Anne Hathaway – Inside The Life of William Shakespeare’s Wife

Known for his mastery in literature, William Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers ever, as well as one of the greatest dramatist from anywhere across the globe, all thanks to the support of his wife, Anne Hathaway.

Coming from a socially and financially stable family, Hathaway joined her husband in matrimony in 1582 and then moved on to inspire him to greater heights in his career which began three years after their union. Unfortunately, death separated the two in 1616 when Shakespeare passed on, with Anne herself passing on seven years later. Get to learn more amazing details about the wife of the great poet below.

Anne Hathaway Bio

William Shakespeare’s wife was born in a small village, a mile West of Stratford-upon-Avon town Centre, Shottery, in Swindon, England. Although her date of birth is not known, her year of birth is registered as 1556. Her father, Richard Hathaway was a member of a social class in England known as Yeoman and worked as a farmer. She had a brother named Bartholomew who managed her father’s property after his death in 1582. She grew up in their family farmhouse located in Shottery.

1. Marriage to William Shakespeare

Anne Hathaway tied the knot with Shakespeare in November 1582. At the time of their wedding, the couple were already anticipating the birth of their first child as Hathaway was then pregnant with a child. The union stirred heavy dispute among scholars for which many criticized it as they believed that Shakespeare was forced into the marriage by Hathaway’s family as a result of their daughter’s pregnancy. Another point of dispute was their age difference as William Shakespeare’s wife was eight years older than her husband.

Nevertheless, the couple went on to welcome three children named Susanna, Judith, and Hamnet Shakespeare. Tragically, their only son, Hamnet, died at the of eleven possibly from a plague caused by bacterium Yersinia Pestis known as the Bubonic Plague. His body was laid to rest in Stratford on 11th August 1596.

Anne Hathaway’s husband was often regarded as England’s national poet. He was credited with numerous literary works which included 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. His plays are more often performed than those of any other playwrights as they have been translated into every major language.

Between 1585 and 1592, Shakespeare achieved a successful career in London as an actor, writer and co-owner of Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a playing company that was later renamed to King’s Men. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, his works have been continuously adapted. His plays which are widely popular have been studied, performed and reinterpreted through diverse cultural and political contexts across the globe.

2. She Had 2 Daughters

William Shakespeare’s wife had two daughters – Susanna Hall and Judith Quiney. Her first daughter, Susanna, tied the knot with a local physician named John Hall in 1607. The union produced Hathaway’s first grandchild, a daughter named Elizabeth Hall who married Thomas Nash on April 22, 1626. After the death of Susanna’s father, he left his estate to her and equally made her an executor of his will. Susanna died at the age of 66 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford next to her parents.

Her second daughter, Judith, married Thomas Quiney in February 1616. They had three children; Shakespeare, Richard, and Thomas. Shakespeare Quiney died at six months of age and neither Richard nor Thomas lived passed 21 years. Judith outlived her children by many years as she died in February 1662 at the age of 77.

3. Anne Hathaway’s Grew Up In A Cottage

William Shakespeare’s wife had her childhood experiences in a cottage owned by her father in Warwickshire, England. It is a twelve-roomed spacious farmhouse that is now set in extensive gardens. After the death of her father, her brother inherited the cottage but it was later sold in 1892. The cottage is now open to visitors as a museum.

4. Her Father-in-Law Held Many Municipal Offices

William Shakespeare’s wife father-in-law, John Shakespeare, was a businessman who got elected to many municipal offices. He served as an alderman, chief magistrate of the town council, and mayor of Stratford in 1568. He passed on in September 1601 at the age of 70.

5. Appearance in Media

William Shakespeare’s wife has been depicted in the media on several occasions. In regards to films and plays, she has been depicted in The Shakespeare Play, The Good Men, Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, Will’s First and Last Love, A Waste of Shame, among others.

In Novels and Poems, she has been fictionally portrayed in The Tempest, Winter’s Tale, Mrs. Shakespeare: The Complete Works, and The World’s Wife, among many others.

6. Her Death

William Shakespeare’s wife passed on in August 1623 at the age of 67. She was buried in a separate grave next to her husband’s grave which was one of her greatest desires.