Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

This is what I could learn of any note, either

liam Smith, and John Easton, overseers of his will, to which the witnesses are John Such, Michael Jonson, and Samuel Rawlins.

By a nuncupative codicil dated on the day of his death, April 4th, 1647, he bequeaths (inter alia) "to his mother Mrs. Hall fifty pounds; to Elizabeth Hathaway fifty pounds; to Thomas Hathaway fifty pounds; to Judith Hathaway ten pounds; to his uncle Nash and his aunt, his cousin Sadler and his wife, his cousin Richard Quiney and his wife, his cousin Thomas Quiney and his wife, twenty shillings each, to buy them rings." The meadows which by his will he had devised to his wife for life, he by this codicil devises to her, her heirs and assigns, for ever, to the end that they may not be severed from her own land; and he "appoints and declares that the inheritance of his land given to his cousin Edward Nash should be by him settled after his decease, upon his son Thomas Nash, and his heirs, and for want of such heirs then to remain and descend to his own right heirs."

It is observable that in this will the testator makes no mention of any child, and there is no entry of any issue of his marriage in the Register of Stratford; I have no doubt, therefore, that he died without issue, and that a pedigree with which Mr. Whalley furnished Mr. Steevens a few years ago, is inaccurate. The origin of the mistake in that pedigree will be pointed out in its proper place.

Ás by Shakspeare's will his daughter Susanna had an estate for life in The New Place, &c. and his grand-daughter Elizabeth an estate tail in remainder, they probably on the marriage of Elizabeth to Mr. Nash, by a fine and recovery cut off the entail; and by a deed to lead the uses gave him the entire dominion over that estate; which he appears to have misused by devising it from Shakspeare's family to his own.

Mr. Nash's will and codicil were proved June 5, 1647, and administration was then granted to his widow. MALONE.

9 Sir John Barnard of Abington,] Sir John Barnard of Abington, a small village about a mile from the town of Northampton, was created a Knight by King Charles II. Nov. 25, 1661. In 1671 he sold the manor and advowson of the church of Abington, which his ancestors had possessed for more than two hundred years, to William Thursby, Esq. Sir John Barnard was the eldest son of Baldwin Barnard, Esq. by Eleanor, daughter and co-heir of John Fulwood of Ford Hall in the county of VOL. I.

H

relating to himself or family; the character of the man is best seen in his writings. But since Ben

Warwick, Esq. and was born in 1605. He first married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Clement Edmonds of Preston, in Northamptonshire, by whom he had four sons and four daughters. She dying in 1642, he married secondly our poet's grand-daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Nash, on the 5th of June 1649, at Billesley in Warwickshire, about three miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. If any of Shakspeare's manuscripts remained in his grand-daughter's custody at the time of her second marriage, (and some letters at least she surely must have had,) they probably were then removed to the house of her new husband at Abington. Sir Hugh Clopton, who was born two years after her death, mentioned to Mr. Macklin, in the year 1742, an old tradition that she had carried away with her from Stratford many of her grandfather's papers. On the death of Sir John Barnard they must have fallen into the hands of Mr. Edward Bagley, Lady Barnard's executor; and if any descendant of that gentleman be now living, in his custody they probably remain. MALOone.

1

but died likewise without issue.] Confiding in a pedigree transmitted by Mr.Whalley some years ago to Mr. Steevens, once supposed that Mr. Rowe was inaccurate in saying that our poet's grand-daughter died without issue. But he was certainly right; and this lady was undoubtedly the last lineal descendant of Shakspeare. There is no entry, as I have already observed, in the Register of Stratford, of any issue of hers by Mr. Nash; nor does he in his will mention any child, devising the greater part of his property between his wife and his kinsman, Edward Nash. That Lady Barnard had no issue by her second husband, is proved by the Register of Abington, in which there is no entry of the baptism of any child of that marriage, though there are regular entries of the time when the several children of Sir John Barnard by his first wife were baptized. Lady Barnard died at Abington, and was buried there on the 17th of February 1669-70; but her husband did not show his respect for her me mory by a monument, or even an inscription of any kind. seems not to have been sensible of the honourable alliance he had made. Shakspeare's grand-daughter would not, at this day, go to her grave without a memorial. By her last will, which I subjoin, she directs her trustee to sell her estate of New-Place, &c. to the best bidder, and to offer it first to her cousin Mr. Edward Nash. How she then came to have any property in New-Place, which her first husband had devised to this very Edward Nash,

He

Jonson has made a sort of an essay towards it in his Discoveries, I will give it in his words:

does not appear; but I suppose that after the death of Mr. Thomas Nash she exchanged the patrimonial lands which he bequeathed to her, with Edward Nash and his son, and took New-Place, &c. instead of them.

Sir John Barnard died at Abington, and was buried there on March 5th, 1673-4. On his tomb-stone, in the chancel of the church, is the following inscription:

Hic jacent exuvia generosissimi viri Johannis Bernard, militis; patre, avo, abavo, tritavo, aliisque progenitoribus per ducentos et amplius annos hujus oppidi de Abingdon dominis, insignis: qui fato cessit undeseptuagesimo ætatis suæ anno, quinto nonas Martii, annoque a partú B. Virginis, MDCLXXIII.

Sir John Barnard having made no will, administration of his effects was granted on the 7th of November 1674, to Henry Gilbert of Locko in the county of Derby, who had married his daughter Elizabeth by his first wife, and to his two other surviving daughters; Mary Higgs, widow of Thomas Higgs of Colesborne, Esq. and Eleanor Cotton, the wife of Samuel Cotton, Esq. All Sir John Barnard's other children except the three above mentioned died without issue. I know not whether any descendant of these be now living: but if that should be the case, among their papers may possibly be found some fragment or other relative to Shakspeare; for by his grand-daughter's order, the administrators of her husband were entitled to keep possession of her house, &c. in Stratford, for six months after his death. The following is a copy of the will of this last descendant of our poet, extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury:

"In the Name of God, Amen. Í Dame Elizabeth Barnard, wife of Sir John Barnard of Abington in the county of Northampton, knight, being in perfect memory, (blessed be God!) and mindful of mortality, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following:

"Whereas by my certain deed or writing under my hand and seal, dated on or about the eighteenth day of April, 1653, according to a power therein mentioned, I the said Elizabeth have limited and disposed of all that my messuage with the appurte nances in Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, called the New Place, and all that four-yard land and an half in Stratford-Welcombe and Bishopton in the county of Warwick, (after the decease of the said Sir John Barnard, and me the said Eliza

"I remember the players have often mentioned "it as an honour to Shakspeare, that in writing

beth,) unto Henry Smith of Stratford aforesaid, Gent. and Job Dighton of the Middle Temple, London, Esq. since deceased, and their heirs; upon trust that they, and the survivor, and the heirs of such survivor, should bargain and sell the same for the best value they can get, and the money thereby to be raised to be employed and disposed of to such person and persons, and in such manner as I the said Elizabeth should by any writing or note under my hand, truly testified, declare and nominate; as thereby may more fully appear. Now my will is, and I do hereby signify and declare my mind and meaning to be, that the said Henry Smith, my surviving trustee, or his heirs, shall with all convenient speed after the decease of the said Sir John Barnard my husband, make sale of the inheritance of all and singular the premises, and that my loving cousin Edward Nash, Esq. shall have the first offer or refusal thereof, according to my promise formerly made to him: and the monies to be raised by such sale I do give, dispose of, and appoint the same to be paid and distributed, as is herein after expressed; that is to say, to my cousin Thomas Welles of Carleton, in the county of Bedford, Gent. the sum of fifty pounds, to be paid him within one year next after such sale: and if the said Thomas Wells shall happen to die before such time as his said legacy shall become due to him, then my desire is, that my kinsman Edward Bagley, citizen of London, shall have the sole benefit thereof.

"Item, I do give and appoint unto Judith Hathaway, one of the daughters of my kinsman Thomas Hathaway, late of Stratford aforesaid, the annual sum of five pounds of lawful money of England, to be paid unto her yearly and every year, from and after the decease of the said survivor of the said Sir John Barnard and me the said Elizabeth, for and during the natural life of her the said Judith, at the two most usual feasts or days of payment in the year, videlicet, the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Saint Michael, the archangel, by equal portions, the first payment thereof to begin at such of the said feasts as shall next happen, after the decease of the survivor of the said Sir John Barnard and me the said Elizabeth, if the said premises can be so soon sold; or otherwise so soon as the same can be sold: and if the said Judith shall happen to marry, and shall be minded to release the said annual sum of five pounds, and shall accordingly release and quit all her interest and right in and to the same after it shall become due to her, then and in such case, I do give and appoint to her the sum

"(whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a

of forty pounds in lieu thereof, to be paid unto her at the time of the executing of such release as aforesaid.

“Item, I give and appoint unto Joan the wife of Edward Kent, and one other of the daughters of the said Thomas Hathaway, the sum of fifty pounds, to be likewise paid unto her within one year next after the decease of the survivor of the said Sir John Barnard and me the said Elizabeth, if the said premises can be soon sold, or otherwise so soon as the same can be sold; and if the said Joan shall happen to die before the said fifty pounds shall be paid to her, then I do give and appoint the same unto Edward Kent the younger, her son, to be paid unto him when he shall attain the age of one-and-twenty years.

[ocr errors]

" Item, I do also give and appoint unto him the said Edward Kent, son of the said John, the sum of thirty pounds, towards putting him out as an apprentice, and to be paid and disposed of to that use when he shall be fit for it.

"Item, I do give or appoint and dispose of unto Rose, Elizabeth, and Susanna, three other of the daughters of my said kinsman Thomas Hathaway, the sum of forty pounds a-piece, to be paid unto every of them at such time and in such manner as the said fifty pounds before appointed to the said Joan Kent, their sister, shall become payable.

"Item, All the rest of the monies that shall be raised by such sale as aforesaid, I give and dispose of unto my said kinsman Edward Bagley, except five pounds only, which I give and appoint to my said trustee Henry Smith for his pains; and if the said Edward Nash shall refuse the purchase of the said messuage and four-yard land and a half with the appurtenances, then my will and desire is, that the said Henry Smith or his heirs shall sell the inheritance of the said premises and every part thereof unto the said Edward Bagley, and that he shall purchase the same; upon this condition, nevertheless, that he the said Edward Bagley, his heirs, executors, or administrators, shall justly and faithfully perform my will and true meaning, in making due payment of all the several sums of money or legacies before mentioned, in such manner as aforesaid, And I do hereby declare my will and meaning to be that the executors or adminis trators of my said husband Sir John Barnard shall have and enjoy the use and benefit of my said house in Stratford, called the New-Place, with the orchards, gardens, and all other the appur tenances thereto belonging, for and during the space of six months next after the decease of him the said Sir John Barnard. " Item, I give and devise unto my kinsman, Thomas Hart, the

« AnteriorContinuar »