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             No one really knows when William Shakespeare was born. The Baptismal Register of the Holy Trinity Parish Church, in Stratford, shows the following entry for "April 26, 1564 Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakespeare." April 23 has been Shakespeare's accepted birthday because it was custom that infants get baptized three days after their birth. The house on Henley Street in Stratford, owned by William's father, John, is accepted as Shakespeare's birthplace, but, because John Shakespeare owned one house on Greenhill Street and two houses on Henley Street, the exact location of William's birth cannot be known for certain.
             We don't have much information about his family but, we do have information regarding his maternal grandfathers. The poet's paternal grandfather was Richard Shakespeare, a farmer in Snitterfield, a village four miles northeast of Stratford. He had three sons named Henry, John (William's father), and Thomas. Richard was a tenant of Robert Arden, father in law of John. Richard died in late 1560 and issued his property to William's dad, John. John Shakespeare became an alderman in 1565. In 1568 he was elected mayor, and he also held many other civic posts later. It's recorded that John bought a house in 1552 and bought more property in 1556. Sometime between 1556 and 1558 John Shakespeare married Mary Arden. By 1590, John Shakespeare owned only his house on Henley Street. However, at the very end of John Shakespeare's life, it seems that his social and economic standings were beginning to grow. John Shakespeare died in 1609; he was probably near seventy years old, and he had been married for forty-four years. Mary Shakespeare died in 1608 and was buried on September 9.
             William Shakespeare was lucky to survive to adulthood in sixteenth-century England because the plague ravaged Stratford during the hot summer months. Mary and John Shakespeare became parents for .
             the first time in September of 1558, when their daughter Joan was born.

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