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The Bacon Blindness & Ignorance of Shakespeare Authorship Commentators


A Phoenix

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                                            The Bacon Blindness & Ignorance of Shakespeare Authorship Commentators

                                                                                       Professor William D. Rubinstein

I have for quite a while had some very warm exchanges with quite a few Shakespeare authorship commentators regarding Lord Bacon's authorship of the Shakespeare works. Invariably, their level of knowledge about the life and writings of FB is to put it mildly frankly shocking, and their ignorance of the evidence and facts demonstrating his authorship of the Shakespeare works, actually beggars belief. Many of these being professors and academics who present themselves as experts and authorities on Shakespeare and the authorship of the Shakespeare works. A case in point is the current exchange I am at the moment having with Professor Rubinstein on the Oxford is Shakespeare Group Page who himself maintains that Sir Henry Neville (d. 1615) is the secret author of the Shakespeare works. He is the co-author of the following two full-length works:

Brenda James and William D. Rubinstein, The Truth Will Out Unmasking the Real Shakespeare (Harlowe: Pearson Longman, 2005)

John Casson and William D. Rubinstein, Sir Henry Neville Was Shakespeare: The Evidence (2016). 

My surreal exchange with Professor Rubinstein has been going for the best part of a week much of which on his part has to be seen to be believed. For those who wish to read it see the Oxford is Shakespeare Group Page.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/506798023644643/posts/1101327620858344/?comment_id=1101930054131434&reply_comment_id=1102754627382310&notif_id=1698984190323304&notif_t=group_comment

He put up the following post yesterday which can be read below followed by my point by point response to the statements made therein.  

Professor Rubinstein

'Again, I simply don't agree with you, and all that "Rosicrucian-Freemason" stuff is absurd conspiracy theory nonsense. I re read Bacon's entry on wikipedia and in the ODNB, and I cannot find the slightest evidence that he had anything to do with the plays. There are numerous obvious deficiencies in the Baconian theory. Let me set out some briefly: 1. Shakespeare's oeuvre changed dramatically in 1601. From then, and not before, he wrote the Great Tragedies, starting with Hamlet in 1601, Othello in 1602, etc. All biographers of Shakespeare know that something traumatic must have happened then to alter his work so radically, but simply cannot explain it. What happened to Bacon to explain it? Nothing, so far as I can see. In contrast, Neville was thrown into the Tower, along with Southampton, for his part in the Essex rebellion, where he stayed until James came to the throne (he was able to write, etc.). 2. Bacon does not appear to have been a director of the London Virginia Company. Only directors of the Company were allowed to read the Strachey Letter of 1610, which was clearly used as one of the bases of The Tempest of 1611. This also lets Shakespeare out- he had no connection with the Company. Neville in contrast was a director. 3. You have to provide some explanation of the Sonnets dedication, and why it was published just then in April 1609, who "Mr. W.H." was, and the many other mysteries about it. With Neville you can. How did Thomas Thorpe obtain all 154 Sonnets from Bacon, and why? With or without his knowledge and approval? There are dozens of other points I could raise, but will stop now.'

Dear Professor Rubinstein,

REPLY No. 1

You raised several points which I will address in order.

1] Firstly, you stated ‘I simply don't agree with you, and all that "Rosicrucian-Freemason" stuff is absurd conspiracy theory nonsense’. I assume it had not occurred to you a similar dismissive response might be made regarding your belief Sir Henry Neville wrote the Shakespeare plays as nothing more than ‘absurd conspiracy theory nonsense’. It is hard to know precisely what you meant by your unacademic and pejorative phrase ‘all that "Rosicrucian-Freemason" stuff’, however regarding evidence and facts about Francis Bacon and his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood see some of the following works for you instruction and enlightenment:

W. F. C. Wigston, Bacon Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians (London: George Redway, 1888)

W. F. C. Wigston, Francis Bacon Poet, Prophet, Philosopher versus Phantom Captain Shakespeare the Rosicrucian Mask (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd, 1891)

C. M. Pott, Francis Bacon and his Secret Society (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1911)

Alfred Dodd, Shakespeare Creator of Freemasonry Being a Remarkable Examination of the Plays and Poems, which proves incontestably that these works were saturated in Masonry, that Shakespeare was a Freemason and the Founder of the Fraternity (London: Rider & Co, 1937)

Alfred Dodd, Francis Bacons Personal Life-Story (London: Rider & Company, 1986)

Karl F. Hollenbach, Francis Rosicross (Ekron, Kentucky: Dunsinane Hill Publications, 1996)

Peter Dawkins, Bacon, Shakespeare & Fra. Christian Rose Cross (Francis Bacon Research Trust, 1989)

Peter Dawkins, Building Paradise the Freemasonic and Rosicrucian Six Days’ Work (Francis Bacon Research Trust, 2001)

A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon, the God-like Rosicrucian Figure of Duke Vincentio and the Unpublished Speeches of Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon, in Measure for Measure’, (2021), pp. 1-48

A. Phoenix, The Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion (2023)

For a list of nearly fifty articles on Francis Bacon, Shakespeare and the Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood see A. M. Challinor, Francis Bacon Philosopher, Statesman, Poet: An Index to Baconiana and its predecessors, 1886-1999 (The Francis Bacon Society, 2001), pp. 100, 134.

REPLY No. 2

Secondly you stated ‘I re read Bacon's entry on wikipedia and in the ODNB, and I cannot find the slightest evidence that he had anything to do with the plays’. I think this tells us everything we need to know. You clearly have very little or virtually no knowledge of Francis Bacon-his  life or works-and the mountainous evidence overwhelmingly demonstrating his authorship of the Shakespeare works. So much so that the extent of your ‘research’ began and ended with the entry of FB in Wikipedia and the ODNB! Nevertheless, even though you know virtually nothing about Bacon and his authorship of the Shakespeare works, you proceed to offer opinions in terms of certainty regarding evidence pertaining to it, that you don’t know and have never read. The inherent contradictory absurdity of your position and statements will no doubt be self-evident to everyone reading this post.

This is after I sent you links to one book and two long articles on three primary documents as follows, which you ignored and have clearly not read:

A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022), 239 pages.

A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon and the so-called ‘Dering’ Manuscript of Henry IV, the Unique and Earliest Known Manuscript of a Shakespeare play: or the Holy Grail of Shakespeare Scholarship a Shakespeare Manuscript (c.1596) Originating from Bacon's Literary Workshop and Corrected in his Hand’, (2022), pp. 1-126.

A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon's Private Manuscript Notebook (Known as the Promus of Formularies and Elegancies) the Source of Several Hundred Resemblances, Correspondences and Parallels Found Throughout his Shakespeare Poems and Plays’, (2023), pp. 1-133.

Furthermore, I sent you a link to 3 recent books and 30 academic papers containing extensive and irrefutable evidence that Bacon wrote the Shakespeare works which again you ignored and have clearly not read:

 https://aphoenix1.academia.edu/research

REPLY No. 3

Thirdly, you then astonishingly on the basis you know very little about Francis Bacon and his secret authorship of the Shakespeare works proceeded to state ‘There are numerous obvious deficiencies in the Baconian theory. Let me set out some briefly’:  

‘1. Shakespeare’s oeuvre changed dramatically in 1601. From then, and not before, he wrote the Great Tragedies, starting with Hamlet in 1601, Othello in 1602, etc. All biographers of Shakespeare know that something traumatic must have happened then to alter his work so radically, but simply cannot explain it. What happened to Bacon to explain it? Nothing, so far as I can see. In contrast, Neville was thrown into the Tower, along with Southampton, for his part in the Essex rebellion, where he stayed until James cam [sic] to the throne (he was able to write, etc.).’

This again clearly demonstrates you know nothing about some of the most important and well-known aspects of the life and times of Francis Bacon. There is not enough space here for an extensive answer but one or two points in passing should suffice. You mention Bacon’s cousin Sir Henry Neville was thrown in the Tower with the Earl of Southampton and the Earl of Essex. From 1590 onwards Bacon acted as special adviser to the Earl of Essex. Francis and Anthony Bacon ran the English Secret Service from Essex House on the Strand where they both at times resided, with Essex acting as some kind of de facto Foreign Secretary, and where Southampton visited on an almost daily basis. The first two volumes of the standard work of The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon by his great editor and biographer James Spedding are taken up with the relationship between Bacon and Essex and orthodox and Baconian full-length works have been written on their open and secret relationship. It was the devastating tragedy of Essex’s trial and execution in 1601 that served as a traumatic trigger to Bacon’s Shakespeare tragedies beginning with The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmark

See A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon and his earliest Shakespeare play Hamlet: A Tudor Family Tragedy’, (2021), pp. 1-109

https://www.academia.edu/48910078/Francis_Bacon_and_his_earliest_Shakespeare_play_Hamlet_A_Tudor_Family_Tragedy

The tragedy of Hamlet shadows the most explosive and sensational secrets of the Elizabethan reign in which the not so Virgin Queen Elizabeth was secretly married to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester with whom she had two concealed royal princes Francis Tudor Bacon and Robert Tudor Devereux. It tells the tale of its author a disinherited royal prince Francis Tudor Bacon in the shape of Hamlet who is denied his rightful kingship by his mother Queen Elizabeth and the exhaustion and death of the royal Tudor dynasty.

Behind its dramatis personae lies the leading figures of the Elizabethan period: Francis Bacon Tudor concealed Prince of Wales (Prince Hamlet), Queen Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Gertrude) and her secret husband Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (King Claudius), Robert Tudor Devereux, the second Earl of Essex (Laertes), Sir Nicholas Bacon (the Ghost of Old Hamlet) and Sir William Cecil (Polonius). 

Interspersed throughout the whole of the dissertation of the telling of this royal Tudor tragedy are lines, sentences and passages identical in thought and similar in expression, providing resemblances, correspondences and parallels from more than thirty of Bacon’s writings and works, among them: unpublished manuscripts, private letters and speeches; various essays including Of Revenge and Of Death, the two central themes of the play; as well as An Inquiry Concerning the Ways of Death and The History of Life and Death; short occasional pieces Physiological Remains and Short Notes for Civil Conversation; political works A Brief Discourse Touching the Happy Union of the Kingdom of England and Scotland and The Case of the Post-Nati of Scotland as well as the state sanctioned A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons of the Earl of Essex; his major philosophical and scientific treatises The Advancement of Learning, The Wisdom of the Ancients, Novum Organum, De Augmentis Scientiarum and Sylva Sylvarum; and several of his obscure or relatively unknown and unread legal treatises A Discourse upon the Commission of Bridewell, The Argument in Lowes Case of Tenures, The Charge of Owen Indicted for High Treason, The Reading Upon the Statues of Uses, The Maxims of the Common Law and The Ordinances made by Lord Chancellor Bacon in Chancery.

