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Shakespeare's family in nine objects

Silver gilt drinking bowl

Family focus

Judith Shakespeare (Quiney) – Shakespeare’s youngest daughter

About the Item

This 12cm high drinking bowl is made of silver gilt and one of only sixteen of this type known to have survived in England since the 16th century. Shakespeare left his daughter Judith such a bowl in his  will.

About Judith Shakespeare (Quiney)

Judith was a twin and second daughter of Anne and William Shakespeare. Her early childhood may have been a poor one as her grandparents were in debt and forced to sell some of her family inheritance. It is not known if she went to school or if she could read and write. She would, however, have learned domestic skills such as cooking, cleaning and sewing. 

Her twin brother, Hamnet, died when they were 11 and throughout her childhood her father was away a lot in London. 

In 1616 Judith married Thomas Quiney, a vintner (winemaker). He was later elected a burgess and constable of the town.

Judith gave birth to their first child in November 1616 but sadly he died before his first birthday. She went on to have two other sons, Richard and Thomas, whom she also outlived. 

The Quineys experienced financial difficulties over the years and were only able to remain in their home due to the intervention of other (male) family members. Women in those days had very few rights in law.

Judith was buried at Holy Trinity Church in 1662, but her grave is not in the chancel with those of her parents and older sister.

Read about Judith Shakespeare (Quiney)

Find out more about Judith Shakespeare (Quiney) in this fact file about members of Shakespeare's family.

You can also find out more information about Judith Shakespeare here.

Try this!

Find out some more about what William Shakespeare left to his family in his will in this resource.


CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust