Treasures of London – Shakespeare’s Blackfriars deed…

Exploring London

Shakespeare's-DeedIn 1613, the playwright William Shakespeare – now widely regarded as the greatest writer of the English language – purchased a property in Blackfriars.

The only real estate he was to buy in London, the purchase of the gatehouse – which may have stood on the junction of St Andrew’s Hill and Ireland Yard – was apparently made as an investment (Shakespeare never lived there).

The deed which recorded the sale (dated 10th March, 1613) – only one of six documents in the entire world which bears Shakespeare’s authenticated signature – is in the care of the London Metropolitan Archives.

According to the deed, he bought the property from Henry Walker, a minstrel, paying £140 for the property (he mortgaged £60 of it the next day – the document for this is located in the British Library).

Other parties mentioned on the document are William Johnson, a London-based vintner and possibly…

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