Page images

they have been taught to represent as an affair of general approbation and national concern.

They say, that Shakspeare came to London without a plan, and finding himself at the door of a theatre, instinctively tłopped there, and offered himself to be a holder of horses :-that he was remarkable for his excellent performance of the Ghost in Hamlet :-that he borrowed nothing from preceding writers :-that all on a sudden he left the stage, and returned without eclat into his native country :-that his monument at Stratford is of copper :--that the courtiers of James I. paid several compliments to him which are still preserved :that he relieved a widow, who, together with her numerous family, was involved in a ruinous lawfuit :-that his editors have restored many passages in his plays, by the assistance of the manuscripts he left behind him, &c. &c.

Let me not, however, forget the justice due to these ingenious Frenchmen, whose skill and fidelity in the execution of their very difficult undertaking, is only exceeded by such a display of candour as would serve to cover the imperfections of much less elegant and judicious writers. Steevens.


BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, and Burials, of the

Shakspeare Family; transcribed from the RegisterBooks of the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.4

JONE,5 daughter of John Shakspere, was baptized

Sept. 15, 1558. Margaret, daughter of John Shakspere, was buried

April 30, 1563. WILLIAM, Son of John Shakspere, was baptized

April 26, 1564.6 Johanna, daughter of Richard Hathaway, otherwise

Gardiner, of Shottery,' was baptized May 9, 1566.

* An inaccurate and very imperfe& lift of the baptisms, &c. of Shakspeare's family was transmitted by Mr. West about eighteen years ago to Mr. Steevens. The list now printed I have extracted with great care from the Registers of Stratford; and I trust, it will be found correct. MALONE.

s This lady Mr. West supposed to have married the ancestor of the Harts of Stratford; but he was certainly mistaken. She died probably in her infancy. The wife of Mr. Hart was undoubtedly the second Jone, mentioned below. Her son Michael was born in the latter end of the year 1608, at which time the was above thirty-nine years old. The elder Jone would then have been near fifty. Malone.

• He was born three days before, April 23, 1564. MALONE.

? This Richard Hathaway of Shottery was probably the father to Anne Hathaway, our poet's wife. There is no entry of her baptism, the Register not commencing till 1558, two years after she was born. Thomas, the son of this Richard Hathaway, Gilbert, son of John Shakspere, was baptized Oct.

13, 1566. Jone, daughter of John Shakfpere, was baptized

April 15, 1569. Anne, daughter of Mr. John Shakspere, was bap

tized Sept. 28, 1571. Richard, son of Mr. John Shakspere, was baptized

March 11, 1573. (1573-4. Anne, danghter of Mr. John Shakfpere, was buried

April 4, 1579. Edmund, son of Mr. John Shakfpere, was baptized

May 3, 1580. Susanna, daughter of WILLIAM SHAKSPERE, was

baptized May 26, 1583, Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Shakspere, of

Hampton, was baptized February 10, 1583, (1583-4.]

was baptized at Stratford, April 12, 1569; John, another son, Feb. 3, 1574 ; and William, another son, Nov. 30, 1578.

MALONE. 8 It was common in the age of Queen Elizabeth to give the same christian name to two children successively. (Thus, Mr. Sadler, who was godfather to Shakspeare's son, had two sons who were baptized by the name of John. See note 1.) This was undoubtedly done in the present instance. The former Jone having probably died, (though I can find no entry of her burial in the Register, nor indeed of many of the other children of John Shakspeare) the name of Jone, a very favourite one in those days, was transferred to another new-born child. This latter Jone married Mr. William Hart, a hatter in Stratford, fome time, as I conjecture, in the year 1599, when she was thirty years old ; for her eldeft fon William was baptized there, August 28, 1600. There is no entry of her marriage in the Register. Malone.

9 There was also a Mr. Henry Shakspeare settled at HamptonLucy, as appears from the Register of that parith :

1582-Lettice, daughter of Henry Shakspeare, was baptized. 1585- -James, fon of Henry Shakspeare, was baptized. 1589-James, son of Henry Shakspeare, was buried. There was a Thomas Shakspeare settled at Warwick ; for in

John Shakspere and Margery Roberts were married

Nov. 25, 1584. Hamnet' and Judith, son and daughter of WILLIAM

SHAKSPERE, were baptized February 2, 1584.

[1584-5.] Margery, wife of John Shakspere, was buried Oct.

