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Southwark High Street - 1600


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Between 1585 and 1592 there are no records about what Shakespeare was doing. This period in his life is called 'The Lost Years'.

There are plenty of theories about what happened during the lost years, but no evidence to back them up.

He may have become a teacher, or become associated with the law, as some of his plays reveal detailed knowledge of the law.

At some time during these years he probably left Stratford with some travelling players. One story suggests he was caught poaching deer on land owned by magistrate Thomas Lucy of Charlecote Park and that he left Stratford to escape the consequences.

It is thought that he probably arrived in London some time in 1586/87 and that his first contribution to the theatre was horse holder at the theatre doors, guarding people's horses while they watched the plays.

At that time, London was still a small city compared with today. The map of 1593 shows it stretching north to the area of the modern St Pancras station with very little building south of the River Thames. The lower illustration shows Southwark High Street in 1600.

16th Jun 2005

English, Geography, History

Key Stages:
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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