Timeline of Shakespeare

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Timeline of Shakespeare life and events that happened in London that impacted his writings.


Year Shakespeare London/England
1564 William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-upon-Avon and is the third child of John and Mary Shakespeare.
1571 Shakespeare is eligible to attend Kind Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford.
1582 William Shakespeare marries Anne Hathaway in November.
1583 Their daughter Susanna is born and is baptized on May 26th.
1585 Their twins Hamnet and Judith are born and are baptized on February 2nd.
The Lost Years begin
1587 Shakespeare leaves Stratford. The Rose Theater opens on the Southbank of London.
The first performance of Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, which was a parody using some of Shakespeare and other playwright's works, occurred.
Mary, Queen of Scots is executed
1589 Henry I,II,III,IV is written from 1589 to 1591.
1590 Taming the Shrew is written from1590 to 1595.
The Two Gentleman of Verona is written from1590 to 1594.
"King John" is written from 1590 to 1591.
1591 Richard III is written from 1591 to 1593.
1592 Shakespeare described as an upstart crow in Green's Groats-wroth of Wit which suggests that he was in London at the time. The plague begins in London.
Titus Andronicus is written from 1592 to 1954. The Rose Theater is closed by order of Privy Council after riots in Southwark.
Edward III is written from 1592 to 1594.
1593 Venus and Adonis published with dedication to Earl of Southampton Christopher Marlowe, an English playwright of Shakespeare's time, passes away.
The plague closes all theaters closed from January on.
John Norden publishes Speculum Britanniae which includes map of Westminster.
1954 The Rape of Lucrece is published The Four Year famine beings.
Titus Andronicus is published. Roderigo Lopez, who was the physician to Queen Elizabeth I, is hanged.
The Comedy of Errors is written around 1954 or earlier. Titus Andronicus is first preformed on January 24, according to Philip Henslowe's diary. Henslowe was a theatrical entrepreneur who's diary gives us a glimpse into the past of Renaissance London.
Love's Labour's Lost is written from 1954 to 1955. The Comedy of Errors is preformed at Grey's Inn on December 28th.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is written from 1594 to 1596. A theater company formed under Lord Chamberlain, Henry Cary, Baron Hunsdon.
1595 Richard II is written in 1595. There is a possibility that a performance of Richard II was preformed at Sir Edward Hoby's house in Westminster on December 7th.
Shakespeare is first recorded as a member of Chamberlain's Men. There is an apprentices riot in Southwark and at the Tower over the price of fish and butter in June. Five of them are hanged for treason.
Romeo and Juliet is written from 1595 to 1596.
1596 The death of Hamnet, William and Anne's only son. James Burbage builds the Blackfriars Playhouse
After asking for a coat of arms, his request is granted.
The Merchant of Venice is written from 1596 to 1598.
Henry IV Part 1 is written from 1596 to 1597.
1597 Shakespeare purchases New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Henry IV Part 2 is written from 1597 to 1598.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is written in 1597.
1598 Shakespeare is described as 'best for comedy and tragedy…. among the English's in Francis Meres' Palladia. John Stow's Survey of London is published.
Much Ado About Nothing is written from 1598 to 1599.
1599 Henry V is written in 1599.
"Julius Caesar" is written in 1599.
"As You Like It" is written from 1599 to 1600.
1600 "Hamlet" is written from 1600 to 1601.
1601 William Shakespeare's father John Shakespeare passes away. The Essex Rebellion starts and Essex's supporters request a personal performance of Richard III.
"Twelfth Night" is written in 1601. Earl of Essex is executed.
"Trolius and Cressida" is written from 1601 to 1602.. The Earl of Southampton imprisoned is in the Tower of London
1602 Shakespeare buys additional property in Stratford-upon-Avon inculding a garden and cottege opposite New Place. Twelfth Night preformed at the Middle Temple in February.
"All's Well That Ends Well" is written from 1602 to 1605.
1603 "Othello" is written from 1603 to 1604. Queen Elizabeth I passes away at Richmond Palace on March 24th.
"Sir Thomas Moore" is written from 1603 to 1604. James I ascends the throne.
1604 Shakespeare lived on Silver Street in the upstairs room of the Mountjoys.
"Measure for Measure" is written in 1604.
"King Lear" is written from 1604 to 1606.
1605 Gunpowder plot occurs.
1606 "Macbeth" is written in 1606.
"Antony and Cleopatra" is written in 1606.
1607 His daughter Susanna marries a physician John Hall. The River Thames freezes over leading to the first Frost Fair.
Shakespeare's brother Edmund, who was an actor with the King's Men, passes away.
"Timon of Athens" is written in 1607.
"Pericles" is written from 1607 to 1608.
1608 "Coriolanus" is written in 1608. King Lear is preformed at Whitehall on December 26th.
1609 Shakespeare's Sonnets are published. The King's Men begin preforming at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Winter.
1610 "Cymbeline" is written in 1610.
"The Winter's Tale" is written from 1610 to 1611.
"The Tempest" is written from 1610 to 1611.
1612 "Cardenio",which today is lost, is written from 1610 to 1611. James' son Prince Henry dies on November 6th.
Shakespeare appears as witness at Court of Requests on May 11
1613 Shakespeare buys property in the Blackfriars precinct. James' daughter Princess Elizabeth marries Fredrick, elector palatine and future king of Bohemia on February 14th.
"Henry VIII" is written in 1613. The Globe Theater burns down after a performance of Henry VIII on June 29th.
"Two Nobel Kingsmen" is written from 1613 to 1614.
1614 Rebuilt globe reopens
1616 William Shakespeare passes away on May 5th in Stratford-upon-Avon.
His daughter, Judith, marries Thomas Quiney
His daughter's son Shakespeare Quiney is baptized.
1623 Anne Shakespeare passes away.
The First Folio is published.


  1. Crawforth, Hannah, Sarah Dustagheer, and Jennifer Young. Shakespeare In London. 1st ed. London [u.a.]: Arden Shakespeare, 2015. Print.