Chronological List of References to Shakespeare as Author/Poet/Playwright

Contents


Description of List Entries

Entries in the lists below contain the following information, in order:


A Note on Dates

In some cases all we have is a transcription of a document known to have been written earlier; in such cases the reference is listed under the year when the extant document was written (as near as we can tell) with the year of the original added in parentheses. For example, all the Stratford Parish Register entries we have from before 1600 are transcriptions from the now-lost original, made in 1600 (probably by the vicar, Richard Byfield) because of a decree that all paper records be transcribed onto more permanent parchment. Since it is the spelling of the name "Shakespeare" in particular documents that is at issue here, and since we have no way of knowing whether the transcription follows the original entries in spelling, I have treated the pre-1600 Parish Register entries as documents from 1600. Similarly, several of the printed literary references were printed several years after they were actually written; these are listed under the year they actually appeared in print, with the probable date of writing added in parentheses.


Key to Abbreviations

The following abbreviations are used:


Chronological list of references to Shakespeare as an author/poet/playwright


1593 (Q1 Venus and Adonis; registered April 18)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Richard Field) (Poems, 3, 5, 369)

1593 (Entry in account book of Richard Stonley, for his purchase of
         Venus and Adonis and Survey of France; June 12)
        "Shakspere"
        (handwritten; Richard Stonley) (SS, 131, with facs.)

1594 (Q1 Lucrece; registered May 9)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Richard Field for John Harrison) (Poems, 111-3, 406)

1594 (Q2 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Richard Field for John Harrison) (Poems, 3, 5, 374)

1594 (Prefatory poem to Willobie His Avisa)
        "Shake-speare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 192)

1595 (Marginal note in an epistle by William Covell appended to
         Polimanteia, or the Meanes Lawfull and Unlawfull to Judge
         of the Fall of a Commonwealth)
        "Shakspeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 193; HP II, 148)

1596 (Q4 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Richard Field for John Harrison) (Poems, 3, 5, 375)

1598 (From Richard Barnfield's "A Remembrance of some English
         Poets"  in Poems in Divers Humours)
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 195)

1598 (From Francis Meres's Palladis Tamia: Wits Treasury;
         registered September 7)
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 193)

1598 (Title page, Q2 of Richard the Third)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Andrew Wise) (EKC I, 294)

1598 (Title page, Q1 of Love's Labour's Lost)
        "W. Shakespere"
        (printed by William White for Cuthbert Burby) (EKC I, 331)

1598 (Title page, Q2 of Richard the Second)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise) (EKC I, 348)

1598 (Title page, Q3 of Richard the Second)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise) (EKC I, 348)

1598 (Q2 Lucrece)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Peter Short for John Harrison) (Poems, 111-3, 408)

1598-1601 (Note by Gabriel Harvey on a blank page of a copy of
         Speght's translation of Chaucer, published in 1598)
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; Gabriel Harvey) (EKC II, 196)

1598-1603 (Cover sheet of the Northumberland Manuscript, containing
various names, phrases, and other scribblings)
        "William Shakespeare"
        "Shakespear"
        "William Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shak"
        "Shak"
        "William Shakespeare"
        "William Shakespeare"
        "William Shakespe"
        "Shakspe"
        "Shakespear"
        (handwritten) (EKC II, plate XXV between pp. 196-7)

1599 (From John Weever's Epigrammes in the Oldest Cut)
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespear"
        (printed) (EKC II, 199)

1599 (From The Returne from Parnassus, Part I; MS in Bodleian Library)
        "Shakspeare"
        "Mr. Shakspeare"
        "Mr. Shakspeare"
        "Mr. Shakspeare"
        "Mr. Shakspear"
        "Mr. Shakspeare"
        (handwritten) (EKC II, 199)

1599 (Title page, Q2 of Henry the Fourth, Part One)
        "W. Shake-speare"
        (printed by Simon Staffort for Andrew Wise) (EKC I, 376)

1599 (Q5 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by Peter Short] for William Leake) (Poems, 3, 5, 375)

