1 Apr 2013

Shakespeare ruthless businessman, say researchers

10:41 am on 1 April 2013

New evidence has emerged that William Shakespeare was not just a prolific playwright, but also a major landowner and ruthless businessman.

Academics at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales claim he stockpiled grain while Europe was in the grip of a severe famine.

Documents indicate he was repeatedly brought before the courts, accused of hoarding and tax evasion, the BBC reports.

Researcher Jane Asher says Shakespeare the grain-hoarder has been edited out of history so that Shakespeare the creative genius could be emphasised.

"He is a playwright who received payment in coin and that enabled him to exploit the markets when the price of corn and wheat is low and then store it to sell when the market is at its highest."