Ward's Book of Days.

Pages of interesting anniversaries.

What happened on this day in history.

APRIL 23rd  

On this day in history in 1564, was born William Shakespeare.


On this day in history in 1616, died William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, the son of a glover. He left for London in the 1580’s where he became an actor, poet and playwright, certainly the greatest poet and playwright in the English language although little is known of his acting skills. He wrote about 42 plays, the exact extent of his work is uncertain as some plays have dubious authorship. Shakespeare is justly famous for his portrayal of English kings which have given us a rigid yet, alas, totally inaccurate portrayal of their personalities.

Strangely, we are unsure as to the exact date of Shakespeare’s birth. We know that he was baptised on 26th April and the great literary critic A L Rowse tells us that infants in those days were baptised three days after birth.  

Stranger still, we are unsure as to the exact date of Shakespeare’s death. His burial record does not show the date of death.  

Stranger yet, we are unsure as to who actually wrote the plays. Many critics say that Shakespeare was illiterate, there are none of his manuscripts extant, and that the works were written by another playwright or playwrights of the time.

Previous day       Next day      

©2006 Ward’s Book of Days