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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.
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.
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.
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.
October 13, 1566
Gilbert, John and Mary’s fourth child, was baptized on October 13, 1566, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance.
February 15, 1566
Chamberlain’s account for the year Michaelmas 1564 to Michaelmas 1565, made by John Shakespeare on behalf of William Tyler and William Smith
In the autumn of 1563, John Taylor and John Shakespeare completed their two-year term of office as chamberlains. William Tyler and William Smith, haberdasher, were appointed to take their place.
December 4, 1568
Precept issued by John Shakespeare, justice of the peace to arrest John Ball and bring him before the next sitting of the court of record to answer a plea of debt brought against him brought by Richard Dixon
Stratford-upon-Avon's 1553 charter of incorporation stipulated that the bailiff, acting as justice of the peace, would preside over a court of record held fortnightly (every two weeks), which would handle civil claims of up to £30.
December 9, 1568
Precept issued by John Shakespeare, justice of the peace, to arrest Richard Walker and bring him before the next sitting of the court of record to answer to a plea brought against him
This precept, issued by John Shakespeare in his capacity as justice of the peace, concerned William Shotteswell's suit against Richard Walker for a debt of £10. It should have been preceded by an initial hearing, but of this there is no surviving record.