William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

Died aged c. 52

William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "the Bard"). His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. They also continue to be studied and reinterpreted. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. At age 49 (around 1613), he appears to have retired to Stratford, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive; this has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, his sexuality, his religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. Until about 1608, he wrote mainly tragedies, among them Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, all considered to be among the finest works in the English language. In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies (also known as romances) and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of Shakespeare's plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy in his lifetime. However, in 1623, two fellow actors and friends of Shakespeare's, John Heminges and Henry Condell, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of Shakespeare's dramatic works that included all but two of his plays. The volume was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Jonson presciently hails Shakespeare in a now-famous quote as "not of an age, but for all time".

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Family tree

Commemorated on 17 plaques

Nick Harrison on Flickr
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Simon Harriyott on Flickr
Simon Harriyott on Flickr
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Nick Harrison on Flickr

William Shakespeare acted at The Theatre. Built by James Burbage. Plays by Shakespeare were performed here.

Curtain Road, London, United Kingdom where they acted

The Lord Chamberlain's Men (Shakespeare's company) performed in the courtyard of The White Hart through this archway in the 1690's. "All the world's a stage"

Russell Square, Marlborough, United Kingdom where they was

The Shakespeare William Shakespeare was born twenty miles from Birmingham in Stratford-upon-Avon. Despite developing his career in London, Shakespeare's family remained in Stratford and he made frequent retreats to his home town. The Shakespeare stands close to the centre of Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter where in 1773 Parliament granted the Hallmarking Act and the Birmingham Assay Office was created. The success of the Assay Office was due to it's pioneering use of steam-powered presses for hallmarking. Today it is the largest in the world and is responsible for hallmarking over 12 million items a year.

The Shakespeare, Summer Row, Birmingham, United Kingdom where they was born twenty miles from Birmingham in Stratford-upon-Avon

Near this site stood The Curtain Theatre 1577-c.1627 Second English public playhouse Here William Shakespeare acted & plays by Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were performed.

18 Hewett Street, Hackney, London, United Kingdom where they acted

The Birthplace of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Entrance via The Visitors' Centre 40 metres

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they was born (1564)

The George Inn. It is known that the George Inn existed in the late 16th Century although the present building dates from 1677. Both Shakespeare and Dickens knew the hospitality of the inn which has continued right up to the present day. The inn is now owned by The National Trust

73 Borough High Street, Southwark, SE1, London, United Kingdom where they stayed

Site of "White Hart Inn" immortalized by Shakespeare in "Henry VI" & Dickens in "Pickwick Papers"

White Hart Yard, Borough High Street, Southwark, SE1, London, United Kingdom where they wrote about

Here stood the Globe Playhouse of Shakespeare 1598 - 1613

Park Street, SE1, London, United Kingdom where they was

The Shakespeare Centre Opened by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare 1564-1616 with the help of contributions from the lovers of many nations opened on 22 April 1964 by the Hon. Eugene R. Black of the American 1964 Shakespeare Committee. Visited by his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh K.G. K.T. on the poet's birthday 23 April 1964 Laurence Williams Architect

The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they lived near (1964)

Until 1957 here stood The Booth Hall mentioned in 1230, it served as Guildhall, Assize Court, Theatre, Concert Hall and finally cinema. Here Shakespeare probably acted, M.P's were elected and George Whitefield preached.

Shire Hall - Westgate Street, Gloucester, United Kingdom where they acted

King Edward VI School Shakespeare's School This Guildhall was built in 1420 and is the place where William Shakespeare was educated and first witnessed professional theatre. It served as the centre of civic life in Stratford for over 400 years and was the building in which Shakespeare's father, John, served as the town's bailiff. The Schoolroom on the upper floor is still in use today. As a state school we receive no government funding to support the upkeep of the Guildhall. The last major restoration of the building took place in 1891, and is now in urgent need of repair and conservation. We have made an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund but we need to raise in excess of £200,000 ourselves. We will then be able to open it to the public on a daily basis when lessons are not being taught.

King Edward VI School - Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they educated

The Windmill says Welcome friends! I've been an inn for more than 350 years. While Will Shakespeare was writing his immortal plays some of his fellow townsmen were enjoying their favourite drink here. They must have enjoyed his company, too, for he lived only a hundred yards away and the home of his daughter, Susanna Hall, was round the corner in Old Town. The Welcome at the Windmill is as cordial now as it was in the poet's day.

The Windmill Inn, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they was near

On 10th March 1613 William Shakespeare purchased lodgings in the Blackfriars Gatehouse located near this site

5 St Andrew's Hill, London, United Kingdom where they purchased

William Shakespeare had lodgings near here in 1604, at the house of Christopher and Mary Mountjoy

St Olave's Churchyard, Noble Street EC2, London, United Kingdom where they lodged near

This Court contains an early Baptist Chapel the home of the Baptist Church whose records dates from 1655. The building has furniture of that period. The Burial Ground has the Tombs of the Shakespeare & other noted Families.

Church Street, Tewkesbury, United Kingdom where they was

Shakespeare's New Place Built in 1483, New Place was the largest house in the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon. William Shakespeare bought New Place in 1597. It became his family home, and he lived here with his wife Anne and their daughters Susanna and Judith. Shakespeare died at New Place in April 1616. The house passed to his daughter Susanna Hall and, after her death in 1649, to his granddaughter Elizabeth Nash. Following Elizabeth's death in 1670, Sir John Clopton replaced it with a new house, completed in 1702. New Place was finally demolished by the Rev. Francis Gastrell in 1759. Since 1876 the site of Shakespeare's adult home has been preserved as a garden and cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Following extensive archaeological investigations the gardens at New Place were re-presented and opened in 2016 with an exhibition centre located in the adjoining Nash's House.

Shakespeare's New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they lived (1597-1616)

The Guildhall and Grammar School The Guildhall was built in 1417-20 as the headquarters of the Guild of the Holy Cross. In 1553 following the suppression of the Guild, the building was granted to the newly-formed Stratford Corporation by Edward VI. It served as the council's meeting place for the next 300 years, including the year 1568-9 when William Shakespeare's father, John, served as Balliff. The Guild's school, re-founded as The Kyng's Newe Scole in 1553, occupied part of the upper floor from the 1560s and it was here that William Shakespeare was eduated. In the late 1500s travelling players performed regularly in the Guildhall providing Shakespeare with his first experience of professional theatre. The Guildhall continues to be used for teaching by King Edward VI School.

The Guildhall and Grammar School - Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom where they was educated