William Shakespeare Timeline 1564-1616

William Shakespeare

Born – 23rd April 1564
Died – 23rd April 1616
Father – John Shakespeare (1531 – 1601)
Mother – Mary Arden (1537 – 1608)
Spouse – m. 1582 – Anne Hathaway (1556 – 1623)
Children – Susanna (1583 – 1649), Hamnet (1585 – 1596), Judith (1585 – 1662)

Please note: the exact date of publication of Shakespeare’s plays is unknown. The dates given for the writing of his plays are approximate and based on the order the plays were first performed


1564 (23rd April)
William Shakespeare was born at Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon to John Shakespeare, a glove maker, and Mary Arden, daughter of a wealthy farmer. The exact date of his birth is not known but is generally taken to be 23rd April, three days before his christening.
1564 (26th April)
William Shakespeare was christened at Holy Trinity in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
1565 (during)
William’s father became an alderman.
1565 (during)
William’s father became bailiff, a position which entitled his children to free education.
1569 (during)
William began his education at one of the small schools in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
1571 (during)
William attended King’s New School where he would have had lessons in Latin.
1582 (28th November)
William married Anne Hathaway who was eight years older and three months pregnant.
1583 (May)
A daughter, Susanna, was born to William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway.
1583 (26th May)
Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna, was christened at Stratford Church.
1585 (January)
Twins Hamnet and Judith were born to William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway.
1585 (2nd February)
Twins Hamnet and Judith were baptised at Stratford Church.
1585 (after February)
Very little is known of Shakespeare’s life between 1585 and 1592. This period is often referred to as the ‘Lost Years’.
1590 (around)
Shakespeare wrote his first plays, Henry VI Part One, Part Two and Part Three.
1592 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Richard III and The Comedy of Errors.
1592 (during)
Shakespeare was in London writing plays. He was slated by a rival playwright, Robert Greene as an ‘upstart crow’.
1592 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus and The Taming of the Shrew.
1593 (January)
There was an outbreak of bubonic plague in London and the theatres were closed to prevent its spread.
1593 (April)
William Shakespeare published the poem ‘Venus and Adonis’. He dedicated the poem to Henry Wriothesley, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I.
1594 (around)
Shakespeare wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labours Lost and Romeo and Juliet.
1594 (May)
William Shakespeare published the poem ‘The Rape of Lucrece’. He also dedicated this poem to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton.
1594 (Spring)
The outbreak of plague had run its course and the theatres of London were re-opened.
1594 (Spring)
Shakespeare was a founding member and shareholder of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of actors and playwrights. They became very popular and performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I.
1595 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Richard II and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
1596 (around)
Shakespeare wrote King John and The Merchant of Venice.
1596 (August)
Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, died.
1596 (11th August)
Shakespeare’s son, Hamnet, was buried.
1597 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Henry IV Part One and Henry IV Part Two.
1597 (during)
William purchased New Place, the second largest property in Chapel Street, Stratford. While in London he lived in St Helen’s Bishopgate.
1598 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Much Ado About Nothing and Henry V.
1598 (during)
The writer Francis Meres published a very favourable review of Shakespeare’s work. By this time he had published Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II and Titus Andronicus.
1599 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar, As You Like It and Twelfth Night.
1599 (during)
The Chamberlain’s Men built a wooden theatre on the south bank of the river Thames in London which they called The Globe.
1599 (during)
Shakespeare moved London residence and began living in Southwark close to the Globe Theatre.
1599 (during)
William Shakespeare wrote Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Julius Caesar and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
1600 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Troilus and Cressida.
1601 (during)
Shakespeare’s father died. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote Hamlet following his father’s death.
1602 (around)
Shakespeare wrote All’s Well That Ends Well.
1602 (during)
William Shakespeare purchased around 107 acres of land in Stratford for the sum of £320.
1603 (24th March)
Queen Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland became James I of England. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men changed their name to The King’s Men after being given a royal patent by the new king.
1604 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Measure for Measure and Othello.
1604 (during)
Shakespeare moved London residence and began living in rooms rented from Christopher Mountjoy. in the vicinity of St Paul’s Cathedral.
1604 (1st November)
The King’s Men performed in front of James I for the first time.
1605 (around)
Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Macbeth. The latter was inspired by King James’s publication of ‘Daemonologie’ a book that sought to prove the existence of witchcraft.
1605 (during)
Shakespeare invested in a share of the Stratford parish tithes.
1606 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra.
1607 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Coriolanus and Timon of Athens.
1607 (during)
Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna married John Hall, a physician.
1608 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Pericles.
1608 (during)
Shakespeare’s mother died.
1608 (during)
The King’s Men began performing their plays at Blackfriars, an indoor theatre in London which they had taken over. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest around this time.
1609 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Cymbeline.
1609 (during)
154 of William Shakespeare’s sonnets were published.
1610 (around)
Shakespeare wrote The Winter’s Tale.
1611 (around)
Shakespeare wrote The Tempest.
1611 (during)
William Shakespeare left London and returned to Stratford.
1612 (around)
Shakespeare wrote Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen.
1613 (during)
Shakespeare wrote his final plays, Henry VIII and Two Noble Kinsmen.
1613 (during)
The Globe Theatre caught fire during a performance of Henry VIII and was totally destroyed.
1616 (during)
William’s youngest daughter, Judith, married Thomas Quiney, a vintner.
1616 (25th March)
William Shakespeare made changes to his will. He left the bulk of his estate to his eldest daughter, Susanna. His wife was left his ‘second-best bed’ and a gift of £10 was made to the poor.
1616 (23rd April)
William Shakespeare died at Stratford-Upon-Avon of a fever.
1616 (25th April)
William Shakespeare was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-Upon-Avon.
1623 (8th November)
A collection of Shakespeare’s works, known as the First Folio, was published by John Heminge and Henry Condell members of the King’s Men.


Published Aug 09, 2018 @ 4:16 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/william-shakespeare-1564-1616. Last accessed [date]

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