26 APRIL 1564

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in Events in History

Baptism of William Shakespeare at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on Avon.  He was the third child of John Shakespeare and his wife Mary Arden.  His exact birthday is not known, probably either 21, 22 or 23 April.  In the 18th century the story became wide-spread that he was born on 23 April, but there is no contemporary evidence supporting this assumption.

William became later the famous playwright, who to a certain extent is responsible for the bad reputation Richard III “enjoys” to this day.  We must never forget that he wrote a play for the theatre that had to be riveting enough to get ‘bums on seats’, his intention was not to write a historian’s essay.  By all accounts, Richard III is not the only one who suffered this fate – Macbeth was apparently also a perfectly good man.

More information: Peter Holland, ‘Shakespeare, William (1564–1616)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011.


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