Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world; the second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989. Work began on the dictionary in 1857, but it was only in 1884 that it began to be published in unbound fascicles as work continued on the project, under the name of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. In 1895, the title The Oxford English Dictionary was first used unofficially on the covers of the series, in 1928 the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes. In 1933, the title The Oxford English Dictionary replaced the former name in all occurrences in its reprinting as twelve volumes with a one-volume supplement. More supplements came over the years until 1989.
Since 2000, compilation of a third edition of the dictionary has been underway half of, complete. The first electronic version of the dictionary was made available in 1988; the online version has been available since 2000, as of April 2014 was receiving over two million hits per month. The third edition of the dictionary will most only appear in electronic form: the Chief Executive of Oxford University Press has stated that it is unlikely that it will be printed; as a historical dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary explains words by showing their development rather than their present-day usages. Therefore, it shows definitions in the order that the sense of the word began being used, including word meanings which are no longer used; each definition is shown with numerous short usage quotations. This allows the reader to get an approximate sense of the time period in which a particular word has been in use, additional quotations help the reader to ascertain information about how the word is used in context, beyond any explanation that the dictionary editors can provide.
The format of the OED's entries has influenced numerous other historical lexicography projects. The forerunners to the OED, such as the early volumes of the Deutsches Wörterbuch, had provided few quotations from a limited number of sources, whereas the OED editors preferred larger groups of quite short quotations from a wide selection of authors and publications; this influenced volumes of this and other lexicographical works. According to the publishers, it would take a single person 120 years to "key in" the 59 million words of the OED second edition, 60 years to proofread them, 540 megabytes to store them electronically; as of 30 November 2005, the Oxford English Dictionary contained 301,100 main entries. Supplementing the entry headwords, there are 157,000 bold-type derivatives; the dictionary's latest, complete print edition was printed in 20 volumes, comprising 291,500 entries in 21,730 pages. The longest entry in the OED2 was for the verb set, which required 60,000 words to describe some 430 senses.
As entries began to be revised for the OED3 in sequence starting from M, the longest entry became make in 2000 put in 2007 run in 2011. Despite its considerable size, the OED is neither the world's largest nor the earliest exhaustive dictionary of a language. Another earlier large dictionary is the Grimm brothers' dictionary of the German language, begun in 1838 and completed in 1961; the first edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca is the first great dictionary devoted to a modern European language and was published in 1612. The official dictionary of Spanish is the Diccionario de la lengua española, its first edition was published in 1780; the Kangxi dictionary of Chinese was published in 1716. The dictionary began as a Philological Society project of a small group of intellectuals in London: Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, Frederick Furnivall, who were dissatisfied with the existing English dictionaries; the Society expressed interest in compiling a new dictionary as early as 1844, but it was not until June 1857 that they began by forming an "Unregistered Words Committee" to search for words that were unlisted or poorly defined in current dictionaries.
In November, Trench's report was not a list of unregistered words. The Society realized that the number of unlisted words would be far more than the number of words in the English dictionaries of the 19th century, shifted their idea from covering only words that were not in English diction
The Parnassus plays are three satiric comedies, or full-length academic dramas each divided into five acts. They date from between 1598 and 1602, they were performed in London by students for an audience of students as part of the Christmas festivities of St John's College at Cambridge University. It is not known; the titles of the three plays are The Pilgrimage to Parnassus The Return from Parnassus The Return from Parnassus: Or the Scourge of SimonyThe second and third plays are sometimes referred to as Part One and Part Two of The Return from Parnassus. For the most part, the plays follow the experiences of two students and Studioso; the first play tells the story of two pilgrims on a journey to Parnassus. The plot is an allegory understood to represent the story of two students progressing through the traditional course of education known as the trivium; the accomplishment of their education is represented by Mount Parnassus. The second play drops the allegory and describes the two graduates' unsuccessful attempts to make a living, as does the third play, the only one, contemporaneously published.
