We have previously taken a broad overview of the work called Holinshed’s Chronicles. Today we will take a further look at this with respect to William Harrison’s input and with particular emphasis on Elizabethan punishments.
William Harrison was chaplain to Lord Cobham and then Rector of Radwinter when he collaborated with Holinshed in preparing this chronicle. He gathered facts on Britain and England from books, letters, maps, conversation and observation and observation. From these writings sprung most if not all the underpinnings of Shakespeare’s plays and other writings.
Yet, with all his modesty, he claims to “have had an especial eye to the truth of things”; and as a result we have in his pages the most vivid and detailed picture in existence of the England into which Shakespeare was born.
Chapter XVII may be read beginning here:
A brief look at Elizabethan crime and punishments may be found here: