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Shakespeare & Beyond

Folger curator shares new Shakespeare discoveries

Shakespeare coat of arms
Shakespeare coat of arms

Folger Curator of Manuscripts Heather Wolfe dropped a bombshell in The New York Times this past week: Newly discovered depictions of Shakespeare’s coat of arms from the seventeenth century provide documentary evidence that while the heralds made the grant of arms to his father, William Shakespeare himself was intimately involved in the application and the ensuing controversy over their legitimacy, casting new light on his status as a gentleman-writer.


Third row first column – Washington!

John Koenig — July 10, 2016

And you are quite right! The document, as noted above, is from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. We asked their manager of manuscript collections, Tim Salls, about the Washington connection for the coat of arms in the first position on the third row. He tells us that “the coat of arms in question were for Laurence Washington. Judging from the date of 1594, it probably refers to Lawrence Washington (ca. 1565-1616) of Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire, England, a great-great-great-grandfather of George Washington.” For more information on the Washington family coat of arms, consult this source at Mount Vernon.

Esther Ferington — July 22, 2016