2. ‘Some Fellow’ – The Man Who Met Shakespeare


Locrine BucCharles Tilney wrote a
Tragedy of this matter
he named Estrild: which
I think is this. it was l[ost]
by his death. now s[ome]
fellow hath published it.
I made dumb shows for it.
which I yet have. G.B.

This chapter explores the evidence that William Shakespeare consistently acted as a middleman, or broker – and that once he got involved in the business of theatre, he bought and sold plays for his company.

Read the first section, and continue through chapter by using the links at the bottom of each post. Sections are summarised below.

  • Shakespeare the Businessman Whatever else William Shakespeare knew how to do, he knew how to make money. The documentary evidence shows he was a successful businessman.
  • Grain Broker William Shakespeare hoarded grain in a time of famine. Over a ton, at a time when he had no lands. He wasn’t a farmer. So was he a grain broker?
  • Loan Broker The only surviving letter written to Shakespeare asks him to arrange (not provide) a loan. This attests to Shakespeare’s role as a loan broker.
  • Marriage Broker Shakespeare’s role as a middle-man is supported by evidence that he was also a marriage broker, as attested by documents from the Belott-Mountjoy case.
  • Play Broker? Was William Shakespeare also a play broker? The first apocryphal play appears within months of the evidence he has become a theatre company shareholder.
  • George Buck George Buck asked Shakespeare who wrote the anonymous play George a Greene, and wrote down his answer. What does that answer tell us about Shakespeare?

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