Sir William Dethick

(1543—1612) herald and antiquary

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(1543–1612), Garterking-of-arms (a senior official of the College of Heralds) who prepared the document dated 20 October 1596 granting John Shakespeare's application for a coat of arms and that of 1599 by which the arms could be combined with those of the Arden family. A violent and probably corrupt man, he had many enemies. In 1602 the York herald, Ralph Brooke, accused him of granting arms to unworthy persons and of fraudulently assigning arms that already belonged to others. Shakespeare's is among the 23 names cited.

From The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism.

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