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Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
May 4,
1561

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Title:  Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Date: May 4, 1561
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/7/56

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Item Date
May 4, 1561
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Call Number
BRU15/7/56 recto

BRU15/7/56 verso

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BRU15/7/56 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
Creator:
Title:  Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Date: May 4, 1561
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/7/56

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Item Date
May 4, 1561
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Call Number
BRU15/7/56 verso

BRU15/7/56 page view

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BRU15/7/56 page view
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Reproduced by permission of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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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
Creator:
Title:  Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Date: May 4, 1561
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/7/56

Item Title
Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Item Date
May 4, 1561
Repository
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Call Number
BRU15/7/56

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
Creator:
Title:  Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Miscellaneous documents, Vol. 7
Date: May 4, 1561
Repository: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Call number and opening: BRU15/7/56

John Shakespeare was elected as an affeeror, an official appointed to monitor the level of fines imposed at Stratford’s manorial court, for the second time on May 4, 1561, as shown here. The number of affeerors varied, but the borough most commonly appointed four. John Shakespeare had first acted in this capacity at the court held on October 6, 1559 (Minutes and Accounts, i, p. 101). As with service as constable, affeerors were usually members of the Corporation prior to their appointment. This is a further indication that by October 1559 John Shakespeare may already have been elected to serve the Corporation as a capital burgess .

The fines which John Shakespeare would be expected to assess over the following twelve months would be of the type listed at this court against the marginal note “mercia,” with the amount of the fine inserted above the offenders’ names.   

Here, John is thought to have signed by mark. At this date there would have been nothing exceptional about John’s apparent illiteracy. Further, an inability to write fluently did not necessarily mean that those who made marks were necessarily unable to read. In 1564, at least 13 members of the Corporation still preferred to sign by mark, all men from the town’s commercial elite and who were clearly able to conduct their businesses and fill civic office without the ability to write (or even, by implication, to read).

It is not clear, however, whether John Shakespeare had his own distinctive mark. Previously, October 6, 1559 (BRU 15/7/39), two of the four affeerors (Richard Biddle and John Wheler) signed by name. The other two, Lewis ap Williams and John Shakespeare, made marks. Lewis’s mark is more elaborate and was said to represent a church tower or gable; he repeated the mark in 1561, as shown here, and again in 1564. Another mark, two concentric circles bisected by a cross, has not been found elsewhere but could have been added by John Shakespeare. However, scholars traditionally attributed an apparent third mark, said to resemble a pair of glover’s compasses, to John Shakespeare. 

As shown here, in 1561, all four affeerors apparently made their marks. Lewis ap Williams’s “church gable,” is instantly recognizable. The other three are a cross, a letter T, and a mark similar to the “glover’s compasses” of 1559, attributed to John Shakespeare. It also resembles another mark which may be his, dating from 1564. However, another mark allegedly made by him in January 1563 is different. Finally, and confusingly, the only marks we can be certain are John Shakespeare’s are the simple crosses that occur on the sale, with accompanying bond, of his and his wife’s Snitterfield estate in 1579, and on a conveyance of 1597

 
 
[On two sides of a single sheet, later bound into a volume of miscellanea as BRU 15/7/56, in the hand of Richard Symons]

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[recto]

Stratford
Burgus

The Court ther holdon quarto die Maij Anno domine
regine tercio &c.
Commen fynez

mercia   William trout iij s iiij d chrystouer smythe iij s iiij d Thomas dycson xij d william flecher viij d thomas dedge iiij d artor boys xvj d thomas rychardsone ij s Robert archard iiij d
mawd harbadge vidua iijs iiijd Iohn granam xx d arter newell  Iohn Samson iij s iiij d george banester vj d Roger banester vj d Iohn Wyrral iiij d Humfrey ranoldes xij d william hyll viij d
for syllynge aell & havynge & kepynge gamynge contrary to thorder of the court they stand amerced

mercia   mr bely that now ys Roger sadler iij s iiij d Richard Aunge xx d Iohn Aunge ij d Iohn Cartwryght xij d Commen bacares & for brekynge thassyez they stand amerced &c.

mercia   Anthony bocher iiij d for Syllynge messell porke he Standes amerced

mercia   Roger grene iiij d for syllynge candylles lakynge wyght he standes a merced

mercia   Robert mylles xij d & mr whatley iiij d for not sending for the tasters befor they tunyed furthe the aell they stand amerced

mercia   Robert perot vj s viij d for makynge & syllynge vn wholsum aell he standes a merced

mercia   Roger grene viij d for makynge vn wholsum aell he standes amerced

mercia   Iohn Icheuer ij s for makynge afray vppon brodshaw the Curryer he standes amerced

mercia   Thomas dycson viij d for makynge a fray vppon Richard hys brother he standes amerced

mercia   Iohn lane xij d for makynge afray vppon tybbyns of Langley he standes a merced

mercia   Thomas dycson vj d for makynge a fray vppon Edward walford he standes amerced

mercia   Iohn Grannam xx d for makynge a fray & drawynge blood vppon Thomas beytes he standes a merced

mercia   Thomas beytes xx d for makynge a fray & drawynge blood vppon a straunge man of byrmycham he standes a merced

mercia   thomas knight the younger xx d for makynge a fray & drawynge blood vppon a straunger in edmund barrettes hous he standes amerced

mercia   master bely xii d gylbart bradley xii d William smythe habardasshar xii d William perrot xii d William Hyll xii d William brookes xij d Richard lane xij d for havynge & Suffrynge mukhylles
befor ther Soylles they standes a merced

