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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the world’s leading charity in promoting the works, life and times of William Shakespeare. The Trust offers a unique Shakespeare centered experience with outstanding archive and library collections, inspiring educational and literary event programs and five wonderful houses all directly relating to Shakespeare. As an independent charity the Trust receives no public subsidy or direct government funding. The Trust depends entirely on income generated through their supporters: their visitors, volunteers, donors and Friends.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s History
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was formed in 1847 following the purchase of Shakespeare’s Birthplace as a national memorial.

The role of the Trust grew with the purchase in 1876 of Shakespeare’s New Place estate, comprising the site of Shakespeare’s grand final home and Nash’s House (the home of Thomas Nash and Shakespeare’s grand-daughter Elizabeth).

The Trust purchased Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the girlhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, in 1892 and Mary Arden’s House was purchased in 1930.

The last house to be acquired was Hall’s Croft, the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, physician Dr John Hall, in 1949.

In 1964 to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the Trust threw open the doors of its new headquarters and study facility, the Shakespeare Centre.  This distinctive building provides a home for the Trust’s extensive Shakespeare Centre library and archive (including the RSC archive). The second part of this project, an extension including facilities for the Trust's educational and cultural work and a visitor centre for Shakespeare’s Birthplace, was added in 1981.

In addition to the Shakespeare Houses, the Trust cares for Harvard House on behalf of the Harvard House Memorial Trust.
 

Terms of use

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has graciously contributed images under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommerical ShareAlike 4.0 International license.  Visitors may download, link to and cite the images for personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images, commercial or third party use, is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to request additional use, at: images.scla@shakespeare.org.uk

Events at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Grand Opening
Grand Opening of Shakespeare's New Place
01 July 2016

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is transforming New Place, the site of Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon for the last 19 years of his life into a major new heritage landmark where visitors can make their own personal connection with Shakespeare.

Documents contributed by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

May 31, 1602
Richard Quiney was buried on May 31, 1602, as recorded in the Holy Trinity Church parish register. On October 2, 1601, he had been sworn in as bailiff for the following twelve months and was thus described as “Mr.
May 1, 1602
John Combe was a wealthy member of a family settled in Stratford since the 1530s. In 1593 he had acquired these 107 acres of land from Rice Griffin, with his equally wealthy uncle and lawyer, William Combe of Warwick, apparently acting in the capacity of trustee.
September 28, 1602
Shortly after his purchase of land from the Combes, a major investment, Shakespeare acquired a cottage and a quarter acre of land in Chapel Lane, to be held by a form of tenure known as copyhold.
July 24, 1605
In the summer of 1605, by means of the deed shown here, Shakespeare was able to raise the very considerable sum of £440 to purchase from Ralph Hubaud a half-share in a lease of a portion of the Stratford tithes.
ca. 1605
The register of Stratford’s court of record, which would have begun in 1601, has not survived and the only knowledge we have of its proceedings are to be found in loose case papers.

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