Imágenes de páginas

primis, I give unto my wife my house in London. Item, I give unto my daughter Nash my house in Acton. Item, I give unto my daughter Nash my meadow. Item, I give my goods and money unto my wife and my daughter Nash, to be equally divided betwixt them. Item, concerning my study of books, I leave them, said he, to you, my son Nash, to dispose of them as you see good. As for my manuscripts, I would have given them to Mr. Boles, if he had been here; but forasmuch as he is not here present, you may, son Nash, burn them, or do with them what you please. Witnesses hereunto,

"Thomas Nash.
"Simon Trapp."

The testator not having appointed any executor, administration was granted to his widow, Nov, 23, 1636.

Some at least of Dr. Hall's manuscripts escaped the flames, one of them being yet extant. See p. 83, n. 1.

I could not, after a very careful search, find the will of Susanna Hall in the Prerogative-office, nor is it preserved in the Archives of the diocese of Worcester, the Registrar of which diocese at my request very obligingly examined the indexes of all the wills proved in his office between the years 1649 and 1670; but in vain. The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is in that diocese.

The inscriptions on the tomb-stones of our poet's favourite daughter and her husband are as follows:

"Here lyeth the body of John Hall, Gent. he marr. Susanna, yR daughter and co-heire of Will. Shakspeare, Gent. he deceased Nov. 25, Ao. 1635, aged 60."

"Hallius hic situs est, medica celeberrimus arte,
"Expectans regni gaudia læta Dei.

[ocr errors]

Dignus erat meritis qui Nestora vinceret annis;
"In terris omnes sed rapit æqua dies.

"Ne tumulo quid desit, adest fidissima conjux,

"Et vitæ comitem nunc quoque mortis habet."

These verses should seem, from the last two lines, not to have been inscribed on Dr. Hall's tomb-stone till 1649. Perhaps indeed the last distich only was then added.

"Here lyeth the body of Susanna, wife to John Hall, Gent. ye daughter of William Shakspeare, Gent. She deceased the 11th of July, A. 1649, aged 66."

"Witty above her sexe, but that's not all,

"Wise to salvation was good Mistriss Hall.

"Something of Shakspeare was in that, but this

[ocr errors]

Wholy of him with whom she's now in blisse.

a daughter, who was married first to Thomas Nashe,

"Then, passenger, hast ne're a teare,

"To weepe with her that wept with all:
"That wept, yet set her selfe to chere
"Them up with comforts cordiall.


"Her love shall live, her mercy spread,
"When thou hast ne're a teare to shed."

The foregoing English verses, which are preserved by Dugdale, are not now remaining, half of the tomb-stone having been cut away, and another half stone joined to it; with the following inscription on it-" Here lyeth the body of Richard Watts of Ryhon-Clifford, in the parish of old Stratford, Gent, who departed this life the 23d of May, Anno Dom. 1707, and in the 46th "" of his age. year This Mr. Watts, as I am informed by the Rev. Mr. Davenport, was owner of, and lived at the estate of Ryhon-Clifford, which was once the property of Dr. Hall.

Mrs. Hall was buried on the 16th of July, 1649, as appears from the Register of Stratford. MALONE.

She left one child only, a daughter, who was married first to Thomas Nashe, Esq.] Elizabeth, our poet's grand-daughter, who appears to have been a favourite, Shakspeare having left her by his will a memorial of his affection, though she at that time was but eight years old, was born in February 1607-8, as appears by an entry in the Register of Stratford, which Mr. West omitted in the transcript with which he furnished Mr. Steevens. I learn from the same Register that she was married in 1626: "MARRIAGES. April 22, 1626, Mr. Thomas Nash to Mistriss Elizabeth Hall." It should be remembered that every unmarried lady was called Mistress till the time of George I. Hence our author's Mistress Anne Page. Nor in speaking of an unmarried lady could her christian name be omitted, as it often is at present; for then no distinction would have remained between her and her mother. Some married ladies indeed were distinguished from their daughters by the title of Madam.

Mr. Nash died in 1647, as appears by the inscription on his tomb-stone in the chancel of the church of Stratford:

"Here resteth y body of Thomas Nashe, Esq. He mar. Elizabeth the daugh, and heire of John Hall, Gent. He died April, 5th, A. 1647, aged 53."

Esq. and afterwards to Sir John Barnard of Abington, but died likewise without issue.'

"Fata manent omnes; hunc non virtute carentem,
"Ut neque divitiis, abstulit atra dies.
"Abstulit, at referet lux ultima. Siste, viator;
"Si peritura paras, per male parta peris."

The letters printed in Italicks are now obliterated.

