Interested in a William Shakespeare timeline? Read on below for a text and image version of a Shakespeare timeline.

Because there’s so much that is unknown about Shakespeare’s life we can’t 100% guarantee the accuracy of this William Shakespeare timeline. However, we’ve made a gallant effort and the Shakespeare timeline below gives a good idea of the course of Shakespeare’s life, with a combination of historically documented and dated facts about Shakespeare along with generally accepted dates for specific events.


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 26th.


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 King’s New School.


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


Susanna, his first child is born.


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


Shakespeare establishes his career and begins to make a name for himself.

Writes: The Comedy of Errors, Henry IV Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus.


Writes and dedicates Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece to Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton – thought to be the beautiful youth of his sonnets.

Begins writing: The sonnets, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Two Gentlemen of Verona.


Founding member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting company.

Published: The Rape of Lucrece.


His son Hamnet dies. Shakespeare purchases New Place, a large house in Stratford.

Writes: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard IIRomeo and Juliet.


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 theatre.

1608 Shakespeare’s mother dies.

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.


1609 The sonnets are published.

Writes: Cymbeline, Pericles Prince of Tyre, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale.


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 Quinney.

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.

A William Shakespeare timeline showing significant dates from his life and works.

A William Shakespeare timeline showing significant dates from his life and works.

The above William Shakespeare timeline not quite enough info for you? Check out our Shakespeare biography or read our Shakespeare facts for more indepth info about the great man.

15 replies
  1. Caitie
    Caitie says:

    There wasn’t very much information, but thanks!!!!!! It is really gonna help with my English project!!!!!!! :D

  2. Tatiana
    Tatiana says:

    it gave me a little something but not enough for my 3 page essay so i think you need to do a little tweek :)

  3. Maxwell
    Maxwell says:

    Yea it’s pretty good , the life and time of a rare gen should not be oblitrated in the minds of every generation….kudos to your wtrite up.


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