Compeers by NightIII(Part 1 of 2)

 by

Mather Walker
2002


 

FrAncis BAcon

&

the Secret of the Ornamental Devices

 

Although William T. Smedley’s fascinating book, "The Mystery of Francis Bacon”, was published in 1910, no one since has shown a more profound insight into the character of Francis Bacon. However, Smedley’s basic premise needs more research. Smedley argued that, although Francis Bacon wrote, or contributed to many books pseudonymously, these books could be identified because he marked them with one, or the other, of two ornamental devices, both of which were present in Bacon's major "masked" work, - the 1623 First Folio edition of the collected works of Shakespeare:

 

(light "A" dark "A" )

 

(Archer device)

 

The Archer device was essentially the same in each work in which it appeared, however, the "AA" device appeared in a number of variations. Smedley said there were 14 of these in all in all, and noted :

"One man appears to have contributed to all the books thus marked-either the Dedication, the preface, or the lines 'To the Reader"; in some cases all three. It may be urged in opposition to this view that in those days there was a form in which Dedications and Prefaces were written, and that this contention will not stand investigation. There are tricks of phrasing and other peculiarities which enable certain literary productions to be identified as the work of one man."

"…Francis Bacon was directing the production of a great quantity of the Elizabethan Literature, and in every book in the production of which he was interested, he caused to be inserted one of these devices. He kept the blocks in his own custody; he sent them out to a printer when a book was approved by him for printing. On the completion of the work, the printer returned the blocks to Bacon so that they could be sent elsewhere by him as occasion required."

In the same year (1910), Edwin Durning-Lawrence wrote, "Bacon is Shake-Speare" in which he tacitly endorsed Smedley's theory, and provided samples of 10 variations of the "AA" device, citing the publications in which they appeared. In 1915, James Phinney Baxter, "The Greatest of Literary Problems", reproduced facsimiles of the two devices, endorsing the ideas of Smedley and Durning-Lawrence.

Many Baconians have endorsed Smedley's theory. But a pen pal from Texas, Glen Claston, waxed recusant after finding an error in Smedley’s theory. He found that a close examination of the details in the “Archer” device in the following publications, printed by the Jaggard printing partnership,- William and his son Isaac, demonstrated the same printing block had been used on all four books:

“The historie of fovre-footed beastes. Collected out of all the volumes of Conradvs Gesner, and all other writers to this present day”, by Topsell, Edward 1607. London. Printed by William Iaggard. 1607 ---Archer

“The Historie of Serpents: or, the Second Booke of liuing Creatures”, by Topsell, Edward 1608, London. Printed by William Iaggard 1608 --- Archer

B.Crooke, Helkiah, 1576-1635. “Mikrokosmographia : a description of the body of man : together with thecontroversies thereto belonging “, by Crooke, Helkiah, B. Crooke 1615. London. Printed by William Iaggard, dwelling in Barbican, and are there to be sold, 1615 --- Archer.

“Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies”, by Shakespeare, William : published according to the true originall copies , 1623. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623--- Archer

In view of this it was reasonable to conclude that, in the case of Jaggard at least, Smedley's statement that Bacon kept the blocks in his own custody, except for the printing of some particular publication, was probably in error. Furthermore Glen considered the works of Topsell worthless and thought Bacon would have had nothing to do with them (the “Oxford Companion to Shakespeare” says that the two works by Topsell provided most of the beast lore found in Shakespeare’s plays). I thought Glen’s discovery was a relatively minor blip on the radar screen of the quest for flaws in Smedley’s Theory, certainly not sufficient to warrant the classic John Donne mindset.

"…new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out;
The sun is lost, and the earth, and no
man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.

But Glen, being somewhat iconoclastic by nature, was bent on demolition and happier than a clam at high tide when he thought he had found support for smashing the Smedley icon. When he further found one of the "AA" devices on a book published by Robert Fouet in France he was absolutely delirious. Instead of sugar plums, visions of fait accompli, danced in his head. Convinced he had smashed Smedley's theory like a cheap carnival statue; gleefully throwing the baby out with the bath, he chortled and cavorted in a manner quite unseemly for a clam. Never mind that the work printed by Fouet was an edition of the Arcadia of Sidney, and Sidney was one of the major players in the “AA” phenomena. Glen further proclaimed (to anyone who would listen, and to some who wouldn’t) that the “AA” device was meaningless and had no symbolic significance at all.

In my opinion, Glen’s disclosure failed to rise to a "winter of our discontent" level. However, add to this two other facts related to the Smedley theory, and the three together betokened somewhat of an autumnal climate. One was the sheer number of "AA" marked publications during Bacon's time. The volume of these publications seemed to cast doubt on the idea that they could have all been the product of one man working alone, even though Smedley’s claim was not that Bacon wrote all of these books, but merely that he directed the production of these books. Another problem with the Smedley theory was raised by the scenario H.S. Bennett described in his “English Books and Readers”. Referring to the collaboration among printers, Bennett said:

“In short, we probably make a mistake in trying to isolate the work of the various people engaged in the printing and selling of books. It is to be remembered that they were a comparatively small body of men, well known to one another and working close physical proximity, so that the printers lent founts of type, borrowed printer’s ornaments, initial letters, and the like, and clearly worked on friendly terms in the main.”

Taken together these facts seemed to demonstrate a real need to go back to the source documents, reevaluate the evidence, and reevaluate Smedley’s theory. But, however much this may have been a “consummation devoutly to be wished” there also seemed insurmountable problems with doing this.

Some fine reference works have been written about books published during Bacon's era. Pollard and Redgrave's bibliography, A Short Title Catalogue of Books Printed In England, Scotland, & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475-1640 filled a very real need. And the alphabetical items of the Short-title Catalogue arranged in chronological sequence by William A. Jackson, made it possible for the student to see at once the names of all the books published in one year. Then Dr. Paul G. Morrison analyzed the short-title entries under their respective printers in 1950, making it possible to see exactly what each printer had done. His work was published by the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia under the title, "Index of Printers, Publishers and Bookseller in 'A Short-title Catalogue…1475-1640". Donald Wing covered the remainder of the waterfront with his Short Title Catalogue of Books Printed In England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America, and of English Books Printed In Other Countries, 1641-1700. In addition, H.S. Bennett produced his 1969 work, "English Books and Readers", already referred to, in which he gave an excellent overview of the categories and interests found in these works. But these books did not supply the mandatory requirement, which was access to the source documents. Besides I didn’t want to sell my other books just to meet the exhorbitant price of these books, my cat, my dog, my car, my house, my whatever, but not my books.

When Smedley was active in London around 1910, he had the Library of the British Museum at his disposal. In addition, it was possible for anyone with a little loose change in their pockets to purchase almost any Early Modern work they wished. Since that time the situation has changed drastically. Early Modern works, when available, are so infrequent and so expensive it would take Job's patience and Fortunato's purse to benefit from them, and even if that was present one would scarcely have 'world enough and time' to see the matter through. So, no matter how great the need for a reassessment of Smedley's theory, it seemed the task was an impossible one. Or was it?

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Enter Proquest and their Early English Books Online (EEBO). This fantastic resource, available on The Web, already offers the facsimile images of every page of more than 125,000 works. The collection represents most of the total surviving record of the English-speaking world, from 1475 to 1700. From the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War, EEBO contains most of the titles listed in Pollard & Redgrave's Short-Title Catalogue (1475-1640), Wing's Short-Title Catalogue (1641-1700), and the Thomason Tracts (1640-1661), and eventually will contain all. The down side is, the service is only offered to academic libraries and large universities. The usual cost for universities with enrollment of over 7,500 is $31,500 for annual subscription to the service, or $171,000 for permanent subscription. Thus while most significant progress in knowledge has come from independent thinkers, access to this valuable resource is effectively limited to institutionalized organizations of academia dedicated to stamping out carbon copy mentalities.

Nevertheless, through a fortuitous circumstance I was able to obtain a temporary password for access to EEBO. Although this access was very much a case of "summer's date hath all too short a lease", I was able to amass a data base of source material during that time that seemed sufficient for a study of the "AA" phenomena. EEBO's search engine allowed search of all the works of any author, printer, or publisher, as well as a number of other 'keyword' search possibilities. During the time the password was operational I examined a large number of works published mostly during the period from 1578 through 1630. According to H.S. Bennett the number of master printers during this period never exceeded twenty or twenty-two. Be that as it may, in my survey I examined the works listed by EEBO for the following 37 printers, (and there were others):

Robert Baker-Joseph Barnes-John Beale-John Bill, Ed Blount-Walter Burre-Thomas Creede-John Danter-Thomas Dawson-Thomas East-George Eld, Richard Field-John Haviland-Humfrey Hooper-Abell Ieffes-Richard Ihones-Adam Islip-William Jaggard-Felix Kingston-John Legate-Nicholas Ling-Humphrey Lownes-Henry Middleton-Felix Norton-Nicholas Oakes-Thomas Orwin-Thomas Purfoot-George Purslowe-Robert Robinson-Peter Short- Valentine Simmes-William Stansby-Thomas Vautrollier- Robert Waldegrave-Richard Whittaker-John Windet-John Wolfe.

I also examined the works printed for quite a few publisher-booksellers, covering any stray publications I may have overlooked by searching on the major Elizabethan/Stuart authors. In the process I identified 444 books with the "AA" device and 61 with the Archer device. This was certainly not all of the books with these devices, but this was probably a major portion of them. With this data base in place, I next examined the conditions surrounding the appearance of each device. I was greatly hampered by lack of access to the great libraries. A real need not met was additional research into the background of the various printers involved in the publication of the works marked by the subject devices. Also because of space constraints I can not cover my findings in the detail I would have liked in this article. But I think the impartial reader will find there is still enough here to demonstrate that Francis Bacon was both the originator and the prime mover behind the appearance of the two devices, even though other people were involved. However, this evidence will only develop later as my study proceeds. On first glance there seemed more evidence to support C. William Miller’s statement in his 1955 book, "A London Ornament Stock", than to support Smedley's theory. Miller said:

"London printers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries accumulated large, and often ill-sorted, ornament stocks by a variety of ways, some of them puzzlingly devious. They could always purchase new decorations or acquire them at second-hand; but in addition they lent blocks which they never saw again, or borrowed others which they neglected to return; they bequeathed or inherited whole stocks, and commissioned imitations or recuttings of decorations that caught their fancy. Their storage shelves or drawers were evidently spacious enough to hold both the old and the new; hence only on occasion and apparently with reluctance did they discard permanently portions of their ornament collections. Mostly it appears that decorations which fell into disuse were shoved back into oblivion rather than thrown away. Yet one can never predict when the long reach of a compositor, the exigencies of an elaborately ornamented volume, or the reshuffling of the blocks in transfer from one printing house to another will cause the startling reappearance of a forgotten decoration, as in this study the 'pear' A that flourished in the years before the defeat of the Spanish Armada and reappeared in print finally in the year of the Restoration, or the John Harrison rebus, first seen in 1590, and still in use, badly scarred and cracked, 103 years later."

