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i al Stratford- of the glove trade in queen Elizabeth's time. 1) The 230 day | But, notwithstanding the flourishing state of liis family it that trade in Stratford, and a conjecture, that

Mr. Rowe John Shakspeare furnished his customers with rand certain leathern hose, aprons, belts, points, jerkins, ord, his an- pouches, wallets, satchels, and purses,” Mr. und fashion | Malone confesses, that from all this, the poel's

gentle- father derived but a scanly maintenance. as well as John Shakspeare had been, in 1568, an ofne is, that ficer or bailift (high-bailiff or mayor) of the plied to the body corporate of Stratford, and chief alderman period of his in 1571. At one time, it is said that he pos

evate Shak-sessed lands and tenements to the amount of 1 yet he is 5001., the reward of his grandfather's faithful ly years' la- and approved services to king Henry VIII.

support it. This might account for his being elected to the ccording to magistracy, had it not been asserted upon very in or before doubtful authority; but Mr. Malone is of opia was not ori- nion, that these “faithful and approved services

says Mr. must be meant of some of the ancestors of his 15 but three wife, one of the Ardens. 10 Stratford Whatever may have been his former wealth 1. Former it appears to bave been greatly reduced in the ve been a

latter part of his life, as it is found in the books Mr. Malone of the corporation, that in 1579 he was el

; and, to cused the trilling wechly tax of fourpence, le};* he has vied on all the aldermen; and thai in 1586 on the state another alderman was appointed in his room, in

consequence of his declining to attend on the John Shak-business of that office. ity of relying

His wife, to whom he was married in 1557, very ledious This long agi

was the youngest daughter and heiress of RoLife of Shak-bert Arden, of Wellingcote or Wilmecote, in on of Shak- the county of Warwicki, by Agnes Webb his 0. 1821. It

wise. Mary Arden's fortune, Mr. Malone has about the vitated. His

discovered, amounted to one hundred and ten tted by Mr. pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence! Il succeeding

Mr. Arden is styled a “gentleman of wos

ship, and the family of Arden is very ancient. 's trade was

Robert Arden of Bromich, Esq., is in the list imagination, ing agitated

of the Warwickshire sentry, returned by the commissioners in the twelfth year of hitig

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WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE was born at Stratford- of the glove trade in queen Elizabeth's time. But, notwithstanding the flourishing state of that trade in Stratford, and a conjecture, that John Shakspeare furnished his customers with "leathern hose, aprons, belts, points, jerkins, pouches, wallets, satchels, and purses," Mr. Malone confesses, that from all this, the poet's father derived but a scanty maintenance.

cestors were

upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, on the 23d day of April, 1564. Of the rank of his family it is not easy to form an opinion. Mr. Rowe ys, that according to the register and certain public writings relating to Stratford, his an"of good figure and fashion" in that town, and are mentioned as "gentlemen;" but the result of the late as well as early inquiries made by Mr. Malone is, that the epithet gentleman was first applied to the poet, and even to him at a late period of his e. Mr. Malone's inclination to elevate Shakspeare's family cannot be doubted, yet he is obliged to confess that, after thirty years' labour, he could find no evidence to support it. His father, John Shakspeare, according to Mr. Malone's conjecture, was born in or before the year 1530. John Shakspeare was not originally of Stratford, but, perhaps, says Mr. Malone, of Snitterfield, which is but three miles from Stratford. He came to Stratford Got very long after the year 1550. Former accounts have reported him to have been a considerable dealer in wool, but Mr. Malone bas discovered that he was a glover; and, to importance to this discovery, he has given us a historical dissertation upon the state

of a glover; and then, in his imagination, be bad the honour of shutting up a long agitated

question for ever.

John Shakspeare had been, in 1568, an officer or bailiff (high-bailiff or mayor) of the body corporate of Stratford, and chief alderman in 1571. At one time, it is said that he possessed lands and tenements to the amount of 500l., the reward of his grandfather's faithful and approved services to king Henry VIII. This might account for his being elected to the magistracy, had it not been asserted upon very doubtful authority; but Mr. Malone is of opinion, that these "faithful and approved services" must be meant of some of the ancestors of his wife, one of the Ardens.

Whatever may have been his former wealth it appears to have been greatly reduced in the latter part of his life, as it is found in the books of the corporation, that in 1579 he was excused the trifling weekly tax of fourpence, levied on all the aldermen; and that in 1586 another alderman was appointed in his room, in consequence of his declining to attend on the business of that office.

