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View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
September 28,
1602

ER28/1, recto

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ER28/1, recto
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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
Creator:Rowington manorial 
Title: View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: September 28, 1602
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER28/1

Item Creator
Rowington manorial
Item Title
View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Date
September 28, 1602
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER28/1

ER28/1, verso

View Image Assets
ER28/1, verso
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:Rowington manorial 
Title: View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: September 28, 1602
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER28/1

Item Creator
Rowington manorial
Item Title
View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
Item Date
September 28, 1602
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
ER28/1

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:Rowington manorial 
Title: View of frankpledge with court baron of John Huggeford of Rowington, recording the surrender by Walter Getley to William Shakespeare of a cottage in Walkers Street, otherwise known as Dead Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon
Date: September 28, 1602
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: ER28/1

Shortly after his purchase of land from the Combes, a major investment, Shakespeare acquired a cottage and a quarter acre of land in Chapel Lane, to be held by a form of tenure known as copyhold. It stood opposite the barns and garden behind Shakespeare’s residence of New Place and may have been acquired as service quarters with the land used as a kitchen garden. The document shown here is the only direct evidence of Shakespeare’s purchase of these Chapel Lane properties. 

The premises, with another small property in Church Street, were still held as part of the manor of Rowington, a settlement some eight miles north of Stratford. By 1602 the lordship of the manor was vested in Ann, the widow of Ambrose Dudley, earl of Warwick, and the tenancy of this particular property was in the hands of Walter Getley. For the tenancy of such a property to change hands, the recognized practice was for the party in possession to appear at the manor court and surrender the property into the lord’s hand, and for it then to be granted to the new tenant. This transaction would be engrossed, or recorded, on the court roll and a copy given to the incoming tenant – hence the term copyhold. 

On this occasion, the niceties were not fully observed. Walter Getley performed his role, but Shakespeare was not there officially to take possession. He had also been absent in May 1602 when he purchased 107 acres from John Combe. The court steward therefore recorded that the premises would remain in the lord’s hands until Shakespeare came to receive it: "quousque predictus Willielmus Shakespere venerit ad capiendum premissa predicta." This stipulation was included in the document of transfer that was then handed to Shakespeare’s unnamed representative. As the court roll itself has not survived, this is the only direct evidence of the transaction. There is no record that Shakespeare ever appeared to complete the formalities, but his tenancy was never challenged. Later surveys of 1604 and 1606 record him as the tenant, and it was clearly in his hands when his made his will in 1616. A court roll estreat of 1617 also records that after Shakespeare’s death, his son-in-law John Hall and his wife Susanna Shakespeare were admitted to the property. 
    
These later surveys also give details of the rent due to the lord of the manor for this copyhold property, namely 2s. 6d. However, it is not known how much Shakespeare would have paid Walter Getley for this property transfer, nor indeed whether Shakespeare then decided to sub-let it for a higher rent rather than use it himself. Sub-letting was certainly an option pursued by other tenants of Rowington manor but the Chapel Lane cottage’s proximity to New Place certainly implies that it was seen simply as an adjunct to his principal residence.

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

Rowington

View of frankpledge with court baron of the noble lady Ann countess of Warwick held there on 28 September in the forty-fourth year of the reign of our lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God queen of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith etc., before Henry Michell, gentleman, deputy steward of John Hugord, esq., chief steward there.  

To this court came Walter Getley, by Thomas Tibbotts junior, his attorney, one of the customary tenants of the said manor (the aforesaid Thomas Tibbotts having been sworn for the truth) and surrendered into the hands of the lady of the said manor a cottage with its appurtenances situated lying and being in Stratford-upon-Avon in a certain lane there called Walkers Street alias Dead Lane to the use of William Shakespeare and his heirs for ever according to the custom of the said manor; and so it remains in the hands of the lady of the said manor until the said William Shakespeare shall come to receive the said premises. In witness of which the said Henry Michell has placed his seal to this present copy on the day and year abovesaid

By me Henry Michall

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[ER 28/1, with marginal note, c. 1790. by Edmond Malone: ‘28 Sepr 1602. E.M.’]

Rowington
Visus ffranci plegii cum curia baronis prenobilis domine Anne Comitisse Warwici ibidem tentus xxviijo die Septembris Anno regni domine

nostre Elizabeth dei gracia Anglie ffrancie & Hibernie Regine fidei defensoris &c quadragesimo quarto coram Henrico Michell Generoso

deputato Scenescallo Iohannis Huggeford Armigeri Capitalis Scenescalli ibidem

 

Ad hanc Curiam venit Walterus Getley per Thomam Tibbottes Iuniorem Attornatum suum vnum Customariorum Tenentium manerij predicti (predicto Thoma

Tibbottes Iurato pro veritate inde) & sursumreddidit in manus domine manerij predicti vnum cotagium cum pertinentiis scituatum iacens & existens in

Stratford super Avon in quodam vico ibidem vocato Walkers Streete alias dead lane ad opus & vsum Willelmi Shackespere &

heredum suorum imperpetuum secundum Consuetudinem Manerij predicti Et sic remanet in manibus domine manerij predicti quousque predictus Willelmus Shakespere

venerit ad capiendum premissa predicta In cuius rei testimonium predictus Henricus Michell huic presenti copie sigillum suum apposuit die &

anno supradictis

Per me Henricum Michell 

 

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated April 14, 2016