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Shakespeare Coat of Arms

What did Shakespeare's coat of arms look like?

In 1596 William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, was granted a coat-of-arms. During this time of increasing social mobility, a coat of arms was an essential symbol of respectability, and they were highly sought after. On his father’s death in 1601, William continued to use the coat of arms and had the right to style himself a gentleman. The coat of arms was granted because of the military service of William’s grandfather. They set forth the Shakespeare family name. The crest is entirely gold with a spear cutting diagonally across the shield. The motto which runs along the bottom reads, ‘Non Sans Droict’ which is Latin and translates to ‘Not without right.’

Shakespeare coat of arms

The coat of arms can be seen on Shakespeare’s monument, above his grave in Holy Trinity Church, and versions of it can be seen on Shakespeare’s Birthplace, above the entrance to the Shakespeare Centre and at Shakespeare's New Place

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