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Spearshaker – a Film about the Secret Life of Francis Bacon


A Phoenix

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PLACES

THE TOWER OF LONDON

The Tower of London still looms large on the London landscape but it was not always the dark and foreboding place of common perception.

7b48b1_fa6d7ea1c89d443cb1c935120120e71a~
The Tower of London
It was originally a castle and royal palace on the North bank of the River Thames built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Throughout the ages it became synonymous with torture, incarcerations and executions of its unfortunate occupants which included Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Gray and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Despite its grisly reputation only a handful of high status detainees were actually executed in the Tower grounds, most prisoners were executed publicly on nearby Tower Hill. Many were incarcerated here though including Princess Elizabeth Tudor and her childhood friend Robert Dudley.
 
Unsurprisingly the foreboding London landmark is incorporated by Bacon several times in the Shakespeare plays noticeably in Henry VI part 1 and also in Richard III with the incarceration of the young princes and the drowning of Richard’s brother George in a butt of Malmsey wine.
 
7b48b1_0d496c406fc048ce99247c1315d231c6~
Beauchamp Tower, The Tower of London
In a rather dark and heartbreaking coincidence there was a macabre Tudor parallel. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon’s younger concealed royal brother was incarcerated here in the Beauchamp Tower following the ill-fated Essex rebellion. In an ironical twist his blood father Robert Dudley was also incarcerated at the Beauchamp Tower many years earlier. The Beauchamp Tower is famous for the carvings and graffiti made by frightened prisoners leaving us connections and remembrances of their lives. According to The Tower of London, the Earl of Arundel, Thomas Abel (chaplain to Queen Katherine of Aragon) and Robert Dudley and his brothers all made carvings whilst there, which can be seen to this day. Not mentioned is the carving made by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex the secret younger son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
 
Years earlier it is said that Queen Elizabeth had given Essex a ring which if he ever forfeited her favour, if he sent it back to her, its return would ensure his pardon and forgiveness. His royal brother Francis knew that Essex had only to return the ring and all would be forgiven. He may also have been informed that Essex had sent it. But the Queen never received the ring. Elizabeth was incredulous that Essex even at his lowest point and with his life in imminent danger did not possess the humility
 
7b48b1_ef8335b5c3bc4bc6959a1307519d2980~
Robart Tidir, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth I. Thanks to Lawrence Gerald for this image.
to send the ring it to her. It reinforced her deeply held fears that her concealed son would forever remain unruly and dangerous and she finally signed his death warrant. In those last days before his execution and in the face of imminent death, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex carved into the stone wall his true name over the door way which can still be seen to this present day ‘ROBART TIDIR’, an old way of spelling ROBERT TUDOR, conveying his status as a concealed royal prince of England.
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PLAYS

HENRY IV

The Henry IV plays are some of the most Baconian in the whole of the Shakespeare canon and are replete with references and allusions not only to their author Francis Bacon but to several members of the Bacon family and St Albans close to Gorhambury, the Bacon family estate.

 
Our supreme philosopher-poet and dramatist hilariously sends himself up in the character Francis, the drawer who serves drinks at the Boar’s Head and he also uses his own Christian name for the effeminate character Francis Feeble, one of the men enlisted to fight for King Henry IV.
 
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Bacon alludes to his father Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon in the form of Saint Nicholas in reference to a case presided over by the great Elizabethan Lord Keeper. In Act 2 Scene 1 two Carriers engage in some lively banter in a scene which contains allusions to his father Sir Nicholas Bacon. The First Carrier points the way by cueing the allusions to come with ‘be hanged, and come away’ (2:1:22) the first of half-a-dozen uses of ‘hang’ and ‘hangman’ as the scene unfolds. Gadshill says ‘Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas’s clerks, I’ll give thee his neck’ (2:1:61-2). The Chamberlain replies ‘No, I’ll none of it: I pray thee keep that for the hangman, for I know thou worshippest Saint Nicholas as truly as a man of falsehood may’ (2:1:63-5). The passage alludes to a story later recalled by Bacon in his Apophthegms relating to a case presided over by Lord Keeper Nicholas Bacon which is also alluded to in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
 
Much of the action in the play takes place at the Boar’s Head Inn-a boar is a wild pig from which is derived bacon-a convenient device for suggesting the Bacon’s Head Inn. A figure of a boar appears on Bacon’s family crest.
 
