Back to exhibition

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

Fundraising poster, 1847

A poster promoting amateur performances of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew, due to take place in Liverpool on 9 September 1847. There were fundraising events like this all around the country.

Printed by S A Hurton, Queen Street.