Shakespeare's Family

7 years - The length of John Shakespeare's apprentice as a glover - his first trade - possibly under the tutelage of local master glover Thomas Dixon (also innkeeper of the Swan public house). Gloves and glove making are referenced a great deal in Shakespeare's plays.

Did You Know?

William's father John Shakespeare was a town governor in Stratford and had a number of occupations during his lifetime, including yeoman farmer, glove maker, wool trader, landlord, tanner and money lender (or 'usury' - Shylock's occupation in The Merchant Of Venice).

10% - The legal maximum interest rate at which money could be loaned.

10-20% - The interest rate at which John Shakespeare loaned money.

Did You Know?

In later life, John Shakespeare became a tanner, preparing leather from the skins of dogs, deer, horses and sheep (raised on the Shakespeare's farm in nearby Snitterfield). This leather was used in the manufacture of gloves, shoes, belts, purses and bags.

12 years - The length of time John Shakespeare was living in Henley Street before William's birth.

150 - The approximate number of acres of land owned by Shakespeare's maternal grandfather Robert (Mary Arden's father), a wealthy yeoman farmer from Wilmcote.

Did You Know?

William's paternal grandfather Richard Shakespeare once leased his home from William's maternal grandfather Robert Arden.

2 - The number of farmhouses in Robert Arden's possession.

6 - The number of Robert Arden's children, all girls (Mary was the youngest of the siblings).

68 - Mary Arden's age at death.

£38 17s 0d - The value of the will of William's paternal grandfather Richard Shakespeare, a moderately affluent sum of money for the time.

Enjoyed learning about Shakespeare's family? Then why not explore more facts from Shakespeare's biography or read all about Shakespeare's plays, just some of the fun and fascinating topics here at William Shakespeare facts.


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