Mary Shakespeare

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Mary Arden's House in Wilmcote.

Mary Shakespeare (née Arden ; * around 1540 in Stratford-upon-Avon ; buried September 9, 1608 there ) was the mother of William Shakespeare .


Mary Arden was born into a Catholic family, the youngest of eight daughters Robert Arden von Wilmecotes. After the death of her father in 1556, at the age of 16, she inherited the house and land in Wilmcote , Warwickshire . Today's “Palmer's Farm” in Wilmcote was known as “Mary Arden's House” from the end of the 18th century. However, there is no evidence that it was actually the family home.

Mary Arden probably married John Shakespeare in 1557. The Ardens were one of the leading families in Stratford-upon-Avon at the time and belonged to the lower nobility, while the Shakespeares were only yeoman. The Ardens' holdings were later mortgaged when John Shakespeare ran into money difficulties for reasons unknown.

The couple had eight children: Joan (born 1558 - died the same year), Margaret (1562–1563), William (1564–1616), Gilbert (1566–1612), Joan (1569–1646), Anne (1571–1579 ), Richard (1574-1613) and Edmund (1580-1607). Since his two older sisters died in infancy, William was the oldest child.

Individual evidence

  1. Shakespeare, Mary . in: Alan and Victoria Palmer: Who's Who in Shakespeare's England . Harvester, Brighton 1981
  2. Shakespeare's Brothers and Sisters. In: Retrieved June 14, 2016 .
  3. Shakespeare's siblings