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September 11,
1566

BRU15/1/100

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BRU15/1/100
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

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
Date: September 11, 1566
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/100

Item Date
1565-1566
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/100

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
Date: September 11, 1566
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/100

In late August 1566, a local ironmonger named John Page brought a charge of detinue, or wrongful taking of goods, against Richard Hathaway, a husbandman (a term indicating a farmer of a modest landholding) from nearby Shottery. An undated precept (Minutes and Accounts, ii, p. 1-2) directed the Corporation’s sergeants-at-mace to bring Hathaway to the next session of the court of record. The precept, which the sergeants endorsed to show that they had contacted the relevant parties, notes that Hathaway’s surety was John Shakespeare ("diffendens traditur in ballivo Johanni Shakyspere"). The court register for the following session, on September 11, records that the value of the goods in this case was estimated at £8 (BRU 12/1, i, f. 71v). The register also records on the same page that Joan Biddle also brought a case of detinue against Richard Hathaway, to the value of £11. Hathaway must have initially refused to settle, because on that same day the Corporation issued two precepts to the sergeants to distrain, or seize the goods of his surety, John Shakespeare, in order to ensure that he attended the next session to answer for Hathaway’s two debts.

The precept shown here relates to the debt to John Page, and is signed by the steward, Henry Higford. The other precept, concerning the debt owed to Joan Biddle, is published in Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare (ii, p. 230), but is currently untraced. The register records no further proceedings and marginal notes indicate that both claims were settled out of court.

The main point of interest here is evidence of a relationship of some trust between Richard Hathaway and John Shakespeare, whose children Ann, then aged about ten, and William, aged two, were later to marry

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated April 25, 2016