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Shakespeare: Surviving Documents, Artifacts

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Jocelyn Jansen

on 8 November 2012

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Transcript of Shakespeare: Surviving Documents, Artifacts

Shakespeare: Surviving Documents,
Artifacts, and Archives Shakespeare's Gallery The First Folio Background of Artifacts Surviving Artifacts Baptismal Record Continued Marriage Certificate Shakespeare's Summons Baptismal Register His Will Coat Of Arms
Application Burial Records Burial Records of Hamnet Shakespeare Missing Facts Cont'd Missing Facts Cont'd His Signatures Missing Facts Controversy revolving around Shakespeare's authenticity
Artifacts are vital in proving either side of the argument
There are many in favour of the authenticity of his work, outweighing those that do not Where are the Artifacts? Most artifacts and documents are found in official records offices in London, England
The British Museum has a Shakespeare exhibit displaying a number of artifacts John Boydell independently financed an entire gallery in 1786 devoted to Shakespeare and his work Importance of Gallery It is documents and records that provide us with the most accurate history
The few surviving artifacts also provide us interesting stories
i.e Gold Signet Ring Artifacts Original collection of a number of Shakespeare's work's Surviving Documents Baptismal Register Stratford`s earliest parish register
Dates from 1558 – 1776
This register contains the baptism and burial entries for William Shakespeare and his family.
Image is not the very original register First documentary evidence of Shakespeare’s existence
Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church
1564 - 4 – 26
“Guliemus filius Johannes Shakspere”
“William son of John Shakspere” April 26, 1564 1596 – court record
William Wayte petitioned for sureties of the peace against William Shakespeare and three others
“ob metum mortis”
Waite was in fear that he was in danger of death or bodily harm
Accused had to pay a bond and made to keep peace
Failure to do so would result in forfeit of the bond Marriage License Record and Bond November 27, 1582
Marriage license record found in the Bishop of Worcester’s Register
Permission for wm Shaxpere to marry Anna Whately, in Temple Grafton, Warwickshire
November 28, 1582
Marriage license bond
William Shagspere and Anne Hathwey Marriage License Record Marriage License Bond Documents Continued... The application for the Shakespeare family’s coat of arms, resides in the “College of Arms” in London, England.Handwritten by William himself, doing so for his father. “Non Sanz Droict”, can be translated to “Not without right”. In the Burial Records of Stratford, Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, is listed on August 11th, 1596.Listed as Hamnet filius William Shakespeare, he was 11 years old, and the cause of his death is unknown. Drawn up just one month before his death, dated March 25, 1616,
The will still remains in the Public Records Office The Burial was recorded in the Stratford Parish Register on April 25, 1616.
Tombstone reads:Good friend, for Jesus' sake forebeareTo digg the dust enclosed heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones Curtain Theatre Remains Unearthed in East London.Where both “Henry V” and “Romeo and Juliet were first performed. Contradictory Evidence There is no record of his birth, but the baptism was recorded by the church, therefore his birth is assumed to be April the 23rd. Birth Record 1564-4-26: Baptismal record. An entry in the Stratford Parish baptismal register reads, "Guliemus filius Johannes Shakspere"; that is, "William son of John Shakspere" (Stratford Parish Register of Holy Trinity Church, f. 5). No factual proof he received formal schooling
•No proof that he went to university
•There have been no letters written by him
One letter by Richard Quiney was recovered, but it was never sent. Quiney's Letter To Shakespeare "To my Loveinge good ffrend & contreymann mr wm Shackespre" who "shall ffrende me muche in helpeing me out of all the debettes I owe in London I thancke god & muche quiet my mynde which wolde nott be indebeted" (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office, MS. ER 27/4). This letter is the only one ever found addressed to William Shakspere.  •No evidence of William Shakespeare buying, selling, borrowing or possessing any books

•His daughters did not receive any formal education

•No mention of books in his will.
•There are no records of Shakespeare being paid for his plays and the production of them.
•Shakespeare was recorded as a member of the Lord Chamberlain's men in February of 1599, but he had been a member since December of 1594
•No tributes, elegies, written when he died Discussion Questions Sources:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Chambers, E.K. William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems. 1st ed. 2. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1966. 18 - 20. Print.




Dash, Mike. "William Shakespeare, Gangster. "Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution , 7 2011. Web. 28 Oct 2012.



Dawkins, Peter. The Shakespeare Enigma. N.p.: n.p., 2004. Print.


De Grazid, Margreta, and Stanley Vells. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print. Dupuy, Paul. "William Shakespere of Stratford." HiWAAY Information Services. HiWAAY Internet Services, n.d. Web. 28 Oct 2012.



