Shakespeare’s will was very generous, but unlike most wills of his day, he didn’t leave much to the ones he was closest to. He gave money to colleagues and the poor. He left his youngest daughter, Judith, a silver bowl. He gave a sword to a friend who was a lawyer. He gave Joan, his sister, all his clothes, and to his granddaughter he gave his silverware. The strangest part of his will was to his wife. He left his "second-best bed" and to Susanna, his oldest daughter, and John, her husband, he left the best bed and New Place.
New Place was the second-largest house in his town. It was a mansion with three stories, two barns, two orchards, and ten fireplaces.
He left his properties to a single male heir who died about fifty years later. Then, all his properties were sold to strangers. Nothing remained in the family.
People say he knew he was dying so one day when he was at home he wrote these words on his tombstone:
"Good friends for Jesus sake forebeare, to digg the dust encloased heare, bleste be ye man yt spares these stones, And curst be he yt moves my bones", which means "Good friends, for Jesus' sake forebeare, to dig the bones enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, and curst be the man that moves my bones."
"Good friends, for Jesus' sake forebeare, to dig the bones enclosed here! Blest be the man that spares these stones, and curst be the man that moves my bones."