A Life of William Shakespeare

By Joseph Quincy Adams | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XXVI
DESCENDANTS

AFTER the death of Shakespeare, his daughter Susanna and her husband moved to New Place, and thus provided a suitable home for the aging widow. Through the acquisition of the poet's wealth, Hall at once assumed a new importance in the social order of Stratford, and his fame as a practitioner rapidly spread in fashionable circles. About the same time Judith and her husband moved into a dwelling known as The Cage.1 Here in November a son was born to them, whom they christened "Shakespeare" in honor of his illustrious grandfather, and, we may suspect, not without hope that he might inherit the dramatist's estates left in entail to the eldest male line. With the marriage portion derived from his wife, Quiney set up an ale-house for the dispensing of liquors and tobacco, and became a person of some mark in the village. The following year he was elected to the Town Council, and also appointed one of the Chamberlains of the Corporation.

On August 6, 1623, Shakespeare's widow died at New Place, aged sixty-seven. According to the clerk whom Dowdall interviewed, she "did earnestly desire to be laid in the same tomb" with her husband, but the sextons, in view of the warning verses, dared not open his grave. Her desire, however, was followed as nearly as possible, and she was placed next to the dramatist. On a brass plate affixed to the slab over her body there was inscribed a tribute of affection, composed, it seems, by her daughter Susanna, and turned into Latin by Mr. Hall:

____________________
1
They secured the lease of this house in the summer of 1616. The building, now modernized, is still to be seen in Stratford.

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