Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shakespeare's Dad's Business

I think most of us know, at least superficially, the story with Shakespeare's dad. He was a successful businessman and local politician, until something happened that brought it all tumbling down. He even stopped going to church, possibly for fear of being held accountable for his debts? I've forgotten the details, but I"m sure I've read the gist of the story in many biographies. Probably involved in wool-dealing (a crime at the time?) and usury (lending of money with interest).

Well, here's a page that breaks down his "crimes" in pretty spectacular detail. His business partners, his court appearances, all broken out and explained. Amounts, and what they meant ("21pounds for 21 tods of wool?"). Additionally there's details about exactly what John Shakespeare's crimes were, and which things were technically illegal but still done on a wide scale (such as loans with interest).

Lots of data here for somebody who's interested in the subject and may not have already had it. Looks to be from a paper published in 2009, so if you're on top of things it may be old news. But everything is carefully footnoted so if you're in a research mood, you could have a field day with this one.

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