Why Shakespeare Left His ‘Second Best Bed’ to his Wife

NEW scientific evidence suggests that William Shakespeare’s famous snub to his wife may in fact have been a tender show of love.

The world’s greatest playwright only left Anne Hathaway his “second best bed” in his will. However, on the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, X-ray and infra-red analysis by a team from The National Archives has revealed that the clause was inserted a month before he died in April, 1616, aged 52. Experts believe this was a touching act of love by a man knowing he was dying.

We need to understand two things. First, the law at that time said a wife automatically received a third of their husband’s estate and use of the family home for the rest of her life. Therefore, there was no need for Shakespeare to bequeath her anything in the will. Second, the best bed in a house was always kept in the guest room.

Specifically mentioning the second best bed where the couple slept together, made love and where his children were born is now seen by many scholars as a gift from the heart.

Make sure your second best bed goes to your wife by contacting Heritage Will Writing on 02380 879243.