New in the third play is the serious treatment of issues regarding censorship. It has been said that this trilogy of plays "in originality and breadth of execution, in complex relationship to the academic, literary and social life of the period, ranks supreme among the extant memorials of the university stage", that they are "among the most inexplicably neglected key documents of Shakespeare's age"; the first play, The Pilgrimage to Parnassus, describes allegorically the progress of the two students through the university courses of logic, etc. and the temptations that are set before them by their meeting with Madido, a drunkard, Stupido, a puritan who hates learning, Amoretto, a lover, Ingenioso, a disappointed student. The first play was intended to stand alone, but the favour with which it was received led to the writing of a sequel, The Return from Parnassus, which deals with the struggles of the two students after the completion of their studies at the university, shows them discovering by bitter experience of how little pecuniary value their learning is.
A further sequel, The Return from Parnassus, Or the Scourge of Simony, is more ambitious than the two earlier plays. Knowledge of what occurs in the first two plays is not essential to understand the third play, but it is helpful to illuminate a few of the allusions that occur; the trilogy of the Parnassus plays can be seen as a sustained questioning of the worth of a humanist education, as a consideration of the employment crisis that faced graduates at the end of the Elizabethan period. The plays are lively and amusing, contain a sense of taking stock of the writer's place in society at the turn of the century, they are neglected by academic scholarship, not appreciated as plays in their own right, but they are known as a source for references to Shakespeare and Jonson, for other allusions they contain. Cast An old farmer, gives advice to his son and his nephew, Studioso, as the two young men are about to begin their journey to Parnassus, he advises them not to consort with wastrels and to eschew alcohol and sex, which will distract them.
The first place the two young men travel through is the mountainous land of Logique on their way to the island of Dialectica, where they meet a poet, Madido. Madido thinks inspiration is only to be found in drink. Madido urges them not to stay and drink with him, they continue on. Next, in the land of Rhetorique and Studioso overtake a character named Stupido, who set out on the same pilgrimage ten years ago, but has given up and now follows trivial pursuits, he disguises his lack of talent with a pose of not appreciating scholarship. Philomusus and Studioso encounter the lover, who encourages them to leave their pilgrimage, instead linger in the land of Poetry and dally with wenches; this time Philomusus and Studioso are persuaded and abandon, at least for a while, the path to Parnassus. Before it's too late and Studioso have come to their senses, have decided to leave the amorous land of poetry, they continue on, meet a character, former student, Ingenioso. He tries to discourage Philomusus and Studioso from their pilgrimage by telling them that there is nothing but poverty on Mount Parnassus.
Dromo enters drawing on a clown by a rope. They arrive at the foothills of Mount Parnassus, take a moment to gaze up at it in a spirit of celebration. Studioso invites the audience to applaud. Cast Consiliodorus, father to Philomusus and uncle to Studioso is meeting with a messenger, who will deliver a letter to Philomusus and Studioso, he sent those two young men to on a journey seven years ago, now expects results. Consiliodorus exits as Philomusus and Studioso enter, both bemoaning that since leaving Parnassus fate hasn't been kind, the world is not a fruitful place for scholars, they meet a former student, who tells them he has been living by the printing house and selling pamphlets. Now he is pursuing the support of a patron; the patron appears, Ingenioso offers him immortality through his verse. Ingenioso offers the patron a pamphlet, dedicated to him; the patron glances at it, gives Ingenioso two small coins, exits. Ingenioso, alone, is furious with the patron's miserliness. Philomusus and Studioso reenter to hear.
Ingenioso now plans to live by the printers trade. Philomusus and Studioso decide to go along, include Luxuioso, who has left Parnassus to go to London. T
The Shakespeare Jubilee was staged in Stratford-upon-Avon between 6 and 8 September 1769. The jubilee was organised by the actor and theatre manager David Garrick to celebrate the Jubilee of the birth of William Shakespeare, it had a major impact on the rising tide of bardolatry that led to Shakespeare's becoming established as the English national poet. Thomas Arne composed the song Soft Flowing Avon for the Jubilee. Stratford was at the time a town with around 2,200 inhabitants. Garrick, Britain's most famous Shakespearean actor and most influential theatre owner-manager, had the idea for the Jubilee when he was approached by the town's leaders who wanted him to fund a statue of Shakespeare to stand in the Town Hall. Garrick planned a major celebration with major figures from London's cultural and economic world attending, he oversaw the construction of a large rotunda, based on that in Ranelagh Gardens in London, which could hold 1,000 spectators. "It is difficult to exaggerate how much space in the papers in the weeks and months beforehand was devoted to discussion of the Jubilee, announcing details of the program, advertising various accoutrements, reporting progress, speculating about its form, attacking it."The Jubilee opened on 6 September with the firing of thirty cannons and the ringing of church bells.
