Shakespeare and his wife lived together in Stratford long enough after the birth of Susanna to give occasion for an entry in the parish register recording the christening of twin children on 2 February 1585, Hamnet* and Judith*, "sonne and daughter to William Shakspeare."

Hamnet Shakespeare was born just over two years after his parents married; he died at the age of 11, in 1596, and was buried at Stratford.

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At age 31, Judith married Thomas Quiney, also of Stratford, who was four years younger than herself. Shakespeare died a few months later, after changing his will to make sure that the £300 (and silver bowl) that he left her would remain in her name.

Her three children all died young.

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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office.


The illustration is of a typical family, including their dog....*

Although Leon Rooke has written a novel about the world from the point of view of Shakespeare's dog (Shakespeare's Dog [Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1983]) Shakespeare seems at least to have disliked spaniels. Caesar speaks scornfully of "base spaniel fawning" (Julius Caesar, 3. 1. 42), and Antony laments that

the hearts
That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
On blossoming Caesar
(Antony and Cleopatra, 4.9.20-23).

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Susanna Shakespeare

Susanna Shakespeare lived to the age of 66, despite suffering from scurvy; she married Dr John Hall in 1607, and had one child, Elizabeth*. Shakespeare left New Place to Susanna in his will; the estate was entailed, but since Susanna had no more children, it passed on to her daughter. Her epitaph bears witness to her strength of character and her father's reputation:

Shakespeare's grand-daughter Elizabeth Hall was born in 1608, when her grandfather was 44. She married twice, but had no children; she died in 1670.

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Witty above her sexe, but that's not all,
Wise to salvation was good Mistris Hall.
Something of Shakespeare was in that, but this
Wholy of him with whom she's now in blisse.
Then Passenger, hast nere a teare,
To weepe with her that wept with all;
That wept, yet set her self to chere
Them up with comforts cordiall.
Her love shall live, her mercy spread,
When thou hast ner'e a teare to shed.

Footnotes

  1. Hamnet Shakespeare

    Hamnet Shakespeare was born just over two years after his parents married; he died at the age of 11, in 1596, and was buried at Stratford.

  2. Judith Shakespeare

    At age 31, Judith married Thomas Quiney, also of Stratford, who was four years younger than herself. Shakespeare died a few months later, after changing his will to make sure that the £300 (and silver bowl) that he left her would remain in her name.

    Her three children all died young.

  3. Shakespeare's dog

    Although Leon Rooke has written a novel about the world from the point of view of Shakespeare's dog (Shakespeare's Dog [Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1983]) Shakespeare seems at least to have disliked spaniels. Caesar speaks scornfully of "base spaniel fawning" (Julius Caesar, 3. 1. 42), and Antony laments that

    the hearts
    That spanieled me at heels, to whom I gave
    Their wishes, do discandy, melt their sweets
    On blossoming Caesar
    (Antony and Cleopatra, 4.9.20-23).

  4. Elizabeth Hall

    Shakespeare's grand-daughter Elizabeth Hall was born in 1608, when her grandfather was 44. She married twice, but had no children; she died in 1670.