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The joint and several answers of John Hemings and Henry Condell, gents
April 28,
1619

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Creator: Court of Requests
Title: The joint and several answers of John Hemings and Henry Condell, gents
Date: April 28, 1619
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/2/2
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Item Creator
Court of Requests
Item Title
The joint and several answers of John Hemings and Henry Condell, gents
Item Date
April 28, 1619
Repository
The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call Number
REQ 4/1/2/2

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: Court of Requests
Title: The joint and several answers of John Hemings and Henry Condell, gents
Date: April 28, 1619
Repository: The National Archives, Kew, UK
Call number and opening: REQ 4/1/2/2
View online bibliographic record

 

In 1606 John Witter of Mortlake, Surrey, married Anne Phillips, widow of Augustine Phillips, a member of the King’s Men who had died in 1605. Though Anne was both a beneficiary and the executrix of her deceased husband’s estate, a clause in Phillips’s will stipulated that, should she re-marry, the executorship of the estate, including the Phillips share in the Globe, would pass to his overseers John Heminges, Richard Burbage, and William Slye, who were principal actors with the King’s Men, and to Timothy Whitehorn. Accordingly, in 1607, a year after Anne’s remarriage, the executorship passed to John Heminges (Playhouse Wills, p. 74). Following Anne’s death in January 1618, Witter sued Heminges and Henry Condell for her share in the Globe. The resulting lawsuit, from which eight documents survive, provides useful information on the Globe site and the Globe playhouse.

Shown here is the Answer of Heminges and Henry Condell, dated April 28, 1619, to Witter’s original Complaint, dated April 20, 1619. This Answer names William Shakespeare seven times, in each case as one of the five original leaseholders of the Globe playhouse, as from February 21, 1599. Importantly, the Answer cites the original lease in some detail, revealing that control over the site of the Globe playhouse was divided equally between the second and the third parties of a tripartite indenture, each party holding a “moitie” or half:

To have and to hould the one moitie of the said garden plottes and ground to the said Cuthbert Burbadge and Richard Burbadge their executors administrators & assignes from the ffeast or the birth of our Lord god Last past before the date of the said Indenture vnto thend & terme of xxxj yeeres from thence next ensuing for the yeerely rent of seaven poundes & five shillinges  And to haue & to hould thother moitie of the said garden plottes & groundes vnto the said William Shakespeare Augustine Phillipps Thomas Pope the said John Heminges one of the said defendantes & William Kempe.

Of the five shareholders, John Heminges is separately characterized as “one of the said defendants” in the current suit. The answer continues:

... Which said William Shakespeare, Augustine Phillipps, Thomas Pope, John Heminges & William Kempe did shortlie after graunte & assigne all the said moitie of & in the said gardens & groundes vnto William Levison and Thomas Savage, who regraunted & reassigned to euerye of them seuerally a fift parte of the said moitie of the said garden & groundes, vpon which premisses or some parte thereof there was shortly after built the said then playhowse. ...

Thus Heminges and Condell reveal that “shortly after” February 21, 1599, the five shareholders who constituted the third party to the lease, including William Shakespeare, transferred their moiety to William Levenson and Thomas Savage, who transferred it back to the five as five distinct parts rather than as one entire moiety. These actions have been identified as a legal maneuver to change the shares from joint tenancy to tenancy in common. In effect, each shareholder could now own or sell his individual portion without consulting the others.

Without Witter we would know the names of the original leaseholders (from Ostler v. Heminges), but we would not know that William Levenson and Thomas Savage assisted in making the five shares of the second moiety (each representing one-tenth of the value of the Globe site and playhouse) into an individual rather than a joint asset. This same maneuver similarly explains how some shares ended up being sold to or inherited by individuals who were not actors in the playing company. These transfers of shares led over time to yet more lawsuits, including Burbage et al. v. Brend (1632) and Benefield v. Burbage (1635), which reveal still more information about the Globe.

