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When did Shakespeare die?

What we know about when, where and how Shakespeare died

William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1616. He was 52 years of age. His burial in Holy Trinity Church is recorded in Stratford-upon-Avon's parish register on 25 April 1616. A monument still stands in the church, which notes the date of Shakespeare's death as 23 April 1616.

The grave below Shakespeare's monument does not bear his name, but was believed to be Shakespeare's from at least 1656. It is also the first in a row of graves that commemorate his family, including his widow Anne, who died in 1623. Shakespeare’s family line came to an end with the death of his grand-daughter Elizabeth in 1670.

Visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon can still visit the church and William Shakespeare's grave, where a curse is inscribed on the stone: 'Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To digg the dust encloased heare, Blest by the man that spares these stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.'

How Did Shakespeare Die?

We do not know the cause of Shakespeare's death. Tudors placed some emphasis on the importance of making preparations for death, so it is unsurprising that Shakespeare left a will behind. The last version of his will was signed on 25 March 1616, almost a month before he died. In it he describes himself as 'in perfect health & memorie, god be praysed', which was a conventional phrase that cannot necessarily be taken as a true indication of his health at the time.

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