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John Hall

Who married William Shakespeare's oldest daughter?

John Hall (1575-1635) was a physician working in Stratford-upon-Avon in the early 1600s. Physicians at this time were the highest rank of the medical profession, distinguished by their university education. John Hall attended Queen’s College, Cambridge in 1589. He completed his BA in 1593/4 and received his MA in 1597. 

The next ten years of his life are a mystery. It is likely he was gaining medical experience, perhaps continuing his education on the continent. Whether he received a formal qualification in medicine is unclear. The first record of John Hall in Stratford-upon-Avon was in 1607, when he married Susanna Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s eldest daughter. Their only child, Elizabeth, was baptised on 21 February 1608. It is believed that the family moved into their Stratford home Hall’s Croft as soon as it was built in 1613. 

When recording his burial, the Holy Trinity Parish Register referred to John Hall as a “medicus peritissimus” (a most skilful physician). When Susanna died in 1649 she was buried beside her husband in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Title page of the English translation (by James Cooke) of John Hall's "Select Observations on English Bodies", written in Latin by Hall.
Hall’s Select Observations on English Bodies, a publication by John Hall.

Find out more about medical practices in the 16th and 17th centuries in our online exhibition. 

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