Will of William Shakespeare

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Date: 1616 to 1616
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Surname/tag: shakespeare
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Shakespeare's will

Shakespeare's signature at the end of his will

English poet and playwright William Shakespeare left a will dated 25 March 1616 (14 James I). His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 22 June 1616.

His original will is held by the National Archives in its collection of wills of famous people: see PROB 1/4. A registered copy of the will is also among the records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury: see PROB 11/127/771. Digital images of both versions are available for free from the National Archives and Shakespeare Documented.

The text of his will is transcribed below. This transcript retains the original spelling, capitalisation and punctuation. Paragraph breaks have been added to improve readability.


Vicesimo quinto Die M[ar]tij Anno Regni D[omi]ni n[ost]ri Jacobi nunc R[egis] Anglie &c Decimo quarto & Scotia xlixo Anno D[omi]ni 1616

In the name of god amen I Willi[a]m Shackspeare of Stratford upon Avon in the countie of warr[wick] gent in p[er]fect health & memorie god by praysed Doe make & Ordayne this my last will & testam[ent] in mann[er] & forme followeing That ys to saye

ffirst I Comend my Soule into the hand[es] of god my Creator hoping & assuredlie beleeving through thonelie meritt[es] of Jesus Christe my Saviour to be made p[ar]taker of lyfe everlastinge And my bodye to the Earth whereof yt ys made

It[e]m I Gyve and bequeath unto my sonne in L Daughter Judyth One Hundred & ffyftie pound[es] of lawf[ull] English money to be paied unto her in mann[er] & forme followeing That ys to saye One Hundred Pound[es] in discharge of her marriage porcon wthin one yeare after my Deceas wth consideracon after the Rate of twoe shilling[es] in the pound for soe long tyme as the same shalbe unpaied unto her after my Deceas & the ffyftie pound[es] Residewe thereof upon her Surrendering of or gyving of such sufficient securitie as the overseers of this my Will shall like of to Surrender or gr[a]nnte All her estate & Right that shall Discend or come unto her after my Deceas or that shee nowe hath of in or to one Copiehold ten[eme]nte wth theapp[er]ten[a]nc[es] lyeing & being in Stratford upon Avon aforesaied in the saied countie of warr[wick] being p[ar]cell or holden of the mannor of Rowington unto my Daughter Susanna Hall & her heires for ever

It[e]m I Gyve & bequeath unto my saied Daughter Judyth One Hundred & ffyftie Pound[es] more if shee or Anie issue of her bodie be Lyvinge att thend of three Yeares next ensueing the Daie of the Date of this my Will During wch tyme my executors to paie her consideracon from my Deceas according to the Rate aforesaied And if she Dye wthin the saied terme wthout issue of her bodye then my Will ys & I Doe gyve & bequeath One Hundred Pound[es] thereof to my Neece Elizabeth Hall & the ffiftie Pound[es] to be sett fourth by my executors During the lief of my Sister Johane Harte & the use & proffitt thereof Cominge shalbe payed to my saied Sister Jone & after her Deceas the saied lli shall Remaine Amongst the children of my saied Sister Equallie to be Devided Amongst them But if my saied Daughter Judith be lyving att thend of the saied three yeares or anie yssue of her bodye the[n] my Will ys & soe I Devise & bequeath the saied Hundred & ffyftie Pound[es] to be sett out by my executors & overseers for the best benefit of her & her issue & [the stock] not [to be] paied unto her soe long as she shalbe marryed & Covert [Baron] by my executors & overseers but my will ys that she shall have the consideracon yearelie paied unto her during her lief & after her deceas the saied stock and consideron to bee paied to her children if she have Anie & if not to her executors or assignes she lyving the saied terme after my deceas Provided that if such husbond as she shall att thend of the saied three yeares be marryed unto or attaine after Doe sufficientlie Assure unto her & thissue of her bodie land[es] Awnswereable to the porcon by this my Will gyven unto her to be adiudged soe by my executors & overseers then my Will ys that the saied Clli shalbe paied to such husbond as shall make such assurance to his owne use

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath unto my saied sister Jone xxli & all my wearing Apparrell to be paied & Deliv'ed wthin one yeare after my decease And I doe Will & devise unto her the house wth thappurten[a]nc[es] in Stratford wherein she Dwelleth for her naturall lief un[der] the yearelie Rent of xiid

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath unto her three sonns Willi[a]m Harte [blank] Hart & Michaell Harte ffyve pound[es] A peece to be payed wthin one yeare after my deceas to be sett out for her wthin one yeare after my Deceas by my executors wth thadvise & direccons of my overseers for her best p[ro]ffitt untill her marriage & then the same wth the increase thereof to be paied unto her

