William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. His father was a glover by trade, but he also experimented with farming. The family owned a farm called the Asbies, which Mary Arden-Shakespeare had brought to the marriage.
Shakespeare was most likely educated at the Stratford free grammar school. He likely apprenticed at the age of thirteen when the family's financial situation was going downhill. He married Anne Hathaway in November of 1582.
As a playwright, Shakespeare was not well known until 1592. Stages were closed then because of the plague, but by the time they reopened in 1594, he had written Venus and Adonis, as well as Lucrece. Now he began writing for the Lord Chamberlayne company. Although he was also an actor for the company, he was more famous for his writing. His plays are difficult to put in chronological order, but he wrote twelve during this assosiation. Frequently, the company was requested by Queen Elizabeth, and later, by King James I.
Shakespeare retired in 1610, returning to Stratford from London. He busied himself with the community and was comfortable with the large fortune he had earned. In his will, written only a month before he died, Shakespeare left most of his estate to his daughter, Susanna, but also provided for his wife's comfort. William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616.