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About John Shakespeare
John Shakespeare (c. 1531 – 7 September 1601) was the father of William Shakespeare. He was the son of Richard Shakespeare of Snitterfield, a farmer. He moved to Stratford-upon-Avon and married Mary Arden, with whom he had eight children, five of whom survived into adulthood. He was a well-to-do glover and whittawer (leather worker) by trade, a dealer in hides and wool, and was elected to several municipal offices, serving as an alderman and culminating in a term as bailiff, the chief magistrate of the town council, before he fell on hard times for reasons unknown to historians.
His fortunes later revived after the success of his son, and he was granted a coat of arms five years before his death, probably at the instigation and expense of his playwright son, entitling him to use the honorific "gentleman", conventionally designated by the title "Master" or its abbreviations "Mr." or "M." prefixed to his surname.