The inspiration for the character of Mistress Quickly hostess of the Boar’s Head Inn came in the shape of Bacon’s aunt Lady Elizabeth Hoby Cooke Russell (younger sister of Bacon’s mother Lady Anne Cooke Bacon). One of Falstaff’s motley crew was named after her husband John, Lord Russell (namely Sir John Russell), the son and heir of Francis Russell, second Earl of Bedford, Bacon’s godfather and political patron.
 
The little-known brother of Lady Anne Cooke Bacon and Lady Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell, William Cooke, had a son known as William Cooke of Highnam Court in Gloucestershire, whose name served for the cook William Cook at the Gloucester home of Robert Shallow, Justice of the Peace.
 
In I Henry IV there is repeated play or punning on the name BACON I have a gammon of bacon and two races of ginger to be delivered as far as Charing Cross’/‘Ah, whoreson caterpillars, bacon-fed knaves! They hate us youth’/ ‘Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye fat chuffs; I would your store were here. On, bacons, on! What, ye knaves! Young men must live. You are grand-jurors, are ye? We’ll jure ye, faith.’
 
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There are also several needless references to St Albans the near location of the Bacon family seat at Gorhambury. In I Henry IV Falstaff and Sir John Russell with their company march through the Midlands towards Shrewsbury. The scene is taken up with a long speech by Falstaff complaining that his bedraggled company have but a shirt and half between them containing a reference to St Albans ‘and the shirt, to say the truth, stolen from my host at Saint Albans, or the red-nose innkeeper of Daventry. But that’s all one; they’ll find linen enough on every hedge.’ What appears to be another seemingly superfluous reference to St Albans is found in 2 Henry IV ‘I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint Albans and London.’
 
Following the robbery scene Hal and Poins return to the Boar’s Head Inn (Bacon’s Head Inn). Hal is fraternising with the bar staff and he and Poins perplex the drawer Francis before the other robbers arrive. In his speech Prince Hal sets the scene ‘Sirrah, I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers, and can call them all by their christen names, as ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Francis’. It was Ben Jonson who famously said that Bacon could never pass by a jest and he humorously sends himself up in 1 Henry IV in which there are 33 instances of his name Francis in the specially formatted 1st column on page 56 in the Shakespeare First Folio: 33 being simple cipher for Bacon.
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4 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

PLACES

THE TOWER OF LONDON

The Tower of London still looms large on the London landscape but it was not always the dark and foreboding place of common perception.

7b48b1_fa6d7ea1c89d443cb1c935120120e71a~
The Tower of London
It was originally a castle and royal palace on the North bank of the River Thames built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Throughout the ages it became synonymous with torture, incarcerations and executions of its unfortunate occupants which included Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Gray and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Despite its grisly reputation only a handful of high status detainees were actually executed in the Tower grounds, most prisoners were executed publicly on nearby Tower Hill. Many were incarcerated here though including Princess Elizabeth Tudor and her childhood friend Robert Dudley.
 
Unsurprisingly the foreboding London landmark is incorporated by Bacon several times in the Shakespeare plays noticeably in Henry VI part 1 and also in Richard III with the incarceration of the young princes and the drowning of Richard’s brother George in a butt of Malmsey wine.
 
