Talk:Thomas Lucy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography (Rated Stub-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Shakespeare (Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Shakespeare, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of William Shakespeare on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.


The Lucy family of Charlecote certainly do use the pike as their emblem, but I'm not at all sure about the arms on this page. At Charlecote the pikes always seem to be accompanied by a cross of crosses, i.e. a cross in which each of the members is crossed. I suspect the pike emblems here relate to a different branch of the family, as the file name suggests. Sjwells53 (talk) 18:39, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

I added it just to illustrate the pikes/luces/lice puns as it was the only one available. It would be good if you could upload an image of his personal blazon. Paul B (talk) 19:10, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Another user (Tom Reedy) has kindly provided a scan of Dugdale's illustration of the Lucy blazon, so I've used that one. Paul B (talk) 21:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Deer in Charlecote[edit]

It's true that Schoenbaum states, according to his source, that deer "may have browsed in Charlecote", but if anyone "objects" and claims that there were no deer, it needs to be sourced or referenced, especially since it appears to dispute what Schoenbaum has said.DocFido (talk) 20:10, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I can't make any sense of your argument. Schoenbaum's comment is a response to the objection. He discusses the objection and then responds to it, so both are properly sourced to Schoenbaum. The objection dates back to the 19th century. It is not a reply to Schoenbaum. (talk) 15:37, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

It appears that no author, or source, or anyone actually claims that there were no deer. That appears to be a false statement. If anyone does indeed make that claim, who is it? It would be good to include the source. If it is indeed in Schoenbaum, can it be pointed out, or quoted? If Schoenbaum is referring to a source, who is it? Any article, including this one that deals with an interesting subject, it seems to me, can be improved by being careful about the accuracy, and avoiding original research.DocFido (talk) 21:55, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

The editor who added the original assertion certainly deserved to be reverted. It was a crude attempt to "argue with" sourced statements by simply denying them. However, s/he was referring to a real tradition of commentary on the poaching story. Schoenbaum says that the so-called problem was "realised" in the "late eighteenth century". He's referring to the fact that scholars discovered that there was no deer park in Shakespeare's lifetime. He does not name the critics who rejected the poaching story on these grounds, but Joseph Pearce identifies John Semple Smart and Edgar Innes Fripp as prominent nay-sayers [1]. The point is that this is a well-established criticism of the story. Schoenbaum points out that the original version mentioned rabbits first, adding "venison" only as a supplement, so the criticism depends on the assumption that deer are somehow essential to the story. According to Schoenbaum, the claim that Shakespeare poached in Lucy's lands is entirely plausible, but we can never be sure it's true. (talk) 23:44, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for responding and caring about this subject, and for taking the trouble to do a bit of research in your reply. I guess we both have a copy of Schoenbaum at hand.

I read what you had pointed me towards, and I think that we may be in agreement: it seems that although no one seems to be claiming there were “no deer”, your research reveals the interesting point that it appears that Lucy may have had no deer park at the time. And, as is pointed out by Schoenbaum, other locations -- other than Lucy’s park -- have been put forward as candidates for the deer poaching incidence.

I was glad to do some interesting reading of the passages you’d found. Perhaps you will agree that it seems that the article should not say that there are those who say there were “no deer”, and it’s proper for that particular idea to be removed. (Which I could do as soon as I have a moment.) Of course, if there is a desire to point out that it has been said by some that Lucy had no deer park at the time -- that would certainly be supported by your research.DocFido (talk) 03:41, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I have difficulty understanding why you keep trying to say that no-one said there were no deer. How many times do I have to repeat that this was a common objection to the poaching story from the 18th and 19th Century on? In fact even Schoenbaum says there is no evidence of deer, just that there could well have been deer. However, since you seem to demand proof beyond the words of Schoenbaum, here's a brief history of the dispute. Edmond Malone appears to have been the first significant scholar to object to the story on these grounds. Here's the 19th century writer Augustine Skottowe summarising the argument:
Malone has laboured to refute the whole of this account. His arguments may be reduced to two: 1st, the Sir Thomas Lucy alleged to have been Shakespeare's prosecutor, never had a park, it being universally acknowledged there was none at Charlecote, and Fulbrooke was not purchased by the family till James I: no theft of deer, therefore, could have been made from Sir Thomas Lucy, it not being possible to produce an example of the keeping of deer in grounds not recognised as parks, in the legal meaning of that word; 2nd, only such grounds were protected by common law and by the 5th of Elizabeth, cap. 21. (The Life of Shakespeare, 1824, p.109)
Skottowe criticises Malone on the grounds that deer were probably kept by Lucy before he had a park, and that ballads testify to that fact. Sidney Lee also discusses the objections and finds them unconvincing Life of Shakespeare, p. 24. However, as stated above, John Semple Smart and Edgar Innes Fripp insisted that story cannot be true because there were no deer at Charlecote. Here's George Bagshawe Harrison, writing in 1933:
The deer stealing legend is hotly disputed. J. S. Smart in Shakespeare — Truth and Tradition, pp. 91-103, produced evidence to show that Lucy had no deer. (Shakespeare at Work, 1592-1603, p.307)
In other words this has been disputed by many many scholars from Malone onwards. (talk) 09:45, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Sir, I appreciate your consideration, and I read the points you have made. I don’t know what your name or “handle” is but you sign your posts as “”. Perhaps you won't mind if I just call you “62”?

