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NOTE ON THE FRONTISPIECE
‘Oldys reported that it was from the brush of Burbage, Shakespeare's fellow-actor, who had some reputation as a limner, and that it had belonged to Joseph Taylor, an actor contemporary with Shakespeare. These rumours are not corroborated; but there is no doubt that it was at one time the property of D'Avenant, and that it subsequently belonged successively to the actor Betterton and to Mrs. Barry the actress. In 1693 Sir Godfrey Kneller made a copy as a gift for Dryden. After Mrs. Barry's death in 1713 it was purchased for forty guineas by Robert Keck, a barrister of the Inner Temple. At length it reached the hands of one John Nichols, whose daughter married James Brydges, third Duke of Chandos. In due time the Duke became the owner of the picture, and it subsequently passed, through Chandos's daughter, to her husband, the first Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, whose son, the second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, sold it with the rest of his effects at Stowe in 1848, when it was purchased by the Earl of Ellesmere. The latter presented it to the nation.'
MR. SIDNEY LEE'S LIFE OF SHAKESPEARE.