7b48b1_0d496c406fc048ce99247c1315d231c6~
Beauchamp Tower, The Tower of London
In a rather dark and heartbreaking coincidence there was a macabre Tudor parallel. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon’s younger concealed royal brother was incarcerated here in the Beauchamp Tower following the ill-fated Essex rebellion. In an ironical twist his blood father Robert Dudley was also incarcerated at the Beauchamp Tower many years earlier. The Beauchamp Tower is famous for the carvings and graffiti made by frightened prisoners leaving us connections and remembrances of their lives. According to The Tower of London, the Earl of Arundel, Thomas Abel (chaplain to Queen Katherine of Aragon) and Robert Dudley and his brothers all made carvings whilst there, which can be seen to this day. Not mentioned is the carving made by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex the secret younger son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
 
Years earlier it is said that Queen Elizabeth had given Essex a ring which if he ever forfeited her favour, if he sent it back to her, its return would ensure his pardon and forgiveness. His royal brother Francis knew that Essex had only to return the ring and all would be forgiven. He may also have been informed that Essex had sent it. But the Queen never received the ring. Elizabeth was incredulous that Essex even at his lowest point and with his life in imminent danger did not possess the humility
 
7b48b1_ef8335b5c3bc4bc6959a1307519d2980~
Robart Tidir, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth I. Thanks to Lawrence Gerald for this image.
to send the ring it to her. It reinforced her deeply held fears that her concealed son would forever remain unruly and dangerous and she finally signed his death warrant. In those last days before his execution and in the face of imminent death, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex carved into the stone wall his true name over the door way which can still be seen to this present day ‘ROBART TIDIR’, an old way of spelling ROBERT TUDOR, conveying his status as a concealed royal prince of England.

So powerful. His final statement - each capital letter etched deliberately and deep enough to last through the ages.

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On 11/1/2023 at 9:41 PM, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

We have never been able to find a picture of Lady Elizabeth Cecil Hatton. Do you know of any?

The painting we put up was of her daughter Frances and possibly the daughter of FB!🙂 

Hi A Phoenix

Unfortunately, like you, I can't find a single image of Elizabeth online. Tant pis!

 

Edited by Eric Roberts
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9 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

In those last days before his execution and in the face of imminent death, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex carved into the stone wall his true name over the door way which can still be seen to this present day ‘ROBART TIDIR’, an old way of spelling ROBERT TUDOR, conveying his status as a concealed royal prince of England.

I have made attempts over 20 years or so to find more evidence to back up claims that mostly I have heard right here on SirBacon.org about "Tidir" being an old, possibly Welsh version of "Tudor", with no luck. I am on board with the idea that this carving was by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex while he was in the Tower waiting to be executed. There must be something left from those days where Tidir and Tudor have the same meaning in print. I have not found anything yet.

Off the top of my head, on a busy day, I cannot think of an engraving or facsimile showing the name "Tudor" from 400 years ago. But I know I am forgetting an abundance of familiar images I don't recall as a I type. LOL

 

 

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The Beefeater guards at the Tower of London (1992) when asked about the Tidir scrawl, look into their book of all  historical markings that exist in the Tower and told me  there is nothing about it and they claim they don't know either. So it's still a State maintained secret. Whether Essex carved it or not, its a red flag for British History being out of joint.

Alfred Dodd, wrote that Robart Tidir  is the Welsh spelling of  Robert Tudor

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10 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

PLACES

THE TOWER OF LONDON

The Tower of London still looms large on the London landscape but it was not always the dark and foreboding place of common perception.

7b48b1_fa6d7ea1c89d443cb1c935120120e71a~
The Tower of London
It was originally a castle and royal palace on the North bank of the River Thames built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Throughout the ages it became synonymous with torture, incarcerations and executions of its unfortunate occupants which included Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Gray and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Despite its grisly reputation only a handful of high status detainees were actually executed in the Tower grounds, most prisoners were executed publicly on nearby Tower Hill. Many were incarcerated here though including Princess Elizabeth Tudor and her childhood friend Robert Dudley.
 
Unsurprisingly the foreboding London landmark is incorporated by Bacon several times in the Shakespeare plays noticeably in Henry VI part 1 and also in Richard III with the incarceration of the young princes and the drowning of Richard’s brother George in a butt of Malmsey wine.
 
