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cyent arms of the said Arden' of Wellingcote; signifieng therby, that it maye and shalbe lawfull for the said John Skakspeare gent. to beare and use the same shield of arms, single or impaled, as aforsaid, during his natural lyffe; and that it shalbe lawfull for his children, yssue, and posteryte, (lawfully begotten,) to beare, use, and quarter, and show forth the same, with theyre dewe differences, in all lawfull warlyke facts and civile use or exercises, according to the laws of arms, and custome that to gentlemen belongethe, without let or interruption of any person or persons, for use or bearing the same. wyttnesse and testemonye whereof we have subscrebed our names, and fastened the seals of our offices, geven at the Office of Arms, London, the day of in the xlii yere of the reigne of our most gratious Sovraigne lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God, quene of Ingland, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. 1599.



and we have likewise-impaled the same with the auneyent arms of the said Arden -] It is said by Mr. Jacob, the modern editor of Arden of Feversham, (first published in 1592 and republished in 1631 and 1770) that Shakspeare descended by the female line from the gentleman whose unfortunate end is the subject of this tragedy. But the assertion appears to want support, the true name of the person who was murdered at Feversham being Ardern and not Arden. Ardern might be called Arden in the play for the sake of better sound, or might be corrupted in the Chronicle of Holinshed: yet it is unlikely that the true spelling should be overlooked among the Heralds, whose interest it is to recommend by ostentatious accuracy the trifles in which they deal. STEEVENS.

Ardern was the original name, but in Shakspeare's time it had been softened to Arden. See p. 58, n. 5. MALONE.

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A. D. 1612-13.

THE following is a transcript of a deed executed by our author three years before his death. The original deed, which was found in the year 1768, among the title deeds of the Rev. Mr. Fetherstonhaugh, of Oxted, in the county of Surry, is now in the possession of Mrs. Garrick, by whom it was obligingly transmitted to me through the hands of the Hon. Mr. Horace Walpole. Much has lately been said in various publications relative to the proper mode of spelling Shakspeare's name. It is hoped we shall hear no more idle babble upon this subject. He spelt his name himself as I have just now written it, without the middle e. Let this therefore for ever decide the question.

It should be remembered that to all ancient deeds were appended labels of parchment, which were inserted at the bottom of the deed; on the upper part of which labels thus rising above the rest of the parchment, the executing parties wrote their names. Shakspeare, not finding room for the whole of his name on the label, attempted to write the remaining letters at top, but having allowed himself only room enough to write the letter a, he gave the matter up. His hand-writing, of which a fac-simile is annexed, is much neater than many others, which I have seen, of that age. He neglected, however, to scrape the parchment, in consequence of which the letters appear imperfectly formed.

He purchased the estate here mortgaged, from

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