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Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
October 5,
1611

ER82/6/93/37, folio 1

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 1
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Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1

ER82/6/93/37, folio 2

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 2
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 2

ER82/6/93/37, folio 3

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 3
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 3

ER82/6/93/37, folio 4

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 4
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 4

ER82/6/93/37, folio 5

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 5
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 5

ER82/6/93/37, folio 6

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ER82/6/93/37, folio 6
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/37, fol. 6

ER82/6/93/27, binding

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ER82/6/93/27, binding
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Item Title
Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Item Date
October 5, 1611
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER82/6/93/27

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Terms of use
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Document-specific information
Title: Transcripts and Notes: Richard Savage papers
Date: October 5, 1611
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER82/6/93/37, fol. 1-6

Following John Shakespeare’s death in 1601, and perhaps for a year or two earlier, the Shakespeare family’s property in Henley Street (now known was the Birthplace) was let out to tenants. The main house became an inn, known as the Maidenhead, in the tenure of Lewis Hiccocks. Joan Shakespeare, William’s sister, also occupied a part of the main house. However, a barn to the rear of the premises was leased out to Robert Johnson, a yeoman and innholder of the White Lion Inn, which was located further along Henley Street to the northwest.

When Johnson died at the end of August 1611 (he was buried on September 2), five “Maisters of the said Towne” took an inventory his possessions, a customary requirement for the administration of a deceased’s estate. This inventory included, for purposes of valuation only, “A lease of a barne that he holdeth of Mr Shaxsper.” The 1670 will of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Barnard, records the barn’s approximate location: following a reference to the Maidenhead inn, it continues with  “the next house thereunto adjoining [where the Hart family then lived] with the barn belonging to the same, now or late in the occupation of Michell Johnson,” Robert Johnsons’s grandson. Later deeds confirm that the barn faced out into Guild Street which ran along the back of the Shakespeare property, “standing near the gates to the White Lyon Inn” which the Johnsons had previously managed.

Leases, when included in inventories, were given a theoretical value based on the annual rent multiplied by the years yet to run on the lease. In this 1611 inventory, the lease of the barn Johnson rented from Shakespeare was valued at £20, but the time left on the lease was not, in fact, specified. This leaves the annual rent Johnson was paying unclear.

However, the inventory also includes the valuation of leases of two nearby tenements which Johnson rented from the Stratford Corporation: one valued at £10 with thirty years to run and another, also valued at £10, with twenty years to run. Dividing the inventory value by the amount of years to run gives annual rents of 6s. 8d., and 10 shillings respectively. These two estimates are partly matched by the rents Johnson was known from Corporation rentals records to have been paying for these properties, namely, 6s. 8d. for the former, and 5 shillings for the latter. On the assumption that the lease of a barn would generally be of less value than a lease for a tenement, it is unlikely that Johnson was paying a higher rent to Shakespeare than he was to the Corporation, though the higher inventory valuation (£20 as opposed to £10) leaves room for doubt.

At that time, church courts were responsible for the proving of wills or, in cases of intestacy, the administration of estates, processes which usually required the submission of an inventory of the deceased’s goods and chattels. In Stratford’s case, these proceedings often took place in the bishop of Worcester’s consistory court, in whose diocese Stratford then lay. In 1908, J. Harvey Bloom discovered Robert Johnson’s inventory while working through the records of the Worcester court, but it cannot now be located. It is therefore fortunate that Richard Savage, librarian at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, who announced the discovery in the Athenaeum on August 29 of that year, made his own manuscript copy, as shown here, which still survives among his papers. According to Savage, the original was in the hand of one of the appraisers, Alexander Aspinall, the schoolmaster, who added his signature, together with William Wyatt and John Woolmer. Two other appraisers, Henry Wilson and Thomas Barber, made their marks. All were members of the Corporation. The total value of Johnson’s estate was put at £331 15s. 6d., way above what was normally the case, with very few inventories at that time recording possessions worth more than £100.

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated June 22, 2016