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Saving Shakespeare's Birthplace

6. Supporters of the campaign

Notable supporters of the campaign to save the Birthplace included author Charles Dickens, actor and star of his day W C Macready, former Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, and social reformer Harriet Martineau.

Encouraging ordinary people to get involved, Harriet wrote:

…shall not we who are not rich claim our part also? Let those who wish for the honour set to the work at once.

                                                                Rugby Monthly Advertiser, August 1847


Campaign poster, 1847

This poster sets out the aims of the Stratford-upon-Avon and London committees and lists their leading members in a bid to pursuade people to contribute to the cause. Members of the aristocracy feature prominantly, beginning with Prince Albert as patron of the campaign.

Printed by F & G Ward, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Other supporters included Mary Cowden Clarke, a writer and the first female editor of Shakespeare. She collected £2.9 shillings for the fund. Playwright Douglas Jerrold donated £5 and Roland Hill, founder of the modern Postal Service, gave £3.3 shillings.