This and other evidence confirm beyond any reasonable doubt Francis Bacon’s authorship of the greatest Shakespeare tragedy in the history of world literature.

REPLY No. 4

You state:

‘2. Bacon does not appear to have been a director of the London Virginia Company. Only directors of the Company were allowed to read the Strachey Letter of 1610, which was clearly used as one of the bases of The Tempest of 1611. This also lets Shakespeare out- he had no connection with the Company. Neville in contrast was a director.’

In 1606 the Virginia Company was formed to organize and promote the colonisation of Virginia and shortly after the first permanent English-speaking settlement in the continent of North America was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, the seed that grew and evolved into the first modern constitutional and federal republic, the United States of America. One man Francis Bacon was more than any other responsible for directing this grand enterprise.

Those behind it issued its first charter in 1606 which established a Virginia Council in England comprised of thirteen unnamed members who it says were to be ‘appointed by us, our heirs and successors’, and that it shall have the superior managing and direction of all matters concerning the government of the colonies. The second charter issued in 1609 lists the names of Francis Bacon, Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke and Sir Henry Neville. A third charter in 1612 registers Mary, Countess of Pembroke and her other son Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery, and Sir Henry Wotton. All three charters were written by Bacon.

In an attempt to allay the growing disquiet about the Virginia colony and to raise much needed funds the Virginia Council entered in the Stationers’ Register on 14 December 1609 A Trve and Sincere declaration of the purpose and ends of the Plantation begun in Virginia anonymously written by Bacon, which was most probably published shortly after. On 8 November 1610 the Virginia Council entered on the Stationers’ Register a second similarly titled document A Trve Declaration of the estate of the Colonie in Virginia, with a confutation of such scandalous reports as haue tended to the disgrace of so worthy an enterprise again anonymously written by its prime mover Bacon.

For self-evident reasons the Virginia Council of which Bacon was the key member attached strict secrecy to all communications, manuscripts and writings relating to the colony that it did not want conveying to the public, that might in any way jeopardise the success of the project and future of the North American continent.

Having access to Strachey’s True Reportory of the Wrack dated 15 July 1610 (not published until 1625) Bacon made use of it for the latter A True Declaration a direct and immediate source for his New World masterpiece The Tempest. The first recorded performance of The Tempest took place on 1 November 1611 at the royal court of James I. It opens with an inspired dramatic enactment of the tempest faced by the Sea Venture which occurred off the coast of Bermuda as the colonists headed to Virginia, representing a dramatic symbolic portrayal of the birth of what became the United States of America.

In search of his fortune Strachey left London and set sail for the New World on the Sea Adventure. While still in Virginia, or shortly after returning to England he began to write The Historie of Travaile into Virginia Brittania which he probably completed around the end of 1612. It was first published in 1849 by R. H. Major. Three manuscripts of the work survive. The third and revised manuscript was presented to Bacon in 1618 ‘To the Right Honourable SIR FRANCIS BACON, Knight, Baron of Verulam, Lord High Chancellor of England, and of His Majesties most honorable Privy Counsell’, accompanied by the following dedicatory letter:

 Most worthely honord Lord 

      Your Lordship ever approving yourself a most noble fautor of the Virginian Plantation, being from the beginning (with other lords and earles) of the principal counsell applyed to propogate and quide yt: and my poore self (bound to your observaunce, by being one of the Graies-Inne Societie) having bene there three yeares thither, imploied in place of secretarie so long there present; and setting downe with all my welmeaning abilities a true narration or historie of the countrie: to whome shoulde I submitt so aptly, and with so much dutye, the most humble present thereof, as to your most worthie and best-judging Lordship? who in all vertuous and religious endeavours have ever bene, as a supreame encourager, so an inimitable patterne and perfecter: nor shall my plaine and rude composition any thought discourage my attempt, since howsoever I should feare to appeare therein before so matchles a maister in that facultie (if any opinionate worth of mine owne worke presented me) yet as the great Composer of all things made all good with his owne goodnes, and in our only will to his imitation takes us into his act, so be his goodnes your good Lordships in this acceptation: for which with all my poore service I shall abide ever 

                                                                                  Your best Lordship's most humbly,

                                                                                        WILLIAM STRACHEY.

For a detailed discussion of the above see A. Phoenix, The Fraudulent Friedmans: The Bacon Ciphers in the Shakespeare Works, (2022), pp. 173-80.

https://www.academia.edu/81465877/The_Fraudulent_Friedmans_The_Bacon_Ciphers_in_the_Shakespeare_Works

REPLY NO. 5

You state ‘You have to provide some explanation of the Sonnets dedication, and why it was published just then in April 1609, who "Mr. W.H." was, and the many other mysteries about it. With Neville you can. How did Thomas Thorpe obtain all 154 Sonnets from Bacon, and why? With or without his knowledge and approval?’ 

Why do I? But while we are here, see the following:

Alfred Dodd, The Personal Poems of Francis Bacon (Our Shake-speare) The Son of Queen Elizabeth. As Revealed by The Sonnets arranged in the correct numerical and chronological order (Liverpool: Daily Post Printers, 1945).

Edward D Johnson, Shake-speares Sonnets (London: The Francis Bacon Society, 1962).

For a list of more than 40 articles on Bacon and his Shakespeare Sonnets see A. M. Challinor, Francis Bacon Philosopher, Statesman, Poet: An Index to Baconiana and its predecessors, 1886-1999 (The Francis Bacon Society, 2001), pp. 140-41.

THE SECRET SIGNATURES OF FRANCIS BACON IN THE 1609 EDITION OF THE SHAKE-SPEARE SONNETS:

The first lines of the opening Sonnet in the 1609 edition of the Shake-speare Sonnets begins with a monogram, a motif of two or more letters, signifying a person’s initials used as an overt or cryptic device. The large capital F and capital R (and following the indentation) a capital B  in the first Sonnet provides the initials of Fr[ancis] B[acon] author of the Shakespeare Sonnets.

The Shakespeare narrative poem A Lovers Complaint published as part of the first edition of the Shakespeare Sonnets again commences with a large capital F and enclosed within it are two other capital letters R and A and down below it the letters which make up MY NAME and from the ‘b’ in the third line reading upwards ‘a’ and ‘con’ for Bacon: thus it reads MY NAME IS FRA [NCIS] BACON.

 

 

Sonnets.png

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Professor "Willy" Rubinstein has again thus proven himself to be a fool and hopefully your points will go into the footnotes of any biography that may be written about him.

I remember when his book came out about 15 years ago and flopped due to being a foolish folly. LOL

Thank you A. Phoenix for having the iron stomach to dialog with him and revealing his continuing deception (as I do not believe he is a blind as he appears).

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2 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

A case in point is the current exchange I am at the moment having with Professor Rubinstein on the Oxford is Shakespeare Group Page who himself maintains that Sir Henry Neville (d. 1615) is the secret author of the Shakespeare works. He is the co-author of the following two full-length works:

Brenda James and William D. Rubinstein, The Truth Will Out Unmasking the Real Shakespeare (Harlowe: Pearson Longman, 2005)

John Casson and William D. Rubinstein, Sir Henry Neville Was Shakespeare: The Evidence (2016). 

On SirBacon.org since the book came out, which is why it was familiar to me. LOL

https://sirbacon.org/truthwillout.htm

 

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Thank you AP for sharing this dialogue with William Rubinstein. It is of great service  to all  by illustrating how many  shallow authorship researchers  get so caught up in  their zealousness that it  causes them to be compelled  to think they can get away with an unresearched opinion while allowing themselves permission to spread their dogma as fact. It's equally embarrassing and pitiful that  he is or was a Professor and that he relies on wikipedia as his source for Bacon research. People like this use the Authorship controversy  for personal aggrandizement and if the historical truth doesn't fit into their mind set, then cognitive dissonance will  set in and protect their fragility from an advancement of learning. Rubinstein should go to this room and read about Bacon's The Four Idols which he predictably will not do.

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The book has a teaser online for free on Google Books. I will not likely pay for or read it, but might poke around in the teaser randomly. I see Mark Rylance wrote the forward ending with the following including a Bacon quote:

https://books.google.com/books?id=BsEtDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT210&lpg=PT210#v=onepage&q&f=false

image.png.88db7d179207a53fb985fa73f3eb264e.png

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6 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Professor Rubinstein

'Again, I simply don't agree with you, and all that "Rosicrucian-Freemason" stuff is absurd conspiracy theory nonsense...'

Statements like that from a "professional academic and an independent scholar" help clarify who he is, where he has been, and how much (or little) he knows.

EDIT:

Seems to me that Brenda James probably wrote the book and somehow got Will P to agree to "co-author" it. So he would be very ignorant about a lot. Brenda seems to stay in the shadows even with a few books out.

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Hi Rob, 

On reading The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare (2005) co-authored by Brenda James and Professor William D. Rubinstein  I asked myself just how much of it was written by Professor Rubinstein, a Professor of Modern History at the University of Wales, Professor at Deakin University in Australia, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences, and Associate of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust. The work is marred by inaccuracies, misleading statements, simplistic distortions, misrepresentations and omissions, all bound up in a quagmire of woeful and lamentable ignorance.

Here is an example:

1] 'Bacon wrote no surviving poetry or drama' (p. 150). 

FB wrote several surviving poems or pieces of poetry. For The world's a Bubble and The translations of Certain Psalms see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 332-40. 

Before the appearance of a printed quarto edition of a Shakespeare play with the pseudonym William Shake-speare printed on its title page which first occurred in 1598 Bacon wrote several surviving dramatic devices, masques, entertainments and a play which ushered in the Shakespearean era:

For The Misfortune of Arthur (1588) see A. Phoenix, 'Francis Bacon and his First Unacknowledged Shakespeare Play The Misfortunes of Arthur and its Extensive Links to his other Shakespeare Works', (2021), pp. 1-136; 547 references.

For the dramatic devices written by Bacon for Essex for presentation before Queen Elizabeth on her Anniversary Day 'Of Tribute; or giving what is due' (1592) and 'Of Love and Self-Love' (1595) see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 22-51, 61-68 and Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight, The Oxford Francis Bacon Early Writings 1584-1596 (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2012), pp. 235-97, 675-722. For their links to his Shakespeare poems and plays see A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022), pp. 51-61, 73-93.  

For the dramatic entertainment at the Christmas Gray's Inn Revels (1594-5) see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 52-60; Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight, The Oxford Francis Bacon Early Writings 1584-1596 (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2012), pp. 583-606; N. B. Cockburn, The Bacon Shakespeare Question (Guildford and Kings Lynn: Biddles Limited, 1988), pp. 105-28 and for its law and themes linked to The Comedy of Errors premiered at the Gray's Inn Revels, see  A. Phoenix, 'Francis Bacon & The Law In His Early Shakespeare Plays Reflected In His Life & Acknowledged Writings', (2021), pp. 57-68. 

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2 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

Hi Rob, 

On reading The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare (2005) co-authored by Brenda James and Professor William D. Rubinstein  I asked myself just how much of it was written by Professor Rubinstein, a Professor of Modern History at the University of Wales, Professor at Deakin University in Australia, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences, and Associate of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust. The work is marred by inaccuracies, misleading statements, simplistic distortions, misrepresentations and omissions, all bound up in a quagmire of woeful and lamentable ignorance.

Here is an example:

1] 'Bacon wrote no surviving poetry or drama' (p. 150). 

FB wrote several surviving poems or pieces of poetry. For The world's a Bubble and The translations of Certain Psalms see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 332-40. 

Before the appearance of a printed quarto edition of a Shakespeare play with the pseudonym William Shake-speare printed on its title page which first occurred in 1598 Bacon wrote several surviving dramatic devices, masques, entertainments and a play which ushered in the Shakespearean era:

For The Misfortune of Arthur (1588) see A. Phoenix, 'Francis Bacon and his First Unacknowledged Shakespeare Play The Misfortunes of Arthur and its Extensive Links to his other Shakespeare Works', (2021), pp. 1-136; 547 references.

For the dramatic devices written by Bacon for Essex for presentation before Queen Elizabeth on her Anniversary Day 'Of Tribute; or giving what is due' (1592) and 'Of Love and Self-Love' (1595) see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 22-51, 61-68 and Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight, The Oxford Francis Bacon Early Writings 1584-1596 (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2012), pp. 235-97, 675-722. For their links to his Shakespeare poems and plays see A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022), pp. 51-61, 73-93.  

For the dramatic entertainment at the Christmas Gray's Inn Revels (1594-5) see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 52-60; Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight, The Oxford Francis Bacon Early Writings 1584-1596 (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2012), pp. 583-606; N. B. Cockburn, The Bacon Shakespeare Question (Guildford and Kings Lynn: Biddles Limited, 1988), pp. 105-28 and for its law and themes linked to The Comedy of Errors premiered at the Gray's Inn Revels, see  A. Phoenix, 'Francis Bacon & The Law In His Early Shakespeare Plays Reflected In His Life & Acknowledged Writings', (2021), pp. 57-68. 

Hi A Phoenix

Thank you from me also for posting your lengthy "conversation" with the immaculately credentialed Prof. Never mind him. You know that the omnipresent AI is listening and learning from everything you publish online. 

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PROFESSOR STANLEY WELLS

From his student graduate days Professor Stanley Wells steadily rose through the Stratfordian ranks to eventually replace his veritable hero Samuel Schoenbaum as Mr Shakespeare. Wells joined the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford in 1959 beginning his long association with the Royal Shakespeare Company later serving as its director and vice-chairman of the governors. The Shakespeare Institute forms part of the University of Birmingham where he taught at undergraduate and graduate level allowing him to undertake research and publish his first work the Royal Shakespeare. He also worked on the New Penguin Shakespeare edition and edited three of the plays. In 1978 he was appointed to head the newly formed Shakespeare Department at Oxford University Press where he worked for the next ten years preparing a new edition of The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works published by Clarendon Press in 1986 with Gary Taylor as its joint general editor followed by a Textual Companion the next year. The Oxford edition was described by Shakespeare scholar Professor John Carey as ‘the most interesting since the First Folio’ and is probably the most widely available scholarly edition of Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. He also edited the Shakespeare Survey issued by Cambridge University Press. With the Oxford Shakespeare completed Wells returned to the Shakespeare Institute in 1998 as its director, a position he retired from in 1997, enabling him to concentrate on his activities at the Shakespeare Centre as Chairman of the Birthplace Trust. Throughout this time Professor Wells tells us ‘I have led the life of a professional Shakespearian, lecturing, attending and organizing conferences at home and overseas (some of them in my capacity as chairman of the International Shakespeare Association), reviewing books and performances, broadcasting, and producing editions, books, and articles.’ (Stanley Wells, Shakespeare For All Time, London: Macmillan, 2002), pp. xix, 384-86).

His omnipresence and contribution around the globe in all orthodox areas of Shakespeare has been immense. His multi-various positions as head of the Shakespeare Department at Oxford University Press, general editor of the Oxford Shakespeare Works, director of the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford, Chairman of the Birthplace Trust, and Chairman of the International Shakespeare Association, as well as his innumerable publications, many of them carrying the imprint weight of the Oxford and Cambridge University Press, secured for him an international reputation as the highest living world authority on Shakespeare.

His publications of course include the obligatory fictional biography on William Shakspere of Stratford entitled Shakespeare: A Dramatic Life (1994), wherein he addresses the doubts about whether Shakspere wrote the Shakespeare works, by making a series of misleading and false statements that there are 3 pieces of contemporary evidence that link him with the dramatist:

Those who doubt that Shakespeare wrote the works often claim that there is nothing to connect William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon with the writer, but this is not true. Admittedly, references to him in local records do not identify him as a man of the theatre, but neither do they ascribe any other trade or profession to him. And three pieces of contemporary evidence firmly link the Warwickshire gentleman (as he became) with the London playwright. One is his will, with its bequests to Heminges, Burbage, and Condell. Another is his monument, which bears an inscription linking him with Socrates and Virgil and stating that with him ‘quick nature died’, and that ‘all that he hath writ/Leaves living art but page to serve his wit’ (a cryptic remark which I take to mean that everything that he has written leaves an art that lives, if only on the page, to demonstrate his genius, with perhaps a pun on page as ‘side of sheet of paper’ and ‘pageboy’). And third is Ben Jonson’s linking in his poem of this ‘Star of poets’ with his home territory, as the ‘Sweet swan of Avon’.   

[Stanley Wells, Shakespeare A Dramatic Life (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994), p. 10]

1] In the will which it has been claimed is a forgery or is in one way or another fraudulent there is the following interpolation which reads ‘to my fellowes John Hemynge Richard Burbage & Henry Cundell xxvjs viijd a peece to buy them Ringes’ (E. K. Chambers, William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1930), II, p. 172). The statement by Professor Wells that it links William Shakspere of Stratford with the dramatist Shakespeare is false. The interpolation (fraudulent or otherwise) says he left money for bequests to Heminges, Burbage and Condell, which in no way whatsoever links him, to the dramatist Shakespeare.

2] The statement made by Wells that the monument bears an inscription linking Shakspere with Socrates and Virgil is disingenuous and misleading. It does not link Shakspere of Stratford with the dramatist Shakespeare, rather it alludes to the true author of the Shakespeare works.

 On the present-day tablet of the Stratford monument there is the following engraving:

                          IVDICIO PYLIVM GENIO SOCRATEM, ARTE MARONEM,

                            TERRA TEGIT, POPVLVS MAERET, OLYMPVS HABET.

A free translation of the Latin inscription at the head of the monument is given by B. Roland Lewis:

               Him who in judgement was a Nestor, in intellect was a Socrates, in art was a

                     Virgil, the earth encloses, the populace mourn, and Olympus holds.

In the months following Bacon’s recorded death his private secretary and Rosicrucian Brother Dr Rawley compiled and published a commemorative work in his honour entitled Memoriae honoratissimi Domini Francisci, Baronis de Verulumio, vice-comitis Sancti Albani sacrum, otherwise known as Manes Verulamiani. This rare volume contains thirty-two Latin verses in praise of Bacon with an introduction by Dr Rawley. The orthodox editors and biographers of Bacon (and those of Shakspere including Wells) have continued to suppress and pass over the contents of this critically important work to the present day. Several of these verses portray Bacon as a secret supreme poet and dramatist of comedies and tragedies written under the pseudonym Shakespeare:

Similar sentiments to those expressed in the Latin inscription on the Stratford Monument are very closely echoed by several of the verses in the Manes Verulamiani:

THE STRATFORD MONUMENT                  THE MANES VERULAMIANI 

        JUDICIO PYLIUM                                   For if venerable Virtue, if Wisdom’s

      A Nestor in judgement                                wreaths make an ancient, you were

(Nestor was the king of Pylus and                     older than Nestor.

renowned for his wisdom, eloquence                                [Elegy 27]

and justice)

           

                                                           Genius and eloquence flowing with mighty stream,

                                                           the ornament equally of the philosopher and the judge.

                                                                                            [Elegy 8]

 

GENIO SOCRATEM                                                    .      ...so did Philosophy entangled in the

A Socrates in his genius                            subtleties of Schoolmen seek Bacon as a deliverer…                 

                                                                  he renovated her (philosophy) walking lowly in the              

                                                                  shoes of Comedy. After that more elaborately he rises

                                                                  on the loftier tragic buskin.

                                                                                                [Elegy 4]

 

                                                                 The very nerve of genius, the marrow of persuasion,

                                                                 the golden stream of eloquence, the precious gem of

                                                                 concealed literature…

                                                                                               [Elegy 9]

 

    ARTE MARONEM                                          You have written, O! Bacon! the

A Maro (Virgil) in his art                                      history of the life and death of us all;

(Virgil was recognized as                                     who, I ask, is capable of (writing)

the greatest Roman poet)                                      the history either of your life or

                                                                              death? alas! Nay, give place, O

                                                                              Greeks! give place, Maro, first in

                                                                              Latin story.

