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This is the only known surviving copy of the third edition of Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare’s first printed work. It is a heavily-repaired fragment, with the first section now lost.
March 15, 1595
Exchequer, Pipe Office, Declared Accounts: Listing Shakespeare as a leading player of the Lord Chamberlain’s company
By March 15, 1595, and inferentially by Christmas 1594, William Shakespeare had become a leading member of his company, the Lord Chamberlain’s players, sufficiently senior to serve with William Kempe and Richard Burbage as a financial trustee.
August 11, 1596
Hamnet, William and Anne Shakespeare’s only son, was buried on August 11, 1596, according to the Holy Trinity Church parish register. Next to the entry, an “X” added by a later hand highlights its significance. He was eleven years old.
Henry Colling, who attended Cambridge but left without a degree in the early 1580s, transcribed two stanzas of Venus and Adonis into this small folio of historical tracts (lines 229&ndas
February 4, 1596
In 1596 the actor and theater builder James Burbage bought property in Blackfriars, a London neighorhood on the site of a former monastery. His purchase included “seven great upper rooms as they are now divided” as well as some lower rooms and adjoining staircases and yards.
This undated petition to the Privy Council signed by neighbors of a prospective playhouse in Blackfriars is one of three related documents, all in the same hand, among the State Papers in The National Archives:
June 25, 1596
On June 25, 1596, the London printer and publisher John Harrison the Elder transferred his rights to print Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis to his colleague, William Leake, who printed the fifth edition in 1599.
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
Edward III was published anonymously in 1596, and was one of three plays attributed to Shakespeare in the catalogue of books appended to Thomas Goffe’s The Careless Shepherdess in 1656.
November 29, 1596
The Langley Writ: Court of King's Bench writ of attachment against William Shakespeare, Michaelmas, 1596
The enrolled entry known to Shakespeare scholars as the “Langley writ” was recorded in the Court of King’s Bench between October 29, 1596 and January 24, 1597. The writ constitutes presumptive evidence that William Shakespeare, formerly of St.