I believe that with a careful reading of the sources and arguments you offer, it can be seen that you may be misreading a couple of things. I’ll attempt to show this point-by-point. And you can, of course, correct me if I’m wrong.

First of all, what exactly is the problem with the Wikipedia article on Thomas Lucy? The problem is this sentence: “The [deer-poaching] story has been objected to on the grounds that there were no deer in Charlecote until after Shakespeare's death.” This sentence is not supported, it’s not verifiable, and it appears to be untrue. To argue in support of this sentence, you offer the following authors: Schoenbaum, Augustine Skottowe, Sidney Lee, Smart, Fripp and G. B. Harrison. The question to ask in each case is this: Is there anything that these writers say that supports the idea that there were no deer for Shakespeare to poach?

First, Schoenbaum. You seem to suggest that he has said that there were no deer. But then you contradict your own suggestion when you quote Schoenbaum as saying that there “could well have been deer”.

Next, regarding your quote of Augustine Skottowe: His point in the passage you quote is addressed to Thomas Lucy’s claim that his property was poached. Skottowe’s point could be re-worded or interpreted like this: “Thomas Lucy, you may indeed have deer on your property that were poached, but if you are going to claim that someone stole them from you, you need to show that the deer were actually your property, and one requirement to make that claim before the court is to show that you had a “deer park”, which it appears you don’t.”

Clearly this doesn’t support any claim that there were no deer.

Moving on to your next source, the author Sidney Lee: Does Lee suggest that there were no deer to be poached? No, in fact here’s a sentence from Lee’s book that you mentioned (page 34) that says exactly the opposite: “But Sir Thomas Lucy was an extensive game-preserver, and owned at Charlecote a warren in which a few harts or does doubtless found an occasional home.”

Next, in your above comment, you say “John Semple Smart and Edgar Innes Fripp insisted that story cannot be true because there were no deer at Chalecote.” With all due respect, I read the source you offered, and it appears that Smart and Fripp indeed do not say that. They instead are merely echoing the point that Skottowe makes above: Which, again, is a point about whether or not Thomas Lucy had something called a deer park.

Finally, you quoted G. B. Harrison (above) to suggest that there were no deer, but you quote him incompletely and you leave off Harrison’s sentence that refutes the idea. In a more complete quote Harrison goes on to say, “It does not, however, follow that Shakespeare was innocent of deer stealing.”

(Whew, 62!)

So if we consider all these arguments, it turns out to be a bit of a “wild goose chase”, and we still cannot find a quote that supports the idea “that there were no deer in Charlecote until after Shakespeare's death”. The idea is hard to believe on the face of it: England had plenty of deer, and deer tend to wander onto people’s property. That’s common sense.

The policy and guidelines of Wikipedia require that statements be made verifiable. Here’s a wikipedia article on the subject of verifiability:

The article says, “Even if you're sure something is true, it must be verifiable before you can add it.” (The emphasis is in the article.) It also says, “Any material that needs a source but does not have one may be removed.” I suggest that the sentence that I mentioned at the top of this comment be removed to improve accuracy of the article. I don’t believe you, 62, were the original poster of the idea, but I’m sure it was posted with good intentions. Of course if and when such an idea could be verified, the idea could go back in.DocFido (talk) 12:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

