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The following Instrument was transmitted by John
Anstis, Eją. Garter King at Aims: It is mark'd'G.
(There is also a Manuscript in the Heralds' Office *, mark'd W.
2. p. 276; where Notice is taken of this Coat, and that the
and degrees, bearing arms, to whom these presents
of Arms for the south, east, and west parts of this realm, send greetings. Know ye, that in all nations and kingdoms the record and remembrance of the valiant facts and virtuolis difpofitions of worthy men have been made known and divulged by certain fhields of arms and tokens of chivalrie; the grant or teitimony whercof appertaineth unto us, by virtue of our offices from the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, and her Highness's most noble and victorious progenitors: wherefore being folicited, and by credible report informed, that John Shakespeare, now of Stratford upon Avon, in the county of Warwick, gentleman, whose great grandfather, for his faithful and approved service to the late most prudent prince, king Henry VII. of famous memory, was advanced and rewarded with lands and tenements, given to him in those parts of Warwickihire, where they have continued by fome defcents in good reputation and credit; and for that the faid John Shakespere having married the daughter and one of the heirs of Robert Arderi of Wellingcote, in the said couniy, and also produced this his ancient coat of arms, heretofore afligned to him whilst he was her majesty's officer and bailiir of that town. In confideration of the premises, and for the encouragement of his posterity, unto whom such blazon of arms and archievements of inheritance from their faid mother, by the ancient cultom and laws of arms, may lawfully descend; we the
* In the Herald's Office are the first draughts of John Shakespeare's grant or confirmation of arms, by William Dethick, Garter, Principal King at Arms, 1596. Śce Vincents Preis, vol. 257, No 23, and No 24.
said Garter and Clarencieulx have assigned, granted, and confirmed, and by these presents exemplified unto the said John Shakespere, and to his pofterity, that field and coat of arms, viz. In a field of gold upon a bend fables a spear of the firs, the point upward, headed argent; and for his crest or cognisance, A falcon, or, with bis wings displayed, standing on a wreathe of his colours, supporting a spear armed headed, or feel ed filver, fixed upon an helmet with mantles and taffeis, as more plainly may appear depicted in this margent; and we have likewise impaled the same with the ancient arms of the faid Arden* of Wellingcote; fignifying thereby, that it may and shall be lawful for the said John Shakespere, gent. to bear and use the same shield of arms, single or impaled, as aforesaid, during his natural life; and that it shall be lawful for his children, issue, and posterity, lawfully begotten, to bear, use, and quarter, and shew forth the same, with their due differences, in all lawful wärlike feats and civil use or exercises, according to the laws of arms, and custom that to gentlemen belongeth, without let or interruption of any person or persons, for use or bearing the same. In witness and testimony whereof we have fubfcribed our nanies, and fastened the feals of our offices. Given at the office of arms, London, the
in the forty-second year of the reign of our most gracious sovereign lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God, queen of England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. 1599.
* It is faid by the modern editor of Arden of Feversham (first published in 1592 and republished in 1770) that Shakespeare del cended by the female line from the
gentleman whose unfortunate end is the subject of this tragedy. But the assertion appears to want support, the true name of the person who was murdered at Fever. fham being Ardern and not Arden. Ardern might be called Ar. den in the play for the sake of better found, or might be corrupto ed in the chronicle of Holingsed; yet it is unlikely that the true spelling thould be overlooked among the Heralds, whose interest it is to recommend by oftentatious accuracy the trifles in which they deal.
The Licence for acting, granted by James the First
to the Company at the Globe, extracted from
Pro LAURENTIO FLETCHER & WILLIELMO SHAKE-
A. D. 1603. Pat. *
J. Jac. P. 2. m 4. James by the grace of God, &c. to all justices, maiors, sheriffs, constables, headboroughs, and
* Among the unpublished collections of Rymer which are now
" Pro Jacoba Burbage et aliis, de licentia speciali
Know ye, that we of our especiall grace, certen knowledge, and
other cur oficers and loving fubjects, grecting. Know you toshi ule, of cur freciel grace, certaine knowledge and meer ruccion, have licensed and authorized, and by these presuntes dve licence and authorize theife our fcrraunts Laurence Ilutcher, linham Shake,peare, Richard Lurbane, Auguftine I hippes, Jolin femings, Henrie Cendei, William Sly, Robert Armin, Richard Cowly, and the rest of their aficciaies, fre:iy to use and cacrite the dites and faculty of playing comedie,, tragedius, hikeries, in curtes, moralną pastorals, itage-pluis, and such like others as theie, have aircadie iludid or bekvifter fall use or studie, as well for the recreation of our lovinge fubjecis, as well as for our foJaco and plecfure when we thail thinche good to fee them, during our pleasure: and the said comedies, tragedies, hiltories, enterludes, morals, pastorals, ftage-plaies, and such like, to illow and exercise publiquely to their belt commoditie, when the infection of the plague Mall decrease, as well within theire nowe usuall houie called the Globe, within our county of Surrey, as allo within anie toune halls or moute halls, or other convenient places within the Herties and freedom of any other citie, univerfitie, toun, or boroughe whatsoever within our laid reaimes and dominions. Willing and commanding you and everie of you, as you tendur our plcafure, not onlie to permit and suffer them herein, without anic your letts, hinurances, or mo
as without the fame, thoroughoute oure realme of England. V vlinge and commaundinge yowe and every of you as ye tender oure pleasure to permitt and suffer them herein withoute anye leties, hynderaunce or moleitation duringe the tei me aforesaide, any acte, statute, or proclamation or commaundement heretofore made or hereafier to be made notwythitandynge; provyded that the faide commedies, tragedies, enterludes and itage-playes be by the master of our revells for the tyine beyinge beture iene and allowed; and that the lame be not published or thewen in the tyme of common prayer or in the ty me of greate and common plague in our faide citye vi London.
In witnes whercof, &c.
Per breve de privato figilio.".
lestations, during our said pleasure, but also to be aiding or assistinge to them if any wrong be to them oifered, and to allow them such former curtefies as hathe bene given to men of their place and quallitie; and also what further favour you shall shew to theise our servaunts for our fake, we shall take kindlie at your handes.
In witness whereof, &c.
Witness our felfe at Westminster, the nynteenth daye of Maye.
Per Breve de Privato Sigillo.