William Shakespeare/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to William Shakespeare.
  • 1564 April 26: William, son of John and Mary Shakespeare, baptized in Stratford-on-Avon (the tradition that he was born on the 23rd seems not to have been traced before the 18th century)
  • 1582 November: Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway
  • 1583 May 26: their daughter Susanna baptized
  • 1585 February 2: twins Hamnet and Judith baptized
  • 1592 March 3: performance of a play noted by a diarist, identified only as Henry VI; generally believed to be Part I; no record of that subtitle before appearance in First Folio (1623); may well be collaboration
  • ,,: anonymous publication of Arden of Faversham, which may include some material by Shakespeare
  • 1593: publication of Venus and Adonis
  • 1594: anonymous publication of The Taming of a Shrew; relation to Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew disputed
  • ,,: anonymous publication of The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster; authorship disputed, but it is agreed that Shakespeare revised this as Henry VI Part II
  • ,,: publication of Titus Andronicus, Rape of Lucrece
  • ,, December 28: performance of The Comedy of Errors
  • 1595: anonymous publication of The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke; authorship disputed, but it is agreed that Shakespeare revised this as Henry VI Part III
  • ,, December 9: performance of Richard II
  • 1596: anonymous publication of Edward III, now believed to include some material by Shakespeare
  • ,, August 11: Hamnet buried
  • ,, October 20: John Shakespeare granted a coat of arms by Garter King of Arms on behalf of the Crown; William thereby acquired the right to a modified form of it
  • 1597: publication of Richard II, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet
  • ,, Christmas: performance of Love's Labour's Lost
  • 1598: publication of Love's Labour's Lost, Henry IV Part I
  • ,,: Palladis Tamia, book by Francis Meres, mentions 12 plays as by Shakespeare: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Comedy of Errors, Love's Labours Lost, Love Labours Won (another ealy source mentions this, but no play has survived under this title), Midsummer Night's Dream, and Merchant of Venice, Richard II, Richard III, Henry the IV (this is actually two plays), King John, Titus Andronicus, and Romeo and Juliet
  • 1598/9: publication of The Passionate Pilgrim under Shakespeare's name; some of the poems in this collection are now known to be by other writers; the only ones definitely by Shakespeare are duplicated elsewhere in his works, but some of the remaining, anonymous ones may be by him
  • 1599 September: performance of Julius Caesar
  • 1600: publication of Much Ado about Nothing, Midsummer Night's Dream, Merchant of Venice, Henry IV Part II, Henry V
  • ,,: As You Like It registered at Stationers' Hall
  • 1601 September 7: death of John Shakespeare
  • 1602 February 2: performance of Twelfth Night
  • ,,: publication of The Merry Wives of Windsor; publication of revised edition of The Spanish Tragedy, now believed to be by Thomas Kyd, with additions some of which may be by Shakespeare
  • ,, July 26: Hamlet entered in Staioners' register
  • 1603 February 7: Troilus and Cressida entered in Stationers' Register, but not published
  • ,,: publication of Hamlet
  • 1604 November 1: performance of Othello
  • ,, December 26: performance of Measure for Measure
  • 1606 December 26: performance of King Lear
  • 1607 June 5: marriage of Susanna Sakespeare and John Hall
  • 1608 February 21: baptism of Elizabeth Hall, the only grandchild born in Shakespeare's lifetime
  • ,, May: Antony and Cleopatra entered in Stationers' register
  • ,,: death of Mary Shakespeare née Arden
  • ,,: publication of King Lear
  • ,,: publication of George Wilkins' "novelization" of Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • 1609: publication of Pericles under Shakespeare's name; it is now generally believed that Wilkins wrote the first two acts, then Shakespeare the other three
  • ,,: publication of Troilus and Cressida, Sonnets
  • 1610 April 20: performance of Macbeth
  • 1611 April: performance of Cymbeline
  • ,, May 11: performance of The Winter's Tale mentioned in diary of Simon Forman
  • ,, November 1: performance of The Tempest
  • 1613 June 29: performance of All Is True, generally believed to be the play appearing in the First Folio (1623) as Henry VIII; now believed to be a collaboration between Shakespeare and John Fletcher
  • ,,: performance of Cardenio; play lost in original form; source does not identify author; see also 1653, 1727
  • 1616 February 10: marriage of Judith Shakespeare and Thomas Quiney
  • ,, April 23: Shakespeare died (date given on his monument)
  • 1622: publication of Othello
  • 1623: publication of Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, commonly called the First Folio, comprising 36 plays, about half not previously published
  • ,, August 6: death of Anne Shakespeare née Hathaway
  • 1626: marriage of Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Hall and Thomas Nash
  • 1634: publication of The Two Noble Kinsmen, by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare (title page attribution now generally accepted)
  • 1640: publication of first collected edition of Shakespeare's poems, edited by John Benson
  • 1647 April 4: death of Thomas Nash
  • 1649 June 5: marriage of Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Nash and John Barnard
  • ,, July 5: death of Susanna Hall née Shakespeare (date on tombstone)
  • 1651 September 25: John Barnard knighted
  • 1653: Cardenio entered in Stationers' register as by Shakespeare and Fletcher
  • 1662 February 9: death of Judith Quiney née Shakespeare, without surviving issue
  • 1670 February 17: death of Shakespeare's last surviving descendant, Lady Barnard; thereafter, his closest relatives were the descendants of his sister Joan Hart, who continue to the present day
  • 1727: Double Falsehood by Lewis Theobald, identified by him as an adaptation of a Shakespeare play, now believed to be Cardenio; see 1613
  • 1844: anonymous publication of Sir Thomas More, now believed to include some material by Shakespeare