Anne Hathaway is one of the most well known of the Hathaway family, I know many a Hathaway has had the question "Any relation to Anne ?" on giving their surname.Anne Hathaway is thought to have been born about 1556, this being worked out from the age given at her burial, and was the daughter of Richard Hathaway a farmer and land owner. She grew up in a thatched farmhouse known as "Hewlands" situated in the village of Shottery, which lies close to Stratford-upon-Avon, the house is now better known as Anne Hathaway's Cottage even though it was never actually owned by her. Richard Hathaway died in September 1581 and left Anne the sum of 6 pounds 13 Shillings and 4 pence to be paid "atte the day of her maryage".
In November 1582 at the presumed age of 26 she was married to William Shakespeare a young man of 18 years and the son of John Shakespeare a prominent citizen of Stratford. The place of marriage has never been established but it seems to have been a hastily arranged affair as Anne was at this time three months pregnant. It would appear the couple obtained a licence from the Bishop of Worcester and the marriage therefore could have taken place at any church in the diocese of Worcester but no records survive to tell which one.
In May 1583 Anne gave birth to the couples first child Susanna who was baptised on the 26 May 1583 at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. Susanna was followed by the twins Judith and Hamnet who were baptised on 2 February 1585 also at Holy Trinity. Not long after this William Shakespeare moved to London apparently leaving Anne and the children behind in Stratford. During 1596 Anne and William's son Hamnet died when he was only 11 years old.
William made his name and fortune in London and by 1597 was wealthy enough to buy one of the largest houses in Stratford called New Place, Anne and the children moved in but William was to carry on working in London and visiting home periodically until 1611 when he returned to live with Anne.
Susanna, Anne's first daughter, married a physician called John Hall in 1607 and presented Anne and William with their first grandchild Elizabeth in 1608. The surviving twin Judith was to marry Thomas Quiney, a Stratford wine merchant, in 1616 and gave Anne and William a further three grandchildren.
On 23 April 1616 Anne lost her husband and England lost its greatest poet and playwright when William Shakespeare died at the age of fifty-two in Stratford. He was buried on 25 April 1616 at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.
Anne lived on until 6 August 1623 and was buried beside her husband at Holy Trinity Church. None of Anne's grandchildren produced any offspring so the line of Anne and William Shakespeare finished with the death of Elizabeth in 1670