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Elizabeth Barnard

Learn about William Shakespeare's granddaughter.

Elizabeth Hall was the daughter of Susanna and John Hall and the granddaughter of William Shakespeare. She was baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 21 February 1608.

Elizabeth was raised in financial stability, even after the death of her grandfather when she was eight years old. In Shakespeare's will, he stipulated that his plate and the sum of £150 be divided between his daughter, Judith, and his granddaughter – whom he called ‘niece’.

The plate has at its centre a naked figure in a landscape; concentric brown and gold rings surround this, outside which a brown design on the white ceramic has strange half-human figures, plants and marine-appearing motifs . The deckled edge is brown.
An example of a 16th century ceramic plate. William left his granddaughter some of his household ‘plate’.

Elizabeth married Thomas Nash in 1626. Nash died in 1647, after which Elizabeth inherited New Place

The whole painting is dark brown, and only the faces really stand out. Both figures have expressionless faces, and shoulder-length hair in ringlets.
Portrait of a Young Couple thought be either Thomas and Elizabeth Nash, or John and Susanna Hall.

Elizabeth re-married in 1649, shortly before her mother’s death. Her second husband was Sir John Barnard, a widower who lived at Abingdon Manor, Northamptonshire. Elizabeth had no children during either of her marriages.

When Elizabeth died in 1670, William Shakespeare's direct line of descendants came to an end. After her death, the Henley Street properties Elizabeth inherited from her father were bequeathed to the Harts, who lived in the house until the 18th century.

The Will begins "In the name of God, Amen" in large script, followed by "I Mrs Elizabeth Barnard" in slightly smaller script. The remainder is in smaller but very  clear script.

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