Shakespeare's last will and testament - Transcription
FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. https://shakespearedocumented.folger.edu/node/110 FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY. N.D. WEB. DATE ACCESSED.
March 25, in the 14th year of the reign of James now king of England
and the 49th year of Scotland, 1616
In the name of god, Amen. I, William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon
in the county of Warwick, gent., in perfect health and memory, God be
praised, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner
and form following, that is to say, first I commend my soul into the
hands of God my creator, hoping and assuredly believing through the
only merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour to be made partaker of life
everlasting, and my body to the earth whereof it is made.
Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Judith one hundred and fifty
pounds of lawful English money to be paid unto her in manner and form
following, that is to say, one hundred pounds in discharge of her
marriage portion within one year after my decease, with consideration
after the rate of two shillings in the pound, for so long time as the
same shall be unpaid unto her after my decease, and the fifty pounds
residue thereof upon her surrendering of, or giving of, such sufficient
security as the overseers of this my will shall like of to surrender or
grant all her estate and right that shall descend or come unto her
after my decease or that she now hath of in or to one Copyhold tenement
with the appertenances lying and being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaid
in the said county of Warwick, being parcel or holden of the manor of
Rowington unto my daughter Susanna Hall and and her heirs forever.
Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Judith one hundred and
fifty pounds more if she or any issue of her body living at the end of
three years next ensuing the day of the date of this my will, during
which time my executors to pay her consideration from my decease
according to the rate aforesaid.
And if she die within the said term without issue of her body then my
will is and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my
niece Elizabeth Hall, and fifty pounds to be set forth by my executors
during the life of my sister Joan Hart and the use and profit thereof
coming shall be paid to my said sister Joan, and after her decease the
said 50 pounds shall remain amongst the children of my said sister
equally to be divided amongst them.
But if my said daughter Judith be living at the end of the said three
years, or any issue of her body, then my will is, and so I devise and
bequeath the said hundred and fifty pounds to be set out by my
executors and overseers for the best benefit of her and her issue, and
the stock not to be paid unto her so long as she shall be married and
covert baron but my will is that she shall have the consideration
yearly paid unto her during her life and after her decease the said
stock and consideration to be paid to her children if she have any and
if not to her executors or assigns, she living the said term after my
decease, provided that if such husband as she shall at the end of the
said three years be married unto or attain after, do sufficiently
assure unto her and the issue of her body, lands answerable to the
portion by this my will given unto her, and to be adjudged so by my
executors and overseers then my will is that the said £150 shall be
paid to such husband as shall make such assurance to his own use.
Item I give and bequeath unto my said sister Joan 20 pounds and all my
wearing apparel to be paid and delivered within one year after my
decease. And I do will and devise unto her the house with the
appurtenances in Stratford wherein she dwelleth for her natural life
under the yearly rent of 12 pence.
Item I give and bequeath unto her three sons William Hart [name
omitted] Hart and Michael Hart five pounds a piece to be paid within
one year after my decease unto her.
Item I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Hall all my plate
(except my broad silver and gilt bowl) that I now have at the date of
this my will.
Item I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforesaid ten
pounds; to Mr Thomas Combe, my sword; to Thomas Russell, Esquire, five
pounds; and to Francis Collins of the borough of Warwick in the county
of Warwick, gent., thirteen pounds, six shillings, and eight pence, to
be paid within one year after my decease.
Item I give and bequeath to Hamlett Sadler 26s 8d to buy him a ring; to
William Reynolds, gent., 26s 8d to buy him a ring; to my godson William
Walker 20s in gold; to Anthony Nash, gent., 26s 8d; to Mr. John Nash,
26s 8d; and to my fellows John Heminge, Richard Burbage, and Henry
Condell 26s 8d a piece to buy them rings.
Item I give, will, bequeath, and devise unto my daughter Susanna Hall,
for better enabling of her to perform this my will and towards the
All that capital messuage or tenement with the appurtenances in
Stratford aforesaid called the New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two
messuages or tenements with the appurtenances situate, lying and being
in Henley Street within the borough of Stratford aforesaid.
And all my barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and
herediments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had,
received, perceived, or taken within the towns and hamlets, villages,
fields, and grounds of Stratford upon Avon, Old Stratford, Bushopton,
and Welcombe, or in any of them in the said county of Warwick.
And also all that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances wherein
one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying and being in the Blackfriars
in London near the Wardrobe, and all other my lands, tenements and
To have and to hold all & singular the said premises with their
appurtenances unto the said Susanna Hall for and during the term of her
natural life and after her decease to the first son of her body
lawfully issuing, and to the heirs males of the body of the said first
son lawfully issuing and for default of such issue to the second son of
her body lawfully issuing and to the heirs males of the body of the
said second son lawfully issuing and for default of such heirs to the
third son of the body of the said Susanna lawfully issuing and of the
heirs males of the body of the said third son lawfully issuing. And for
default of such issue the same so to be and remain to the forth, fifth,
sixth, and seventh sons of her body lawfully issuing, one after
another, and to the heirs males of the bodies of the said forth, fifth,
sixth, and seventh sons lawfully issuing in such manner as it is before
limited to be and remain to the first, second and third sons of her
body and to their heirs males. And for default of such issue the said
premises to be and remain to my said Niece Hall and the heirs males of
her body lawfully issuing for def[ault of]...[damaged]...such iss[u]e
to my daughter Judith & the heirs males of her body lawfully
issuing. And for default of such issue to the right heirs of me the
said William Shakespeare forever.
Item I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture.
Item I give and bequeath to my said daughter Judith my broad silver
All the rest of my goods, chattel, leases, plate, jewels, and household
stuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid and my funerall
expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son in law John
Hall, gent., and my daughter Susanna, his wife, whom I ordain and make
executors of this my last will and testament.
And I do entreat and appoint the said Thomas Russell, Esquire, and
Francis Collins, gent., to be overseers hereof. And do revoke all
former wills and publish this to be my last will and testament. In
witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand the day and year first
By me William Shakspeare (signed)
Witness to the publishing hereof
Probatum coram Magistro Willielmo Byrde
legum doctore Commissario etc. xxijd die
mensis Junij Anno domini 1616 Juramento
Johannis Hall unius executorum etc. Cui etc.
de bene etc. Jurati Reservata potestate
etc. Sussanne Hall alteri executorum etc. cum
venerit etc petitur
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