London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details

The 'Shakespeare Deed'.

Date of Creation:

1613 Mar 10

Reference Code:

CLC/522/MS03738

From Collection:

MISCELLANEOUS DEEDS

File
Scope and Content:
  • Counterpart of indenture between Henry Walker, citizen and minstrel of London, of the one part, and William Shakespeare, gentleman of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, William Johnson, citizen and vintner of London, John Jackson and John Hemyng of London, gentlemen on the other part. Whereby in consideration of the sum of £140 Henry Walker sells to the said William Shakespeare, William Johnson, John Jackson and John Hemyng, a tenement with appurtenances and a plot of ground on the westside thereof, situated within the precinct of the Black Friars, in the City of London. The tenement is described as "sometymes in the tenure of James Gardyner esquiour, and since that in the tenure of John Fortescue, gent., and now or late being in the tenure...of one William Ireland...; abutting upon a streete leading down to Pudle wharffe on the east part, right against the King's Majesties Wardrobe; part of wch said tenement is erected over a great gate leading to a capitall messuage wch sometyme was in the tenure of William Blackwell esquiour deceased, and since that in the tenure...of Henry, Earle of Northumberland". The adjoining plot of ground is described as "lately inclosed with boords on two sides thereof by Anne Bacon widowe...and being on the thirde side inclosed with an olde brick wall; which said plott of ground was sometyme parcell...of a great peece of voyde ground lately used for a garden".

    Two pendant seals, each bearing the letters "HL" - initials of Henry Lawrence, a witness named on the back of the deed. Remaining two seals missing. Shakespeare's signature at bottom left; this is one of six undisputed signatures surviving, the others being on documents in the British Museum and the National Archives.


    Transcript of document:

