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22 years old, 1586. The year of the imputed deer-stealing prank in Sir Thomas
Lucy's grounds of Charlcote. John Shakespeare ceased to
Avon for London.
ing himself for his profession of actor; and in altering and ......... 1588. adapting plays for the theatre of which he became part
proprietor. 25 ......... 1589. William Shakespeare a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre.
His name occurs twelfth on the list of sixteen sharers. ......... 1590. No record. Diligent thought and application. Rapidly
rising in public renown. ........ 1591. Spenser's laudatory allusion to Shakespeare as a dramatist,
appeared in the “Tears of the Muses ;" that poem being
then first printed. 28 ......... 1592. Plague in London. Suspension of dramatic performances.
Probable period of Shakespeare's possible visit to Italy. Robert Greene's attack upon Shakespeare, posthumously produced by Henry Chettle; who subsequently made apo
logy in his “Kind-heart's Dream.” 29 ......... 1593. First edition of “Venus and Adonis” published under the
Author's direction by a printer named Richard Field, said to have been a Stratford man. Building of the Globe Theatre commenced by the leader of the company of actors,
Richard Burbage, December 22. 30 ......... 1594. First edition of “Lucrece” brought out at Field's press.
Spenser's second tribute to Shakespeare, in his poem of “Colin Clout 's Come Home Again.” Probable period of
Lord Southampton's alleged gift of £ 1000 to Shakespeare. 31 ......... 1595. Probable period of the opening of the Globe Theatre on the
Bankside, the spring of this year. The performances usually took place at three o'clock in the afternoon; and, being open to the air, the theatre served for summer represen
tations. 32 ......... 1596. Petition of the Player-sharers (Shakespeare's name fifth on
the list) to repair and enlarge their Blackfriars' Theatre for winter performances. William's son Hamnet buried August II. Help to his parents. Applied for grant of arms
to his father. 33 ......... 1597. John and Mary Shakespeare filed a bill in Chancery to re
cover their mortgaged estate of Asbyes; the mortgagee's son refusing to yield it. William's aid in redeeming his mother's inheritance. His purchase of "New Place,” also called the “The Great House," at Stratford: bringing his
father and mother home there. 34 ......... 1598. Ben Jonson's comedy, “Every Man in his Humour," first
acted, through Shakespeare's influence. Letter from Richard Quiney to Shakespeare, requesting the loan of £30.
(No record, these two years: but before then had appeared his
Two Gen. of V., Love's L. L., Tam. of S., Three Parts of Hen. VI., Titus A., Mids. N. D., Hamlet, Rich. II.,
Rich. III., Two Parts Hen. IV., Rom. and Jul., King 35 years old, 1599.
John, Hen. V., As You Like It, Mer. of V., All's Well, 36 ......... 1600.
Much Ado, and Merry Wives. The first edition (separate 4to) of Love's L. L., Rich. II., Rich. III., Rom. and Jul., Two Parts Hen. IV., Hen. V., Much Ado, Mids. N. D.,
and Mer. of V. had been printed. 37 ......... 1601. John Shakespeare buried September 8. Thomas Whitting
ton, an old shepherd (possible prototype of Corin, “the natural philospher,”) long in the employ of Richard Hathaway, died; leaving in his will a bequest of 405. to the poor of Stratford, which sum he had placed in the
hands of his old master's daughter, Anne Shakespeare. 38 ......... 1602. Patent granted by James I. to William Shakespeare and his
company of players, to perform at the Globe Theatre and elsewhere, May 17 (Shakespeare's name second on the list.) Bought 107 acres of land, at Stratford, for £320, adjoining his dwelling. Also became owner of a copyhold tenement
there. 39 ........ 1603. Additional purchase of land at Stratford, for £60. Letter of
Mrs Alleyn (wise to Edward Alleyn, the actor, and founder of Dulwich College) dated October 20; telling her husband that she had seen “Mr Shakespeare of the Globe,” in Southwark; where he had a house since 1596; and where
he dwelt when in the metropolis. 40 ......... 1604. Probable period of Shakespeare's retirement from the stage as
an actor. The withdrawal of his prudence and discretion in counsel, was adverse to the company. His control and
presence ceasing, the ill effects were felt. ......... 1605. Investment of 6440 in the purchase of a lease of tithes in
Stratford, July 24; described in the indenture as “William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, gentleman.” A fellow-actor's (Augustine Phillips) bequest of a gold piece