**On the subject of the trade of John Shakspeare, I am not under the necessity of relying on conjecture, being enabled, after a very tedious and troublesome search, to shut up this long agiated question for ever." Malone's Life of Shak-bert reare, vol. ii. p. 70. of his new edition of Shakspeare's Plays and Poems, 21 vols. 8vo. 1821. It does not appear where any question about the de of John Shakspeare was ever agitated. His beg a dealer in wool was first asserted by Mr. Rowe, and silently acquiesced in by all succeeding

editors and commentators, Mr. Malone not ex-ship," and the family of Arden is very ancient.

cepted, until he discovered that John's trade was

His wife, to whom he was married in 1557, was the youngest daughter and heiress of Ro

Arden, of Wellingcote or Wilmecote, in the county of Warwick, by Agnes Webb his wife. Mary Arden's fortune, Mr. Malone has discovered, amounted to one hundred and ten pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence!

Mr. Arden is styled a "gentleman of wor

Robert Arden of Bromich, Esq., is in the list of the Warwickshire gentry, returned by the commissioners in the twelfth year of king

a

Henry V., A.D. 1433. Edward Arden was sheriff of the county in 1568. The woodland part of this county was anciently called Ardern, afterwards softened to Arden, and hence the

mestic economy or professional occupation at this time, we have no information; but if we may credit former accounts, by Rowe, &c., it would appear, that both were in a considerable degree neglected, in consequence of his associating with a gang of deer-stealers.

77

It is said, that being detected with them in em-robbing the park, that is, stealing deer out of the park of sir Thomas Lucy, of Charlecote, near Stratford, he was so rigorously prosecuted by that gentleman as to be obliged to leave his family and business, whatever that might be, and take shelter in London. Sir Thomas, on this occasion, was exasperated by a ballad which Shakspeare wrote (probably his first essay in poetry), of which the following stanza was communicated to Mr. Oldys :

name.

It was formerly said that John Shakspeare had ten children, and it was inferred, that the providing for so large a family must have barrassed his circumstances; but Mr. Malone has reduced them to eight, five of whom only attained to the age of maturity,—four sons and a daughter. Our illustrious poet was the eldest of the eight, and received his education, however narrow or liberal, at the free-school founded at Stratford.

From this he appears to have been placed in the office of some country attorney, or the seneschal of some manor court, where, it is highly probable, he picked up those technical law phrases that frequently occur in his plays, and which could not have been in common use unless among professional men. It has been remarked, but the remark will probably be thought of no great value, that he derives none of his allusions from the other learned professions. Of amusements, his favourite appears to have been falconry. Very few, if any of his plays, are without some allusions to that sport; and archery, likewise, appears to have engaged much of his attention.

Mr. Capell conjectures, that his early marriage prevented his being sent to one of the universities. It appears, however, as Dr. Farmer observes, that his early life was incompatible with a course of education; and it is certain that

""

his contemporaries, friends and foes, nay, and himself likewise, agree in his want "of what is usually termed literature." It is, indeed, a strong argument in favour of Shakspeare's illiterature, that it was maintained by all his contemporaries, many of whom have bestowed every other merit upon him, and by his successors, who lived nearest to his time, when his memory was green:" and that it has been denied only by Gildon, Sewell, and others, down to Upton, who could have no means of ascertaining the truth. Mr. Malone seems inclined to revive their opinion, but finds it impossible.

In his eighteenth year (1582), or perhaps a little sooner, he married ANNE HATHAWAY, who was seven years and a half older than himself. She was the daughter of one Hathaway, who is said to have been a substantial yeoman in the neighbourhood of Stratford. Of his do

"A parliemente member, a justice of peace,
At home a poor scare-crowe, at London an asse,
If lowsie is Lucy, as some volke miscalle it,
Then Lucy is lowsie, whatever befall it :
He thinks himself greate,
Yet au asse in his state

We allowe by his ears but with asses to mate,
If Lucy is lowsie, as some volke miscalle it,
Sing lowsie Lucy, whatever befall it."

In our preceding edition, we remarked that these lines do no great honour to our poet, and the satire was probably unjust; for, although some of his admirers have exclaimed against sir Thomas as a "vain, weak, and vindictive magistrate," he was certainly exerting no very violent act of oppression in protecting his property against a young man who was degrading the commonest rank of life, and who had at this time bespoke no indulgence by any display of superior talents. It was also added, that the ballad must have made some noise at sir Thomas's expense, for the author took care it should be affixed to his park gates, and liberally circulated among his neighbours.

