William Shakespeare Biography describes the life of William Shakespeare.
From birth to death, Shakespeare Biography describes all that is known
about Shakespeare's life from available documentation including court
and church records, marriage certificates and criticisms by
Shakespeare (1564-1616): Who was he?
Though William Shakespeare is recognized as one of literature’s greatest
influences, very little is actually known about him. What we do know
about his life comes from registrar records, court records, wills,
marriage certificates and his tombstone. Anecdotes and criticisms by his
rivals also speak of the famous playwright and suggest that he was
indeed a playwright, poet and an actor.
Date of Birth? (1564)
William was born in 1564. We know this from the earliest record we have
of his life; his baptism which happened on Wednesday, April the 26th,
1564. We don’t actually know his birthday but from this record we assume
he was born in 1564. Similarly by knowing the famous Bard's baptism
date, we can guess that he was born three days earlier on St. George’s
day, though we have no conclusive proof of this.
Brothers and Sisters.
William was the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare. The first two
were daughters and William was himself followed by Gilbert who died in
1612 and Richard who died in 1613. Edmund (1580-1607), sixth in the line
was baptized on May the third, 1580 and William's oldest living sister
was Joan who outlived her famous playwright brother. Of William’s seven
siblings, only Judith and four of his brothers survived to adulthood.
From baptism records, we know William's father was a John Shakespeare,
said to be a town official of Stratford and a local businessman who
dabbled in tanning, leatherwork and whittawering which is working with
white leather to make items like purses and gloves. John also dealt in
grain and sometimes was described as a glover by trade.
John was also a prominent man in Stratford. By 1560, he was one of
fourteen burgesses which formed the town council. Interestingly, William
himself is often described as a keen businessman so we can assume he got
his business acumen from his father. In the Bard's case, the apple
didn’t fall far from the tree at all...
William's mother: Mary Arden.
William's mother was Mary Arden who married John Shakespeare in 1557.
The youngest daughter in her family, she inherited much of her father’s
landowning and farming estate when he died.
Early Days on Henley Street...
Since we know Stratford's famous Bard lived with his father, John
Shakespeare, we can presume that he grew up in Henley Street, some one
hundred miles northwest of London.
The Bard's Education.
Very little is known about literature’s most famous playwright. We know
that the King’s New Grammar School taught boys basic reading and
writing. We assume William attended this school since it existed to
educate the sons of Stratford but we have no definite proof. Likewise a
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