By his last will, which is in the Prerogative-Office, dated August 26, 1642, he bequeathed to his well beloved wife, Elizabeth Nash, and her assigns, for her life, (in lieu of jointure and thirds,) one messuage or tenement, with the appurtenances, situate in the Chapel Street in Stratford, then in the tenure and occupation of Joan Norman, widow; one meadow, known by the name of the Square Meadow, with the appurtenances, in the parish of old Stratford, lying near unto the great stone-bridge of Stratford; one other meadow with the appurtenances, known by the name of the Wash Meadow; one little meadow with the appurtenances, adjoining to the said Wash Meadow; and also all the tythes of the manor or lordship of Shottery. He devises to his kinsman Edward Nash, the son of his uncle George Nash of London, his heirs and assigns, (inter alia) the messuage or tenement, then in his own occupation, called The New-Place, situate in the Chapel Street, in Stratford; together with all and singular houses, outhouses, barns, stables, orchards, gardens, easements, profits, or commodities, to the same belonging; and also four-yard land of arable land, meadow, and pasture, with the appurtenances, lying and being in the common fields of Old Stratford, with all the easements, profits, commons, commodities, and hereditaments, of the same four-yard lands belonging; then in the tenure, use, and occupation of him the said Thomas Nash; and one other messuage or tenement, with the appurte nances, situate in the parish of , in London, and called or known by the name of The Wardrobe, and then in the tenure, use, and occupation of Dickes. And from and after the death of his said wife, he bequeaths the meadows above named, and devised to her for life, to his said cousin Edward Nash, his heirs and assigns for ever. After various other bequests, he di rects that one hundred pounds, at the least, be laid out in mourning gowns, cloaks, and apparel, to be distributed among his kindred and friends, in such manner as his executrix shall think fit. He appoints his wife Elizabeth Nash his residuary legatee, and sole executrix, and ordains Edmund Rawlins, Wil

This is what I could learn of any note, either

liam Smith, and John Easton, overseers of his will, to which the witnesses are John Such, Michael Jonson, and Samuel Rawlins.

By a nuncupative codicil dated on the day of his death, April 4th, 1647, he bequeaths (inter alia) "to his mother Mrs. Hall fifty pounds; to Elizabeth Hathaway fifty pounds; to Thomas Hathaway fifty pounds; to Judith Hathaway ten pounds; to his uncle Nash and his aunt, his cousin Sadler and his wife, his cousin Richard Quiney and his wife, his cousin Thomas Quiney and his wife, twenty shillings each, to buy them rings." The meadows which by his will he had devised to his wife for life, he by this codicil devises to her, her heirs and assigns, for ever, to the end that they may not be severed from her own land; and he " appoints and declares that the inheritance of his land given to his cousin Edward Nash should be by him settled after his decease, upon his son Thomas Nash, and his heirs, and for want of such heirs then to remain and descend to his own right heirs."

It is observable that in this will the testator makes no mention of any child, and there is no entry of any issue of his marriage in the Register of Stratford; I have no doubt, therefore, that he died without issue, and that a pedigree with which Mr. Whalley furnished Mr. Steevens a few years ago, is inaccurate. The origin of the mistake in that pedigree will be pointed out in its proper place.

As by Shakspeare's will his daughter Susanna had an estate for life in The New Place, &c. and his grand-daughter Elizabeth an estate tail in remainder, they probably on the marriage of Elizabeth to Mr. Nash, by a fine and recovery cut off the entail; and by a deed to lead the uses gave him the entire dominion over that estate; which he appears to have misused by devising it from Shakspeare's family to his own.

Mr. Nash's will and codicil were proved June 5, 1647, and administration was then granted to his widow. MALONE.


Sir John Barnard of Abington,] Sir John Barnard of Abington, a small village about a mile from the town of Northampton, was created a Knight by King Charles II. Nov. 25, 1661. In 1671 he sold the manor and advowson of the church of Abington, which his ancestors had possessed for more than two hundred years, to William Thursby, Esq. Sir John Barnard was the eldest son of Baldwin Barnard, Esq. by Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of John Fulwood of Ford Hall in the county of VOL. I.


relating to himself or family; the character of the man is best seen in his writings. But since Ben


Warwick, Esq. and was born in 1605. He first married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Clement Edmonds of Preston, in Northamptonshire, by whom he had four sons and four daughters. She dying in 1642, he married secondly our poet's grand-daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Nash, on the 5th of June 1649, at Billesley in Warwickshire, about three miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. If any of Shakspeare's manuscripts remained in his grand-daughter's custody at the time of her second marriage, (and some letters at least she surely must have had,) they probably were then removed to the house of her new husband at Abington. Sir Hugh Clopton, who was born two years after her death, mentioned to Mr. Macklin, in the year 1742, an old tradition that she had carried away with her from Stratford many of her grandfather's papers. On the death of Sir John Barnard they must have fallen into the hands of Mr. Edward Bagley, Lady Barnard's executor; and if any descendant of that gentleman be now living, in his custody they probably remain. MALONE.


but died likewise without issue.] Confiding in a pedigree transmitted by Mr.Whalley some years ago to Mr. Steevens, once supposed that Mr. Rowe was inaccurate in saying that our poet's grand-daughter died without issue. But he was certainly right; and this lady was undoubtedly the last lineal descendant of Shakspeare. There is no entry, as I have already observed, in the Register of Stratford, of any issue of hers by Mr. Nash; nor does he in his will mention any child, devising the greater part of his property between his wife and his kinsman, Edward Nash. That Lady Barnard had no issue by her second husband, is proved by the Register of Abington, in which there is no entry of the baptism of any child of that marriage, though there are regular entries of the time when the several children of Sir John Barnard by his first wife were baptized. Lady Barnard died at Abington, and was buried there on the 17th of February 1669-70; but her husband did not show his respect for her memory by a monument, or even an inscription of any kind. He seems not to have been sensible of the honourable alliance he had made. Shakspeare's grand-daughter would not, at this day, go to her grave without a memorial. By her last will, which I subjoin, she directs her trustee to sell her estate of New-Place, &c. to the best bidder, and to offer it first to her cousin Mr. Edward Nash. How she then came to have any property in New-Place, which her first husband had devised to this very Edward Nash,

« AnteriorContinuar »