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Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
September 8,
1601

DR243/1: Burial register, folio 34 verso

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DR243/1: Burial register, folio 34 verso
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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: Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Title:  Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: 1558-1776
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: DR243/1: Burial register, fol. 34v

Item Creator
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Title
Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Date
1558-1776, entry for September 8, 1601
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
DR243/1: Burial register, fol. 34v

DR243/1: Burial register, folio 34 verso, entry detail

View Image Assets
DR243/1: Burial register, folio 34 verso, entry detail
Click image to enlarge

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: Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Title:  Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: 1558-1776
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: DR243/1: Burial register, fol. 34v

Item Creator
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Title
Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Date
1558-1776, entry for September 8, 1601
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
DR243/1: Burial register, fol. 34v

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: Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Title:  Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: 1558-1776
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: DR243/1: Burial register, fol. 34v

John Shakespeare was buried on September 8, 1601, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance. The entry is distinguished by the prefix "Mr." This was used to denote men of some standing in the town, particularly aldermen, though John had not served in that capacity since his expulsion in 1586. For instance, Aldermen Lewes ap Williams and Richard Quiney were also described as "Mr" on their burials on February 8, 1599 and May 31, 1602 respectively. Local men of means or some social standing were also recognised in this way, as for instance, “Mr John Nash” on the burial of his son Thomas on April 20, 1599, or Master Richard Bifield, the vicar, on the baptism of his daughter on April 24, 1600. 

Occasionally, a higher status was implied by the suffix “gent” (or “generosus”), as was used to describe Richard Woodward on his burial on May 25, 1602. John Shakespeare, having been granted a coat of arms in 1596, would also have warranted such an attribution. Its absence implies that his fellow townsmen were either unaware of the grant or reluctant to recognize his elevated status.

John may have been well into his seventies but his cause of death is unknown. The number of burials in 1601 (around 75) was high, not to be exceeded until 1608, with well over the average number of deaths in June. As with the burial of William Shakespeare’s son Hamnet, there is no evidence that William, if in London, would have been able to return in time to attend his father’s funeral.

All entries in the parish register up to September 12, 1600 were copied over from an earlier volume, now lost. Afterwards, entries were written directly in the volume shown above, soon after each event took place. The mixture of Latin and English used thereafter possibly reflects the preference of the man recording on a given day, but the same hand appears for most of the entries between May 1601 and May 1604. The minister or curate should have signed at the bottom of each register page to testify to the accuracy of the entries. During this period Richard Byfield, the minister, faithfully observed this instruction for the baptism and marriage sections of the register but for some reason he did not sign this page of the burial section, the page before, or the following two.          

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated January 19, 2016