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Court of Common Pleas, Concords of Fines Files, Elizabeth I, 1597 Easter-1598 Easter
May 8,
1597

CP 24/1/15

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CP 24/1/15
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Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

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The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Common Pleas
Title: Concords of Fines Files, Elizabeth I
Date: 1597
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: CP 24/1/15
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Item Creator
Court of Common Pleas
Item Title
Concords of Fines Files, Elizabeth I
Item Date
1597
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
CP 24/1/15

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Creator: Court of Common Pleas
Title: Concords of Fines Files, Elizabeth I
Date: 1597
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: CP 24/1/15
View online bibliographic record

 

In May 1597, the freehold title to New Place passed from William Underhill to William Shakespeare. This would normally have been recorded in a formal deed of conveyance, signed by the both parties. Of this there is no trace but we do have good documentation of a ritualized process in the central Court of Common Pleas, known as a final concord, whereby the change in title was “registered,” as a form of security should a dispute later arise.

The first stage in the process, shown here, was for both parties to appear before the justices of the court to establish that they were both in agreement about the transfer of title. The property was then defined, as was customary, in purely summary form as one messuage, two gardens and two barns in Stratford-upon-Avon. The justices then further indicated the specialized legal formula (in Latin) to be used in the drawing up of the final concord. In theory there were several options but the most popular, and the one used here, was that Underhill had recognized the right to the property under discussion to be Shakespeare’s as the result of his (Underhill’s) previous gift.

The parties could have appeared in open court or before the Chief Justice in his chambers. Either could have happened here but the “concord,” as it was known, dated May 8 (a Sunday) in the 39th year of Elizabeth’s reign (1597), was signed by the Chief Justice, Edmund Anderson. 

For further details about the 1597 concord of fine, see the general essay for Shakespeare's purchase of New Place.

Last updated May 11, 2016