Throughout, Heminges provides a more detailed history of the shares in the Globe site than Condell, simultaneously confirming that Witter and Anne had been “secretlie marryed” in an attempt to escape from the exclusionary clause of Phillips’s will, and characterizing Witter as an abusive and spendthrift husband who had impoverished his wife and her children. Indeed, Heminges had felt sorry for her and come to her assistance:

this defendant in Charitie also & to relieue the said Complainant & the said Anne his wife & her children did from time to time divers & many times deliver sometimes vnto the said Complainant & sometimes to the said Anne divers sommes of money amounting in the whole to a greate some vntill about the Moneth of ffebruary in the Eight yeere of his Maiestes said raigne [1610] about which time the said complainant & Anne his wife by their dede pole bearing date the tenth day of ffebruary in the said Eight yeere of his Maiestes said raigne (this defendant then being in possession of the said fiveth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse galleryes groundes & gardens) did remise & release vnto this defendant all & al manner of accions debtes bills bondes accomptes matters & demaundes whatsoever as by the said dede pole ready to be shewed to this honorable Courte may appeare …

In short, Heminges, in his charity, had saved Anne and her children, and Witter himself, from financial ruin.

Incidentally, Heminges claims to have in his possession both Augustine Phillips’s original will, and the original indenture of lease for the Globe site (dated February 21, 1599): “[He] Confesseth that he hath the said last will and testament of the said Augustine Phillipps and the said dede …” This helps to explain why Phillip’s will in the PROB 10 series in The National Archives is a copy rather than the true original, and why the original indenture of the lease for the Globe site must be reconstructed from other documents. Unfortunately, both original documents must have been lost along with the rest of Heminges’s papers.

 

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[This transcription is pending final vetting. Transcription based on Charles William Wallace, "Shakespeare and his London Associates, As Revealed in Recently Discovered Documents" University of Nebraska Studies, vol. 10 no. 4 (1910), 52-63.]

xxviij°: die Aprilis Anno Regni Regis Jacobi Anglie
ffrancie et Hibernie xvij°. et Scotie. lijdo

