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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: November ::
Gilbert Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0552  Tuesday, 3 November 2009

[1] From:   William Sutton <
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     Date:   Friday, 30 Oct 2009 10:45:26 +0000 (GMT)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0545 Gilbert Shakespeare

[2] From:   Joseph Egert <
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     Date:   Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 12:14:05 -0700 (PDT)
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0536 Gilbert Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       William Sutton <
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Date:       Friday, 30 Oct 2009 10:45:26 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 20.0545 Gilbert Shakespeare
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0545 Gilbert Shakespeare

Dear Biographers,

Many thanks for your information. Dr Robert Bearman has replied to me 
off-list pointing me towards Mark Eccles book _Shakespeare in 
Warwickshire_, specifically p. 107-109.

In it he describes a new reference to Gilbert. It is in the records of 
the court of requests for the reign of James 1st and concerns a bill of 
complaint by Widow Bromley.

This order was issued on nov 21, 1609 by Sir Christopher Parkins:

"ffiat breve de P.S. directum Ricardo Mytton Petro uswell (read Ruswell) 
Roberto Wilson Georgio Heigham mariae Burnell et Gilberto Shackespeare 
Ad Comparendum Imediate Ad respondendum Johannae Bromley et hoc sub pena".

He adds, Widow Bromley's bill of complaint, may or may not be preserved 
at the Record Office. If it is found, it would explain the reason for 
the suit.

So the question still remains of how we know Gilbert was a haberdasher 
with a shop in St Bride's. Where is the source for this information?

This presumably comes from the 1597 Trinity term surety he gave together 
with Richard Johnson, shoemaker, also of St Bride's in Queen's bench for 
the Stratford clockmaker William Sampson. Is there a copy of said surety 
anywhere?

There appears to be no record of Gilbert from the Worshipful Company of 
Haberdashers that we can verify, yet.

That he was literate and helped his older brother Bill is referred to 
May 1st, 1602 in taking delivery of the deed to land in Old Stratford. 
He signed his name in a neat Italian hand, "Gilbart Shakesper", as 
witness on March 5th, 1609/10 to a lease of property in Bridge Street, 
Stratford.

Then his burial on February 3rd, 1611/12, of Gilbert Shakspeare, 
adolescens. Where the adolescens probably means he was single.

I re-read Dave Kathman's excellent essay on Shakespeare's Stratford 
friends online last night. 
(http://www.shakespeareauthorship.com/friends.html) To whit the 
tripartite group of Richard Quiney, Thomas Greene, and Thomas Russel. 
These three tie Shakespeare into the world of law and Court influence 
circumstantially I'll admit, but fascinating nonetheless.

Why isn't that material more well-known?, especially in reply to the 
various candidates for the topic that must not be named? Is antiquarian 
Edgar Fripp's work on Richard Quiney so irrelevant to Shakespeare's 
biography that I've rarely if ever heard it mentioned in the recent 
biographies?

On another note are there any reviews of Kate Emery Pogue's 2006 book 
Shakespeare's friends available?

What with Roland Emmerich's planned film on the big bore due to go into 
production, questions concerning Shakespeare's biography/authorship are 
going to be relevant to scholars. Your children, spouses and students 
will be voicing them.

In my opinion biography is the authorship problem and no matter which 
way we look at it, Shakespeare's biography is frustrating at every turn. 
Though I still believe in the man from Stratford above all other 
candidates.

If I had a million dollars at my disposal I would have a team of 
researchers going through the (let's face it) finite records of 
Jacobethan England in a myriad of directions turning up as much evidence 
as possible so that future biographers will have no doubt as to who 
Shakespeare was.

I hope Hardy this mail complies with the guidelines on no authorship 
discussions.

Yours,
Will
http://sonnet.iloveshakespeare.com

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Joseph Egert <
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Date:       Saturday, 31 Oct 2009 12:14:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 20.0536 Gilbert Shakespeare
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0536 Gilbert Shakespeare

William Sutton writes:

"I have recently been searching for the truth behind this idea that 
Shakespeare's brother Gilbert was a haberdasher.[...] But I am at a loss 
as to how biographers can claim with any certainty that he was a 
haberdasher (owning a shop with another man in St Bride's). 
Shakespeare's A to Z for example is but one of many.

I have stated it myself using the authority of repetition that Gilbert 
was a haberdasher and yet there seems to be no 'proof'.

Please can anyone provide something ocular and conclusive, one way or 
another?"

In brackets below I've excerpted a LONDON TIMES letter-to-the-Editor, 
germane to Mr Sutton's inquiry. It is by Leslie Hotson of Jordans, 
Beaconsfield, from p 13 of issue #45677 (issue date Nov 22, 1930):

[The next item relates to Gilbert, a younger brother of the dramatist. 
Halliwell-Phillipps said he had discovered Gilbert Shakespeare described 
as a London haberdasher, standing as one of the sureties for a Stratford 
clockmaker. He gave no reference, and Mrs. Stopes was unable to trace 
the entry. But she searched the books of the Haberdashers' Company, and, 
finding no Gilbert Shakespeare, but noting a Gilbert Shepheard, she 
suggested that Halliwell-Phillipps had made a mistake, and had read 
Shakespeare for Shepheard. I have run the entry down (K.B. 27/1345, 
Trin. 39 Eliz.) and vindicated Halliwell-Phillipps on the point. The 
principal is William Sampson  "de Stratford super Aven in Comitatu 
Warr', Clockmaker,"  and his two pledges are Richard Johnson  "de 
parochia sancte Brigitte, London', Shoemaker,"  and Gilbert Shackspere 
"de parochia sancte Brigitte predicte, haberdasher." Although the books 
of the Haberdashers' Company may fail to mention him, I am confident 
that we are dealing here with the brother of the dramatist."]

The above 'Queen's Bench' proceeding took place in 1597. The bail pledge 
was 19 pounds -- -the 'parochia sancte Brigitte' being the Parish of 
Saint Brides in London. THE SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTS, v.1, (1940) by B 
Roland Lewis (p 127f) expands the 'Public Records Office' citation to 
"MS K.B. 27/1345, Trinity Term, 39 Elizabeth".

Regards,
Joe Egert


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