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Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
November 4,
1598

BRU15/1/136, folio 1 recto

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BRU15/1/136, folio 1 recto
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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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

Item Creator
Abraham Sturley
Item Title
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Item Date
November 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/136, fol. 1r

BRU15/1/136, folio 1 verso

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BRU15/1/136, folio 1 verso
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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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

Item Creator
Abraham Sturley
Item Title
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Item Date
November 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/136, fol. 1v

BRU15/1/136, folio 2 recto

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BRU15/1/136, folio 2 recto
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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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

Item Creator
Abraham Sturley
Item Title
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Item Date
November 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/136, fol. 2r

BRU15/1/136, folio 2 verso

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BRU15/1/136, folio 2 verso
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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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

Item Creator
Abraham Sturley
Item Title
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Item Date
November 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/136, fol. 2v

BRU15/1/136, page view

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BRU15/1/136, page view
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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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

Item Creator
Abraham Sturley
Item Title
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Item Date
November 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/136

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
Creator: Abraham Sturley
Title:  Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: November 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/136, fol. 1-2

On October 25, 1598, Richard Quiney wrote both to Shakespeare, asking for his help in securing a loan of £30 and to his friend Abraham Sturley in Stratford-upon-Avon to let him know the request had been made. We do not have this second letter but we know it was written, sent, and received from the evidence of Sturley’s reply, shown here, dated November 4, 1598. Sturley’s reply provides an additional reference to the interlocking network of debts between the parties, and their other friends and associates.

In his reply, Sturley refers to “Ur letter of the 25 of October came to mi handes the laste of the same [i.e. October 31] per [William] Grenwai [the Stratford carrier].” Early on in the letter he remarks: “our countriman Mr William Shakespeare would procure us monei, which I will like of as I shall hear when & wheare & howe,” thus linking Quiney’s approach to Shakespeare with Sturley’s urgent request to Quiney on October 16 that, to meet the demands of pressing creditors for £25, he seek a loan which “might bi ur good labour & leisure be procured.” (ER 1/97, f. 134)

Sturley continues with comments which, without Quiney’s letter, are less easy to interpret but that clearly relate to the terms on which the money was to be borrowed: “Allso that if monei might be had for 30 or 40l a lease etc might be procured. Oh howe can u make dowbt of monei who will not beare xxxtie or xls towards sutch a match?”  This must relate in some way to the interest which might be charged, but at 5 per cent half what was legally more than permitted.       

He continues with reference to another of Quiney’s letters, written on November 1 which he had received two days later. This clearly concerned Stratford civic business which had brought Quiney to London, namely negotiations for the granting of a new borough charter. These negotiations involved reaching an agreement with Sir Edward Greville, the lord of the manor, who was evidently causing difficulty. However, Sturley also mentions the disputed cost which the Corporation had incurred during repairs to the chancel. He closes with an update on Quiney’s business interests in Stratford together with advice on diet and exercise. The letter, when folded, was addressed to Quiney at the Bell in Carter Lane where he customarily lodged during his London visits.

As with Sturley's January 24 letter to Quiney, the original letter suffered severe water damage during World War II and is no longer legible but several copies exist, the earliest by James Saunders, ca. 1825, at ER 1/97, f. 144v-147v.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

All health happines of succes and wellfare be multiplied unto u & uour labours in God our ffather bi Crist our Lord.

