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In April 1552 John Shakespeare was one of three Stratford residents fined for allowing a sterquinium, or muck-heap, to accumulate in Henley Street, presumably outside their front doors. This is the first recorded mention of John Shakespeare.
In the autumn of each year, at Stratford’s court leet – originally a manorial court with delegated authority in minor criminal matters – officials were elected to assist the bailiff in the governance of the town.
John Shakespeare was elected constable of Stratford-upon-Avon, as shown here, on September 30, 1558. One of the constables’ main duties was to oversee the watch “for the good governement of the Towne” (Minutes and Accounts, i, p.
Joan, John and Mary Shakespeare’s first child, was baptized on September 15, 1558, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance.
John Shakespeare was elected as an affeeror, an official appointed to monitor the level of fines imposed at Stratford’s manorial court, for the second time on May 4, 1561, as shown here. The number of affeerors varied, but the borough most commonly appointed four.
Margaret, John and Mary Shakespeare’s second child, was baptized on December 2, 1562, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance.