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Date: November 17, 1614 - September 1615
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
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Thomas Greene, the Corporation’s steward, recorded in some detail the events associated with the contentious proposals to enclose some of the open fields at Welcombe. Notes covering the period November 12, 1614 to February 19, 1617, occupy both sides of four leaves, and are catalogued as BRU 15/13/26a, 27, 28 and 29. Another page, hitherto generally overlooked, with notes covering events from November 7 to 14, 1614, is now at BRU 15/13/8.

The scheme was unpopular with the Corporation, which feared the enclosure’s potential negative affects on its tithe income. Greene, as the steward, was instructed to co-ordinate resistance. However, both he and William Shakespeare, as co-lessees of the Corporation tithes, also had personal interests and they clearly worked together to safeguard these. (To learn more about the history of the Stratford tithes, please refer to Ralph Hubaud’s 1605 assignment of a lease of a share in the Stratford Tithes to William Shakespeare.) Between January 17, 1614 and September 1615 Shakespeare is named on five occasions in Greene’s notes as follows:  

First image (BRU15/13/26a recto): On November 17, 1614, Greene noted that “my Cosen Shakspeare commyng yesterday to towne I went to see him howe he did. He told me that they assured him they ment to inclose noe further then to gospel bushe & so upp straight (leaving out part of the dyngles to the Field) to the gate in Clopton hedge & take in Salisburyes peece.” Several unsuccessful or unconvincing attempts have been made to persuade us that the term “cousin” represents a family link, although it seems more likely to mean no more than that the two men were closely acquainted (as also was probably the case when Abraham Sturley addressed his letters to his “brother” Richard Quiney). Greene’s remarks clearly imply that Shakespeare had been in direct contact with the enclosure party to obtain such detailed knowledge of the extent of their proposed scheme. On the final point, however, Shakespeare seems to have been misinformed, namely “that they meane in Aprill to servey the Land & then gyve satisfaccion & not before & he & Mr Hall say they think there will be nothyng done at all.” In fact, work on the enclosure was well under way by early January.

From this note it is reasonable to assume that Shakespeare had previously been in Stratford, but that his continuing business interests were sufficient to bring him “to towne,” that is, London, where he spoke to Greene. That “Mr [John] Hall,” Shakespeare’s son-in-law, was apparently a party to the conversation implies that he had accompanied Shakespeare to London.
    
Second image (BRU15/12/26a verso): On December 23, 1614, after a meeting of the Corporation (“A Hall”), when the issue of the enclosure had been discussed at some length (BRU 2/2, p. 277), Greene noted: “Letteres written, one to Mr Manneryng, another to Mr Shakespeare with almost all the company’s hands to eyther,” meaning that the letters included the company’s signatures.

“Manneryng” was Arthur Mainwaring, one of the two men who were initially said to be the advocates of the enclosure scheme but who, it soon emerged, were simply fronting the scheme on William Combe’s behalf. Later references to Mainwaring’s involvement become increasingly infrequent, but at this early stage the Corporation still thought it appropriate to pressure him rather than Combe. A copy of the Corporation’s letter to him is extant (ER 1/1/66), reminding him strongly of “the manifold greate and often miseries this borough hath sustayned by casualties of fires fresh in Memorie and nowe of a late one lyeinge in the Ashes of Desolacion” and urging that “such Inclosure will tend to the … Ruyne of this Borough wherein lyve above seaven hundred poore … whose curses and clamours Wilbee daylie powred out to god against the interprisors of such a thinge.”

The letter to Shakespeare has not survived and may, of course, have been expressed in different terms. However, the fact that the Corporation specifically requested that the letter be written indicates that he was still regarded as a key player.

Greene continues with a note that “I alsoe wrytte of myself to my Cosen Shakspeare the coppyes of all our oaths made, then alsoe a not of the Inconvenyences would g’ [grow?] by the Inclosure.” What prompted him to take this additional step is unclear, though it may have arisen out of the fact that they were both aware of the risk to their personal incomes if enclosure went ahead.

There is some uncertainty about the identity of Arthur Mainwaring. He has traditionally been taken to be Sir Arthur Mainwaring (ca. 1580-1648), steward to Thomas Egerton, Lord Chancellor Ellesmere. However, this Arthur had been knighted in 1603 and it is therefore difficult to accept that he is the man who was consistently described in the enclosure documents as “Mr” or “Esquire,” including the letter addressed to him on December 23, 1614 (ER 1/1/66), as Greene also did in his note shown here. As Sir Arthur is known to have had contemporaries of the same name, it is therefore tempting to suggest a case of mistaken identity. On the other hand, the Corporation’s letter of December 23 was addressed to Mainwaring “at the right honorable the Lord Chauncellor his howse,” implying that he must indeed be Sir Arthur.

Third image (BRU15/13/27 recto): Between two entries dated January 9, 1615 Greene includes memoranda concerning events which had already taken place, in particular “Mr Replyngham 28 Octobris articled wth Mr Shakspeare & then I was recommended putt in by T. Lucas.” This provides an explanation of the nature and format of Shakespeare’s agreement with Replingham, namely that it was altered after initial drafting, or even signing, so that Greene’s interests, as well as Shakespeare’s, would be safeguarded if enclosure went ahead. Thomas Lucas, the attorney who facilitated the inclusion of Greene’s name, had recently been severely censured for his general conduct and was out of favour with the Corporation, although reconciliation was effected later in the year.
            
Fourth image (BRU15/13/27 verso): The following day (January 10, 1615) Greene made a further reference to the agreement that he and Shakespeare had reached with William Replingham and to discussions which he had had with Arthur Mainwaring on the same issue: “At night Mr Replingham supped wth me & Mr W. Barnes was to beare him Company where he assured me before Mr Barnes that I should be well dealt wthall confessing former promises by himself, Mr Manneryng & his agreement for me wth my Cosen Shakspeare.” William Barnes was the step-father of Sir Henry Rainsford of nearby Clifford Chambers with whom Greene was in frequent contact.
    
Eighth image (BRU15/13/29 verso): In September 1615 Greene made a comment which has led to considerable discussion as to Shakespeare’s involvement: “Sept. W. Shakespeares telling J. Greene [Thomas’s brother] that I was not able to he beare the encloseinge of Welcombe.” The note was bracketed and only approximately dated, and has the appearance of an insertion squeezed into a blank space when Greene first learnt of the conversation. The deletion of the letters “he” suggests that Greene may have intended to write “help” in the sense of “prevent” but had corrected this to mean that he would suffer financially in some way. There is a gap in Greene’s enclosure notes between October 6 and December 14, coinciding with a period when his deputy wrote up the Corporation’s proceedings in the order book (BRU 2/2, pp. 295-6). This implies Greene’s absence, probably in London, where he could have picked up news of this earlier conversation between Shakespeare and his brother John, of sufficient interest for him to insert a note about it when he got home. What might have aroused his interest is the impression that Shakespeare had given that Thomas Greene’s interests would somehow be adversely affected if enclosure went ahead. This would have been at odds with the agreement which Greene and Shakespeare had previously reached with William Replingham some twelve months earlier and also implies that John Greene had no knowledge of the arrangement. 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[BRU 15/13/26a recto]

Martis 15 November <1614> Mr I asking Mr Manneryng how they did meane to deale with me about my part interest of tythes where they ment to enclose. he told me I should haue no wrong & that I should rather gett a peny than a half penny & then agayne I should rather gett iid then loose a penny & sayd he was desirous to buy my whole interest of my Tythes, I asked him whether he hadd ever thought with himself what they were worth & he being in haste to goe vpp ito into the Court of Chancery sayd he must be gone he would speak with me soone or send Mr Replyngham. Nathaniel was with me.
Agaynst Whitehall Wall I mett withMr Replingham whoe promised to come to me at aftir noone saying he I should be satisfyed & as for the towne I askynge him howe the Towne should be satisfyed he sayd he cared not for their consents.

Received 16 November 1614 at 4 clock aftirnoone a Lettere from Mr Bayly & Mr Alderman dated 12 November 1614 touching the Inclosure busynes: & sent Nathaniel to see yf Mr William Combe were in Towne & he returned to me & [in] Mr Wyatts presence sayd he was not in Towne.

Iovis 17 November as my Cosen Shakspeare has commyng yesterday to towne I went to see him howe he did he told me that they assured him they ment to inclose noe further then to gospell bushe & so vpp straight (leavyng out part of the dyngles to the ffield) to the gate in Clopton hedge & take in Salisburyes peece: & that they meane in Aprill to servey the Land & then to gyve satisfaccion & not before & he & Mr Hall say they think there will be nothyng done at all.
This mornyng I did send to speake with see yf Mr Thomas Combe were in Towne & Nathaniel returned me answere that he went forth of the Towne yesterday.
Mr Wyatt aftirnoone told me that Mr Wryght hadd told Mr Combe that the enclosure would not be & that yt was end at an end. I sayd I was susp the more suspicious for those might be words used to make vs careles. I willed him to learne what I [sic] could and I told him soe would I.
At night I drew the peticion and gave yt Edmund to wryte fair that Iohn Greene & Mr Wyatt might see yt before yt were pre wrytten to be presented to the Lords.

18. November I in the mornyng I gave yt Edmund to shew yt to Iohn Greene that he might mak consider of yt & acq come amongst vs to acquaynt Mr Wyatt with yt, Iohn Greene being shewed yt, aftir noone sent mee word he lyked not of yt but would talke with me of yt.
About 3 of the clock aftir noone I sent Edmund to R Wyrlye he told (as I s Edmund sayes from him) Mr Replingham that seying myself to plan for myne owne interest I would be ruled by Sir Henry Raynsford & Mr Barnes & he answered none better & that I should have a peny for a peny. And sayd they howe Mr Replingham assured him they ment to inclose but to gost gospell bushe & noe further.
The same day Nathaniel was answered that Sir Richard Verny was come to the Towne but was not to be spoken with vntill the morow mornyng.

19 in the mornyng I went to him & desired him if he cold not procure Sir ffrancis Smyth to exchange & then he that he would be pleased to confyrme him in his promise that he would not part with yt to any. & he sayd he would & that he would be in the Country & would be contented yf he were named with Sir Henry Raynsford & the rest he would do the towne the best good he could.
The same mornyng I tooke with the mee the peticion to Westminster to shewe yt my Cosen graves & [sic] but could not fynd him.

21. in the mornyng Iohn Greene sayd that at night he would come & present the peticion with me the same day at afternoone: he drew me asyd in my chamber & told me that I Rednall this day in the mornyng willed him to tell me that some body from Mr Manneryng hadd bene with Sir ffrancis Smyth & that Sir ffrancis Smyth hadd answered him as he hadd answered viz that he would keepe his Land himselfe.

22 . Mr Henry Smyth told me that MrWright told him that my Lord Carew would oppose not agree to furder any Inclosure at Stratford but would rather hynder yt if he could. The same day Edmund told me at that R. Wyrley within halfe an houre told him that I was much excepted vnto for makeing such mighty opposicion agaynst the Inclosure & that Mr Manneryng & Mr Replingham would be with him to the aftir noone.
I also asked my brother Nevile after my Cosen Graves xptian name that wee might (yf as I thought we should) imploy him in a busynes at the Counsell table. 

[BRU 15/13/26a verso]

24 aftir noone Mr Wyatt told me that Mr Wryght within theis 2 houres told him that they were in framyng an answere to the Lettres wrytten from Mr Baylyff and the Company this Lettre. And that my lord Carewe did intend to oppose the inclosure there to be made all he might, alsoe Mr Wyatt told me that about ffryday laf laste he spake with Mr Manneryng whoe told him that yf he might not doe yt well & he cared not for inclosyng and cared cared not howe little he did meddle therein.

28. November at night Mr Replinghams speche with me & my opposynge yt, I sayd I did it accordyng to the trust in me reposed by the Baylyff &c & howe I was tyed to them &c and as for myne owne particuler interest I would not vary from what I hadd sayd before & soe wee parted.

3. Dec Mr Baylye William Barnes Iunior at night told me that Mr Combe was gone to London: & then I told th him that I would have the Lands seene that I might knowe howe to make reasonable demands of Mr Manneryng.

5 Dec at a Hall the Company agreed that .6. should goe to Mr Combe in the name of all the rest to present their Loves & to desire he would be pleased to forbeare to inclose & to desire his love as they wilbe reddy to deserve yt.
Arthur Caudry rather desirit the inclosure might rather stay then goe on, William Emet did not wish yt might not take effect. Edward Hunt would not consent without Sir ffrancis Smyth but desirit for his own part yt might not goe on :

9 Dec aftir Mr Bayley & wee hadd spent some 4 or 5 houres with the overseers of the poore he Mr Alderman & I Mr Baker Mr Shawe & Mr Chandler went accordyngly to Mr Combe whose answere was he should be gladd of our loves & that the inclosures would not be hurtfull to the Towne that he hadd not to doe with yt but to haue some proffytt by yt & that he thought Mr Manneryng was soe farre ingaged therein as that he would not be intreated & therefore he would not bestowe his labour to entreate him in any sorte saying if the froste broke the dychynge would goe presently forward.
[marginal note] Goeing to Mr Combe

[in the margin] 10 Dec that the survey there was past, I went came from Wilson to look Mr Replinghjam at the beare & at new place but missed him & on the narowe sid but he was not to be spone with.  

11 Dec I being Sunday I acquaynted Mr Bayly that I hadd a byll reddy drawen & prayed th him to appoynt a Hall & he puttyng yt of till ffryday I sayd yt desired haste & wished yt might be on the morowe & soe yt was sumoned.

12 Dec at the Hall the byll was reade. & stayeth till Mr Bayly Mr Alderman Mr Ba myself & Mr Baker haue bene at Stoneley & aftir some dispute of my consentynge I at their instance did write that I declare my prouins to be by all lawefull & reasonable meanes to assist them as their Steward and Counseller to withstand the inclosure & howe I hadd given my word for it & then Mr Walford challengyng I ought to Mr William Combe well I know where one told me he would help me to a Lease for .20. yeres yet to come of the same tythes & a bond of 100li to perform yt: Eust licence de concorder & that Thomas Rutter sayd that Mr Thomas Combe sayed they were all Curres & sayd of & them spitting that one of the dogges such a one as Walford was the cause of sendyng Hitchcocks to prison: And that now Mr William Barnes sayed that Mris  Reynolds denyed yt for when the enclosure was, Mr Replyngham sayd yt was not yet for Mr Combe, but hadd bene surveyed & when Mr Replyn Manneryng knewe the valor thereof yt might be Mr Combe might have yt before any other.

[marginal notes against this paragraph]
They would have had my interest in the part of be inclosed.
Curres 

14 Dec my goeingto Mr Wrights with Edmund Rawlyns but he was gone to Worcester. & thence to Mr Nashe about the Chauncell & he told me of the arbitrations. & the 100li & the churchyard.
The same day my as tryeing my Cosen Baker what he would say about their buyeing the interest of the tythes.

15 Dec being Thursday I told Mr [N?]Ashe & my Cosen Baker what I thought a Commoner might doe as touching throweing downe of dytches being same day he & Mr Bayly for him told me that Sir Thomas Leyghe stayed in London all xpmas &c & soe Mr Manneryng [was] not lyke to come downe & I vrgyng that some Course might be taken for say stayeing the inclosure, my Cosen Baker yt were not fytt any thing were done vntill they did see that he did sett a diggyng.
Mr Bayly alsoe then told me at his house that Iames Elliotts & Arthur Cawdry hadd taken a vewe of all the errable Lands: but being busy yt being markett day he cold not stay about yt to shewe yt me. 506 Lands.

20. at the College before Sir Henry Raynsford (at such tyme as Mr Byshope was there about Mr Lane) Mr Combe in gret earnestnes sayd nowe I can not hynder the inclosure now I sight [side with?] Mr Manneryng: And after at my door pale door before Iohn Watkyns & W. Martyn I told Mr Combe that the words between vs were but speeches in the ton of pleasure & not to preiudice me with Mr Manneryng & he sayd noe yt made noe mater & noe Advantage to be taken of them.

21. Our goeing to Clarden Mr Spencer sayd Lord Chancery was their friend in Chancery. Councell table Sir ffulk Grevill sent to me[?] he wold have vs peticion to the Kyngs Chancery case of annoying Sir Thomas Lucy.

23. Dec. A Hall. Lettres wrytten one to Mr Manneryng another to Mr Shakspeare with the almost all the company’s hands to eyther: I alsoe wrytte of myself to my Cosen Shakspeare the Coppyes of all our oathes made then alsoe a not of the Inconvenyences wold grow[?] by the Inclosure. Edmund Rawlyns well remembreth that [?] in my best Chamber told me I should have [?] for my tythes viz that evenyng he sent for me to th[?] and to speake about Mr Lanes busynes:

[alongside this paragraph is some Latin verse as follows]

Heu vivunt homines tanquam mors nulla sequeter
Et velut informis fabula vana fide
Mors certa est incerta dies hora agnita nulli
Extremam quare tu quamlibet esse diem puta
Fleures si scires vnam vnum tibi tempora mensem
Rides cum non si forsitan vna dies
Qui modo sanus erat nunc lecto egrotus adheret
Estque cinis subito qui modo ciuis erat.

[BRU 15/13/27 verso]

10. Ianuarii. 1614. at the quarter sessions: MrArcher was spoken to as a Iustice of peace & a Commoner to help at the Sessions for preventyng breach of the peace.
At Mr Baylyes instance we viz. he, myself Mr Baker Mr Walford & Mr Chandler alighted at the Byalyes [sic] for that part was so fytt to goe privately to Mr Wards & thence to Mr Hales, we went & there agreed as there we hadd together resolved none shall be spoken of but the dyggers & noe mencion at all of Mr Mannering Mr Replingam or Mr Combe. agree the peticion shall not be putt vpp. went to Mr Halls & shewed him as to Mr Ward our feares of tumult & howe on Monday people came to looke on when Mr Walford & MrChandler were there. desired his advice as also that he wold persuade Mr Combe there might be stay made & to enforme my Lord Compton thereof. & too putt him in mynd of his promise to the Countrey at the last dig dyggynge, & being sett in Court Mr Stapelton asked what I hadd to say that he might despatch me & I sayd I was not reddy but sent for Mr Ward who happely mett Mr Replyngham in the Court about the Hall & proposed stay of enformyng the Court which I Mr Bayly being nere Mr Ward yelded to. Aftir dyner at Mr Wards house agreements were made in these words. 10 Ianuarii 1614.
[marginal notes against this entry]
    Respect to Mr Combe.
    My Lord Comptons promise at last dyggyng.

10 Ianuarii 1614.
Yt is agreed for preventyng of Tumults and avoydyng of meetyng of the people of Stratford & Bi Byshopton for the present.
1      That any further dytchyng stay vntill the. 25. of March next.
2.     That there be noe ploughing on the Common or any part thereof vntill then.
3.     And yt ys ment there shalbe a cartway left vnder Rowley. and other vsuall ways to lye open.
       [marginal note against this clause] Not done but stopped since 
4.    Yt ys ment that there shalbe noe throweing downe of the dytches alreddy sett vpp but aftir such wayes as aforesayd, vntill aftir the sayd 25 day          of Marche.
      Subscribed William Walford William Chandler Thomas Greene. W Thomas Ayng his marke William Ayng his marke.                   

While this was doeing as yt stands, the dytches by .women & Chid Children of Byshopton & Stratford were fylled vp agayne.

Before dyner tyme I never sawe Thomas Greene Thomas or William Aynge. and I heartely thanke almighty god I never gave the lest allowance in any tumultuous courses but protested agaynst yt & as yet never was gave any Counsell to any Bishopton mann in these busynes.

On Wednesday being the xith day. anon aftir the Court Mr Parsons told Mr Bayly & me in the Hall that Mr Lucas sayd that the other syde being X Mr Walford & Mr Chandler might have gone. 9. & noe .ryott & shewed him many cases as he sayed yester night in that poynt but I dissented & lyked not that Course by but confessed yt was true in case of a mylston or a great peece of tymber that soe many might goe as were sufficiently able to cary yt away or lade yt.
    [marginal note against this entry] Query this opinion of riotts
At night Mr Replingham supped with me & Mr William Barnes was to beare him Company where he assured me before Mr Barnes that I should be well dealt withall as n confessyng former promisses & th by himself Mr Manneryng & his agreement for me with my Cosen Shakspeare:

Thursday. 12. Ian. in the mornying the Company did meet & there Mr Barker Mr Walford Mr Chandler Mr Henry Smyth Mrs Quyney Lewes Hiccox & Laurence Wheeler e[x]pressly to Mr Replinghams face disagreed to the intended inclosure & these Mr Bayly from Mr & Mr Baker from Mr Iohn Lanes mouth declared that he would never agree while he lived & sayd he would enter for a forfyture vpon his tenants for a former forfyture yf ever they did agree therevnto: and all desired that Mr Manneryng wold stay all proceedyngs and at party to inclose : & at partyng Mr Replyngham sayd he wold gyve names to Mr Baylyf for doing Iustice vpon the women dyggers: & yt was answered that then Justice should be be done:

     [marginal note against this entry] Disagreers 12 Ia. 12 Ia. Regis

On ffryday. 13. Ianuary: being an hall day and the accompt day about .2. of the clock in the aftirnoone he. came to the Hall & shewed a note of names, of whom he sayd he would gyve some names to Mr Baylyff (but not of all) that he would bynd them to their good behaviours & then without at the Court table he wrote a Lettre to Sir Henry Raynsford: I told Mr Replingham they would cry out of me as if I did cas cause to be bound for my Clarks proffits but I cared not the Law should by myne advise be executed upon them:

14.  I went to Clyfford to speake with Sir Henry Raynsford but he was at Brodeway.
[marginal mote] 16 Mr William Combe rod as was sayd toward London

[BRU 15/13/28 recto]

14 Decembris . 1615. Mr ffrancys Smyth senior at the Hall told me that Mr Thomas Combe within a fewe dayes before told him that his brother would plowe this yere for his good but next yere would lay yt downe to spyte me.
The same day there Mr Baker told me that they questyoned my Lord Cheif Iustices authority to make any such order as was made there being nothyng dependyng before him.

19. Dec. 1615. poore blynd Hiccox dryven to gett a replevyn of Mr Collyns for replevyeing cattle his milch cattle taken by the Heyward in other mens corne. the highe Sheryff denyeing yt him for 4 or 5 dayes.

26. Dec. 1615 T L his raylynge vpon & beatynge I Courte:

21 Febr 1615. agreed and entred in the book at a hall that the enclosure should be made a Towne cause & be the charges be defrayed out of the towne revenewes.
    [marginal note against this entry] to sett downe the procedyngs about shewyng the dyggers the Coppy of my Lord’s order & their Answere abour Mr Thomas Combe & the highe Sheryff

24 febr. 1615. the Highe Sheryff & Mr Thomas Combe at the bridge end toward the woodyard told being told by Mr Baker that he marveyled he would contrary to my Lords order enclose and digg in the Common. they answered they hoped my Lord could not hynder them for wi men for doeing with their owne as they pleased. & that the dytch was mad but to save their Mr Sheryff his Corne, sayeing they had gyven [money?] to my Lord's gentlemen to work my Lord & that was no good ymployment of their towne revenewes.

27. ffebr. Mr Sheryff sayd that which was done was was done agaynst his will & yet on ffryday .1. Marcii Mr Baylyff Mr Alderman myself Mr Walford Mr Henry Chandler Mr Henry Smyth ffrancis Boice & Richard Hasler went to see the Inclosure (ffrancis Bois & Richard Haseler being gone to the lower end) one Iohn Terry Thomas Hiccox William Whitehead & Michaell Pigeon were in fynyshyng the enclosure consystyng of 27 ridges acres length a peece & 3 headlands those fellowes sayd that yt was true that Mr Thomas Combe & Boughton did (in Mr Sheryffs absence at London) warrant them & they would defend them & that Mr Highe Sheryff did nowe sett hi them on worke & badd them take noe discharge at any mans hands whoesoever & he would see they should take noe harm.

28 febr. coram magistro Gybbard W Webbe Morrell sayd told me in my study that Mr Sheryff before Valentine Tant sayd to him yf he were not out of authority he would send him to the Gaole & havyng dyvers tymes ympounded his shepe. badd him tell my Lord Cooke that he would for euery seuerall trespass have a seuerall accion agaynst him. & for every vid dammage wold recover agaynst him vili
    [marginal note against this entry] William Morrell alias Webbe

.2. Marcii. 1615. Mr Chandlers man Richard Ward went to the place where they were dyggyng & Stephen Sly Iohn Terry Thomas Hiccox William Whitehead & Michaell Pigeon assalted him soe as he could not proceede with throweing downe the dytches & Sly sayd yf the best in Stratford came were there to throwe yt downe he wold bury his head in the bottom of the dytche:
     [marginal note against this entry] query plus

.3. Marcii, 1615. Sir Henry Raynsford at Clyfford told me of Mr William Combes tellyng him that he was to pay my Lord lxli per annum for xxi yeres for the Land he sold my Lord & hadd the my lords barne into the bargayne.
    [marginal note against this entry] barne

[BRU 15/13/28 verso]

At Warwick Assises in Lent 1615 & 1616 my Lord Chief Iustice willed him to sett his heart at rest he should neyther enclose nor lay downe any earrable nor plowe any greenswar auncient greensward.

Wednesday in Easter weeke the Company aftir some speeches at the Colledge with Mr Sheryff caused their answere to be entred in the booke viz. they desired his goodwill but would euer withstand any enclosure.

10 Apr. 1616 at Welcombe he Mr Highe Sheryff told my brother he was out of hope ever to enclose & sayd Mr Reynolds should have his Articles agayne as soone as he could fynd vpp the same.
[marginal note against this entry] I. Greene
remember the times of his proposiciones in wrytyng at the Hall & his their Answere thereto.

4 Sept. 1616. Mr Henry Smyth told me That Mr Sheryff said he wold distreyne their Cattle & they should not have them replevyned vnles they sued a replevyn from London & by reason therof there did forbeare to putt in their Cattle.
   
5 Sept. 1616. Mr Hall told me of G Bonner sayeing what he would do to Lucas & that Mr Sheryff sayd Lucas could not be an honest man for he hadd noe religion in him.

About 8 Sept. Thomas Combe & Valentine Tant upon fightyeng at Bishopton?

The sheryffs lyeing in the dytches a fyeld to keep other men's sheep forth of Welcombe Meadowe.

19 februarii. 1616, his meetyng commyng downe to Mr Bayly & vs & sayeing yt is true it is a wronge to dygg vpon the greensward but a Iudge of Assise would gyve but small damages & that yf yt should not be layed downe all this styrre would not bee. Mr Chandler & alii We come for our Comon & that is this [? arrainged] by dyggyng on the g greensward, Combe to the dyggers Maysters goe on with your busynes I will beare you out thoughe yt cost me 500li:
He sayeth one accion & nee more for dyggynge, & on yeres punyshment for layeinge downe & noe more for ever.
    [marginal note against this entry] Mr Baker
 

[BRU 15/13/29 recto]

9: ffebruarii. myself Mr Chandler Iohn Greene & Edmund Rawlyns being with Mr Manneryng he sayd all dyggyng & ploweing should stay till Easter:
Then he & Mr Ryplingham sayd they were to buy about to buy the Royalty of Sir Arthur Ingreham and that within an houre before they hadd hadd some speeche together to that effect.
[marginal note against this entry] Speeches of buyeing the royalty of Sir Arthur Ingram
Mr Ryplingham alsoe denyed that he gave yt forth as by Mr Bayly & Mr Aldermans Lettre was purported touchyng a dyggyng in of a lesse Inclosure.

Sunday . 12. Februarii Mr R Moore shewed me the me the particuler, as offred to be sold by Mr Combe; ratyng the intended Inclosure at 250li per annum.
[marginal note against this entry] Value of the intended Inclosure

1615 22 Marcii at a Hall a peticion was agreed vpon to be exhibited to my Lord Chief Iustice at Coventrey where I was with yt & yt was set down 25 Mercii at the assises syttyng in Court but his Lordship would be putt in mynd of yt agayne at Warwick & there Mr Combe 27 Mercii at night by my Lord’s appoyntement mett vs before my Lord & hadd the peticion with him to Answere the poyntes therof & answered th by trauerse of the poyntes. my Lord ordered prout 28 Marcii at the delyuery of the nisi prius prout patet per ordinem.
[marginal note against this entry] Mr Chaundler said Mr Combe vpon his carryeing him the peticioun called him knave a many tymes & told him he lyed.

1615 28 Mercii at night at my Commyng home my wif told me yt was sayd while we were as at the Assises that there yt should not be enclosed but there should be .4. shepheards kept to keepe shepe there & all should be layd doune to greensward: & this from Mris Reynolds & 30 Marcii Mr Collyns sayd he lykewise heard soe much:

29 Marcii aftir noone Mr William Combe rode by himself & Mr Thomas Combe or one of them in the ffields dealt with Laurence Wheeler & Lewes Hiccox to se make choice of Land for Mris Reynolds: but they sayd they would not meddle without their Landlady Landlady (meanyng Mris Reynolds) & this Mris Reynolds acquaynted my wif withall in Mris Mr Collyns presence at my house:

1 Apr 1615. Mr B being Saterday Mr Baker told me at his shopp howe that the day before he was in Sir William Somervilles & Mr Combes Company a huntyng in Awson ffields & there Mr William Combe told him he might thanke me for the peticion, & that he would sell all & offred to sell him the lli per annum lyeing in Bridgtowne amongst my lord Carewes Land there. & that he for his part never ment not to enclose &c.
    [marginal note against this entry] remember Febr & March 1615

2 Apr. Mr Parsons being Alderman told me that Mr Combe questyoned with him why he was soe agaynst the inclosure & he sayd as Mr Baker hadd sayd to him they were all sworne men for the good of the Boroughe and to preserve their Inherytaunces & therefore they would not have yt sayd in future tyme that they were the men which gave way to the vndoeing of the towne. tellyng Mr Combe that all the 3. fires were not soe great a losse to the towne as the Inclosure wolde be.
    [marginal note against this entry] 3 fires not so great as the Inclosure wold be

3. Apr. ex relacione Mris Reynolds to my wif. Thomas Combe yesterday being Palmsunday payd to Mris Mary Nashe xxxli part of the lli which she was to have for her good will to depart with her estate:

5 7· Apr. being goodfryday Mr Barker commyng to the Colledge to Mr Thomas Combe about a debt he stood surety for Mris Quyney he William Combe willed his brother to shewe Mr Barker noe favour & threatned that him that he should be served vpp to London within a ffortnight. (and so yt fell out:

8. Apr. being Saterday Thomas Combe payeing me the half yeres rent for the tythes in my garden told me there would be noe inclosure that went not on. on.

12 Apr Mr P[Parsons?] recityng to Thomas Rogers his being beaten at his house.

10 Apr Mr B[arker?] his mencionyng of Thomas Combe his kickyng & beatyng his sheppard at Meons demandyng his wages.

19 Apr. William Combe rayled at Laurence Wheeler & Lewes Hiccox for plougheing within the intended in closure vt ait Mr Barker Mris Reynolds.

20 Apr. they & Mr an Nashe & many other tenantes as is sayd ploughed there vpon their owne Land, with .which William Combe was very angry. 

[BRU 15/13/29 verso]

Vpon the moweing of Welcombe Medowe Mr William Combe opphis eatyng vpp the grasse thereof which hadd wont to be preserved vntill Michaelmas to help their wheat soweing.

