No one knows for certain on which day Shakespeare was born, but we do know that four hundred and forty-five years ago today, on 26 April 1564, Shakespeare was baptised in the Holy Trinity church in Stratford-upon-Avon.
We know this because the entry for that day in the baptismal registry survives. It reads:
Guliemus filius Johannes Shakspere” – William son of John Shakespeare. Because babies were customarily baptised three days after birth, Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated on the 23rd of April. That this day is also St. George’s day (patron saint of England) is a nice coincidence, as is the fact that Shakespeare, and many other poets with him, died on the same day.
I spent the evening of Shakespeare’s birthday in the media park in Hilversum for my second radio experience. I was invited by the same show as last time – BNN Today, and the presenters made my day when they told me they had all been to see Romeo and Juliet together after my first interview. This time, they wanted to know all about Shakespeare’s life – in 10 minutes. The result is below, in Quicktime format.