When Shakespeare was born, Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne. She was the last of the Tudors monarchs. She adored the theatre and paid actors and musicians to perform for her.
It was an exciting time in England:
Explorers were bringing back treasures and
discoveries from around the world.
Artists, musicians and writers were part of the Renaissance, producing amazing new works.
Inventors were busy developing amazing
things like the printing press and the telescope.
Scientists were proving that the world was round
and the sun was the centre of the universe.
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, a busy market town in central England. He went to King Edward VI Grammar School until he was 14. He was lucky to get a good education. Not all children went to school in those days – only the wealthy boys.
It was a strict school, where they learnt Latin, how to write well, perform plays and speak in public. Maths was not considered so important in Shakespeare's time!
Shakespeare's parents, John and Mary, were well-off. John made gloves and leather goods and was a successful man. They had eight children. William (or Will as they would have called him) was their third child. The first two, Joan and Margaret, died as infants from the Black Death (bubonic plague).
Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust Museum
Click to see what it looks like today
Click to see his school
BUY THE BOOK
A book designed to be an engaging and enjoyable first introduction to Shakespeare; his life, work and plays. Discover what is was like to live in Elizabethan England, and learn why Shakespeare is still so popular 400 years after his death.
Illustrations © Adria Meserve 2014.
Text © Penny Worms 2014. All rights reserved.