29, 1587.


the Rolls Chapel I found the inrolment of a deed made in the 44th year of Queen Elizabeth, conveying “ to Thomas Shakfpeare of Warwick, yeoman, Sachbroke, alias Bifhop-Sachbroke, in Com. Warw.” MALONE.

Mr. Weft imagined that our poet's only son was christened by the name of Samuel, but he was mistaken. Mr. Hamnet Sadler, who was related, if I mistake not, to the Shakspeare family, appears to have been sponsor for his son ; and his wife, Mrs. Judith Sadler, to have been godmother to Judith, the other twin-child. The name Hamnet is written very diftin&tly both in the entry of the baptism and burial of this child. Hamnet and Hamlet seem to have been considered as the same name, and to have been used indiscriminately both in speaking and writing. Thus, this Mr. Hamnet Sadler, who is a witness to Shakspeare's Will, writes his christian name, Hamnet ; but the scrivener who drew the will, writes it Hamlet. There is the same variation in the Register of Stratford, where the name is spelt in three or four different ways. Thus, among the baptisms we find, in 1591, May 26, John, filius Hamletti Sadler ;” and in 1583,

Sept. 13, Margaret, daughter to Hamlet Sadler.” But in 1598, Sept. 20, we find “ Jobn, son to Hamnet Sadler;" in 1596, April 4, we have “ Judith, filia Hamnet Sadler ;" in 1597-8, “ Feb. 3, Wilhelmus, filius Hambnet Sadler;" and in 1599,

April 23, Francis, filius Hamnet Sadler.” This Mr. Sadler died in 1624, and the entry of his burial ftands thus : “ 1624, Oct. 26, Hamlet Sadler.” So also in that of his wife: “ 1623, March 23, Judith, uxor Hamlet Sadler."

The name of Hamlet occurs in several other entries in the Register. O&. 4, 1576, Hamlet, fon to Humphry Holdar," was buried; and Sept. 28, 1564, “ Catharina, uxor Hamoleti Haffal.” Mr. Hamlet Smith, formerly of the borough of Stratford, is one of the benefactors annually commemorated there.

Our poet's only son, Hamnet, died in 159, in the twelfth year of his age. MALONE.


Thomas, son of Richard Queeny, was baptized

Feb, 26, 1588. [1588-9.] Ursula,3 daughter of John Shakípere, was baptized

March 11, 1588. [1588-9.] Thomas Greene, alias Shakspere, *

was buried March 6, 1589. (1589-90.]

2 This gentleman married our poet's youngest daughter. He had three sisters, Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary, and five brothers; Adrian, born in 1586, Richard, born in 1587, William, born in 1593, John in 1597, and George, baptized April 9, 1000. George was curate of the parish of Stratford, and died of a consumption. He was buried there April 11, 1624. In Doctor Hall's pocket-book is the following entry relative to bim: 39, Mr. Quiney, tussi gravi cum magna phlegmatis copia, et cibi vomitu, feb. lenta debilitatus," &c. The case concludes thus : “ Anno seq. (no year is mentioned in the case, but the preceding case is dated 1624,) in hoc malum incidebat. Multa fruftra tentata ;--placide cum Domino dormit. Fuit boni indor lis, et pro juveni omnifariam doctus.” MALONE.

3 This Ursula, and her brothers, Humphrey and Philip, appear to have been the children of John Shakspeare by Mary, bis third wife, though no such marriage is entered in the Register. I have not been able to learn her surname, or in wbat church the was married. She died in Sept. 1608.

It has been suggested to me that the John Shakspeare here mentioned was an elder brother of our poet, (not bis father,) born, like Margaret Shakspeare, before the commencement of the Regifter : bat had this been the case, he probably would have been called John the younger, old Mr. Shakspeare being alive in 1589. I am therefore of opinion that our poet's father was meant, and that he was thrice married. Malone.

* A great many names occur in this Register, with an alias, the meaning of which it is not very easy to ascertain. I thould have supposed that the persons thus defcribed were illegitimate, and that this Thomas Greene was the son of one of our poet's kinsmen, by a daughter of Thomas Greene, Esq. a gentleman who refided in Stratford; but that in the Register we frequently find the word bafiard expressly added to the names of the children baptized. Perhaps this latter form was only used in the case of servants, labourers, &c. and the illegitimate offspring of the higher order was more delicately denoted by an alias.

The Rev. Mr. Davenport obferves to me that ihere are two

« PreviousContinue »