The ioynt and seuerall answers of Iohn Hemings and Henry Condell gentlemen ^defendantes to the bill of
Complaint of Iohn Witter gentleman Complaynant.
The said Defendantes and either of them saueing to themselues and either of them nowe and at all times hereafter all advantages of excepcion to the incertentie & insufficiencie of the said bill of complaint for answer to so many of the matters therein
conteyned as any way concerne them the said defendantes or is materiall for them or either of them to answer vnto Do say & either of them for himself saith That he thincketh it to be true that the said Augustine Phillipps in the said bill of Complaint named was in his life
time lawfully possessed of such terme of yeeres of & in a fiveth parte of the moitie of the said galleryes of the said Playhowse Called the globe in the said bill mencioned and of divers gardens therevnto belonging & adioyning And that the said Nicholas Brend in the said bill named was thereof
seised in his demesne as of fee as in the said bill is alledged  But the said defendantes say that they do not thincke that the said Augustine Phillips was so possessed of the said terme of yeeres by force of a demise or lease to him the said Augustine Phillipps made of all the same by the said Nicholas
Brend ymediatly / ffor the said gardens and groundes whereupon the said Playhowse & galleryes were afterwardes builded were demised & letten by the said Nicholas Brend by his Indenture of lease tripartite bearing date in or about the xxjth day of ffebruary in the xljth yeere
of the raigne of the late Queene Elizabeth [February 21, 1599] vnto Cuthbert Burbadge Richard Burbadge William Shakespeare the said Augustine Phillipps Thomas Pope the said Iohn Heminges one of the said defendantes and William Kempe  To have and to hould the one moitie of the said
garden plottes and ground to the said Cuthbert Burbadge and Richard Burbadge their executors administrators & assignes from the ffeast or the birth of our Lord god Last past before the date of the said Indenture vnto thend & terme of xxxj yeeres from thence next ensuing for the
yeerely rent of seaven poundes & five shillinges  And to haue & to hould thother moitie of the said garden plottes & groundes vnto the said William Shakespeare Augustine Phillipps Thomas Pope the said Iohn Heminges one of the said defendantes & William Kempe their executors administrators & assignes from the said
ffeast of the Birth of our Lord god then last past before the date of the said Indenture vnto the said full end & terme of xxxj yeeres from thence next ensuing for the like yeerely rent of seaven poundes & five shillinges. Which said William Shakespeare Augustine Phillipps
Thomas Pope Iohn Heminges & William Kempe did shortlie after graunte & assigne all the said Moitie of & in the said gardens & groundes vnto William Levison and Thomas Savage who regraunted & reassigned to euerye of them severally a fift parte of the said Moitie of the
said gardens & groundes, Vpon which premisses or some parte thereof there was shortly after built the said then Playhowse. So as the said Augustine Phillipps had a fiveth parte of the moitie of the said gardens & groundes & after the said Playhowse was built he had a fiveth parte of the
said galleryes of the said Playhowse in ioynt tenancie with the said William Shakespeare Thomas Pope the said Iohn Heminges & William Kempe ^& as tenant in Common during the said terme of yeeres demised by the said Nicholas Brend as aforesaid as the said defendantes
do take it  But the said defendantes do say that about shortly after the time of the building of the said Playhowse & galleryes or shortlie after a third parte of the fiveth parte of the said Moitie of the said Playhowse galleryes gardens & ground which was the fiveth parte of the said
William Kempe did come vnto the said Augustine Phillipps by a graunt or assignement of the said fiveth parte made by the said William Kempe to the said William Shakespeare the said Iohn Heminges one of the said defendantes and the said Augustine Phillipps. / Which said
Last mencioned fiveth parte did shortlie after come to Thomas Cressey by the graunte & assignement of the said William Shakespeare the said Iohn Heminges and Augustine Phillipps said Cressey did shortlie after regraunte and reassigne the said fiveth parte
to the said William Shakespeare Iohn Heminges Augustine Phillipps & Thomas Pope as the said defendantes do take it. So as the said Augustine Phillipps then had a fiveth parte and the fourth parte of another fiveth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse
galleryes gardens and groundes as the said defendantes do verily beleeve for & during the same terme of yeeres / And the said defendant Iohn Heminges doth also say that he thincketh it to be true that the said Augustine Phillipps being so of one fiveth parte and of the fourth parte of
another fiveth parte of the said moitie so possessed in or about the time in the said bill mencioned made his Last will & testament in writing & thereby made his then wife Anne his executrix of his said Last will & testament & shortlie after died so possessed of the said
terme of & in the said parte of the said moitie as is aforesaid And that shortly after his decease his said will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury as in the said bill is alledged. And the said defendant Iohn Heminges doth say that he likewise thincketh
