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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

March 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.
March 5, 1610
On March 5, 1610 Gilbert Shakespeare, one of William Shakespeare’s younger brothers, witnessed the deed shown here as a Stratford resident. His signature, in a neat hand, indicates a sound education probably provided at the town’s grammar school.
April 1, 1610
The Hathaway family of Shottery can be traced back to the late fifteenth century. The extent of their land holdings is first documented in a survey of 1556 which records that John Hathaway held them of the lord of the manor by copy of court roll, dated April 20, 1543, for an annual rent of 33s.
October 5, 1611
Following John Shakespeare’s death in 1601, and perhaps for a year or two earlier, the Shakespeare family’s property in Henley Street (now known was the Birthplace) was let out to tenants.
September 11, 1611
On September 11, 1611, the Stratford Corporation drafted a list of seventy-two burgesses who could be approached to subscribe “towardes the Charge of prosecutyng the Bill in the parliament for the better Repayre of the highe Waies and amendinge divers defectes in the Statutes alredy made.&r

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