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April 29, 1552
John Shakespeare's Midden Heap: Stratford Court Leet, view of frankpledge taken at Stratford-upon-Avon
In April 1552 John Shakespeare was one of three Stratford residents fined for allowing a sterquinium, or muck-heap, to accumulate in Henley Street, presumably outside their front doors. This is the first recorded mention of John Shakespeare.
October 2, 1556
Presentment at Stratford-upon-Avon’s court leet that John Shakespeare had bought a house in Greenhill Street from George Turner and a house in Henley Street that became part of the Birthplace from Edward West
At Stratford’s court leet - originally a manorial court with delegated authority in minor criminal matters – held on October 2, 1556, the jury reported two recent purchases by John Shakespeare.
June 17, 1556
On June 17, 1556, Thomas Such brought a case against John Shakespeare in Stratford’s court of record for the recovery of £8.
June 2, 1557
John Shakespeare is fined in Stratford’s court of record for his failure to attend the last three sittings of the court in his capacity as taster
In the autumn of each year, at Stratford’s court leet – originally a manorial court with delegated authority in minor criminal matters – officials were elected to assist the bailiff in the governance of the town.
September 30, 1558
John Shakespeare was elected constable of Stratford-upon-Avon, as shown here, on September 30, 1558. One of the constables’ main duties was to oversee the watch “for the good governement of the Towne” (Minutes and Accounts, i, p.
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.
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.
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.
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.