it to be true that by vertue of her the said Annes being Executrix of the said will shee into the said partes of the moitie of the said galleryes ground & playhowse late of the said Augustine Phillipps as aforesaid did enter & was thereof possessed accordingly and
did receive & take the yssues proffittes and commodities thereof  But whether her said entrie into the said partes or into any parte thereof was by virtue of a divise or guift in & by the said will & testament to her geven & devised or not this defendant saith he
knoweth not  And yet he thincketh it to be true that the said testator Augustine Phillipps in & by his said Last will & testament did geve & bequeath one third parte of all his goodes & chattells to the said Anne  But this defendant saith that he doth
not thinck that the said Anne made her eleccion to haue a third parte of the partes Late of the said Augustine her said husband of the said moitie of the said galleryes & ground as a legacie geven vnto her by the said will  And
this defendant Iohn Heminges doth also say that although the said testator Augustine Phillipps in & by his said Last will and testament did ordeyne & make the said Anne his wife Executrix of his said Last will & testament yet the same was not
absolutely but onley with proviso or vpon condicion in the said will expressed that if the said Anne his wife should at any time marrie after his decease That then & from thenceforth shee should cease to be any more or longer Executrix of his said Last will or
any wayes intermedle with the same  And that then and from thenceforth this defendant Iohn Heminges the said Richard Burbadge William Slye & Tymothie Whitehorn should be fully & wholie his executors of his said Last will and testament as though
the same Anne had never byn named  As by the same last will and testament ready to be shewed to this honorable courte (to which said will this said defendant for the more certentie thereof doth referre himself) more playnely appeareth. And this defendant
Iohn Heminges further saith that the said Complainant in or about the Moneth of November in the fourth Yeere of the Kinges Maiestes raigne of England did come to this defendant, and making shewe and affirming that the said Anne and himself then stood in greate
nede of money did make offer to procure the said Anne to mortgage her said terme of and in the said fiveth parte of the said Playhowse galleryes gardens and groundes which was so regraunted to the said Augustine Phillipps by the said Levison and
Savage as is aforesaid vnto this defendant for the somme of fiftie poundes [£50] or thereaboutes wherewith to relieve their wantes and would haue had the said Anne by herself to have made the said Mortgage to this defendant. But this defendant then suspecting that the
said Complainant and Anne having then by a good space byne in treatie of a mariage betwene them might ^then be secretlie marryed and so her assuraunce alone nothing worth and nothing at all then doubting that the said Anne had assigned over the said terme of
yeeres of & in the said fiveth parte of the said moitie to the said Complainant this defendant required the said Complainant to ioyne in the said assuraunce of the said terme of yeeres of the said fiveth parte of the said moitie in Mortgage for his said money which he the said complainant
yeelded vnto  And therevpon both the said Complainant & the said Anne then confessing themselues to be maried ioyned in the said Mortgage to this defendant and he paid vnto them the said some of 50li which together with 50s [=£50 10s] for consideracion for the forbearaunce
thereof this defendant Confesseth was repaid vnto him on the day lymmitted in & by the said dede of assuraunce in mortgage for the repayment thereof. But this defendant did not knowe or thincke that the said Anne had assigned or settover [sic] the said terme of
yeeres & the said interest of & in the said fiveth parte of the said moitie vnto the said complainant[,] which if shee had donne this defendant thincketh he had byne meerely deceived & defrauded of his said 50li if he would haue lent the same without the said Complainantes ioyning with the said Anne
in the said Mortgage  But if any such assignement of the said terme of yeeres was made by the said Anne vnto the said Complainant before the said complainant & the said Anne intermaried[,] the same was done contrary to the said testators meaning in & by his said Last will and to the trust
by him reposed in the said Anne thereby & with purpose to take away & avoid theffect of the said condicion made by the said testator in his said will which was intended for the good & preferment of his children  Which Course of dealing this defendant thincketh deserveth no favor or relief in any Court of
equitie  And this defendant hopeth to prove that the said Anne did not make the said supposed assignement of the said terme of yeeres & interest of & in the said fiveth parte of the said moitie to the said Complainant before their intermariage for that after their said intermariage the said complainant claymed the same parte
onely in the right of the said Anne his wife as Executrix of the said Augustine Phillipps as will appeare by divers writinges & otherwise  And this defendant verely thincketh that if the said supposed assignement be produced & brought to light that it will not abide the touch in the triall
