Tuesday, October 18, 2011

William Shakespeare and Edward De Vere's Estates

No matter which side you take--William Shakespeare is "the" William Shakespeare or Edward De Vere is "the" William Shake-speare--it is of interest to look how their heirs inherited each of their estates.

The Stratfordian Shakespeare's Will

William Shakespeare of Stratford prepared a will before he died.

To his daughter Judith he willed:
- 100 pounds for a marriage portion and another 50 pounds if she renounced any claim to the Chapel Lane cottage.
- An additional 150 pounds if Judith lived another three years, but forbade her husband any claim to it unless he settled on her lands worth the 150 pounds.
- If Judith did not live another three years, the 150 pounds was to go to Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Hall.
- A silver bowl
To is sister, Joan Hart, he willed:
- 30 pounds
- Life estate with nominal rent in the Western of the two houses on Henley Street, which Shakespeare himself inherited from his father in 1601.
To Joan Hart's sons, his nephews, he willed:
-5 pounds to each of Joan's three sons.
To his granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall, he willed:
- All his silver plates, except the silver bowl left to Judith.
To the poor of Stratford he willed:
-10 pounds to the poor of Stratford.
To his friends he willed:
- His sword and various small bequests to local friends.
- Memorial ring to be bought for his lifelong friend Hamnet Sadler
- Memorial rings to be bought for John Hemynges, Richard Burbage, and Henry Cundell
To his wife, Anne, he willed:
- His "second best bed."
To his daughter, Susanna and Son-in-Law, John Hall, he willed
- "All the Rest of my Goods, Chattels, Leases, Plate, Jewels & Household stuff whatsoever after my debts and Legacies paid & my funeral expenses discarded."

Oxfordian Shake-speare's Estate

Edward De Vere was the 17th Earl of Oxford. He inherited the Oxford estate when his father died. Titled property usually was inherited by the oldest son in a nobleman's family. Edward De Vere had only one living son, Henry, from his second wife, Elizabeth.

Edward did sell some of his estate during his life, and established a trust fund for his three living daughters from his first wife, Anne. His three daughters, Elizabeth, Bridget, and Susan all married men of title as well.

The remaining estate went to his second wife, Elizabeth, and his son, Henry, who became the 18th Earl of Oxford.

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