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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

June 7, 1609
On August 17, 1608, William Shakespeare (or his family or agents acting on his behalf) began an action in the Stratford court of record to recover a debt of £6 from John Addenbrooke. The case dragged on until at least June 7, 1609.
ca. 1609
A messy note, included on the back of a 1572 lease, informs us of the extent of Shakespeare’s property at New Place. Shakespeare purchased New Place in 1597, which stood on the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane.
July 20, 1609
John Shakespeare’s property in Henley Street, inherited by his son William in 1601, and now known as the Birthplace, had a frontage of about 90 feet. When an urban property changed hands, its boundaries were often defined by reference to neighboring properties.
September 9, 1609
Thomas Greene, a Middle Temple lawyer, was appointed Stratford’s steward in August 1603. He clearly settled in the town at that point, but until September 1609 there is no record of where he lived.
February 15, 1609
On August 17, 1608, William Shakespeare (or his family or agents acting on his behalf) began an action in the Stratford court of record to recover a debt of £6 from John Addenbrooke. The case dragged on until at least June 7, 1609.

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