    This Indenture made the Tenthe day of Marche in the yeare of our Lord god according to the Computac[i]on of the Church of England one /
    thousand six hundred and twelve and in the yeares of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lord James by the grace of god king of England Scotland ffraunce and Ireland defender of the faith &c that /
    is to saie of England ffraunce and Ireland the tenth and of Scotland the six and fortith: Between Henry Walker citizein and Minstrell of London of th'one partie And William Shakespeare of /
    Stratford Upon Avon in the Countie of Warwick gentleman, William Johnson Citizein and Vintener of London, John Jackson, and John Hem[m]yng of London gentlemen of thother p[ar[tie Witnesseth /
    that the said Henry Walker (for and in considerat[i]on of the som[m]e of one hundred and fortie pound[es] of lawfull money of England to him in hande before theinsealing hereof by the said William Shakespeare well and trulie /
    paid, whereof and wherew[i]h hee the said Henry Walker doth acknowledge himselfe fullie satisfied and contented, and thereof and of every part and parcell thereof doth cleerlie acquite and discharge the said /
    William Shakespeare his heires executo[ur]s admi[ni]strato[ur]s and assignes and every of them by theis p[rese]nt[es]) hath bargayned and soulde and by theis p[rese]nt[es] doth fullie cleerlie and absolutlie bargayne and sell unto the /
    said William Shakespeare, William Johnson, John Jackson, and John Hem[m]yng their heires and assignes forever All that dwelling house or Tenement w[i]th th'appurten[a]nc[es] situate and being w[i]thin the Precinct Circuit /
    and Compasse of the late black ffryers London sometymes in the tenure of James Gardyner Esquio[ur] and since that in the tenure of John ffortescue gent, and now or late being in the tenure or occupac[i]on of one William /
    Ireland or of his assignee or assignes; abutting upon a streete leading downe to Pudle Wharffe on the east part, right against the King[es] Maiesties Wardrobe: part of w[hi]ch said Tenement is erected over a great gate leading /
    to a Capitall Mesuage w[hi]ch sometyme was in the tenure of William Blackwell Esquio[ur] deceased, and since that in the tenure or occupac[i]on of the right Honorable Henry now Earle of Northumberland; And also all that /
    plott of ground on the west side of the same Tenement w[hi]ch was lately inclosed w[i]th boord[es] on two sides thereof by Anne Bacon widowe soe farre and in such sorte as the same was inclosed by the said Anne Bacon, and not /
    otherwise and being on the thirde side inclosed w[i]th an olde Brick wall; Which said plott of ground was sometyme parcell and taken out of a great --- peece of /voide\ ground lately used for a garden; and also the soyle whereupon /
    the said Tenement standeth; and also the said Brick wall and boord[es] w[hi]ch doe inclose the said plott of grounde With free entrie, accesse, ingresse, egresse and regresse in, by, and through the said greate gate and yarde there unto /
    the usuall dore of the said Tenement; And also all and singuler Cello[ur]s /sollers\ romes, light[es], easiament[es], profitt[es] Com[m]odities, and hereditament[es] whatsoever to the said dwelling house or Tenement belonging, or in any wise app[er]teyning /
    And the reversion and reversions whatsoever of all and singuler the premisses, and of every parcell thereof; And also all rent[es], and yearlie profitt[es] whatsoever reserved, and fromhensforth to growe due and paiable /
    upon whatsoever lease dimise, or graunt, leases dimises or graunt[es] made of the premisses, or of any parcell thereof; And also all thestate, right, title, interest, propertie, use, possession, clayme, and demaund whatsoever w[hi]ch /
    hee the said Henry Walker now hath, or of right may, might, should, or ought to have of, in, or to the premisses or any parcell thereof; And also all and every the deed[es], evidenc[es], Charters, escript[es], miniment[es], & writing[es] /
    whatsoever w[hi]ch hee the said Henry Walker now hath, or any other person or persons to his use have or hath, or which hee may lawfullie come by w[i]thout suite in the lawe, which touch or concerne the premisses onlie /
    or onlie any part or parcell thereof: Togeither w[i]th /the\ true Coppies of all such deed[es], evidenc[es] and writing[es] as concerne the premisses (amonnge other thing[es]) to bee written and taken out at the onlie cost[es] and charg[es] of the /
    said William Shakespeare his heires or assignes which said dwelling house or Tenement and other the premisses above by theis p[rese]nt[es] menc[i]oned to bee bargayned and soulde the said Henry Walker /
    late purchased and had to him his heires and assignes forever of Mathie Bacon of Graies Inne in the Countie of Midd[lesex] gentleman, by Indenture bearing date the fifteenth day of October in the yeare of our Lord /
    god one thousand six hundred and fower, and in the yeares of the reigne of our said Sovereigne Lord king James of his Realmes of England ffraunce and Ireland the second and of Scotland the eight & thirtith /
    To have and to hold the said dwelling house or Tenement, shopps, Cello[ur]s, sollers, plott of ground and all and singuler other the premisses above by theis p[rese]nt[es] menc[i]oned to bee bargayned /
    and soulde and every part and parcell thereof w[i]th th'appurten[a]nc[es], unto the said William Shakespeare, William Johnson, John Jackson and John Hem[m]yng their heires and assignes forever To th'onlie and proper /
    use and behoofe of the said William Shakespeare, William Johnson, John Jackson and John Hem[m]yng their heires and assignes forever And the said Henry Walker for himselfe his heires /
    executors, administrato[ur]s and assignes and for every of them doth Coven[a]nt promisse and graunt to and w[i]th the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes by theis p[rese]nt[es] in forme following that is to saie /
    That hee the said Henry Walker his heires, executors, administrato[ur]s or assignes shall and will cleerlie acquite, exonerate, and discharge, or otherwise from tyme to tyme, and at all tymes hereafter well and sufficientlie /
    save and keepe harmles the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes and every of them of for and concernyng the bargayne and sale of the premisses and the said bargayned premisses and every part and /
    parcell thereof w[i]th th'appurten[a]nc[es] of and from all and almanner of former bargaynes, sales, guift[es], graunt[es], leases statut[es], Recognizaunc[es], joyntures dowers intailes lymittac[i]on and lymittac[i]ons of use and uses /
    extent[es], judgment[es], execuc[i]ons Annuities and of and from all and every other charg[es] titles and incumbraunc[es] whatsoever wittinglie and wilfullie had, made, com[m]itted, suffered or donne by him the said Henrye /
    Walker or any other under his authoritie or right before th'ensealing and deliverye of theis p[rese]nt[es] Except the rent[es] and servic[es] to the Cheefe Lord or Lord[es] of the fee or fees of the premisses fromhensforth for or /
    in respecte of his or their seigniorie or seigniories onlie to be due or donne:

    [next few lines crossed through]

    And also excepte one lease and dimise heretofore made and granted vnto William Ireland Citizen and Haberdassher of London /
    by the said Henry Walker of the premisses by an Indenture bearing date the twelveth day of December in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred and four and in the years of the reigne of our /
    said Soverigne Lord King James of his Realme of England, ffraunce and Ireland the second and of England and of Scotland the eight and thirtieth for the terme of twenty and five yeares from the feast of the birthe /
    of our Lord God next coming after the date of the same last recited Indenture of lease wherevpon the yearely rent of Seven pounds of lawfull money of England is reserved

    [continues after crossed through lines]