1599 (Q6 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by Richard Bradocke] for William Leake) (Poems, 3,
         5, 375)

1599 (Title page, O1 of The Passionate Pilgrime)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by Thomas Judson for William Jaggard) (EKC I, 547)

1600 (From "Epistle" to Bel-vedere or The Garden of the Muses,
         edited by John Bodenham)
        "William Shakspeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 211)

1600 (Signatures on excerpts quoted in England's Parnassus: or The    
      choysest Flowers of our Moderne Poets, edited by Robert Allot)
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        "W.Shakespeare."
        (printed for N.L.C.B. and T. H.) (EP)

1600 (Title page, Q1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed for Thomas Fisher) (EKC I, 356)

1600 (Title page, Q1 of The Merchant of Venice)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by James Roberts for Thomas Hayes) (EKC I, 368)

1600 (Stationer's Register entry for Henry the Fourth, Part Two and
         Much Ado About Nothing; August 23)
        "master Shakespere"
        (handwritten) (EKC I, 377)

1600 (Title page, Q of Henry the Fourth, Part Two)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and William
          Aspley) (EKC I, 378)

1600 (Title page, Q of Much Ado About Nothing)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Andrew Wise, and William
          Aspley) (EKC I, 384)

1600 (Q3-Q4 Lucrece)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by John Harrison II for John Harrison)
                                                (Poems, 111-3, 408)

1600 (Signature on a poem from Loves Labours Lost in
        the poetical anthology England's Helicon)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by I. R. for John Flasket) (Helicon I, 55)

1601 (At end of The Phoenix and the Turtle in Chester's Loves
                Marytr, or Rosalins Complaint)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Richard Field for Edward Blount) (Poems, 331, 559)

1601 (In manuscript "Catalog of the Poems contayned in Englands
        Helicon," made by Francis Davison in preparation for editing
        A Poetical Rhapsody (1602))
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; Francis Davison) (Helicon II, 37)

1602 (Title page, Q3 of Richard the Third)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Andrew Wise) (EKC I, 294)

1602 (Title page, Q1 of The Merry Wives of Windsor)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Arthur Johnson) (EKC I, 426)

1602(?) (Q7 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed; title page missing) (Poems, 3, 5, 376)

1603 (From "A Mourneful Dittie, entituled Elizabeths Loss")
        "Shakspeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 212)

1603 (Title page, Q1 of Hamlet)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Nicholas Ling and John
          Trundell) (EKC I, 408)

1604 (From "Epistle" to Daiphantus, or the Passions of Love, by
         Anthony Scoloker)
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 214)

1604 (From Epigrames by John Cooke; registered May 22)
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 212)

1604 (Title page, Q3 of Henry the Fourth, Part One)
        "W. Shake-speare"
        (printed by Valentine Simmes for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 376)

1604 (Title page, Q2 of Hamlet)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by James Roberts for Nicholas Ling) (EKC I, 408)

1605 (Revels Accounts of plays performed at Court in winter of 1604-05)
        "Shaxberd"
        "Shaxberd"
        "Shaxberd"
        "Shaxberd"
        (handwritten) (EKC II, 331; facs. SS, 200-201)

1605 (Title page, Q4 of Richard the Third)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 295)

1605 (Title page, Q of The London Prodigal)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Nathaniel Butter) (EKC I, 534)

1605 (1603) (From Remaines of a greater Worke concerning Britaine,
         by William Camden)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 215)

1606 (1601) (From The Returne from Parnassus, Part II)
        "William Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 201)

1607 (From Myrrha, the Mother of Adonis; or Lustes Prodegies
         by William Barksted)
        "Shakspeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 216)

1607 (Stationer's Register entry for King Lear; November 26)
        "Master William Shakespeare"
        (handwritten) (EKC I, 463; facs. SS, 202)

1607 (Q5 Lucrece)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Nicholas Okes for John Harrison)
        (Poems, 111-3, 408)

1607-8 (?)(Q8 Venus and Adonis; falsely dated 1602)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by Robert Raworth] for William Leake) (Poems, 3, 5,
         376)