My name is Paul Barlow, and I usually edit as user:Paul Barlow, but the computer I am working on - in my very elderly parents' house - is old and for some reason keeps logging me out after a few seconds and crashing. I can't access much at all. It's very frustrating. Still, I will be travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon tomorrow, so perhaps will find some less half-timbered Shakespearean-age computer to use. Anyway, to your argument. I honestly cannot understand why you are harping on about this. And frankly, I find it astonishing that you can misread sources so comprehensively. You say "You seem to suggest that he [Schoenbaum] has said that there were no deer. But then you contradict your own suggestion when you quote Schoenbaum as saying that there “could well have been deer”." I am not suggesting anything. I've no idea whether there were deer or not. I am summarising what other notable scholars have said, which includes the argument that there were no deer. Schoenbaum is a legitimate source for the claim that there were no deer. That's not because he is asserting that as a fact. He is referring to authors who have asserted that and is summarising their position. He goes on to say that there could have been deer, but cannot be sure. As I said Lee also thinks it likely that there were deer, but also quotes authors who have denied that. I was quoting these authors to show that there was a longstanding debate about the subject dating back to Edmond Malone. I did not "quote G. B. Harrison (above) to suggest that there were no deer". I quoted him as evidence that J. S. Smart said that there were no deer. The fact that Harrison disagrees was irrelevant to the point. I am not trying to argue that there were no deer. I am trying to show that there has been a debate about it for two centuries, with some authors saying there were no deer, and others saying there were, or probably were. There is, besides this, another debate about what laws would actually be trangressed, who could prosecute, etc, but that would be too convoluted to go into here. You say that Fripp and Smart do not say what the sources say that they say, yet you provide no quotation to support that claim. I do not appreciate beeing accused of misrepresenting sources when I am simply trying to present the facts and accurately represent them in the article. I do not understand why you keep insisting on deleting a sentence that summarises a position held by several notable scholars over the years. I have requeasted a third opinion here. (talk) 15:28, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
BTW, W:V does not mean that we must verify that all statements are factually true. We cannot know, barring the discovery of new evidence, whether or not there were any deer at Charlecote in the 1580s. The statement as presented is a summary of what authors dating from Malone have argued, along with criticisms of those arguments. Both sides are presented as concisely as possible. It is amply sourced. (talk) 15:43, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, Paul, for the response (this is a quick note). I hope you have a great visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, and good luck on that search for the computer you mentioned -- ha! Best wishes.DocFido (talk) 19:35, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

You say "Next, in your above comment, you say “John Semple Smart and Edgar Innes Fripp insisted that story cannot be true because there were no deer at Chalecote.” With all due respect, I read the source you offered, and it appears that Smart and Fripp indeed do not say that." I don't know how you can reach that conclusion. Another source:

Mr. J. S. Smart, whose Shakespeare: Truth and Tradition is one of the best recent books about the poet's life, inclines to believe the old story that he taught at Stratford School in his early days. At any rate, as Mr. Smart shows, there is more to be said for this than for Aubrey's other tale that he began life as a butcher; and much more than for the more popular legend of his having been a poacher, which was quite unknown at Stratford for at least seventy years after his death. Mr. Smart even makes it pretty certain that there was no deer-park at Charlecote before 1618, and that consequently Sir Thomas Lucy had no deer for Shakespeare to poach. (Shakespeare, by John Bailey, Longmans, 1929, p. 37)

Of course saying there were no deer means that there were none owned by Lucy. Even if somehow deer could have "wandered in", the argument of these authors is that Shakespeare could not be prosecuted for taking them, since Lucy had no rights to them. Other authors argue that trespass was the offence, or that the word "prosecuted" meant the same as "persecuted" at this time. It didn't necessarily mean "taken to court". It might mean that Shakespeare was manhandled or threatened, for example, by Lucy's gamekeepers. Perhaps that could be clarified, but just deleting sentences does not help. Paul B (talk) 20:14, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Paul, I looked back at this exchange and realized I had completely overlooked your last response, just above this, sorry, I thought you exactly got to the crux of things, and I agree, even with the part about just deleting sentences, and with the idea that perhaps the section could be clarified to reflect what you said, or to make it clear. I might try to come up with something, of course without writing in stone. Thanks.DocFido (talk) 01:23, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Third opinion[edit]

GeorgeLouis (talk · contribs) wants to offer a third opinion. To assist with the process, editors are requested to summarize the dispute in a short sentence below.

Viewpoint by DocFido

Hi GeorgeLouis, Paul may be visiting Stratford-upon-Avon right now, that lucky man. He may be back soon and be able to add his viewpoint. I will respond to you, as I know Paul wanted a third opinion. I'm afraid the subject is rather minor, but here it is: As I said to Paul, I think this sentence should either be left out of the article or made verifiable: "The story has been objected to on the grounds that there were no deer in Charlecote until after Shakespeare's death." I have not seen any sources that will support this particular idea, and it seems common sense that deer would easily have wandered onto the grounds of this large estate, as is suggested in the illustration of Charlecote that accompanies the article. There is not to be confused with having or keeping deer in a deer park.DocFido (talk) 17:35, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Viewpoint by (Paul Barlow)

I am back from Stratford, and back on my own computer, so I am now logged in under my own name. I have no idea whether there were or were not deer at Charlecote in Shakespeare's youth. I submit that it is not for us to decide on the basis of "common sense" what is or is not likely (though I wonder where these deer would have "wandered in" from. The illustration depicts Charlecote after the deer park was created). We report the debate in sources. There is ample evidence that many scholars, including Malone, Sharp and Fripp have argued that there were no deer at this time. We report their arguments, and those of their critics with due weight. Paul B (talk) 19:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Third opinion by GeorgeLouis