Anne Hathaway’s Pt 1

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – Part One
 
 
 
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We drove to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage from our digs, plan, to leave the car and use the Hop On Hop Off bus to see the important houses in town.
 
 
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Roses around the coach park. Walking toward the entrance and flower beds. 
 
 
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We entered through the shop (left) and headed through the garden.
 
 
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Lovely roses and colourful deckchairs........
 
 
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.............with the Bard’s quotes on them.
 
 
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The veg plot and information.
 
 
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Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, gorgeous in the sunshine.
 
 
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Gardeners were busy in the side garden, pity that thatches have to be covered in chicken wire nowadays, still immaculate-looking though and our first room where a guide told us the history of the house(s).
 
 
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On the walls were these watercolours of the house before and after being extended.
 
 
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We had to step through the first room, out and along to the far end, to enter the original house, with its original flooring and some of the furniture.
 
Taken from the Shakespeare Trust Website: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage was originally a farmhouse. It was built in 1463 of cruck construction, when the building would have comprised of just three rooms. The kitchen and parlour still remain from the original medieval construction. The first Hathaway to live in the cottage was Anne’s grandfather John Hathaway, who was a tenant sheep farmer. Anne, later Shakespeare’s wife, was born in the cottage in 1556.

When the site was a farm it was known as ‘Hewlands’ and the Hathaway family were very successful sheep farmers. The garden would have been a farmyard with some livestock and likely a herb garden.

After the death of Anne’s father in 1581, Anne’s brother Bartholomew inherited the tenancy of the 90-acre farm and later bought it freehold. He went on to make various improvements to the cottage including an extension. The first floor was inserted and the chimneys added at the same time. This work was completed before the death of Bartholomew in 1624. (We think our earliest experience of an extension)

By the late 1800s, the family’s fortunes were on the wane; some property including land and houses were mortgaged and eventually sold. In 1838, the cottage itself was sold and the remaining Hathaway family continued to live in the cottage as tenants.

One of the last Hathaways to live in the cottage was Mary Baker. When the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust purchased the cottage in 1892 from the then landlord, Mary and her family were paid the large wage of £75 per year. Their duties were to share family stories and to care for the cottage, both of which we continue to do today. Her son William Baker still occupied part of the cottage until he left in 1911. 

 

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Taken from a Building History Website: A cruck frame is one where the structure of the building depends on two or more 'A-frames' which go from the top of the building down to the ground.  These frames are usually constructed of curved timbers (the cruck blades) using the natural shape of a tree and in many cases the tree is sliced long-ways down the middle so that whatever the shape of the curve the two sides are symmetrical.  The two beams are joined together at the top by a ‘collar’ or tie-beam.

By the eighteenth and nineteenth century, cruck-framed buildings were in decline both because of the success of box framing and because they used so much timber.  Farm modernisation also reduced the need for indoor threshing areas.  The box frame as an alternative had also become popular for residential buildings because it allowed the building of second and third floors and, being a square construction, made more use of town-centre space above the ground floor.  Box framing also made it much easier to add extra wings to a building.
 
 
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The cosy kitchen-sitting room was laid as it would have been during Anne’s childhood. Recipes were scattered about (like the one above).
 
 
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The fireplace had a bread oven, stew pot and brace of pheasant as if the family would be back in a minute.
 
 
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Up the stairs to the upper chamber, a cloth at the bottom of the bed told us the contents.
 
 
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The spinning wheel and a truckle bed under the main one.
 
 
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The space between the upper chamber and the next bedroom had more info. Then more as we went in.
 
 
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The next bedroom had a busy looking table in the far corner, to the left a simple table, in front of the busy box, a game.
 
9 Men’s Morris. This game can be played by two people. Each player needs nine counters. You could use coins or buttons. In William Shakespeare’s time, children probably used pebbles or fruit stones as pieces.
  • Each player in turn places a counter on one of the circles.
  • The aim of the game is to get three of your counters or ‘men’ in a straight row (a bit like noughts and crosses) and stop your opponent from doing so.
  • On making a row of three you can remove one of your opponent’s men as long as it is not in a row of three.
  • When all the men are played, players move their counters in turn along the lines from circle to circle, one circle at a time, still trying to form lines of three.
The first person to remove all the opponent’s men is the winner.
 
 
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Bed info and an elderly pair of chests.
 
