While the use of well as an intensifier of most adjectives had supposedly died out by Early Modern English (Fettig 1934: 186, Mustanoja 1960: 327, Stenström 2000: 188, Ito and Taglimonte 2003: 278), no studies have empirically examined its frequency diachronically. The present study traces its use from Early Modern English (1560) to Present Day English, (2014) using five speech-related corpora in addition to various dialectal sources and audio/video clips. Results indicate that this use was retained in some dialects of English despite not being attested in the Corpus of English Dialogues nor the Old Bailey Corpus, which document predominantly the incipient standard variety. A qualitative analysis of its use reveals a potential diachronic shift in its stress pattern and the scale structure of its intensified heads. Moreover, the present study discusses some of the methodological challenges which arise when using historical corpora to investigate linguistic change, drawing particular attention to sample representativeness and data analysis.