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath unto her the saied Elizabeth Hall All my Plate (except my brod silver and gilt bole) that I now have att the Date of this my will

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath unto the Poore of Stratford aforesaied tenn pound[es] to Mr Thomas Combe my Sword to Thomas Russell Esquier ffyve pound[es] & to ffrauncis Collins of the Borough of warr[wick] in the countie of warr[wick] gent thirteene pound[es] Sixe shilling[es] & Eight pence to be paied wthin one yeare after my Deceas

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath to mr richard Tyler theldr Hamlett Sadler xxvls xiijd to buy him A Ringe; to Willi[a]m Raynoldes gent xxvjs viijd to buy him a Ringe to my godson Willm Walker xxss in gold to Anthonye Nashe gent xxvjs viijd to Mr John Nashe xxvjs [viijd] in gold & to my ffellowes John Hemyng[es] Richard Burbage & Henry Cundell xxvjs viijd A peece to buy them Ring[es]

It[e]m I Gyve Will bequeth & Devise unto my Daughter Susanna Hall for better enabling of her to p[er]forme this my will & toward[es] the p[er]formans thereof All that Capitall Messuage or ten[emen]te wth thapp[er]ten[a]nc[es] in Stratford aforesaied Called the newe place wherein I nowe Dwell & twoe messuags or ten[emen]tes wth thapp[ur]ten[a]nc[es] scituat lyeing & being in Henley streete wthin the borough of Stratford aforesaied And all my barnes stables Orchard[es] gardens land[es] ten[emen]t[es] & herediam[entes] whatsoever scituat lyeing & being or to be had Receyved p[er]ceyved or taken wthin the townes Hamlett[es] villag[es] ffield[es] & ground[es] of Stratford upon Avon Oldstratford Bushopton & welcombe or in anie of them in the saied countie of warr[wick] And alsoe All that Messuage or ten[emen]te wth thapp[ur]ten[a]nc[es] wherein one John Robinson Dwelleth scituat lyeing & being in the blackfriers in London nere the Wardrobe & all othr my land[es] ten[emen]t[es] & hereditam[en]t[es] whatsoever To have & to hold All & singular the saied p[re]miss[e]s wth their App[ur]ten[a]nc[es] unto the saied Susanna Hall for & During the terme of her naturall lief & after her Deceas to the first sonne of her bodie lawfullie yssueing & [to the] heires males of the bodie of the saied first Sonne lawfullie yssueinge & for defalt of such issue to the second Sonne of her bodie lawfullie issueinge & so to the heires males of the bodie of the saied Second Sonne lawfullie yssueinge & for defalt of such heires to the third Sonne of the bodie of the saied Susanna Lawfullie yssueing & of the heires males of the bodie of the saied third sonne lawfullie yssyeing And for defalt of such issue the same soe to be & Remaine to the ffourth sonne ffyfth sixte $ Seaventh sonnes of her bodie lawfullie issueing one after Anothr & to the heires Males of the bodies of the saied ffourth fyfth Sixte & Seaventh sonne[s] lawfullie yssueing in such mann[er] as yt ys before Lymitted to be & Remaine to the first second & third Sonns of her bodie & to their heires males And for defalt of such issue the saied P[re]miss[e]s to be & Remaine to my sayed Neece Hall & the heires males of her bodie Lawfu[llie] yssueing [&] for defa[lt of] such issue to my Daughter Judith & the heire[es] males of her bodie lawfullie issueinge And for Defalt of such issue to the Right heires of me the saied Will[ia]m Shackspere for ever

It[e]m I gyve unto my wiefe my second best bed wth the furniture

It[e]m I gyve & bequeath to my saied Daughter Judith my broad silver gilt bole

All the Rest of my good[es] Chattels Leases plate jewles & household stuffe whatsoev[er] after my Dett[es] and Legasies paied & my fu[nera]ll expences Discharged, I gyve Devise & bequeath to my Sonne in Lawe John Hall gent & my Daughter Susanna his wief whom I ordaine & make executors of this my Last will & testam[en]t

And I Doe intreat & Appoint the saied Thomas Russell Esquier & ffraunci[s] Collins gent to be [o]verseers hereof And Doe Revoke All form[er] wills & publishe this to be my last will & testam[en]t In witnes [whereof I have hereunto] put my Seale the Daie & Yeare first above Written

Witnes to the publishing hereof By me William Shakspeare
Fra: Collyns
Juilyus Shawe
John Robinson
Hamnet Sadler
Robert Whattcott

Probatum coram Magistro Williamo Byrde legum doctore Commissario etc xxijdo die mensis Junii Anno domini 1616 Juramento Jahannis Hall unius executorum etc Cui etc de bene etc Jurati Reservata potestate etc Sussane Hall alteri executorum etc cum venerit etc petitur

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