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&c.] Mr. Allen appears, in this inftance, ined his confequence as a manager, taking and Epilogue to his own share.

ames of the actors, in this and the foregoe not always fo arranged as to correfpond ters reprefented. STEEVENS.

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IT seems to be a kind of refpect due to the memory of excellent men, especially of those whom their wit and learning have made famous, to deliver fome account of themselves, as well as their works, to pofterity. For this reason, how fond do we see fome people of difcovering any little perfonal ftory of the great men of antiquity! their families, the common accidents of their lives, and even their fhape, make, and features, have been the fubject of critical inquiries. How trifling foever this curiofity may seem to be, it is certainly very natural; and we are hardly fatisfied with an account of any remarkable perfon, till we have heard him defcribed even to the very cloaths he wears. As for what relates to men of letters, the knowledge of an author may fometimes conduce to the better understanding his book; and though the works of Mr. Shakspeare may seem to many not to want a comment, yet I fancy fome little account of the man himself may not be thought improper to go along with them.

He was the fon of Mr. John Shakspeare, and was born at Stratford-upon-Avon, in Warwickshire, in April 1564. His family, as appears by the register and publick writings relating to that town, were of good figure and fashion there, and are mentioned as VOL. I.


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gentlemen. His father, who was a confiderable dealer in wool,3 had so large a family, ten children

His father, who was a confiderable dealer in wool,) It appears that he had been officer and bailiff of Stratford-upon-Avon; and that he enjoyed fome hereditary lands and tenements, the reward of his grandfather's faithful and approved fervices to King Henry VII. See the Extract from the Herald's Office. THEOBALD.

The chief magiftrate of the Body Corporate of Stratford, now diftinguished by the title of Mayor, was in the early charters called the High Bailiff. This office Mr. John Shakspeare filled in 1569, as appears from the following extracts from the books of the corporation, with which I have been favoured by the Rev. Mr. Davenport, Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Jan. 10, in the 6th year of the reign of our fovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, John Shakspeare paffed his Chamberlain's


At the Hall holden the eleventh day of September, in the eleventh year of the reign of our fovereign lady Elizabeth, 1569, were prefent Mr. John Shakfpeare, High Bailiff., (Then fol low the names of the Aldermen and Burgeffes.

"At the Hall holden Nov. 19th, in the 21ft year of the reign of our fovereign lady Queen Elizabeth, it is ordained, that every Alderman fhall be taxed to pay weekly 4d. faving John Shakspeare and Robert Bruce, who fhall not be taxed to pay any thing; and every burgefs to pay 2d. "

At the Hall holden on the 6th day of September, in the 28th year of our fovereign lady Queen Elizabeth.

At this hall William Smith and Richard Courte are chofen to be Aldermen in the places of John Wheler, and John Shakspeare, for that Mr. Wheler doth defire to be put out of the company, and Mr. Shakspere doth not come to the halls, when they be warned, nor hath not done of long time.,,

From thefe extracts it may be collected, (as is obferved by the gentleman above-mentioned, to whofe obliging attention to my inquiries I am indebted for many particulars relative to our poet's family,) that Mr. John Shakspeare in the former part of his life was in good circumftances, fuch perfons being generally chofen into the corporation; and from his being excufed (in 1579) to pay 4d. weekly, and at a fubfequent period (1586) put out of the corporation, that he was then reduced in his circumftances.


It appears from a note to W. Dethick's Grant of Arms to him in 1596, now in the College of Arms, Vincent, Vol. 157.

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