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The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for academic research and an independent research organization in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK's most iconic national documents dating back more than 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The collection at Kew is open to everyone.

 

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Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education.  Applications for any other use should be made to The National Archives Image Library, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225   Fax: 020 8392 5266.  

Documents contributed by The National Archives (UK)

May 15, 1604
The paper notebook shown here names William Shakespeare as a recipient of 4 1/2 yards of red cloth in anticipation of King James’s coronation progress, granting Shakespeare substantially the same recognition as the rest of the twenty-eight players named in the Lord Chamberlain’s accou
August 9-27, 1604
From August 9 to 26, 1604, twelve fellows of Shakespeare’s company, the King’s Men, attended upon the Spanish Ambassador at Somerset House, London. For about the same time, eleven fellows of the Queen’s Men attended upon other noblemen at Durham House, London: 
1604- 1605
The Revels Book of 1604–5 shows William Shakespeare at or near the height of his success as a playwright, with seven plays and eight performances at court. Merchant of Venice was so admired by the king that he commanded a repeat performance.
1605
Augustine Phillips was a long-time member of the same playing company as William Shakespeare – the Lord Chamberlain’s and later the King’s Men. Phillips’s will, dated May 4, 1605, provides insight into two important aspects of the company’s operations.
May 13, 1605
Augustine Phillips was a long-time member of the same playing company as William Shakespeare – the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. Phillips’s will, dated May 4, 1605, provides insight into two important aspects of the company’s operations.

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