Instead of the few select printers that might have been presumed under Smedley's theory, fully 56 printers were involved in the "AA" publications, however, this number were reduced to 47, when only the publications through 1626, the year of Bacon's death, were considered. The breakdown of the number of publications by individual printers of "AA" device publications was as follows:

(72)Creede, Thomas - (64)Field, Richard - (28)Simmes, Valentine - (26)Barnes, Joseph - (25)Stansby, William - (21)Kingston, Felix - (17)Beale, John - (15)Eld, G [eorge] - (14)Short, Peter - (13)Orwin, Thomas - (12)Allde, Edward - (12)Legate, John - (11)Jaggard, William - (10)Islip, Adam - (10)Windet, John - (8)Wolfe, John - (8)Okes, Nicholas - (6)Waldegrave, Robert - (6)Robinson, Robert - (6)Lownes, Humphrey - (5)Vautrollier, Thomas - (4)Widow Orwin - (3)Ihones, Richard - (3)Ieffes, Abel - (3)Purslowe, E. - (3)Purslowe, G[eorge] - (3)Jaggard, Isaac - (3)Lichfield, John - (2)Plantin, Christopher - (2)Stafford, Simon - (2)Braddock, R.- (2)Hatfield, Arnold - (2)Baker, Robert - (2)Purfoot, Thomas - (2)Miller, George - (1)Denham, Henry - (1)East, Thomas - (1)Yardley, Richard - (1)Haveland, Th. (1)Hall, William - (1)Dight, Wa. - (1)Pindley, Iohn - (1)Snodham, Thomas - (1)Blount, Ed - (1)Finlason, Thomas - (1)Fouet, Robert

A logical starting point for my study was a list of works Francis Bacon published under his own name during his lifetime. If he published works under masks, since his authorship of these works were concealed, he may have felt safe in using some of the same printers for his acknowledged works. So I assembled the following list. These may not be all of the works Francis Bacon published under his name through the year 1626, but the list covers most of them :

1. “Essayes”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London: Printed [by John Windet] for Humfrey Hooper, and are to besold at the blacke Beare in Chauncery Lane, 1597 ---51p---no AA

2. “Essaies”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London: Printed [by John Windet] for Humfrey Hooper and are to bee solde at the blacke Beare in Chauncery lane, 1598 ---54p---no AA

3. “A letter vvritten out of England to an English gentleman remaining at Padua”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Imprinted at London: By the deputies of Christopher Barker, printer to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie, 1599 ---8p---no AA

4. “A declaration of the practises & treasons attempted and committed by Robert late Earle of Essex and his complices, against her Maiestie and her kingdoms”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Imprinted at London : By Robert Barker, printer to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie, 1601 ---64p---no AA

5. “A briefe discourse, touching the happie vnion of the kingdomes of England, and Scotland”, by Bacon,

Francis, 1561-1626. At London: Printed [by R. Read] for Foelix Norton, and are to be sold by William Aspley, 1603 ---20p---no AA

6. “Certaine considerations touching the better pacification and edification of the Church of England”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London: Printed [by Thomas Purfoot] for Henrie Tomes, 1604 ---9p---no AA

7. “Sir Francis Bacon his apologie, in certaine imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London: Printed [by Richard Field] for Felix Norton and are to be sold in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Parrot, 1604 ---37p---no AA

8. “Certaine considerations touching the better pacification, and edification of the Church of England”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. [London]: Printed for Henry Tomes, 1604 ---23p---no AA

9. “Certaine considerations touching the better pacification and edification of the Church of England”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London: Printed by T[homas] P[urfoot] for Henrie Tomes, 1604 ---23p---no AA

10. “Sir Francis Bacon his Apologie, in certaine imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed for Matthevv Lovvns and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church-yard, 1605 ---37p---no AA

11. “The tvvoo bookes of Francis Bacon. Of the proficience and aduancement of learning, diuine and humane”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. At London: Printed [by Thomas Purfoot and Thomas Creede] for Henrie Tomes, and are to be sould at his shop at Graies Inne gate in Holborne, 1605 ---170p---no AA

12. “Essaies”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : [By William Jaggard] for Iohn Iaggard, dwelling in Fleete streete at the hand and Starre neere Temple barre, 1606 ---109p---no AA

13. “Francisci Baconi equitis aurati, procuratoris secundi, Iacobi Regis Magnae Britanniae, De sapientia veterum liber”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini : Excudebat Robertus Barkerus, serenissimae Regiae Maiestatis typographus, 1609 ---76p---no AA

14. “The essaies of Sr Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Solliciter Generall”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Imprinted at London : By Iohn Beale, 1612 --- no AA

15. “Essaies”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : [By William Jaggard] for Iohn Iaggard, dwelling in Fleete-streete at the Hand and Starre neere Temple barre, 1612 --- no AA

16. “The essaies of Sr Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Atturny Generall”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : [By William Jaggard] for Iohn Iaggard, dwelling at the Hand and Starre betweene the two Temple gates, 1613 --- no AA

17. “The essaies of Sr. Francis Bacon knight, the Kings atturney generall”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : For Iohn Iaggard dwelling at the Hand and Starre betweene the two Temple Gates, 1613 ---115p---no AA

18. “The essaies of Sr Francis Bacon knight, the Kings Atturney Generall. His Religious meditations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. Seene and allowed”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Edinburgh : Printed by Andro Hart, 1614 ---115p---no AA

19. “The charge of Sir Francis Bacon Knight, his Maiesties Attourney generall, touching duells”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. [London] : Printed [by George Eld] for Robert Wilson, and are to be sold [by Robert Wilson and W. Bladen] at Graies Inne Gate, and in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the Bible, 1614 ---no AA

20. “Francisci Baconi equitis aurati, Magni Angliae Sigilli Custodis De sapientia veterum, liber”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini : Apud Iohannem Billium, 1617 ---72p---no AA

21. “The essaies of Sr Francis Bacon Knight, the Kings Aturney Generall”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : For Iohn Iaggard [i.e. John Beale], dwelling at the Hand and Starre betweene the two Temple gates, 1617 --- no AA

22. “Saggi morali del Signore Francesco Bacono, cavagliero inglese, Gran Cancelliero d'Inghilterra. Convn'altro suo trattato Della sapienza degli antichi. Tradotti in Italiano”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. In Londra : Appresso di Giovanni Billio, 1618 ---134p---no AA

23. “A declaration of the demeanor and cariage of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, aswell in his voyage, as in, and sithence his returne”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed by Bonham Norton and Iohn Bill, printers to the Kings most excellent Maiestie, 1618 ---34p---no AA

24. “Essays Moraux”, Du Tres-honorable seigneur Francois Bacon Chevalier, Baron de Verulam, & grand Chancelier d'Angleterre. Traduits en Francois par le Sieur Arthur George Cheualier Anglois. Sentum inuincibile Fides. by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. A Londres : Chez Iean Bill, 1619 ---75p---no AA

25. “The wisedome of the ancients”, written in Latine by the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon Knight, Baron of Verulam and Lord Chancelour of England. Done into English by Sir Arthur Gorges Knight. by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Imprinted by Iohn Bill, 1619 ---101p---no AA

26. “Francisci de Verulamio, Summi Angliae Cancellarii, Instauratio magna”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini: Apud [Bonham Norton and] Ioannem Billium typographum regium, 1620 ---201p---no AA--Archer p3

27. “Franciscy de Verulamio, summi Angliae cancellarij instauratio magna”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini : Apud [B. Nortonium &] Ioannem Billium typographum Regium, 1620 ---202p---no AA--Archer p2

28. “Certaine considerations touching the better pacification, and edification of the Church of England”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed [by William Jaggard] for Henry Tomes, 1621 ---23p---no AA

29. “The historie of the raigne of King Henry the Seuenth by Bacon”, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed by W. Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, 1622 ---127p---no AA

30. “The historie of the raigne of King Henry the Seuenth. Written by the Right Honourable, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed by W. Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, 1622 ---186p---no AA

31. “Francisci Baronis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, Historia naturalis et experimentalis ad condendam philosophiam”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini: In officina Io. Hauiland, impensis Matthaei Lownes & Guilielmi Barret, 1622 --- no AA

32. “The wisedome of the ancients”, written in Latine by the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon Knight, Baron of Verulam and Lord Chancelour of England. Done into English by Sir Arthur Gorges Kinght [sic]. by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Imprinted by Iohn Bill, 1622 --- no AA

33. “Opera Francisci Baronis de Verulamio”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini : In officina Ioannis Haviland, 1623 --- no AA

34. “Francisci Baronis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, Historia vitae et mortis. Siue, titulus secundus in Historiâ naturali & experimentali ad condendam philosophiam; quae est Instaurationis magnae pars tertia”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Londini : In officina Io. Haviland, impensis Matthaei Lownes, 1623 --- no AA

35. “The essaies of Sr Francis Bacon knight, the Kings Atturney Generall. His Religious meditations. Places of perswasion and disswasion. Seene and allowed”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. Printed at London : By I. D[awson] for Elizabeth Iaggard, at the hand and Starre neere the middle Temple-gate, 1624 --- 80p---no AA

36. “The translation of certaine psalmes into English verse”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed for Hanna Barret, and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the signe of the Kings Head in Pauls Church-yard, 1625 ---11p--dedicated to his very good friend Geo. Herbert--no AA

37. “The essayes or counsels, ciuill and morall, of Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban”, by Bacon, Francis,1561-1626. London : Printed by Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, 1625 ---178p---no AA

38. “Apophthegmes new and old. Collected by the Right Honourable, Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed [by J. Haviland] for Hanna Barret, and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the Kings head in Pauls Chuch-yard, 1625 ---155p---no AA

39. “The translation of certaine Psalmes into English verse”, by the Right Honourable, Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban. by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626, London : Printed [by Iohn Haviland] for Hanna Barret, and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the signe of the Kings Head in Pauls Church-yard, 1625 ---no AA

40. “Apophthegmes nevv and old. Collected by the Right Honourable, Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban”, by Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626. London : Printed [by J. Haviland] for Hanna Barret, and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the Kings head in Pauls Chuch-yard, 1626 ---155p---no AA

This list may be summarized in order of the frequency of printers or publishers as relates to items cited as follows:

Printed by the Jaggards – 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 28, 35 (period: 1606 – 1624)
Printed by, or for, the Barrets – 29, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 (period: 1622 – 1626)
Printed by John Bill – 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 32 (period: 1617 – 1622)
Printed by John Haviland - 31, 33, 34, 37, 38, 39, 40 (period: 1622 – 1626)
Printed for Henrie Tomes – 8, 9, 11, 28 (period: 1604 – 1621)
Printed for Matthew Lownes – 10,30,31,34 (period: 1605 – 1623)
Printed by the Bakers – 3,4,13 (period: 1599 – 1609)
Printed by Thomas Purfoot – 6, 9, 11 (period: 1604 – 1605)
Printed by William Stansby – 29, 30 (period: 1622)
Printed by John Windet for Humfrey Hooper – 1, 2 (period: 1597 – 1598)
Printed by Thomas Purfoot and Thomas Creede – 11 (period: 1605)
Printed by Andro Hart – 18 (period: 1614)
Printed by George Eld for Robert Wilson – 19 (period: 1614)
Printed by Richard Field – 7 (period: 1604)
Printed for William Aspley – 5 (period: 1603)

Two works on this list were marked with the Archer device. These were the two editions of the “Instauratio magna”, both printed in 1620 by John Bill. There were no “AA” marked works by Bacon during his lifetime, but two were published after 1626:

“Bacon's Remaines”, printed by B. Alsop for Lawrence Chapman, 1648…AA

“The Mirrour of State”, by Francis Bacon: Printed for Lawrence Chapman, 1656…AA

John Bill (aka Iohannem Billium, aka Giovanni Billio, aka Iean Bill – what a character! He was a partner with Robert Baker, King James’ official printer. Robert Baker’s father, Christopher Baker, before him was printer for Queen Elizabeth. Since Bacon had attained the pinnacle position in King James Government by time his “Instauration Magna” was printed, it is probable he was in a position to have John Bill place the Archer device on his publication. If others were involved, as I believe, along with Bacon in the phenomena of the devices, then these people could have been responsible for the device appearing on the two works published after 1626. A number of printers, or publishers, from the above list were connected with “AA” marked publications.