In the busy box was a laminated copy of:- Direct transcript of Bartholomew Hathaway’s Will, 1624. (Try reading aloud – it’s easier) In the name of God, Amen, the sixteenth day of September Anno Domini.... way of Shottery in the parish of Olde Stratford in the county of Warwick, yeoman, being in good and prosperous health, and of sownd and perfect.... ankes be given to Almighty God, do ordeine and make this my last will and testament in manner and forme folloeing, that is to say, first, I bequeath my... to the handes of Almighty God, my maker, and by fayth in the merittes and passion of his sone, Jesus Christ, I beleeve and hope to be saved, and my body to therth from (wh)ence yt came to be burryed in the Christian burriall of the parrish church of Olde Startford aforesaid, hopeing to arise at the latter day, and to receive the reward of his elect; and for my worldly goodes I bequeath them as followeth, that is to say, –Imprimis, I give and bequeath to Richard Hathaway, my sone, the some of twenty shillings of lawful English money to be paide unto him within one yeire after my decease. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto Isabell Hathaway, my graundchild, daughter of saide Richard, one chilver shipp. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto my sone, Edmonde Hathaway, my third sone, the whole some of one hundred and twenty poundes of lawful English monye to be paide unto him the saide Edmond within seaven yeires next after my decease, that is to say, the some of twenty poundes a yeire for the first five yeires next after my decease, and the other twenty powndes to be paide tenne powndes a yeire the next two yeires followeinge after saide terme of five yeires in full satisfaction of the saide summe of one hundred and twenty powndes. (keep up, you are only reading, I’m typing this ‘stuff’) Ittem, I further give unto my saide sone Edmonde my youngest gray mare, and my best cowe soe two and my elme cart and the wheeles belonging to yt, which mare, cart and wheeles he hath alredy in possession; togither alsoe with my best fether bedd, my best heiling, two paire of sheetes and one payre of my best blankettes and my best bowlster, and one of my best pillowes, my second brass pott and one the bedsteedes in the over-chamber. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Anne Edwards, the now wyfe of Richard Edwardes, the summe of thirty shillings to buy her a gowne, and to her seven children, Avery, Bartholomew, Alice, Thomas, Richard and Ursula Edwardes, I give unto each of them severally the severall sums of six shillinges eight pence apeece to be paide unto them within one yeire after my decease. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto my sone, John Hathaway, his children Alice Hathaway, Richard, Anne and Ursula Hathaway, and to each of them one of my best ewes a-peece. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto my said sone John Hathaway, and to the heires males of his body lawfully begotten, all that my messuage or tenement, orchard, garden and backside, with thappertenaunces, seituate, lyeing and being in Shottery aforesaid, togither alsoe with two yard land and a half earable, meddow, comon and pasture, with two closses therunto belonging, seituate, lyeing and beinge within the towne, hamlettes and feildes of Shottery and Old Stratford, with theire and every of theire appurtenaunces, and for want of such issue of the said John Hathaway, I give and bequeath the said messuage or tenement, two yard land and a half, with thaappurtenaunces, unto the saide Edmond Hathaway my ... lawfully to (be) begotten, and for want of such issue of the saide Edmonde Hathaway, I give and bequeath the saide messuage or tenement ... aunces unto my sone Richard Hathaway, and to the heires males of his body lawfully begotten or to be begotten, and for want of such issue of the said Richard, then to remaine to the right heires of me the said Bartholomew Hathaway for ever. Ittem, I give and bequeath towardes the repaire of the parish church of Olde Stratford the some of tenn shillinges. Ittem, I give and bequeath unto the poore of the said parrish the some of thirteene shillings foure pence to be distributed amongst them at my funerall. All the rest of my goodes and cattell and chattelles whatsoever unbequeathed, my debts and legacyes being paide, and funerall exspences discharged, I wholly give unto my sone John Hathaway, whome I doe ordeine and make my whole executor of this my last will and testament. Overseers of this my last will and testament I doe make choyse of John Hall of Stratford aforesaid, gentleman, and Stephen Burman of Shottery aforesaid, yeoman, and for theire paines therein to be taken I do give unto eache of them two shillinges six pence a peece. In wytnesse wherof to this my last will and testament I have heerunto sett my hand and seale in the presence of these wittnesses heerunder written. – Witnesses heerunto William Court junior, Clement Burman, Stephen Burman, WIlliam Richardson. – Proved at Stratford-upon-Avon on the sixth of December, 1624, in the Peculiar Court’ When I asked Bear if he wanted this will in the blog, Oooo yes, never seen one that old and it will be fun. Really, I nearly lost the will to live after my fifth I give and bequeath....... You love me really. Don’t push your luck....
 
 
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The next bedroom was in the extension, the staircase in the far corner, beyond, the final bedroom.
 
 
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The desk in this room and the info.
 
 
 
 
 
CONTINUED