Final Concord Between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill


The final concord between William Shakespeare and Hercules Underhill is the confirming title to Shakespeare's New Place house in Stratford-upon-Avon, signed Michaelmas 1602. Shakespeare originally purchased New Place in May 1597 from William Underhill. Underhill was poisoned two months later by Fulke Underhill, his oldest son and heir, who was hanged for the crime in 1599. When Hercules Underhill, Fulke's younger brother, came of age, Shakespeare protected his title to New Place by paying him to reconfirm the purchase. As was the custom, three copies of the final concord, one for each of the parties and one for the court, were written on the same piece of vellum and then cut apart along wavy lines. This document contains two parts of the final concord, those of the purchaser, Shakespeare, and of the vendor, Hercules Underhill. The third part, or "foot," was retained by the court and is preserved in the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Last updated: July 9, 2014