Shakespeare's Childhood

2 - The number of daughters lost to John Shakespeare and Ann Hathaway in the years preceding William's birth, making William the eldest child.

Did You Know?

At the time of Shakespeare's birth it was a Warwickshire custom to feed a new born baby jellied hare's brains. Another common practice was to place a small amount of honey and butter in the mouth of the baby.

9% - The proportion of 16th century new born children who did not live beyond the first week.

20% - The proportion of babies to die within the first month.

6:4 - The ratio of baptisms to child burials in the Stratford of Shakespeare's youth.

3 months - William Shakespeare's age when the plague first struck Stratford.

Hic incipit pestis" ("Here begins the plague")

- Stratford Parish Register, 11 July 1564.

237 - The number of plague victims within Stratford upon Avon in a 6 month period during the worst outbreak.

10% - The approximate proportion of Stratford residents who fell victim to the plague.

Did You Know?

The entire Shakespeare family survived the plague despite near neighbors succumbing. One theory is that they escaped to the relative safety of an old family residence in nearby Wilmcote.

7 - The number of rooms in the young Shakespeare's home in Henley Street - a hallway (the main living area), a parlor (a sitting room cum bedroom), a kitchen, a workshop (opening onto the street) and 3 upstairs bed chambers.

If you have enjoyed learning about William Shakespeare's childhood why not discover even more Shakespeare facts or find out all about Shakespeare's family.


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