Shakespeare in Cripplegate

I’ve been chasing Shakespeare around London in an attempt to trace his various homes from the early 1590s until his retirement in 1613. I thought it might be fun to compare his approximate locations on the map created by Ralph Agas, who surveyed London in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries (c.1570-1605), with current equivalent locations in modern London. What follows are a series of map locations and images related to Shakespeare’s known accommodation during these years.

 

BISHOPSGATE

Firstly, Shakespeare in Bishopsgate. He is known to have been living here in 1596, when he was assessed on goods valued at £5, and subsequently taxed 5 shillings. We don’t know the exact address at which he lived, but he was recorded as being resident in the parish of St Helens.

 

Bishopsgate

 

 

Bishopsgate c.1595

The arrow indicates the church of St Helens.

 

 

Bishopsgate 2012

St Helen’s church today, indicated by the arrow.

 

 SOUTHWARK

By 1599, Shakespeare had left Bishopsgate and moved across the river to Bankside. He is believed to have lodged in the liberty of the Clink in Southwark, just down from the newly-built Globe theatre.

 

Southwark

 

 

Liberty of the Clink c.1599

 

 

Clink 2012

 

 

Bankside before 1599

 

 

Bankside 2012

 

 

The Globe 2012

 

 

CRIPPLEGATE

In 1604, Shakespeare was living with the Mountjoy family on Silver Street, Cripplegate.

 

City of London

 

 

Cripplegate c.1600

The arrow indicates Shakespeare’s lodgings, in the house at the corner of Silver Street and Monkwell Street.

 

 

City of London 2012

The arrow indicates the approximate site of Shakespeare’s Cripplegate lodgings today, on the corner of Noble Street and London Wall.

 

BLACKFRIARS

In March 1613, Shakespeare bought the Blackfriars Gatehouse. It is unclear whether he ever lived in it, but after his death in 1616, it passed to his daughter Susanna:

And also all that tenemente with the appurtenaunces, wherein one John Robinson dwelleth, lying and being, in the Blackfriers in London, nere the Wardrobe. And all my other landes, tenementes, and hereditamentes whatsoever.

 

Blackfriars

 

 

Blackfriars c.1600

The site of the Blackfriars theatre. Shakespeare owned the Gatehouse nearby.

 

 

Blackfriars 2012

 

THEATRES

Finally, I’ve highlighted many of the theatres familiar to Shakespeare’s audiences on the Agas map.

 Left to Right top Row:

1)The Phoeneix/Cockpit, Drury Lane 2) The Red Bull, Clerkenwell 3) The Fortune, Whitecross Street
4) The Curtain, Shoreditch, and above it 5) The Theatre

Left to Right Middle Row:

1) Whitefriars 2) Blackfriars

Left to Right Bottom Row:

1) The Swan 2) The Hope 3) The Rose 4) The Globe

 

 

Source for Shakespeare’s addresses: Charles Nicholl, The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street (Penguin, 2007). Nicholl’s book provides lots of fascinating detail about Shakespeare’s life in Cripplegate.

Explore the Agas map in detail here

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