Was this the first baby named after Shakespeare’s Juliet?

Juliet (1888) by Philip H. Calderon
Painting of Juliet

English actor Richard Burbage and English playwright William Shakespeare were close friends. So close that Burbage named his first daughter Juliet, very likely after the character from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

So Juliet Burbage, who was born in 1608 and only lived a few months, could have been the very first baby girl in history to be named after the famous character.

Burbage and his wife Winifred also had children named Richard, Francis, Anne, Winifred, Julia (probably named in honor of her deceased older sister), William and Sara. Some speculate that Anne and William were named after William Shakespeare and his wife Anne, but there’s no way to know for sure.

Have you ever met anyone named Juliet? Do you like the name?


  • Collier, J. Payne. The History of English Dramatic Poetry to the Time of Shakespeare; and Annals of the Stage to the Restoration. London: George Bell & Sons, 1879.
  • Neil, Samuel. Shakespeare. London: Houlston and Wright, 1861.
  • Wilson, Ian. Shakespeare: The Evidence: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Man and His Work. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999.

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