William Shakespeare buys New Place, May 1597

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Date:4th of May 1597

Description:In May 1597, William Shakespeare purchased New Place from William Underhill. This was reputedly the second largest house in Stratford, and stood on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane. It had been built by Hugh Clopton about a hundred years earlier.

Not all the documentation for this purchase has survived. This document, known technically as an exemplification of a fine, records a fictitious legal action the result of which was Shakespeare's successful acquisition of the property. This was enrolled in the records of the central courts and could be turned up should a dispute later arise, rather like registration today .

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust reference: ER 27/4

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Donor ref:ER 27/4a (18/10045)

Source: The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust - Records

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