Shakespeare applied to the College of Heralds for a coat of arms for his father. A coat of arms was a symbol of higher rank in British society. The Shakespeare family's coat of arms has a spear in the middle and a falcon on top. Shakespeare inherited the coat of arms when his father died and was then permitted to call himself a gentleman.
Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway, had three children: Susanna and twins Judith and Hamnet. The twins were named after neighbors who named their son William. Although Hamnet died at the age of eleven, his name lives on: It was sometimes written as Hamlet, the title of one of his father's greatest characters and plays. Shakespeare's last descendant, a granddaughter, died in 1670.