MENU
Final concord between William Shakespeare, gent. and Hercules Underhill, gent.
1602

MS Z.c.36 (110-111), folio 1 recto

View Image Assets
MS Z.c.36 (110-111), folio 1 recto
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Common Pleas
Title: Final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill, Gent. [manuscript], 1602 Michaelmas.
Date: 1602
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: Z.c.36 (110-111)
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Common Pleas
Item Title
Final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill, Gent. [manuscript], 1602 Michaelmas.
Item Date
1602
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
MS Z.c.36 (110-111)

MS Z.c.36 (110-111), folio 1 verso

View Image Assets
MS Z.c.36 (110-111), folio 1 verso
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Common Pleas
Title: Final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill, Gent. [manuscript], 1602 Michaelmas.
Date: 1602
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: Z.c.36 (110-111)
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Court of Common Pleas
Item Title
Final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill, Gent. [manuscript], 1602 Michaelmas.
Item Date
1602
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
MS Z.c.36 (110-111)

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Common Pleas
Title: Final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill, Gent. [manuscript], 1602 Michaelmas.
Date: 1602
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: Z.c.36 (110-111)
View online bibliographic record

 

These two documents are the buyer's and vendor's copies of the 1602 final concord for Shakespeare's purchase of New Place. Shakespeare purchased New Place, one of the largest houses in Stratford-upon-Avon, from William Underhill in 1597. Shortly after the sale, Underhill died, apparently poisoned by his eldest son, Fulke, who was prosecuted for the crime and hanged in 1599. Fulke's other estates reverted to the crown until his younger brother, Hercules, came of legal age in 1602. In that year, Hercules confirmed the sale of New Place to Shakespeare, probably arising out of Shakespeare's concern to protect his investment. 

Most legal documents that transferred property consisted of three copies: one for the buyer, one for the vendor, and one for the court. For final concords such as this one, the agreement was copied out three times on a single membrane of parchment, which was then “indented,” or cut apart along wavy lines. In case of future disputes, they could be fitted together again to prove their authenticity.

The court’s copy, known as the foot of fine, has been filed with other “feet” among the records of the Court of Common Pleas since 1602. Archivists believe that Shakespeare retained both of the other two copies himself, since they have remained together over the years.

Marsden J. Perry, a prolific collector of rare Shakespeare materials, obtained the two copies of this engrossed triplicate of the final concord when he bought the collections of the well-known Shakespeare scholar J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps in the late 19th century. In 1908, Henry Clay Folger approached Perry privately about purchasing the entirety of the “J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps Collection,” ultimately succeeding for the sum of $69,000 (nearly $1.8 million in today’s currency). 

See Shakespeare purchases New Place for further details about the 1597 and 1602 final concords.

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

This is the final agreement made in the court of her majesty the Queen at Westminster, on the day of Saint Michael in one month in the reign of Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith, etc., from the Conquest, forty-four, in the presence of Edmund Anderson, Thomas Walmysley, George Kingesmyll, & Peter Warburton, Justices, and others, to her majesty the Queen, loyal, then present there, between William Shakespeare, gentleman, plaintiff, and Hercules Underhill, gentleman, deforciant, concerning one messuage, two barns, two gardens, and two orchards, with appurtenances, in Stratford-upon-Avon from which place a plea of agreement had been summoned between them in the same Court. To wit that the aforesaid Hercules recognized the aforesaid tenement with appurtenances to be the right of William himself and those which the same William holds by gift of aforesaid Hercules, and that one hath remised and quitclaimed for himself and his heirs to the aforesaid William and his heirs in perpetuity. And besides, the same Hercules has conceded for himself and his heirs that they themselves warranted to the aforesaid William and his heirs the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances against the aforesaid Hercules and his heirs in perpetuity. And for this recognition, remission, quitclaim, warranty, fine, and agreement, the same William has given to the aforesaid Hercules sixty pounds sterling.

English translation adapted from B. Roland Lewis, The Shakespeare Documents, p. 356.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

Hec est finalis concordia facta in curia domine RegiƦ apud Westmonasterium A die sancti michaelis in vnum mensem Anno regnorum Elizabeth dei gratia Anglie ffrancie & Hibernie

Regine fidei defensoris &c A conquestu quadragesimo quarto coram Edmundo Anderson Thomas Walmysley Georgio Kingesmyll & petro Warburton Justiciariis &

alijs domine Regine fidelibus tunc ibi presentibus Inter Willelmum Shakespeare generosum querentem et herculem Vnderhill generosum deforcientem de vno mesuagio

duobus horreis duobus gardinis & duobus pomarijs cum pertinentiis in Stretford super Avon vnde placitum conuencionis summonitum fuit inter eos in eadem Curia

Scilicet quod predictus hercules recognovit predicta tenementum cum pertinentiis esse ius ip[s]ius Willelmi vt illa que idem Willelmus habet de dono predicti herculis et illa

remisit & quietaclamavit de se & heredibus suis predicto Willelmo & heredibus suis Imperpetuum et preterea idem hercules concessit pro se & heredibus suis

quod ip[s]i Warantizabant predicto Willelmo & heredibus suis predicta tenementa cum pertinentiis contra predictum herculem & heredes suos Imperpetuum et pro hac recognitione

remissione quietaclamantia Warantia fine & concordia idem Willelmus dedit predicto herculi sexaginta libras sterlingorum  

Last updated January 17, 2018