When was Shakespeare Born?
Shakespeare was born in 1564 into a prosperous family in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK. Although there is no record of his birth, it is presumed that Shakespeare was born on 23 April because he was entered into the baptism register of Holy Trinity Church shortly after.
Where was Shakespeare Born?
William’s father, John Shakespeare, owned a large family house in the town center which is presumed to be the birthplace of the Bard. You can still visit the very room in which it is believed that Shakespeare was born.
For centuries, Shakespeare’s Birthplace has been a place of pilgrimage for the literary minded. The tradition started in 1769 when David Garrick, a famous Shakespearean actor, organized the first Shakespeare festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Since then, the house has been visited by scores of famous writers including:
- John Keats (1817)
- Sir Walter Scott (1821)
- Charles Dickens (1838)
- Mark Twain (1873)
- Thomas Hardy (1896)
They used diamond rings to scratch their names into the glass window of the birth room. The window has since been replaced, but the original glass panes are still on display.
Thousands of people every year continue to follow this tradition and visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace – and the house remains one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s busiest attractions.
Preserving the Birthplace as a National Memorial
When the Birthplace’s last private occupant died, money was raised by committee to buy the house at auction and preserve it as a national memorial. The campaign was given impetus when a rumor spread that P. T. Barnum, the American circus owner wanted to buy the house and ship it to New York!
The money was raised successfully and the house was in the safe hands of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust by 1847. Today, the house has been converted into a museum and is open to the public all year round.