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Shakespeare Biography - Interesting Facts

80 - The approximate number of ancestral spellings of Shakespeare, including Schakosper, Schakespeire, Shakstaf, Saxper, Shasspere, Shakespere and Sakspere.

20 - The number of different spellings of Shakespeare in known Stratford documents.

1248 - The earliest reference to the surname in English, relating to William Sakspeer from the nearby village of Clopton.

Stratford's Main Occupations:

23 butchers
20 weavers
16 shoemakers
15 bakers
15 carpenters
23 glovers
67 brewers and ale-sellers (often local households)

Did You Know?
During Shakespeare's lifetime it was safer to drink ale than water.

Main events of the agricultural year in Shakespeare's Stratford:

February - sowing, harrowing
March - pruning
June - haymaking
August - harvest
September - threshing
November - butchery of the pigs

Shakespeare in London

47 years - The average male life span outside of London.

35 years - The expected male life span within 16th century London, amongst her more affluent citizens.

25 years - The expected male life span amongst the poorer classes.

50% - The proportion of the UK population aged below 20 years.

Adult Life in Stratford

217 - The number of houses in Stratford upon Avon in the late 16th century.

Did You Know?
Did You Know? Stratford houses were primarily built of oak (from the nearby Forest of Arden), wattle and daub, lias stone foundations (from nearby Wilmcote) and thatched roofs. Conditions ranged from hovels to "goodly houses".

10 - The approximate number of main streets (including Henley Street, Church Way, Corn Street, Rother Street, Sheep Street, Mill Lane, Wood Street, Swine Street and Bridge Street).

200 - The approximate number of families living in the town.

1,900 - The approximate population of men, women and children.

2 - The number of words from which the name 'Stratford' is derived; 'straet', meaning a paved Roman road or highway, crossing a 'ford' (in this case the river Avon).

17 feet - The depth at which Shakespeare is believed to have been buried, a clue that typhus was suspected as being the cause of his death.

If you've enjoyed these biographical notes why not read more facts about Shakespeare or discover the timeline of Shakespeare's life.

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