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Who We Are

The Trustees and Honorary Fellows of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Charity Commission Scheme to modernise the governance of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Following consultation and with the support of the Charity Commission and professional advisers the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is set to update its administrative provisions under a Charity Commission scheme. The scheme will modernise the Trust’s governance in line with Charity Commission guidelines and current best practice.  It will not alter the objectives of the Trust.

 The scheme completed a period of Public Notice on 21 December 2016 and final approval is awaited

Read our November 2016 public notice of Charity Commission Scheme.

Find our more about our Board Elect.

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

Our vision is to lead the world’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.

Find out more about our staff and spokespeople.


The Trust’s governing body is chaired by Peter Kyle OBE and is made up of up to 35 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, Henry J Seymour, Marquess of Hertford
The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox
The Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Rev Patrick Taylor
The Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon, Cllr Juliet Short

British Library, Caroline Brazier
National Trust, Vacant
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, Vacant
University of Warwick, Prof. Carol Chillington Rutter*
Visit England, Penelope, Viscountess Cobham CBE

Up to twelve LIFE TRUSTEES appointed by the Trustees
Sir Eric Anderson KT
Sir Geoffrey Cass
Richard Hyde
Helen Keays
Prof. Kate McLuskie
Peter Nicholls
Dr Roger Pringle
Neville Tarratt
Prof. Sir Stanley Wells CBE, FRSL
Michael Wood

Up to five LOCAL TRUSTEES appointed by the Trustees
Peter Kyle OBE* (Chairman)
John Russell* (Deputy Chairman)
Nick Abell*
Ros Haigh*
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. 

Honorary fellows

Honorary Fellowships allow the Trust to recognise people who have given particularly valuable service to the Trust or who have contributed to it in other exceptional ways.

Our current Honorary Fellows are:

Paul Allen BA
Prof. Sir Jonathan Bate CBE
Dr Robert Bearman MBE
Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE
Michael Bogdanov
Dr Paula Byrne
Prof. Ann Jennalie Cook PhD, FSA
Dame Judi Dench CH, DBE
Gregory Doran
William Hawkes MBE, MA, ARIBA, FSA
AJ Leon
Melissa Leon
Andrew Phillips BA, MCLIP
Prof. Adrian Poole MA, PhD
Sir Roy Strong FSA
Dame Janet Suzman DBE
Greg Wyatt

Other staff and spokespeople

Meet our Spokespeople

See what makes us tick

Watch our Video

Your support funds vital work

Find out how
This is where the story began Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna Relive Shakespeare’s love story Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a working Tudor farm