Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Hardin Aasand
Not Peer Reviewed

William Shakespeare and The Winter's Tale: A Brief Chronology


1558Elizabeth I proclaimed Queen of England following the death of her sister, Queen Mary I.
1564April 23 William Shakespeare is born in Stratford to a tanner, John Shakespeare, and his wife, Mary Shakespeare. His baptism is recorded at the Holy Trinity Church on April 26.
1571Shakespeare begins his formal education at the Stratford Grammar School.
1582 November 28, a 'William Shagspeare' (as written in the marriage bond) weds 'Anne Hathwey' - Anne Hathaway of Shottery, Stratford.
1583 May 26, the baptism of Susanna Shakespeare, the first child born six months after the Shakespeare wedding.
1585-1592Shakespeare is believed to have left his family in Stratford to join a company of actors as both playwright and performer, starting his career in theatre.
1585The twins Hamnet and Judith born.
1588The Spanish Armada is defeated as Spain attempts an invasion of England.
1589-1590 Shakespeare is believed to have written his very first play, Henry VI, Part One in this year. He is believed to be a member of the combined players companies, the Lord Strange's and Lord Admiral's Men.
1592Shakespeare is criticized in Robert Greene's Groatworth of Wit as an "upstart crow" who plagiarizes from other plays, a sign that Shakespeare is in London.
1592-94 Theatres in London close because of the plague.
1592-93 Presumed composition of the narrative poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece and the plays Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus and The Taming of the Shrew
1594 The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a theatre troupe including distinguished actor Richard Burbage and comic Will Kemp, performs with Shakespeare in their group.
1595 Presumed composition of Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet.
1596Son Hamnet dies, August 11th. Shakespeare's father is granted a coat of arms.
1597 Shakespeare buys the New Place, one of Stratford's most prominent homes.
1598 Performance in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humor, which lists him as a principal actor in the play.
1599. The Globe Theatre is built on the Bankside from the materials of the demolished Theatre in Shoreditch. Julius Caesar is performed at the Globe for the first known time on September the 21st, according to the diary of German tourist Thomas Platter.
1600-1601. Presumed compositon of Hamlet.
1601. Presumed composition of narrative poem, The Phoenix and the Turtle. John Shakespeare dies.
1601-1602. Presumed composition of Twelfth Night or What You Will, All Well That Ends Well and Troilus and Cressida
1603. March 24, Death of Queen Elizabeth I and ascension of James I.
The Chamberlain's Men are renamed The King's Men
Shakespeare is recorded as performing in Ben Jonson's Sejanus, Shakespeare's last recorded acting performance.
1604. Presumed composition of Measure for Measure and Othello.
1605. Presumed composition of King Lear and Macbeth.
1607-1608. Timon of Athens, Pericles and Coriolanus are composed . Shakespeare's daughter Susanna marries John Hall.
1608. The King's Men take on a twenty-one year lease of London's first permanently enclosed theatre, the Blackfriars Theatre.
1608-10 The return of the plague forces a closure of all playhouses and theatres from the spring of 1608 through to early 1610.
1609-1610. Cymbeline is thought to have been composed.
1610-1611. The Winter's Tale is written. The play is performed in 1611 at the Globe and again in November 1611 at the first Banqueting House. The play would also be performed in February 1613 as one of a number of entertainments to celebrate the wedding of Prince Elizabeth to Frederick V.
1613 The Globe Theatre burns to the ground during a performance of Henry VIII (alternative title: All is True).
1614. The second Globe Theatre opens.
1616. The death of Shakespeare on April 23. The burial occurs on April 25th at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
1623. The death of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway.
The publication of The First Folio by John Hemminges and Henry Condell.