Various events were held to commemorate Shakespeare's life. It drew in many people from fashionable society. There were seven hundred people at the dinner on the first day. On the second day bad weather began to disrupt the proceedings and flooded parts of the Rotunda when the banks of the River Avon broke; the highlights of the second day were the unveiling of the new statue at the Town Hall and a masquerade held in the evening. Another notable event from the second day of the Jubilee was a speech by Garrick thanking the Shakespeare Ladies Club for making Shakespeare popular again and for their contribution to the memorial statue of Shakespeare in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey; the third day was to have seen a grand Shakespeare Pageant but the heavy rain forced this to be cancelled. Garrick staged the Pageant in the Drury Lane Theatre where it was a success, running for ninety performances, it was the first jubilee celebration of the life of Shakespeare, although it was held more than five years after the bicentenary of his birth in April 1564.
In spite of the impact it had on the rising popularity of Shakespeare and his works, none of his plays were performed during the Jubilee
Folger Shakespeare Library
The Folger Shakespeare Library is an independent research library on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. in the United States. It has the world's largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare, is a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period; the library was established by Henry Clay Folger in association with Emily Jordan Folger. It opened two years after his death; the library offers advanced scholarly programs and national outreach to K–12 classroom teachers on Shakespeare education. Other performances and events at the Folger include the award-winning Folger Theatre, which produces Shakespeare-inspired theater. B. Hardison Poetry Series, it has several publications, including the Folger Library editions of Shakespeare's plays, the journal Shakespeare Quarterly, the teacher resource books Shakespeare Set Free, catalogs of exhibitions. The Folger is a leader in methods of preserving rare materials; the library is endowed and administered by the Trustees of Amherst College.
The library building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Standard Oil of New York executive Henry Clay Folger, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, was an avid collector of Shakespeareana, beginning in 1889 with the purchase of a 1685 Fourth Folio. Toward the end of World War I, he and his wife Emily Jordan Folger began searching for a location for a Shakespeare library based on their collection, they chose a location adjacent to the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C; the land was occupied by townhouses, Folger spent several years buying the separate lots. The site was designated for expansion by the Library of Congress, but in 1928, Congress passed a resolution allowing its use for Folger's project; the cornerstone of the library was laid in May 1930. The bulk of Folger's fortune was left in trust, with Amherst College as administrator, for the library. Early members of the board included Amherst graduate and former president Calvin Coolidge, second chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Because of the stock market crash of 1929, Folger's estate was smaller than he had planned, although still substantial. Emily Folger, who had worked with her husband on his collection, supplied the funds to complete the project; the library opened on April 23, 1932, the anniversary of what is believed to be Shakespeare's date of birth. Emily Folger remained involved in its administration until shortly before her death in 1936. In 2005, the Folger Board of Governors undertook administration of the Folger under the auspices of the Amherst Board of Trustees, though the Amherst board continues to manage the Folger's budget; the Folger's first official reader was B. Roland Lewis, who published The Shakespeare Documents: Facsimiles, Transliterations and Commentary based on his research; the first fellowships were distributed in 1936. Early Folger exhibitions featured enticing items in the collection, including Ralph Waldo Emerson's copy of Shakespeare's works, an Elizabethan lute, Edwin Booth's Richard III costume.
Current practices for Folger exhibitions did not begin until 1964, when the first exhibition curated on site opened. During the Second World War, 30,000 items from the Folger collection were transported under guard to Amherst College's Converse Library, where they were stored for the duration of the war in case of an enemy attack on Washington, D. C. Many of the Folger's current public events and programs began in the 1970s under the leadership of director O. B. Hardison. Under his direction, the Folger's theater was brought up to Washington, D. C. fire code, permitting performances by the Folger Theatre Group, the library's first professional company. The Folger Poetry Series began in 1970. Hardison formed the Folger Institute, which coordinates academic programs and research at the Library. Folger Consort, the Library's early music ensemble, began performances in 1977; the first Director of the Library, from 1940 to 1946, was Jr.. The main Folger building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret.
The white marble exterior includes nine street-level bas-reliefs of scenes from Shakespeare's plays created by the sculptor John Gregory, an aluminum replica of a statue of Puck by Brenda Putnam, as well as many inscriptions selected by Henry Folger. The large Art Deco window and door grilles are aluminum. Inside, the building is designed in a Tudor style with oak plaster ceilings; the Elizabethan Theater lobby contains the original marble Puck statue, architectural painting by muralist Austin M. Purves, Jr.. The two reading rooms are reserved for use by scholars. Public spaces include the large exhibition gallery, a gift shop, an Elizabethan theatre. Henry Folger's search for an architect began with an acquaintance, Alexander B. Trowbridge, who had redesigned a home in Glen Cove, Long Island, in the old English style the Folgers were eager to feature in their Library. Folger contracted Trowbridge in 1928, but Trowbridge preferred to consult, rather than be the primary architect, so recommended French émigré Paul Phillippe Cret.
Trowbridge and Cret shared a similar vision for the design of the Library—a neoclassical building that stripped the facade of any decorative elements. Though the Folgers had desired an Elizabethan building, they agreed that a neoclassical building would blend with other existing buildings on Capitol Hill. To retain an Elizabethan quality on the exterior of
Reputation of William Shakespeare
In his own time, William Shakespeare was rated as one among many talented playwrights and poets, but since the late 17th century he has been considered the supreme playwright and poet of the English language. No other dramatist has been performed remotely as on the world stage as Shakespeare; the plays have been drastically adapted in performance. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the era of the great acting stars, to be a star on the British stage was synonymous with being a great Shakespearean actor; the emphasis was placed on the soliloquies as declamatory turns at the expense of pace and action, Shakespeare's plays seemed in peril of disappearing beneath the added music and special effects produced by thunder and wave machines. Editors and critics of the plays, disdaining the showiness and melodrama of Shakespearean stage representation, began to focus on Shakespeare as a dramatic poet, to be studied on the printed page rather than in the theatre; the rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare on the page was at its widest in the early 19th century, at a time when both forms of Shakespeare were hitting peaks of fame and popularity: theatrical Shakespeare was successful spectacle and melodrama for the masses, while book or closet drama Shakespeare was being elevated by the reverential commentary of the Romantics into unique poetic genius and bard.
Before the Romantics, Shakespeare was the most admired of all dramatic poets for his insight into human nature and his realism, but Romantic critics such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge refactored him into an object of religious adoration, George Bernard Shaw coining the term "bardolatry" to describe it. These critics regarded Shakespeare as towering above other writers, regarding his plays not as "merely great works of art" but as "phenomena of nature, like the sun and the sea, the stars and the flowers" and "with entire submission of our own faculties". To the 19th century, Shakespeare became in addition an emblem of national pride, the crown jewel of English culture, a "rallying-sign", as Thomas Carlyle wrote in 1841, for the whole British empire, it is difficult to assess Shakespeare's reputation in his own lifetime and shortly after. England had little modern literature before the 1570s, detailed critical commentaries on modern authors did not begin to appear until the reign of Charles I; the facts about his reputation can be surmised from fragmentary evidence.
He was included in some contemporary lists of leading poets, but he seems to have lacked the stature of the aristocratic Philip Sidney, who became a cult figure due to his death in battle at a young age, or of Edmund Spenser. Shakespeare's poems were reprinted far more than his plays; that many of his plays were pirated suggests his popularity in the book market, the regular patronage of his company by the court, culminating in 1603 when James I turned it into the "King's Men," suggests his popularity among higher stations of society. Modern plays were considered ephemeral and somewhat disreputable entertainments by some contemporaries; some of Shakespeare's plays the history plays, were reprinted in cheap quarto form. After Ben Jonson pioneered the canonisation of modern plays by printing his own works in folio in 1616, Shakespeare was the next playwright to be honoured by a folio collection, in 1623; that this folio went into another edition within 9 years indicates he was held in unusually high regard for a playwright.
