To help ex-students of Shakespeares School to keep in touch with each other, the school and the town to the mutual benefit of all
Other Matters

A new book on the Guildhall, the product of several years of research and writing, has now been completed, and is now published by Ashgate and copies are available in the bookshops.

The title is:-

"The Guild and Guild Buildings of Shakespeare’s Stratford: Society, Religion, School and Stage"

KESOEA Members can buy this book at a discounted price.

The book includes chapters by noted Stratford historians and archivists Robert Bearman, Mairi Macdonald and Margaret Webster, together with chapters by senior scholars from across the UK on topics including:

  • the history of the Guild
  • the archaeology of the Guild Buildings and what it tells us about the buildings’ construction and development
  • Henry VIII’s Reformation and its effects on Stratford life and worship
  • grammar-school education in Stratford in Shakespeare’s day
  • the London-based professional players who performed in the Guildhall many times during the sixteenth century.

Highlights brought into view by the book’s research include:

  • details of daily life in the town as reflected in the proceedings of the Court of Record, held in the Guildhall
  • civic governance of the town by the Guild and then the Borough Council in the sixteenth century and the following years
  • the after-life of Guild priests left unemployed and homeless as a result of the Reformation
  • a new date and a new rôle for Pedagogue’s House
  • the school curriculum in Shakespeare’s day, and the comparative standing of the school, now K.E.S., among grammar schools across the land.

And much more, including well-informed speculation about:
  • the number and social background of students at the school in the years before and immediately following its re-founding in 1553
  • the location of the school before it moved into ‘Big School’ in the 1560s
  • the location and surroundings of Shakespeare’s classroom
  • the areas used for performance by visiting players within the Guildhall, in the adjoining courtyard, and elsewhere in the town
  • a revival in the Guildhall of the Queen’s Men’s production of the play which Shakespeare used as source for his own King John
  • the great playwright perhaps taking part in performances by visiting men’s and students’ companies, based on experience gained while performing plays within the then-current school curriculum.

Further detail about the book is given in the attached leaflet(pdf)

The book, as you know, is especially close to your members’ interests and it’s a must-read, beautifully-produced volume that would feature very appropriately on Christmas lists, even if recipients would need to wait for the book itself until after the festive season.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about the book and its contents if you’d like to contact me at this email address: Ronnie Mulryne



Last updated 19/11/2014.                                                                                                    © King Edward VI School Old Edwardians Association 2014