William Shakespeare was born to parents John and Mary in April 1564. He was baptised April 26th but we do not know when he was born. Historians presume that he was born, like most of the babies at the time, three days before he was baptised, so he may have been born on the 23rd April.
William was John and Mary's oldest surviving child, their first two children, both girls, dying in infancy. William had three younger brothers, Gilbert, Richard and Edmund, and two younger sisters: Anne, who died at 7 and Joan.
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John Shakespeare was a leatherworker who specialised in the soft white leather used for gloves and other items. He was very involved with the municipal life of Stratford, being elected the town bailiff (mayor) when William was 5.
William's mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a successful farmer, who had left her some land in Wilmcote, near Stratford. However, due to financial difficulties, John was forced to mortgage his wife's inheritance.
Shakespeare most definitely went to one of Stratford's 'petty' or junior schools before then progressing to a grammar school, where the emphasis would have been on Latin. He most likely attended school until the age of 14 or 15.
After Shakespeare had finished school, he met Anne Hathaway , who came from the small hamlet of Shottery which was a mile away from Stratford, where William and his family lived. The pair would have met when Anne regularly visited the town.