The dedicatory poems by Ben Jonson and John Milton in the 2nd folio were the first to suggest Shakespeare was the supreme poet of his age. These expensive reading editions are the first visible sign of a rift between Shakespeare on the stage and Shakespeare for readers, a rift, to widen over the next two centuries. In his 1630 work'Timber' or'Discoveries', Ben Jonson praised the speed and ease with which Shakespeare wrote his plays as well as his contemporary's honesty and gentleness towards others. During the Interregnum, all public stage performances were banned by the Puritan rulers. Though denied the use of the stage and scenery, actors still managed to ply their trade by performing "drolls" or short pieces of larger plays that ended with some type of jig. Shakespeare was among the many playwrights. Among the most common scenes were Bottom's scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and the gravedigger's scene from Hamlet; when the theatres opened again in 1660 after this uniquely long and sharp break in British theatrical history, two newly licensed London theatre companies, the Duke's and the King's Company, started business with a scramble for performance rights to old plays.
Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, the Beaumont and Fletcher team were among the most valuable properties and remained popular after Restoration playwriting had gained momentum. In the elaborate Restoration London playhouses, designed by Christopher Wren, Shakespeare's plays were staged with music, thunder, wave machines, fireworks; the texts were "reformed" and "improved" for the stage. A notorious example is Irish poet Nahum Tate's happy-ending King Lear, while The Tempest was turned into an opera replete with special effects by William Davenant. In fa
Shakes versus Shav
Shakes versus Shav is a puppet play written by George Bernard Shaw. It was Shaw's last completed dramatic work; the play runs for 10 minutes in performance and comprises a comic argument between Shaw and Shakespeare, with the two playwrights bickering about, the better writer as a form of intellectual equivalent of Punch and Judy. The play was written by Shaw for the Lanchester Marionettes who were based in their own theatre in Foley House, Worcestershire, England; the company's founders and Muriel Lanchester, performed in the Malvern Festival. Shaw, having seen their performances over the years, wrote Shakes versus Shav for the company in 1949; the play was the last expression of Shaw's long-standing "debate" with Shakespeare and critique of what he called bardolatry. He had earlier portrayed Shakespeare in his skit The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Archibald Henderson points out that the play draws on a long tradition of satirical sketches comparing Shaw to Shakespeare, dating back to 1905, when a play by J. B.
Fagan with the similar title Shakespeare vs. Shaw was produced at the Haymarket Theatre; this sketch was in the form of a court case in which Shakespeare sues Shaw following a lecture Shaw had given earlier in the year in which he had said that Shakespeare was a "narrow minded middle class man" with "no religion, no politics, no great concerns". Shaw participated in these skits, by lending costumes, or writing dialogue for one entitled His Wild Oat; the ghosts of Shakespeare and Shaw appear in Back to G. B. S.. Another, Bernard Shaw Arrives: A Fantasy in One Act was a parody of Don Juan in Hell in which Shaw and Mephistopheles engage in a debate. William Shakespeare George Bernard Shaw Macbeth Rob Roy Captain Shotover Miss Ellie Dunn William Shakespeare arrives in Malvern, seeking the upstart Shaw, quoting lines from his own plays. Shaw appears and Shakespeare punches him to the ground, he starts to count him out. Shakespeare bounds back too, they start to argue. Shaw claims that Macbeth has been bettered by Scott's novel Rob Roy, "proves" the point by staging a fight between the ghosts of the two Scots, which Rob Roy wins.
Shaw asserts that Adam Lindsay Gordon has outdone Shakespeare's verse, quoting the lines "The beetle booms adown the glooms/And bumps among the clumps". Shakespeare laughs at this, he tells Shaw that he could never have written King Lear. Shaw replies that Shakespeare could not have written Heartbreak House, creates a pastiche of his own play with the characters posed in imitation of John Everett Millais' painting The North-West Passage. Shakespeare defends the emotional power of his work. Shaw defends the practical value of his. Shaw ends by quoting Shakespeare's own words and bringing into being a small light to symbolise his own reputation. Shakespeare puts out the light and the play ends. Waldo Lanchester carved the six marionettes and Muriel costumed them, having sought advice from Scotland on the correct tartans for Macbeth and Rob Roy; the Shaw puppet is now housed in the George Bernard Shaw Museum, Shaw's Corner, at Ayot St Lawrence, the Shakespeare puppet is in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the other four puppets - Macbeth, Rob Roy, Captain Shotover and Ellie Dunn - are in the Staffordshire County Museum at Shugborough Hall.
