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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the world’s leading charity in promoting the works, life and times of William Shakespeare. The Trust offers a unique Shakespeare centered experience with outstanding archive and library collections, inspiring educational and literary event programs and five wonderful houses all directly relating to Shakespeare. As an independent charity the Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding. The Trust depends entirely on income generated through their supporters: their visitors, volunteers, donors and Friends.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s History
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was formed in 1847 following the purchase of Shakespeare’s Birthplace as a national memorial.

The role of the Trust grew with the purchase in 1876 of Shakespeare’s New Place estate, comprising the site of Shakespeare’s grand final home and Nash’s House (the home of Thomas Nash and Shakespeare’s grand-daughter Elizabeth).

The Trust purchased Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the girlhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, in 1892 and Mary Arden’s House was purchased in 1930.

The last house to be acquired was Hall’s Croft, the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, physician Dr John Hall, in 1949.

In 1964 to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the Trust threw open the doors of its new headquarters and study facility, the Shakespeare Centre.  This distinctive building provides a home for the Trust’s extensive Shakespeare Centre library and archive (including the RSC archive). The second part of this project, an extension including facilities for the Trust's educational and cultural work and a visitor centre for Shakespeare’s Birthplace, was added in 1981.

In addition to the Shakespeare Houses, the Trust cares for Harvard House on behalf of the Harvard House Memorial Trust.
 

Terms of use

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Events at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Grand Opening
Grand Opening of Shakespeare's New Place
01 July 2016

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is transforming New Place, the site of Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon for the last 19 years of his life into a major new heritage landmark where visitors can make their own personal connection with Shakespeare.

Documents contributed by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

April 26, 1564
The earliest reference to William Shakespeare appears in the parish register for Holy Trinity Church in an entry for his baptism on April 26, 1564.
December 20, 1564
The outbreak of plague in July 1564, meant that fewer members of the Corporation attended its subsequent meetings. Attendance reached its lowest point on December 20, shown here, when only 13 were present.
January 10, 1564
The Corporation elected two chamberlains in September or October each year to manage its financial affairs. One chamberlain was responsible for drawing up the account for the following twelve months, while the other checked it.
September 27, 1564
On September 27, 1564, John Shakespeare was one of ten capital burgesses included in a list of those witnessing an order.
July 4, 1565
The Corporation was made up of 14 aldermen, who were named in the town’s 1553 charter of incorporation, and 14 capital burgesses who the aldermen elected to assist them.

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