MENU
County: [Warwick]. Description of Courts: Manorial Courts. Places: Stratford (on Avon) "Burgus" Stratford, Old, with: Shottery; Old Town; Welcombe.
April 29,
1552

SC 2/207/82

View Image Assets
SC 2/207/82
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Date: April 29, 1552
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SC 2/207/82
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Title
County: [Warwick]. Description of Courts: Manorial Courts. Places: Stratford (on Avon)"Burgus" Stratford, Old, with: Shottery; Old Town; Welcombe.
Item Date
April 29, 1552
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
SC 2/207/82

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Images reproduced by permission of The National Archives, London, England.

Terms of use
The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.

Document-specific information
Date: April 29, 1552
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: SC 2/207/82
View online bibliographic record

 

In April 1552 John Shakespeare was one of three Stratford residents fined for allowing a sterquinium, or muck-heap, to accumulate in Henley Street, presumably outside their front doors. This is the first recorded mention of John Shakespeare.

Noxious refuse was often associated with butchers and tanners. While the professions of the two other men accused, Humphrey Reynolds and Adrian Quyney, are unknown, later documents reveal that John Shakespeare was both a glover  and a whittawer  (a curer of white leather). Glovers presumably dealt with clean, cured skins, but whittawers were tanners, who were notorious for polluting water and land, thus causing great stinks. Perhaps John Shakespeare had thrown scrapings from his skins outside his front door rather than carrying them to the designated “mucke hill” at the end of the street. Virtually all residents of Stratford incurred occasional fines for similar offenses. John Shakespeare incurred relatively few fines over the years, and no later fine for keeping a sterquinium.

Subsequent documents reveal that John Shakespeare resided in Henley Street to the end of his life. Whether he occupied the residence now known as The Birthplace as early as 1552 is unknown.

 

Written by Alan H. Nelson

Sources

B. Roland Lewis, The Shakespeare Documents: Facsimiles, Transliterations, Translations and Commentary, vol. 2,(Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1940), 52.

Samuel Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 14-15.

David Thomas, Shakespeare in the Public Records (London: H.M.S.O., 1985), vi.