Uour letter of the 25 of October came to mi handes the laste of the same att night per Grenwai which imported a stai of suites bi Sir Edward Grevill advise untill etc and that onli u should followe on for tax & subsidy presentli and allso uour travell & hinderance of answere therein bi uour longe travell & thaffaires of the Courte; and that our countriman Mr William Shakespeare would procure us monei, which I will like of as I shall hear when & wheare & howe. and I prai let not go that occasion if it mai sorte to ani indifferent condicions. Allso that if monei might be had for 30 or 40l a lease etc might be procured. Oh howe can u make dowbt of monei who will not beare xxxtie or xls towards sutch a match? The latter end of uour letter which concerned uour houshold affaires I delivered presentli. Nowe to uour other letter, of the 1o of November receved the 3d of the same. I would I weare with u: nai if u continue with hope of those suiets u wryte of I thinke I shall wt [without?] consent & I will most willingli come unto u. As had u but advise & compani and more monei presente much might be done to obtaine our Charter enlarged ii faires more with tole of corne bests & sheepe and a matter of more valewe then all that; for (sai u) all this is nothinge that is in hand seeinge it will not rise to 80l & the charges wilbe greate. What this matter of more valewe meaneth I cannot understand: but me thinketh: whatsoever the good would be u are afeard of want of monei. Good things in hand or neare hand can not choose but be worth monei to bringe to hand: and being assured will if neede be bringe monei in their mouthes: there is no feare nor dowbte. If it be the rest of the tithes & the College houses & lands in our towne u speak of: the one halfe weare aboundantli ritch for us: and the other halfe to increase Sir Edward [Greville’s] riallties: would both beare the charge & sett him sure on. The which I take to be uour meaninge bi the latter parte of uour letter where u write for a copie of the particulars (which allso u shall have accordinglyi) Oh howe I feare when I se what Sir Edward can do and howe neare it sitteth to himselfe: leaste he shall thinke it to good for us & procure it for himselfe, as he served us the last time. for it semeth bi uour owne words theare is some of hit in uour owne conceite, when u write if Sir Edward be as forward to do as to speake it will be done: a dowbt I assure u not without dowbt to be made; whearto allso u ad notwithstandinge that dowbt, no want but monei. Somewhat must be to Sir Edward & to each one that dealeth somewhat & great reason, And me thinketh u need not be affraid to promise that is fitt for him for all them and for uourselfe. The thinge obtained no dowbte will pai all. ffor present advise and encouragemente uou have bi this time Mr Baili; and for monei, when u certifie what u have done & what u have spent what u will do & what u wante somewhat u knowe we have in hand & God will provide that which shall be sufficient. Be of good cowrage. Make fast Sir Edward bi all meanes, or els all our hope & uour travells be utterli disgraced. Consider & advise if Sir Edward will be faste for us, so that bi his goodwill to us & his meanes for us these thinges be brought about. What weare it for the fee farme of his riallties, nowe not above xij or xiiijl he weare assured of the dowble when these thinges come to hande or more as the goodnes of the thinge procured proveth. But whi do i travell in these things when i knowe not certainli what u intende neither what uour meanes are nor what are uour difficulties preciseli & bi name: all which must be knowen bi name & specialli with an estimate of the charge before ani thinge can be added either for advise or supplie. i leave these matters therefore unto the allmighties mercifull disposition in uour hand untill a more neare possibilite or more leisure will encourage u or suffer u to write more plainli and particularli. But withall the Chancell must not be forgotten which allso obtained would yeald some pretti gub of monei for uour present busines, as i thinke. The particulars u write for shalle this morninge be dispatched & sent as soone as mai be. All is well att home: all uour paimentes made & dispatched: mi Sister saith if it be so that u can not be provided for Mrs Pendllbury she will if u will send u up xl towardes that bi the next after or if u take it up pai it to whom u appointe. William Wallford sendeth order & monei per William Court nowe cominge who hathe some cause to feare for he was neweli served with proces on Twsdai last att Alcester per Roger S.

Mr Parsons supposeth that Wenlock came the same dai with Mr Baili that u writt uour letter. he saith he supposeth u mai use that xl for our brewinge matters. William Wiatt answered Mr Baili & us all that he would neither brewe himselfe nor submitt himselfe to the order but (bi those veri wordes) make against it with all the strength he could possibli make, yeat we do this dai begin Mr Barber & miselfe a littell for assai. Mi brother Daniel Baker [is] att Shrewsburi or homeward from thence. but nowe the bell hath runge, mi time spent. The Lord of all power glori merci & grace & goodnes make his great power & mercie knowen towardes us in our weakenes. take heed of Tabacco whereof we heare per William Perri against ani longe iournei u mai undertake on foote of necessiti or wherein the exercise of uour bodi must be imploied drinke some good burned wine or aqua vitae and ale strongli mingled without bread for a toste & above all kepe u warme. farewell mi deare harte & the Lord increase our loves & comfortes one to another that once it mai be sutch as becometh Christianiti puriti & sinceriti without staine or blemishe. fare ye well. All uour[s] & ours well.

From Stretford November 4th 1598  
uours in all love in the best bond
Abraham Sturlei.

Mrs Coombs when Gilbert Charnocke paid them their monei as he told me said that yf ani but he had brought it she would not receve it because she had not hir gowne, and that she would arrest u for hit as soone as u come home & much twattell. but att the end so that youe would pai 4l toward hit, she would allowe u xxs & we shall heare att some leasure how fruictes are & hoppes & sutch knakkes. att this point came William Sheldon the silke man with a warrant to serve William Walford againe upon a trespasse of 500l.

To his most lovinge brother Mr Richard Quinei  att the bell in Carter Lane att London geve these.
Paid 2d.     

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated August 31, 2016