1

In defence of Shakspeare, Mr. Malone attempts to prove that our poet could not have of fended sir Thomas Lucy by stealing his deer: FIRST, because (granting for a moment that he did steal deer) stealing deer was a common youthful frolic, and therefore could not leave any very deep stain on his character: SECONDLY, it was a practice wholly unmixed with any sordid or lucrative motive, for the venison thus obtained was not sold, but freely participated at a convivial board: THIRDLY, that the ballad Shakspeare is said to have written in ridicule of sir Thomas Lucy is a forgery: and LASTLY, that sir Thomas had no park, and no deer.

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death.

16 the

It is un

After this very singular desence of Shakspeare, as the business of the play requires their apwhich occupies thirty of Mr. Malone's pages, pearance on the stage. Pope, however, rebesides some very prolix notes, he appears to be lales a story communicated to him by Rowe, perplexed to know what to do with Shakspeare's but which Rowe did not think deserving of resentment against sir Thomas Lucy. That he a place in the life which he wrote, that must had a resentment against this gentleman is a little retard the advancement of our poet to certain, and that he retained it for many years the office just mentioned. According to is equally certain, for he gave vent 10 it in story, Shakspeare's first employment was to 1601, when he wrole “ The Merry Wives of wait at the door of the play-house, and hold Findsor,” about a year after sir Thomas's the horses of those who had no servants, that

they might be ready after the performance. Mr. Malone, after allowing that various pas- But “I cannot,” says his acute commentator, sages in the first scene of the above-mentioned Mr. Steevens, “ dismiss this anecdote without play afford ground for believing that our author, observing that it seems to want every mark 00 some account or other, bad not the most “ of probability. Though Shakspeare quitted profound respect for sir Thomas, adds, “ Stratford on account of a juvenile irreguladozen white luces, however, which Shallow is " rily, we have no reason to suppose that be made to commend as a good coat,' was not “had forfeited the protection of bis father, who sir Thomas Lucy's coat of arms : though Mr. was engaged in lucrative business, or the Theobald asserts that it is found on the mo- “ love of his wife, who had already brought fument of one of the family, as represented by “ him two children, and was herself the Duzdale. No such coat certainly is found, daughter of a substantial yeoman. eilber in Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwick- likely, therefore, when he was beyond the shire, or in the church of Charlecote, where I “ reach of his prosecutor, that he should conin vain sought for it. It is probable that the “ ceal his plan of life, or place of residence, deviation from the real coat of the Lucies, “ from those who, if he found himself diswhich was gules, three lucies bariant, argent, “ tressed, could not fail to afford him such was intentionally made by our poet, that the “ supplies as would have set him above the application might not be too direct, and give “ necessity of holding horses for subsistence. offence lo sir Thomas Lucy's son, who, when " Mr Malone has remarked, in his · Attempt this play was written, was living, and much to ascertain the Order in wbich the Plays of respecled, at Stratford.”

Shakspeare were written,' that he might As lhe deer-stealing story has bitherto been " have found an easy introduction to the stage: lold in order to account for Shakspeare's arrival “ for Thomas Green, a celebrated comedian of in London, it might have been expected that “ that period, was his townsman, and perhaps Mr. Malone would have been enabled to sub- “ his relation. The genius of our author stilute some other reason, and to precede the prompted him to write poetry; his connexion arrival of our poet with some circumstances of " with a player might have given his producfare importance and of greater dignity; but " lions a dramatic turn; or his own sagacity Dabing of this kind is to be found. We have “ might have taught him that same was not inlost the old tradition, with all ils feasible ac- compatible with profit, and that the theatre companiments, but have got nothing in return. was an avenue to both. That it was once the All that Mr. Malone ventures to conjecture, is, “ general custom to ride on horseback to the that when Shakspeare left Stratford, “he was ' play I am likewise yet to learn. The most involved in some pecuniary difliculties."

popular of the theatres were on the BankOn his arrival in London, which was pro- “ side; and we are told by the satirical pambably in the year 1586, when he was anly phleteers of that time, that the usual mode lwenty-two years old, he is said to have made of conveyance to these places of amusement his first acquaintance in the play-house, to was by water, but not a single writer so which idleness or taste may have directed bim, “ much as bints at the custom of riding to and where his necessities, is tradition may be " them, or at the practice of having horses crediled, obliged bim to accept the office of ” held during the hours of exhibition. Some cali-boy, or prompter's assistant. This is a " allusion to this usage (if it bad existed), menial whose employment it is to give the "must, I think, have been discovered in the performers police to be ready to enter, as often

course of our researches after contemporary

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