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Exploring Stratford’s history in a book looking back to 1600s

IT IS interesting that one of the best documented towns in the country was home to one of the most famous men in world history about whom so little is known.

During the lifetime of William Shakespeare – between 1564 and 1616 – a meticulous record was being kept of Stratford’s municipal history, to such an extent that the edited paperwork has produced seven fat volumes, the last of which has just been published.

The series in fact covers the period from 1553, when Stratford was granted its first charter, to 1620. Known as the Minutes and Accounts of the Stratford-upon-Avon Corporation, volumes six and seven have been edited by Dr Robert Bearman, a former head of archives and local studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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