I had thought that although Bacon might be somewhat circumspect in leaving links between the printers he used for his acknowledged works, and those he used for his masked works, some connections might show through, but I didn’t it expect it to be as obvious as it is in the above list. The 1623 First Folio edition of the Collection works of William Shakespeare was printed by Isaac Jaggard and Ed Blount, and the colophon at the end of the volume stated it was printed at the charges of W. Jaggard, Ed Blount, I Smithweeke, and William Aspley. In the list above William Jaggard and William Barrett stand out. Ed Blount had a shop at the sign of the black bear in St. Paul’s churchyard where he sold books, and he and William Barrett were partners in printing quite a few books. Some of these were as follows:

“The history of the valorous and vvittie knight-errant, Don-Quixote of the Mancha. Translated out of the Spanish”, by Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616. London : Printed by William Stansby, for Ed. Blount and W. Barret, 1612--- AA

“The pathvvay to prayer, and pietie”, by Hill, Robert, d. 1623. London : Printed by F[elix] K[yngston] for Edward Blount, and William Barret, 1610 --- no AA

“A lamentable discourse, vpon the paricide and bloudy assasination: committed on the person of Henry the fourth (of famous memorie) King of France and Navarre”, Translated out of the French copy, printed at Rouen by Peter Courant, and the copie of Paris, printed by Francis Huey, with permission. by Pelletier, Thomas. London : Printed [by John Windet] for Edward Blunt and William Barret, 1610 ---no AA

“Fishermen fishers of men”, by Rawlinson, John, 1576-1630. London : Printed by Arnold Hatfield for Edward Blount and William Barret, 1609 ---AA

“The pathvvay to prayer and pietie”, by Hill, Robert, d. 1623. London : Printed by W. S[tansby] for Edward Blount, and William Barret, 1613 ---no AA

“[The] merchant royall”, by Wilkinson, Robert, Dr. in Divinity. London : Printed by W. Stansby for Edward Blunt and William Barret, 1613 --- no AA

“Essays”, vvritten in French by Michael Lord of Montaigne, Knight of the Order of S. Michael, gentleman of the French Kings chamber: done into English, according to the last French edition, by Iohn Florio reader of the Italian tongue vnto the Soueraigne Maiestie of Anna, Queene of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, &c. And one of the gentlemen of hir royall priuie chamber. by Montaigne, Michel de, 1533-1592. London : Printed by Melch. Bradvvood for Edvvard Blount and William Barret, 1613 ---no AA

“A rumor of warres among the times and signes of peace”, by Bailey, William, of Stapleford Abbat, Essex. At London : Printed by G. E[ld] for Ed: Blount, and William Barret, 1608 ---no AA

“Queen Anna's nevv vvorld of words, or dictionarie of the Italian and English tongues”, collected, and newly much augmented by Iohn Florio, reader of the Italian vnto the Soueraigne Maiestie of Anna, crowned Queene of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, &c. And one of the gentlemen of hir Royall Priuie Chamber. Whereunto are added certaine necessarie rules and short obseruations for the Italian tongue. by Florio, John, 553?-1625. London : Printed by Melch. Bradwood [and William Stansby], for Edw. Blount and William Barret, 1611 --- no AA

In view of the fact that the works of Cervantes and Montaigne appear in the above list, it should be pointed out that there is evidence to indicate Bacon wrote both works. In my articles on “Don Quixote” I have summarized the evidence for Bacon’s authorship of Don Quixote. James Phinney Baxter, in “The Greatest of Literary Problems” gave evidence to support Bacon’s authorship of the Essays of Montaigne. (Bacon’s brother Anthony Bacon was a close friend of Montaigne, and Francis probably became acquainted with Montaigne when he was in France before Anthony went to France).

George Eld printed the first edition of the Shakespeare Sonnets that were published in 1609, and this publication was marked with the “AA” device:

“Shake-speares sonnets”, by Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. At London : By G. Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be solde by Iohn Wright, dwelling at Christ Church gate, 1609 --- 42p --- AA

Three of the people: William Jaggard, Ed Blount, and William Aspley, funded the publication of the First Folio edition of the collected works of William Shakespeare. Richard Field printed many works used by the author of the Shakespeare plays as sources for the plays. Thomas Creede not only printed a number of quarto publications of the Shakespeare plays, he also printed the largest number of “AA” marked books printed by any single printer. Other printers on the list were connected to the “AA” publications. The above list of Bacon’s acknowledged works has significant connections to the works marked with the devices.

The issue of links to the “AA” device publications requires some thought. The significant person, in a publication with the "AA" device, may or may not have been the printer. It could have been the publisher. Nicholas Ling, for example, was a printer before he became a publisher. His printer's device appeared on the title page of books he did not print himself, but only had published. But even if the publisher had the "AA" device placed in the book, this could have been at the behest of a third party for whom the publisher acted as an agent, or it could have been placed there as a bow to the person to whom the book was dedicated. So a number of factors had to be examined in order to assess the appearance of the "AA" device on a particular publication.

In my opinion, the printer becomes significant if he printed books with the "AA" device for more than one publisher. Again, if a printer only printed one book with the "AA" device, there is no way of knowing whether the printer or the publisher was behind the appearance of the "AA" device in the book. That is, unless the publisher had other books printed with the "AA" device, in which case the indication would be the publisher instigated the appearance of the "AA" device. Again, if the author of a book had other books printed with the "AA" device that would be an indication the author was the significant factor in the appearance of the "AA" device. Another aspect of the matter is, if Bacon was behind the publication of "AA" works and wanted to remain anonymous, it would be expected that if he dealt directly with the printer he would not want his name used, and if he did not deal directly with the printer then he would have used a publisher/bookseller to have the printing done. In this case the factor to look for was the association with the publisher. Significantly, many "AA" publications cited only the author and printer. In quite a few cases, only the initials of the author and/or printer appeared on the work. Another factor is, did the devices have symbolic significance? This could have a bearing on the quest for the author of the device. Again, what was the origin of the device? Was there any evidence to trace its origin back to any particular person? Yet another factor is the person to whom the work was dedicated. The dots have to be connected. If there are links among various individuals involved in the publication of works with the "AA" device this could be evidence of a group involvement. All of these factors required careful assessment in determining the validity, or lack of validity of Smedley's theory.

Did the "AA" and Archer Device Have Symbolic Significance?

Before anyone can make an informed judgment as to whether these devices had symbolic significance they must be knowledgeable regarding the background of the tradition of devices in general, and of printer's devices in particular. Devices were part of the mindset of the age. Thomas Blount in his preface to Henry Estienne's "The Art of Making Devises", said among the Italians and French there was hardly a private gentleman who did not have his own particular device. Among the upper class of the English the personal device had a widespread usage. A device was a pictorial design used to embody some hidden significance, - some secret, witty, or noteworthy idea. The tradition of devices was very old. The Greeks had called them Emblema. The Italians called them Impresa, and the English used the term Device.

According to the anonymous “Arte of English Poesie”, the Roman Emperor Augustus used, for his device, an arrow entangled by the fish Remora with the words, Festina lente, i.e. "make haste slowly". In this work we are told that the emperor, Charles the Fifth, used, for his device, two pillars with the words "Plus Ultra", i.e. "more beyond" in contrast to the ancient legend that the pillars of Hercules at the west end of the Mediterranean Sea where the Atlantic ocean began, had had the legend Ne Plus Ultra, "No More Beyond" on them. Francis Bacon appropriated the “Plus Ultra” for his own use. In the same work we are told Selim, Emperor of Turkey used for his device a crescent, or new moon, promising to himself increase of glory and enlargement of empire. The crescent moon appears on the boar on Bacon’s coat of arms. It is probably no coincidence that the first reference relating to the favorite saying of Nicholas Bacon, and the next two references relating to devices used by Bacon were described together in the “Arte of English Poesie". In my "Edmund Spenser: The Man on the Stair" I have cited the evidence for Bacon's authorship of “The Arte of English Poesie”. This was one of the works marked with the "AA" device:

"The arte of English poesie". anonymous. At London : Printed by Richard Field, 1589 ---AA

Queen Mary Tudor used the device of winged time, drawing truth out of a pit, with the motto Veritas Temporis Filia, "Truth is the daughter of time". This same device appeared on the title page of Bacon's "The New Atlantis" with the motto: Tempore patet occulta veritas, "Time reveals hidden truth". As noted by Rawley, Bacon had the habit of appropriating the ideas of others, albeit Rawley said he had 'an use and faculty to dress them in better vestments and apparel than they had before: so that the author should find his own speech much amended, and yet the substance of it still retained'. This practice is frequently seen in the "Shakespeare" works where Bacon customarily adopts and adapts story ideas from someone else. Philip Sidney used for his device a depiction of the Caspian Sea (which neither ebbed nor flowed) with the motto "Sine refluxu". One of the members of parliament had for his device a figure representing the sun dissipating a cloudy storm, with the motto, Post Nubita Phoebus, "After clouds the sun."

In the beginning printer's devices were simple trade marks to protect the printer against piracy. Pirated books were usually botched books and put the printer (whose name appeared on the book) in a bad light. Fortunately a counterfeit printer's mark, like counterfeit currency today, was usually easy to detect, so early bookmakers adopted the practice of utilizing a device which marked the book as their own. The earliest books had no title-pages. Printer's devices were put at the end of a book. After title-pages came into use, around 1550, printers saw a real value in the presence of an original or striking design on the title-page. Some of the finest artists of Europe dedicated some of their finest efforts to designing marks for printers. The ideas embodied in some devices were obscure, others were obvious. An example of a obscure device is that of William Caxton. His device was composed of indecipherable characters that some have interpreted as W74C leading to the theory that this represented the year 1474 and was the year of some epoch event in Caxton's life. But no one really knows what his cryptic device means. An example of a obvious device is that of Valentine Simmes in England. He used a pictorial depiction of a door knocker as one of his printer's devices, - i.e., the title page was the door to his books. As the evolution of devices proceeded they became elaborate expressions of witty, and sometimes not so witty, ideas.

