11.08.

1596: Funeral of Hamnet Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s Only Son

1596: Funeral of Hamnet Shakespeare, William Shakespeare’s Only Son
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Shakespeare's family life, with Hamnet standing behind Shakespeare

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 11 August 1596
  • There are theories that the name Hamlet, which Shakespeare used for his most famous drama, is in some way linked to the name of his son Hamnet, but there is no clear proof of this.

On this day in 1596 Hamnet Shakespeare, the only son of the famous William Shakespeare, was buried on this day.

He was probably named after Hamnet Sadler, a family friend who was also a witness to William Shakespeare’s last will.

It is interesting that William wrote the name of Hamnet Sadler as “Hamlett Sadler” in his will. Indeed, there exists a theory that the name Hamlet, which Shakespeare used for his most famous drama, is in some way linked to the name of his son.

It is important to note that Hamnet Shakespeare died before his father wrote the drama Hamlet. Namely, Hamnet died on this day in 1596 as an 11-year-old boy, while William wrote Hamlet only several years later.

Hamnet Shakespeare was buried in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where he had been born 11 years earlier. In addition their son, William and his wife Anne Hathaway had two daughters, Susanna and Judith.

It is interesting that, in contrast to Hamnet, the daughters outlived their father for a long time (they lived to be 66 and 77 years old, respectively).

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