25 Iulii. Commyng from Glouc[ester] [?] Peter Rosewell nere Marston told me that William Combe hadd sent Sir Edward Greville a fatt wether & ment to vse Sir Ar Edward Greville: favour to Sir Arthur Ingram to buy the Royalty of old Stratford for Mr Combe for better furthryng his enclosure & to end the difference between Peter Roswell & him.

26 William Combe & Thomas Combe rod to Mylcott to Sir Arthur Ingram to Mylcott :
Easter terme his payeing for 2 bylles
one agaynst Hiccox [?] Replingham the other . agaynst Mr Barker [?] Browne.
William Combe payd for the wrytyng of the bylles & for draweing them & soe Mr Dastons man told Edmund Rawlyngs.

8 Augusti Sir Henry Smyth & others their puttyng vpp the peticion for eatyng vpp Welcomb Welcombe medowe w[i]th sheepe.
    1615                                     Sept  William Shakspeares tellyng Iohn Greene that I
    14 Aug Mr Barker dyed.     was not able to he beare the enclosemge of Welcombe
   
5. Sept. his sendyng Iames for the executours of Mr Barker concerning to agree as ys sayd with them for Mr Barkers inf interest.

10 Sept Mr William Barnes told his vncle in my hearyng at Clyfford that Mr Combe hadd bought their interest & gave them xs in earnest & was to pay xlli 

12 Sept. ffrancis Boice & Iohn Samwell at my house told me of Mr William Combe syttyng at his. being appoynted to look of be taken of him by holder 6d & of Iohn Yate iiiid for their pyggs before they could have them forth of the pownde & howe that ffrancis Aynge was dryven to sue a Replevyn:

16. Sept. 1615 Sir Henry Raynsford repeated to me howe that he hadd told Mr Iohn Nashe howe that Mr William Combes best way was to agree with me & that Mr William Combe therevppon se went to Sir Henry & thanked him for his kyndnes therein & told Sir Henry that he would gyve me satisfaccion so as I would procure the townes consent & that Mr Combe told him that Henry Smyth would lett him have the his Land lying within the enclosure the Towne being compounded witha withall & that Arthur Cawdrey answered him that he would never consent without the. Towne & that he hadd a house & other things more profitable to him them th his Land was: & that he hadd rather loose his Land then loose their goodwilles & Sir Henry also nowe told me that Peter Rosewell hadd spoken with him & then within this few dayes & told him that thoughe Mr Combe have bene at Mylcott yet he shalbe sure never to have any royalty there & that he would sue Mr William Combe in accions of trespas vpon trouer for carryeing away his Corne and will alsoe sue Thomas Combe vpon a bond of xlli 400li for that he enjoyeth not the doales there but hadd his Corne soe carrydd away & will sue William Combe in the Starre Chamber for ryotts & alsoe seek relief in equity against Mris Hyatt: & fyn .& told Sir Henry Raynsford that Sir Edward Greville would stick to him: & that Sir Arthur Ingram would goe was gone into the North with Riche merchants & would perhapps sell there & buy all the Royalties at Stratford: & my answer touchyng my self was that seeing my advantage touching, Mr Manwayryng I would be gladd to see what composicion in reddy money he would offer me for otherwise I would not deale with him. Sir Henry alsoe told me howe Mr Combe sayd he should dymys dymynyshe my tythes . 30s. per annum there. by the [?] harrowing of his ground at Ingon :
    [marginal notes against this entry] Arthur Cawdrys speeche.
    William Combe his Ryotts about Peter Rosewell his Corne.
    Dimynish my tyethes 30s per annum

21. Sept. Mr Collyns told Mr R G [?] that William Combe would have a Commission of Concealments & then gett a yere of the come & sayd questyons whether the yeres tythes did passe the rents payd in lieue of Tythes.

22. Sept. 1615. Sir Henry Raynsford told me that Mr Combe hadd spoken with him & sayd he would not agree with me vnles he agreed with all the rest & that he sayed he would ly down lay downe all his Land to pasture nowe & at 2 yeres end yt would yeld him as much proffyt as otherwise & that he would plough at Ryon & by that meanes he might lay down his land in the Common ffyelds.
    [marginal note against this entry] ploweing at Ryon Clyfford

28 Sept. Mr Nashe & Thomas Greene offryng the tax for the poore to Mr Combe he woId not signe yt vnles I might be as much as himself as xs on a mark or thereabouts: & then R G told me of his quarrellyng with Thomas Greenes man about diggyng clay in the wastes

.6. Octobris. T Lucas his being at the Hall about his money.
    [marginal note against this entry] Wastes

Written by Robert Bearman

Last updated June 14, 2016