Shakespeares Gloves

A PAIR of grey buckskin gloves with gold thread embroidery ; the gauntlets have a gold fringe sewn on to an edging oi pale pink silk. The gloves measure a total length of 14 inches, the bottom of the gauntlets being 7 inches across, while at the wrists they are inches.

These precious relics are the property of Dr. Horace Fumess, oi Wallingford, Pennsylvania, who gives the following very interesting letters relating to their history :—

(From John Ward to David Garnck.)

" Leominster,

" Dear Sir,—On reading the newspapers, I find you are prepat rng a Grand Jubilee, to be kept at Stratford-upon-Avon, to the memory of the immortal Shakespeare. I have sent you a pair of gloves which have often covered his hands ; they were made me a present by a descendant of the family, when myself and Company went over there from Warwick, in the year 1746, to perform the play of Othelh, and a benefit, for repairing his monument in the Great Church, which we did gratis, the whole of the receipts being expended on that alone. The Person who gave them to me, William Shakespeare by name, assured me his father had often declared to him, they were the identical gloves of our great poet; and when he delivered them to me, said, ' Sir, these are the onl) property that remains to our famous relation ; my father possessed, and sold, the estate he left behind him, and tnese are all the recompense I can make you for this night's performance.' The donor was a glacier by trade, very old and, to the best of my memory, l:ved in the street leading frum the Town Hall down to the river. On my coming to play .n Stratford about three years after, he was dead. The father of him and our poet were brother's children. The veneration I bear to the memory of our great author and player, makes me wish to have ihese relics preserved to his mmortal memory ; and I am led to think that

I cannot deposit them, for that purpose, in the hands of any person so proper as our modern Roscius. ,,,

'jy Your most humble servant, « (To) Mr. David Garrick." "JOHN WArd'

Od the death of Garrick the gloves passed to his widow, who died irl 1822, whose will contained the following bequest : " I give to Mrs. Siddons a pair of gloves which were Shakespeare's, and were presented by one of his family to my late dear husband, during the ubilee at Stratford-upon-Avon." (Mrs. Garrick has evidently forgotten that ohn Ward gave them to her husband.)

Mrs. Siddons bequeathed them to her daughter, Mrs. George Combe, by whom they were given to Mrs. Kemble, and by this ever dear and gracious lady to their present possessor.

" 17 "January, 1874.

" My pear Horace (in spite of your 1 terary labours and honours you must be such to me),—The worship of Relics is not the most exalted form ot human devotion, but the meanest garment that ever has but clipped one whom we love and revere becomes ih some measure dear and venerable to us for his sake, and so we may be permitted to keen Shakespeare's gloves with affectionate regard. As these were in Garrick's Collection, and given by Mrs. Garrick to my Aunt, they may be genuine, and I offer them to you as a token of the great pleasure it has given me to see your name upon the American Variorum Edition of Shakespeare. Among my books and papers I think I have a few 'remains' of John Kemble and Mrs. Siddons which I shall feel happv in placing m your hands. You will value them for your own sake and perhaps a little for that of your old fiiend.

" P.S.—The gloves are in the box in which Mrs. George Combe (Ceci ia Siddons) gave them to me."

The gloves arc now in America, in the possession of Dr. Horace Howard Furness,



0 0

Post a comment