Mythological subjects were among the favorites. A good example is the device of André Wéchel which displayed the winged staff of mercury entwined with serpents, surmounted by Pegasus - the fabled steed of the Muses. Hercules appeared in a variety of designs. As symbolism came more into play, Justice appeared with sword and balance; the anchor as a symbol of stability; and the cornucopia as a symbol of plenty. Thomas Vautrollier used for his printer's device an anchor with the motto, "anchora spei", i.e, ‘The Anchor Hope’, and Richard Field, who was Vautrollier's apprentice and took over his business (as well as his wife) after Vautrollier died, continued to use this printer's device. The olive branch, palm branch, and swarm of bees, all indicated prosperity. Some printers favored animal life, and quite a menagerie was found in their marks: the lion, bear, cat with mouse in its mouth, lamb, swan, stork, pelican, owl, eagle, magpie, serpent, tortoise and dolphin. Other printers manifested a predilection for fabulous members of the animal kingdom, and the dragon, phoenix, unicorn and griffin were associated with their presses.

Many devices denoted, in some symbolic way, the printer who used them. In England Thomas Fisher used the device of a kingfisher catching a fish. John Day used the device of a figure in the act of arising with the arc of the sun in the background just above the horizon, and the words, "wake for it is day". Nicholas Ling used the device of a fish wrapped in honey suckles with the initial "N" on the left side, and the initial "L" on the right side. Ling was the name of a particular type of fish. Presumably the idea was, - works printed by Ling were not to be associated with the usual fishy smelling fish, but were extraordinary examples of the species, wrapped in the fragrance of honey suckles. In a few cases the "AA" device appeared on the title page of publications. More often it appeared on one of the inner pages, usually the second. The evidence clearly indicates the "AA" device was not used as a printer's mark, but in the tradition of other devices of the time, and hence could be expected to embody some hidden significance. I would venture to say that given the “device” mindset of the age, only ornamental patterns, such as lace work and so on, that appeared on printed page, did not have symbolic significance, and in some cases even this sort of ornament was symbolically significant

The Origin and Symbolic Significance of the "AA" Device

One of these printers, the greatest of them all during his lifetime, used a printer's mark that fairly screamed of an association with Freemasonry. This printer was Christopher Plantin. He began his career in France, and moved to Antwerp in 1549. His device was a hand holding a compass in the act of drawing a circle with the motto, "labore constantia". The compass is one of the two main symbolic instruments associated with Speculative Freemasonry. In all lodges of Freemasonry the compass along with the square is displayed on the altar located in a central position in the lodge. In the preface of the famous Polyglot Bible printed by Plantin at Antwerp, Plantin explained the significance of his device. The point of the compass turning around signified labor, while the stationary point meant constancy. So much for his explanation. Since Freemasonry was a secret society at the time it could hardly be expected that if he was a Freemason he would have been candid about his connection with the fraternity.

Thomas Gresham, cited by Anderson in his "Constitutions" as a Grand Master of the Masons, had ties with Antwerp. As Royal Agent in Antwerp, Thomas Gresham conducted business there from 1551 to 1574, and lived there from 1555 until 1567, the year he became Grand Master of the Freemasons. In a curious full length portrait of Gresham, preserved at Weston-Hall, there is a feature often associated with Freemasons - a pair of gloves, and at his feet on the pavement the artist has placed another feature also often associated with early Masons - a skull. On the right of his portrait beneath his name is the characteristic heart of the Family of Love, without the two clasped hands. It is well known that Plantin was a member of the secret sect of the Family of Love. In 1563 John Dee was also in Antwerp. It is significant that the sect included among its number Dee's friend the mapmaker Abraham Ortelius and the Birkmanns, a powerful bookselling family based in Cologne, whose London shop Dee patronized continuously over a forty-year period. Benjamin Woolley in his biography of John Dee, "The Queen's Conjurer" noted, "The Familists invited all 'lovers of truth…of what nation and religion soever they be, Christian, Jews, Mahomites, or Turks and heathen' to become part of a learned brotherhood." This could as well have been a proclamation of the Freemasons, since the Masons also invited all lovers of truth of whatever nation or religion they might be, and the advancement of learning was one of the basic themes of Freemasonry. There may or may not have been a connection between the Freemasons and The Familists, however, I will note just for the record that Two Early Modern works about the Familists were marked with the "AA" device, and the first citation below was printed by John Legate, Printer to the University of Cambridge with which Bacon had close ties :

"A supplication of the Family of Loue (said to be presented into the Kings royall hands, knowen to be dispersed among his loyall subiectes) for grace and fauour". by [London] : Printed[ by H. Lownes] for Iohn Legate, Printer to the Vniuersitie of Cambridge, 1606 ---AA

"The Quakers terrible vision; or, The devils's progress to the City of London: by London" : printed for G. Horton, in the great year of quaking, 1655 ---AA

Apparently the first appearance of the "AA" device was in 1577. In this year Plantin published an edition of Andreas Alciat's Emblems. Alciat’s Emblems was an enormously popular book. The first edition was published in 1531, and it was reprinted no less than 130 times. Plantin's 1577 edition was published 27 years after Alciat's death in 1550 with significant changes to emblem 45 that appeared on page 104. The emblem, in its original form had been in the 1545 edition of the book. Since Alciat died long before the 1577 book was published, he did not make the changes present in the emblem in the 1577 edition of the book. I have not actually seen the emblem in the 1577 book, but according to Smedley, it was identical with the "In dies meliora" emblem that appeared on page 53 of Geffrey Whitney's 1586 "Choice of Emblems" published in Leyden for the house of Christopher Plantin by Plantin's nephew Francis Raphelengius. I have a facsimile copy of this book. It was dedicated to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Anyone who leafs through it will see that, besides being dedicated to the Freemason Leicester, it contains emblems dedicated to Philip Sidney, his friend Edward Dryer, and other of their associates. John Dee and Leicester were very closely associated. Dee was Leicester's math tutor when he was a young man, and later a close friend. The 1545 emblem from Alciat's Emblems and the 1577/1586 emblems respectively were as follows:

As can be seen above, the original 1545 emblem had only the one "A" on the right side of the pyramid. Probably this "A" stood for Alciat. The words in Latin in the 1546 edition were entirely different from those in the 1577 and 1586 edition. The translation of the Latin below the 1545 emblem was as follows:

"At the new year a client brought to me the snouts of a bristling boar. Take these, he said, a gift for your belly. The boar always goes forward, nor does it ever look back, as it voraciously rips apart the grass with its open mouth. This same is the duty of men: that the hope that's slipped does not fall behind, and that what's further ahead, be better."

These may be contrasted with the words in English beneath the 1586 emblem in Whitney's book:

"The greedie Sowe fo longe as fhee dothe finde,
Some fcatteringes lefte, of harueft vnder foote
She forward goes and neuer lookes behinde,
While anie fweete remayneth for to roote,
Even foe wee fhoulde, to goodnes euerie daie
Still further paffe, and not to turne nor ftaie."

William Smedley thought emblem 45 in the 1577 edition was the designed by Francis Bacon, even though the emblem was published in Antwerp, and Francis was in France, and was only 16 at the time it was published. Smedley had good reasons. A careful examination of the right side of the device reveals that, near the top an "F" has now been added, lying on its front, and further down, a "B" lying on its back. One of Bacon's stock ideas was the "Plus Oltre" in connection with the pillars of Hercules in the emblem. Furthermore, the pyramid in the center with the light "A", and dark "A" on opposing sides represented one of Bacon's stock ideas also. This was the idea of the Pyramid of Nature. In the "Wisdom of The Ancients" Bacon described Pan, whom, he says, represents nature :

 "Horns are given him, broad at the roots, but narrow and sharp at the top, because the nature of all things seems pyramidal; for individuals are infinite, but being collected into a variety of species, they rise up into kinds, and these again ascend, and are contracted into generals, till at length nature may seem collected to a point."

The pillars of Hercules also had Masonic associations. According to Mackey (see my "Compeers I" article) the pillars at the entrances to Masonic lodges equated to the pillars of Hercules. The "AA" device would have been very apt for the Freemasons. Bacon had a habit of appropriating and modifying the ideas of others to fit his own needs. The idea of the light and dark "A" first appeared in a passage in "De Arte Cabalistica" by Johann Reuchlin where, describing creation, Reuchlin said the dark "A" (Aleph), that originally existed, became the light "A" (Aleph) through the "fiat lux" of the Creator. The central Freemason ceremony, their "illumination" ritual dealt, with this biblical "fiat lux", when, according to Reuchlin, the light "A" was created from the dark "A". The Masonic motto was, "Lux e tenebris", i.e. "light from darkness". Thus the emblem was tailor made for the Freemasons. The biblical "fiat lux" was cosmological since it dealt with the creation.

The union of light and dark "A's" with the Pyramid of Nature in the 1577 emblem was cosmological also since it symbolized Bacon ideas about the creation of universal nature. Bacon had the peculiar idea of the "Alphabet of Nature" that emanated from the two cupids, one the eldest of the gods, and the other the youngest of the gods (the "AA" device in the First Folio had two cupids on it). The elder cupid came from the egg of night. In Bacon's system of thought, Cupid was the force of attraction implanted by God in the beginning that drew particles together, and by virtue, and multiplication of which all things were formed. "A", as the first letter in the alphabet, referred to the beginning of things. According to Bacon, a light and a dark aspect existed in all things. Bacon also said, things concluded by affirmations may be considered as the offspring of light; whereas those concluded by negatives and exclusions are the offspring of night. The pyramid with the light and dark "A" was a symbolic cosmology. This certainly does not exhaust the meanings embodied in the “AA” device. Bacon had the ability to pack an amazing amount of meaning in small matter, as is frequently shown in the works he wrote under the name of Shakespeare, and the “AA” device is one of the more spectacular examples of this ability. I will consider additional meanings of the device in Part 2 of this article.

The 1545 emblem had a boar, but this was changed to a sow in the 1577 emblem. The boar was a main feature of Bacon's coat of arms. If the 1577/1586 emblem was Bacon's design, why did he change the boar to a sow? The word "sowe" seem to be significant. There are too many words with a superfluous "e" added in the legend beneath the emblem. It is true "e" was often added in the spelling of the day, but the use of the superfluous "e" in this legend is considerably more than the normal usage. Is this a hint that the "e" on the sowe is a disguise, and that it should actually be sow? If so, why would this be significant? In the alphabet that Bacon used (as set out later in his discussion of his bi-literal cipher in his De Augmentis) the "J" and "U" were either omitted, or were interchangeable with "I" and "V" - making a 24 letter alphabet. If each letter in this 24 letter alphabet is assigned the number of its position in this alphabet, sow has the numerical value of 53, the number of the page on which the emblem appears in Whitney's, "Choice of Emblems".

