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Location of Shakespeare’s London home revealed

Theatre historian Geoffrey Marsh outside St Helen's in Bishopsgate Theatre historian Geoffrey Marsh, who made the discovery, outside St Helen's in Bishopsgate
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New research claims to have identified the location of Shakespeare’s London home.

Theatre historian Geoffrey Marsh, who is also director of the theatre and performance department at the V&A, made the discovery through cross referencing various records from the time.

He has found Shakespeare’s London residency was part of a cluster of properties overlooking the churchyard of St Helen’s church in Bishopsgate.

Marsh was able to pinpoint the location by looking at records belonging to the Company of Leathersellers, which owned a large part of the parish.

He identified that, among the records of tenants were John Prymme and John Robinson the Younger, who appear above Shakespeare’s name in a 1598 tax record. Marsh believes the individuals were listed in order of the location of their homes, and that – using this theory – Shakespeare occupied an “adjacent property” or sublet rooms in the cluster of properties that overlooked the churchyard of St Helen’s.

Marsh said: “The place where Shakespeare lived in London gives us a more profound understanding of the inspirations for his work and life. Within a few years of migrating to London from Stratford, he was living in one of the wealthiest parishes in the city, alongside powerful public figures, wealthy international merchants, society doctors and expert musicians.”

He added: “The merchants had connections across Europe and the doctors were linked to the latest progressive thinking in universities in Italy and Germany. Living in what was one of the power locales of London would have also enhanced Shakespeare’s status as he developed his career, sought a family coat of arms and planned to buy an impressive and expensive house in Stratford.”

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