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Stratford-upon-Avon Borough: Minute books: Council Book A, 1555-1594
September 6,
1586

BRU2/1 Council Book A 1555-1594, page 259

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BRU2/1 Council Book A 1555-1594, page 259
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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Document-specific information
Title:  Stratford-upon-Avon Borough: Minute books: Council Book A, 1555-1594
Date: September 1586
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU2/1,  p. 259

Item Title
Stratford-upon-Avon Borough: Minute books: Council Book A, 1555-1594
Item Date
September 6, 1586
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU2/1, p. 259

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:  Stratford-upon-Avon Borough: Minute books: Council Book A, 1555-1594
Date: September 1586
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU2/1,  p. 259

John Shakespeare may have appeared at a meeting of the Corporation held on December 5, 1576 (Minutes and Accounts, ii, p. 111). However, there is no record of his attendance thereafter until his eventual expulsion at the meeting held on September 6, 1586, shown here. The primary objective of this meeting was to elect officers for the following year, but the Corporation took the opportunity to replace John Wheeler and John Shakespeare as aldermen on the grounds that “Mr Wheler dothe desire to be put out of the Companye & Mr Shaxspere dothe not Come to the halles when they be warned nor hathe done of longe tyme.” In fact, Wheeler had not been as lax as John Shakespeare—he was in fairly regular attendance until September 1584—and, as the wording of Corporation’s order implies, he had chosen to resign. In John Shakespeare’s case, the Corporation had simply given up any hope that he would resume his role.

Expulsions were rare. Since the borough’s incorporation in 1553, only William Bott, in 1565, had been dismissed by a specific Corporation resolution. John Shakespeare was then elected to replace him. In 1581, Thomas Brogden, who had been absent from meetings for the previous six years, either resigned or was dismissed; his name no longer features in the lists of capital burgesses after September 6, 1581. However, there is no specific record of why this happened. 

The list of aldermen and burgesses, with John Shakespeare’s and Wheeler’s names underlined for deletion, is annotated with a complex set of dots. Some scholars believe that four of the dots might represent four meetings, but they are more likely to indicate attendance at morning and afternoon sessions, with the other dots perhaps used to record voting on the issue of expulsion.

Beneath the list of attendees is a record of the annual election of officers, including a confused note about the election of bailiff for the coming year. The Corporation originally proposed William Wilson as one of three candidates, but Wilson apparently declined to stand and was therefore fined. Nicholas Barnhurst, alias Banister, took his place. At the election, Thomas Barber secured 11 votes, out of 19 members in attendance, and was therefore declared bailiff for the following year. However, given that Wilson had declined to stand, it is not clear who received the remaining eight votes.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

BRU 2/1, p. 259

Stratford
​Burgus

Ad aulam ibidem tentam vjo die Septembris Anno Regni domine
Elizabethe dei gracia Anglie francie & Hibernie Regine fidei
defensoris &c vicesimo octavo

Nomina Aldermanorum                                            Nomina Burgensium
                   •                                                                            •
• • Willelmus Tyler ballivus                                  • • Willelmus Smythe
                   •                                                                            
• • Adrianus Quyney                                                   Iohannes Tayler
                   •                                                                            •
• Georgius Whateley  •                                          • • Willelmus Brace
                   •                                                                            •
• Radulfus Cawdrey   •                                          • • Petrus Smarte •
                   •                                                                            •
• Lodovicus ap Williams •                                    • • Phillipus Grene
                   •                                                                            •
• • Humffridus Plumley                                         • • Thomas Goodwyn
                   •                                                                            •
• • Ricardus hyll                                                      • Ricardus Courte   •
                                                                                                •
Iohannes Wheler                                                   • • Iohannes Smythe
                                                                                                •
Iohannes Shaxspere                                                 • Ricardus Quyney  •
                                                                                                •
• Robertus Salysburye                                              • Georgius Bardell   •
                                                                                                •
• Thomas Barber                                                   • • Willelmus Parsons
                                                                                                •
• • Nicolaus Barneshurst                                       • • Carolus Beynton
                   •                                                                            •
• Willelmus Wylson                                              • • Iohannes Gybbes
                                                                                                •
Thomas Dyxson                                                    • • Thomas Rogers

Eleccion of the  • • • • • • • • • • • Thomas Barber  
baylyffe             • • • • • • • •        Willelmus Wylson finem fecit 
                                                     Robertus Sallysburye
                                                     Nicolaus Bannester
                                                                     of whiche thre Mr Barber ys thought
                                                                     to be most fittest to be baylyffe

Ellecion of the          George Whateley ys Chosen to be Alderman     Iuratus
Alderman

Chamberlens            Richard Quyney & Iohn Gybbes                        Iurati

elleccon of newe      At thys halle William Smythe & Richard Courte
aldermen                  are Chosen to be Aldermen in the places of Iohn Wheler
                                 & Iohn Shaxpere for that MWheler dothe desyre to
                                 be put out of the Companye & MShaxspere dothe not
                                 Come to the halles when they be warned nor hathe
                                 not done of Longe tyme

Constables              George Badger Rodger Welshe Iohn Shaxspere Iuratus Humffrey braceIuratus

Tasters                    David Iones ^& Valentine Taunte         Iurati
                               Iohn Knight
                               Robert Bydell

Leather sealers       William Bell & Iohn Iorden               Iurati

Seriantes                Henrye Russell & Roberte Gybbes     Iurati

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated February 21, 2016