Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 51.djvu/393

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the new building in 1759 (Halliwell-Phillipps, Hist. of New Place, 1864, fol.).

Of Shakespeare's three brothers, only one, Gilbert, seems to have survived him. Edmund, the youngest brother, ‘a player,’ was Shakespeare's brothers.buried at St. Saviour's Church, Southwark, ‘with a forenoone knell of the great bell,’ on 31 Dec. 1607; he was in his twenty-eighth year. Richard, John Shakespeare's third son, died at Stratford, in February 1613, aged 39. ‘Gilbert Shakespeare adolescens,’ who was buried at Stratford on 3 Feb. 1611–12, was doubtless son of the poet's next brother, Gilbert; the latter, having nearly completed his forty-sixth year, could scarcely be described as ‘adolescens;’ his death is not recorded, but according to Oldys he survived to a patriarchal age.

Much controversy has arisen over the spelling of the poet's surname. It has been proved capable of four thousand variations Spelling of the poet's surname.(Wise, Autograph of William Shakespeare … together with 4,000 ways of spelling the name, Philadelphia, 1869). The name of the poet's father is entered sixty-six times in the council books of Stratford, and is spelt in sixteen ways. The commonest form is ‘Shaxpeare.’ Five autographs of the poet of undisputed authenticity are extant: his signature to the indenture relating to the purchase of the property in Autograph signatures.Blackfriars, dated 10 March 1612–13 (since 1841 in the Guildhall Library); his signature to the mortgage deed relating to the same purchase, dated 11 March 1612–13 (since 1858 in the British Museum); and the three signatures on the three sheets of his will, dated 25 March 1615–16 (now at Somerset House). In all the signatures some of the letters are represented by recognised signs of abbreviation. The signature to the first document is ‘William Shakspere,’ though in all other portions of the deeds the name is spelt ‘Shakespeare.’ The signature to the second document has been interpreted both as Shakspere and Shakspeare. The ink of the first signature in the will has now faded almost beyond decipherment, but that it was ‘Shakspere’ may be inferred from the facsimile made by Steevens in 1776. The second and third signatures to the will, which are difficult to decipher, have been read both as Shakspere and Shakspeare; but a close examination suggests that, whatever the second signature may be, the third is ‘Shakespeare.’ Shakspere is the spelling of the alleged autograph in the British Museum copy of Florio's ‘Montaigne,’ but the genuineness of that signature is disputable (see art. Florio, John; and Madden's Observations on an Autograph of Shakspere, 1838). Shakespeare was the form adopted in the full signature appended to the dedicatory epistles of the ‘Venus and Adonis’ of 1593 and the ‘Lucrece’ of 1594, volumes which were produced under the poet's supervision. It is the spelling adopted on the title-pages of the majority of contemporary editions of his works, whether or not produced under his supervision. It is adopted in almost all the published references to the poet during the seventeenth century. It appears in the grant of arms in 1596, in the licence to the players of 1603, and in the text of all the legal documents relating to the poet's property. The poet, like most of his contemporaries, acknowledged no finality on the subject. According to the best authority, he spelt his surname in two ways when signing his will. There is consequently no good ground for abandoning the form which is sanctioned by legal and literary custom (cf. Halliwell-Phillips, New Lamps or Old, 1880; Malone, Inquiry, 1796).

Portraits and Memorials.

Aubrey reported that Shakespeare was ‘a handsome, well-shap't man.’ Only two extant portraits can be regarded as fully The Stratford bust.authenticated: the bust in Stratford church and the frontispiece to the folio of 1623. There is considerable discrepancy between the two; their main point of resemblance is the baldness on the top of the head. The bust, attributed to Gerard Johnson, is a rudely carved specimen of mortuary sculpture; the round face and eyes present a heavy, unintellectual expression, and it has no apparent claim to be regarded as an accurate likeness. It was originally coloured, but in 1793 Malone caused it to be whitewashed. In 1861 the whitewash was removed, and the colours, as far as traceable, restored. The eyes are hazel. There have been numberless reproductions, both engraved and photographic. It was first engraved—very imperfectly—for Rowe's edition in 1709; then by Vertue for Pope's edition of 1725; and by Gravelot for Hanmer's edition in 1744. A good engraving by William Ward appeared in 1816. A phototype and a chromo-phototype, issued by the New Shakspere Society, are the best reproductions for the purposes of study. The painting known as the ‘Stratford’ portrait, and The Stratford portrait.presented in 1867 by W. O. Hunt, town clerk of Stratford, to the Birthplace Museum, was probably painted from the bust in the