Shakespeare and King Lear Biographical Timeline
A fact sheet on the important dates in Shakespeare's life focussing on King Lear
William Shakespeare, son of John and Mary Shakespeare, baptized on April 26th at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford on Avon.
The Mirror for Magistrates by John Higgins is published and is probably used by Shakespeare as a source for King Lear.
James Burbage opens the Theatre in London.
Bishop of Winchester on 28th November grants a license for the marriage of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, daughter of a local yeoman.
Daughter Susanna baptised on 26th May at Holy Trinity Church.
Twins Judith and Hamnet baptised on 2nd February at Holy Trinity Church.
The second edition of Holinshed's Chronicles is published. It is thought that Shakespeare used this edition as his source material for King Lear.
Henry VI Part 1 written by William Shakespeare.
The True Chronicle History of King Leir written anonymously, is produced in London, and is probably a major source for Shakespeare's play.
Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia is published and is probably used as a source for the Gloucester/Edgar/Edmund subplot in King Lear.
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser is published and probably used as a source for King Lear.
First mention of Shakespeare as a playwright when Robert Greene writes 'there is an upstart crow...in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country...' in his Greene's Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance.
Shakespeare appears with Richard Burbage as a member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men before Queen Elizabeth.
According to Philip Henslowe's diary, The True Chronicle History of King Leir is produced by the Queen's Men and Lord Sussex's Men at the Rose Theatre.
Son Hamnet dies at age of 11 and is buried on 11th August.
Francis Meres publishes Palladis, Tamia, Wit's Treasury which attests to the ascendancy of Shakespeare - 'As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for Comedy and Tragedy among the Latines, so Shakespeare among the English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage...'
The Globe Theatre opens at Bankside in London.
John Shakespeare, William's father dies.
Queen Elizabeth I dies in March . Her nephew James I ascends to the throne in May and grants a license to the King's Men.
Samuel Harsnet's A Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures is published and includes many terms, names and descriptions of incidents that influence Shakespeare's writing of King Lear.
King Lear is written and probably performed at the Globe Theatre with Richard Burbage as King Lear and Robert Armin as the Fool.
In July William Shakespeare purchases land in Stratford, Old Stratford, Bishopton and Welcombe for £440.
The True Chronicle History of King Leir is published.
On 26 December King Lear is performed at Whitehall before King James.
Daughter Susanna marries John Hall, a local physician on June 5th.
Shakespeare's youngest brother Edmund dies on December 31st.
Elizabeth, daughter of John and Susanna Hall and granddaughter to William Shakespeare is baptised on February 21st.
In September Mary Shakespeare, William's mother dies.
King Lear is published in first quarto edition by Nathanial Butter.
William Shakespeare returns to live in Stratford on Avon.
Richard Shakespeare, William's brother dies.
The Globe Theatre burns down during a performance of Henry VIII.
The Two Noble Kinsmen, Shakespeare and Fletcher's last play is written. The Globe is rebuilt and reopened.
Daughter Judith marries Thomas Quiney, a local vintner on February 10th.
On the 25th of March William Shakespeare executes his will.
William Shakespeare dies on St George's Day the 23rd of April and is buried in the parish church at Stratford on Avon.
King Lear published in second quarto form.
King Lear is published in the first folio edition of Shakespeare's Works.
The Puritans close the London theatres by order of ordinance, as the English Civil War begins.
King Lear is revived by William Davenant, Shakespeare's godson.
Nahum Tate's controversial reworked and rewritten adaptation of King Lear opens with a happy ending as Cordelia and Edgar marry and Lear regains his crown.
Peter Brook's production of King Lear at the Royal Shakespeare Company reimagines the play for a modern audience.
Two classic film versions of King Lear open - Korol Lir, directed in Russian by Grigori Kozintsev and Peter Brook's King Lear.
Transatlantic Lears - Ian McKellen plays King Lear directed by Trevor Nunn in London and Kevin Kline plays King Lear at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
The release dates of two big King Lear films - Anthony Hopkins is due to film King Lear with Keira Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow, while Al Pacino is to make a rival film of King Lear, directed by Michael Radford.