Because there’s so much that is unknown about Shakespeare’s life we can’t 100% guarantee the accuracy of this Shakespeare timeline. However, we’ve made a gallant effort and the timeline below give 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 the 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.


Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway November the 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.


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

Writes: Venus and Adonis,
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.

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 Quiney.

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.

Above not quite enough Shakespeare info for you? Check out our Shakespeare biography or the Shakespeare timeline infographic:

shakespear_time_line (2)

Read about Shakespeare’s life >>
Read about Shakespeare timeline >>
Read about Shakespeare biography >>
Read about Shakespeare’s early childhood >>
Read about Shakespeare’s teenage years >>
Read about Shakespeare’s lost years >>
Read about Shakespeare’s London years >>
Read about Shakespeare’s final years >>
Read about Shakespeare’s death >>

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