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May 27,
1639

TR46/2/8 recto

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TR46/2/8 recto
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of 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
Date: May 27, 1639
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: TR46/2/8

Item Date
May 27, 1639
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
TR46/2/8

TR46/2/8 recto, signature detail

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TR46/2/8 recto, signature detail
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of 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
Date: May 27, 1639
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: TR46/2/8

Item Date
May 27, 1639
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
TR46/2/8

TR46/2/8 folded

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TR46/2/8 folded
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of 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
Date: May 27, 1639
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: TR46/2/8

Item Date
May 27, 1639
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
TR46/2/8

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of 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
Date: May 27, 1639
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: TR46/2/8

John Hall, who in 1607 had married Shakespeare’s elder daughter Susanna, died in November 1635. Then, Susanna’s two surviving nephews, Thomas and Richard Quiney, sons of her sister Judith, died in February 1639, leaving Judith, who was by then fifty-four, with no offspring to succeed her. These deaths affected the way that Shakespeare’s estate might descend in the family, as stipulated in his will. The family therefore decided to draw up a settlement, shown here, to clarify the situation.

The settlement lists the property as a messuage (a dwelling house) in Blackfriars, London; a capital messuage in Stratford-upon-Avon called the New Place; two messuages in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon in the tenures of Jane Hiccocks and Joan Hart (Shakespeare’s sister), widows; and four and a half yard lands in the common fields of Stratford-upon-Avon, Old Stratford, Bishopton and Welcombe. These properties are readily identifiable in Shakespeare’s will although the land in the common fields is described there in terms of acres rather than yardlands. All this property was to be vested in trustees for the use of Susanna for life with reversion on her death to her daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Thomas Nash, with further reversion to their children. Finally, if Elizabeth and Thomas had no issue, it was to revert to Nash’s heirs. A house in Acton, which John Hall had inherited and was therefore not part of the estate created under Shakespeare’s will, was to pass directly to Thomas and Elizabeth Nash and their heirs from the date of this 1639 settlement. The settlement remained in force until Thomas Nash’s death in 1647.

A settlement of this sort (technically “to lead the uses of a common recovery”) would require the involvement of trustees and nominal parties. In this instance, George Nash, Edmund Rawlins, George Townsend and John Stephens took on these roles, and their signatures appear on tags bearing impressions of their signet seals. A fifth tag in the center, was signed by Susanna Hall to which her signet seal was attached, bearing the Hall family arms (three talbots’ heads erased) quartered with those of the Shakespeare family.

The next stage in the procedure would be the raising of a fine on the premises in the Court of Common Pleas (this took place during Trinity Term, mid June to early July) followed by the recovery itself in the same court in Michaelmas Term (October-November).  

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated July 11, 2016