The Tudor Society

19 March – Romeo and Juliet author dies in a shipwreck

On this day in Tudor history, 19th March 1563, Arthur Brooke, the man who wrote the very first version of the story of Romeo and Juliet in English, died in a shipwreck off the coast of Sussex.

Find out more about Arthur Brooke and his version of Romeo and Juliet in today's video:

Arthur Brooke's "Romeus and Juliet" can be read online at

You can find out more about Brooke and his work in my Claire Chats video Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare and Brooke.

Also on this day in history:

  • 1563 – Peace (Edict) of Amboise signed at the Château of Amboise by Catherine de' Medici, as regent for her son, Charles IX. Catherine initiated this truce after the assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise, at the Siege of Orléans. The Edict ended the first phase of the French Wars of Religion and guaranteed the Huguenots religious privileges and freedoms. Peace did not last long, however.
  • 1568 - Death of Elizabeth Seymour, Lady Cromwell, sister of Queen Jane Seymour. She was buried at St. Mary's Church, Basing, Hampshire, on 5th April. Click here to read more.
  • 1577 – Death of Edmund Harman, former barber of Henry VIII, at Burford in Oxfordshire. He had retired there after Henry VIII's death. Harman was buried at Taynton Church.
  • 1590 – Baptism of William Bradford, separatist and founder of the Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, at Austerfield in Yorkshire. Bradford was Governor of the colony for over thirty years.

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19 March – Romeo and Juliet author dies in a shipwreck