1608 (Q1 of King Lear)
        "M. William Shak-speare" (title page)
        "M William Shak-speare" (head title)
        (printed for Nathaniel Butter) (EKC I, 463)

1608 (Title page, Q4 of Richard the Second)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by William White for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 349)

1608 (Title page, Q4 of Henry the Fourth, Part One)
        "W. Shake-speare"
        (printed for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 376)

1608 (Stationer's Register entry for A Yorkshire Tragedy; May 2)
        "Wylliam Shakespere"
        (handwritten) (EKC I, 535)

1608 (Title page, Q1 of A Yorkshire Tragedy)
        "William Shakspeare"
        (printed by R. Bradock for Thomas Pavier) (EKC I, 535)

1608-9 (?) (Q9 Venus and Adonis; falsely dated 1602)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by Humphrey Lownes] for William Leake)
                                                (Poems, 3, 5, 376)

1609 (Title page, Q of Troilus and Cressida)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by G. Eld for R. Bonian and H. Walley) (EKC I, 438)

1609 (Title page, Q1 of Pericles)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by William White for Henry Gosson) (EKC I, 518)

1609 (Title page, Q2 of Pericles)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by William White for Henry Gosson) (EKC I, 518)

1609 (Stationer's Register entry for the Sonnets; May 20)
        "Shakespeare"
        (handwritten) (EKC I, 556)

1609 (Q of Shake-speares Sonnets)
        "Shake-speare" (title page)
        "Shake-speare" (head title)
        "William Shake-speare" (head title for A Lover's Complaint)
        (printed by G. Eld for Thomas Thorpe) (EKC I, 556)

1609 (From a note of purchases by Edward Alleyn; June 19)
        "Shaksper sonetts, 5 d."
        (handwritten; Edward Alleyn) (Warner, 72)

1609 (From a list of play quartos by Sir John Harington)
        "K. Leir of Shakspear"
        "King Leyr. W. Sh."
        (handwritten; Sir John Harington) (Furnivall)

1610 (From The Scourge of Folly by John Davies of Hereford;
         registered October 8)
        "Mr. Will: Shake-speare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 214)

1611 (Title page, Q3 of Hamlet)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed for John Smethwick) (EKC I, 409)

1611 (Title page, Q3 of Pericles)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Simon Stafford) (EKC I, 519)

1611 (At end of The Phoenix and the Turtle in second edition of
         Chester's Loves Marytr, or Rosalins Complaint)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed for Matthew Lownes) (Poems, 331, 559)

1611 (From a manuscript list of books by William Drummond of
         Hawthornden, dated 1611)
        "Schaksp."
        (handwritten, William Drummond) (Allusion I, 164)

1611-1637 (Title page, Q4 of Hamlet)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by William Stansby for John Smethwick) (EKC I, 409)

1612 (From "Epistle" to The White Devil by John Webster)
        "M. Shake-speare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 218)

1612 (Title page, Q5 of Richard the Third)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Thomas Creede for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 295)

1612 (Title page, O3 of The Passionate Pilgrime)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by W. Jaggard) (EKC I, 547)

1612-1637 (?) (Title page, some copies of Q4 of Romeo and Juliet)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed for John Smethwick) (EKC I, 340)

1613 (Title page, Q5 of Henry the Fourth, Part One)
        "W. Shake-speare"
        (printed by William White for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 377)

1613 (Note by Leonard Digges on flyleaf of third edition of Lope de
         Vega's Rimas)
        "Will Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; Leonard Digges) (SS, 256, with facs.)

1614 (In table of contents for second edition of England's Helicon)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed for Richard More) (Helicon II, 11)

1614 (Signature on a poem from Loves Labours Lost in
        second edition of England's Helicon)
        "W. Shakespere"
        (printed for Richard More) (Helicon I, 55, 220)

1614 (From "Epistle" on The Excellecie of the English Tongue by
         Richard Carew, added to the 2nd edition (1614) of Camden's
         Remaines)
        "Shakespheare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 219)

1614 (From Runne and a Great Cast by Thomas Freeman)
        "Master W. Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 220)

1615 (From continuation to 1614 in ed. 5 of John Stow's Annales,
         by Edmund Howes)
        "M. Willi. Shakespeare gentleman"
        (printed) (EKC II, 221)

1615 (From a book of Latin epigrams by Thomas Porter, dated at end
         March 12, 1614(5))
        "Gul: Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; Thomas Porter) (EKC II, 222)

1615 (Title page, Q5 of Richard the Second)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 349)

1616 (From a manuscript draft of Edmund Bolton's Hypercritica)
        "Shakespere"
        (handwritten; Edmund Bolton) (EKC II, 225)

1616 (Q6 Lucrece)
        "Mr. William Shakespeare" (title page)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed by Thomas Snodham for Roger Jackson)
        (Poems, 111-3, 409)

1617 (Q10 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by William Stansby] for William Barrett)
        (Poems, 3, 5, 377)

1619 (Title page, Q3 (Pavier quarto) of Henry VI Parts 2 & 3)
        "William Shakespeare, Gent."
        (printed) (EKC I, 279)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream, falsely
         dated 1600)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by James Roberts) (EKC I, 357)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of The Merchant of Venice, falsely dated 1600)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by James Roberts for Thomas Hayes) (EKC I, 368)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of The Merry Wives of Windsor)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by William Jaggard for Arthur Johnson) (EKC I, 426)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of King Lear, falsely dated 1608)
        "M. William Shake-speare"
        (printed by William Jaggard for Nathaniel Butter) (EKC I, 464)

1619 (Head title of Q2 of King Lear)
        "M. William Shake-speare"
        (printed) (EKC I, 464)

1619 (Title page, Q4 of Pericles)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed for Thomas Pavier) (EKC I, 519)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of Sir John Oldcastle, falsely dated 1600)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed for T. P.) (EKC I, 534)

1619 (Title page, Q2 of A Yorkshire Tragedy)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed for T. P.) (EKC I, 535)

1620 (From "The Praise of Hemp-seed" by John Taylor)
        "Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC II, 226)

1620 (Q11 Venus and Adonis)
        "William Shakespeare" (signature to dedication)
        (printed [by Felix Kingston] for John Parker) (Poems, 3, 5, 377)

c.1620 [1608-1615] (From a verse letter from "FB" (probably Francis
         Beaumont) to Ben Jonson)
        "Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; in two MSS, neither autograph, dating
         probably c.1620) (EKC II, 223)

c.1620 [1616-1623] (Poem by William Basse)
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        "Shakespeare"
        (handwritten; various MS anthologies, all probably c.1620)
        (EKC II, 226)

1622 (Catalogus Universalis pro Nundinis Francofurtensibus; Frankfort
         book fair list of books to be published in England between April
         and October 1622)
        "M. William Shakespeare"
        (printed) (EKC I, 139)

1622 (Title page, Q6 of Richard the Third)
        "William Shake-speare"
        (printed by Thomas Purfoot for Matthew Law) (EKC I, 295)

1622 (Title page, Q of The Troublesom Raigne of King John)
        "W. Shakespeare"
        (printed by Aug. Mathewes for Thomas Dewe) (EKC I, 365)

1622 (Title page, Q6 of Henry the Fourth, Part One)
        "W. Shake-speare"
        (printed by Thomas Purfoot for Mathew Law) (EKC I, 377)

1622 (Title page, Q1 of Othello)
        "William Shakespeare"
        (printed by Nicholas Okes for Thomas Walkley) (EKC I, 457)

1623 (Stationer's Register entry for First Folio; November 8)
        "Mr. William Shakspeer"
        (handwritten) (EKC I, 138; facs. SS, 257)

1660(1619) (Ben Jonson, quoted by William Drummond of Hawthornden)
        "Shaksperr"
        "Sheakspear"
        (handwritten; undated transcript of Drummond's lost original by
          Sir Robert Sibbald [1641-1722]) (EKC II, 207)


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