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Shakespeare Timeline: From the Accession of Elizabeth I to the Opening of the Globe Theatre

November 17, 1558
Accession of Queen Elizabeth
The daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth succeeded her Catholic sister Mary I and re-established the Protestant Anglican Church.

April 26, 1564
William Shakespeare's Baptism
The baptism of 'Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere' is recorded in the register of the Holy Trinity Parish Church, in Stratford-upon-Avon. Although the exact date of Shakespeare's birth cannot be confirmed, the consensus is that Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564.

September 4, 1568
Election of John Shakespeare as Bailiff
Shakespeare's father, John, was elected to many civic positions including chamberlain of the borough in 1561, alderman in 1565, and high bailiff in 1568. John was also Stratford's official ale taster.

November 27, 1582
Shakespeare's Marriage Licence Issued
The marriage licence was issued to William Shakespeare and Anne Whateley (Hathaway) of Temple Grafton, Warwickshire.

May 26, 1583
The Baptism of Susanna Shakespeare
Susanna was the Shakespeares' first child, born a mere six months after the wedding of her parents. Shakespeare left Susanna most of his property upon his death in 1616.

February 2, 1585
The Baptism of Hamnet and Judith Shakespeare
The twins were named after two very close friends of William: a baker named Hamnet Sadler and his wife, Judith. Tragically, Hamnet Shakespeare died in 1596 at the age of eleven.

Shakespeare Writes Parts 1, 2, and 3 of Henry VI.
Although we do not know the precise dates of composition, it is generally assumed that the Henry VI trilogy was composed by Shakespeare between 1590 and the summer of 1592.

March 3, 1592
First Production of 1 Henry VI
Theatre owner Philip Henslowe listed 1 Henry VI as having been performed by Strange's Men at the Rose on March 3rd, 1592.

September 3, 1592
Death of Robert Greene
Greene is best remembered for his attack on Shakespeare in his autobiographical Groatsworth of Wit (1592): "for there is an up-start Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and beeing an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey." Click here for an explanation of this passage and how it might have affected Shakespeare's career.

April 18, 1593
Registration of Venus and Adonis
Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare's narrative poem in six-line stanzas, was published by Richard Field (1561 - 1624). The poem was dedicated to Shakespeare's patron, Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton.

May 30, 1593
Death of Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe, the great Elizabethan poet and dramatist, was murdered in a tavern brawl. It is argued that Shakespeare alludes to Marlowe's death in As You Like It (3.3.11-12): "it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room."

First Quarto Edition of Titus Andronicus
Three quarto Editions of Titus Andronicus appeared before it was published in the First Folio (1623).

May 9, 1594
Registration of The Rape of Lucrece
Shakespeare wrote this long narrative poem in rhyme royal (seven-line stanzas in iambic pentameter). It appeared in several subsequent quarto editions.

December 28, 1594
Confirmed Performance of The Comedy of Errors
The Comedy of Errors was performed at the Gray's Inn, London, as part of the Christmas celebrations of 1594.

August 11, 1596
Burial of Hamnet Shakespeare
As mentioned above, Hamnet Shakespeare died at the tender age of eleven. No information on the cause of his death or on his burial is known.

October 20, 1596
John Shakespeare Granted Coat of Arms
By permission of the Garter King of Arms, John Shakespeare and his children were granted permission to display the gold coat-of-arms, with a black banner bearing a silver spear. The motto was "Non sanz droict" or "not without right."

First Quarto Editions of Richard III, Richard II, and Romeo and Juliet
The first edition of Richard III was followed by seven more Quarto versions printed over the next forty years. Q1 of Richard II spawned two more editions in 1598. The 1597 quarto edition of Romeo and Juliet is considered corrupt and four more subsequent editions were produced.

May 4, 1597
Shakespeare Buys New Place in Stratford
Shakespeare bought the second-largest house in his home town for a sum of £60. The house was over 100 years old when Shakespeare moved in and it came with ten fireplaces and two barns. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust acquired what was left of the once-magnificent property in 1892.

First Quarto Editions of Love's Labour's Lost and 1 Henry IV
Love's Labour's Lost was first published in the 1598 quarto edition. (There is evidence, however, to suggest that the play was printed at an unknown earlier date). Two quarto editions of 1 Henry IV were produced in 1598.

Opening of the Globe Theatre
The Globe was built in 1599, but the thatch roof caught fire in 1613 owing to the discharge of a cannon during a production of Henry VIII and the theatre was consumed. It was rebuilt in 1614 and finally demolished in 1644. Shakespeare acted and staged many of his plays at the Globe, and he was also one of the shareholders.

How to cite this article:

Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare Timeline Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < >.

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