Durning-Lawrence notes, on page 112 of "Bacon is Shake-Speare", that although the number 33 represented Bacon, the number was too obvious, and the number 53 was adopted which derived from the word SOW. In addition to recalling the boar on Bacon's coat of arms, the word SOW had Masonic connotations. All Master Masons were Sons Of (the) Widow (SOW), and this was not the only association with Masonry. The Masonic motto was "Lux ex Tenebris", i.e. light from darkness, and the letters in the word Lux (light) adds up to 53. As previously mentioned, the printer's mark of Plantin, the printer of the book, has a Masonic association. The First Folio edition of the Shakespeare plays is divided into the three parts of: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. On page 53 of the Comedies are the words: "Hang-hog is latten for Bacon, I warrant you", referring to the anecdote Francis Bacon told about Nicholas Bacon. On page 53 of the Histories are the words: "I have a Gammon of Bacon…"

Thomas Vautrollier

Apparently the first appearance of the light A, dark A emblem in England, was in the following book (this is based on Smedley's information, since the book was not listed in EEBO's digital vault):

"De Rep. Anglorum Instauranda libri decem". Authore Thoma Chalonero Equite, Anglo : printed by Thomas Vautrollerius, 1579 (Ref. Smedley - The Mystery of Francis Bacon)---AA

In view of the evidence connecting Bacon with Henry of Navarre (see my essay on "Love's Labour's Lost") it is interesting to note that some of Vautrollier early books were dedicated to Henry of Navarre. For example, the following two books:

"Traicte, de l'eglise", by Mornay, Philippe de, seigneur du Plessis-Marly, 1549-1623. Imprimé à Londres : ParThomas Vautrollier, 1578 ---ded to Henry Navarre --- no AA

"Traicte, de l'eglise", by Mornay, Philippe, de, seigneur du Plessis-Marly, 1549-1623. Imprimé à Londres : Par Thomas Vautrollier, 1579 ---ded to Henry of Navarre --- no AA

Since Thomas Vautrollier was such a significant player in the whole "AA" phenomena it is worthwhile to review his background. Vautrollier was a Frenchman from Troyes in Champagne. He had to leave France because he was a Huguenot. He was granted letters of denization in England on 9 March 1562. Admitted a Brother of the Stationers’ Company on 2 October 1564, he began his career as a bookbinder and bookseller In England in 1567, acting as London agent for Christopher Plantin. The preface to his first book in England was dated January 1569. From 1570 until 1587 Vautrollier worked as a printer in London, with two brief interludes in Edinburgh. During that time he built up a substantial business. In July 1580, at the instance of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he was invited to set up a press in Edinburgh. Although Alexander Arbuthnot was working in that city his slowness in providing Bibles seems to have annoyed the Assembly, which felt that a more active man was needed. In 1583 Vautrollier set up his press in Edinburgh where he was patronized by royalty and in 1584 printed the first of King James’s published works, an affixed an “AA” device to the work. History tells us that the crafty Robert Cecil made plans to establish connections with King James of Scotland in the opening years of the 17th century when he saw the death of Elizabeth was eminent. Perhaps the greater prevision of Bacon went all the way back to 1584.

In 1584 Vautrollier printed eight books in Edinburgh, but in 1585 only two. There seems to have been insufficient business to warrant his staying there and he returned to London in 1586. He was taken ill on his return to London and the work of the firm was superintended with considerable ability - as it had been during his absences - by his wife and his apprentice Richard Field, who had been with him since 1579. Vautrollier died in 1587 and the business passed into the hands of Richard Field, who married Vautrollier’s widow.

So the first appearance of the device was an emblem (which had evidence of Bacon's handiwork) in a book printed by Plantin, and the device was introduced in England in a book printed by Thomas Vautrollier who was the London Agent of Plantin. From this point it spread to a number of other printers. Some of the earliest "AA" works were as follows:

"The cauteles, canon, and ceremonies, of the most blasphemous, abhominable, and monstrous popish Masse". by Viret, Pierre, 1511-1571. Imprinted at London : By Thomas Vautrollier for Andrewe Maunsell, dwelling in Paules Churchyarde at the signe of the brasen Serpent, 1584 ---Dedicated to Wm Cecil---AA

The first published work of King James, was printed by Thomas Vautrollier in Edinburgh, and had the "AA" device:

"Essayes of a Prentise in the Arte of Poesie". by James I. printed at Ediburgh by Thomas Vautrollier, 1584…AA

Another printer who began printing books with the "AA" device at an early date was Robert Waldegrave:

"An abstract, of certain acts of parliament: of certaine her Maiesties iniunctions: of certaine canons, constitutions, and synodalles prouinciall: established and in force, for the peaceable gouernment of the Church, within her Maiesties dominions and countries, for the most part heretofore vnknowen and vnpractized". by Stoughton, William, fl. 1584. [London : Printed by Robert Waldegrave, 1583---AA on title page and page 4

Apparently Waldegrave was associated with Vautrollier. While Vautrollier was in Edinburgh, Scotland, Walde-grave seems to have been associated with Vautrollier's business in London. He printed books marked with the "AA" device for Thomas Man who was later associated with Richard Field :

"A short summe of the whole catechisme", by Craig, John, 1512?-1600. At London : Printed by Robert Walde-graue, for Thomas Man, dwelling in Pater-noster-rowe, at the signe of the Talbot, 1584---64p---AA on title page

"An A.B.C. for layemen, othervvise called, the lay-mans letters". by Wither, George, 1540-1605. London : Printed by Robert VValdegraue for Thomas Man and William Brome, 1585 ---90p---AA on title page

Thomas Man not only had an association with Robert Waldegrave and Richard Field, interestingly enough he also had an association with Nicholas and Anne Bacon :

"A treasurie of catechisme, or Christian instruction. The first part, which is concerning the morall law or ten Commandements of Almightie God: with certaine questions and aunswers preparatory to the same". by Allen, Robert, fl. 1596-1612. London : Printed by Richard Field for Thomas Man, 1600 ---dedicated to Nicholas and Anne Bacon --- AA

And a number of other "AA" marked books were printed for Thomas Mann :

"Synopsis papismi, that is, A generall viewe of papistrie", by Willet, Andrew, 1562-1621. At London : Printed by the widdow Orwin, for Thomas Man, dwelling in Pater noster row at the signe of the Talbot, 1594 ---538p---AA

"The arraignment and conuiction of vsurie", by Mosse, Miles, fl. 1580-1614. At London : Printed by the widdow Orwin, for Thomas Man, 1595 ---95p---AA

"The sermons of Master Henry Smith", by Smith, Henry, 1550?-1591. [At London : Printed by the Widdow Orwin, for Thomas Man, 1595 ---309p---AA title page & page 2

"The colonies of Bartas", by Du Bartas, Guillaume de Salluste, seigneur, 1544-1590. London : Printed by R. F[ield] for Thomas Man, 1598 ---41p---AA

"An antilogie or counterplea to An apologicall (he should haue said) apologeticall epistle published by a fauorite of the Romane separation, and (as is supposed) one of the Ignatian faction", by Willet, Andrew, 1562-1621. London : Printed [by Richard Field and Felix Kingston] for Thomas Man, 1603 ---dedicated to King James---AA

"In librum Salomonis, qui inscribitur Ecclesiastes", by Cartwright, Thomas, 1535-1603. Londini : [Printed by Richard Field] impensis Thomae Man, 1604 ---dedicated to King James---AA

"The golden chayne of salvation", Written by that reverend and learned man, maister Herman Renecher. And now translated out of Latine into English. by Rennecher, Hermann. At London : Printed by Valentine Simmes for Thomas Man, dvvelling in Pater noster row, at the signe of the Talbot, 1604 ---AA

"Virgils Eclogues, vvith his booke De apibus, concerning the gouernment and ordering of bees, translated grammatically, and also according to the proprietie of our English tongue, so farre as grammar and the verse will well permit. Written chiefly for the good of schooles, to be vsed according to the directions in the preface to the painfull schoole maister, and more fully in the booke called Ludus literarius, or the grammar-schoole, chap. 8.", by Virgil. London : Printed by Richard Field, for Thomas Man, dwelling at the signe of the Talbot in Pater-noster row, 1620 ---dedicated to Geo Hastings --- AA

"The sermons of Master Samuell Hieron", by Hieron, Samuel, 1576?-1617. London : Printed by Iohn Beale [,Thomas Man, and John Legat [i.e. Eliot's Court Press] for Joyce Macham, the assigns of Thomas Man, Samuell Macham, and Simon Waterson; sold by Waterson], 1635 --- 714p---AA p3

It is interesting that the following work by Man had a printer’s mark with the motto “Post tenebras lux”.

These were the same words that Bacon had Don Quixote say in the second volume of the work, and these same words also appeared on the Cervantes shield on the title page of the original book of Don Quixote. Moreover these words would have been quite apropos as Freemason Motto since, according to Mackey, their great endeavor was to attain to "Lux e tenebris", i.e. "light from darkness":

“A dolorous discourse, of a most terrible and bloudy battel, fought in Barbarie, the fowrth day of August, last past 1578”, by [Imprinted at London : By Iohn Charlewood, and Thomas Man, 1579 ---17p—printer’s device on title page has “ post tenebras lux” motto --- no AA

After Vautrollier returned to London, Waldegrave took over the business Vautrollier had started in Edinburgh, and became printer for King James. In 1597 he printed the following "AA" marked work for James:

"Daemonologie", by James, I, , King of England, 1566-1625. Edinburgh : Printed by Robert Walde-graue printer to the Kings Majestie, 1597 --- AA

Another of the earliest "AA" works was printed by John Wolfe :

"The hekatompathia or Passionate centurie of loue", by Watson, Thomas, 1557?-1592. London : Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe for Gabriell Cawood, dwellinge in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the Holy Ghost, 1582 ---60p---AA on title page

This seems to be significant. A number of the "AA" marked books were printed either by, or for Wolfe :

"Aduise giuen by a Catholike gentleman, to the nobilitie & commons of France, to ioyne together, and take armes speedily (by commandement of the King) against theeues and robbers, which are now abroade ruining the poore people", by Eliot, John, London : Printed by Iohn Wolfe, 1589 --- AA p2

"Discourses of vvarre and single combat, translated out of French by I. Eliot. by Loque, Bertrand de. London", Printed by Iohn Wolfe, and are to be solde at his shop right ouer against the great south doore of Paules, 1591 --- AA

"A quip for an vpstart courtier: or, A quaint dispute betvveen veluet breeches and clothbreeches",. by Greene, Robert, 1558?-1592. London : Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe, and are to bee sold at his shop at Poules chayne, 1592 --- 29p---AA /6189

"Ortho-epia Gallica", by Eliot, John. London : Printed by [Richard Field for] Iohn VVolfe, 1593 --- dedicated to Robert Dudley---AA

"The description of a voyage made by certaine ships of Holland into the East Indies", by Phillip, William, London : Imprinted by [John Windet? for] Iohn Wolfe, 1598 --- 43p --- AA

We can only collate available evidence, and try to deduce what took place behind the scenes, and what was Bacon's connection with the printers of the day. To place a little more wear and tear on an already threadbare analogy, - the publications with the "AA" and "Archer" devices are like so many dots that the researcher must connect. In my opinion these are three highly significant points: (1) The "AA" device first appeared in England in 1579 the year Bacon returned from France (2) Vautrollier began his operations in London as agent for Plantin. (3) Vautrollier dedicates his early book to Henry of Navarre, and there is evidence of Bacon’s association with Henry of Navarre while he was in France (see my article on Love’s Labour Lost). Bacon may have brought with him when he returned authority from Henry of Navarre to command the services of Vautrollier.

