Stratford upon Avon

By: Alexis, Ashtiné, Blakely, Dyana, & Jia Wen

Shakespeare's History

William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to John and Mary Shakespeare. He was the first son, though their eighth child. Although his birth date is unknown, it is celebrated on April 23. He attended the local school in Stratford. Typically in the 16th century, children at the age of four or five were to read, write, and count. They were also required to learn to Latin by heart. Later, at secondary school, Shakespeare learned grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Shortly after, Shakespeare's schooling came to an end. The fact that he lacked higher education was no problem, due to his love of language and theatre, combined with his large capacity for work and powers of invention. He become the most well-known playwright and writer in the world. Hundreds of years after his time, people of all ages know about Shakespeare, his works are still part of the literature curriculum for high schools, and his plays are still being preformed. All of those things speak volumes about the influence Shakespeare had then, and still continues to have now.

Stratford upon Avon

Stratford is located right in the center of England, and was an important river-crossing settlement, market town, and regional center. Stratford received its borough charter in 1553, eleven years before Shakespeare’s birth. His father, John Shakespeare, became mayor of Stratford when Shakespeare was three years old. By that time, John Shakespeare had become prosperous enough to buy two houses next to each other, which he made into one. This house on Henley Street, which is now known as ‘The Birthplace‘, and that was where Shakespeare grew up. Shakespeare attended the Grammar School, which still stands on the corner of Church Street and Chapel Lane. In November of 1582, he married Anne Hathaway. Her home, which is known as ‘Anne Hathaway’s Cottage‘, still stands in the village of Shottery, a mile from Stratford. Shakespeare left Stratford in 1587, and traveled to London. By 1592, he had become a successful actor and playwright. After becoming successful, he bought 'New Place', one of the biggest houses in Stratford in 1597, and that is where his family lived.