worth 30s. to Shakespeare. ......... 1606. No record: but in the interval since the commencement of
the century, Troilus and Cr., Othello, Tw. Night, Henry VIII., M. for M., Com. of E., Lear, and Macbeth, had
appeared. ......... 1607. Susanna Shakespeare married to Dr John Hall, June 5. Ed
mund Shakespeare buried December 31, at St Saviour's,
Elizabeth, baptized February 21. Mary Shakespeare buried
45 years old, 1609. Lord Southampton's letter on behalf of Shakespeare, styling
him “my especial friend;" the earl's steadfast and longstanding attachment thus testified after the supposed gift in
1594. Planted mulberry tree. Sonnets first printed May 20. 46 ....... 1610. Instituted legal process against John Addenbrook in March
for the recovery of a small debt; and the debtor decamping, a writ was issued by the borough court against Thomas Horneby, who had become bail. This pertinacity shows
that the poet did not choose to be imposed upon. 17 ........ 1611. A fine levied on the 107 acres of arable land purchased by
Shakespeare in 1602. Shakespeare's name on a list of donations, (dated September 11,) contributed by the townspeople of Stratford for defraying the charge of prosecuting "a bill in Parliament for the better repair of the high
ways, &c.” 48 ........ 1612. Supposed period of his quitting London, and taking up his
permanent residence at Stratford. One of the plaintiffs in a Chancery suit concerning the lease of tithes bought in
1605. 49 ......... 1613. Richard Shakespeare buried February 4. William Shake
speare purchased a house in Blackfriars for £140, March 10; possibly with some view of convenience to his friends and former fellow-actors. Globe Theatre burned down
June 29. 50 ......... 1614 Fire at Stratford July 9. Shakespeare active to prevent the
enclosure of common-land at his native place. Thomas Greene, clerk of the corporation, sent to London on the business, made a note, dated November 17, wherein he mentions going to see Shakespeare on his coming up to
town. John Combe's legacy of 65 to Shakespeare. 51 .... 1615. No record: peace and content leave few traces to mark their
existence. In the course of the last nine years had appeared Ant. and Cleo., Pericles, Winter's Tale, Tempest, Corio
lanus, Timon, Julius Cæsar, and Cymbeline. 52 ....... 1616. Prepared his will January 25. Judith Shakespeare married to
Thomas Quiney February 10. Executed his will March 25. A legend that Ben Jonson and Drayton paid Shakespeare a visit at Stratford, and that the hospitable reception he gave them hastened his end; in some respects a genial close, -entertaining his brother poets. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE expired April 23: but he ceased not to live.
IN THE PREROGATIVE OFFICE, LONDON,
Vicesimo quinto die [Januarii] Martii, anno regni domini nostri
Jacobi, nunc regis Angliæ, &c. decimo quarto, et Scotiz xlix', annoque Domini 1616.
T. Wmi. Shackspeare. In the name of God, amen! I William Shackspeare, of Stratford upon Avon in the countie of Warr., gent., in perfect health and memorie, God be praysed, doe make and ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme followeing, that ys to saye, ffirst, I comend my soule into the handes of God my Creator, hoping and assuredlie beleeving, through thonelie merites of Jesus Christe my Saviour, to be made partaker of lyfe everlastinge, and my bodye to the earth whereof yt ys made. Item, I gyve and bequeath unto my (sonne and] daughter Judyth one hundred and fyftie poundes of lawfull English money, to be paied unto her in manner and forme foloweing, that ys to saye, one hundred poundes in discharge of her marriage porcion within one yeare after my deceas, with consideracion after the rate of twoe shillinges in the pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbe unpaied unto her after my deceas, and the fyftie poundes residewe thereof upon her surrendring of, or gyving of such sufficient securitie as the overseers of this my will shall like of, to surrender or graunte all her estate and right that shall discend or come unto her after my deceas, or that shee nowe hath, of, in, or to, one copiehold tenemente, with thappurtenaunces, lyeing and being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaied in the saied countye of Warr., being parcell or holden of the mannour of Rowington, unto my daughter Susanna Hall and her heires for ever. Item, I gyve and