MENU
Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
February 4,
1598

BRU15/1/106, fol. 1 recto

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/106, fol. 1 recto
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
Title: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

Item Date
February 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/106, fol. 1 recto

BRU15/1/106, fol. 1 verso

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/106, fol. 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
Title: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

Item Date
February 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/106, fol. 1 verso

BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 recto

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 recto
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
Title: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

Item Date
February 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 recto

BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 verso

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 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
Title: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

Item Date
February 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/106, fol. 2 verso

BRU15/1/106, folio 1 verso and folio 2 recto, detail

View Image Assets
BRU15/1/106, folio 1 verso and folio 2 recto, 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
Title: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

Item Date
February 4, 1598
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call Number
BRU15/1/106, fols. 1v-2r

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: Miscellaneous documents: Stratford-upon-Avon corporation
Date: February 4, 1598
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/1/106, fols. 1r-2v

In this 1598 survey of those storing grain in Stratford-upon-Avon, “W[illia]m Shackesp[ear]e” is listed as holding 10 quarters of malt. The survey was the result of a series of poor harvests, beginning in 1595, which had led to an increase in the price of wheat to a record 50 shillings a quarter by late 1596, a three-fold increase since 1592. Outbreaks of violence were an ever-present threat and the death rate soared as diseases associated with mal-nutrition took their toll. Abraham Sturley, writing to Richard Quiney in London on January 24, 1598 refers to events in Stratford typical of this nationwide simmering discontent. In early 1595, the Privy Council required local justices of the peace to carry out surveys to identify those who, by storing quantities of corn and malt in their barns, were suspected of taking advantage of the shortages by releasing limited supplies at inflated prices. A detailed Stratford return survives in the Warwick Castle archives, among the papers of Sir Fulk Greville, one of the local justices responsible for conducting the survey. The return required those in possession of substantial quantities of wheat and malt to release specific amounts for sale at weekly markets (WaCRO, CR 1886/2648, 2663). Neither William Shakespeare nor his father John were recorded in the 1595 survey.

As the crisis deepened, the Privy Council ordered a second survey. The Stratford return for this survey, dated February 4, 1598, is the famous “Noate of Corne and malte.” Shakespeare had purchased New Place a year before, and he was therefore listed in the 1598 survey as a householder in Chapel Street ward, where New Place was situated. 

The stocks of grain and malt recorded in this second survey were generally much lower than in 1595 and there is some suspicion that the amounts recorded were under-estimates. Nevertheless the figures can be used to gauge the relative wealth of the seventy-one townsmen who figured in the return. The largest holdings were in malt, though other grains, and occasionally crops such as peas and fletches, were listed. The principal dry measure used was the quarter made up of eight strikes, or bushels. Taking into account malt and grain only, Shakespeare was recorded fairly high in the rankings.His personal store (recorded on folio 2 recto, in the left-hand column) of ten quarters (80 bushels) of malt is only exceeded by sixteen others while two other townsmen held the same amount, and fifty-two held less. Such a quantity not only reflected Shakespeare’s well-to-do circumstances at that time, but was also clearly more than was required for his personal use. There is later evidence that he, his family or his agent, were engaged in the sale of malt to other townsmen.

Since malt-making was a significant cottage industry in Stratford-upon-Avon, most citizens of the town kept grains, including Shakespeare’s “country man” Richard Quiney, listed on the page shown here. Shakespeare’s near neighbors listed with him in Chapel Street ward also include the schoolmaster, Alexander Aspinall, with eleven quarters, Julius Shaw, who was to sign Shakespeare’s will, with seven quarters, and the vicar, Richard Byfield, with six. None of these men, however, engaged in large-scale operations. For each ward, the personal holdings of the residents were supplemented by a note of any malt held in their barns belonging to other people (noted as “Straingers Malte”). For instance, Byfield held four quarters belonging to his sister. This was a small amount compared to the thirty quarters held by Richard Dixon on behalf of Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir Edward Greville and Edward Kenning, with whom he presumably enjoyed a business relationship. Shakespeare is not listed in this section. 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[f.1 recto, header]

Stratforde
Burrowghe
Warwicke

The noate of Corne & malte Taken the iiijth of ffebrwarij 1597
in the xlth yeare of the raigne of our moste gracious Soveraigne Ladie
Queen Elizabethe &c.

