What Did William Shakespeare Leave His Wife in His Will?

William Shakespeare left his wife Anne Hathaway his second best bed along with other furniture. Shakespeare died in April 1616, when he was 52, while Anne died in 1623 at the age of 67.

Shakespeare is far more popular for his plays and poetry than for his marriage. Not much is known about Anne Hathaway other than the fact that she was 26 and pregnant when she married an 18-year-old Shakespeare. While Anne stayed home with the couple’s children just outside Stratford, Shakespeare worked on his craft and traveled across London. He experienced much more fame and exposure to worldly pleasures than she did.

It is rumored Shakespeare was unfaithful to his wife as evidenced through some of his most passionate poetry, according to the Public Broadcasting Service. Nothing more than speculation exists as to why Shakespeare left his second best bed to his wife, but many believe the marriage was never truly happy and Shakespeare might have felt as though his marriage held him back in some way or other. Regardless of the state of the couple’s marriage, Anne requested to be buried by her husband when she died, a gesture that indicates the second best bed might have been enough for her.