THE SHAKESPEARE IDENTITY PROBLEM

CHAPTER 3: SIGNATURES (Part 3)


The next signature is on the Blackfriars conveyance, 1613. That's when WS bought a property in Blackfriars, London. Here's that one:

sig2

The 'William' is well written except for the capital W which has a big blot. It seems possible that after the big blot a clerk wrote in the rest of his first name for him. But he had to write his own last name.

The Capital 'S' is the first kind again, but the upswirl has closed it to the initial stroke.

The 'h' is the 5th variety

The 'a' appears to be the 5th or 6th variety, but the long down stroke does not have the proper direction for 5, or curve for 6. It's hard to accept it as an 'a' form.

The 'k ' is a long way off from nos. 3 or 4, but perhaps is 3 with an exaggerated loop.

The long 's' form is next, our 3rd.

The 'p' is either 2, 3, or 6 with a long tail up to the next letter.

Now we need an 'e'. Perhaps by some stretch of the imagination we can see our listed 5 or 7 'e' with an unlooped flourish at the end. And that's it.

What we have here is 'William Shakspe'

Now let's look at our third signature. This is on the Blackfriars mortgage, 1613:

sig3

The 'W' is the best so far, with an 'm' , as an abbreviation for 'William'.

The last name begins with the usual first version capital 'S', but differently formed from the previous two.

The 'h' is this time apparently version 1, with a blot at the end.

The 'a' is version 3, approximating a modern 'a'.

The 'k ' has two probable blots below it, one perhaps from the preceding 'a' .

The upper half only of the 'k ' appears complete.

Next there is the usual long form (3rd) 's'.

There is a 'p' but the loop is open at the side, not at the conventional lower end.

Then comes a distinguishable 'i' unexpected in 'speare' unless it's become 'spire'.

Above the final letter 'i' there appears to be a horizontal line with a blot in the middle. It (without the blot) is possibly the Elizabethan convention to indicate an abbreviated word.

This signature is translated as: 'Wm. Shakspi'

 


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