Introducing Shakespeare: A Graphic Guide - Nick Groom, Piero 2013
Debts and Troubles
The Privy Council clamped down on broggers and suspended licensed wool-dealing. John Shakespeare fell into debt and mortgaged some of his property. He stopped attending Anglican services, claiming to be afraid of meeting creditors - and he may also have declared his faith as a Catholic. His application to the Heralds’ College for a coat of arms was rejected, and he was eventually expelled from the Stratford council for absenteeism.
YET THROUGH THIS HE REMAINED “A MERRY CHEEKD OLD MAN”, WORKING IN HIS SHOP, FATHERING MORE SHAKESPEARES AND JESTING WITH HIS SON.
Will was by now attending the local grammar school and doing his bit to maintain the family honour.