William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in England and was baptized a few days later on April 26, 1564. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker and wool merchant; and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do landowner. Shakespeare was (probably) educated at the local King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford.
The next recorded event in Shakespeare’s life is his marriage at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway, the daughter of a local farmer, on November 28, 1582. She was eight years older than he; and their first child, Susanna, was born six months after their wedding. Two years later, the couple had twins, Hamnet and Judith, but their son died when he was 11 years old.
Shakespeare’s life between 1585 and 1592 is often called 'the lost years' because there is no record of what he did at this time. By the time he reappears again, mentioned in a London pamphlet, Shakespeare had made his way to London without his family and was already working in the theatre.
Actor, Writer, and Businessman
As well as being an actor and playwright, Shakespeare was one of the managing partners of the Lord Chamberlain's Company (renamed the King's Company when James succeeded to the throne).
In 1593 and 1594, after an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague (or the Black Death), the theater was closed. During this time, Shakespeare wrote many poems and sonnets.
Shakespeare wrote about 2 plays per year (comedies, tragedies, and histories) and made enough money to by a nice house called New Place in Stratford an to purchase a coat-of-arms for his father. By the last years of Elizabeth I's reign Shakespeare was so well established as a famous poet and playwright that he was called upon to perform several of his plays before the Queen at court.
Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in New Place in Stratford. He died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as 'the First Folio'.
Queen Elizabeth I
Astrologers had assured King Henry VIII (the 8th) that the baby born to his second wife, Anne Boleyn, in 1533 would be a boy. Henry already had one 17 -year-old daughter, named Mary, from his first marriage. What he wanted was a son and heir to the throne of England. However, what he got was a red-headed girl named Elizabeth.
(Below you'll find a funny video that tells about all of King Henry VIII's six wives and what became of Queen Elizabeth's mother.)
Henry had 3 children from 3 different wives: Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward. In 1544, Henry invited all three of his children to court and announced the order of succession. After Henry's death, Edward would become the king. If Edward died without children, second in line for the throne would be Henry's oldest daughter, Mary. If neither Edward or Mary had any children before they died, Elizabeth would become the queen of England.
Although chances seemed slim that Elizabeth would ever succeed to the English throne, after Edward died in 1553 and Mary died in 1558, Elizabeth became Queen. Her reign is known as The Golden Age, a time that saw the birth of Shakespeare, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, and the England becoming a world power.
Queen Elizabeth never married or had children, but she ruled for 44 years and died in 1603 at age 69.