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The origins of the Poets Supposed Grandfather

Richard Shakespeare

A number of American researchers give the parents of Richard Shakespeare as John and Joan, without giving source material (the entries are on the IGI - and there are several entries on the 'Family Trees' section at www.rootsweb.com), and add that this John, born about 1492 (in Snitterfield?), was a son of a Thomas Shakespeare of Wroxall, and his wife, Alice.

No sources are given for any of this information - in the light of further research this information is almost certainly based on Yeatman's writings, which can now be shown to be incorrect, as he makes Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield synonymous with Richard Shakespeare, one time 'Bailiff of Wroxall' - this is clearly not correct. In fact, the information on the IGI is also incorrect - while Richard 'the Bailiif's' father was named John, this was a different John to the one referred to above.


The Dictionary of National Biography entry for William Shakespeare has a note that Richard may be descended from an Adam Shakespeare of Baddesley Clinton, and that Richard migrated to Snitterfield from Wroxall in the early years of the16th century:

(Dictionary of National Biography)

This entry was written from, and repeats earlier sources, which are incorrect in making Richard of Snitterfield the Poet's grandfather.


Revised June 2005

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