Do Public Records Support Shakespeare's Existence?
Although there is not a birth record for Shakespeare, the town in which Shakespeare was believed to be born, Stratford upon Avon, had baptismal records. On the right is a baptismal record with the line recording Shakespeare's baptism highlighted. The record states, "Guiliamus filius Johannes Shakspere" or "William son of John Shakspere." The date is marked as April 26th, 1564. The baptism would typically have occurred within a few months of his birth.
Highlighted William Shakespeare baptismal record, photo from shakespeareflix.com, 2014
The Will of Shakespeare
Shakespeare did have a will that is extant today and is displayed on the right. About a month before his death, Shakespeare had the will signed. Within the will, he famously bequeathed his "second best bed" to his wife Anne Hathaway.
Beyond his baptismal records and will, there were other documents that involve Shakespeare. The other documents include those for his marriage to Anne Hathaway and his dealings as a partial owner of a performing company.
Based on the evidence examined, do you think Shakespeare was a real person?