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On the 22nd of August, 1485, there was a battle fought for the crown of England, a short battle ending in a decisive victory. In that field a crowned king, “manfully fighting in the middle of his enemies, was slain and brought to his death;" and a politic adventurer put on the crown, which the immediate descendants of his house wore for nearly a century and a quarter. The battle-field was Bosworth. Two months afterwards the Earl of Richmond was more solemnly crowned and anointed at Westminster by the name of King Henry VII.; and "after this," continues the chronicler, "he began to remember his especial friends and fautors, of whom some he advanced to honour and dignity, and some he enriched with possessions and goods, every man according to his desert and merit.” * Was there in that victorious army of the Earl of Richmond,-which Richard denounced as a company of traitors, thieves, outlaws, and runagates,”—an Englishman bearing the name of Chacksper, or Shakespeyre, or Schakespere, or Schakespeire, or Shakespeyre, or Schakspere, or Shakespere, or Shakspere,t-a martial name, however spelt? Breakspear, Shakespear, and the like, have been surnames imposed upon the first bearers of them for valour and feats of arms."‡ Of the warlike achievements of

66

Hall's Chronicle.

† A list of the brethren and sisters of the Guild of Knowle, near Rowington, in Warwickshire, exhibits a great number of the name of Shakspere in that fraternity, from about 1460 to 1527; and the names are spelt with the diversity here given, Shakspere being the latest.

Verstegan's "Restitution," &c.

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