An early printed book, contemporary with Shakespeare

 The Trustees were first incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1891, and now carry out their responsibilities under the terms of the Shakespeare Birthplace Act, 1961.  The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is a registered charity, no: 209302.

The objectives of the Trust, as defined by its Act are:

  • To promote in every part of the world the appreciation and study of the plays and other works of William Shakespeare and the general advancement of Shakespearian knowledge
  • To maintain and preserve the Shakespeare properties for the benefit of the nation
  • To provide and maintain for the benefit of the nation a museum and a library of books, manuscripts, records of historic interest, pictures, photographs and objects of antiquity with particular but not exclusive reference to William Shakespeare, his life, works and times

In 2009 we used these objectives to develop our vision statement:


Leading the world’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.



The Trust’s governing body is chaired by Peter Kyle OBE and is made up of up to 32 non salaried Trustees.  The Act of Parliament lays down the formation of the Trust’s governing body as follows (serving Trustees detailed):


The Headmaster of King Edward VI School, Bennet Carr
The Bishop of Coventry, The Rt Rev Dr Christopher Cocksworth
The High Steward of Stratford-upon-Avon, (Vacant)
The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox
The Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Rev Patrick Taylor
The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, Cllr Tessa Bates


British Library, Caroline Brazier
English Speaking Union, Peter Kyle OBE (Chairman)*
National Trust, Margaret Cund*
Royal Shakespeare Company, Catherine Mallyon
Shakespeare's Globe, Neil Constable
University of Birmingham, Prof. Michael Dobson*
University of Cambridge, Prof. Helen Cooper
University of London, Prof. René Weis
University of Oxford, Prof. Tiffany Stern
University of Warwick, Prof. Carol Chillington Rutter
Visit England, Penelope, Viscountess Cobham

Up to twelve LIFE TRUSTEES appointed by the Trustees

Sir Eric Anderson KT
Sir Geoffrey Cass
Dame Margaret Drabble
Richard Hyde
Helen Keays
Prof. Kate McLuskie
Peter Nicholls
Dr Roger Pringle
Neville Tarratt
Prof. Stanley Wells
Michael Wood

Up to five LOCAL TRUSTEES appointed by the Trustees

Nick Abell*

Ros Haigh*
John Russell* (Deputy Chairman)
Ralph Bernard CBE*


The Trustees delegate the day to day running of the Trust to an Executive Committee of up to eight members.  Membership of which is indicated *

Download a Schedule of Charity Trustees, pursuant to the 1961 Act of Parliament and subsequent changes to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's governing body.