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Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
June 12,
1593

V.a.460, leaves 8 verso and 9 recto

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V.a.460, leaves 8 verso and 9 recto
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Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Richard Stonely
Title: Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
Date: 1593-1594
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: V.a.460, leaves 8v-10r
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Item Creator
Richard Stonley
Item Title
Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
Item Date
1593-1594
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call Number
V.a.460, leaves 8v-9r

V.a.460, leaves 9 verso and 10 recto

View Image Assets
V.a.460, leaves 9 verso and 10 recto
Click image to enlarge

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Richard Stonely
Title: Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
Date: 1593-1594
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: V.a.460, leaves 8v-10r
View online bibliographic record

Item Creator
Richard Stonely
Item Title
Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
Item Date
1593-1594
Repository
Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC, USA
Call Number
V.a.460, leaves 9v-10r

Institution Rights and Document Citation

Terms of use
Images that are under Folger copyright are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our images without additional permission provided that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the images under the same or equivalent license. For more information, including permissions beyond the scope of this license, see Permissions. The Folger waives permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For images copyrighted by an entity other than the Folger, please contact the copyright holder for permission information.

Document-specific information
Creator: Richard Stonely
Title: Diary of Richard Stonley [manuscript], May 14, 1593 to May 24, 1594
Date: 1593-1594
Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, USA
Call number and opening: V.a.460, leaves 8v-10r
View online bibliographic record

This diary entry, written by Richard Stonley on Tuesday, June 12, 1593, records the first known purchase of the first edition of Shakespeare's first printed work, the narrative poem Venus and Adonis (London, 1593). Only one copy of this edition is now known to survive; it is housed at the Bodleian Library.

Stonley, one of the four Tellers of the Exchequer of Receipt (the four officers charged with receiving and noting incoming revenue to the Exchequer and depositing it in the Treasury), kept daily diary entries that indicate a pious and hardworking man who structured his day around work and prayer. The brief entries generally included his activities, moral advice in the form of biblical and classical passages, and daily expenses. He made frequent references to his immediate and extended family, mentioned the names of his minister and other friends, and occasionally recorded public events. 

Stonley purchased Venus and Adonis less than two months after it was was entered into the Stationers' Register on April 18, 1593. The entry for June 12 follows the same format as most other entries. On the day he purchased Venus and Adonis, which was St. Basilides' Day, his daily aphorism was the second distich (a couplet, or 2-line stanza) from Book 4 of the Distichs of Cato, which he transcribes in Latin and in English. While in London, he spent ten shillings on "vittell" (victuals), three shillings, twelve pence on apparel, and twelve pence on two books: Venus and Adonis (London, 1593) and John Eliot's The Survey, or Topographical Description of France (London, 1592). On the next page, he records further expenses for victuals, and summarized his activities: morning prayer, reading during the day, and thanks to God at night. He dined with Mr. Puxley and supped with Anne Tomlyn. 

The price that Stonley paid for Venus and Adonis interests scholars, but it is unclear whether he purchased these two volumes bound together or separately, and if separately, what the price of each item was. In some cases, when Stonleys records in his diary that he bought a book "with" another book, he clearly means that they were bound together in a single volume. Other books bought "with" each other are of different formats (octavo and quarto, for example) and so would not have been bound together. Both Venus and Adonis and the Eliot book were quartos, so either interpretation is plausible, and the exact price for Stonley's copy of Venus remains a mystery.

The Folger Shakespeare Library holds three volumes of Stonley's diaries, from 1581/82, 1593/94, and 1597/98. The last volume was written in London’s Fleet prison, to which Stonley had been sent in 1597 when he was convicted of embezzling more than £12,000 from the Exchequer over the course of his career. The Crown seized the contents of Stonley's London house to defray his debts, with the inventory of his goods listing more than 400 books (the inventory is in The National Archives). Stonley's copy of Venus and Adonis does not survive, but other books of his do. For example, the Folger Shakespeare Library owns his copy of Bernardino Ochino’s Sermons (1570) (FSL STC 18768).