thereof  Or if the said Anne did make the said assignement vnto the said Complainant before their intermariage this defendant hopeth to prove that it was and is meerely void in Lawe  And this defendant saith that after the said intermariage of the said Complainant with the said Anne he the said
complainant did ioyne in the graunting of two sixth partes of the said Moitie of & in the said Playhowse galleryes gardens and groundes with this defendant & the rest then interessed therein vnto William Slye and the said other defendant Henry Condell /  And this defendant doth deny that
he or to his knowledge the said other defendant Henry Condell hath the said assignement or graunt so supposed to be made by the said Anne to the said Complainant. But Confesseth that he hath the said last will and testament of the said Augustine Phillipps and the said dede whereby
the said Augustine Phillipps had onely a fiveth parte of the said Moitie of the said Playhowse galleryes gardens & ground during the said terme of yeeres and that at & vpon the earnest solicitacion & intreatie of the said Anne before the said repayment of the said fiftie
poundes vnto this defendant shee then in vrgent manner affirming vnto him that the deliuerye thereof vnto the said Complainant would be her vtter vndoing he this defendant did forbeare to deliver the same vnto the said Complainant but kept the same  And this defendant hath also in his handes
and Custody the said originall lease so made by the said Nicholas Brend to him & others as is aforesaid and keepeth the same to the vse of himself & the rest which haue any interest therevnto by & with their Consentes  And this defendant further saith that by meanes that the
said Complainant & the said Anne were intermaryed whereby the said Condicion in the said will of the said Augustine Phillipps was broken and especially to keepe Complainant from receaving or recovering of the some of 300li which did then remaine in the handes of Sir
Eusebius Isam Knight least he should spend the same as he had before lavishly and riotuously spent wasted & consumed almost all the rest of the said goodes & chattells which were of the said Augustine Phillipps and as he after spent 80li of the said 300li which he gott
out of this defendantes handes after that he had received the same 300li of the said Sir Eusebius and with the consent and intreatie of the said Anne the administracion of the goodes and chattells of the said Augustine Phillipps ^in or about the Moneth of May in the fiveth yeere of his Maiestes said raigne was Committed to this defendant in the prerogative
Court of Canterbury as Executor of the said Last will & testament of the said Augustine Phillipps By virtue whereof he this defendant did enter into the said fiveth parte of the said moitie of the said Playhowse galleryes gardens and groundes and did take the
rentes yssues and proffittes thereof as well & lawfull it was as he hopeth for him to doe  After which said administration so taken by this defendant he paid a legacie of five poundes to or for the poore of Mortlack in the County of Surrey which the said Anne & the said Complainant
had left unpaid by all the time wherein shee was executrix as aforesaid and he this defendant is to pay more legacyes to others when the same shalbe due & payable by the same last will and this defendant in Charitie also & to relieue the said Complainant & the said Anne his wife
& her children did from time to time divers & many times deliver sometimes vnto the said Complainant & sometimes to the said Anne divers sommes of money amounting in the whole to a greate some vntill about the Moneth of ffebruary in the Eight yeere of his
Maiestes said raigne about which time the said complainant & Anne his wife by their dede pole bearing date the tenth day of ffebruary in the said Eight yeere of his Maiestes said raigne (this defendant then being in possession of the said fiveth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse galleryes groundes & gardens) did remise
& release vnto this defendant all & al manner of accions debtes bills bondes accomptes matters & demaundes whatsoever as by the said dede pole ready to be shewed to this honorable Courte may appeare  By which said release this defendant hopeth that the said Complainant is barred both in lawe & equitie to sue for or demaund the
said fiveth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse galleryes ground or gardens & Contrary or against which said Complainantes owne dede of release this defendant hopeth that this honorable Courte will not permitt the said Complainant to sue this defendant for the said fiveth parte or any parte of the said moitie of the said
playhowse in this honorable Courte  And this defendant further saith that shortlie after the makeing of the said release by the said Complainant & his wife to this defendant the said Complainant & his said wife did take a lease of this defendant by Indenture bearing date the xiiijth day of the said Moneth of february
which was but foure dayes after the date of the said release, of a sixth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse garden plottes and premisses for the terme of Eighteene yeeres from the birth of our Lord god then last past yelding & paying therefore yeerely during the said terme vnto this
