William Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon

The Biography of William Shakespeare

  • Prosperity! Fame! Success!
  • How did he earn his money?
  • How much did he purchase New Place for?
  • What was New Place like?
  • Interesting information about the family, life and times of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon


  • By 1596 William Shakespeare was a real success
  • He had found a Patron in the Henry Wriothesley who was the Third Earl of Southampton
  • He had had his poems published by his Stratford friend Richard Field - Venus and Adonis was published in 1593 to critical acclaim and financial reward

Picture of an approximation of
William Shakespeare's New Place

William Shakespeare Index


  • He was mingling with the Literary elite. He belonged to the Friday Street Club and met with the most famous authors, playwrights and poets of the era including Ben Jonson, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher. John Donne, Robert Herrick, John Selden and Sir Walter Raleigh
  • He belonged to the most important acting troupe in England, the Chamberlain's men
  • His stake in the Globe Theatre earned him 10% of the profits - given the number of productions and audience size this was a large amount of money
  • He acted in the presence of Queen Elizabeth I
  • William Shakespeare had been granted permission to display a coat-of-arms and was entitled to put "gentleman" after his name
  • He worked as an actor, a playwright and a poet - he had become rich and successful!
  • He was going to invest in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon and look after his family


  • In 1597 on May 4th William Shakespeare purchased New Place, the second largest house in Stratford for the sum of 60
  • He also purchased two cottages and two barns in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • New Place was an impressive building, made of brick, with a courtyard at the front, and barns, spacious gardens and orchards at the rear
  • The property was such a size that he would have certainly had servants including a gardener. The household was run by his wife Anne
  • The picture at the top of the page is an approximation of what New Place would have looked like
  • In 1598 William is mentioned as among the chief holders of corn and malt in Stratford so we know that despite his career in London he was still clearly a man of some importance in Stratford
  • Shakespeare and other members of the acting company financed the building of the Globe Theatreand became entitled to a 'cut' of the profits
  • In 1602 Shakespeare bought land and an estate in Stratford for 320 - it consisted of 107 acres in the open fields of Old Stratford, together with a farm-house, garden and orchard, and 20 acres of pasture
  • He was extremely rich and successful

William Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon

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