Since there is obvious evidence of Bacon's handiwork in the 1577 emblem, and since the second in Whitney’s Emblem was dedicated to Robert Dudley with whom Bacon certainly had a close association, we can deduce that he had links with Plantin, although these may have been second hand links. I will provide more evidence of these links later in this article. Bacon is linked to Vautrollier through Vautrollier's link with Plantin; through both he and Vautrollier’s connection with Henry of Navarre; and through the other evidence of Bacon's connection with the "AA" device. We know Bacon was involved in the production of books. In a letter written to William Cecil in 1592 Bacon jestingly threatened to "become some sorry bookmaker" if Cecil would not, "carry him on", and in a letter written from Bacon while at Twickenham-park in January 25th of 1594 to Anthony Bacon he said:

"I have here an idle pen or two, specially one, that was cozened, thinking to have got some money this term. I pray send me somewhat else for them to write out besides your Irish collection, which is almost done. There is a collection of King James, of foreign states, largeliest of Flanders; which, though it be no greater matter, yet I would be glad to have it."
Richard Field

The next major link in the chain of evidence is Richard Field. The flow of transmission of the "AA" device ran from the original "AA" device in the emblem book printed by Plantin, through Vautrollier, who was Plantin's agent in London, and who printed five books marked with the device, including the first book published in England with the device, to Field who was Vautrollier's apprentice and who took over his business after his death in July of 1587. Richard Field not only printed 68 books marked with the "AA" device, he also printed many books that provided source material for the author of the Shakespeare plays. Since I have provided proof in my other articles that Bacon wrote the Shakespeare plays, the corpus of Shakespeare related, "AA" device printed material by Field, provides additional evidence for Bacon's connection with the "AA" device.

Field was bound apprentice to George Bishop for seven years in 1579. It was agreed that he would serve the first six years with Thomas Vautrollier. During his two lengthy trips to Scotland, Vautrollier’s London business was probably carried on by Field under the supervision of Vautrollier’s wife Jacqueline, and by Waldegrave. Field was his only apprentice, although in Letters Patent granted to him in 1574 he had been allowed the help of ‘six woorkemen Ffrenchmen or Dutchemen, or suche lyke, for the sayd space or terme of tenne yeres wythout any lett or dysturbance of any person or persons.’ It can be assumed that these men were skilled craftsmen; but they would still have to be closely directed, and while working with them Field would have acquired not only knowledge of their languages but also some insight into the special problems involved in printing in foreign languages.

Thomas Vautrollier died July, 1587, only a few months after the admittance of Field to the Stationers’ Company on 6 February 1587. In March 1588 Vautrollier’s widow married Field and he thus succeeded to one of the best printing businesses in London. His first book entry is found in the Registers under 24 December 1588. On 23 April 1593 Field entered in the Registers ‘a booke intituled Venus & Adonis’ (this was not marked with the “AA” device, however the second edition, printed in 1594, was. This was followed in 1596 by a third edition of the same work, in octavo. Like John Wolfe, Field surreptitiously printed a number of foreign books, some as political propaganda and others for presentation to patrons and friends of the author. About 1600 Field removed from Blackfriars to the parish of St Michael in Wood Street, at the sign of the Splayed Eagle. In 1615 he was returned as having two presses. He became a prominent member of the Stationers’ Company, of which he was elected Master in 1619 and 1622. Field died in 1624 and his business passed into the hands of George Miller, one of his apprentices.

A remarkable number of sources for Shakespeare's Works were printed or published by Richard Field. While many people are aware that Field was the printer for Shakespeare's first two published works, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, few people realize the extent to which he was connected with the sources used by Shakespeare. Probably the most direct and widely used source for Shakespeare's plays was the 1587 edition of Holinshed's Chronicles :

"The first and second volumes of Chronicles", by Holinshed, Raphael, d. 1580?. [[London] : Finished in Ianuarie 1587, and the 29 of the Queenes Maiesties reigne, with the full continuation of the former yeares, at the expenses of Iohn Harison, George Bishop, Rafe Newberie, Henrie Denham, and Thomas VVoodcocke. At London printed [by Henry Denham] in Aldersgate street at the signe of the Starre, 1587 ---254p---AA

Richard Field was serving out the last year of his apprenticeship with Bishop when Holinshed was printed there (the colophon says the book was finished in January 1587) and Field's apprenticeship ended on February 2. Field had a close relationship with John Harrison. Field and Harrison had a mutual partnership throughout the 1590s, but especially in the early part of the decade: for example, Field printed and published Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis in 1593, but it was sold in Harrison's shop, and of the 27 books Harrison published from 1590 to 1596, 17 of them were printed by Field.

Another book, almost as important as a source reference for the Shakespeare plays was Thomas North's English translation of Plutarch's Lives. Plutarch's Lives was not marked with the "AA" device, however it was marked with the "Archer" device. The Archer device seems to have been reserved for marking more prestigious works. Field printed several editions of this enormously popular work:

"The lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes", by Plutarch. Imprinted at London : By Richard Field for Bonham Norton, 1595 ---Archer device

"The lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes", by Plutarch. Imprinted at London : Printed by Richard Field for Thomas VVight, 1595 ---Archer device p3

"The liues of the noble Grecians and Romaines", compared together by that graue learned philosopher and historiographer, Plutarke of Chaeronea. Translated out of Greeke into French by Iames Amiot abbot of Bellozane, Bishop of Auxerre, one of the Kings priuie Counsell, and great Amner of France. VVith the liues of Hannibal and of Scipio African: translated out of Latine into French by Charles de l'Escluse, and out of French into English, by Sir Thomas North Knight. Hereunto are also added the liues of Epaminondas, of Philip of Macedon, of Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Sicilia, of Augustus Caesar, of Plutarke, and of Seneca: with the liues of nine other excellent chiefetaines of warre: collected out of AEmylius Probus, by S.G.S. and Englished by the aforesaid translator. by Plutarch. Imprinted at London : By Richard Field for Iohn Norton, 1603 ---Archer device

"The liues of the noble Grecians and Romaines", compared together by that graue learned philosopher and historiographer, Plutarke of Chaeronea. Translated out of Greeke into French by Iames Amiot abbot of Bellozane, Bishop of Auxerre, one of the Kings priuie Counsell, and great Amner of France. VVith the liues of Hannibal and of Scipio African: translated out of Latine into French by Charles de l'Escluse, and out of French into English, by Sir Thomas North Knight. Hereunto are also added the liues of Epaminondas, of Philip of Macedon, of Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Sicilia, of Augustus Caesar, of Plutarke, and of Seneca: with the liues of nine other excellent chiefetaines of warre: collected out of AEmylius Probus, by S.G. S. and Englished by the aforesaid translator. by Plutarch. Imprinted at London : By Richard Field for George Bishop, 1603 ---661p---Archer device

"The liues of the noble Grecians and Romaines", compared together by that graue learned philosopher and historiographer Plutarke of Chaeronea: translated out of Greeke into French by Iames Amiot abbot of Bellozane, Bishop of Auxerre, one of the Kings priuie Counsell, and great Almner of France: vvith the liues of Hannibal and Scipio African: translated out of Latine into French by Charles de l'Escluse, and out of French into English, by Sir Thomas North Knight. Hereunto are also added the liues of Epaminondas, of Philip of Macedon, of Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Sicilia, of Augustus Caesar, of Plutarke, and of Seneca: with the liues of nine other excellent chieftaines of warre: collected out of AEmylius Probus, by S.G.S. and Englished by the aforesaid translator. by Plutarch. London : Printed by Richard Field, 1612 ---Archer device & V&A device

In 1593, Field published John Eliot's Ortho-epia Gallica, a manual for English speakers learning French. This book heavily influenced Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece, published in 1594, and was marked with the “AA” device:

“Ortho-epia Gallica”, by Eliot, John. London : Printed by [Richard Field for] Iohn VVolfe, 1593 --- dedicated to Robert Dudley---AA

Books Field published himself, or inherited from Vautrollier, comprised a treasure trove of Shakespeare sources, including many of the most important. An example is Timothy Bright's Treatise of Melancholy, printed by Vautrollier in 1586 (and thus inherited by Field). Bright's work has been widely accepted as an important background source for Hamlet.

Ovid was another author much used by Shakespeare. Field is linked to the work. Shakespeare used Golding's English translation of the Metamorphoses extensively, but he also sometimes alludes to the original Latin, and he also used other works of Ovid that had not been translated into English -- for example, the Fasti is a major source for The Rape of Lucrece. And who published the Latin editions of Ovid that Shakespeare would have consulted? Thomas Vautrollier, and after his death Richard Field. In 1574 Vautrollier received a patent to exclusively print the works of Ovid and other Latin authors. In 1582 he published the Metamorphoses in Latin, and in 1574 had published the Latin edition of Ovid's Fasti that Shakespeare used for Lucrece. Field inherited these books (as well as a number of other Latin works) from Vautrollier, and printed later editions of many of them; in fact, one of his first independent publications was a second edition of the Metamorphoses in 1589.

Field's relationship with North's Plutarch is more direct. He owned the rights to the book. The first edition of North's translation was published by Vautrollier in 1579. This was the year Field joined the shop as an apprentice. A copy of this book must have been among the library which Vautrollier passed along at his death, for Field printed the second edition in 1595, then the third in 1603 and the fourth in 1607. The influence of North's translation on Shakespeare is persistent, most obviously in the Roman plays but also in such plays as A Midsummer Night's Dream. Many other major or minor sources for Shakespeare's works can be traced in Richard Field's publishing history. He published Sir John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso in 1591:

"Orlando furioso", by Ariosto, Lodovico, 1474-1533. [Imprinted at London]: By Richard Field dwelling in the Black-friers by Ludgate, 1591 ---AA

This was marked with the "AA" device, and was used by Shakespeare as a primary source of Much Ado About Nothing. Field printed the second edition of Robert Greene's Pandosto. This was the main source for Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, and was also marked with the “AA” device :

"Pandosto by Greene", Robert, 1558-1592. Imprinted at London: By Thomas Orwin for Thomas Cadman, dwelling at the signe of the Bible, neere vnto the north doore of Paules, 1588 ---28p---AA

Field printed the first full edition of Spenser's Faerie Queene, which influenced Shakespeare in many ways:

"The faerie queene", by Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599. London: Printed [by Richard Field] for Vvilliam Ponsonbie, 1596 ---AA

This was also marked with the "AA" device, and the edition printed by John Wolfe earlier in 1590 was marked with the "AA" device.

"The faerie queene", by Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599. London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, 1590 ---AA

In 1598 Field printed an edition of Sidney's Arcadia, which Shakespeare used as a source for numerous plays, most notably King Lear and Pericles. This was not marked with the "AA" device, however it was marked with the Archer device:

"The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", Written by Sir Philip Sidney Knight. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Imprinted [by R. Field] for William Ponsonbie, 1598 ---Archer device

In 1599 Field printed Richard Crompton's “Mansion of Magnanimitie”, which Shakespeare used as a source for Henry V, generally considered to have been written just about the same time. This was another work marked with the “AA” device:

“The mansion of magnanimitie”, by Crompton, Richard, fl. 1573-1599. London : Printed [by Richard Field] for VVilliam Ponsonby, 1599 --- AA

Stratfordians have got a lot of mileage (aka cretin comfort) out of their imagined close connection of Field with William Shakespeare of Stratford on Avon. This is based solely on the fact that the two were both from Stratford on Avon, and is solidly planted in their fluttering hearts, not withstanding the total lack of evidence to support an association between the two (unless you count the fact that the Stratford Shakespeare’s father sued Richard Field’s father as evidence). They postulate an intimacy between Richard Field and William Shakespeare that is as heartwarming as it is lacking in factual support. Some of them have even concocted the theory, brain damaged even by Stratfordians standards, that Shakespeare obtained his massive learning by browsing around in Field’s print shop, reading a scrap here and there.

