William Shakespeare is acknowledged by many people to be the world’s greatest playwright
When and Where was he Born?
23rd April 1564 (Baptised 26th April) Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
William Shakespeare was the second son of John Shakespeare a town official and Mary Arden. He also had four sisters and three brothers.
Local Dame School in Stratford (or Petti School, a junior annexe of the Grammar School) King Edward the Sixth Grammar School for Boys, Stratford-upon-Avon Avon.
Chronology/Biography of William Shakespeare:
1564: (July 4th) His father John is elected as an Alderman.
1567: (October 13th) Christening of his brother Gilbert.
1568: (September 4th) Shakespeare’s father becomes High Bailiff (Mayor) of Stratford.
1569: (April 15th): Christening of his sister Joan.
1571: (September 5th) His father is made Chief Alderman but a warrant is put out for his arrest for non-payment of his debts totalling £30.
1572: (September 28th) Christening of Shakespeare’s sister Anne.
1574: (March 11th) Christening of his brother Richard.
1575: Family buys a house in Henley Street, Stratford.
1576: Father applies for a Coat-of-Arms.
1577: Shakespeare’s father ceases to attend meetings of Stratford Council.
1579: Burial of Anne Shakespeare.
1580: His father is fined £40 for failure to attend the Queen’s Bench Court to provide security against a Breach of the Peace. (May 3rd) Christening of his brother Edmund.
1583: (May 26th) Christening of his sister Susanna.
1585: (February 2nd) Christening of his twin brother and sister Hamnet and Judith.
1592: (September 25th) His father is named as a recusant, i.e. one who, against the law, does not attend church at least once a month.
1593: (April 18th) First publication of “Venus and Adonis”.
1594: (January 24th) Possible first performance of “Titus Andronicus”. (December 28th) “The Comedy of Errors” performed at Gray’s Inn, London.
1595: (Mar 15th) Shakespeare is mentioned amongst players who performed before Queen Elizabeth the First the previous Christmas.
1596: (August 11th) Burial of Hamnet Shakespeare. (October 20th) His father is granted his Coat-of-Arms.
1597: (April 22nd) Garter ceremonies at Windsor include probable first performance of “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. (May 4th) He buys New Place in Stratford as well as two cottages and two barns. (November 15th) Tax Collector at Bishopsgate, London reports non-payment of 5 Shillings tax by Shakespeare.
1598: (January 24th) Abraham Sturley writes to Richard Quiney about land in Shottery near Stratford and about reducing his land taxes in Stratford. (October 1st) Listed as a defaulter of taxes at St. Helen’s Parish, Bishopsgate, London.
1599: (February 21st) Shakespeare is named with others as a shareholder in land for the Globe Theatre. (October 6th) Again recorded as owing taxes at Bishopsgate.
1600: (October 6th) Recorded as owing 13 shillings and 4 Pence in taxes.
1602: (May 1st) Buys 107 acres of land in Old Stratford. (September 28th) Acquires a quarter of an acre of land and a cottage in Chapel Lane.
1603: (January 1st) “A Midsummer Night’s Dream ” is performed at Hampton Court Palace. (May 19th) Shakespeare’s name is amongst others in a patent changing the name of the “Lord Chamberlain’s Men” to the “King’s Men”.
1604: (March 15th) Shakespeare receives four and a half yards of cloth for appearing at King James the First’s Coronation. (November 1st) “Othello” is performed at Whitehall Palace.
1606: (May 5th) Susanna Shakespeare named as a recusant for not attending an Easter Day Church service.
1607: (June 5th) Susanna Shakespeare marries Dr John Hall at Holy Trinity Church Stratford.
1608: (October 16th) Shakespeare and 6 colleagues lease Blackfriars Theatre London for 21 years. (September 9th) His mother is buried at Stratford.
1609: (May 20th) The Sonnets are recorded in the Stationer’s Register in London.
1612: (January 28th) Gilbert Shakespeare is buried.
1613: (February 14th) Richard Shakespeare is buried. (March 10th) Shakespeare buys Blackfriar’s Gatehouse in London. (July 15th) Susanna Shakespeare sues John Lane for the defamation of her character in the Consistory Court.
1614: (September 5th) A Document is drawn up showing that Shakespeare owns 127 acres in Stratford.
1615: (April 26th) Law suit with Matthew Bacon about the Blackfriar’s property.
1616: (January 25th) his Will is drawn up. (February 10th) Judith Shakespeare marries Thomas Quiney. (March 12th) Judith and Thomas are excommunicated. (March 25th) Shakespeare revises his will.
(1623): (November 8th) Publication of the First Folio of all Shakespeare’s collected plays.
Note: Dates are of publication/first performance and do not necessarily mean the year a work was written. (As listed by Martin Gray)
1590: “Apochrypha”. “Edward 3rd”. “Fair Em”. “The Miller’s Daughter”. “Mucedorus”.
1591: “Henry 6th Parts 2-3”.
1592: “Henry 6th Part 1”. “The Comedy of Errors”.
1593: “Richard 3rd”. “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. “Venus and Adonis”.
1594: “Titus Andronicus”. “The Taming of the Shrew”. “The Rape of Lucrece”.
1595: “Love’s Labours Lost.”. “Romeo and Juliet”. “Richard 2nd”. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
1596: “King John”. “The Merchant of Venice”.
1597: “Henry 4th Parts 1-2”.
1598: “Much Ado About Nothing”. “Loves Labour’s Won”.
1599: “Henry 5th”. “Julius Caesar”. “As You Like It”.
1600: “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. Twelfth Night”.
1602: “Troilus and Cressida”. “All’s Well That End’s Well”.
1604: “Othello”. “Measure for Measure”.
1605: “King Lear”.
1607: “Timon of Athens”. “Antony and Cleopatra”.
1608: “Coriolanus”. “Pericles”.
1611: “The Tempest”.
1612: “A Winter’s Tale”.
1613: “Henry 8th”
28th November 1582 to Anne Hathaway. (Died 1623)
When and Where Did he Die?
23rd April 1616. Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
Age at Death:
Site of Grave:
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.
Places of Interest:
Globe Theatre, Southwark.
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Charlecote House and Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon.