Congratulations, William and Anne!

William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway wed in late November of 1582. Happy 430th anniversary! When they wed, William was 18, and Anne was 26.

In his will, dated 25 March 1616, William bequeathed £300 to his younger daughter Judith and most of his estate to his elder daughter Susannah. To his wife Anne, William bequeathed his second-best bed.

If you’re tempted to knock William, the creator of Romeo, for being so unromantic himself in giving nothing but a mediocre piece of furniture to his bride, keep in mind that 17th century England had a culture far different from ours, and perhaps bequeathing only this bed to Anne was not such an insult to her as we may think. Then again, perhaps it was. We may never know for sure.

One of three of William’s signatures on his will

 

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