At the age of 18, William Shakespeare married a woman called Anne Hathaway. Anne and her family were the tenants of a one-storey farmhouse on a 90-acre farm. The house is less than one and a half miles away from the home in which Shakespeare was born and grew up.
Anne’s father was a yeoman farmer, and consequently a well-respected member of the Shottery community. Upon his death he left Anne, who was also known as Agnes, a small sum of money with which she could marry. The house was then purchased by Anne’s brother, Bartholomew, who also acquired the freehold on the farm.
Bartholomew added a second floor to the farmhouse and made many extensions to the property. The Hathaway descendants kept the ever-expanding cottage in the family for 13 generations until it was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1892, when it was turned into a museum.
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