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A DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLEGIATE CHURCH,
Copies of several Documents relating to him and his Family,
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF OTHER EMINENT CHARACTERS,
To which is added, a particular Account of
Celebrated at Stratford, in Honour of our immortal Bard,
R. B. WHELER.
Embellished with Eight Engravings.
O gratum Musis, O nomen amabile Phobo,
Ac tibi, cara hospes, si mens divinior, et te
Ignea SHAKSPEARI musa ciere queat:
Siste gradum; crebròque oculos circum undique flectas,
PRINTED AND SOLD BY J. WARD;
SOLD ALSO BY LONGMAN AND CO, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON,
THE HE want of a work in some degree similar to the present undertaking encouraged the publication of the following sheets, the offspring of a few leisure hours; and it is hoped that the world will, on an impartial perusal, make allowances for the imperfections, by reflecting as well upon the inexperience of the juvenile author, as that they were originally collected for his own private information.
Nescire quid antea quam natus sis acciderit, est semper esse puerum. Cic. in Orat.
It has long been a subject of regret, that a work of this nature has not been published: Sir William Dugdale's voluminous antiquities of Warwickshire (containing the only historical account of this town before printed) is scarce; added to which, it records little of the modern, and nothing relative to the biographical history of the town. With respect to the latter, Stratford boasts of producing, not only the greatest dramatic poet that ever appeared in this or any country, and whose name alone will render his native place famous to latest posterity, but several other characters, highly eminent for their great learning and piety, who have
filled the most exalted situations both in Church and State to which a subject could attain, and acquired the proudest honors their monarch could bestow.
The author, being a native of Stratford, has been much in the habit of contemplating and admiring whatever he thought worthy of notice in this place, particularly the venerable church, its greatest ornament; and he flatters himself with a persuasion, that an accurate description of that Collegiate structure, and the other public buildings, toge ther with their history collected from indubitable authorities, will afford some amusement, and probably information, not only to the inhabitants, but to the numerous travellers who come at every season of the year to pay a tribute of respect to that spot,
"Where his first infant lays sweet SHAKSPEARE sung,
In this compilation, much assistance has been derived from the M.S. collections of the late learned and Reverend JOSEPH GREENE, formerly Master of the Free Grammar School, at Stratford, and Rector of Welford, in Glouces tershire, which were obligingly communicated by his relative, Mr. Wright of Lichfield; to whom many thanks are thus returned, for his so generously promoting this work.