Saving Shakespeare's Birthplace
5. Save the Birthplace!
With time ticking away two committees were formed, one in Stratford-upon-Avon and one in London. Both aimed to raise enough money to purchase the Birthplace and ensure its future preservation as a memorial to Shakespeare.
Support was sought from the influential and powerful. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, agreed to be patron of the Stratford Committee and gave £250 to the cause. Appeals for donations were published in the newspapers and fundraising events took place.
Plymouth Mechanics’ Institute raised about £14 from a reading of As You Like It, while the Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon donated £100. At the other end of the scale, the proceeds of a penny collection were donated by ‘E. M’, and Horncastle Grammar School pupils gave £1.1s. A £1 donation would be worth about £95 today.
Fundraising poster, 1847
A poster publicising fundraising performances of Shakespeare's Henry IV and an opera version of Rob Roy, taking place in London.
Printed by W J Dailey, Lambeth.
See below for another poster image