mercia   William rausson xij d gryffyn ap Robert chrystouer smythe xij d humfrey plymley xij d for leyenge muke at Richard lane barne doore in swyn stret they stand amerced

mercia   Richard Wagstaf  xij d Robert mylles xij d Richard Sponer xij d Edward younge xij d Iohn bell xij d for leyenge muke at tyncar land end next to the chappell they stand amerced

mercia   byllentone Iohn Stanley for leyeng muk at Bradleys mukhyll they stand amerced

mercia   Richard court xij d for leyenge muke at William Whoodes barne in henley stret he standes amerced

mercia   Robert mylles xij d & Robert salesberry xij d for gryndynge other mens malt & they beynge commen bruares they stand amerced

mercia   steven the thatchar xii d iiijd for havynge & sufferynge yn makes in hys hous he standes a merced

mercia   Robert Salesberry xx d Thomas hunt viij d chrystouer smyth viij d Iohn bell vj d iiij d for havynge ther shyp fedynge in the bancroft they stand amerced

mercia   Richard charnoke xx d for not makynge a yat on the bac syed of coryares hous he standes amerced

mercia   Thomas dycson xij d mr smythe xii ij s Humfrey plymley xij d chrystouer smythe xij d William Whatley iiij d Iohn bell xij d Thomas rogeres xij d Iohn Wheler xij d
Iohn bell for havynge their ban dogges un moseyled & bytches in sawt thei stand amerced

mercia   Iohn Sadler mylner xvj d for wynnowynge his peys in ded lone & leavynge the chaf in the lone & bryngynge his swine into the
Same lane & not Scowrynge the dyche ther he standes amerced

peyne    that euery tenaunt havynge men chyldren beyng xij yeres of age & vpward & not sworone
that ther parent or masteres do present the person of euery suche manchyld at the next let sub pena vjs viijd

mercia   Thomas rychardson William Slo

peyne     that euery bruar bringing aell to syl shall syll from hensfurthe new aell vnder the hersyve for ijd ob vnder the hersyve xiij galons y galo  to the dossen good & wholsum
clere & Staell for iijd ij galons Small aell for a penny Sub pene xls for euery defalt

peyne     that euery bacar that shall bake bred to Syll shall syll ij loves for a penny j lof for ijd & that they kep thassyez & bultyd with a lauffal
bulter

mercia   Iohn Henshaw for Richard lane, mr belyf gilbert Bradley William Smythe whod William peret
William hyll William brookes for having mukhylles contrary to 
thordor
of the Court they are amerced

mercia peyne  thomas caell iiij d for settynge hys cart in the Stret contrary to thorder of the Court
he standes amerced

Provyded always that yt yt shall & may be lauffull at all tyme hearafter for mr belyf  & mr alderman at eny tyme hearafter as he
shall se Cawse as the price of malt shall ryez & fall to let Call xij men & to Seas the
priseys of aell at ther dyscressyones

peyne    & that Thomas hunt of Studley do suffycyently make hys mound betwene hys ground in roder stret
& the quenez ground now in the tenure of Henry bedell beforwytsonday Sub pena vjs viijd

peyne   that no ynhabytant within the burro of stratford have or suffur eny vnlauffull gamnynge in hys or ther housses contrary to the statute
provyded for the Same Sub pena xxs

 
[verso]

peyne    that no tenaunt have ^ or suffur to be made vppon hys or ther soylles in the stretes eny mukhyll but only thos that ar appwyntyd by thordor of the iij men
Sub penvjs viijd

peyne   that no person nor ther family ley from hensfurthe eny muke furthe of ther oune housses in the stretes but vppon the commen mukhylles Sub pena iijs iiijd tociens quociens

​peyne   that euery commen bruar befor they twne furthe ther aell do send for the tasters to a say therof vnder peyne xxs

peyne   that no bruar havynge horsmyll of his owne do grynd eny other mens malt but only his oune malt vnder peyne xls tociens quociens

peyne   that no persone revyell eny offecer Sub pena xxs

peyne   that no tenant receve eny ynmake without Specyell lysaunce of mr belyf & thalderman or on of them vnder peyne xxs

peyne   that euery tenant now havynge eny Inmake do put them away within xiiij days next after this court vnder peyne xxs

peyne   that non receve & kep in ther housses eny [s]traunger woman beynge with chyld ther to be brought to bed of chyld peyne xxs

peyne   that euery tenant kep cleane ther gutteres & dyches as well in the stretes as in dedlone vnder peyne vjs viijd

peyne   that no person havynge goynge fedynge & pasturynge in the bancroft eny shyp not ouer & above iij owres in a day vnder peyne vjs viijd

peyne   that Richard charnoke of welcum do let make & set vp a yat on the bake syd of the curryares hous in gylpyttes within iij wyx next after this court vnder peyne vjviijd

peyne   that no tenaunt suffer to go at lardge on moseled ther ban doges nor bytchys beynge in saw sawt vnder peyne vjs viijd

peyne   thaeuery tenant in swynstret & ded lane do scour ther dyches & gutteres over & agenynst ther Soylles befor holy thursday & so from thensfurth
to kep them cleane 
from tyme to tyme under peyne vjs viijd

peyne   that no ynhabytaunt from hensfurth have eny shyp goynge fedynge or pasturynge ijnbancroft not ouer & above ij oures vnder peyne vjs viijd
tociens quociens

ffur' Henry bydyll
        lews ap willm            Iur
        Wm mynske
        Iohn shakspeyr

[Four marks applied]

[Note at foot, dated by the Clerk May 5th, probably acting as an endorsement when it was stored as a roll. ]
[Anno tercio Elizabethe
regine quinto die Maij]

 

 

Written by Robert Bearman