William’s first classroom is currently owned by the King Edward VI school, the direct successor to the grammar school in Stratford-upon-Avon attended by Shakespeare from about 1571. One of William’s tutors included Sir Thomas Smith, a protestant. However, Simon Hunt, William’s first tutor, left the school to become a Jesuit priest. His successors Thomas Jenkins and John Cottom had strong Catholic associations. Cottam became a Jesuit and was a friend of Edmund Campion, Jesuit martyr.
Where did Simon Hunt go? None other than the seminary in Rheims, the institution that produced the Douay Rheims, the first Bible in English and the one used by me and others like me.
This will come as a shock: As was the case in all Elizabethan grammar schools, Latin was the primary language of learning. Although Shakespeare likely had some lessons in English, Latin composition and the study of Latin authors like Seneca, Cicero, Ovid, Virgil, and Horace were the focus of his literary training.
Who says we in the 21st century are the most learned?
Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother, was born in 1537. William was born in 1564. Edward Arden, head of the Arden family, hid a priest disguised as a gardener in his home, and for that and another suspicious accusation, Edward was decapitated in 1583. William was just 19. The river a mother and son swim in, whether the Avon or any other, they swim together, and what boy could disagree with his Catholic mom? She might drown him, or kill him with kindness.
Lady Asquith and Joseph Pearce did the most thorough textual analysis.
PBS is not exactly a beacon of impartiality, but the article lists reference books.