They might have had a more productive endeavor if they had examined Francis Bacon connections with Stratford on Avon. The DNB says Fulke Greville had “a close personal intimacy with Francis Bacon” and “maintained friendly relations [with Bacon] to the last”. It is significant therefore, that according to The DNB description of Greville, “His position in Warwickshire was very powerful, and among the smaller offices he held there was that of recorder of Stratford-on-Avon. His name frequently appeared in the town records. Bacon was also closely connected to the Antiquarian Society which included George Carew, Baron of Clopton near Stratford on Avon and also Earl of Totnes of the same Clopton near Stratford on Avon. Carew was one of the ‘powers that be’ in the village. So the alliance between Bacon and these two men could well explain how the Stratford man happened to enter his service. In addition, it seems to me to be significant that there were so many surnames connected with Bacon either as friends, servants, or relatives that were also connected with Stratford on Avon. These names are: Field, Burbage, Bushell, and Russell.

The Devices and the Freemasons

As I continued my examination of the works marked with the devices, I continued to find evidence, just as Smedley had pointed out, that in many cases they were either "masked" works of Francis Bacon, or works for which he wrote the dedications. Certainly, by far the greater number of publications connected with any one man were those connected with Bacon, and I have already shown evidence that Bacon originated the device. On the other hand, many publications had no apparent connection with Francis Bacon; the sheer number of "AA" works seemed to preclude their having been the work of one man, and a major variance with Smedley's theory consisted of evidence that tied many of the publications in which the devices appeared to a specific group of closely interrelated people. This group was the Freemasons.

In earlier parts of this series I provided evidence of Francis Bacon's association with the Freemasons.

In addition to Bacon, the evidence pointed to John Dee, Robert Dudley, Philip Sidney, Walter Raleigh, George Chapman, George Carey and other members of Raleigh's School of Night as being Freemasons. To these must be added Fulke Greville and Edward Dwyer. Greville was Sidney's closest friend since they were boys in Shrewsbury school together. Edward Dwyer was very close to the other two. The three were together in the Areopagus group, and were students together under John Dee. Since Ben Jonson had such a close connection with Bacon, actually living in his mansion in York House on the Strand at one time, it is likely Jonson was a member as well. There were others. Peer deeply into certain parts of the dark pool of Elizabethan society, and like a fish swimming up from the depths, the form of this secret group begins to take shape. But then, of course, you have to know where to look.

In 1717, when the Freemasons finally went public, James Anderson provided a clue. Anderson had old records that threw light on the dark past of Freemasonry. In his 1738 book, "Constitutions" he drew upon these for information relating to Freemasons of more than a century in the past. According to Anderson, Speculative Freemasonry was alive and well during the Elizabethan era, and Queen Elizabeth, "being jealous of all secret Assemblies", sent "an armed Force to break up" the Grand Lodge of the Freemasons at York on St. John's day 1561. But Sir Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, the Grand Master, "took Care to make some of the Chief Men sent Free-Masons, who then joining in that Communication, made a very honourable Report to the Queen, and she never more attempted to dislodge or disturb them." Anderson says Sackville gave up his Grand Mastership in 1567.

In his massive "Royal Mason Cyclopaedia" (London, 1877) Kenneth Mackensie provided a list, obtained from Anderson's records, of early Freemasons. Some Grand Masters on this list were as follows:

1561 - Sir Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst
1567 - Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford- Sir Thomas Gresham
1579 - Charles Howard, Earl of Effingham.
1588 - George Hastings, 4th Earl of Huntingdon.
1603 - King James I.
1607 - Inigo Jones, the architect.
1618 - William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke
1630 - Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby

The Freemasons concealed their activities, but in the area of the book trade evidence exists that allows the investigator to peer beneath the surface and see, swimming up from the depths, the outlines of the shape of their hidden activities. These men sought to spread light in an era beset by darkness. The dissemination of books was the best way to do this. Members of secret societies have always employed special signs by which other members can recognize them. For the Freemasons, as far as the book trade was concerned, these special signs took the guise of devices in books - devices modeled on those devices traditionally used by printers. The two devices that I have referred to above especially, although there were others, seems to have been used by the Freemasons. All of the above listed Freemasons, with one exception, had "AA" publications dedicated to them. Significantly this one exception was Henry Danvers who only became Grandmaster in 1630, four years after Bacon's death. Apart from Danvers here was 15 people (Thomas Sackville, Francis Russell, Charles Howard, George Hastings, King James I, Inigo Jones, William Herbert, Robert Dudley, Philip Sidney, Fulke Greville, Edward Dwyer, Sir Walter Raleigh, George Chapman, George Carey, and Ben Jonson) all linked to the Freemasons, Francis Bacon, and publications marked with the “AA” device.

Sir Thomas Sackville:

Sackville, Grandmaster of the Freemasons from 1561 to 1567, provides strong evidence for a connection between the "AA" devices and the Freemasons. Sir Thomas Sackville became Chancellor of Oxford University in 1592. Robert Dudley was his predecessor in the position. Of all printers who printed books with the "AA" device, the printer with the greatest proportion of "AA" device books in relation to the total books he printed was Joseph Barnes, Printer to Oxford University. Out of 39 books printed, 20 bore the "AA" device. Out of the 20 books with the "AA" device, 3 were dedicated to Sir Thomas Sackville. There were also a number of books bearing the "AA" device, printed by Richard Field, dedicated to Sackville.

"An historicall collection of the continuall factions, tumults, and massacres of the Romans and Italians during the space of one hundred and twentie yeares next before the peaceable empire of Augustus Caesar". by Fulbecke, William, 1560-1603?. London : Printed [by R. Field] for VVilliam Ponsonby, 1601 ---AA---dedicated to Thomas Sackville Baron of Buckhurst

"The first part of the consideration of humane condition". by Perrott, James, Sir, 1571-1637. At Oxford : Printed by Joseph Barnes, and are to be sold [by J. Broome in London] in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Bible, 1600---34p---AA p2---dedicated to Thomas Baron of Buckhurst /14967

"An exposition vpon the prophet Ionah". by Abbot, George, 1562-1633. London : Imprinted by Richard Field, and are to be sold by Richard Garbrand [, Oxford], 1600---AA---dedicated to Sir Thomas Sackvile, Baron of Buckhurst

"An exposition vpon the prophet Ionah". by Abbot, George, 1562-1633. London : Imprinted by Richard Field, dwelling in the Blacke-friers, 1600---AA---dedicated to Sir Thomas Sackvile, Baron of Buckhurst

"An historicall collection of the continuall factions, tumults, and massacres of the Romans and Italians during the space of one hundred and twentie yeares next before the peaceable empire of Augustus Caesar". by Fulbecke, William, 1560-1603?. London : Printed [by R. Field] for VVilliam Ponsonby, 1601---AA---dedicated to Sir Thomas Sackville, Baron of Buckhurst

"A sermon preached at St. Maries in Oxford, the 17. day of November, 1602. in defence of the festivities of the Church of England, and namely that of her Maiesties coronation". By Iohn Hovvson Doctor of Divinitie, one of her Highnes chaplaines, and vicechancellour of the Vniversitie of Oxforde by Howson, John, 1557?-1632. At Oxford : Printed by Joseph Barnes, and are to be sold in [London in ] Fleete-streete at the signe of the Turkes head by Iohn Barnes, 1602 ---18p---Ded to Thomas Baron of Buckhurst--AA p35

"A sermon preached at St. Maries in Oxford, the 17. day of November, 1602. in defence of the festivities of the Church of England, and namely that of her Maiesties coronation". By Iohn Hovvson Doctor of Divinitie, one of her Highnes chaplaines, and vicechancellour of the Vniversitie of Oxforde by Howson, John, 1557?-1632. At Oxford : Printed by Joseph Barnes, and are to be sold in Fleete-streete at the signe of the Turkes head by Iohn Barnes, 1603---19p--ded to Thomas Baron of Buckhurst---AA p2

Francis Russell:

Russell, Grandmaster of the Freemasons from 1567 to 1579, had two "AA" publications dedicated to him:

"The Secrets of the Reverend Master Alexis". by Ruscelli Girolamo, printed by Peter Short, 1595---AA

"Virgil's Eclogues" printed by Richard Field, 1620, dedicated to Francis Russell ---AA

"The Coronation of David" by Edmund Bunny, printed by Thomas Orwin, 1588, was dedicated to his brother Henry Hastings.

Charles Howard:
"The famous and memorable works of Iosephus, a man of much honour and learning among the Iewes. Faithfully translated out of the Latine, and French". by Tho. Lodge, Doctor in Physicke. by Josephus, Flavius. London : Printed for Simon Waterson, 1620 ---AA p4--Archer p2,p3---dedicated to Charles Howard, Earl of Effingham
George Hastings:
"Virgils Eclogues, vvith his booke De apibus, concerning the gouernment and ordering of bees, translated grammatically, and also according to the proprietie of our English tongue, so farre as grammar and the verse will well permit. Written chiefly for the good of schooles, to be vsed according to the directions in the preface to the painfull schoole maister, and more fully in the booke called Ludus literarius, or the grammar-schoole, chap. 8. by Virgil". London : Printed by Richard Field, for Thomas Man, dwelling at the signe of the Talbot in Pater-noster row, 1620 ---dedicated to George Hastings--AA
King James I

James became Grandmaster of the Freemasons in England immediately upon assuming the throne in 1603, therefore it is probable he was a Freemason in Scotland before he came to England. He had a number of "AA" marked publications associated with him, either through works he wrote himself, or works that were dedicated to him, and some of these were published long before he became King of Great Britain. There was even two versions of the "AA" device that seemed to have been specially designed for him. It had a crown at the top, between the two A's, and the letter "I" on the right side, and the letter "R" on the left side, i.e., Iames Rex. One example of a publication in which this appeared is the first item below:

"A general tresury, a perpetual repertory, or a common councel-place of accounts for all countries in Christendome". by Colson, William. At London : Printed with priuiledge royal and archiducall by Nicholas Okes, at the expences of the author, 1612 ---197p---AA p3 w/crown & IR /8922

Another version was in the publication below. This version has two A's with the dark fashioned as if it was the shadow of the light A, but with the distinction that it was also drawn as if it was a separate A, and there was a rose beneath the cross bar of the A's, and on the left side of the A was the letter I, and on the right side the letter R, i.e.,

Iames Rex:
"The belman of London". by Dekker, Thomas, ca. 1572-1632. Printed at London : [By E. Allde] for Nathaniell Butter, 1608 ---AA--

The following are other publications either by, or dedicated to King James, that were marked with the "AA" device:

"Essayes of a Prentise in the Arte of Poesie". by King James. printed at Edinburgh by Thomas Vautrollier, 1584 --- AA

"A plaine discoverie of the whole Revelation of Saint Iohn". by Napier, John, 1550-1617. [Edinburgh] : Printed [by Robert Waldegrave] for Iohn Norton, London, 1594 --- AA

"Daemonologie". by King James, 1566-1625. Edinburgh : Printed by Robert Walde-graue printer to the Kings Majestie, 1597 --- AA

