Shakespeare fact file:

About Shakespeare:

Early Life

Shakespeare was born on the 23rd of April, 1564.
In 1564, the population of England was between 3 and 5 million.
His parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Shakespeare née Arden.
He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and baptised there on the 26th of April, 1564.
2 years before William Shakespeare was born, Queen Elizabeth almost died from smallpox.
Around 3 months after Shakespeare was born, there was a devastating outbreak of plague that killed atleast 200 people.
Because he was born under the old 'Julian' calendar his date of birth would actually be in May.
The religion in england changed a lot during the 16th century. It went from Protestantism (Edward VI) to Catholicism (Mary Tudor) back to Protestantism (Queen Elizabeth).


Shakespeare was educated at the King's New School in Stratford-upon-Avon.
King's New School was open to any local boy as long as he could read or write.
Boys would start school at 7 years old and attend the school for 7 or 8 years.
The schoolday started at 6 in the morning and ended at around 5 or 6 in the evening, and the boys went to school 6 days a week.
The main subject taught was Latin.
Shakespeare left school at 15 years old.
The headmaster had an annual salary of £20 (around £10,000 in today's money).


When Shakespeare was 18 years old, he married Anne Hathaway (8 years older than him).
In a ledger used for recording licenses for marriage, the bride was recorded as being called Anne Whateley instead of Anne Hathaway.
Shakespeare paid £40 (around £20,000 now) for a marriage bond so the marriage could be conducted quicker.
Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had 3 children: Susanna (May 1583), Judith and Hamnet (both born in early February 1585)

London during Shakespearean times

London was full of disease and plagues.
Whenever the death toll in the city reached 40, Parliament would ban all public gatherings (except for church) within 7 miles of London.
The life expectancy in London was 35 years at maximum in the richer districts and in the poorer districts the life expectancy was barely past 25 years.
London was mostly surrounded by walls. Within the city walls, London spanned 448 acres.
At night all taverns were closed and citizens were forbidden to be out, although the night constables and watchmen were often portrayed as being dimwits which suggests they were not regarded with much fear.
Although waste poured into the River Thames, there was still full of life (shrimp, trout, eels, catfish, hagfish, carp).
On one occasion a whale nearly got stuck between the arches of the London Bridge.
As space was quite valuable in London, some buildings were 6 storeys high and protruded as much as 65 feet (25 metres) over the River Thames.
People in London loved their foods sweet and many types of food were covered with sugar (fish, eggs, meat etc.). People loved sugar so much that a large number of the population had black teeth.
Rich women would whiten their skin with mildly toxic materials (borax, sulphur and lead) to look beautiful.
There was lots of crime, and it was so widespread that practitioners were split into different fields of specialization. Some examples were foists (pickpocketers), nips/nippers (cutpursers), hookers (people who snatched desirables through windows using hooks and abtams (people who feigned lunacy to provide distractions).


Shakespeare's career as a playwright and actor began sometime in the 1590s.
Nobody is sure which play William Shakespeare wrote first, but the first play performed was one of the three parts of Henry VI.
Shakespeare wrote at least 36 plays and 137 sonnets.
Hamlet is the longest Shakespearean play, with 4,042 lines and 29,551 words.
The shortest play by Shakespeare was The Comedy of Errors, with 1,787 lines and 14,369 words.

Made by Nathaniel Sinclair Smith, 8C