William Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon

Picture of an approximation of
William Shakespeare's New Place

The Biography of William Shakespeare

  • Why did he retire ?
  • What did he do in Stratford-upon-Avon?
  • Did he write any other plays?
  • Did he visit London?
  • Interesting information about the family, life and times of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon


  • In 1610 William Shakespeare appears to have retired to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • He had left his home in Stratford for London sometime before 1592 - an absence of nearly 20 years
  • He had lived in lodgings in London before buying his own house, a gatehouse to the main entrance to the vast monastery of the Black Friars next to Blackfriars Theatre
  • Shakespeare had become rich and famous living in London but had kept business interests in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon
  • All of his family lived in Stratford. His brother, Edmund had joined him in the London but had died of the plague in 1607
  • No particular event seems to have prompted Shakespeare's retirement and return to Stratford-upon-Avon
  • He was part owner of the Globe Theatre and the Blackfriars Playhouse taking 10% of the profits. This must have been a considerable sum, which Shakespeare would have received regardless of his location
  • He had bought New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon, a magnificent house with servants and other property in the location
  • He also had interests in the corn and malt trades. He had been given a Coat of Arms. He was a respected businessman in Stratford
  • Perhaps he just wanted to leave the noisy, rowdy city of London for the peaceful countryside and the comfort of his family


  • In 1610 William Shakespeare moved to New Place in Stratford
  • In 1611 the first recorded performances of The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, the Tempest and Cymbeline were played in London - Shakespeare probably attended some of these performances. Productions of the Tempest and The Winter's Tale took place before King James I - Shakespeare would have definitely made an appearance at these events!
  • On June 29th 1613 the Globe Theatre was burnt to the ground and re-built six months later - Shakespeare would have no doubt been involved
  • But he remained living in Stratford where he would have been able to enjoy life with his family including his wife Anne, his daughters Judith and Susanna and granddaughter, Elizabeth

William Shakespeare Index

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