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This is what I could learn of any note, either
pose 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 Barnard died at Abington, and was buried there, on March the 5th, 1673-4. On his tomb-stone, in the chancel of the church is the following infcription :
Hic jacent exuviæ generosissimi viri Johannis Barnard, militis : patre, avo, abavo, tritavo, aliisque progenitoribus per ducentos amplius annos kujus oppidi de Abingdon dominis, inhgnis : qui fato cefsit unde. Septuagesimo ætatis fuæ anno, quinto nonas Martii, anno que a partu B. Virginis, MDCLXXIII.
Şir 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 furviving 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 iflue. I know not whether any descendant of these be now living : but if that should be the case, among their papers may poffibly 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 defcendant of our poet, extracted from the Registry of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury:
In the name of God, Amen. I Dame Elizabeth Barnard, wife of Sir John Barnard of Abington in the County of Northampton, knight, being in perfect memory, (bleffed 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
hand and seal, dated on or about the eighteenth day of April 1653, according to a power therein mentioned, I the faid Elizabeth have limited and disposed of all that my messuage with the appurtenances in Stratford-upon-Avon, in the county of Warwick, called the New-Place, and all that four-yard land and
relating to himself or family: the character of the man is best seen in his writings. But since Ben
half in Stratford-Welcombe and Bishopton in the county of Warwick, (after the decease of the said Sir John Barnard, and me the said Elizabeth, ) unto Henry Smith of Stratford aforesaid, Gent, and Job Dighton of the Middle-Temple, London, Esq. fince deceased, and their heirs ; upon trust that they, and the survivor, and the heirs of such furvivor, 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 or persons, and in fuch manner as I the faid Elizabeth' fhould 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 faid 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 fale 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 hím: and the monies to be raised by fuch fale i do give, dispose of, and appoint the fame to be paid and distributed, as is herein after expressed; that is to say, to my brother Thomas Welles of Carleton, in the county of Bedford, Gent. the fum of fifty pounds, to be paid him within one year next after such sale: and if the said Thomas Welles shall happen to die before such time as his said legacy shall become due to him, then
defire is, that my kinsman Edward Bagley, citizen of London, shall have the fole 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 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, af
Jonson has made a sort of an essay towards it in his Discoveries, I will give it in his words:
ter the decease of the survivor of the faid Sir John Barnard and me the said Elizabeth, if the said premites can be fo foon fold; or otherwise so soon as the same can be fold: and if the faid Judith fhall 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 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 likewife 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 foon fold, or otherwise fo foon as the fame can be fold; 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 fame unto Edward Kent the
younger, her son, to be paid unto him when he shall attain the age of one-and-twenty years.
Item, I do also give and appoint unto him the faid Edward Kent, son of the said Joan, the fum 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 faid kinsman Thomas Hathaway, the sum of forty pounds apiece, to be paid unto every of them at fuch time and in such manner as the said fifty pounds before appointed to the said Joan Kent, their fifter, shall become payable.
Item, All the rest of the monies that shall be raised by such fale as aforesaid, I give and dispose of unto my faid kinsman Edward Bagley, except five pounds only, which I give and appoint to my faid trustee Henry Smith for his pains; and if the faid Edward Nash shall refuse the purchase of the faid messuage and four-yard land and a half with the appurtenances, then my will and defire is, that the faid Henry Smith or his heirs shall fell the inheritance of the said premises and every part thereof unto the faid Edward Bagley, and that he shall purchase the fame; upon this condition, navertheless, 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 and administrators of my said husband Sir John Barnard shall have and enjoy the use and benefit of my faid house in Stratford, called the NewPlace, with the orchards, gardens, and all other the appurtenances thereto belonging, for and during the space of lix months next after the decease of him the faid Sir John Barnard.
Item, I give and devise unto my kinsman Thomas Hart, the fon of Thomas Hart, late of Stratford-upon-Avon aforefaid, all that my other mesfuage or inn situate in Stratford-uponAvon aforesaid, commonly called the Maidenhead, with the appurtenances, and the next house thareunto adjoining, with the barn belonging to the fame, now or late in the occupation of Michael Johnson or his afligns, with all and singular the appurtenances;. to hold to him the said Thomas Hart the fon, and the heirs of his body; and for default of such issue, I give and devise the same to George Hart, brother of the said Thomas Hart, and to the heirs of his body; and for default of such issue to the right heirs of me the said Elizabeth Barnard for ever.
Item, I do make, ordain and appoint my said loving kinsman Edward Bagley fole executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills; desiring him to see a just performance hereof, according to my true intent and meaning. In witness whereof I the said Elizabeth Barnard have hereunto set my hand and feal, the nineand-twentieth day of January, Anno Domini, one thousand fix hundred and sixty-nine.
ELIZABETH BARNARD. Signed, sealed, published, and declared, to be the last will and testament of the said Elizabeth Barnard, in the presence of
John Howes, Rector de Abington.
Francis Wickes. Probatum fuit teftamentum fuprafcriptum apud ædes Exonienses situat. in le Strand, in comitatu Middx. quarto die mensis Martij, 1669, coram venerabili viro Domino Egidio Sweete, milite dos legum do&ore, surrogato, &c. juramento Edwardi Bagley, unici srecutor. nominat, cui, 66. do bene, &c. jurat.
." I remember the players have often nientioned " it as an honour to Shakspeare, that in writing
( whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, Would he had blotted a thousand! which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told pofterity this, but for
---that in writing ( whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. ] This is not true. They only say in their preface to his plays, that
o his mind and hand went together, and what he thought, he uttered with that easinefs, that we have scarce received from him a. blot in his papers.' On this Mr. Pope observes, that "there never was a more groundless report, or to the contrary, of which there are more undeniable evidences. As, the comedy of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which he entirely new, writ; The History of Henry thie Sixth, which was first published under the title of The Contention of York and Lancalter ; and that of Henry V. extremely improved; that of Hamlet enlarged to almost as much again as at first, and many others.
Surely this is a very strange kind of argument. In the first place this was not a report, (unless by thạt word we are to understand relation, but a positive affertion, grounded on the best evidence that the nature of the subject admitted ; namely, ocular proof. The players say, in fubstance, that Shakspeare had fuch a happiness of expression, that, as they collect from his papers, he had seldom occafion to alter the first words he fet down; in confequence of which they found scarce a blot in his writings. And how is this refuted by Mr. Pope ? By telling us, that a great many of his plays were enlarged by their author. Allowing this to be true, which is by no means certain, if he had written twenty plays, cach consisting of one thousand lines, and afterwards added to each of them a thousand more, would it therefore follow, that he had not written the first thoufand with facility and correctness, or that those must have been necessarily expunged, because new matter was added to them, ? Certainly not. But the truth is, it is by no means clear that our author did enlarge all the plays mentioned by Mr. Pope, if even that would prove the point intended to be established. Mr. Pope was evidently deceived by the quarto