defendant his executors administrators & assignes xxiiijs ijd of Lawfull money of England at the ffeastes of thanunciacion of the blessed virgin Mary the Nativity of St Iohn Baptist St Michael Tharchangell & the birth of our Lord god or within tenne dayes after euerye of the same ffeast dayes by
even porcions Provided alwayes that if it should happen the said yeerely rent of xxiiijs ijd to be behinde vnpaid in parte or in all by the said space of tenne dayes next over or after any of the ffeast dayes of payment thereof aforesaid in which the same ought to be paid being lawfully
demaunded  Or if the said Complainant his executors administrators or assignes should not within one yeere then next Comeing pay and discharge the said legacie of five poundes geven & bequeathed by the last will & testament aforesaid vnto the poore of the parish of Mortlack or should not within the space
of one whole yeere then next Commeing Cause & procure a sufficient acquittaunce or dischardge vnder the handes & seales of the parson or Curat and Churchwardens of the said parish to be geven & deliuered to this defendant his executors administrators or assignes for his & their dischardge of & for
the said legacie of five poundes with divers other partes of the said Condicion hereafter to be performed by the said Complainant his executors administrators & assignes That then the demise & graunte aforesaid of the premisses should be void & of none effect. In which said Indenture of lease it is
recited and expressed that the said sixth parte of the said Moitie of the said Playhowse garden plottes & premisses was then Lawfully Come to the handes & possession of this defendant by his being administrator of the goodes chattells rightes & debtes aforesaid of the said Augustine
Phillipps. And that this defendant in consideracion that the said Complainant should pay & dischardge the said Legacie of five poundes and two other legacies of tenne poundes a peece mencioned in the said Condicion did make the said demise & lease As by the Counterparte
of the said Indenture of lease ready to be shewed to this honorable Courte (whereto this defendant referreth himself) more playnely appeareth /. whereby this defendant thincketh that it manifestly appeareth that the said Complainant then claymed not the said sixth parte
of the said Moitie by the said supposed assignement by him pretended to be thereof made vnto him by the said Anne & that this defendant was Lawfully interessed in the said sixth parte as administrator when the said release was so made vnto him or by the
said release; when the said defendant made the said Lease vnto the said Complainant & his said wife of the said sixth parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse gardens & ground  And this defendant further saith that about the said terme of five yeeres Last past
mencioned in the said bill of Complaint or about Six Monethes before the said Playhowse and galleryes were casually burnt downe & consumed with fier /. Shortlie after which this defendant and his partners in the said Playhowse resolued to reedifie the same &
the rather because they were by Covenaunte on their parte in the said originall lease conteyned to mainteyne & repaire all such buildinges as should be built or erected vpon the said gardens or ground during the said terme as by the said originall lease may appeare  And therevpon
this defendant did write his Lettre to the said Complainant signifieing the same vnto him & therein required him to come & bring or send 50li or 60li by a day therein mencioned for ^& towardes the reedifieing of a howse in regard of his the said Complainantes parte of the said ground which this defendant had so
demised vnto him & his said wife by the said lease if he would adventure so much (he the said Complainant having latly before ioyned with the said defendantes & the rest then interessed in the said moitie of the said playhowse gardens & ground to William Ostler of a
seaventh parte of the said moitie)  But the said Complainant neither brought or sent any money towardes the reedifieing of the said Playhowse  Nor did this defendant ever receive any answer by or from his him the said Complainant of this this defendantes said Lettre which when
this defendant perceived although the said Complainant had broken the said Condicion of the said lease by not paying the said legacie of five poundes & by not procuring of the said acquittaunce or dischardge from the said parson or Curatt & Churchwardens of
Mortlack aforesaid yet he this defendant demaunded the two next quarters rentes reserved vpon the said lease on the severall tenth dayes after the said two next ffeastes of payment & there Continuing his said demaundes vntill the sunne was sett
on either of the said dayes  But neither the said Complainant nor any for him paid or came to pay either of the said quarters rentes on either of the said dayes  And therevpon this defendant did enter into the said parte so demised as aforesaid for the said Condicion broken & because
he found that the reedifieing of the said playhowse would be a verie greate charge & doubted what benefitt would arise thereby & for that the said originall Lease had then but a fewe yeeres to come he this defendant did geve away his said terme of yeeres & interest of
