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Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
after June 22,
1616

PROB 11/127, folio 466 recto

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PROB 11/127, folio 466 recto
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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
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title: Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Date: June 22, 1616
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/127, fol. 466-467r
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Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Item Date
June 22, 1616
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/127, fol. 466r

PROB 11/127, folio 466 verso

View Image Assets
PROB 11/127, folio 466 verso
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
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title: Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Date: June 22, 1616
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/127, fol. 466-467r
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Item Date
June 22, 1616
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/127, fol. 466v

PROB 11/127, folio 467 recto

View Image Assets
PROB 11/127, folio 467 recto
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
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title: Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Date: June 22, 1616
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/127, fol. 466-467r
View online bibliographic record

 

Item Creator
Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Item Title
Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Item Date
June 22, 1616
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
PROB 11/127, fol. 467r

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
Creator: Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Title: Will of William Shakespeare, Gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire
Date: June 22, 1616
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: PROB 11/127, fol. 466-467r
View online bibliographic record

 

The registered copy of Shakespeare’s last will and testament is shown here. The original will was probated on June 22, 1616, and entered in the register shortly thereafter.

After Shakespeare's death in April 1616, one or both of his executors—Susanna and John Hall-- delivered his will to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in London, for probate, and to be copied into a parchment register. The will was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury rather than in Warwickshire because Shakespeare owned property in more than one county: the Blackfriars gatehouse in London, in addition to his various properties in Warwickshire.

The probate clause in Latin at the end of the third leaf of the original will indicates that John Hall, Shakespeare's son-in-law and co-executor, made an oath to administer the estate on behalf of himself and his wife Susanna, on June 22. This registered copy of the will would then have been filed and an entry made into the current parchment register recording the date of probate.  

Shakespeare’s original will, the entry of probate, and the registered copy shown here survive. Other associated documents, such as an inventory of his goods, do not survive and were  presumably lost with other Prerogative Court inventories for this date in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
 

For more on wills in Shakespeare's England, see Alan Nelson's essay.

 

Co-written by Folger Shakespeare Library staff and Alan H. Nelson