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MADE BY SHAKSPEARE,
A. D. 1612-13.
THE following is a transcript of a deed executed by our author three years before his death. The original deed, which was found in the year 1768, among the title deeds of the Rev. Mr. Fetherstonhaugh, of Oxted, in the county of Surry, is now in the possession of Mrs. Garrick, by whom it was obligingly transmitted to me through the hands of the Hon. Mr. Horace Walpole. Much has lately been said in various publications relative to the proper mode of spelling Shakspeare's name. It is hoped we shall hear no more idle babble upon this subject. He spelt his name himself as I have just now written it, without the middle e. Let this therefore for ever decide the question.
It should be remembered that to all ancient deeds were appended labels of parchment, which were inserted at the bottom of the deed; on the upper part of which labels thus rising above the rest of the parchment, the executing parties wrote their names. Shakspeare, not finding room for the whole of his name on the label, attempted to write the remaining letters at top, but having allowed himself only room enough to write the letter a, he gave the matter up. His hand-writing, of which a fac-simile is annexed, is much neater than many others, which I have seen, of that age. He neglected, however, to scrape the parchment, in consequence of which the letters appear imperfectly formed.
He purchased the estate here mortgaged, from
Henry Walker, for 1401. as appears from the enrolment of the deed of bargain and sale now in the Rolls-Chapel, dated the preceding day, March 10, 1612-13. The deed here printed shows that he paid down eighty pounds of the purchase-money, and mortgaged the premises for the remainder. This deed and the purchase deed were probably both executed on the same day, (March 10,) like our modern conveyance of Lease and Release. MALone.
THIS INDENTURE made the eleventh day of March, in the yeares of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lorde James, by the grace of God, king of England, Scotland, Fraunce, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. that is to say, of England, Fraunce and Ireland the tenth, and of Scotland the six-andfortieth; Between William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the Countie of Warwick, gentleman, William Johnson, Citizen and Vintener of London, John Jackson, and John Hemyng of London, gentlemen, of thone partie, and Henry Walker, Citizen and Minstrell of London, of thother partie; Witnesseth, that the said William Shakespeare, William Johnson, John Jackson, and John Hemyng, have demised, graunted, and to ferme letten, and by theis presents do demise, graunt, and to ferme lett unto the said Henry Walker, all that dwelling house or tenement, with thappurtenaunts, situate and being within the precinct, circuit and compasse of the late Black ffryers, London, sometymes in the tenure of James Gardyner, Esquire, and since that in the tenure of John Fortescue, gent. and now or late being in the tenure or occupation of one William Ireland, or of his assignee or assignees; abutting upon a streete leading downe to Puddle Wharfe, on the east part, right
against the kings Majesties Wardrobe; part of which said tenement is erected over a greate gate leading to a capitall messuage, which sometyme was in the tenure of William Blackwell, Esquire, deceased, and since that in the tenure or occupation of the right honourable Henry now Earle of Northumberlande: And also all that plott of ground on the west side of the same tenement, which was lately inclosed with boords on two sides thereof, by Anne Baton, widow, so farre and in such sorte as the same was inclosed by the said Anne Baton, and not otherwise; and being on the third side inclosed with an old brick wall; which said plott of ground was sometyme parcell and taken out of a great voyde peece of ground lately used for a garden; and also the soyle whereupon the said tenement standeth; and also the said brick wall and boords which doe inclose the said plott of ground; with free entrie, accesse, ingresse, and regresse, in, by, and through, the said great gate and yarde there, unto the usual dore of the said tenement: And also all and singular cellors, sollers, romes, lights, easiaments, profitts, commodities, and appurtenaunts whatsoever to the said dwelling-house or tenement belonging or in any wise apperteyning: TO HAVE and to HOLDE the said dwelling-house or tenement, cellers, sollers, romes, plott of ground, and all and singular other the premisses above by theis presents mentioned to bee demised, and every part and parcell thereof, with thappurtenaunts, unto the the said Henry Walker, his executors, administrators, and assignes, from the feast of thannunciacion of the blessed Virgin Marye next coming after the date hereof, unto thende and terme of One hundred yeares from thence next ensuing,