7b48b1_0d496c406fc048ce99247c1315d231c6~
Beauchamp Tower, The Tower of London
In a rather dark and heartbreaking coincidence there was a macabre Tudor parallel. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, Francis Bacon’s younger concealed royal brother was incarcerated here in the Beauchamp Tower following the ill-fated Essex rebellion. In an ironical twist his blood father Robert Dudley was also incarcerated at the Beauchamp Tower many years earlier. The Beauchamp Tower is famous for the carvings and graffiti made by frightened prisoners leaving us connections and remembrances of their lives. According to The Tower of London, the Earl of Arundel, Thomas Abel (chaplain to Queen Katherine of Aragon) and Robert Dudley and his brothers all made carvings whilst there, which can be seen to this day. Not mentioned is the carving made by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex the secret younger son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
 
Years earlier it is said that Queen Elizabeth had given Essex a ring which if he ever forfeited her favour, if he sent it back to her, its return would ensure his pardon and forgiveness. His royal brother Francis knew that Essex had only to return the ring and all would be forgiven. He may also have been informed that Essex had sent it. But the Queen never received the ring. Elizabeth was incredulous that Essex even at his lowest point and with his life in imminent danger did not possess the humility
 
7b48b1_ef8335b5c3bc4bc6959a1307519d2980~
Robart Tidir, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth I. Thanks to Lawrence Gerald for this image.
to send the ring it to her. It reinforced her deeply held fears that her concealed son would forever remain unruly and dangerous and she finally signed his death warrant. In those last days before his execution and in the face of imminent death, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex carved into the stone wall his true name over the door way which can still be seen to this present day ‘ROBART TIDIR’, an old way of spelling ROBERT TUDOR, conveying his status as a concealed royal prince of England.

Photo taken after some tourist removed the glass plaque over it. I just happened to be there when it happened. Dodd says Robert Cecil had people inside that intercepted the Essex ring. If it wasn't for Robert Cecil, falsely poisoning Elizabeth's mind that Bacon was power hungry, Essex would have lived and James wouldn't have become king, England would have advanced  a better future without enduring a Civil war, with Bacon as the Rightful King.

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Thanks Lawrence we have a photo but not very clear.

  

Locked in the Tower and condemned to death Essex had given the ring to a boy with instructions to pass it to Lady Scrope a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber to give to Elizabeth. Instead the page boy mistakenly gave the ring to her sister Katherine, the Countess of Nottingham, wife of Charles Howard, first Earl of Nottingham, Essex’s sworn enemy and friend of Robert Cecil. A relative of Queen Elizabeth and Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber the Countess of Nottingham had been a close friend of Elizabeth’s for more than fifty years. She was privy to the significance of the ring and her husband fearing reprisals from Essex if he lived implored her to keep it for their own protection and survival. Thus while Essex lay in the Tower facing death agonisingly waiting for a reprieve from his mother Queen Elizabeth and she too waited night after night, sleepless and weeping, desperate for her son Essex to send the ring that would save his life, it never came and he was executed. Following his death what life Elizabeth had left slowly began to drain out of her and with it her mind began to deteriorate plaguing her to the end of her days.

   Perhaps resulting from the guilt of her actions not long after Essex’s execution the health of the Countess of Nottingham’s also began to deteriorate and steadily decline. As she lay dying on her deathbed she received a visit from Queen Elizabeth to whom she confessed that she wilfully withheld the ring. Immediately overcome by a violent passion Elizabeth grabbed the dying woman and in an inconsolable rage spat out a torrent of unrepeatable expletives ending with the exclamation “God may forgive you, Madam, but I never can!”. With the words of Queen Elizabeth still ringing in her ears Lady Nottingham soon after died at Arundel House on 24 February 1603, a death which precipitated Elizabeth’s final decline. 

 

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23 minutes ago, Lawrence Gerald said:

If it wasn't for Robert Cecil, falsely poisoning Elizabeth's mind that Bacon was power hungry, Essex would have lived and James wouldn't have become king, England would have advanced  a better future without enduring a Civil war, with Bacon as the Rightful King.

