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1 year old, 1565. John Shakespeare elected one of the fourteen aldermen of







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1564. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE born April 23. Eldest son of John Shakespeare, and Mary Arden his wife. The father was of yeoman rank, and held various offices in the corporation : the mother inherited a small landed estate called Asbyes, and some property in land at Snitterfield. Plague in Stratford from June to December.

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1566. William's brother Gilbert baptized October 13. Here was an early-sent object to awaken ideas of protecting love in the two-year-old child.

1567. John Shakespeare in good circumstances; owner of a copyhold tenement in Henley Street since 1556. Contributed, with others of his borough, towards the relief of the poor during the visitation of the plague in Stratford in 1564.

1568. John Shakespeare received the highest distinction in the power of his fellow-townsmen to bestow; being elected Bailiff of Stratford-upon-Avon. He held the office, as was usual, from Michaelmas to Michaelmas; and was, ex officio, a magistrate.

1569. William's sister Joan baptized April 15; an aunt Joan standing godmother. This was a sister of Mary (Arden) Shakespeare; and had married Edward Lambert. Theatrical performances in Stratford by "the Queen's Players."

1570. John Shakespeare was in possession of a field called Ingon Meadow. Here may Shakespeare have first run about to gather "daisies pied and violets blue," -a "boy pursuing summer butterflies."

1571. William's sister Anne baptized September 28. Probably his commencement as "schoolboy, with satchel and shining morning face;" but hardly "creeping like snail unwillingly to school."














years old, 1572. The masters of the free grammar-school at Stratford between

1570 and 1578, were, successively, Walter Roche, Thomas Hunt, and Thomas Jenkins. The two former may have been the prototypes of Pinch and Holofernes; the latter, of Sir Hugh Evans.

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William's brother Richard baptized March 11. As his family increased, so increased John Shakespeare's means of supporting them, up to this time.

1574. John Shakespeare purchased of Edmund and Emma Hall, two freehold houses, with gardens and orchards, in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, for the sum of £40.




Gradual declension of John Shakespeare's circumstances in the course of these three years.

1578. John Shakespeare, at a borough hall meeting, permitted to pay but 3s. 4d. as his share of a levied contribution. Mortgaged his wife's estate of Asbyes. Unable to afford poorrates; and was left untaxed.

1579. John and Mary Shakespeare ·

sold their landed property
at Snitterfield for the small
sum of £4. William's sis-
ter Anne buried April 4.

1580. William's brother Edmund
baptized May 3.

1581. Theatrical performances in
Stratford-upon-Avon by
two companies of players.

These three years are the period when Shakespeare might have been a student at either of



one of the inns

of court.


1582. A "preliminary bond" to the solemnization of these seven
matrimony between William Shakespeare and years Shake-
Anne Hathaway was dated November 28. speare may
The seal used on the bond bore the initials have found
R. H.,-those of the bride's father, Richard employment
as a teacher

1583. William Shakespeare's first child, Susanna, at the gram-
baptized May 26.

or as a law.
yer's clerk.

1584. Three companies of actors performed at Strat-
ford. Burbage, Greene, Slye, Heminge, and
Tooley, were players who came of War-
wickshire families; and were probably ac-
quaintances of Shakespeare's at this time.

1585. William's twin boy and girl, Hamnet and
Judith, baptized February 2. His desire to
provide for his increasing family, his own
tastes and talents, and his friends' instances,
probably combined to turn his thoughts to-
wards the stage.

22 years old, 1586. The year of the imputed deer-stealing prank in Sir Thomas John Shakespeare ceased to William left Stratford-upon

Lucy's grounds of Charlcote.
be alderman September 6.
Avon for London.

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No record of these two years. Probably engaged in qualifying himself for his profession of actor; and in altering and adapting plays for the theatre of which he became part proprietor.

1589. William Shakespeare a sharer in the Blackfriars Theatre. His name occurs twelfth on the list of sixteen sharers. Diligent thought and application. Rapidly rising in public renown.

1590. No record.

1591. Spenser's laudatory allusion to Shakespeare as a dramatist, appeared in the “Tears of the Muses;" that poem being then first printed.

