Arguably the greatest poet and play-wright in English history, William Shakespeare was born on the 23rd of April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
He was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, and lived in a fairly well-of family, even though he grew up in a simple, timber town house. He probably had a good education at Stratford Grammar School – even though he was pulled out early as his family could no longer afford it – and married Anne Hathaway in 1582.
Ten years later in 1592, Shakespeare left his family with London in sight, and it is frequently remarked that the 1590s were his best years of writing plays and sonnets.
Shakespeare gradually improved from a mere actor or teacher to a playwright and was supported in his work by the Earl of Wriothsley. He still continued to perform for Lord Chamberlain’s Men but contributed his play writing skills to the establishment.
Lord Chamberlain’s Men we’re evicted from their previous theatre and took the materials and money to a bank on the Thames where they built The Globe, London’s most important centre of entertainment.
As the business grew, Shakespeare made great amounts of money from his earlier investments and enjoyed a cut of their profits. With this financial freedom, William bought a large house in Stratford called New Place.
Shakespeare is known to have had at least 38 plays, but many have not be found or only parts have been recovered. The most famous include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet and Henry V.
It is assumed that Shakespeare died on the same day he was born, 23rd April, in 1616, after spending the remainder of his life in this large house. The Holy Trinity Church was the site of his burial.