William Henry Ireland (1775-1835) was a forger of would-be Shakespearean documents and plays. He is less well-kwn as a poet, writer of gothic vels and histories. His father, Samuel Ireland, was a successful publisher of travelogues, collector of antiquities and collector of Shakespearian plays and relics. Son William also became a collector of books. When he was apprenticed to a mortgage lawyer, he began to experiment with blank, genuinely old papers and forged signatures on them. Eventually he forged several documents until he was ready to present them to his father. In 1794, he told his father that he had discovered a cache of old documents belonging to an acquaintance who wanted to remain unnamed, and that one of them was a deed with a signature of Shakespeare in it. Ireland went on to make more findings - a promissory te, a written declaration of Protestant faith, letters to Anne Hathaway (with a lock of hair attached), and to Queen Elizabeth - all supposedly in Shakespeare's hand. In 1795, he published his own book about the papers, a lavishly illustrated and expensively produced set of facsimiles and transcriptions of the papers called Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments under the Hand and Seal of William Shakespeare. In 1805 he published The Confessions of William Henry Ireland, but confession did t help his reputation.