Last Will and Testament of a Poor Man

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A Request For Pardon I ask pardon of those whom I have unwittingly offended, of all to whom I have not been a source of edification.

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I feel that I have nothing to forgive anyone, for all who have known and dealt with me— including those who have offended me, scorned me, held me in bad esteem with good reason, for that matter , or have been a source of affliction to me—I regard solely as brothers and benefactors, to whom I am grateful and for whom I pray and always will pray. The Grace Of Poverty Born poor, but of honorable and humble people, I am particularly happy to die poor, having given away, in accordance with the various demands and circumstances of my simple and modest life, for the benefit of the poor and of the Holy Church that had nurtured me, all that came into my hands—which was little enough, as a matter of fact—during the years of my priesthood and episcopacy.

Outward appearances of ease and comfort often veiled hidden thorns of distressing poverty and kept me from giving with all the largesse I would have liked. I thank God for this grace of poverty, which I vowed in my youth, poverty of spirit as a priest of the Sacred Heart, and real poverty. This grace has sustained me in never asking for anything, neither positions, nor money, nor favors—never, not for myself, nor for my relatives or friends.

To The Pope's Own Family To my beloved family secundum sanguinem 2 —from whom, in fact, I have received no material wealth—I can leave only a whole-hearted and most special blessing, inviting it to maintain that fear of God that always made it so dear and beloved to me, simple and modest as it was, without my ever feeling ashamed of it: this is its true title to honor. I have also helped it at times in its more serious needs, as one poor man with the other poor, but without ever removing it from the honorable poverty with which it was content.

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I pray and always will pray for its prosperity; I am happy to see in its new, vigorous offshoots that strength and loyalty to their fathers' religious tradition which will always be its fortune. My most fervent wish is that none of my relatives and dear ones may miss the joy of that last eternal reunion. Departing, as I trust, for the roads of Heaven, I salute and thank and bless the many who formed my spiritual family at Bergamo, at Rome, in the East, in France, and at Venice, and who were my fellow townsmen, benefactors, colleagues, students, aides, friends and acquaintances, priests and laymen.

Brothers and Sisters, and for whom, by the disposition of Providence, I was, no matter how unworthy, a colleague, a father, or a pastor. To All His Benefactors The goodness directed toward my poor person by all whom I met along my path made my life serene. As I face death, I recall each and every one—those who have preceded me in taking the final step, those who will survive me and who will follow me.

May they pray for me. I will repay them from Purgatory or from Paradise, where I hope to be received, I repeat it once again, not because of my merits, but because of the mercy of my Lord.


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But my children of Venice —the last ones the Lord placed around me, as a final consolation and joy for my priestly life—I want especially to mention as a sign of my admiration, my gratitude, my very special tenderness. I embrace them all in spirit, clergy and laity without exception, as I have loved them without exception as members of the same family, the object of one paternal and priestly care and love. Pater sancte, serva eos in nomine tuo quos dedisti mihi: ut sint unum sicut et nos. My children, my brethren, arrivederci. Joseph, my first and specially loved Protector.

In the name of St. Peter, St. John the Baptist, St. Mark, St. Lawrence Justinian, and St. Pius X. Item I give and bequeath unto my said daughter Judith one hundred and fifty pounds more if she or any issue of her body living at the end of three years next ensuing the day of the date of this my will, during which time my executors to pay her consideration from my decease according to the rate aforesaid. And if she die within the said term without issue of her body then my will is and I do give and bequeath one hundred pounds thereof to my niece Elizabeth Hall, and fifty pounds to be set forth by my executors during the life of my sister Joan Hart and the use and profit thereof coming shall be paid to my said sister Joan, and after her decease the said 50 pounds shall remain amongst the children of my said sister equally to be divided amongst them.

Item I give and bequeath unto my said sister Joan 20 pounds and all my wearing apparel to be paid and delivered within one year after my decease. And I do will and devise unto her the house with the appurtenances in Stratford wherein she dwelleth for her natural life under the yearly rent of 12 pence. Item I give and bequeath unto her three sons William Hart [name omitted] Hart and Michael Hart five pounds a piece to be paid within one year after my decease unto her. Item I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Hall all my plate except my broad silver and gilt bowl that I now have at the date of this my will.

Item I give and bequeath unto the poor of Stratford aforesaid ten pounds; to Mr Thomas Combe, my sword; to Thomas Russell, Esquire, five pounds; and to Francis Collins of the borough of Warwick in the county of Warwick, gent. Item I give, will, bequeath, and devise unto my daughter Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to perform this my will and towards the performance thereof:.

All that capital messuage or tenement with the appurtenances in Stratford aforesaid called the New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two messuages or tenements with the appurtenances situate, lying and being in Henley Street within the borough of Stratford aforesaid. And all my barns, stables, orchards, gardens, lands, tenements, and herediments whatsoever, situate, lying, and being, or to be had, received, perceived, or taken within the towns and hamlets, villages, fields, and grounds of Stratford upon Avon, Old Stratford, Bushopton, and Welcombe, or in any of them in the said county of Warwick.


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And also all that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, situate, lying and being in the Blackfriars in London near the Wardrobe, and all other my lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever. And for default of such issue the same so to be and remain to the forth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons of her body lawfully issuing, one after another, and to the heirs males of the bodies of the said forth, fifth, sixth, and seventh sons lawfully issuing in such manner as it is before limited to be and remain to the first, second and third sons of her body and to their heirs males.

And for default of such issue the said premises to be and remain to my said Niece Hall and the heirs males of her body lawfully issuing for def[ault of] And for default of such issue to the right heirs of me the said William Shakespeare forever.

All the rest of my goods, chattel, leases, plate, jewels, and household stuff whatsoever, after my debts and legacies paid and my funerall expenses discharged, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son in law John Hall, gent. And do revoke all former wills and publish this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand the day and year first above written. To learn more, read Alan H.

Oxford: Clarendon Press, Royal Commission of Public Records. Volume II. Part II. Skip to main content.

last will and testament of a poor man Manual

Exhibition Partners About. Enter search terms. William Shakespeare's last will and testament: original copy including three signatures. Shakespeare's last will and testament: made 25 March , proved 22 June March 25,. Contributed by. The National Archives UK. Institution Rights and Document Citation.

Item Creator. Francis Collins, esq. Item Title. Item Date. Call Number. Online Record. View online bibliographic record. Digital Reproduction.

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March 25, in the 14th year of the reign of James now king of England and the 49th year of Scotland, William Shakespeare In the name of god, Amen. Item I give, will, bequeath, and devise unto my daughter Susanna Hall, for better enabling of her to perform this my will and towards the performance thereof: All that capital messuage or tenement with the appurtenances in Stratford aforesaid called the New Place, wherein I now dwell, and two messuages or tenements with the appurtenances situate, lying and being in Henley Street within the borough of Stratford aforesaid.

Item I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture. Item I give and bequeath to my said daughter Judith my broad silver gilt bowl. Cui etc. Jurati Reservata potestate etc. Sussanne Hall alteri executorum etc. William Shakespeare's last will and testament: Entry for probate. William Shakespeare's last will and testament: registered copy. Shakespeare the poet.