Halliwell-Phillips, James O. Outline of the Life of Shakespeare. Vol. 1. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


Hoston, Leslie. Shakespeare Versus Shallow. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2003. 1 - 412. Print.




Kennedy, Maev. "Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre Unearthed in East London." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 05 June 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2012. Lambert, D. H. Shakespeare Documents. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1904. 1 Apr. 2008. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.


Nikkhah, Roya. "Shakespeare's Inspirations Go on Show at British Museum." The Telegraph. N.p., 24 June 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.

Schoenbaum, Samuel. William Shakespeare: A Compact Documentary Life. 2nd ed. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1987. 100 - 146. Print.



"Shakespeare Birthplace Trust." Windows on Warwickshire. Warwickshire Country Council, n.d. Web. 22 Oct 2012. "Shakespeare Gallery." The Times Digital Archive. Gale, n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.


Stewart, Doug. "To Be or Not to Be Shakespeare." Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Magazine, Sept. 2006. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.



Wood, Michael. "In Search of Shakespeare." PBS. Maya Vision International, n.d. Web. 20 Oct 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/evidence/>. Jocelyn, Dan, Erica,
Jasmeet, Feroze

Do you think the surviving artifacts and documents are enough to dispel any controversy about his works and legitimacy?

Should the lack of records, important documentation, and even Shakespeare's education contribute to the controversy of his authorship, or just be considered a sign of the times? Conclusion Based on artifacts and surviving documents, especially considering the times, we can gather that the controversies were drawn upon without any hard evidence. The lack of documentation is likely due to a sign of the times and lack of technology rather than non-existence. The recovery of artifacts such as Shakespeare's Folio were discovered after his death so it is possible his fame did not occur until after then. This may also have led to the lack of documentation, as he was seen as little more than an average man throughout his life. * E.K. Chambers was an English literary critic and Shakespearean scholar. He has a four-volume history of Elizabethan theater which is a primary resource for scholars who study the drama from this time period. His book William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems is considered a scholarly source. It covers the whole field of Shakespeare criticism so I would definitely recommend this source for further Shakespeare research. *This is source is from a blog. It is not from an academic source but the author of the blog post obtained his information from Leslie Hoston’s book Shakespeare Versus Shallow which is an academic source. In sum, I would not recommend utilizing this author’s work for further research. * This is a source that obtained all its information from scholarly sources and contains many of Shakespeare’s legitimate documents. I would use this source as a basis for information and then further my research by looking at the academic sources the author utilized on his webpage. * This author is a Canadian scholar who obtained his B.A., MA and PhD at Harvard University. He is known for his archival research and interest in coded information, such as surrounding Shakespeare and his life. His work is disputed by some scholars but is a good basis for information regarding Shakespeare. Shakespeare Versus Shallow contains reproductions of Elizabethan documents such as Shakespeare’s summon to court in 1596. * Schoenbaum was the Distinguished Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Maryland until 1993, the president of the Shakespeare Association of America, and the vice president of the International Shakespeare Association. His documentary on Shakespeare is very well researched and collects a variety of available evidence regarding Shakespeare. The author tells Shakespeare’s story through evidence that has been discovered. I would recommend this book for further research. This source was very helpful towards the evidence aspect of our presentation. It was a jump off point and led us to many other useful sources. This source was not very helpful because all the information was scattered and out of order. We did not utilize this source as much This source was quite informative but in more of a generalization of information. The author did not go into details about all aspects but instead presented Shakespeare’s life with more general information which is commonly known. This source was useful in allowing us to see the prevalence of Shakespeare artifacts in today's society, and that they are still accessible This source was very interesting, it contained an archives of Newspapers from "The Times" advertising the opening of Shakespeare's Gallery, as well as other various occasions such as the 100th year anniversary of his death. This source was used just as background information on the presence of a Shakespeare exhibit currently at the Smithsonian museum. It is not of great significance This book is a wonderful source and included images and descriptions of each of Shakespeare's surviving documents. It included original covers of his plays among other documents. This source provides a different, and not necessarily scholarly source, but an effective one nonetheless. Michael Wood takes an in depth look at Shakespeare's history throughout a variety of stories and artifacts through the form of a documentary. Over four hours in length, it provides endless amounts of information, and the proof to back up all claims. Definitely a recommended source for future research of Shakespeare's history. This news article does not exactly provide historical information, but it depicts the recent unearthing of Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre in East London. It is not necessarily a recommended source for research purposes, but it interestingly sheds light on the possibilities of more artifacts pertaining to the history of Shakespeare being found in the very near future. This website of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust provides a great source for the information and history behind many of his surviving artifacts and documents. Including the likes of his first folio, this source is home to some of the most necessary pieces to Shakespeare research. This is definitely a recommended source for any research referencing such artifacts.
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