26 April 1564: Shakespeare’s baptism


William Shakespeare’s actual birthday is not certain, but the baptismal register of the Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford, gives the date when he was baptised: April 26, 1564.

The entry is in Latin and reads, “Guiliamus filius Johannes Shakspere“; that is, “William son of John Shakspere.”

At that time, owing to the high mortality rate of infants

Elizabethan parents used to have their children baptised three days after their birth. Therefore it is believed that he was born on 23 April, Saint George’s Day (the patron saint of England) a date that has proved appealing to biographers because he died on the same day of the same month : 23 April 1616. This gives perfect symmetry to his life.


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