Was Shakespeare a tax dodger? Bard was ‘ruthless businessman who exploited famine and faced jail for cheating revenue’

William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright. Portrait of William Shakespeare

From The Daily Mail:

William Shakespeare was a ‘ruthless businessman’ and tax dodger, researchers have claimed.
Although he wrote plays that championed the rights of the poor and the needy, archived documents show the playwright was actually a wealthy landowner repeatedly dragged before the courts and fined for illegally stockpiling food and threatened with jail for evading taxes.

He ‘stored grain, malt and barley for resale at inflated prices to neighbours and local tradesmen’ at a time when Europe was suffering famines, the academics said, and channelled the profits into land purchases.

They added that Shakespeare did all he could to ‘avoid taxes, maximise profits at others’ expense and exploit the vulnerable – while writing plays about their plight’.
And his approach of ‘combining both illegal and legal activities’ meant he could retire after a working life of only 24 years.

Researchers at Aberystwyth University carried out an academic study looking into Shakespeare’s ‘other life’ as one of Warwickshire’s biggest landowners and have uncovered the less than savoury side to Britain’s greatest playwright.

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