Stonely's diaries were known as early as the late eighteenth century. The Venus reference is first mentioned in a May 7, 1794 letter from Francis Douce to George Steevens (Folger Shakespeare Library, MS C.b.10, no. 66). In 1796, Edmond Malone refers to the Venus entry on page 67 in An inquiry... (London, 1796), and it is noted in the fifth edition of Samuel Johnson and George Steeven’s The plays of William Shakespeare (London, 1803), revised by Isaac Reed, in vol. 2, p. 162. The diaries passed through various private hands for the next century and a half, largely out of sight of scholars. The second volume, with the Shakespeare reference (Folger MS V.a.460), has the 19th century bookplate of John Adair Hawkins (1757-1842). In the nineteenth century, they were apparently sold by booksellers James Rimell & Son, as item 547 in a (currently unlocated) catalogue. The first volume (Folger MS V.a.459) has the bookplate of William Niven (died 1921), FSA, ARE, of Kingwood, Berkshire, Marlow Place Library. 

In 1972, the Folger purchased the three volumes from the Palo Alto, CA bookseller William Wreden, when the Venus entry was "rediscovered" by Folger curator of manuscripts Laetitia Yeandle. The Folger announced the discovery in a press release on Shakespeare's birthday in 1973.

Modernized/Translated transcription

[bottom of right-hand page of first image]

Tuesday, 12 June, St. Basilide's

Cato Commoda naturae nullo tibi tempere deerunt
Si contentus eo fueris quod postulat Vsus
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The necessary commodities of nature thou
shalt never fail of if thou will be contented
with that that the present use asketh
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victual
for victual:  10 shillings

Books
for the Survey of France with the Venus & Adonis by Shakespeare:  12 pence

Apparel      
for three dozen of Scottish Buttons:  12 pence
for 2 ½ yards of serge for 2 pairs of Canions:  3 shillings

 

[continued on top of right-hand page of second image]

June 1593

Victual
for victual:  6 pence
Margery for victual:  9 shillings, 11 pence
This day after morning prayer I kept home at my books, with thanks to God at night. Strangers at dinner Mr Puxley at Supper Anne Tomlyn.

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[fol. 9r]
Iune. 1593
Who so coueteth to leade a quiet lyf and laboreth
that his mynd be not intangled with vices which be
very hurtfull to vertuous and honest maners.
Let hym alweyes reuolue thes lessons, I trow
hee shall fynde somwhat wherin he may use
hym self as a master and gouernor of his lyf
being helpne with thes preceptes
____________________________
This day after morning prayer I hard seruice at my
parishe Churche. Had with me to dyner George
Hockley & at Supper Spent the After none
reading the Scriptures with thankes to god
at night

Die Luna .11. Iunij Barnabe apostle
Cato
Despice diuitias si uis animo esse beatus
Quos qui suspiciunt mendicant semper auare
__________________________
Regard not wordly riches, yf thow desierest to be
happye & blesside in thy mynde for surely they
that be in love and admiracion with riches what
be they, They be couetous and all weys beggers
for a beggers bagge is never full they haue
never Inough
__________________________
This day after morninge prayer I rode to London
dyned at Bednall greene spent the after none
at home at my bookes with thankes to god at night.
 

        Die Martes 12 Iunij St Basilide

Cato            

Commoda naturae nullo tibi tempere deerunt
Si contentus eo fueris quod postulat Vsus

______________________________________

The necessary commodites of nature thow
shalt never fayle of yf thow will be contented
with that that the present vse asketh

______________________________________

Vittell          

for vittell _____________________  xs

Bookes        

for the Survey of ffraunc with
the Venus & Adhonay per
Shakspere ____________________  xijd

Apparell      

for thre doss of Scotishe Buttons __  xijd
for ij yardes di of Serche for ij
pere of Canions   _______________ iijs

[fol. 9v]

Iune 1593

Vittell

for Vittell  ___________________ vjd
Margery for victual ____________  vixs xjd
This day after morninge prayer I kept
home at my bookes with thankes to god at night. Strangers at dynner Mr
Puxley at Supper Anne Tomlyn.

 

Additional contributor to description: Jason Scott Warren.