                                                                                                [Elegy 16]

 

   OLYMPUS HABET                                         The Verulamian star now glitters in

  He resides in Olympus                                        ruddy Olympus.

                                                                                                 [Elegy 23]

[A. Phoenix, The 1623 Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion (2023), pp. 181-82]    

 

3] The statement by Wells that Ben Jonson’s poem in the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio links him the ‘Sweet swan of Avon’ is also illusory and deceptive.

During the period the Shakespeare First Folio was going through the Jaggards’ printing presses Jonson was living with Bacon at Gorhambury working alongside him preparing and composing some of its prefatory material.

With his customary dexterity and using his powers of guile and ambiguity, Jonson repeatedly alludes to the secret identity of his beloved author Bacon-Shakespeare. He slyly hints that its hidden author is still alive ‘Thou art a Moniment without a tombe,/And art aliue still, while thy book doth liue’, insinuating he is still literally alive as well as metaphorically through his work, which will be read till the end of time.

His beloved poet Bacon-Shakespeare out-compares all that Greece and Rome had to offer:

                                               Leave thee alone, for the comparison                         

                                          Of all, that insolent Greece, or haughtie Rome

                                               sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.

In his posthumously published meditations Timber: Or, Discoveries Jonson again writes of his king Bacon by repeating the wording he used for him in his verse prefixed to the Shakespeare First Folio:

He [Bacon], who hath fill’d up all numbers; and perform’d that in our tongue,

which may be compar’d, or preferr’d either to insolent Greece, or haughty Rome.

In his verse Ben Jonson refers to the soul of the age as the Sweet Swan of Avon. In typical Jonsonian fashion the ambiguous line is introduced for the purposes of misleading those simple souls who merely read and understand things on a literal plain (children and schoolmen, etc):        

                                Sweet Swan of Auon! what a sight it were

                                      To see thee in our waters yet appeare,

                                And make those flights vpon the bankes of Thames,

                                      That so did take Eliza, and our Iames!

On one level read literally it seems to be an apparent allusion to William Shakspere of Stratford intended as a misdirection for maintaining the Rosicrucian illusion of Bacon’s pseudonymity. The artful Jonson knew the nom de plume Shakespeare would stealthily secure for Bacon his unparalleled place in the pantheon of immortality, one secretly safeguarded for posterity by a divine Baconian swan, carried on to immortality by his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood.

With his Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Grand Master Bacon, Rare Ben had a love of anagrams and he thoughtfully incorporated one in the last six lines of his verse ‘To the memory of my beloued, The Avthor Mr. William Shakespeare’, communicating a secret message to posterity regarding the true identity of our immortal poet Shakespeare, by spelling out down the left-hand side his name, BACON:

                                          But stay, I see thee in the Hemisphere

                                                Aduancd and made a Constellation there!            

                                           Shine forth, thou Starre of Poets, and with rage,   

                                                Or influence, chide, or cheere the drooping Stage;                                         

                                           Which, since by flight fro[m] hence, hath mournd like night,

                                                 And despaires day, but for thy Volumes light.

                                                                      BACON.

[A. Phoenix, The 1623 Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion (2023), pp. 144-49]

As shown above there is no hard incontrovertible ‘contemporary evidence’ to ‘firmly link the Warwickshire gentleman (as he became) with the London playwright’. Professor Wells, honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, seen as the world’s foremost expert on Shakespeare, is an apologist and sophist for the greatest literary fraud in the history of literature.

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EXCELLENT A.P !

All's Not Well with Stanley. This man suffers from Cognitive Dissonance, unknowingly.

wells2.jpg 

photo by Antonine Lakosh

"Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade." Measure for Measure

 "These we call Idols of the Theatre, for we account all invented systems of philosophy as so many stage-plays, representing scenic and fictitious worlds.......Nor in this do we comprehend only the universal philosophies, but all principles and axioms of Knowledge which have thrived on tradition, credulity and negligence........"-Francis Baconnot accidental, but a trade." Measure for Measure

Stanley Wells President of the Shakespeare Birthplace MIStrust, Fraud in Chief and Obfuscator of   Shakespeare Idolatry, Paid Pied Piper of the Faustian $tratfordian THEORY, incapable of connecting the dots of truth,  Honorary member and Perennial  Winner of the Francis Bacon The Four Idols Club Award,  on his cell phone outside the New Theatre Royal in Bathe maybe finding out that he's taking a royal bath during the  public 1997 authorship debate?

See :  Sir Francis Carr debates Wells

https://sirbacon.org/links/debate.html

wells2.jpg

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Curious how the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is so bold to suggest they created the story of Shakespeare on their website. When they bought the property in 1847 they knew exactly what they were going to do. It was not about history, certainly not about truth, it was and still is all about money. They had a plan, and here we are today doing what we can to undue the damage of their deception. No wonder Stanley Wells would rather us "Shut up!" 😉

Reinventing the House

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Stratford is a town without pity living a lie.  Souless. Long history of corruption and merchants peddling fake history and trinkets to unsuspecting tourists. The Shakespeare Authorship was never about truth for Stratfordians. Since they hold on to their theory as fact they can only ignore, ridicule, spin and obfuscate.  A tale repeated by generations of  idiots signifying nothing.  In  a sane world Stanley Wells would be arrested and  sent to the tower with a chisel so he can scrawl his  name onto the wall above his  cell  door.

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According to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, The Royal Shakespearian Club was already working in the shadows to secure the house on Henley Street:

https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/shakespedia/shakespeares-birthplace/purchase-of-birthplace/

In the 1830s The Royal Shakespearian Club had already become involved in the restoration of the bust and grave at Holy Trinity Church. The Club had begun to debate the idea of buying the Henley Street house before the sale became public knowledge, so they set up The Shakespeare Birthplace Committee with the intention of buying the property. The Birthplace Committee was divided between Stratford and London. Charles Dickens was a prominent member of the London branch of the committee. They needed to raise sufficient funds for a deposit and the purchase proper, plus enough money to make a start on the conservation project.

Charles Dickens quote 3 months before they purchased the house he expresses his fear that their enterprise might fail if the truth comes out. "It is a great comfort to my thinking that so little is known concerning the poet. It is a fine mystery; and I tremble every day lest something should come out."

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THE GENIUS OF SHAKESPEARE BY SIR JONATHAN BATE WIDELY SEEN AS THE HIGHEST ORTHODOX SHAKESPEARE/STRATFORDIAN AUTHORITY IN THE WORLD AND THE BACONIAN-ROSICRUCIAN CRYPTIC DEVICES ON PAGE 157 THE NUMBER REPRESENTING THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSY CROSS.

The prolific and voluminous Sir Jonathan Bate is now widely regarded as the highest Stratfordian authority in the world. He was educated at Seven Oaks School where he was a contemporary of Jonathan Evans, Director General of MI5 (2007-13). He went to St Catherine’s College, Cambridge (the same university as Bacon) where he earned his PhD on ‘Shakespeare and the English Romantic Imagination’ and then became a Research Fellow at Harvard University founded in 1636 (most probably by Bacon’s Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood), the oldest university in the United States of America, first established by Bacon and his Rosicrucian Brotherhood at Jamestown, Virginia, three decades earlier, in 1607. He was a Fellow at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and afterwards appointed King Alfred Professor of English Literature at Liverpool University, before becoming Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. In 2011 Professor Bate was elected Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and served as a Governor and a senior Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He sits on the European Advisory Board of the Princeton University Press and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Fellow of the British Academy. He is also the General Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project-one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. At various times Professor Bate has held visiting professorships at Yale University, the Huntington Library, which houses one of the most important Bacon collections in the world, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, which holds the world’s largest collection of printed works of Shakespeare and arguably the largest collection of printed works on Francis Bacon and the Bacon-Shakespeare Authorship Controversy.    

His impressive list of publications include Shakespeare and Ovid (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1993), The RSC Shakespeare: Complete Works (Macmillan, 2007: edited with Eric Rasmussen), Soul of the Age: The Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare (Penguin Books, 2009), and The Genius of Shakespeare (London: Picador, 1997). In his ‘Acknowledgements’ at the back of The Genius of Shakespeare Professor Bate expresses his various debts of support and gratitude ‘The writing of this book was made possible by the award of a British Academy Research Readership, a visiting fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and an Andrew Mellon Fellowship at the Huntingdon Library in San Marino, California’.1

In the preface Professor Bate tells his readers ‘a library devoted to him [Shakespeare] stands on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC a stone’s throw away from the legislature-where every other author has to make do with a niche in the vast Library of Congress [founded on the personal library of President Thomas Jefferson, believed by many to be linked to the Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood, based on Bacon’s system of memory, reason and imagination], the Bard of Avon has his special place across the road, the Folger Shakespeare Library.’2 A secret Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Institution.3 To which Professor Bate may also have added is equally only a stone’s throw from The Supreme Mother Council of the World, 330 Ancient And Accepted Rite of Freemasonry, at the heart of the Rosicrucian-Freemasonic capital of United States of America.

In The Genius of Shakespeare he devotes a chapter to ‘The Authorship Controversy’:

'There is a mystery about the identity of William Shakespeare. The mystery is this: why should anyone doubt that he was William Shakespeare, the actor from Stratford-upon-Avon?

It is the first question which the professional Shakespearean is always asked in casual conversation outside the walls of the academy-who wrote the plays? When told of the hard core of evidence that the man from Stratford did so, people are surprised. Sometimes it is suspected that the academics are covering up a scandal…'4

In my experience most of the schoolmen of the second and third rank downwards do not often know what Shakespeare day of the week it is and therefore a vast historical conspiracy perpetrated down the centuries of world-wide proportions is light years beyond their limited comprehension. What the ordinary schoolmen do not know is the great Bacon-Shakespeare secret is reserved for their betters much higher up of exalted rank sublimely residing on an invisible Rosicrucian plain directing the hallowed walls of academia.

In The Genius of Shakespeare Professor Bate states 'the theory that it was Bacon failed to convince because the deduction of it depended upon elaborate cryptograms.'5 Leaving the reader with the impression that the Baconians had little or no other evidence supporting Bacon's authorship of the Shakespeare works!

The observant reader will have noticed that Professor Bate italicized 'it was Bacon' in a sentence in which there was absolutely no need to do so.

