04/23/1564 William Shakespeare is born in Stratford upon Avon to local tanner John and Mary Shakespeare. His actual birthday is unknown but assumed and celebrated today on April the 23rd, just three days before his baptism was recorded in the Parish register of the Holy Trinity Church on April the 26th.
1575 Queen Elizabeth pays a visit to Kenilworth Castle, just a short journey from Stratford.
11/27/1582 At age 18, he marries the considerably older Anne Hathaway (26 years old) from Shottery at Temple Grafton, a village just five short miles (8 km) from Stratford.
05/26/1583 Susanna, thier first child is born just five months after Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway‚??s wedding
Approx 1585 Shakespeare 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.
02/02/1585 Shakespeare‚??s twins, Judith and Hamnet are born
1589 Shakespeare is believed by most academics to have written his very first play, Henry VI, Part One in this year.
1590 Shakespeare is believed to have written Henry VI, Part Two and Henry VI, Part III.
1592 Shakespeare begins to be noticed as a force within London theatre; Robert Greene‚??s Groatworth of Wit famously calls Shakespeare an "upstart crow". He attacks Shakespeare as lacking originality since he borrows ideas from others for his own plays. Many see this criticism as proof that Shakespeare was in London at this time.
1592 Shakespeare is thought to have written the poem Venus and Adonis and the plays Richard III and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
1592 The Comedy of Errors is believed to be written in this time.
1593 Shakespeare begins to compose the first of what will amount to a 154 sonnet collection. His narrative poem Venus and Adonis is his first ever published.
1593 The Rape of Lucrece, Titus Andronicus and The Taming of the Shrew are thought to have been penned by Shakespeare at this time.
1594 The Lord Chamberlain‚??s Men, a theatre troupe including distinguished actor Richard Burbage and comic Will Kemp performs with Shakespeare in their group.
1594 Shakespeare pen‚??s Love Labour‚??s Lost.
1594 King John is assumed to have been written.
1595 he is thought to have composed Richard II (performed that very same year), A Midsummer Night‚??s Dream (thought to be composed for a wedding), and perhaps the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.
1596 The Merry Wives of Windsor is thought to have been written
1596 The Merchant of Venice and Henry IV, Part One are thought to have been written
1597 Shakespeare buys the New Place, one of Stratford‚??s most preeminent homes.
1598 William is thought to have written the play Henry IV, Part Two
1598 Shakespeare‚??s reputation as an actor is confirmed his performance in Ben Jonson‚??s Every Man in his Humor which clearly lists his name as a principal actor in the London play.
1598 William writes the play Much Ado About Nothing in this year.
1600 Shakespeare is thought to have composed Hamlet at this time.
1601 The narrative poem, The Phoenix and the Turtle is thought to have been written.
1601 Twelfth Night or What You Will, All Well That Ends Well and Troilus and Cressida are probably composed.
1603 A Midsummer‚??s Night is performed at Hampton Court before Queen Elizabeth who dies later that year. James I originally James VI of Scotland proves to be an enthusiastic patron of the arts granting The Chamberlain‚??s Men a patent to perform. In return the Company renames itself The King‚??s Men to honour James I and they quickly become a favorite with the new king.
1604 Measure for Measure is believed to have been written in this year. It is later performed at King James I Court. Othello is also penned, being performed on November the 1st at Whitehall.
1605 The Merchant of Venice is performed twice at King James‚?? Court earning a commendation from the King. King Lear is believed to have been composed in this year and as is Macbeth, the play‚??s Scottish background and kind portrayal of ancestor Malcolm being intended as a celebration and honoring of King James Scottish ancestry.
1606 Antony And Cleopatra is believed to have been composed.
1607 Timon of Athens, Pericles and Coriolanus are composed .
1608 The King‚??s Men take on a twenty-one year lease of London‚??s first permanently enclosed theatre, the Blackfriars Theatre in this year. Notes on stage directions, suggest The Tempest was penned with a performance at this theatre in mind.
1609 Cymbeline is thought to have been composed.
1610 The Winter‚??s Tale is written
1611 The Tempest was written.
1612 The King‚??s Men perform Othello and Julius Caesar amongst others in this year. Shakespeare is thought to have written Cardenio, his only lost play during this period
1612 it is believed that with John Fletcher as a likely contributor, Shakespeare composes Henry VIII.
1613 The Globe Theatre burns to the ground.
1613 The Two Noble Kinsmen is penned. A 1634 entry within the Stationer‚??s Registry confirms that both William Shakespeare and John Fletcher composed this play.
1614 The Globe Theatre reopens.
1616 William dies on April 23rd, his burial being recorded in the Stratford Holy Church Register two days later.