[f.1 recto, left column]

Woode street
Warde.
Townesmens Corne
3.   Ihon Sadler. malte: iij quarters malt
34.   William Slatter & widow
Parrott
iiij quarters malte
5.   Rychard Pyncke malte
& Bareley
v quarters
    1.of wheate i quarter
3   George Roase malte iiij quarters.
9.   Mr Ihon Lane Iunior ix quarters
     2½ myle corn ij quarters dimidium
    
:3. Beanes. iij quarters:
8. Iames Elliottes. viij quarters
     3. wheate iij strickes
2.   6:strikes Thomas Hornebie: ij quarters vj strikes.
     1. myle corne i quarter
4.  Thomas Lemster with hym. iiij quarters.
8.   Mr Parsons. malte viij quarters.
     2.½.   wheate. ij quarters. dimidium.
     12 woates. xij quarters.
     1 fletches. i quarter.
     2   2  myll corne. ij quarters.
13. 2 strikes Iohn Tubbe. xiij quarters ij strikes
10.Thomas Wylkenson. x quarters:
1. 2 strikes Robert Sperpoynt in hys house x strikes:
9.½ Ihon Smythe draper ix quarters dimidum.
    2 strikes mylecorne. ij strickes.
3. Ihon Page in hys house iij quarters
     1 Barley i. quarter
5. Mr Sturley: v quarters.
8. Cicley Bainton vidua. viij quarters
4.Barley.iiij quarters
4.Rafe Lorde.iiij quarters
myle corne viij strikes
Henley street
Warde.

12.   Edwarde Hunte. xii quarters.
6 strikes Brede corne. vj strikes.
5   Ihon Wheeler. v quarters xij strickes
of bred corne
of old William Cawdreys. iiij quarters.
7 strikes Robert Ionsons: vij strickes.
12 Ihon Wyllmer. xij quarters
     myle corne. xiiij strikes
3. Valentyne Tawnte. iij quarters
4   Rycharde Hornebie  iiii quarters
    Myle corne ij quarters
8 Robert Willson Iunior viij quarters
      Bred corne. ij quarters
      pease & beanes ij quarters
18 Ancker Aynsworthe. xviij quarters
    Myll corne xiiij strikes
2  6 strikes Thomas Allen Baker malte xxii strikes
Bred corne iiij quarters

[f.1 recto, right column]

Straingers malte.
[Wood Street Ward]

Mr Lyttleton xij quarters att Sadlers .                 12
Mr Smythe of Wotton xj quarters.                      11
William Gibbarde. ij quarters.                              2
Rychard Gibbarde i quarter dimidium.                1.½
Mr Anthonie Nashe att George Roases
howse malte. vij quarters                                  7
    :pease iij quarters          3
att Tubbes of one Walter
Smythes. i quarter &
of William Yockesalles. i quarter                    2
att Thomas Wylkensons of Mr
Anthony Nashes. x strickes.                        1   2 strikes
of Mr Myddlemores iii quarters                         3
Smythe of Rychard Astons. i quarter dimidium. 
of Rychard Smythes of Rowington 
i quarter halfe.                                                1½
Att S Mr Sturleys.
Sir Thomas Lucie. xij quarters dimidium.
of Mr Anthony Nashes. viij quarters dimidium.
of Mr Rychard Wyllyes. iij quarters
Att Rafe Lordes of Sir Ihon
Conwayes vij quarters dimidium.

[Henley Street ward]

att Ihon Wheelers of Mr Cowrtes
of Oulborrowghe x strikes
of George Bartons. iij quarters
att Ihon Wyllmers of Ihon Sir ffowlke
Grevyles Cooke. xij quarters
att William Greens of Mr Barnes
of Clyfforde. ix quarters
Att Robert Brookes. of one Ihon
Coxe hys. viij quarters
of William Coxe his. xj strikes
of another mans iij quarters dimidium.

Bridg street
warde

Att Arter Cawdreys of Iohn
Moores of Ipseley iiij quarters
of widdowe Bunnes. ii quarters.
Att Mr Henry Wyllsons of Mr
Chyldes. ix quarters:
Att Mr Cawdreys Iunior of Mr
Anthonye Shrimptons. v quarters
of ffrauncys Pallmers of Ladbrocke
parke v quarters.
Att Mrs Anne Nashes vidua.
of hyr sonn Humfrey Nashes. viij quarters
Robert Wyllson senior att Robert
Butlers. iij quarters

[f.1 verso, left column]

Henley street
Warde

5    William Green v quarters.
6    Robert Brookes. vj quarters.
2    William Smythe. ij quarters.
          Bredcorne.iij quarters.

