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New Place, Stratford

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In 1611 Shakespeare retired, left London and went back to Stratford to live at New Place. Its layout then is shown in the image.

His daughter Susanna was married to John Hall and living at Halls Croft where they had one daughter Elizabeth.

Shakespeare's retirement was upset by his other daughter Judith's relationship with Thomas Quiney. Although the Quineys were a respectable family, whilst Thomas was engaged to Judith he had an affair with Margaret Wheeler who died in childbirth with his child at the time of Thomas's marriage to Judith in 1616.

Also Thomas failed to apply for a special licence to enable the wedding to take place during Lent. As a result he was excommunicated and also tried for fornication.

Shakespeare was annoyed by his son-in-law's behaviour and decided to change his will to stop Thomas benefiting. The new will was made on 25th March 1616, a month before his death.

His daughter Susanna became the main beneficiary, she inherited New Place and other property and most of his effects. His wife Anne was left his 'second best bed' which was more than likely their bed, the best bed being used for guests. Judith was left 150 with a further 150 for Thomas Quiney providing they had surviving children, stayed married for three years and that he gave her land to the equivalent value. Shakespeare was determined his son-in-law should not profit from his marriage to Judith when William died.

Shakespeare's direct line finished with the death of his grand-daughter Lady Elizabeth Barnard in 1670.

Added:
16th Jun 2005

Subjects:
English, Geography, History

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


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