On an April night unknown, in 1564, at a humble home in Henley St. in the quiet town of Stratford, England Isle of Wight, John and Mary Shakespeare gave birth to a poet. William Shakespeare was born on what is believed to be the 23rd of April the feast day of patron saint the dragon-slayer St. George, and though there are no known records either to confirm or deny, this date was subsequently accepted, has been established, and is widely celebrated as the day of both his birth and his death. In fact, The Book of Common Prayer states that unless there is a valid reason to postpone the ceremony, a newborn must be baptized on the first holy day following its birth and records from the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford show that Gilielmus Filius Johannes or William Shakespeare was baptized on 26 April, 1564. John Shakespeare was an apprentice tanner of leathers who moved from Snitterfield to Stratford in or around 1532 and made his fortune dealing farm products and wool. Eventually he was able to purchase several properties in the Stratford areathree to be exactone on Greenville St. and another on Henley St. to accompany the first. Mary Arden was the daughter of Sir Robert Arden of Wincote, a very prominent and wealthy landowner with a sixty-acre establishment called Asbies. Note: although John and Mary were prominent citizens of their community, there is evidence to support the fact that neither John nor Mary could read or write as John used a pair of glovers compasses as his signature on all official documents, while Mary used a running horse. William was the third of eight children, four sisters, three of which didnt live past age eight, one who lived to be seventy-sevenJoanwho eventually outlived a...
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...es they caused. It was also decided that events directly linked to large public gatherings such as live theater and live music, promoted deviant behavior and attracted a criminal element as such events were the ideal setting for prostitutes and predators alike. In 1613, when the original Globe Theater was gutted by fire and burned to the ground, Shakespeare and the other four shareholdersalso members of the Chamberlains troupeimmediately had it redesigned and rebuilt. For the next three years, until his death in 1616, William Shakespeare held a controlling interest in the now newly refurbished Globe Theater.
Bate, Jonathan and Russell Jackson. Shakespeare: An Illustrated
Stage History. New York: Oxford UP, 1996.
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare Online. Shakespeare of Stratford. 2000.
17 Nov. 2002 <http://www.shakespeare-online.com>.
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