Coincidence my earbuds just played an old Kinks song I had to look up the lyrics as hearing them with a song I always liked but never listened to caught my attention.

Living on a Thin Line

Lyrics
 
All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old
But there's no England now (there's no England now)
All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore
All the lies we were told (all the lies we were told)
All the lies of the people running round
Their castles have burned
I see change
But inside we're the same
As we ever were
Living on a thin line, ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line)
Living this way, each day is a dream
What am I, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Now another century nearly gone (no, no)
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do
It's a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much? does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter? yes, it really, really matters
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Then another leader says
"Break their hearts and break some heads"
Is there nothing we can say or do?
Blame the future on the past
Always lost in bloody guts
And when they're gone, it's me and you
Living on a thin line, ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line (living on a thin line), ooh
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line, ooh
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Dave Davies
Living on a Thin Line lyrics © Carlin America Inc
 

 

 

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On 10/29/2023 at 12:00 PM, Allisnum2er said:

"An Illustrated History of Gray’s Inn tells the story of the Inn over seven centuries from 1294 when Sir Reginald de Grey purchased the lease of the old Manor of Purpoole." https://www.graysinn.org.uk/members/publications/an-illustrated-history-of-grays-inn/ . It isn't just "purple."

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7 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

With the words of Queen Elizabeth still ringing in her ears Lady Nottingham soon after died at Arundel House on 24 February 1603, a death which precipitated Elizabeth’s final decline. 

We can be reasonably certain Bacon was aware of this exchange and still kept the secret.

What a tear jerking powerful moment this will be in the Spearshaker movie.

Who will play Elizabeth??

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PEOPLE
COUNT GONDOMAR
7b48b1_79cef8c69a044baeaf0fdb0b3dd3738d~
Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Count of Gondomar was the Spanish ambassador to the Court of King James and was appointed from 1613 by the King of Spain to delicately negotiate Anglo-Spanish relations. His residence was close to the Barbican where the printer William Jaggard had his printing shop.
 
Beyond his diplomatic abilities he was a voracious collector of books and his famous library comprised of over 6000 volumes in nine different languages and a rather unusually large collection of plays with drama and theatre being a particular passion of his. He mixed with the English intellectuals and poets of the time and was acquainted with the courtier Tobie Matthew and Spanish translator James Mabbe and his network including Leonard Digges, Edward Blount and Ben Jonson – all connected to the Shakespeare First Folio. In fact, Ben Jonson mentioned Count Gondomar in a poem in The Underwood, writing of an ‘ordnance too; so much as from the Tower | T’have waked, if sleeping, Spain’s ambassador, Old Aesop Gondomar’.
 
As Spanish Ambassador Gondomar would naturally have been required to attend masques and entertainments, but his theatrical interests went far beyond politeness as shown in his correspondence where it’s clear he was immersed in the world of the English playwrights and actors. He was a regular attendee of the Twelfth Night Masques at court, the revels at the Inns of Court as well as attending public playhouses.
 
Gondomar and his entourage attended the Fortune playhouse on 16th July 1621 and afterwards shared a meal with the company of actors Palgrave’s Men. A letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton records the event: ‘The Spanish ambassador. . .is growne so affable and familiar, that on Monday with his whole traine he went to a common play at the Fortune in Golding-lane, and the players (not to be overcome with curtesie) made him a banket when the play was don in the garden adjoining.’
 
Gondomar was a close friend of Francis Bacon, a friendship that lasted many years with Bacon writing ‘Your Excellency’s love towards me I have found ever warm and sincere alike in prosperity and adversity. For which I give you due thanks.’ What may have seemed an unlikely relationship becomes more understandable when considering their shared love of books, drama and the theatre.
 
In 1621 following his fall and exile from London, Francis Bacon along with Ben Jonson and other good pens, began preparing his great literary work the Shakespeare First Folio at Bacon’s country residence Gorhambury. On the 6th June Bacon wrote an astonishing letter to his friend and fellow drama lover Gondomar revealing that he intended to retire from: ‘the stage of civil action and betake myself to letters, and to the instruction of the actors themselves, and the service of posterity.’ A course of action Gondomar would no doubt have fully approved of.
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PLACES

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY

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Trinity College, Cambridge University
In April 1573 Anthony and Francis were sent by Sir Nicholas Bacon to Trinity College, Cambridge. Francis was barely 12 years old but Sir Nicholas knew how devoted to each other they were and felt they would be suitable companions. The Master of Trinity John Whitgift, later to be Archbishop of Canterbury, was entrusted with their safe keeping and the boys were lodged in his apartments supervising not only their studies but also their domestic arrangements. There were large book purchases, including Livy, Homer, Cicero, Aristotle and Plato alongside lute strings, arrows, desks, candles, hats and repairs to stockings. There were rounds of prayers, disputations, studying and exercises all overseen by a rigorously exacting but fair Whitgift. The brothers spent almost three years at Trinity, a period twice interrupted by outbreaks of the plague which closed the university down.
 
Whilst at Trinity, Bacon read widely and took all that he felt was useful as well as indulging his love for drama and performance. It was here that Bacon developed a dislike for Aristotle mainly because he felt that philosophy should have a more beneficial and practical application to people’s lives. But it was here that Bacon first had a sudden vision for his future to make plans for the universal reformation of the whole world in order for the betterment of humankind. It was evident that Cambridge could teach him no more so Francis left without taking his degree in 1576 but was later awarded an MA in 1594.
 
In later times, he did however remember his former university and college with affection and gratitude. In 1609 he jointly dedicated The Wisdom of The Ancients to his cousin Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and ‘To His Nursing-Mother The Famous University of Cambridge’ signed ‘Your most loving pupil FRA. BACON’. When he sent presentation copies of his De Augmentis Scientiarum, accompanying letters to the university said, ‘The debts of a son, such as I can, I discharge’ and to Trinity College, ‘All things and their fruits belong to their beginnings.’
 
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There are four commemorations at Trinity College, Cambridge of their most famous son. A copy of the statue at St Michael’s Church was commissioned by the Master of Trinity College Cambridge William Whewell, sculpted by Henry Weekes and was erected in the ante-chapel of Trinty College in 1845 in honour of their most famous and illustrious alumni. Lord Bacon is also commemorated in a stained glass window on the chapel south side. He features in another painted window by Cipriani in the Wren library alongside Isaac Newton, Britannia, Fame and King George III. Also in the library sculpted by Roubiliac is a marble bust of Bacon.
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PLAYS
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

Following his return to England after a twelve-year absence in February 1592 working in the service of the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham for the English Secret Service, Anthony Bacon went to live with his brother Francis Bacon, at Gray’s Inn who was then already heavily in debt. From the moment Anthony Bacon returned to England he immediately became involved in supporting and assisting his brother Francis with his money troubles and considerable financial liabilities.

7b48b1_52d951eb9b434852aa37eb2490d526ef~
The Bacon brothers were still dealing with various loans and mounting debts when in Trinity Term 1597 a goldsmith known as Sympson of Lombard Street who held a bond for £300 principal sued Francis for repayment but agreed to respite the satisfaction of it until the beginning of the following term. However, without any warning a fortnight before Michaelmas Term commenced while Bacon was walking from the Tower at the instigation of the moneylender Sympson he was arrested with the intent of confining him to the Fleet prison. The events were to inform and colour the most famous legal play in the history of English drama The Merchant of Venice whose titular character is named Antonio, the Italian form of Anthony named after and modelled upon his brother Anthony Bacon with the Venetian Lord Bassanio, a dramatic disguise for its author Francis Bacon.
The two characters Antonio and Bassanio mirror the complex relationship and circumstances of Anthony and Francis Bacon before and during the time the play was written, revised, and performed. The play is also representative of the deep love and bond they share: ‘To you, Antonio, I owe the most in money and in love, And from your love I have a warranty To unburden all my plots and purposes How to get clear of all the debts I owe.’
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18 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Thanks Lawrence we have a photo but not very clear.

  

Locked in the Tower and condemned to death Essex had given the ring to a boy with instructions to pass it to Lady Scrope a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber to give to Elizabeth. Instead the page boy mistakenly gave the ring to her sister Katherine, the Countess of Nottingham, wife of Charles Howard, first Earl of Nottingham, Essex’s sworn enemy and friend of Robert Cecil. A relative of Queen Elizabeth and Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber the Countess of Nottingham had been a close friend of Elizabeth’s for more than fifty years. She was privy to the significance of the ring and her husband fearing reprisals from Essex if he lived implored her to keep it for their own protection and survival. Thus while Essex lay in the Tower facing death agonisingly waiting for a reprieve from his mother Queen Elizabeth and she too waited night after night, sleepless and weeping, desperate for her son Essex to send the ring that would save his life, it never came and he was executed. Following his death what life Elizabeth had left slowly began to drain out of her and with it her mind began to deteriorate plaguing her to the end of her days.

   Perhaps resulting from the guilt of her actions not long after Essex’s execution the health of the Countess of Nottingham’s also began to deteriorate and steadily decline. As she lay dying on her deathbed she received a visit from Queen Elizabeth to whom she confessed that she wilfully withheld the ring. Immediately overcome by a violent passion Elizabeth grabbed the dying woman and in an inconsolable rage spat out a torrent of unrepeatable expletives ending with the exclamation “God may forgive you, Madam, but I never can!”. With the words of Queen Elizabeth still ringing in her ears Lady Nottingham soon after died at Arundel House on 24 February 1603, a death which precipitated Elizabeth’s final decline. 

 

English_School_Portrait_of_a_Lady_1595-1

ScreenShot2023-11-03at11_36_21pm.png.04634ad8fe52cdae490830e9a59c8fba.png

ScreenShot2023-11-03at11_38_12pm.png.8a1ea9a9aa67724d79e1cde003647675.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Howard,_Countess_of_Nottingham

Edited by Eric Roberts
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16 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

So the ring exists! It makes the tragedy of Lord Essex all the more real. 

We're told that it resides in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries.

https://www.westminster-abbey.org/visit-us/plan-your-visit/the-queens-diamond-jubilee-galleries

Edited by Eric Roberts
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4 hours ago, A Phoenix said:
PEOPLE
COUNT GONDOMAR
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Don Diego Sarmiento de Acuña, Count of Gondomar was the Spanish ambassador to the Court of King James and was appointed from 1613 by the King of Spain to delicately negotiate Anglo-Spanish relations. His residence was close to the Barbican where the printer William Jaggard had his printing shop.
 
Beyond his diplomatic abilities he was a voracious collector of books and his famous library comprised of over 6000 volumes in nine different languages and a rather unusually large collection of plays with drama and theatre being a particular passion of his. He mixed with the English intellectuals and poets of the time and was acquainted with the courtier Tobie Matthew and Spanish translator James Mabbe and his network including Leonard Digges, Edward Blount and Ben Jonson – all connected to the Shakespeare First Folio. In fact, Ben Jonson mentioned Count Gondomar in a poem in The Underwood, writing of an ‘ordnance too; so much as from the Tower | T’have waked, if sleeping, Spain’s ambassador, Old Aesop Gondomar’.
 
As Spanish Ambassador Gondomar would naturally have been required to attend masques and entertainments, but his theatrical interests went far beyond politeness as shown in his correspondence where it’s clear he was immersed in the world of the English playwrights and actors. He was a regular attendee of the Twelfth Night Masques at court, the revels at the Inns of Court as well as attending public playhouses.
 
