Book, 'the Birthday Register Shakspere'; William Shakespeare (b.1564, d.1616), M...




Book, 'the Birthday Register Shakspere'

About this object

This book belonged to Maud Buckland and was later passed on to her sister Ruth Waller (nee Buckland). The book was used to record the birthdates of family and friends. Each page contains the month and date and is accompanied by a verse from William Shakespeare’s writing.

Maud Buckland was born in 1874 and was the daughter of Alfred Buckland, one of Auckland’s largest landowners and most successful agricultural businessmen. Maud was one of 21 children, thus this book would have been helpful in reminding Maud of the birthdates of her thirteen sisters and seven brothers.

The celebration of birthdays is an ancient tradition and is common to many cultures. Birthdays are one of the many customs that European settlers brought with them to New Zealand in the mid-19th century.

In the past, birthdays were a celebration governed by superstition because they were regarded as a dangerous time due to their association with the perilous event of birth. It was believed that being surrounded by friends and well-wishers helped to ward off evil spirits. The ritual of wishing people “happy birthday” and “best wishes” were ways in which these evil spirits were kept at bay. (1)

(1) Nancy Swarbrick, ‘Birthdays and wedding anniversaries – Celebrating birthdays,’ Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, URL:

For more information about the Buckland family and Highwic, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.


William Shakespeare (b.1564, d.1616)

Maker Role



Maud Buckland

Maker Role



Ruth Waller (nee Buckland)

Maker Role


Date Made

Not dated

Medium and Materials

Leather and paper


10.5 x 7cm

Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Highwic, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type

Birthday Register

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

Highwic   Highwic


Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.

This object is in 2 communities


eHive copyright disclaimer

It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. For further information see our Copyright Claims page.