LONDON RESIDENCES AND ACTOR FRIENDS
Now that Shakespeare, after some uncertainty, had found his permanent place in the world, and had settled down into the regular existence he was thenceforth to lead, we may turn to consider his more personal affairs.
His first residence in London, so far as our knowledge goes, was in the Parish of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, near the Theatre where his company was acting, and close by the homes of his friends the Burbages. From the Subsidy Rolls we learn that in 1595-96 (how much earlier is not indicated) he was a householder in this parish, and that upon his goods the tax collectors had set the very respectable assessment of £5. In the same Rolls, Richard Burbage, who had inherited property from his father in addition to what he had accumulated as a successful actor, was assessed only £3; and his brother Cuthbert, the owner of the Theatre, and a prosperous man of affairs, who with his family was occupying the dwelling his father had erected in Holywell, was assessed only £4. That Shakespeare as a householder was assessed more than either of these men indicates that he was living in better circumstances than they, and suggests that he had with him in London his wife, Anne, and his three children, Susanna, Judith, and Hamnet.
But his home in St. Helen's was soon to be broken up, as is shown by the following facts. In 1593 Parliament had voted to Queen Elizabeth three subsidies,1 each of 2s. 8d. in the pound on personal assessment. The third subsidy (for the year 1595) was divided into two install-____________________