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The following Instrument was transmitted to us by John Anstis
, Esq; Garter King at Arms : It is mark’d, G. 13. p. 349.
[There is also a Manuscript in the Heralds
Office, mark'd W. 2. p; 276; where notice is taken of this Coat, and that the Person to whom it was granted, had born Magistracy at Stratford upon Avon.]
O all and singular Noble and Gentlemen of all
Estates and Degrees, bearing Arms, to whom these Presents shall come; William Dethick, Garter Principal King of Arms of England, and William Camden, alias Clarencieulx, King of Arms for the South, East, and West Parts of this Realm, fend Greetings. Know ye, that in all Nations and King: doms the Record and Remembrance of the valiant Facts and virtuous Dispositions of worthy Men have been made known and divulged by certain Shields of Arms and tokens of Chivalrie; the Grant or Testimony whereof apperteineth unto us, by virtue of our offices from the Queen's moft Excellent Majesty, and her Highness's most noble and victorious Progenitors: Wherefore being follicited, and by credible Report informed, that John Shakespere, now of Stratford upon Avon in the County of Warwick, Gentleman, whore Great Grandfather for his faithful and approved Service to the late most prudent Prince, King Henry VII. of famous Memory, was advanced and rewarded with Lands and Tenements, given to him in those Parts of Warwickshire, where they have continued by fome Descents in good Reputation and Credit ; And for that the faid John Shakespere having married the Daughter and one of the Heirs of Robert Arden of VOL. I.
Wellingcote Wellingcote in the said County, and also produced this his ancient Coat of Arms, heretofore ailigned to him whilst he was her Majesty's Officer and Bailiff of that Town. In consideration of the Premises, and for the Encouragement of his Pofterity, unto whom such Blazon of Arms and Atchievements of Inheritance from their faid Mother, by the ancient Custom and Laws of Arms, may lawfully descend ; We the said Garter and Clarencieulx have assigned, granted, and confirmed, and by these Presents
exemplified unto the said John Shakespere, and to his Posterity, that Shield and Coat of Arms, viz. In a Field of Gold upon a Bend Sables a Spear of the first, the Point upward, headed Argent; and for his Crest or Cognisance, A Falcon, Or, with his Wings displayed, standing on a Wreathe of his Colours, supporting a Spear armed headed, or Jieeled Silver, fixed upon an Helmet with Mantles and Taffels, as more plainly may appear depicted in this Margent; And we have likewise impaled the same with the ancient Arms of the said Arden of Wellingcote; fignifying thereby, that it may and shall be lawful for the said John Shakespere, Gent. to bear and use the same Shield of Arms, single or impaled, as aforesaid, during his natural Life, and that it shall be lawful for his Children, Issue, and Posterity, lawfully begotten, to bear, use, and quarter, and Thew forth the same, with their due Differences, in all lawful warlike Feats and civil Use or Exercises, according to the Laws of Arms, and Custom that to Gentlemen belongeth, without Let or Interruption of any Person or Persons, for use or bearing the fame. In Witness and Testimony whereof we have subscribed our Names, and fastned the Seals of our Offices. Given at the Office of Arms, London, the
in the Forty second Year of the Reign of our most Gracious Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. 1599.
MEMORY of my beloved the AUTHOR,
Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR,
And what he hath left us.
Am I thus ample to thy Book, and Fame: While I confess thy writings to be such, As neither Man, nor Mufe can praise too much. 'Tis true, and all mens suffrage. But these wayes Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise : For seeliest Ignorance on these may light, Which, when it sounds at best, but ecchoes right; Or blind Affection, which doth ne'er advance The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ; Or crafty Malice might pretend this praise, And think to ruine, where it seem'd to raise. These are, as some infamous Baud, or Whore, Should praise a Matron. What could hurt her more? Bút thou art proof against them, and indeed Above th’ill fortune of them, or the need. I therefore will begin, Soul of the Age! The applause! delight! the wonder of our Stage! My Shakespear rise ; I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lye A little further, to make thee a room : Thou art a Monument without a Tomb, And art alive ftill, while thy Book doth live, And we have wits to read, and praise to give. That I not mix thee fo, my brain excuses ; I mean with great, but disproportion'd Muses: For if I thought my judgment were of years, I should commit thee surely with thy Peers, d 2
And tell how far thou didst our Lily out-sine,
for the comparison
And joy'd to wear the dresing of bis Lines!
Of Shakespear's mind and manners brightly joines