In an attempt to ridicule Baconian ciphers after stating that the 'chief device of the late-nineteenth-and early twentieth century Baconians was the cryptogram', Professor Bate presented an example taken from Ignatius Donnelly's The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the so-called Shakespeare Plays.This is all stated in the open text. However, concealed in the text elsewhere in The Genius of Shakespeare for those with eyes to see is a cryptogram conveying the secret that Francis Bacon, Brother of the Rosy Cross, is Shakespeare.  

In The Genius of Shakespeare Professor Bate begins his chapter 6 (3 plus 3: 33 Bacon in simple cipher) on page 157: 157 Fra Rosicrosse in simple cipher. The chapter is titled ‘The Original Genius’ and subtitled ‘The idea of genius’. The sentence which also constitutes the first paragraph reads ‘Consider the statement ‘Shakespeare was a genius’. Is this a fact or an opinion?’ The first printed line of it contains 56 letters: 56 Fr Bacon in simple cipher and the full sentence has 63 letters and carries four marks of punctuation: two quotation marks, one full stop and a question mark. This provides a total of 67 Francis in simple cipher. The title and the subtitle comprise 32 letters and one digit at the head of the page: 32+1=33 Bacon in simple cipher. Thus far we have a concealed cryptogram which reads Francis Bacon-Brother of the Rosy Cross.

Furthermore, it will be noted that the first sentence begins with ‘Consider’, which first three letters contain the second syllable of the name Bacon. If the eye strays further down the page, it will be noticed, the almost subliminal line ‘flashing into our minds’ is followed by a noticeably larger than usual gap between it and the beginning of the Hamlet quote ‘To be or not to be’. This citation is followed by citations from Macbeth ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’, As You Like it ‘All the world’s a stage’ and the equally famous line from The Tempest ‘Our Revels now are ended’. The phrase ‘To be or not to be’ is found in arguably the most metaphysical line in the whole of the Shakespeare canon. The truth as Bacon said, is the daughter of time not authority, and the hidden truth (as stated on the title page of New Atlantis; Land of the Rosicrucians) will be revealed after some time has passed, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and Bacon knew more than anyone, as do his Rosicrucian Brotherhood, that ‘All the world’s a stage’; some of whom masquerade as authoritative Shakespeare or Stratfordian scholars.

It is often thought the line ‘Our revels now are ended’ represents his departure to the world-with his secret identity as the poet Shakespeare to be discovered at a later date, after some considerable time had passed. After this considerable passage of time let us see if we can find him again on the page before us. If we use the same secret method of delivery that Bacon employed at the end of The Rape of Lucrece and draw a line starting from the right of the syllable ‘Con’ beginning the first paragraph through the capital letter A in ‘And’ (line 😎down through the ‘b’ of the multi-layered meaning of the line ‘To be or not to be’ on to the ‘f’, ending the apposite word ‘proof’, upwards we read the letters yielding the name F Bacon, ‘The Original Genius’ of Shakespeare, that taken together provides us with the concealed cryptogram Francis Bacon, Brother of the Rosy Cross, is Shakespeare.

1. Jonathan Bate, The Genius of Shakespeare (London: Picador, 1997), p. 371.

2. Ibid., p. VII.

3. A. Phoenix, ‘The Fraudulent Friedmans: The Bacon Ciphers in the Shakespeare

    Works’ (2022), pp. 1-340, esp. pp. 172-225, available at www.sirbacon.org.

4. Jonathan Bate, The Genius of Shakespeare (London: Picador, 1997), p. 65.

5. Ibid., p. 102.

6. Ibid., pp. 89-90.

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Oh my God, the Irony ! Mind blowing the diagonal anagram in Bates' book! Super observant A.P. This is similar to the Fraudelent Friedmans.

Great line :

The truth as Bacon said, is the daughter of time not authority, and the hidden truth (as stated on the title page of New Atlantis; Land of the Rosicrucians) will be revealed after some time has passed, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and Bacon knew more than anyone, as do his Rosicrucian Brotherhood, that ‘All the world’s a stage’; some of whom masquerade as authoritative Shakespeare or Stratfordian scholars.

 

Sad that "smart" people who have studied Shakespeare all their lives don't have a clue who wrote the works.  Maybe there should be a book entitled, The Genius of Sir Francis Bacon the Original Shake-Speare instead that includes this rebuttal

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6 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

The phrase ‘To be or not to be’ is found in arguably the most metaphysical line in the whole of the Shakespeare canon.

One of the most permanent series of words Bacon ever wrote. No wonder even people who do not know any Shakespeare know "To be or not to be" is by Shakespeare.

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Coincidence?

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6 hours ago, A Phoenix said:

'There is a mystery about the identity of William Shakespeare. The mystery is this: why should anyone doubt that he was William Shakespeare, the actor from Stratford-upon-Avon?

The answer is easy;

Anyone who questions, will soon doubt. All we need is the cue to question. 😉

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lawrence Gerald said:

This is similar to the Fraudelent Friedmans.

I can't say for sure we see the same thing, but I definitely see a similarity to the Friedmans as revealed by A. Phoenix.

Bacon: "In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy."

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      J. THOMAS LOONEY FOUNDER OF THE DELUSIONAL OXFORDIAN THEORY

J. Thomas Looney originated the fallacious Oxfordian theory that Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford (1550-1604) was the true author of nearly all the Shakespeare poems and plays in his work “Shakespeare Identifiedin Edward de Vere the seventeenth Earl of Oxford first published in 1920. The whole Oxfordian theory and all subsequent Oxfordian works are based upon and built from this publication right up to the present day. To mark its centenary The de Vere Society devoted the issue of its 2020 quarterly newsletter to whom it described as their ‘founding father’ J. Thomas Looney and his much-vaunted seminal work. The same year The Oxford Shakespeare Fellowship announced a new centenary edition of Shakespeare Identified edited by James A. Warren, which, without a trace of irony we are informed, ‘remains the most revolutionary book on Shakespeare ever written.’ Perhaps only Oxfordians could make such a grandiose claim for a book written without any bibliographical apparatus-without footnotes or references, nor a bibliography.

Prior to the publication of Shakespeare Identified Baconian scholars and writers had published a very substantial corpus of work which Looney shows little or no evidence of having consulted or read (see the selected bibliography below for 35 Baconian books and hundreds of articles already published by 1920) which contained a mountain of evidence revealing and confirming that Francis Bacon was the secret concealed author of the Shakespeare works. This vast body of writings included primary manuscript documents among them Bacon’s private notebook (c. 1594 to 1596) the source of several hundred resemblances, correspondences and parallels found throughout the Shakespeare works; his own collection of MSS known as the Northumberland Manuscript (c.1596), that originally held his two Shakespeare plays Richard II and Richard III, on whose cover appears the name Francis Bacon and his pseudonym Shakespeare scribbled all over it; an enormous range of substantial evidence that Bacon, with the assistance of its editor and contributor Ben Jonson who was then living with him at Gorhambury, was responsible for the publication of the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio; and the Memoriae (1626) containing 32 Latin verses pointing to Bacon as the greatest poet who ever lived & author of the Shakespeare works.

Yet according to Looney, who devoted less than two pages to the vast mountain of evidence marshalled by the Baconians up to 1920 (and I quote), ‘The decisive answer to the Baconian theory, therefore seems to us, is Henry Wriothesley’ (I have reproduced these two pages below).

Let us then consider what Looney had and had not to say about Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton and Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, whose trial with regard to the issue of the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy ‘assumes quite a thrilling interest’.  

1] Looney emphasizes ‘Shakespeare’s’ feelings towards Southampton: ‘The terms in which the dramatist addresses the nobleman who was being tried along with Essex are those of personal endearment’.

What he either does not know or does not tell his readers is Bacon and Southampton had a close relationship with each other from the late 1580s onwards. On 29 February 1588 a young Southampton was admitted to Gray’s Inn the month in which members of the Inn presented The Misfortunes of Arthur (1588) before Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich.1 This play written by Bacon ushered in the Shakespearean era and shares language, subject matter and themes with more than half of the Shakespeare canon.2 Bacon had been admitted to Gray’s Inn nine years earlier where he was de facto Master of the Revels organising dramatic entertainments, masques and plays, loved by Southampton, who it was said attended the London theatres on an almost daily basis. From the point Southampton went to reside at Gray’s Inn with Bacon over time they formed a close intimate relationship that afterwards resulted in Bacon dedicating to Southampton his two Shakespeare poems Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594). Their passionate relationship continued through the 1590s in which the lives of Bacon and Southampton became intertwined with that of Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex. The events leading up to the ill-fated Essex uprising adversely affected the dynamic between them. In the aftermath Essex was executed for treason, however, most likely following the private intervention by Bacon with Queen Elizabeth, Southampton had his death sentence commuted. On the accession of James I Southampton was released from prison. Buried away in Spedding’s seven-volume Letters and Life of Francis Bacon is a virtually unknown letter from Bacon to Southampton where he pointedly says in direct reference to their previous close relationship ‘I may safely be now that which I was truly before’:

It may please your Lordship,

I would have been very glad to have presented my humble service to your Lordship by my attendance, if I could have foreseen that it should not have been unpleasing unto you. And therefore, because I would commit no error, I choose to write; assuring your Lordship (how credible soever it may seem to you at first) yet it is as true as a thing that God knoweth, that this great change hath wrought in me no other change towards your Lordship than this, that I may safely be now that which I was truly before. And so craving no other pardon than for troubling you with this letter, I do not now begin, but continue to be

                                                                       Your Lordships humble and much devoted.3

2] Looney states that ‘It was impossible that he [Bacon] could have added the heartlessness of prosecuting one, his love for whom [Southampton] he had already immortalized by his poems.’

It is a well-known historical FACT stated by Bacon himself and stated thereafter by his standard editor and biographer Spedding and modern editors and biographers of Bacon, that as a legal officer of the crown, he was forced to play a part in the prosecution of Essex and Southampton, by Queen Elizabeth, according to some sources, on pain of death.4 

3] Furthermore Looney continues ‘If to this we add that the most of “Shakespeare’s” sonnets are supposed to be addressed to the Earl of Southampton, and that these were put into circulation without protest seven years after the trial, at a time when the feeling of Southampton towards Bacon was very bitter, we have as tumbled a moral situation as it is possible to conceive if we suppose that Bacon was “Shakespeare.”’ 