& in the one Moitie of the said parte of the said Moitie of the said garden plottes & ground to the said other defendant Henry Condell gratis  The reedifieing of which parte hath sithence Cost the said defendantes about the somme of Cxxli, and yet one other sixth parte
of the said moitie of the said playhowse galleryes gardens & ground before the said playhowse was burned & Consumed with fier was absolutely sould for lesse money then the half of the said charges of the said defendantes in the newe building thereof when there
were more yeeres to come therein then there were at the time of the said burning thereof & yet the said Complainant was in Lawe chardgeable with the reedifieing of the said parte of the said moitie by the said lease, And this defendant further saith that sithence the said release
& lease made as is aforesaid he hath also from time to time divers & manie times in Charitie & to relieve the said Complainant his said wife & her children deliuered sometimes vnto the said Complainant himself, sometimes to his said wife & sometimes to others for them divers other sommes of
money amounting to a further greate some of money untill about the said time of the burning of the said playhowse & the said Complainant divers yeeres before the said Anne dyed did suffer her to make shift for herself to live & at her death this defendant out of charitie was
at the charges of the buryeing ^of her. /  Without that that the said Nicholas Brend made a demise or lease of the said sixth parte of the said moitie to the said Augustine Phillipps or of any parte otherwise then as is aforesaid or that the said Anne to this defendantes knowledge did or could
graunte or assigne the said supposed originall lease ^to the said Complainant or that the said Augustine Phillipps died possessed of a sixth parte onely of the said playhowse gardens & groundes as in the said bill of Complaint is pretended / And the said other defendant Henry Condell for himself saith that
the said other defendant Iohn Heminges a litle before the reedifieing of the said newe playhowse did freely geve & assure vnto him one moitie of the said parte of the said garden plottes & groundes but denyeth that he or to his knowledge the said other defendant Iohn Heminges hath the
said assignement or graunt so supposed to be made by the said Anne to the said Complainant or that he this defendant hath the said Last will & testament of the said Augustine Phillipps or the said dede whereby the said Augustine had onely a sixth sixth parte of the said moitie
of the said playhowse galleryes gardens & ground during the said terme of yeeres or the said originall lease made by the said Brend but he thincketh that the said other defendant hath the same will dede & originall lease. And both the said defendantes Do say & confesse
that a litle space before the reedifieing of the said playhowse they the said defendantes did enter into the said moitie of the said parte of the said moity of the said Garden plotts and grounds which was of the said Augustine Phillipps and
doe yet keepe the same and from and after the reedifying of the said playhowse did and yet doe receiue and take the rents and proffitts thereof and doe keepe the same from the said Complainant as well & Lawfull it was & is for them as they hope to
doe, Without that that the said defendantes haue made or contrived to themselues or to any other person or persons any estate or estates of the said parte other then is aboue mencioned & one Eight parte of the said moitie of the said playhowse galleryes gardens & groundes graunted by the said defendantes &
other their partners ^in the said moitie to Nathan ffield & one other estate of made to Iohn Atkins gent in trust for the said defendant Iohn Heminges of two litle parcells of the said ground by the said defendant Iohn Heminges & the rest of the partners in the said Playhowse & premisses vpon parte whereof the said Iohn Heminges
hath built a howse  And without that that the said defendantes haue made or contrived to themselues or to any other person or persons any secrett subtill or fraudulent estates of purpose to defraud or defeate the said Complainant or otherwise as in & by the said bill of Complaint
is very falsely & slaunderously suggested  And without that that any other matter or thing in the said bill of Complaint conteyned materiall or effectuall for the said defendantes or either of them to answer vnto & herein & hereby not sufficiently answered vnto confessed
& avoided denyed or traversed to these defendantes knowledges is true  All which matters the said defendantes & either of them are ready to averre & prove as this Court shall award & do pay pray to be dismissed forth of the same with either of their reasonable
costes & charges in this behalf most wrongfully susteyned /   (signed) Sebastian Kele:

To learn more, read Alan H. Nelson's essays on lawsuits in Shakespeare's England, and the 1599 lease of the Globe playhouse site.

Written by Alan H. Nelson

Sources

E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951), 2: 52-71.
B. Rowland Lewis, Shakespeare Documents (Stanford University, California: Stanford University Press, 1940), 2: 511-19.
Samuel Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 155, 227.
Charles William Wallace, "Shakespeare and his London Associates, As Revealed in Recently Discovered Documents" University of Nebraska Studies, vol. 10 no. 4 (1910), 52-63.

Last updated May 14, 2018