Bridge street
Warde

Are Caw
    11   Arter Cawdrey. xj quarters.
    3.½  Ihon Smythe alias Cowrte iij quarters dimidium.
               Bredcorne. i quarter.
0  6. strikes Rychard Ainge. vj strickes.
Breadcorne.
4.  Mr Henry Wyllson. iiij quarters
               Bredcorne ij quarters
   6.½  Robert Butler. vj quarters dimidium.
               Bred corne dimidium quarter.
    3.    Robert Wyllson senior. iij quarters.
0  1/2 strikes Lewes Hycoxe dimidium quarter
            Breddcorne. iiij quarters.
    1   Ihon Attwoode. i quarter
    
4   of Iohn Luptons. iiij quarters.
    3.   Mrs Ann Nashes iij quarters.
            pease v quarters.
  32.   Mr Ihon Lane senior. xii quarters
            more in green malte & Barley xxti quarters.
    3.   Edwarde Sheffylde. iij quarters.
   3.½ ffrauncys Bellars iij quarters dimidium
   
4   William Cawdrey iiij quarters
        William

Shepe street
Warde

   8   Daniell Smythe. viij quarters.
           Bredcorne. i quarter.
1.  5 strikes widow Roocke of Ihon Archardes
                a Bachelor. xiij strickes.
   1.   of widow Byddles i quarter.
   
9.   Henrye Smythe. ix quarters
  15.  Mr Rychard Tyler. xv quarters
            myle corne i quarter.
  
11  William Wyate. xi quarters.
   3.  of old William Bredcorne Cawdreys iij quarters
   5.  Edmonde Wall. v quarters
          Bred corne. vj strikes: 
 4½  Rychard Boyes iiij quarters dimidium.
        
William Smarte  o    o   o

[f.1 verso, right column]

Straingers.
Sheep street Warde.

att vidua. Rookes of one Ihon
  Bakers of Charlecoate a
  Batchelor. v quarters.
Att William Wyattes of olde William
   Cawdreys. iij quarters.

   of George Bartons. vj quarters.
Att Edmonde Walls of
   Ihon Hyggens of Tyddington
   ij quarters.
Att Rychard Boyes
   of Mr Smythes of Burmington
   iij quarters
   of Robert Pennells Sir Thomas
   Lucies Servantes. aboutes xiij quarters

Chapple street
Warde.

Rychard Dyxon hathe of Sir Thomas
   Lucies: xvj quarters
   of Sir Edward Grevyles. x quarters
   of Edward Kennings. iiij quarters.
Mr Bifielde of hys Systers
   iiij quarters.
Hughe Ainger of hys wyves syster
   one quarter.
William Emmettes of one Nickes of.
   Whatcoate. iiij quarters dimidium
   of ffrancys Tibballs. vj strikes

[f.2 recto, left column]

Chapplestreet
Warde

     3.   ffrauncys Smythe Iunior iij quarters
     5   Ihon Coxe. vij quarters.
 17.½  Mr Thomas Dyxon. xvij quarters dimidium.
     3.   Mr Thomas Barbor. iij quarters.
     5.   mychaell. Hare. v quarters.
     6.   Mr Bifielde vj quarters.
     6.   Hughe Aynger vj quarters.
     6   Thomas Badsey. vj quarters
                        Bareley i quarter
1.  2 strikes Ihon Rogers. x strikes.
     8. William Emmettes. viij quarters.
    11   Mr Aspinall. aboutes. xj quarters.
    10   William Shackespere. x quarters.
     7   Iulii Shawe. vij quarters.

Highe street
Warde

1.  2 strikes Ihon Smythe vinter. x strickes.
     3.   Smythe Iremonger. iiij quarters
                myle corne. dimidium quarter.
    11.  ffrauncyes Boyes. xi quarters
                one quarter. Bareley
     3   Daniell Baker. iij quarters.
    14  Mr Quyney xiiij quarters.
                Bareley xviij strickes.
                myle corne. x strickes.
     6.   Henrye Walker. vj quarters.
                Bareley i quarter.
                Beanes. iiij quarters.
     7   Mr Thomas Rogers. vij quarters.
                Rye. iiij quarters.
                myle corne. ij quarters.
                Seed Bareley. 12 strikes.

Some iiij C xxxviij quarters vj strikes of
malte of Townes mens.
Wheate & myle corne xliij quarters halfe
pease beanes & fetches. xv quarters.
Barley. ix quarters vj strickes

[f.2 recto, right column]

Highstreet
Warde

ffrauncys Boyes hathe of William
    Holmes of Bydforde iij quarters
Daniell Baker of Mr Toovies
    of Coventree. ij quarters halfe
Mr Quyney of Mr Hubaud
    hys malte vij quarters.
    of Mr Littletons. vj quarters
    of one Gylles Rychardes.v. quarters
    of one Smythes of the woodlande
    iij quarters.
Mr Rogers hathe of Mr
    Hubaudes. v quarters in strickes

Some of Straingers
malte ii C li quarters. halfe.

[f.2 verso: endorsed]

Malte
Townsmens. 449 quarters. 2 strikes
    Barley 9 quarters
    pease beanes
      & fetches 15 quarters
    Oates 12 quarters
Straingers Malte 248 quarters 5 strikes
    pease 3 quarters

 

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated February 17, 2016