    And further the saide /
    Henry Walker for himselfe his heires executo[ur]s admi[ni]strato[ur]s and for every of them doth Coven[a]nt, promisse and graunt to and w[i]th the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes by theis p[rese]nt[es] in forme/
    following (that is to saie) That for and notw[i]thstanding any acte or thing donne by him the said Henry Walker to the contrarye, hee the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes shall or lawfullie maye peaceablie & /
    quietlie have, holde, occupie and enioye the said dwelling house or Tenement, Cello[ur]s, sollers and all and singuler other the premisses above by theis p[rese]nt[es] menc[i]oned to bee bargayned and soulde, and every part and parcell /
    thereof w[i]th th'appurten[a]nces and the rent[es], yssues, and profitt[es] thereof and of every part and parcell thereof to his and their owne use receave perceave take and enioye from hensforth forever, w[i]thout the lett, troble, evicc[i]on, or /
    interrupc[i]on of the said Henry Walker his heires executo[ur]s or admi[ni]strato[ur]s or any of them or of or by any other person or persons w[hi]ch have or may before the date hereof pretend or have any lawfull estate, right /
    title use or interest in or to the premisses, or any parcell thereof by, from, or under him the said Henry Walker --------------- And also that hee the said Henry Walker and his heires and all and /
    every other person and persons and their heires which have, or that shall lawfullie and rightfullie have or clayme to have any lawfull or rightfull estate right title or interest in or to the p[re]misses, or any parcell thereof by /
    from or under the said Henry Walker --------------------------------- shall and will from tyme to tyme & /
    at all tymes from hensforth for and during the space of three yeares now next insuing at or upon the reasonable request and at the Cost[es] and charg[es] in the lawe of the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes doe, make /
    knowledge, and suffer to bee donne, made, and knowledged all and every such further lawfull and reasonable acte and act[es], thing, and thing[es], devise and devises in the law whatsoever for the conveying of the premisses bee it by /eed or deed[es], inrolled, or not inrolled, inrolment of theis p[rese]nt[es], fyne, feoffament, recoverye, release, confirmac[i]on, or otherwise w[i]th warrantie of the said Henry Walker and his heires against him the said Henry Walker and /
    his heires onlie, or otherwise w[i]thout warrantie, or by all, any, or asmany of the wayes and meanes and devises aforesaid, As by the said William Shakespeare his heires or assignes, or his or their Councell learned in the lawe /
    shalbee reasonablie devised or advised; ffor the further, better, and more perfect assurance, suertie, suermaking and conveying of all and singuler the premisses and every parcell thereof w[i]th th'appurten[a]nces unto the saide /
    William Shakespeare his heires and assignes forever, to th'use and in forme aforesaid; And /further\ that all and every fyne and fynes to bee levyed, recoveryes to bee suffered, estat[es], and assuranc[es] of any tyme or /
    tymes hereafter to bee had, made, executed or passed by or betweene the said parties of the premisses or of any parcell thereof shalbee, and shalbee esteemed, adiudged, deemed, and taken to bee to th'onlie and proper /
    use and behoofe of the said William Shakespeare his heires and assignes forever, and to none other use, intent or purpose. / In witnesse whereof the said parties to theis Indentures Interchaungablie have /
    set their seales: Yeoven the day and yeares first above written.

    William Shakspe[are] W[illia]m Johnson Jo[hn] Jacksonn
Extent: 1 item, parchment, with two pendant seals (remaining two seals missing), in display case
Other Formats: READERS ARE REQUESTED TO VIEW THE FACSIMILE (CLC/522/MS03738A)
Other Formats: Digital surrogate available
Classification: FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS
Former Reference: MS 03738
Site Location: London Metropolitan Archives
Level of Description:
  • Document

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Administrative History:
  • In 1613 William Shakespeare bought a property in Blackfriars in the City of London. This was probably an investment as there is no evidence that he actually lived there, although it would have been convenient for the Globe and Blackfriars theatres. Shakespeare also acquired property in his birth place, Stratford upon Avon, but this was the only purchase he made in London.

    Shakespeare bought the house from Henry Walker, who is described as a citizen and minstrel of London: this is Walker’s copy of the deed. Other parties to the transaction, who acted as Shakespeare’s trustees, were William Johnson, John Jackson and John Hemmyng. Johnson, a citizen and vintner of London may have been the landlord of the Mermaid tavern in Cheapside. Hemmyng was probably the John Heminges, actor and friend to Shakespeare, who would go on to compile the First Folio of his work with William Condell in 1623. Little is known of John Jackson.
Access Restrictions: Available only with advance notice and at the discretion of the LMA Director
Publication Notes:

Unfolding facsimile in S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare: A Documentary Life (New York, 1975), pp. 221-2. Facsimile also in William Shakespeare: A Documentary Volume, ed. Catherine Loomis, DLB, 263 (Detroit, 2002), p. 220; and elsewhere.