It is a FACT that nobody knows when some, most, or all of the sonnets were written, although some scholars date at least some of them to the late 1580s, when Bacon and Southampton were residing together at Gray’s Inn, and even more scholars place a greater number of them to the 1590s, when Bacon was working out of Essex House on the Strand where Southampton was a visitor on an almost daily basis. And as can be seen from the above letter, whatever the Earl of Southampton’s feelings were toward Bacon, his feelings toward Southampton were as ‘truly before’ from his ‘humble and much devoted’.

4] Finally, amongst all these misleading, inaccurate and erroneous statements Looney says ‘For the Earl of Southampton was amongst those who sought and ultimately brought about the downfall of Lord Bacon.’

This simplistic characterisation is also misleading and inaccurate. His fall from grace which was one of the greatest political betrayals in English history, was initiated by his great enemy Sir Edward Coke, and in order that King James could save the favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and so that he could save himself, he sacrificed Bacon who was convicted on trumped up charges by the House of Lords.5 What can be said is that Southampton took part in the proceedings against Bacon and repeatedly voted for the heavy sentence imposed on him by the House of Lords, whether through personal conviction or through heavy political pressure, may never be known. In spite of this Bacon wrote a virtually unknown letter to Southampton dated the ‘Last of January, 1623’, (i.e., January1624), wherein his warmth for his former friend and lover still shone through:

My very good Lord,

It pleased your Lordship when we met last, and did not think, I dare say, that a Parliament would have been so soon, to assure me of your love and favour; and it is true that out of that I have heard and observed of your noble nature I have a great affiance to your Lordship. 

…In this matter I hold your Lordship’s favour so essential as if God shall put in into your heart to give me your favour and furtherance, I will apply my industry and other friends to co-operate with your Lordship. Otherwise I shall give over to think of it; and yet ever rest.

                                       Your Lordship’s affectionate and humble servant,    

                                                           FR. ST. ALBAN.6

Bound up with his gross distortion of Bacon’s relationship with Southampton characterised by ignorance, misrepresentation, and omission, was a series of statements by Looney about the friendship between Bacon and Essex and the part Bacon played in the Essex trial.

1] ‘The most powerful force at work in seeking to bring about the destruction of the accused was the possessor of the greatest intellect that has appeared in English philosophy: one to whom in modern times has actually been attributed the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays-Francis Bacon.’    

2] ‘The conduct of Francis Bacon in respect to the trial of Essex has been discussed ad nauseam and is therefore too well known to need describing. Nor is it our business to enter into the ethics of his action. It is wholly incredible, however, that he [Bacon] could have been working secretly hand in glove with the very dramatic company that was implicated in the [Essex] rising, and that one of his plays should have been employed as an instrument in the business. Again, something is known of the nature of Bacon’s previous friendship with the Earl of Essex…’.

It is difficult to know where to start with this series of grossly misleading statements presented in a knowing tone delivered with terms of certainty. So perhaps it be best that we start with the first statement. To state the blindingly obvious: the most powerful force at work in the whole of the Essex affair was of course the absolute monarch Queen Elizabeth, followed by Essex’s enemies of whom there were many, led by Sir Robert Cecil, now head of the rival Cecil faction following the death of his father Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and needless to say Essex himself, who despite the long and repeated advice by Bacon in private and his letters to Essex, rushed headlong into his ill-fated uprising. And Looney’s grotesque and absurd statement that Bacon was the most powerful force seeking the destruction of Essex is thus not only wrong in evidence and fact, as well as confuted by Bacon’s own statements in his letters and the Apology, but its very suggestion is embarrassingly senseless and imbecilic.     

It is not clear to me how Looney writing in 1920 was able to state regarding events that occurred in the 1590s that he was not witness to, it is wholly incredible that Bacon was secretly working with the very acting company that was implicated in the Essex rising and that one of his plays was employed as an instrument in the rebellion. The facts are, whether incredible or otherwise, was a performance of Richard II (a copy of which was originally part of Bacon’s own collection of manuscripts) by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (to whom he supplied numerous Shakespeare plays) was commissioned by Essex and his supporters, with or without Bacon’s knowledge or consent, who clearly wrote it with the parallels between the reigns of Richard II and Elizabeth in mind.7

Somewhat amusingly Looney states that ‘something is known of the nature of Bacon’s previous friendship with the Earl of Essex’. This is true. His standard editor and biographer Spedding devoted the larger part of his first two volumes of The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon to the overt relationship between Bacon and Essex and later the Baconian Alfred Dodd devoted much of his groundbreaking Life of Bacon to his secret concealed relationship with Essex.8 Yet what Looney knew of the aforementioned overt or secret nature of Bacon’s true friendship need not detain us here any longer.      

What he did not know was the dramatic devices written by Bacon for Essex for presentation before Queen Elizabeth on her Anniversary Day 'Of Tribute; or giving what is due' in 1592 and 'Of Love and Self-Love’ in 1595,9 which were not published until long after Bacon’s death, is they share language, subject matter and themes with a whole host of Shakespeare plays, written before this date, and many of those Shakespeare plays written long after.10  

Unfortunately, the modus operandi of ignorance, misrepresentation and omissions about Bacon that plagued the first work which originated the ill-conceived and misguided Oxfordian theory has continued to plague all subsequent Oxfordian publications up to the present day. Which without exception, have displayed little or no knowledge of the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence confirming Bacon’s authorship of the Shakespeare works, while they wander blindly through the seemingly endless labyrinthine maze of their own deluded minds.  

1. G. P. V. Akrigg, Shakespeare and the Earl of Shakespeare (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1968), p. 31.

2. A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon and his First Unacknowledged Shakespeare Play The Misfortunes of Arthur and its Extensive Links to his other Shakespeare Works’, (2021), pp. 1-136.

3. Spedding, Letters and Life, III, pp. 75-76.

4. See A Declaration of the Practises & Treasons attempted by Robert late Earle of Essex (London: printed by Robert Barker, Printer to the Queene most excellent Majesty, 1601) and Sir Francis Bacon His Apologie, In Certaine imputations concerning the late Earle of Essex (London: printed for Felix Norton, 1604).  

5. Spedding, Letters and Life, VII, passim.

6. Ibid., Letters and Life, VII, p. 454.

7. For Bacon, the Earl of Essex and the play Richard II see A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022), pp. 167-99.

8. Spedding, Letters and Life, I and II, passim and Alfred Dodd, Francis Bacons Personal Life-Story (London: Rider & Company, 1986), passim.

9. For these dramatic devices see Brian Vickers, Francis Bacon A Critical Edition of the Major Works (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 22-51, 61-68 and Alan Stewart with Harriet Knight, The Oxford Francis Bacon Early Writings 1584-1596 (Oxford Clarendon Press, 2012), pp. 235-97, 675-722.

10. For their links to his Shakespeare poems and plays see A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022), pp. 51-61, 73-93. 

 

A SELECTED BACONIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED BEFORE 1920

James Phinney Baxter, The Greatest of Literary Problems the Authorship of the Shakespeare Works (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1915)

Harold Bayley, The Tragedy of Sir Francis Bacon (London: Grant Richards, 1902)

W. Begley, Is It Shakespeare: The Great Question of Elizabethan Literature. Answered in the Light of New Revelations and Important Contemporary Evidence Hitherto Unnoticed (London: John Murray, 1903)

W. Begley, Bacons Nova Resuscitatio or the Unveiling of his Concealed Works and Travels in Three Volumes (London: Gay and Bird, 1905) 

Edwin Borman, The Secret Shakespeare Translated from the German by Harry Brett (London: Th. Wohlleben, 1895)

Frank J. Burgoyne, Collotype Facsimile & Type Transcript Of An Elizabethan Manuscript Preserved at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland (Longmans, Green, And Co., 1904)

Granvill, C. Cunningham, Bacons Secret Disclosed in Contemporary Books (London: Gay & Hancock, 1911)

Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bacon is Shakespeare (New York: John McBride and Co., 1911)

Edwin Durning-Lawrence, The Shakespeare Myth Milton’s Epitaph and Macbeth Prove Bacon is Shakespeare (London: Gay and Hancock, 1914)

Elizabeth Wells Gallup, The Bi-literal Cypher of Sir Francis Bacon discovered in his works (Detroit, Michigan: Howard Publishing Company, 1899)

Elizabeth Wells Gallup, The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn. A Drama in Cipher from in the Works of Sir Francis Bacon (Detroit, Michigan: Howard Publishing Company, 1901)

Elizabeth Wells Gallup, The Bi-literal Cypher of Sir Francis Bacon discovered in his works Part II (Detroit, Michigan: Howard Publishing Company, 1901)

Elizabeth Wells Gallup, Concerning the Bi-Literal Cypher of Francis Bacon Discovered in his Works Pros and Cons of the Controversy: Explanations, Reviews Criticisms and Replies (Detroit, Michigan: Howard Publishing Company: n.d.)

Elizabeth Wells Gallup, The Bi-literal Cypher of Francis Bacon Discovered in his Works: Deciphered Secret Story 1622 to 1671 The Lost Manuscripts Where They Were Hidden (Detroit, Michigan: Howard Publishing Company, 1910)

Edward George Harman, Edmund Spenser and the Impersonations of Francis Bacon (London: Constable and Company Ltd, 1914)

Nathaniel Holmes, The Authorship of Shakespeare (New York; Hurd and Houghton, 1875)

Gustavus Holzer, Shakespeares Tempest in Baconian Light (Heidelberg: 1904)

Orville W. Owen, Sir Francis Bacons Cipher Story, 5 vols, (Detroit and New York: Howard Publishing Company, 1894)

C. M. Pott, The Promus of Formularies and Elegancies (Being Private Notes, circ. 1594, Hitherto unpublished) By Francis Bacon Illustrated and Elucidated by Passages from Shakespeare (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1883)

C. M. Pott, Obiter Dicta of Bacon and Shakespeare on Manners, Mind, Morals (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1900)

C. M. Pott, Francis Bacon and his Secret Society (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1911)

Edwin Reed, Francis Bacon our Shakespeare (Boston: Charles E. Goodspeed, 1902)

Edwin Reed, Bacon and Shake-speare Parallelisms (London: Gay and Bird, 1902)

William, T. Smedley, The Mystery of Francis Bacon (Robert Banks and Sons, 1912)

William Stone Booth, Some Acrostic Signatures of Francis Bacon (London: Archibald Constable & Co., Limited, 1909)

R. M. Theobald, Shakespeare Studies in Baconian Light (London: John Howell, 1901)

William Theobald, The Classical Element in the Shakespeare Plays (London: Robert Banks & Son, 1909)

William Thomson, On Renascence Drama of History Made Visible (Melbourne: Sands & McDougall, 1880)

W. F. C. Wigston, Bacon Shakespeare and the Rosicrucians (London: George Redway, 1888)

W. F. C. Wigston, Francis Bacon Poet, Prophet, Philosopher versus Phantom Captain Shakespeare the Rosicrucian Mask (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd, 1891)

W. F. C. Wigston, The Columbus of Literature or, Bacons New World of Sciences (Chicago: F. J. Schulte & Co., 1892)

W. F. C. Wigston, A New Study of Shakespeare: The Connection of the Plays and Poems into the Connection of the Classical Drama, and with the Platonic Philosophy, through the Mysteries (London: Trubner and Co., n.d.)

