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During the Reformation, Catholic Spain was a long-standing enemy of England and during the reign of Elizabeth I a series of attempted invasions prolonged the enmity between the two countries. The uneasy and short-lived alliance between England and Spain during the reign of Mary I was replaced by hostilities exacerbated by the Spanish Armada’s attacks […]Continue reading

Francis Walsingham, who signed his last will and testament in December 1589, is primarily remembered as Elizabeth I’s ‘spymaster’. He established a wide-reaching system of surveillance to safeguard both the personal safety of the queen and the national security of England. His wide-reaching system of surveillance even extended into the playhouses of early modern England. […]Continue reading

Shakespeare acted in some of Ben Jonson’s plays when they were performed by his playing company. He was listed in the  cast of Sejanus His Fall as the first ‘principal tragedian’ in 1604. Shakespeare also acted in a performance of Ben Jonson’s Every Man in His Humour.  In the 1616 publication of The Works of Benjamin Jonson, Shakespeare […]Continue reading

Shakespeare may have been inspired by the visit of the Moroccan ambassador to Elizabeth I as he created the ‘noble Moor’ in Othello. The Moroccan king’s ambassador, Abd al-Wahid bin Messaoud bin Mohammed al-Annuri, and his party arrived in Dover on this day in 1600. They travelled to the queen’s court in London and stayed […]Continue reading

John Shakespeare was buried in Stratford-upon-Avon on 8 September 1601 after becoming an influential and important member of the town. He had moved to Stratford-upon-Avon with his wife, Mary, in 1551. He worked as a glover and become a well-known member of the Stratford town council. When his eldest son William was four years old, […]Continue reading