Chugging along through a new biography of Wm Shkspr the other night
(a neat concept, speculative essays by serious scholars
going beyond what little is really known and filling in the blanks imaginatively
using the most recent discoveries
about his life and times)
I was struck by this paragraph,
in the chapter about William’s father, John,
the last line.


A phone photo of a Kindle page, it’s a little fuzzy.

It’s about the oath of office for the office of Bailiff
that John was required to swear.

The line that got me reads:

“His oath of office was ‘to the uttermost of your cunning,
wit and power to maintain and defend  the liberties
of the same borough and shall do
equal right as well to the poor as to the rich.'”

Let’s bring this back.

cunning, wit and power
equal right as well to the poor as to the rich