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The following is an imagined account from the life of William Walker, son of William Shakespeare's friend Henry Walker of Stratford.


The Shakespeare families and mine go back a long way together, right back to the time of my grandfather in the 1550s, over a hundred years ago now, and if I may say so we’ve done a lot for this town between us. Master William’s father was an alderman and became bailiff, and so did my father, and I after him. Quite a line of succession. Of course Master William himself wasn’t able to take much of a part in the town’s affairs, spending as much time in London as he did, but he left a decent sum of money for the town’s poor people. He was my godfather you know, and I used to play with his granddaughter Elizabeth in the Great Garden of New Place.

He left me twenty shillings in gold – that was a nice touch, he knew I’d appreciate the bright and shiny coins. I could hardly bear to part with them, but in the end I bought a fine hobby horse and a fishing rod, which I think he’d have approved of. Elizabeth is ‘my lady’ now, lives in the great house at Abingdon, so we don’t see much of her. But Mr Ward the vicar and I talk about Master Shakespeare sometimes, and his daughter Judith is still around, we enjoy chatting about the old times and she’s shown me the great book with all his plays in it, but of course they can’t act them any more now that Master Cromwell has closed all the playhouses.

Cast: Clive Depper, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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