Shakespeare’s Will back in Stratford

This summer William Shakespeare’s Last will and Testament, will go on display in Stratford-upon-Avon for the first time since Dr. John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law took the will to London in June 1616 to get a grant of probate. By the 19th century, the will, leaving money for his actor friends to buy mourning rings to remember him by, and the notorious bequest to “my wife my second best bed with the furniture”, was so famous that tourists paid the hefty fee of a shilling to see it at Somerset House, then the home of the records of births, marriages and deaths. It has now returned, with other precious documents relating to Shakespeare’s life and work, from the present home of the National Archives at Kew. When the display is over it must go into storage in the dark for 20 years to preserve it for the future.

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