Church records show that he was baptized on the 26th of April in 1564 so it is assumed that he was born a few days earlier; however this era followed the Julian and not the Georgian calendar so the timing might not be accurate.
People often refer to him as ‘the Bard’, which literally means ‘the poet’. In 1769 actor David Garrick wrote, ‘For the bard of all bards was a Warwickshire Bard’, and the nickname stuck.
His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove-maker and town official, who rose to bailiff/mayor in 1586. His mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of gentry, so clearly this wasn’t exactly considered suitable for a girl to marry below her class.
Tradition says that he was a man of fine form and features, that he was sometimes too convivial, that he was beloved by nearly all who knew him, that he had the personal acquaintance of Elizabeth and James I. His father, John Shakespeare, probably a glover, had married Mary Arden, whose family had figured in the courtly and warlike annals of preceding reigns.
John Shakespeare had long been one of the aldermen of Stratford, and had served in the office of bailiff or mayor in 1569. Mary Arden had brought her husband a small property. That William Shakespeare could have derived even the most elementary knowledge of books from his parents seems impossible; for neither of them could write -- that accomplishment being comparatively rare in Elizabeth's reign. But there was at that time ... in the borough of Stratford, an endowed "free grammar school"; and it is not probable that John Shakespeare, alderman and past bailiff as he was, should have neglected the opportunity for educating his son. This opportunity, together with the varied though irregular... [continues]
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