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1572

John Shakespeare fined

wool scales
Wool scales
Almost every character who was close to, or influential in, William Shakespeare's life seems to find themselves on the wrong side of the law at some point.

In 1572, Will's father John, seemingly a respectable glover and public servant, is fined for making an illegal wool purchase (a practice known as "brogging"). He is informed on - and maybe even set up in the first place - by James Langrake, a professional State informer who would later be jailed for rape and blackmail.

As a first-time offender, John would have been able to get off lightly by paying off the man who informed on him.

Evidence

Public Records Office document, John Shakespeare's fine for wool dealingJohn Shakespeare's fine for wool dealing

Court documents held at the Public Records Office

Players

portrait not availableJohn Shakespeare

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