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May 4, 1561
John Shakespeare, as one of four affeerors, attests to the level of fines imposed at the manorial court
John Shakespeare was elected as an affeeror, an official appointed to monitor the level of fines imposed at Stratford’s manorial court, for the second time on May 4, 1561, as shown here. The number of affeerors varied, but the borough most commonly appointed four.
December 2, 1562
Margaret, John and Mary Shakespeare’s second child, was baptized on December 2, 1562, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance.
January 24, 1563
The account of John Taylor and John Shakespeare, chamberlains of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation for the year Michaelmas 1561 to Michaelmas 1562
John Shakespeare, together with John Taylor, appears to have been elected as a chamberlain of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation in the autumn of 1561. Chamberlains kept the Corporation accounts.
April 30, 1563
Margaret, John and Mary Shakespeare’s second child, was buried on April 30, 1563, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance. She was about five months old.
January 10, 1564
The account of John Taylor and John Shakespeare, chamberlains of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation, submitted for the year Michaelmas 1562 to Michaelmas 1563
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
Order of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation concerning the election of John Wheeler as Bailiff, witnessed by those members present, including John Shakespeare
On September 27, 1564, John Shakespeare was one of ten capital burgesses included in a list of those witnessing an order.
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.
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.
July 4, 1565
Record of a meeting of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation when John Shakespeare was elected an alderman
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.
September 11, 1566
John Shakespeare, on threat of distraint of his goods, is ordered to appear at the next session of Stratford’s court of record, as surety for Richard Hathaway
In late August 1566, a local ironmonger named John Page brought a charge of detinue, or wrongful taking of goods, against Richard Hathaway, a husbandman (a term indicating a farmer of a modest landholding) from nearby Shottery. An undated precept (Minutes and Accounts, ii, p.