Holy Trinity Church

From Wiki:

William Shakespeare, poet and playwright, was baptised in Holy Trinity on 26 April 1564 and was buried there on 25 April 1616.[17] The church still possesses the original Elizabethan register giving details of his baptism and burial, though it is kept by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for safekeeping. He is buried in the beautiful 15th-century chancel built by Thomas Balsall, Dean of the Collegiate Church, who was buried within it in 1491. Shakespeare was eligible to be buried in the chancel owing to his position as a “lay rector” of the church; as Peter Ackroyd explains, this was due to his leasing of tithes from the church. This entitlement was taken either at his behest or on his behalf.[18] Shakespeare’s funerary monument is fixed on a wall alongside his burial place. The funerary monument was renovated in 1746 through proceeds from a production of Othello, the first recorded performance of a Shakespeare play in Stratford-upon-Avon.[19]

Shakespeare would have come to Holy Trinity every week when he was in town, i.e. throughout his childhood and on his return to live at New Place. His wife Anne Hathaway is buried next to him, along with his eldest daughter Susanna. The day after Shakespeare signed his Last Will and Testament on 25 March 1616 in a “shaky hand”, William’s son-in-law, Thomas Quiney was found guilty in the church court of fathering an illegitimate son, who had recently died in childbirth, by a Margaret Wheler. Quiney was ordered to do public penance within the church. Within a month Shakespeare was dead, his funeral and burial being held at Holy Trinity on 25 April 1616.

Above the grave, a badly eroded stone slab displays his epitaph:

Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare,
to digg the dvst encloased heare.
Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones,
and cvrst be he yt moves my bones.

It has been claimed by at least one textbook author that the warning has served to prevent both the removal of Shakespeare’s body to Westminster Abbey and the exhumation of his body for examination.[20]

The grave of Shakespeare’s wife Anne is next to her husband’s. The inscription states, “Heere lyeth interred the body of Anne wife of William Shakespeare who dep[ar]ted this life the 6th day of Avgv[st] 1623 being of the age of 67 yeares”. A Latin inscription followed which translates as “Breasts, O mother, milk and life thou didst give. Woe is me – for how great a boon shall I give stones? How much rather would I pray that the good angel should move the stone so that, like Christ’s body, thine image might come forth! But my prayers are unavailing. Come quickly, Christ, that my mother, though shut within this tomb may rise again and reach the stars.”[21] The inscription may have been written by John Hall on behalf of his wife, Anne’s daughter, Susanna.[22]

Shakespeare Memorial

Shakespeare's Grave

Shakespeare's Grave

Holy Trinity Church

Chained Bible

10 Comments CherryPie on Jan 17th 2023

10 Responses to “Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon”

  1. It is a wonderful church and one I must go back to! It has a rather good shop too!

  2. Hels says:

    Would the church have been as attractive and as well preserved, had there been no Shakespeare connection, do you think?

  3. The Yum List says:

    Wow, those stained glass windows are amazing.

  4. Oh I thought Shakespeare was buried in Westminster Abbey?!

    • CherryPie says:

      He was buried at Holy Trinity. If you click on the third photo to enlarge it you can see the location of his grave marked out with black lines just in front of the altar.

      There was talk of moving his body to Westminster Abbey but that did not happen. Instead there is a memorial statue of Shakespeare situated in poets corner in Westminster Abbey.

  5. Shabana says:

    Hear thanks for sharing this history. I am glad now I know lit bit ab the marvelous author and poet.
    Poe written on grave’s is very emotional oh my.
    Sto of his bro and law is heartbreaking.