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to enrich themselves, and bring all the wealth of the country into their own hands, leaving the commonalty weak, or as an idol with broken or feeble arms, which may in time of peace have a plausible show, but, when necessity shall enforce, have an heavy and bitter sequel.” Has not Harrison solved the mystery of the butcher ; explained the tradition of the wool merchant; shown how John Shakspere, the woodman, naturally sold a piece of timber to the Corporation, which we find recorded; and, what is most difficult of credence, indicated how the glover is reconcilable with all these employments? We open an authentic record of this very period, and the solution of the difficulty is palpable. In John Strype's “Memorials Ecclesiastical under Queen Mary I.,” under the date of 1558, we find this passage :-“It is certain that one Edward Horne suffered at Newent, where this Deighton had been, and spake with one or two of the same parish that did see him there burnt, and did testify that they knew the two persons that made the fire to burn him; they were two glovers or FELLMONGERS.”1 A fellmonger and a glover appear, from this passage, to have been one and the same. The fellmonger is he who prepares skins for the use of the leather-dresser, by separating the wool from the hide—the natural coadjutor of the sheep-master and the wool-man. Shakspere himself implies that the glover was a manufacturer of skins : Dame Quickly asks of Slender's man, “Does he not wear a great round beard like a glover's paring knife?” The peltry is shaved upon a circular board, with a great round knife, to this day. The fellmonger's trade, as it now exists, and the trade in untanned leather, the glover's trade, would

be so slightly different, that the generic term, glover, might
be applied to each. There are few examples of the word
“ fellmonger ” in any early writers.

« Glover” is so
common that it has become one of the universal English
names derived from occupation-far more common than if
it merely applied to him who made coverings for the hands.
At Coventry, in the middle of the sixteenth century (the
period of which we are writing), the Glovers and Whit-
tawers formed one craft. A whittawer is one who pre-
pares tawed leather—untanned leather-leather chiefly
dressed from sheep-skins and lamb-skins by a simple
process of soaking, and scraping, and liming, and soften-
ing by alum and salt. Of such were the large and coarse
gloves in use in a rural district, even amongst labourers ;
and such process might be readily carried on by one
engaged in agricultural operations, especially when
we bear in mind that the white leather was the especial
leather of “husbandly furniture,” as described by old
Tusser.

We may reasonably persist, therefore, even in accord with “flesh and fell” tradition, in drawing the portrait of Shakspere's father, at the time of his marriage, in the free air-on his horse, with his team, at market, at fair—and yet a dealer in carcasses, or wood, or wool, or skins, his own produce. He was a proprietor of land, and an agriculturist, living in a peculiar state of society, as we shall see hereafter, in which the division of employments was imperfectly established, and the small rural capitalists strove to turn their own products to the greatest advantage.

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CHAPTER III.

THE REGISTER.

1

In the eleventh century the Norman Conqueror commanded that be buried, and of all those that be christened.” 2 They
a Register to be completed of the lands of England, with dreaded new “charges;” and well they might dread. But
the names of their possessors, and the number of their free Thomas Cromwell had not regal exactions in his mind.
tenants, their villains, and their slaves. In the sixteenth cen- The Registers were at first imperfectly kept ; but the regu-
tury, Thomas Cromwell, as the vicegerent of Henry VIII. lation of 1538 was strictly enforced in the first year of
for ecclesiastical jurisdiction, issued Injunctions to the Elizabeth; and then the Register of the Parish of Strat-
Clergy, ordaining, amongst other matters, that every ford-upon-Avon commences, that is, in 1558.
officiating minister shall, for every Church, keep a Book, Venerable book! Every such record of human life is a
wherein he shall register every Marriage, Christening, or solemn document. Birth, Marriage, Death !-this is the
Burial. In the different character of these two Registers whole history of the sojourn upon earth of nearly every
we read what five centuries of civilisation had effected for name inscribed in these mouldy, stained, blotted pages.
England. Instead of being recorded in the gross as cotarii And after a few years what is the interest, even to their
or servi, the meanest labourer, his wife, and his children, own descendants, of these brief annals? With the most
had become children of their country and their country's ll of those for whom the last entry is still to be made, the
religion, as much as the highest lord and his family. Their question is, Did they leave property? Is some legal verifi-
names were to be inscribed in a book, and carefully pre- cation of their possession of property necessary :-
served. But the people doubted the intent of this wise and
liberal injunction. A friend of Cromwell writes to him-

“ No further seek their merits to disclose." “There is much secret and several communications between

But there are entries in this register-book of Stratford that the King's subjects; and (some] of them, in sundry places within the shires of Cornwall and Devonshire, be in great

are interesting to us—to all Englishmen-to universal

mankind. We have all received a precious legacy from fear and mistrust, what the King's Highness and his Council should mean, to give in commandment to the par

one whose progress from the cradle to the grave is here sons and vicars of every parish that they should make a

recorded-a bequest large enough for us all, and for all

who will come after us. book, and surely to be kept, wherein to be specified the

Pause we on the one entry of that

book which most concerns the human race:names of as many as be wedded, and the names of them

1 Vol. v. p. 277, edit. 1816.

? Cromwell's Correspondence in the Chapter-House. Quoted in Rickman's Preface to Population Returns, 1831.

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