William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright who is widely believed to have been born on or about 23 April 1564. He is known for his many contributions to literature including the 154 sonnets and numerous highly popular plays such as "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet". Many consider Shakespeare to be the best English language writer of all time. His works are still very influential and are studied in schools all over the world.
William Shakespeare, son of John Shakespeare and his wife, Mary Arden, was born at Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire in 1564 and was baptised on 26 April. He is believed to have been educated at King's New School in the town though no evidence exists. So little has been recorded about his early years that speculation still abounds.
In 1582 aged 18 he married Anne Hathaway aged 26, daughter of Richard Hathaway of Shottery, by license dated 27 November 1582 after three lots of banns had been published on the same day. There was reason for the haste for Anne was about 3 months pregnant. Their daughter, Susanna, was baptised 26 May 1583. Twins, Hamnet and Judith, who were named after two of Shakespeare’s lifelong friends, were born in 1585. Very little information is available about Shakespeare’s life for the seven years 1585 to 1592 leading to yet more scholarly speculation.
In 1592, Robert Greene referred to Shakespeare as an ‘upstart crow’ which is the first evidence of the playwright’s rise in London theater. By this time it is thought that he had already written Taming of the Shrew, The Comedy of Errors and parts of Henry VI. He was one of the original members of the company of players, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, founded by Henry Carey, 1st Baron Hunsdon in 1594. Although he took small parts, Shakespeare's forte was writing: during this time, he produced a wide range of notable plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet, sonnets and narrative poems. In 1599 the company opened The Globe theatre on land owned by Nicholas Brend in Southwark.
Shakespeare died at Stratford on 23 April 1616 from an undocumented illness and was buried at Holy Trinity, on the 25th. By his will, overseen by Thomas Russell, he left Anne only his "second best bed".
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Categories: This Day In History April 23 | English Poets | English Playwrights | English Actors | English Authors | Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire | Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon | The Globe | Lord Chamberlain's Men | Authors, England Managed Profiles | Notables