Anne (Hathaway) Shakespeare
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Anne (Hathaway) Shakespeare (abt. 1556 - 1623)

Anne Shakespeare formerly Hathaway
Born about in Shottery, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
Wife of — married Nov 1582 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Aug 2008
This page has been accessed 6,469 times.

Biography

Flag of Warwickshire (adopted 2016)
Anne (Hathaway) Shakespeare was born in Warwickshire, England.

Anne Hathaway was the wife of English poet and playwright William Shakespeare.

She was born in about 1556, the daughter of Richard Hathaway, husbandman, of Shottery, a small village about a mile west of the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Shottery

Her father was buried at Holy Trinity, Stratford on 7 September 1581.[1] His will dated 1 September 1581 states:

I geve and bequethe vnto Agnes my daughter vjli xiiijs iiijd to be paide vnto her att the daye of her maryage[2]

Most scholars accept that Agnes (pronounced "Annis") and Anne were simply variants of the same name.[3]

She married William Shakespeare in late 1582. She was about age 26 and he was 18.[4][5]

The date and location of their wedding are unknown, other than it was held after the Bishop of Worcester granted them a marriage licence on 27 November 1582.[6][4] A marriage bond for £40 given the next day by two friends of the Hathaway family states:

if hereafter there shall not appere any lawfull lett or impediment ... William Shagspere one thone partie, and Anne Hathwey, of Stratford in the Dioces of Worcester, maiden, may lawfully solemnize matrimony together, and in the same afterwards remaine and continew man and wiffe[5][7]

The licence dispensed with the usual requirement for marriage banns to be read out on three consecutive Sundays before the wedding, and instead allowed them to marry after a single reading of banns.[7][4][5]

Their haste to get married is probably explained by Anne being about three months pregnant.[4][5] Their first child, Susanna, was baptised on 26 May 1583. Two years later, she was followed by twins, Hamnet and Judith, probably named after two of the Shakespeare family’s friends, Hamnet and Judith Sadler.[8] The parish register of Holy Trinity, Stratford, records:

  • 1583: "May ... 26. Susanna daughter of William Shakspere."[9][10]
  • 1584/5: "February 2. Hamnet & Judeth sonne & daughter to Williã Shakspere."[11][12]

She is thought to have lived in or near Stratford-upon-Avon for her entire life.[13] So far as is known, Shakespeare divided his time between his theatrical work in London and living with her and their children in Stratford. By 1597 he had accumulated enough wealth to purchase New Place, reportedly the second largest house in Stratford, which became the family's home.[8]

Their only son, Hamnet, died at age 11 and was buried at Holy Trinity, Stratford on 11 August 1596.[14][15]

She is mentioned in the will of Thomas Whittington, shepherd, of Shottery, dated 25 March 1601. He bequeathed to "the poore people of Stratford [of] xls [40 shillings] that is in the hand of Anne Shaxspere wyffe unto Mr Wyllyam Shaxspere."[16]

William Shakespeare is said to have retired to Stratford "some years before his death"[17] although continued to travel to London until at least 1614.[8] He died at Stratford on 23 April 1616.[18]

Under his will, his only bequest to Anne was his "second best bed w[i]th the furniture." He left £300 to their daughter Judith, subject to conditions, and gave their daughter Susanna a life interest in his houses in New Place and Henley Street, Stratford, and Blackfriars, London.[19][20]

She died on 6 August 1623 and two days later was interred next to her husband in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.[21][22] Her inscription reads:

HERE LYETH interred the body of Anne, wife of William Shakespeare, who departed this life the 6 day of Aug. 1623, being of the age of 67 years.[23]

She has no living descendants. Her four grandchildren died young without having children of their own.[24][25]

Sources

  1. Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Burials, 1558-1622-3 , London: privately printed, 1905, page 32 Internet Archive (accessed 16 Apr 2020)
  2. 'Richard Hathaway's last will and testament: original copy', 1 Sep 1582, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 16 Apr 2020). A transcript is here.
  3. Germaine Greer, Shakespeare's Wife, 2008, chapter 1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare A Compact Documentary Life, Oxford University Press, 1977, pages 75-88 Internet Archive (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 J. Payne Collier, The plays of William Shakespeare, London: Whittaker, 1844, volume 1, pages lxxxvi-lxxxvii. Google Books (accessed 27 Mar 2020)
  6. 'Entry in the Bishop's register concerning the marriage of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway', 27 Nov 1582, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  7. 7.0 7.1 'The Shakespeare marriage bond', 28 Nov 1582, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Peter Holland, ‘Shakespeare, William (1564-1616), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn Jan 2013 (accessed 18 Mar 2020).
  9. Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Baptisms, 1558-1652 , London: privately printed, 1897, page 35 Internet Archive (accessed 28 Mar 2020)
  10. 'Parish register entry recording Susanna Shakespeare's baptism', 26 May 1583, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  11. Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Baptisms, 1558-1652 , London: privately printed, 1897, page 39 Internet Archive (accessed 28 Mar 2020)
  12. 'Parish register entry recording Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare’s baptisms', 2 Feb 1585, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  13. S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare A Compact Documentary Life, Oxford University Press, 1977, pages 285 Internet Archive (accessed 16 Apr 2020)
  14. Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Burials, 1558-1622-3 , London: privately printed, 1905, page 55 Internet Archive (accessed 30 Mar 2020)
  15. 'Parish register entry recording Hamnet Shakespeare’s burial', 11 Aug 1596, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  16. 'Thomas Whittington includes in his will a debt owing to him of 40 shillings "in the hand of Anne Shaxspere wyf unto Mr Wyllyam Shaxspere"', 25 Mar 1601, Shakespeare Documented, Folger SHakespeare Libarary (accessed 16 Apr 2020)
  17. Nicholas Rowe (ed), The Works of Mr. William Shakespear; in six volumes, London: John Tonson, 1709, volume 1, page xxxv. Google Books (accessed 2 Apr 2020)
  18. S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare A Compact Documentary Life, Oxford University Press, 1977, page 310 Internet Archive (accessed 5 Apr 2020).
  19. The National Archives. Reference: PROB 1/4. Description: Will of William Shakespeare 25 March 1616. Proved 22 June 1616. Date: 22 June 1616. A transcript is here.
  20. 'Shakespeare's last will and testament: made 25 March 1616, proved 22 June 1616.' Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 8 Apr 2020)
  21. Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Burials, 1558-1622-3 , London: privately printed, 1905, page 104 Internet Archive (accessed 15 Apr 2020)
  22. 'Parish register entry recording Anne Hathaway Shakespeare's burial', 8 Aug 1623, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 15 Apr 2020)
  23. Sir William Dugdale, The Antiquities of Warwickshire Illustrated, London: J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1730, volume 2, page 685. Google Books (accessed 7 Apr 2020)
  24. Nicholas Rowe (ed), The Works of Mr. William Shakespear; in six volumes, London: John Tonson, 1709, volume 1, page xxxvtt. Google Books (accessed 5 Apr 2020)
  25. 'William Shakespeare’s Family', Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (accessed 7 Apr 2020)

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Hi Shirley,

I am pleased to see excellent work that you have done on Anne Hathaway. Keep up the good work. I have found a site which has public domain images of postcards if you are interested. https://tuckdb.org/categories/964/anne-hathaways-cottage They simply ask that you link to the image as acknowledgement. https://tuckdb.org/faq

David.

posted by David Urquhart