"Daemonologie, in forme of a dialogue", by James I, King of England, , 1566-1625. At London : Printed for William Cotton, and Will. Aspley according to the copie printed at Edenburgh, and are to be sold at London bridge, 1603 --- AA

"Daemonologie", by James, I, , King of England, 1566-1625. At London : Printed [by R. Bradock] for William Aspley, and W. Cotton, according to the copie printed at Edenburgh, 1603 --- AA

"Daemonologie", by James, I, , King of England, 1566-1625. London : Printed by Arnold Hatfield for Robert VVald-graue, 1603 --- AA

"In librum Salomonis, qui inscribitur Ecclesiastes", by Cartwright, Thomas, 1535-1603. Londini : [Printed by Richard Field] impensis Thomae Man, 1604---dedicated to King James ---AA

"The arch's of triumph erected in honor of the high and mighty prince. Iames. the first of that name. King, of England. and the sixt of Scotland", by Harrison, Stephen, joiner and architect. [Imprinted at London : By Iohn VVindet, printer to the honourable citie of London, and are to be sold at the authors house in Lime-street, at the signe of the Snayle, 1604 ---AA inverted--- 17p---Archer device on every page

"The second part of the Defence of the Reformed Catholicke", by Abbot, Robert, 1560-1617. Londini : [Printed by Richard Field] impensis Georg. Bishop, 1607---dedicated to King James --- AA

"A defence of the Way to the true Church against A.D. his reply", by White, John, 1570-1615. London : Printed [by Richard Field] for William Barret dwelling in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the three Pigeons, 1614---dedicated to King James --- AA

"Tobacco tortured, or, The filthie fume of tobacco refined", by Deacon, John, 17th cent. London : Printed by Richard Field dwelling in Great Woodstreete, 1616---dedicated to King James

"The arch's of triumph erected in honor of the high and mighty prince. Iames. the first of that name. King, of England. and the sixt of Scotland", by Harrison, Stephen, joiner and architect. [Imprinted at London : By Iohn VVindet, printer to the honourable citie of London, and are to be sold at the authors house in Lime-street, at the signe of the Snayle, 1604 ---AA--Archer on every page--diff version---compasses on three pages

"The true narration of the entertainment of his Royall Maiestie, from the time of his departure from Edenbrough; till his receiuing at London", by T. M., fl. 1603, At London : Printed by Thomas Creede, for Thomas Millington, 1603---AA

"His Maiesties gracious letter to the Earle of South-Hampton, treasurer, and to the Councell and Company of Virginia heere", by Bonoeil, John. London : Printed by Felix Kyngston, 1622 ---AA

 

Inigo Jones:

Jones worked with both George Chapman and Ben Jonson on a number of masques. Both of these men were well represented by works marked with the "AA" devices. One of the masques with which Jones collaborated with Chapman, on which the "AA" device appeared, was, "The memorable maske of the two honorable houses or Innes of Court; the Middle Temple, and Lyncolns Inne :

“The memorable maske of the two honorable houses or Innes of Court; the Middle Temple, and Lyncolns Inne. by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. At London : Printed by G. Eld, for George Norton, and are to be sould at his shoppe neere Temple-bar, 1613 --- 28p --- AA p3    
William Herbert:

"Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies. by Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. London", Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount [at the charges of W. Iaggard, Ed. Blount, I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley], 1623 ---458p---AA--Archer---dedicated to William & Philip Herbert

"A world of vvonders: or An introduction to a treatise touching the conformitie of ancient and moderne wonders", by Estienne, Henri, 1531-1598. London : Imprinted [by Richard Field] for Iohn Norton, 1607 ---AA plus V&A device---dedicated to William and Philip Herbert

William Herbert and his brother were very interested in the explorations in America, they became members of the East India Company and the King's Council for the Virginia Company & for New England, so the following two books may reflect a connection with William Herbert:.

“The lawes or standing orders of the East India Company”, by East India Company. [London : E. Allde?], 1621 --- Archer device

“ A declaration of the state of the colonie and affaires in Virginia”, by Counseil for Virginia (England and Wales) London : Printed by T[homas] S[nodham and Felix Kingston], 1620 --- AA

Robert Dudley:
"A Choice of Emblemes", by Geffrey Whitney: printed at Leyden by Francis Raphelengius, 1586…dedicated to Robert Dudley --- AA p53

"Ortho-epia Gallica", by Eliot, John. London : Printed by [Richard Field for] Iohn VVolfe, 1593 ---dedicated to Robert Dudley---AA

Philip Sidney:
"Exequiae illustrissimi equitis, D. Philippi Sidnaei, gratissimae memoriae ac nomini impensae. by Gager, William, fl. 1580-1619, Oxonii : Ex officina typographica Iosephi Barnesii, 1587 ---AA

"The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", written by Sir Philippe Sidnei. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Printed [by John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, 1590 ---364p---AA p4

"The defence of poesie", By Sir Phillip Sidney, Knight. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Printed [by Thomas Creede] for VVilliam Ponsonby, 1595 ---AA

"L'Arcadie de la Comtesse de Pembroke", Composee par Philippe Sidney: Tradvitte en nostre langve par vn Gentil-homme Francois: [Printed] A Paris Chez Robert Fouet, MDCXXV [1625]---different "AA" with shield in center and 3 fleur-du-lis'

"The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", Written by Sir Philip Sidney Knight. Now since the first edition augmented and ended. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Printed [by John Windet] for William Ponsonbie, 1593 ---244p---no AA--Archer p2

"The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", Written by Sir Philip Sidney Knight. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Imprinted [by R. Field] for William Ponsonbie, 1598 ---no AA--Archer

"The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", Written by Sir Philip Sidney Knight. by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Imprinted by H[umphrey] L[ownes] for Simon Waterson, 1613 ---294p---no AA--Archer p2

"The Covntesse of Pembrokes Arcadia", by Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586. London : Imprinted by H.L. for Simon Waterson, 1613 ---304p---no AA--Archer

Fulke Greville:
"A treatise paraenetical, that is to say: an exhortation. by London", Printed [by Richard Field] for William Ponsonby, 1598 ---dedicated to Fulke Greville--AA
Edward Dwyer:
"Arisbas, Euphues amidst his slumbers: or Cupids iourney to hell", by Dickenson, John, romance writer. Imprinted at London : By Thomas Creede, for Thomas Woodcocke, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard, 1594 ---dedicated. to Edward Dyer---AA
Sir Walter Raleigh :
"The discouerie of the large, rich, and bevvtiful empire of Guiana", by Raleigh, Walter, Sir, 1552?-1618. Imprinted at London : By Robert Robinson, 1596 ---AA on title page   

"The history of the world", by Raleigh, Sir Walter, 1552?-1618. At London : Printed [by William Stansby] for Walter Burre, and are to be sold at his Shop in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Crane, 1617 ---Archer device

"The history of the vvorld", by Raleigh, Walter, Sir, 1552?-1618. [London : Printed by VVilliam Iaggard [,William Stansby, and Nicholas Okes] for VValter Burre, and are to be sold at his shop in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Crane, 1621 ---698p---Archer device p2

"The historie of the vvorld", by Raleigh, Walter, Sir, 1552?-1618. [London : Printed [by Humphrey Lownes] for H. Lownes, G. Lathum, and R. Young, 1628 ---695p---Archer device title page, p3

"Nevves of Sr. VValter Rauleigh", by R. M., fl. 1617. London : Printed [by George Eld] for H. G[osson] and are to be sold by I. Wright, at the signe of the Bible without New-gate, 1618 ---25p---AA

"A commentarie vpon the fourth booke of Moses, called Numbers", by Attersoll, William, d. 1640. London : Printed by William Iaggard, 1618 ---668p---Archer device p2---dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh

"Colin Clouts come home againe. By Ed. Spencer", by Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599. [London] : Printed [by T[homas] C[reede]] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, 1595 ---AA--dedicated to Sir Walter Raleigh

George Chapman :

Chapman had a number of works, in addition to the masque of the Inns of Court, on which the "AA" appeared :

"Skia nyktos. = The shaddovv of night", by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. At London : Printed by R[ichard] F[ield] for William Ponsonby, 1594 --- AA

"A pleasant comedy entituled: An humerous dayes myrth", by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. At London : Printed by Valentine Syms, 1599 --- AA

"Monsieur D'Oliue", by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. London : Printed by T[homas] C[reede] for William Holmes, and are to be sold at his shop in Saint Dun-stons Church-yard in Fleete-streete, 1606 --- AA

"The gentleman vsher", By George Chapman. by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. At London : Printed by V[alentine] S[immes] for Thomas Thorppe, 1606 --- AA

"The Iliads of Homer prince of poets", by Homer. Trans. by Chapman, George, At London : Printed [by Richard Field] for Nathaniell Butter, 1611 --- AA

"The vviddovves teares" by Chapman, George, 1559?-1634. London : Printed [by William Stansby] for Iohn Browne, and are to be sold at his shop in Fleet-street in Saint Dunstanes Church-yard, 1612 --- AA

"Homer's Odysses", Translated according to ye Greeke by. Geo: Chapman by Homer. Imprinted at London : By Rich: Field [and W. Jaggard], for Nathaniell Butter, 1615 --- AA

"The whole works of Homer; prince of poetts in his Iliads, and Odysses", Translated according to the Greeke, by Geo: Chapman. by Homer. At London : Printed [by Richard Field and William Jaggard] for Nathaniell Butter, 1616 --- AA

"The georgicks of Hesiod", by George Chapman; translated elaborately out of the Greek: containing doctrine of husbandrie, moralitie, and pietie; with a perpetuall calendar of good and bad daies; not superstitious, but necessarie (as farre as naturall causes compell) for all men to obserue, and difference in following their affaires. by Hesiod. London : Printed by H[umphrey] L[ownes] for Miles Partrich, and are to be solde at his shop neare Saint Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet, 1618 --- AA

"The whole works of Homer; prince of poetts· In his Iliads, and Odysses", Translated according to the Greeke, by Geo: Chapman. by Homer. At London : Printed [by Richard Field, William Jaggard, and Thomas Harper] for Nathaniell Butter, 1634 --- AA

George Carey :
“The pearle of practise, or Practisers pearle, for phisicke and chirurgerie. Found out by I. H. (a spagericke or distiller) amongst the learned obseruations and prooued practises of many expert men in both faculties. Since his death it is garnished and brought into some methode by a welwiller of his”, by Hester, John, d. 1593. At London : Printed by Richard Field, dwelling in the Black-friers, 1594 ---dedicated to Geo Carey---AA
Ben Jonson:
"The workes of Beniamin Ionson", by Jonson, Ben, 1573?-1637. London : Printed by W: Stansby, and are to be sold by Rich: Meighen, 1616 ---441p--AA p44--archer p8

"The workes of Beniamin Ionson", by Jonson, Ben, 1573?-1637. Imprinted at London : By Will Stansby, 1616 ---AA p47--Archer p9

As might be expected there were numerous links between these people and Francis Bacon. Let’s examine these links before taking a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the publication of the first edition of the collected works of Shakespeare, printed in 1623...............

-End of Part I of Compeers III-

 Comments for Mather Walker
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The Bacon-Shakespeare Essays of Mather Walker