The period between 1583 and 1592 is often referred to as William Shakespeare’s “lost years”: little is known about the bard’s life during the years between the birth of his twins, Hamnet and Judith, and his first appearances in London. But local historians in the town of Titchfield, near Southampton, now say they’ve unlocked a new secret of Shakespeare’s past; for at least part of this time, they say, the bard worked as a humble schoolmaster at a grammar school in the Hampshire village, the BBC reported.
Historian Ken Groves, whose Titchfield home was a grammar school in the 16th century cites the bard’s relationship with his patron — the third Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley — and claims of a 17th century writer as evidence that Shakespeare taught in that school between 1589 and 1592, according to The Times.
(More: Study: Shakespeare Was a ‘Ruthless’ Businessman, Hoarded Food)
According to BBC, Groves said it has been established “beyond reasonable doubt” that his house once belonged to the Wriothesley family. He also highlighted a claim from 17th century writer John Aubrey who claimed that Shakespeare had been a schoolmaster, citing testimony from the son of one of his contemporaries.
Other locals say the fact that Shakespeare only dedicated two works in his his life, both to Wriothesley, also supports the theory, writes the Daily Mail.
Groves’ theory is not without dispute, but Titchfield Festival Theatre has already gone ahead and applied for a $ 900,000 grant to fund a Shakespeare trail that would bring all the key places of his purported time in Titchfield — includingthe old grammar school and Place House, a historic abbey once owned by theWriothesleys. According to BBC, the locals would also develop a downloadable app and an interactive exhibition.