To be or… not to be. That is the question. But our question today isn’t “to be or not to be.” It’s what not many of us know about Shakespeare, such as his childhood, school, where he went to university etc.


William Shakespeare was born on the 23rd April 1564 in Stratford Upon Avon. His childhood home is still there today- and is now open for everyone to see.

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His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove-maker and made all kinds of gloves in his workshop on the ground floor. The window, now facing the shops on the high street, was where he sold all his gloves. It was a trading location at the time, and it still is!

Back in the Tudor era, you had to have a licence for all trading sectors, such as selling food or clothes. John had a licence for glove making.

To find out more about the Tudor era, click here.

His education

Because John Shakespeare was the Earl of Stratford (which is equivalent to the Mayor of Stratford) he got William a place in the local grammar school for free. If Shakespeare had gone to a different school, we may not know him as the famous playwright today…

From the age of 6 or 7, for 6 days of the week, at 6am he went to the local grammar school, which is still there today.

He left at the age of 14. He didn’t go to university because he was going to pay off his father’s debts. His works may not have been the same if he went to university. Who knows?

His inspiration for his plays

We don’t know where he got his inspiration from, but we do know that it would have been from the time he spent helping his father pay off debts.

Here comes the bride!

In 1582, when he was 18 years old, he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. She was already three months pregnant with her first child by the time Shakespeare married her.

They both had three children and had them baptised. The children being baptised was the last record of Shakespeare for seven years. By this time, Shakespeare had gone down to London to get a job. He was, at first, an actor. The next time he was recorded was when he had written his first play.

Let’s write some plays!

In 1589-1590, Shakespeare wrote Henry VI Part One on this year. A year later, he wrote Henry VI Part Two and another year later, Henry VI Part 3. But it wasn’t until 1598 when he was actually credited for writing the plays.

Building the Globe

By 1599, Shakespeare was both famous and very rich thanks to the writing of his plays. By this point, Shakespeare was one of the people who owned Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

Special thanks to
Here is a video explaining Shakespeare’s childhood.

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