficiaries: his brother Ralph Hubaud and his “cousin,” George Digby, who were then each required to pay £17 (i.e. half of the £34 rent) to the Corporation. (To learn more about the history of the Stratford tithes, please refer to Ralph Hubaud’s 1605 assignment of a lease of a share in the Stratford Tithes to William Shakespeare.)

In surviving Corporation rentals, the subsequent payees of the £34 rent are rarely recorded. Indeed, when this early 1598 survey was complied, they were still referred to simply, as shown here in the fourth entry on p. 59, as “Thexecutors of Sr John Hubaud.” By that time, half the £34 was in fact due from Ralph Hubaud and half from Thomas Combe, who was sub-let Digby’s half-share in May 1595.

Entries in the “Bridge Book” were regularly updated when new leases were granted as happened, for instance, in the case of the first lease entered on p. 59. At some later date, Thomas Green, the steward, also looked through the entries and updated some of them in his distinctive hand. This included a note attached to the Stratford tithe entry to take account of recent developments, including the fact that in July 1605, William Shakespeare had acquired Ralph Hubaud’s half-share of the lease thus becoming liable for an annual rent of £17. Greene therefore underlined the phrase “Thexecutors of Sr John Hubaud,” – the convention to indicate deletion – and substituted “Mr Thomas Combes & Mr William Shakespeare.” As Thomas Combe died in early 1608, this would date the alteration to July 1605-January 1608.  

The annual rentals the chamberlains submitted each January did not always name the payees of the tithe rent. In January 1607, they were given as Thomas Combe and Anthony Nash and in 1615 as William Combe (Thomas’s executor) and Anthony Nash. However, by 1619, one half share was due from John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law (BRU 4/1, p. 315) who had also been named as a lessee of the tithes in 1618 (ER 1/115/7), implying that Nash had simply been acting as Shakespeare’s agent, or on his behalf. 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[BRT 2/12, p. 59]
[marginal note made of a subsequent lease of the same property]

this vj daie of december
Anno 1611: their was A:
lease graunted vnto
Thomas Quyne the
grand Childe of
Adrian Quyne vnder
wrytten: for 21 years
from Christide next
for the Rent of xxs
yearly : with ordinary:
Covenantes

[all five following entries were marked for deletion]

Adrian Quyney holdeth one tenemente cum
pertinentiis by Indenture graunted vnto Thomas
Atwoode alias Tayler by Indenture dated
the xth of ffebruary Anno xxxviiio Elizabeth
Regine
Henrici viijui for lxxxor yeres from
the date thereof for the rent of xiiijs
to be paide quarterly with a clause of
distres for none payment within xv daies
& a clause of reentry for none payment
within iij monethes & to kepe the reparacions
xiiijs

Daniell Baker holdeth one tenemente, a barne
a garden & a litle Closse cum pertinentiis by
Indenture dated the xvjth of December Anno
xxxviijo Elizabeth Regine graunted vnto
Katherine Hill widowe for xxjte yeres
for the yerely rent of xxvijs to be
paide quarterly with a clause of
reentry for none payment within tenne daies
& to kepe the reparacions
xxvijs

William Roger Smythe holdeth a Tenemente cum pertinentiis
at the will of the bailiffe & burgesses
rent by the year
[‘William’ later deleted by Thomas Greene and ‘Roger’ substituted]
xxvijs

Thexecutors of Sir Iohn Hubaud Mr Thomas Combes & Mr William Shakespeare doe
holde all man[n]er of Tythes of Corne
grayne & hey in the Townes hamlettes
villages & ffieldes of Olde Stratford
Welcome & Bishopton, & all maner
of Tythes of woole, lambe, hempe
fflaxe & other small & privie tythes
for the yerely rent of xxxiiijli paiable
at our Lady Day & Michaelmas
xxxiiijli

[‘Thexecutors of Sir Iohn Hubaud’ later underlined by Thomas Greene for deletion and ‘Mr Thomas Combes & Mr William Shakespeare’ substituted]

Shotterie
16 September. examinat’ & amendum
cum originale

Iohn Pace holdeth ijo tenementes & ijo yarde lande
cum pertinentiis in Shottery by Indenture dated
the xiijth of Marche Anno xxvto Elizabeth
Regine for xx xljte yeares to begin at
Michaelmas last before the date therof
for the rent of xxs to be paide
quarterly with a clause of reentry for
none payment within xiiijten daies and
to kepe the reparacions
xxs
[Later marginal note by Thomas Greene: ‘16 September. examinat’ & amendum cum originale’]

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated January 17, 2018