Parker Woodward, The Early Life of Lord Bacon (London: Gay and Hancock, Ltd, 1902)

Parker Woodward, Tudor Problems Being Essays on the Historical and Literary Claims Ciphered and Otherwise Indicated by Francis Bacon (London: Gay and Hancock, Ltd, 1912)

A. M. Challinor, Francis Bacon Philosopher, Statesman, Poet: An Index to Baconiana and its predecessors, 1886-1999 (The Francis Bacon Society, 2001). This work lists the hundreds of articles on Bacon-Shakespeare published in the journal Baconiana up to 1920 and beyond.

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Thank You  A. P. for drawing out the historical distinctions that Looney's book failed to observe. It's like the old game of "telephone" where one person starts off with a message, passes it on to the next person and so on till it reaches the last person when  it becomes far from the original message. This is what Looney has done, passing on disinformation and therefore his followers blindly accept his historical blunders and continue to fail by not updating or correcting Looney's book for its historical  inaccuracies. And now we see all they can do is Glorify this book because it's been 100 years! LOL!

And there are several reasons why they still stand by this delusional book. It's considered the founding of their Oxfordian theory and they don't want to draw any attention that their founding father could possibly be mistaken. After all these years it would be of great embarrassment to admit that Thomas J. Looney's book is  a case of Shakespeare MISIDENTIFIED. Oxfordians have a powerful mindset of Cognitive Dissonance when it comes to Francis Bacon. After all the Bacon material from evidence and historical record  is a direct threat to their demise and their 100 years of research can only go so far as to justify that the Stratford man cannot be an author and the futility of replacing him with a man with the weakest of character and less capability than  the true Spear Shaker Sir Francis Bacon.

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Charles Beauclerk A Descendant of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, the Founder and President of the De Vere Society

The leading light of the Oxfordian movement Charles Francis Topham de Vere Beauclerk (b. 1965), Earl of Burford, is heir apparent to Murray Beauclerk, fourteenth Duke of St Albans and is descended from Charles Beauclerk, the first Duke of St. Albans, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gwynne. He was educated at Eton College and Sherborne school before moving up to Hertford College, Oxford. Through his father he is related to Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford.

He is the Founder and President of the De Vere Society, former President of the Shakespeare Oxford Society, and trustee of the Shakespeare Authorship Trust.  

He founded The De Vere Society at Hertford College, Oxford in 1986. According to its own website:

The De Vere Society is dedicated to an appreciation and celebration of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604) as the true genius behind the literary pseudonym ‘William Shakespeare’. Founded at Oxford University in 1986 the Society organises tours, theatre trips, lectures, forums and social events; it publishes essays, articles, reviews, videos, audio recordings and books, and promotes research around the world. Anyone who enjoys the works of Shakespeare and is intrigued by the greatest of all authorship mysteries is welcome to join.

Among its patrons is the famous actor Sir Derek Jacobi with Alexander Waugh Chairman and a member of its Board of Trustees.

After spending more than two decades researching the Shakespeare Authorship Question in 2010 Beauclerk published Shakespeares Lost Kingdom: The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth. In a work whose central theme is the true identity of our immortal poet and dramatist Shakespeare, Beauclerk only once refers to Francis Bacon and the Baconians in the following passage here quoted in its entirety:

When serious and persistent doubts over the identity of Shakespeare began to appear in print in the mid-nineteenth century, the search was on for the man whose life and learning matched the high culture of the Shakespeare canon. The Victorians promoted Francis Bacon, who held the field for over sixty years. Baconians, as they are now called, were the first to realize the significance of the royal theme in Shakespeare, but their reliance on fantastically complex ciphers, as witness Minnesota congressman Ignatius Donnelly’s The Great Cryptogram (1888), stretched credulity. Then, in November 1918, a sealed envelope was entrusted to Sir Frederick Kenyon, head librarian at the British Museum, by an English schoolmaster with the provocative name of J. Thomas Looney (1870-1944). Inside was a statement of his discovery of the true identity of the man who wrote under the pen name William Shakespeare [i.e., Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford].1

The mercifully brief passage contains a series of misstatements of fact. As the candidate for the true authorship of the Shakespeare poems and plays Francis Bacon and the Baconians did not hold sway for over sixty years a terminus ad quem determined by the publication of J. Thomas Looney’s letter to Sir Frederick Kenyon in 1918 followed by the publication of his Shakespeare Identified first printed in 1920. It took another half-a century before the Oxfordian movement started to gain any real traction and in the interim it is reported that at one time it had less than fifty supporters before their support began to slowly but steadily rise from the 1970s during which time the Baconians were still the dominant force producing numerous books and The Francis Bacon Society literally hundreds of articles in support of his authorship in its journal Baconiana. 

This misleading assertion served as a prelude to the incorrect and absurd misrepresentation of the overwhelming mountainous and irrefutable evidence revealing and confirming that Bacon is the secret author of the Shakespeare works, when Beauclerk misinformed that the Baconians reliance on fantastically complex ciphers stretched credulity, citing the example of The Great Cryptogram by Ignatius Donnelly published more than a hundred and thirty years ago. This simply risible and ludicrous nonsense conveyed the misleading impression to the Oxfordian flock that a larger part of the Baconian position rested upon this and little else. Whereas on a point of fact there is not a single living Baconian who rests his or her support for Lord Bacon’s authorship of the Shakespeare works on fantastically complex ciphers put forward by Ignatius Donnelly.

Rather the evidence advanced and relied upon by Baconian scholars is wide and various and covers all aspects of historical, evidential and factual critical inquiry into Bacon’s authorship of the Shakespeare works, built upon numerous primary manuscript and printed documents, regarding which I provide the following five examples:

1] FRANCIS BACON’S PRIVATE NOTEBOOK THE PROMUS OF FORMULARIES AND ELEGANCIES A MAJOR SOURCE FOR HIS SHAKESPEARE POEMS AND PLAYS

In ordinary circumstances this contemporary manuscript document named the Promus of Formularies and Elegancies would be well known to every Bacon and Shakespeare scholar and student of English literature around the world. Bacon’s unique private notebook held at the British Library contains a total of 51 leaves numbered pages 83 to 132 all written (apart from some French proverbs) in his own hand. The Folio numbered 85 is headed ‘Promus’ and beneath it appears the date ‘Dec. 5, 1594’ with the Folio numbered 114 headed ‘Formularies Promus’ carrying the date ‘27 Jan. 1595’ (i.e., January 1596). It contains 1655 entries jotted down as an aid to his memory. The entries include single words, phrases, lines, turns of speech, metaphors, similes, aphorisms, and various moral and philosophical observations. These include entries drawn from the Bible; Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English proverbs; and lines and verses from classical poets and dramatists, among them, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Horace, and Terence. It is the Source of several hundred resemblances, correspondences and parallels found throughout his Shakespeare poems and plays.2

2] FRANCIS BACON’S OWN COLLECTION OF MSS KNOWN AS THE NORTHUMBERLAND MANUSCRIPT ORIGINALLY CONTAINING HIS TWO SHAKESPEARE PLAYS RICHARD II AND RICHARD III

The Bacon collection of manuscripts hitherto known as The Northumberland Manuscript contains various writings by Bacon, comprising letters, essays, religio-political treatises, dramatic devices and originally held two of his Shakespeare plays Richard II and Richard III. 

All the evidence makes tolerably certain that no part of the manuscript was written after c.1596-7. The precise dating of the manuscript is not merely some historical curiosity. The precision of the date is of the most manifest importance for the very simple reason that in 1597 William Shakespeare was not publicly known as a dramatic author. The pseudonym first appeared on the 1598 quarto edition of Loves Labours Lost the same year it appeared on the title pages of the quartos of Richard II and Richard III, most probably printed from the manuscripts that were originally part of this Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript.

In addition to originally having held two of Bacon’s Shakespeare plays Richard II and Richard III, the outer cover of his collection of manuscripts contains references and links to his narrative Shakespeare poem The Rape of Lucrece and another three of his Shakespeare plays Loves Labours Lost, Romeo and Juliet & The Merchant of Venice. This is moreover the only manuscript where the names Bacon and Shakespeare appear together in a contemporary document. Various forms of his name Bacon and Francis Bacon and pseudonym Shakespeare and William Shakespeare are scribbled all over its outer cover on around twenty occasions. Above the entry for his Shakespeare play Richard II appears the entry ‘By Mr. ffrauncis William Shakespeare’, and further down the word ‘Your’ is twice written across his pseudonym William Shakespeare-so it reads ‘Your William Shakespeare’. As if to emphasise this entry a second occurrence of the name ‘ffrauncis’ is written upside down above the first ‘ffrauncis’ thus reading from left to right ‘ffrauncis William Shakespeare’. Below the entry for ‘Rychard the second’, and above the entry for ‘Rychard the third’, appears his name ‘ffrauncis’ and to the left ‘Bacon’ and the right ‘Shakespeare’. Below at the bottom of the outer cover his pseudonym ‘William Shakespeare’ is repeated numerous times, and as if to emphasise one more time Bacon is Shakespeare, we are met with the possessive entry ‘your William Shakespeare’.3

3] THE SO-CALLED ‘DERING’ MANUSCRIPT OF HENRY IV THE UNIQUE AND EARLIEST KNOWN SHAKESPEARE MANUSCRIPT (c. 1596) ORIGINATING FROM BACON’S LITERARY WORKSHOP AND CORRECTED IN HIS OWN HAND

It is little known to virtually all Shakespeare scholars, the ordinary schoolmen, and the rest of the world that there exists an early manuscript version of the play Henry IV. This manuscript is the earliest extant manuscript of a Shakespeare play ever discovered.

