He was born two years after his brother William and was possibly named after the Shakespeare family's neighbour on Henley Street, Gilbert Bradley, a glover and burgess of Stratford.
He was baptised on 13 October 1566 at Holy Trinity, Stratford, and entered in the parish register in Latin as "Gilbertus filius Johannis Shakspere."
He worked as a haberdasher in the parish of St Bride's, London and in 1597 acted as bondsman in the Court of Queen's Bench for a William Sampson of Stratford. He returned to Stratford by 1602 when he is recorded as taking possession of 107 acres of land purchased by his brother William.
He is thought to have lived in Stratford for the rest of his life. In 1609 he was summoned to appear in the Court of Requests, although it is not known why. In 1610, he is recorded as a witness to a deed for the sale of a house in Stratford.
He was buried at Holy Trinity, Stratford, on 3 February 1611/2. The parish register describes him as "Gilbert Shakspeare, adolescens," which is thought to indicate his status as an unmarried man.
↑ 1.01.11.21.3 S. Schoenbaum, William Shakespeare A Compact Documentary Life, Oxford University Press, 1977, pages 26-7. Internet Archive (accessed 20 Apr 2020)
↑ Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Baptisms, 1558-1652 , London: privately printed, 1897, page 12. Internet Archive (accessed 19 Apr 2020)
↑ 'Shakespeare purchases Combe property: Conveyance from John and William Combe to William Shakespeare of 107 acres in Old Stratford', 1 May 1602, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 19 Apr 2020)
↑ J. O. Halliwell, The Life of William Shakespeare, London: J. R. Smith, 1848, pages 28-9. Google Books (accessed 21 Apr 2020)
↑ 'Gilbert Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s younger brother, witnesses a Stratford-upon-Avon deed', 5 Mar 1610, Shakespeare Documented, Folger Shakespeare Library (accessed 19 Apr 2020)
↑ Richard Savage, The registers of Stratford-on-Avon, in the County of Warwick, Burials, 1558-1622-3 , London: privately printed, 1905, page 81. Internet Archive (accessed 19 Apr 2020)