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Page from Annotated Copy of Hall's Chronicle

 

 

 

One of the most significant discoveries in Shakespeare studies was made by Alan Keen on 22 June 1940 when he came across a copy of Hall’s Chronicle (1550) containing numerous handwritten annotations which correspond closely to the early history play, The Famous Victories Of Henry The Fifth, as demonstrated by Keen in 1954 in The Annotator, and by Seymour Pitcher in 1961 in The Case For Shakespeare’s Authorship Of The Famous Victories. For the annotations, see pp. 1-22, 23-46, 47-69, and 70-93.

Among the annotations is the name 'Edward', once written (see image below), and once pricked out with a pin.

Surviving copies of Oxford’s correspondence are in an italic hand. However, features of the secretary hand in Hall’s Chronicle strongly resemble Oxford’s italic hand, and it seems likely that a comparison of the two hands by handwriting experts would demonstrate that Oxford wrote the annotations in Keen’s copy of Hall’s Chronicle.

Alan Keen left the annotated Hall's Chronicle to Tudor Players (Rufford) Ltd., incorporated as company number 00489559 in the 1950s and dissolved 17 May 1973. After Keen's death, three trustees placed the annotated Hall’s Chronicle on loan with the British Library, where for many decades it was catalogued in the Manuscripts Reading Room as Loan 61. In 2007 it was withdrawn from the British Library and placed at Lancaster University. It was withdrawn from Lancaster University in 2010, and since then has been in the possession of Lord Hesketh as trustee for Tudor Players (Rufford). A microfilm copy (Micro. 146176) is available at the British Library.

A modern spelling version of the annotations and a detailed discussion of the provenance of Alan Keen’s copy of Hall’s Chronicle are available in issues 32, 33, 34, 39 and 56 of the Edward De Vere Newsletter on this website.

Below are images of the name 'Edward' and of the signatures of Sir Richard Newport in the annotated Hall's Chronicle, as well as transcripts of the wills of Sir Richard Newport and others, and a pedigree chart showing the relationships between the Newport, Corbet, Bromley, Trentham and Sneyd families and the Earls of Oxford.

DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE ANNOTATED COPY OF HALL'S CHRONICLE

IMAGES

Annotated Hall's Chronicle, f. 13v

The name 'Edward' written in the annotated copy of Hall's Chronicle. Compare with the handwriting of BL Lansdowne 6/25, f. 79, written when Oxford was thirteen years of age

Annotated Hall's Chronicle, f. 32r

Signature of Sir Richard Newport in the annotated copy of Hall's Chronicle

Annotated Hall's Chronicle, f. 14r

Signature of Sir Richard Newport in the annotated copy of Hall's Chronicle

Annotated Hall's Chronicle, f. 114r

Initials of Sir Richard Newport and the date '6 April 1565' in the annotated copy of Hall's Chronicle

1509

TNA PROB 11/17/471

Last will and testament, dated 23 April 1509, of Sir Robert Corbet, father-in-law of Thomas Newport, whose son, Sir Richard Newport, was the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1512

TNA PROB 11/18/166

Last will and testament, dated 14 September 1512, of John Newport, grandfather of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1538

TNA PROB 11/27/408

Last will and testament, dated 27 November 1538, of Roger Corbet, uncle of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1548

TNA PROB 11/34/176

Last will and testament, dated 24 July 1548, of Thomas Newport, father of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1550

TNA PROB 11/34/443

Last will and testament, dated 22 September 1550, of Anne (nee Windsor) Corbet, aunt of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1558

TNA C 1/1485/58

Bill of complaint stating that the wardship of Roger Corbet, whose sister Joanna Corbet was the mother of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare, was sold by the executors of the 13th Earl of Oxford

TNA PROB 11/43/258

Last will and testament, dated 18 December 1558, of George Newport, first cousin of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1559

TNA PROB 11/42B/459

Last will and testament, dated 23 March 1559, of William Newport, uncle of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

TNA PROB 11/42B/695

Last will and testament, dated 8 November 1559, of Thomas Newport, whose father was a first cousin of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1561

TNA PROB 11/46/40

Last will and testament, dated 28 May 1561, of Thomas Lee, who names as his trustee Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1564

TNA PROB 11/48, f. 408

Last will and testament, dated 5 October 1564 of Richard Corbet, uncle of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1565

TNA PROB 11/48, ff. 249-50

Last will and testament, dated 28 May 1565, of Richard Newport, first cousin of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

TNA PROB 11/49/18

Last will and testament, dated 26 August 1565, of Reginald Corbet, uncle of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1570

TNA PROB 11/53/456

Last will and testament, dated 11 September 1570, of Sir Richard Newport, uncle of Humphrey Martyn, addressee of the Langham Letter, and the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1571

TNA PROB 11/54/430

Last will and testament, dated 12 May [1571], of William Sneyd, maternal grandfather of Oxford's second wife, Elizabeth Trentham, whose eldest son, Ralph Sneyd, married the daughter of Sir Richard Newport, owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle thought to contain annotations by Shakespeare

1583

TNA PROB 11/66/4

Last will and testament, dated 24 May 1583, of Walter Corbet, first cousin of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare

1593

TNA PROB 11/93/149

Last will and testament, dated 20 March 1593, of Margaret Bromley Newport, wife of Sir Richard Newport, the owner of a copy of Hall's Chronicle, formerly Loan 61 in the British Library, now in the hands of a trustee, Lord Hesketh, containing annotations thought to be by Shakespeare