Shakespeare Chronology

Year Life Works Events & Publications
1564 S born Christopher Marlowe born
John Hawkins' second voyage to New World
Galileo Galilei born
John Calvin dies
The Peace of Troyes
1565-1581 1567(?) Richard Burbage is born. The greatest tragedian of the age, he would eventually portray Hamlet, Lear, Othello and all Shakespeare's great parts.

1576 James Burbage (father of Richard) obtains a 21-year lease and permission to build The Theatre in Shoreditch

1577 The Curtain, a rival theater near The Theatre, opens in Finbury
1565 Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1-4)
1566 Gascoigne's The Supposes
1567 Thomas Nashe born
1571 Tirso de Molina born
1572 Thomas Dekker born
1572 John Donne & Ben Jonson born
1577 Holinshed publishes The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, Shakespeare's primary source for the history plays
1579 John Fletcher born
1580 Thomas Middleton born
1580 Montaigne's Essais published
1582 S married Hakluyt's Dievers Voyages Touching the Discovery of America
1583 Birth of daughter Susanna

The Queen's Company is formed in London
1585 Birth of twins, Judith and Hamnet 1586 Mary Queen of Scots tried for treason
1587(?)-1592 Departure from Stratford

Establishment in London as an actor/playwright
The Comedy of Errors
Titus Andronicus
The Taming of the Shrew
Henry VI, 1,2,3
Richard III
1587 Mary Queen of Scots executed
1587 Marlowe's Tamburlaine
1588 Defeat of the Armada
1588 Greene's Pandosto
1588 Marlowe's Dr. Faustus
1590 Spenser's Faerie Queen (1-3)
1590 Marlowe's The Jew of Malta
1591 Sidney'sAstrophil and Stella
1592 Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy
1592 Robert Greene dies
1593 Preferment sought through aristocratic connections - dedicates Venus and Lucrece to Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton - possibly the youth of the Sonnets 1593 Venus and Adonis
Begins writing the Sonnets, probably completed by c.1597 or earlier
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Love's Labour's Lost
1593-94 Theaters closed by plague

1593 Marlowe dies
1594 Founding member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men 1594 The Rape of Lucrece
1594-1596 The Lyrical Masterpieces

Prosperity and recognition as the leading London playwright.

1596 John Shakespeare reapplies successfully for a coat of arms.

1596 Hamnet Shakespeare dies at age 11
Midsummer Night's Dream
Romeo and Juliet
Richard II
Merchant of Venice
1594 Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay
1594 Marlowe's Edward II
1595 Sidney's An Apologia for Poetrie
1595 Sir Walter Raleigh explores the Orinoco
1595 Thomas Kyd dies
1596 Spenser's Faerie Queen (4-6)
1596 George Peele dies.
1597-1599 Artistic Maturity

Purchases New Place, Stratford with other significant investments

1599 The Globe Theater built on Bankside from the timbers of The Theatre. S is a shareholder and receives about 10% of the profits
Henry IV,1,2
The Merry Wives of Windsor
As You Like It
Much Ado About Nothing
Henry V
Julius Caesar
1597 Bacon's Essays, Civil and Moral
1598 Francis Meres Palladis Tamia
1598 John Florio's A World of Words (English-Italian dictionary)
1598 Ben Jonson 's Every Man in his Humour
1598 Phillip II of Spain dies
1599 Essex sent to Ireland and fails, is arrested on return
1599 Edmund Spenser dies
1600-1608 The Period of the Great Tragedies & Problem Plays

1600 The Fortune Theater opens

1601 S's father dies

1603 The Lord Chamberlain's Men become The King's Men, who perform at court more than any other company

1607 Susanna Shakespeare marries Dr. John Hall

1608 The King's Men begin playing at the Blackfriars

1608 S's mother dies
Twelfth Night
Troilus & Cressida
Alls Well That Ends Well
Measure for Measure
King Lear
Antony and Clepatra
Timon of Athens
1600 Kemp's Nine Daies Wonder
1600 Dekker's Shoemaker's Holiday
1601 Essex rebels against Elizabeth, fails and is executed
1601 Thomas Nashe dies
1603 Elizabeth dies, James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England
1603 Sir Walter Raleigh arrested, tried and imprisoned
1603 The plague once again ravages London
1604 Marston's The Malcontent
1605 The Gunpowder Plot - Guy Fawkes and accomplices arrested
1605 Bacon's The Advancement of Learning
1606 Ben Jonson's Volpone
1607 Tourneur (?) The Revenger's Tragedy
1607 The founding of Jamestown
1609-1611 Period of the Romances

1609 Publication of the Sonnets
Pericles Prince of Tyre
The Winter's Tale
The Tempest
1609 Beaumont & Fletcher The Knight of the Burning Pestle
1610 Prince Henry created Prince of Wales
1610 Ben Jonson The Alchemist
1612-1616 S probably retires from London life to Stratford

Works on collaborations with John Fletcher

1616 Judith Shakespeare marries Thomas Quiney

March 1616 S, apparently ill, revises his will

April 23, 1616 S dies and is buried at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford
Henry VIII
The Two Noble Kinsmen
1612 Henry Prince of Wales dies
1612 Webster's The White Devil
1613 Francis Bacon becomes attorney general
1614 Jonson's Bartholomew Fayre
1614 Webster'sDuchess of Malfi
1614 Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World
1616 Francis Beaumont dies
1616 Ben Jonson's Workes published in folio
1623 Publication of S's First Folio