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SHAKSPEARE'S COAT OF ARMS.
The following Inftrument is copied from the Origi
O all and finguler noble and gentlemen of all eftats and degrees, bearing arms, to whom thefe prefents fhall come, William Dethick, Garter, Principall King of Arms of England, and William Camden, alias Clarencieulx, King of Arms for the fouth, eaft, and weft parts of this realme, fendethe greeting. Know ye, that in all nations and kingdoms the record and remembraunce of the valeant facts and vertuous difpofitions of worthie men have been made knowne and divulged by certeyne Thields of arms and tokens of chevalrie; the grant and teftimonie whereof apperteyneth unto us, by vertu of our offices from the Quenes moft Exc. Majeftie, and her Highenes moft noble and victorious progenitors: wherefore being folicited, and by credible report informed, that John Shak
In the Herald's Office are the first draughts of John Shak-
In a Manuscript in the College of Heralds, marked W. 2. p. 276, is the following note: "As for the Speare in bend, it is a patible difference, and the person to whom it was granted hath borne magiftracy, and was juftice of peace at Stratford-uponAvon. He married the daughter and heire of Arderne, and was able to maintain that eftate." MALONE.
fpeare, now of Stratford-upon-Avon, in the counte of Warwick, gent. whofe parent, great grandfather, and late anteceffor, for his faithefull and approved service to the late moft prudent prince, king Henry VII. of famous memorie, was advaunced and rewarded with lands and tenements, geven to him in those parts of Warwickfhere, where they have continewed by fome descents in good reputaçion and credit; and for that the faid John Shakfpeare having maryed the daughter and one of the heyrs of Robert Arden of Wellingcote, in the faid countie, and also produced this his auncient cote of arms, heretofore affigned to him whileft he was her Majefties officer and baylefe of that towne ;9 In confideration of the premiffes, and for the encouragement of his pofteritie, unto whom fuche blazon of arms and achievements of inheritance from theyre faid mother, by the auncyent cuftome and lawes of arms, maye lawfully defcend; We the faid Garter and Clarencieulx have affigned, graunted, and by these presents exemplefied unto the faid John Shakspeare, and to his pofteritie, that shield and cote of arms, viz. In a field of gould upon a bend fables a Speare of the first, the poynt upward, hedded argent; and for his creft or cognisance, A falcon with his wyngs displayed, flanding on a wrethe of his coullers, fupporting a speare armed hedded, or fteeled fylver, fyxed uppon a helmet with mantelĺ and taffels, as more playnely maye appeare depected on this margent; and we have likewife uppon on other efcutcheon impaled the fame with the aun
his auncient cote of arms, heretofore affigned to him whileft he was her Majefties officer and baylefe of that towne ;] This grant of arms was made by Cook, Clarencieux, in 1569, but is not now extant in the Herald's Office.
cyent arms of the faid Arden of Wellingcote; fignifieng therby, that it maye and fhalbe lawfull for the faid John Shakspeare gent. to beare and use the fame shield of arms, fingle or impaled, as aforfaid, during his natural lyffe; and that it fhalbe lawfull for his children, yffue, and pofteryte, (lawfully begotten,) to beare, ufe, and quarter, and fhow forth the fame, with theyre dewe differences, in all lawfull warlyke facts and civile use or exercises, according to the laws of arms, and cuftome that to gentlemen belongethe, without let or interruption of any perfon or perfons, for ufe or bearing the fame. In wyttneffe and teftemonye whereof we have fubfcrebed our names, and fastened the feals of our offices, geven at the Office of Arms, London, the day of in the xlii yere of the reigne of our most gratious Sovraigne lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God, quene of Ingland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. 1599.
and we have likewife-impaled the fame with the auncyent arms of the faid Arden -] It is faid by Mr. Jacob, the modern editor of Arden of Feversham (first published in 1592 and republished in 1631 and 1770) that Shakspeare defcended by the female line from the gentleman whofe unfortunate end is the fubject of this tragedy. But the affertion appears to want fupport, the true name of the perfon who was murdered at Feverfham being Ardern and not Arden. Ardern might be called Arden in the play for the fake of better found, or might be corrupted in the Chronicle of Holinfhed: yet it is unlikely that the true fpelling fhould be overlooked among the Heralds, whose interest it is to recommend by oftentatious accuracy the trifles in which they deal. STEEVENS.
Ardern was the original name, but in Shakspeare's time it had been softened to Arden. See p. 58, n. 5. MALONE.