History of Shakespeare

By Mateo Smith


Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I

January 15, 1559

Elizabeth I is coronated as the queen of Great Britain

Birth of William Shakespeare


Born in Stratford-upon-Avon to tanner and glove maker, John Shakespeare and his wife, Mary (Arden). His actual birthday is unknown but assumed to be April the 23rd. His baptism was recorded in the Parish register of Holy Trinity Church on April the 26th.

When Shakespeare would have begun school


If Shakespeare went to school this is when he would have started because children in Stratford began their schooling at the age of seven. He would have gone to the local grammar school

The Theatre (first public playhouse in London)


Built by the English actor and entrepreneur James Burbage

Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world

1577 - 1580

Sir Francis Drake carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition and was the first to complete the voyage as captain while leading the expedition throughout the entire circumnavigation.

Shakespeare gets married

Nov 28, 1582

Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway November the 27th at Temple Grafton, a village near Stratford

Shakespeare's first child


Susanna, his first child is born

Shakespeare has twins


Judith and Hamnet, twins, are born , February 2nd. Shakespeare goes to London and starts his theatrical career

Spanish Armada

July 29, 1588

Spain's "invincible armada" is defeated by English forces under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake.

Shakespeare begins his career

1589 - 1592

Shakespeare establishes his career and begins to make a name for himself.
He writes: The Comedy of Errors, Henry IV Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus.

North Berwick Witch Hunt


A number of people from East Lothian, Scotland, accused of witchcraft in the St Andrew's Auld Kirk in North Berwick

Dr. Faustus premieres


Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus premieres which was an Elizabethan tragedy

Shakespeare's craft


Dedicates Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece to Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton – thought to be the beautiful youth of his sonnets.
He writes: Venus and Adonis, and begins writing: The sonnets, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Shakespeare creates an acting company


Founding member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting company.
Publishes The Rape of Lucrece.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

1595 - 1596

Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" debuted between this time period

Shakespeare's son dies

1596 - 1597

His son Hamnet dies. Shakespeare purchases New Place, a large house in Stratford.
He writes: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet.

Problems arise

1598 - 1608

The The King’s Men and perform regularly at court.
1607 Susanna Shakespeare marries Dr. John Hall.
1608 The King’s Men begin playing at The Blackfriars.
1608 Shakespeare’s mother dies.
He writes: All’s Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Othello, Timon of Athens, Troilus & Cressida, Twelfth Night.

Earl of Essex's Attempted Rebellion


This was an unsuccessful rebellion led by Robert Devereux against Elizabeth I

Succession of King James I


When Queen Elizabeth died in March of 1603, James I was named as her successor

Gunpowder Plot


The failed assassination attempt of King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby



104 Englishmen arrived and founded a colony in the name of their king

Shakespeare's sonnets are published

1609 - 1611

1609 The Sonnets are published.
He writes: Cymbeline, Pericles Prince of Tyre, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale.

King James Bible was published


This bible was an English translation of the Christian bible for the church of England

Shakespeare after acting

1612 - 1616

Shakespeare retires from the theatre and returns to live in Stratford. Works on new plays with his friend, John Fletcher.
1616 Judith Shakespeare married Thomas Quiney.
He writes: Cardenio, Henry VIII, The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Shakespeare dies on 23rd April 1616 (on his birthday) and is buried in Holy Trinity Church , Stratford Upon Avon.
Above not quite enough Shakespeare info for you? Check out our Shakespeare biography or the Shakespeare timeline infographic:

Globe is destroyed by fire

June 29, 1613

The Globe theatre was associated with Shakespeare and was destroyed by a fire

Plague hits London

1665 - 1666

The Great Plague was the last major epidemic of the Bubonic Plague to occur in England. This plague closed all the theatres in London