Mary Shakespeare

Mary Shakespeare (nee Arden; * 1540 in Stratford- upon- Avon; buried September 9, 1608 ibid ) was the mother of William Shakespeare.

Mary Arden was born as the youngest of eight daughters of Robert Arden of Wilmecotes into a Catholic family. After her father's death in 1556 she inherited the age of 16 house and land in Wilmcote, Warwickshire. Today's " Palmer 's Farm " in Wilmcote was from the late 18th century known as " Mary Arden's House ." However, it is not established that it has this actually traded to the family home.

Mary Arden married John Shakespeare probably in the year 1557. The Ardens were at that time one of the leading families in Stratford- upon- Avon and belonged to the gentry, while Shakespeare were just pawns. The possessions of the Ardens were later pledged as John Shakespeare fell for unknown reasons in need of money.

The couple had eight children: Joan (* 1558 ), Margaret ( 1562-1563 ), William ( 1564-1616 ), Gilbert ( 1566-1612 ), Joan ( 1569-1646 ), Anne ( 1571-1579 ), Richard ( 1574 -1613 ) and Edmund ( 1580-1607 ). As his older sisters died shortly after birth, William was the eldest child.