1592. Plague in London. Suspension of dramatic performances. Probable period of Shakespeare's possible visit to Italy. Robert Greene's attack upon Shakespeare, posthumously produced by Henry Chettle; who subsequently made apology in his "Kind-heart's Dream."

1593. First edition of "Venus and Adonis" published under the Author's direction by a printer named Richard Field,— said to have been a Stratford man. Building of the Globe Theatre commenced by the leader of the company of actors, Richard Burbage, December 22.

1594. First edition of "Lucrece" brought out at Field's press. Spenser's second tribute to Shakespeare, in his poem of "Colin Clout's Come Home Again." Probable period of Lord Southampton's alleged gift of £1000 to Shakespeare.

1595. Probable period of the opening of the Globe Theatre on the Bankside, the spring of this year. The performances usually took place at three o'clock in the afternoon; and, being open to the air, the theatre served for summer represen


1596. Petition of the Player-sharers (Shakespeare's name fifth on the list) to repair and enlarge their Blackfriars' Theatre for winter performances. William's son Hamnet buried August 11. Help to his parents. Applied for grant of arms to his father.

1597. John and Mary Shakespeare filed a bill in Chancery to recover their mortgaged estate of Asbyes; the mortgagee's son refusing to yield it. William's aid in redeeming his mother's inheritance. His purchase of "New Place," also called the "The Great House," at Stratford: bringing his father and mother home there.


Ben Jonson's comedy, "Every Man in his Humour," first acted, through Shakespeare's influence. Letter from Richard Quiney to Shakespeare, requesting the loan of £30.

35 years old, 1599. 36 1600.









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No record, these two years: but before then had appeared his Two Gen. of V., Love's L. L., Tam. of S., Three Parts of Hen. VI., Titus A., Mids. N. D., Hamlet, Rich. II., Rich. III., Two Parts Hen. IV., Rom. and Jul., King John, Hen. V., As You Like It, Mer. of V., All's Well, Much Ado, and Merry Wives. The first edition (separate 4to) of Love's L. L., Rich. II., Rich. III., Rom. and Jul., Two Parts Hen. IV., Hen. V., Much Ado, Mids. N. D., and Mer. of V. had been printed.

1601. John Shakespeare buried September 8. Thomas Whittington, an old shepherd (possible prototype of Corin, "the natural philospher,") long in the employ of Richard Hathaway, died; leaving in his will a bequest of 40s. to the poor of Stratford, which sum he had placed in the hands of his old master's daughter, Anne Shakespeare.

1602. Patent granted by James I. to William Shakespeare and his company of players, to perform at the Globe Theatre and elsewhere, May 17 (Shakespeare's name second on the list.) Bought 107 acres of land, at Stratford, for £320, adjoining his dwelling. Also became owner of a copyhold tenement there.

1603. Additional purchase of land at Stratford, for £60. Letter of Mrs Alleyn (wife to Edward Alleyn, the actor, and founder of Dulwich College) dated October 20; telling her husband that she had seen "Mr Shakespeare of the Globe," in Southwark; where he had a house since 1596; and where he dwelt when in the metropolis.

1604. Probable period of Shakespeare's retirement from the stage as an actor. The withdrawal of his prudence and discretion in counsel, was adverse to the company. His control and presence ceasing, the ill effects were felt.

1605. Investment of £440 in the purchase of a lease of tithes in Stratford, July 24; described in the indenture as "William Shakespeare, of Stratford-upon-Avon, gentleman." A fellow-actor's (Augustine Phillips) bequest of a gold piece worth 30s. to Shakespeare.

1606. No record: but in the interval since the commencement of the century, Troilus and Cr., Othello, Tw. Night, Henry VIII., M. for M., Com. of E., Lear, and Macbeth, had appeared.


Susanna Shakespeare married to Dr John Hall, June 5. Edmund Shakespeare buried December 31, at St Saviour's, Southwark.

1608. Shakespeare a grandfather; by the birth of Susanna's child, Elizabeth, baptized February 21. Mary Shakespeare buried September 9; probably carried from her son's house to her grave, and breathing her last in his arms. Known to be in Stratford that autumn; stood godfather to a boy named William Walker, October 16.

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