Gondomar and his entourage attended the Fortune playhouse on 16th July 1621 and afterwards shared a meal with the company of actors Palgrave’s Men. A letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton records the event: ‘The Spanish ambassador. . .is growne so affable and familiar, that on Monday with his whole traine he went to a common play at the Fortune in Golding-lane, and the players (not to be overcome with curtesie) made him a banket when the play was don in the garden adjoining.’
 
Gondomar was a close friend of Francis Bacon, a friendship that lasted many years with Bacon writing ‘Your Excellency’s love towards me I have found ever warm and sincere alike in prosperity and adversity. For which I give you due thanks.’ What may have seemed an unlikely relationship becomes more understandable when considering their shared love of books, drama and the theatre.
 
In 1621 following his fall and exile from London, Francis Bacon along with Ben Jonson and other good pens, began preparing his great literary work the Shakespeare First Folio at Bacon’s country residence Gorhambury. On the 6th June Bacon wrote an astonishing letter to his friend and fellow drama lover Gondomar revealing that he intended to retire from: ‘the stage of civil action and betake myself to letters, and to the instruction of the actors themselves, and the service of posterity.’ A course of action Gondomar would no doubt have fully approved of.

Really well done. So interesting. Great portrait of Gondomar!

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4 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

PLACES

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY

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Trinity College, Cambridge University
In April 1573 Anthony and Francis were sent by Sir Nicholas Bacon to Trinity College, Cambridge. Francis was barely 12 years old but Sir Nicholas knew how devoted to each other they were and felt they would be suitable companions. The Master of Trinity John Whitgift, later to be Archbishop of Canterbury, was entrusted with their safe keeping and the boys were lodged in his apartments supervising not only their studies but also their domestic arrangements. There were large book purchases, including Livy, Homer, Cicero, Aristotle and Plato alongside lute strings, arrows, desks, candles, hats and repairs to stockings. There were rounds of prayers, disputations, studying and exercises all overseen by a rigorously exacting but fair Whitgift. The brothers spent almost three years at Trinity, a period twice interrupted by outbreaks of the plague which closed the university down.
 
Whilst at Trinity, Bacon read widely and took all that he felt was useful as well as indulging his love for drama and performance. It was here that Bacon developed a dislike for Aristotle mainly because he felt that philosophy should have a more beneficial and practical application to people’s lives. But it was here that Bacon first had a sudden vision for his future to make plans for the universal reformation of the whole world in order for the betterment of humankind. It was evident that Cambridge could teach him no more so Francis left without taking his degree in 1576 but was later awarded an MA in 1594.
 
In later times, he did however remember his former university and college with affection and gratitude. In 1609 he jointly dedicated The Wisdom of The Ancients to his cousin Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury and ‘To His Nursing-Mother The Famous University of Cambridge’ signed ‘Your most loving pupil FRA. BACON’. When he sent presentation copies of his De Augmentis Scientiarum, accompanying letters to the university said, ‘The debts of a son, such as I can, I discharge’ and to Trinity College, ‘All things and their fruits belong to their beginnings.’
 
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There are four commemorations at Trinity College, Cambridge of their most famous son. A copy of the statue at St Michael’s Church was commissioned by the Master of Trinity College Cambridge William Whewell, sculpted by Henry Weekes and was erected in the ante-chapel of Trinty College in 1845 in honour of their most famous and illustrious alumni. Lord Bacon is also commemorated in a stained glass window on the chapel south side. He features in another painted window by Cipriani in the Wren library alongside Isaac Newton, Britannia, Fame and King George III. Also in the library sculpted by Roubiliac is a marble bust of Bacon.

 ‘All things and their fruits belong to their beginnings.’

How magnanimous.

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2 minutes ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Eric,

came across this other connection to the ring - I thought it may have been something you posted because of the Australian connection but I'm not sure where it's come from.

The Essex Ring Auction 1911 (1).pdf 410.42 kB · 0 downloads

Thanks A P. I'd quite forgotten that archival snippet. I wonder who the buyer was in 1911 - the Saxe-Coburgs, perhaps?

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