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. 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
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.
Their haste to get married is probably explained by Anne being about three months pregnant. 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. The parish register of Holy Trinity, Stratford, records:
1583: "May ... 26. Susanna daughter of William Shakspere."
She is thought to have lived in or near Stratford-upon-Avon for her entire life. 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.
Their only son, Hamnet, died at age 11 and was buried at Holy Trinity, Stratford on 11 August 1596.
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."
William Shakespeare is said to have retired to Stratford "some years before his death" although continued to travel to London until at least 1614. He died at Stratford on 23 April 1616.
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.
↑ '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)
↑ 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)
↑ S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare A Compact Documentary Life, Oxford University Press, 1977, page 310 Internet Archive (accessed 5 Apr 2020).
↑ 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.
↑ 'Shakespeare's last will and testament: made 25 March 1616, proved 22 June 1616.' Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 8 Apr 2020)
↑ 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)