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Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 1
March 1,
1587

BRU15/1/101, docket

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BRU15/1/101, docket
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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
Date: March 1, 1587
Repository: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/101

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 1
Item Date
1587
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/101, docket

BRU15/1/101, letter

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/101, letter
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
Date: March 1, 1587
Repository: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/101

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 1
Item Date
1587
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/101, letter

BRU15/1/101, page view

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/101, page view
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
Date: March 1, 1587
Repository: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/101

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 1
Item Date
1587
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/101, full page view

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: March 1, 1587
Repository: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/101

This is part of a sequence of nine loose papers and entries in the Stratford court of record register, documenting the progress of an action brought by Nicholas Lane, a prosperous Alveston husbandman, against John Shakespeare for the recovery of a debt of £22. John Shakespeare’s brother Henry had allegedly contracted the debt, and John had stood surety for it. The case began on January 18, 1587, when Lane first brought the matter to the attention of the court (BRU 12/1, ii, f. 28v), and ended on March 29 (BRU 12/1, ii, f. 31), when John Shakespeare produced a writ, or precept, to transfer the case to a superior court, in effect bringing it to an end.

Stratford’s court of record only had jurisdiction within the borough and, because Lane lived in Alveston and Henry Shakespeare in Snitterfield, Lane was only able to bring his case to the court because his alleged deal with John Shakespeare had been made within the town's precincts. The surviving documents do not specify how Henry Shakespeare had become indebted for this very considerable sum, which was £2 more than the schoolmaster’s annual salary.         

The document shown here is a declaration given at the session of the court, held on March 1, by John Shakespeare’s attorney, William Court, to the effect that John Shakespeare admitted that his brother Henry was indeed bound to pay Lane £22 in two installments, but denied that he had given any undertaking to pay the first installment of £10 if Henry defaulted. 

[Loose sheet later bound into a volume, now BRU 15/1/101]

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

Stratford Borough: John Shakespeare, represented by William Court, came and says that Nicholas Lane ought not to have his action against him because he says that Nicholas’ declaration is insufficient in law, and he has no need nor is he bound by the law of the land to reply to it.  He pleads that Henry Shakespeare, as specified in the declaration of  Nicholas, conceded by his bond that he was bound to Nicholas Lane in [blank] pounds in the payment of twenty-two pounds, namely at the last feast of St. Michael the Archangel a debt of just ten pounds; and at the feast of St. Michael after that the remainng twelve pounds, and (without acknowledging that anything in the declaration of Nicholas Lane is true) for his plea John Shakespeare says that Nicholas Lane did not pay John Shakespeare four pence, in consideration of an undertaking of John’s, and (saving all his advantages both with regard to the declaration and to the complaint of Nicholas) he says finally that he did not give an undertaking, as Nicholas Lane declared against him, and he puts himself on the country.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

Stretford
Burgus

Et predictus Iohannes Shakesper per willielmum Court, Attornatum suum
venit et defendit vim et iniuriam, quando etc. Et dicit quod predictus
Nicholaus Lane accionem suam inde versus eum habere non
debet quia dicit quod narracio predicti Nicholai minus sufficiens
in lege existit ad quam ipse necesse non habet nec per legem
terre tenetur respondere; protestando quod predictus Henricus
Shakesper in narracione ipsius Nicholai specificatus per scriptum suum
obligatorium concessisset se teneri prefato Nicholao Lane in [blank]
libris pro solucione viginti & duarum librarum, videlicet in festo Sancti Michaelis
Archangeli vltimo preterito debito modo decem librarum, et in festo Sancti
Michaelis Archangeli ex tunc proximo futuro duodecim libras de predictis
viginti & duarum librarum residuarum, et non cognoscendo aliquam in
narracione predicti Nicholai fore vera, sed pro placito idem Iohannes
Shakesper dicit quod predictus Nicholaus Lane non solvebat
prefato Iohanni Shakesper quatuor denarios legalis etc in
consideracione assumpcionis et promissionis dicti Iohannis, ac salvis sibi
omnibus advantagiis tam ad narracionem quam ad querelam
predicti Nicholai, dicit vlterius quod ipse non assumpsit modo et forma
prout idem Nicholaus Lane in narracione sua predicta superius versus
eum narrauit Et de hoc ponit se super patriam etc

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated February 21, 2016