The Plays of William Shakspeare
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 404 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF SHAKSPEARE. W Illiam Shakspeaiie was born at Stratford-upon- Avon, in Warwickshire, on the 23d day of April, 1564. Of the rank of his family it is not easy to form an opinion. Mr. Rowe says, that according to the register and certain public writings relating to Stratford, his ancestors were of good figure and fashion in that town, and are mentioned as gentlemen; but the result of the late as well as early inquiries made by Mr. Malone is, that the epithet gentleman was first applied to the poet, and even to him at a late period of his life. Mr. Malone's inclination to elevate Shakspeare's family cannot be doubted, yet he is obliged to confess that, after thirty years' labour, he could find no evidence to support it. His father, John Shakspeare, according to Mr. Malone's conjecture, was born in or before the year 1530. John Shakspeare was not originally of Stratford, but, perhaps, says Mr. Malone, of Snitterfield, which is but three miles from Stratford. Hfe came to Stratford not very long after the year 1550. Former accounts have reported him to have been a considerable dealer in wool, but Mr. Malone has discovered that he was aglover; and, to add importance to this discovery ', he has given us a historical dissertation upon the state of the glove-trade in queen Elizabeth's time. But, notwithstanding the flourishing state of that trade in Stratford, and a conjecture, that John Shakspeare furnished his customers with leathern hose, aprons, belts, points, jerkins, pouches, wallets, satchels, and purses, Mr. Malone confesses, that from all this, the poet's father derived but a scanty maintenance. John Shakspeare had been, in 1568, an officer or bailiff (high-bailiff or mayor) of the body corporate of Stratford, and chief alderman in 1571. ...