In the original production the dialogue was pre-recorded by actors, broadcast during the performance. The Lanchesters had to synchronise the puppetry with the recording. Lewis Casson voiced Shakespeare, Ernest Thesiger was Shaw. Russell Thorndike and Archie Duncan voiced Rob Roy respectively. Cecil Trouncer and Isabel Dean voiced Ellie. In 2007 the play was revived by Henry Bell at the Orange Tree Theatre with Dudley Hinton and John Paul Connelly playing the two principal parts written for puppets. John Thaxter of The Stage described the production as "history making". Full text of Shakes versus Shav
Stratford-upon-Avon known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles north west of London, 22 miles south east of Birmingham, 8 miles south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505. Stratford was inhabited by Anglo-Saxons and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town; as a result, Stratford experienced an increase in commerce as well as urban expansion. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receives 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre; the name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning'street', indicating a shallow part of a river or stream, allowing it to be crossed by walking or driving and avon, the Celtic word for river.
The ` street' was a Roman road. The ford, used as a crossing since Roman times became the location of Clopton Bridge. A survey of 1251-52 uses the name Stratford for the first time to identify Old Stratford and the newer manors; the name was used after that time to describe the area surrounding the Holy Trinity Church and the street of Old Town. The settlement which became known as Stratford was first inhabited by Anglo-Saxons following their 7th-century invasion of what would become known as Warwickshire; the land was owned by the church of Worcester and it remained a village until the late 12th century when it was developed into a town by lord of the manor, John of Coutances. John laid out a new town plan in 1196 based on a grid system to expand Stratford and allow people to rent property in order to trade within the town. Additionally, a charter was granted to Stratford by King Richard I in 1196 which allowed a weekly market to be held in the town, giving it its status as a market town; these two charters, which formed the foundations of Stratford's transformation from a village to a town, make the town of Stratford over 800 years old.
John's plans to develop Stratford into a town meant Stratford became a place of work for tradesmen and merchants. By 1252 the town had 240 burgages, as well as shops and other buildings. Stratford's new workers established a guild known as the Guild of the Holy Cross for their business and religious requirements. Many of the town's earliest and most important buildings are located along what is known as Stratford's Historic Spine, once the main route from the town centre to the parish church; the route of the Historic Spine begins at Shakespeare's Birthplace in Henley Street. It continues through Henley Street to the top end of Bridge Street and into High Street where many Elizabethan buildings are located, including Harvard House; the route carries on through Chapel Street where Nash's New Place are sited. The Historic Spine continues along Church Street where Guild buildings are located dating back to the 15th century, as well as 18th- and 19th-century properties; the route finishes in Old Town, which includes Hall's Croft and the Holy Trinity Church.
During Stratford's early expansion into a town, the only access across the River Avon into and out of the town was over a wooden bridge, thought to have been constructed in 1318. However, the bridge could not be crossed at times due to the river rising and was described by antiquarian John Leland as "a poor bridge of timber and no causey to it, whereby many poor folks and other refused to come to Stratford when Avon was up, or coming thither stood in jeopardy of life." In 1480, a new masonry arch bridge was built to replace it called Clopton Bridge, named after Hugh Clopton who paid for its construction. The new bridge made it easier for people to trade within Stratford and for passing travellers to stay in the town; the Cotswolds, located close to Stratford, was a major sheep-producing area up until the latter part of the 19th century, with Stratford one of its main centres for the processing and distribution of sheep and wool. Stratford became a centre for tanning during the 15th–17th centuries.
Both the river and the Roman road served as trade routes for the town. Despite Stratford's increase in trade, it grew between the middle of the 13th century and the end of the 16th century, with a survey of the town showing 217 houses belonged to the lord of the manor in 1590. Growth continued to be slow throughout the 17th century, with hearth tax returns showing that at most there were 429 houses in the town by 1670. However, more substantial expansion began following several enclosure acts in the late 18th century, with the first and largest development by John Payton who developed land on the north side of the old town, creating several streets including John Street and Payton Street. Before the dominance of road and rail, Stratford was the gateway to the network of British canals. In 1769, the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors; this contributed to the growing phenomenon of Bardolatry.
Stratford-upon-Avon is within the Stratford-on-Avon parliament constituency, represented by Nadhim Zahawi since 2010. Stratford is within the West Midlands Region