Epitaph on Elias James - Oxford Reference

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Epitaph on Elias James

The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare
Stanley WellsStanley Wells

Epitaph on Elias James. 

This six-line epitaph survives in two slightly different versions. One is in the same Bodleian manuscript as ‘Shall I die’, where it is attributed to ‘Wm Shakespeare’. The other, unascribed, is among a number of ‘monumental inscriptions’ in the 1633 edition of John Stow's Survey of London, where it is said to have been inscribed on a memorial, no longer extant, in the church of St Andrew by the Wardrobe. James, who died in 1610 leaving £10 to the poor, was a brewer in the Blackfriars area whom Shakespeare is likely to have known.

Stanley Wells

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