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The following Instrument was transmit
ted to us by John Anstis, Esq; Garter King at Arms : It is mark'd, G. 13. p. 349.
[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 Person to whoin it was granted, had born Magistracy at Stratford upon Avon.]
T o all and singular Noble and Gentlemen of all
1 Estates and Degrees, bearing Arms, to whom these Presents shall come; William Dethick, Garter Principal King of Arms of England, and William Camden, alias Clarencieulx, King of Arms for the South, East, and West Parts of this Realm, fend Greetings. Know ye, that in all Nations and Kings doms the Record and Remembrance of the valiant Facts and virtuous Dispositions of worthy Men have been made known and divulged by certain Shields of Arms and tokens of Chivalrie ; the Grant or Testimony whereof apperteineth unto us, by virtue of our offices from the Queen's moft Excellent Majesty, and her Highness's most noble and victorious Progenitors: Wherefore being sollicited, and by credible Report informed, that John Shakespere, 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 Warwickshire, where they have continued by fome Descents in good Reputation and Credit ; And for that the said Joon Shakespere having married the Daughter and one of the Heirs of Robert Arden of VOL. I.
informelore being folloble and victorient Majesty, ar
Wellingcote in the said County, and aiso produced this his ancient Coat of Arms, heretofore aligned to him whilft he was her Majesty's Officer and Bailiff of that Town. In consideration of the Premises, and for the Encouragement of his Pofterity, unto whom such Blazon of Arms and Atchievements of Inheritance from their faid Mother, by the ancient Custom and Laws of Arms, may lawfully descend ; We the said Garter and Clarencieulx have assigned, granted, and confirmed, and by these Presents exemplified unto the said John Shakespere, and to his Pofterity, that Shield and Coat of Arms, viz. In a Field of Gold upon a Bend Sables a Spear of the first, the Point upward, headed Argent; and for his Crest or Cognisance, A Falcon, Or, with his Wings displayed, standing on a Wreathe of bis Colours, supporting a Spear armed headed, or Jieeled Silver, fixed upon an Helmet with Mantles and Talfels, as more plainly may appear depicted in this Margent; And we have likewise impaled the same with the ancient Arms of the said Arden of Wellingcote; signifying 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 Pofterity, lawfully begotten, to bear, use, and quarter, and shew forth the same, with their due Differences, in all lawful warlike 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 subscribed our Names, and faitned the Seals of our Offices. Given at the Office of Arms, London, the Day of 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 Irelaid, Defender of the Faith, & c. 1599.
Memory of my beloved the AUTHOR, Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR,
And what he hath left us.
To draw no envy (Shakespear) on thy Name,
I Am I thus ample to thy Book, and Fame: While I confefs thy writings to be such,
As neither Man, nor Mufe can praise too much. 'Tis true, and all mens suffrage. But these wayes Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise : For seeliest Ignorance on these may light, Which, when it sounds at best, but ecchoes right; Or blind Affection, which doth ne'er advance . The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ; Or crafty Malice might pretend this praise, And think to ruine, where it seem'd to raise. These are, as fome infamous Baud, or Whore, Should praise a Matron. What could hurt her more ? But thou art proof against them, and indeed Above tb'ill fortune of them, or the need. I therefore will begin, Soul of the Age! The applause! delight! the wonder of our Stage! My Shakespear rise ; I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont le A little further, to make thee a room : Thou art a Monument without a Tomb, And art alive still, while thy Book doth live, And we have wits to read, and praise to give. That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses; I mean with great, but disproportion'd Muses: . For if I thought my judgment were of years, I bould commit thee surely with thy Peers, d 2
And tell how far thou didst our Lily out-line,
And all the Mules, still were in their prime,
Of Shakespear's mind and manners brightly lines