This manuscript was discovered in 1844 preserved in the collection of the eighth Baronet Sir Edward Dering (1807-96) at Surrenden Hall near Pluckley in Kent. It had previously formed part of the library of the first Sir Edward Dering (1598-1644), an antiquarian with an interest in literature and drama, named after his uncle the Puritan preacher Edward Dering patronised by the Cooke sisters Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, Lady Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell, Lady Mildred Cooke Cecil and Lady Cooke Killigrew. The relatively obscure Sir Edward Dering (1598-1644) about whose early life very little is known was-here revealed for the first time-a close friend and relative (twice over) of the author of Henry IV Francis Bacon.

The so-called Dering manuscript is a single-five act Shakespeare play of Henry IV and is earlier than the first printed quarto of The Historie of Henrie the fourth issued in 1598 and the quarto edition of The Second part of Henrie the fourth printed in 1600. The MS represents the play as Bacon originally composed it when it was one play and not two before developing his original version into two separate parts. Furthermore, we can be reasonably precise regarding the date of the manuscript. It is widely agreed Henry IV followed closely upon Richard II as not only is Henry IV next chronologically its predecessor Richard II clearly points to a sequel. The earlier Richard II is believed to date to around late 1595 or early 1596, and Henry IV was probably composed shortly after, sometime in 1596.

The so-called corrector’s hand in the so-called Dering manuscript is Bacon’s own cramped hand, as one would expect, from the author of the play.4

4] THE 1623 SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO

On 8 November 1623 Edward Blount and Isaac Jaggard entered on the Stationers’ Register sixteen Shakespeare plays which had not been previously published. Another twenty previously published plays were added giving a total of thirty-six plays in the First Folio therein divided into Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, in an enormous volume of more than nine hundred pages, representing the greatest secular publication in the history of English literature, whose untold impact around the world over the last four hundred year has never been fully understood and thus never fully told. 

On its 400th anniversary a recent work entitled The 1623 Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion uncovers and reveals unknown and untold secrets about the greatest work of literature in the history of humankind. For the first time, it brings forth the hidden connections of its author Francis Bacon and his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood with all the key members involved in its production, printing, and publication. His hidden relationships with its printers William and Isaac Jaggard, and the other members of the First Folio consortium, John Smethwick, William Aspley, and its publisher Edward Blount.

It is almost universally unknown that its dedicatee William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke was at the time of its dedication Grand Master of England, one of half of the ‘Incomparable Paire Of Brethren’, with his brother Philip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery, whose joint open and hidden relationships with Bacon went back decades. The other critical member in the production of the 1623 First Folio was its editor and contributor of its two verses Ben Jonson who at the time the First Folio was making its way through the Jaggard printing presses was living with Bacon at Gorhambury, where he was at the heart of the secret plans for bringing together this vast and complex enterprise.

The Droeshout engraving on the title page of the most famous secular work in English history is iconic and recognised the world over as the contemporary face of William Shakespeare the greatest poet and dramatist of all time. In strikingly marked contrast virtually nothing is known about Martin Droeshout the draughtsman responsible for the most recognisable literary image since time immemorial. A remarkable level of secrecy still surrounds his private life, friends and the social and professional circles he moved in, even though he self-evidently knew some of the most important figures in Jacobean England and moved in the highest circles of his times. This man who for the first thirty-three years of his life lived in the heart of London has scarcely left any documentary trace of his existence akin to him having been deliberately expunged from the records. To the present day his whole life is completely shrouded in secrecy and mystery. The key reason is Martin Droeshout and the famous/infamous Droeshout engraving on the title page of the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio is a mask behind which its concealed author Francis Bacon is hidden in plain sight, which when lifted reveals the truth behind the Rosicrucian-Freemasonic illusion and ludibrium that the semi-illiterate William Shakspere of Stratford was the author of the greatest literature in the history of the world, that at a single devastating stroke brings the whole Stratfordian fiction crashing to the ground.

For the first time The 1623 Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion conveys an explosive secret in making known the concealed and hidden relationship between Francis Bacon and Martin Droeshout which has been suppressed for the last four hundred years. Their secret relationship is encapsulated in an earlier Droeshout engraving titled Doctor Panurgus (c. 1621) wherein one of its central figures is a depiction of Francis Bacon replete with a series of clues and indicators to confirm it.

The figure of Bacon in the Dr Panurgus engraving by Droeshout dating from the early 1620s is drawn from the life, that points to Bacon sitting for it at Gorhambury. The complex engraving has clearly been very carefully planned out and must have involved Bacon giving Droeshout instructions and further directions that over a period of time necessitated numerous revision and amendments, not unlike the Droeshout in the First Folio, which exists in three known states, showing close attention to minor details as well as slight changes made to various aspects of it. This process was all taking place around the time Bacon was planning and preparing his Shakespeare plays for the Jaggard printing house during the years 1621 to 1623 when it is likely that Droeshout made numerous visits to see Bacon at his country estate at Gorhambury where he was most likely residing for periods with Bacon and Ben Jonson as part of his entourage of good pens and other artists that made up his literary workshop.  

It also lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding the hitherto unknown relationships between Francis Bacon and the other little-known figures Hugh Holland, James Mabbe and Leonard Digges who contributed verses to the 1623 Shakespeare First Folio. Particularly, Bacon’s relationship with Leonard Digges, whose own father Sir Nicholas Bacon was the special patron of his grandfather and father Leonard Digges and Thomas Digges, the poet whose verse prefixed to the Folio refers to the Stratford Monument, which is adorned with Rosicrucian-Freemasonic symbols and Baconian ciphers, secretly commissioned by Francis Bacon and his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood.

In addition to all the above cryptic devices secretly inserted by Bacon in the Shakespeare First Folio there are also many remarkable and astonishing references and allusions to himself and members of the Bacon family, which for four hundred years have remained unfamiliar or unknown to the ordinary schoolmen, the casual student, and effectively the rest of the world. These include references and allusions to himself in several different plays where the character is in some instances named Francis and similarly where characters are named after his three brothers Sir Nicholas Bacon, Sir Nathaniel Bacon, and Anthony Bacon. Similarly in the First Folio there are references and allusions to his father and mother Sir Nicholas and Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, her three sisters Lady Katherine Cooke Killigrew, Lady Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell and her husband John, Lord Russell, Lady Mildred Cooke Cecil and her husband William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as well as their offspring (Bacon’s cousins) Thomas Posthumous Hoby and Sir Robert Cecil, and the son of their brother William Cooke, named after his father, Bacon’s other cousin, known as William Cooke of Highnam Court in Gloucester.5 

5] The Memoriae Honoratissimi Domini Francisci, Baronis De Vervlamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani Sacrum (1626) containing 32 Latin verses cryptically conveying Bacon is Shakespeare

In the months following the death of Francis Bacon to the world his trusted Rosicrucian Brother Dr William Rawley gathered together and published a commemorative work in his honour entitled Memoriae honoratissimi Domini Francisci, Baronis de Verulamio, vice-comitis Sancti Albani sacrum, otheriwse known as the Manes Verulamiani. This rare volume contains thirty-two Latin verses in praise of Bacon which his orthodox biographers and editors have simply passed over, ignored, or suppressed, that portray Bacon as a secret supreme poet and dramatist, writer of comedies and tragedies, under the pseudonym of Shakespeare.  

The Church of England clergymen Dr William Rawley knew the truth and secrets of the concealed and hidden life of whom the world and posterity know as Francis Bacon. On 22 January 1600 the twelve-year-old William Rawley was admitted bible-clerk of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he graduated BA in 1605 and MA in 1608 and was made elector tutor on 19 March 1610. He took his holy orders in April 1611 and in December 1612 he was instituted by the university to the rectory of St Michael’s in Bowthorpe, Norfolk. He was soon after introduced to Lord Bacon whose influence resulted in Corpus Christi College bestowing on Rawley the rectory of Landbeach in 1616. By this time Dr Rawley was already chaplain and ‘Amanuensis, or dayly instrument’ to Bacon assisting him, as he tells us, ‘in the composing, of his Works, for many years together; Especially, in his writing Time; I conceived, that no Man, could pretend a better Interest, or Claim, to the ordering of them, after his Death, then my self.’ He lived with Bacon for the last ten years of his known life (1616-26) and was one of his good pens residing at Gorhambury with the poet and dramatist Ben Jonson when the Shakespeare First Folio was working its way through the Jaggard family printing presses.

In the final elegy Bacon’s inward friend, the poet and dramatist Thomas Randolph, one of the sons of Ben Jonson, refers to Bacon as Quirinus, strikingly pointing to the fact that Bacon is our secret supreme poet and dramatist, Shakespeare:

See! how plentiful the flood! I acknowledge these for genuine Muses and their tears. One Helicon will scarce equal them; Parnassus, not covered by Deucalion’s flood, will, wonderful to say, be hidden beneath these waters...When he perceived that the arts were held by no roots, and like seed scattered on the surface of the soil were withering away, he taught the Pegasean arts to grow, as grew the spear of Quirinus [Spear/Spearman; i.e., Shakespeare] swiftly into a laurel tree. Therefore since he has taught the Heliconian goddesses to flourish no lapse of ages shall dim his glory. The ardour of his noble heart could bear no longer that you, divine Minerva [Pallas Athena the Shaker of the Spear who wore a helmet which rendered her invisible], should be despised. His godlike pen restored your wonted honour and as another Apollo [leader of the Nine Muses presiding over the different kinds of poetry and liberal arts] dispelled the clouds that hid you.

                                             Thomas Randolph, Trinity College.6

 

1. Charles Beauclerk, Shakespeares Lost Kingdom: The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth (New York: Grove Press, 2010), pp. 6-7.   

2. C. M. Pott, The Promus Of Formularies And Elegancies (Being Private Notes, circ. 1594, hitherto unpublished) By Francis Bacon Illustrated And Elucidated By Passages From Shakespeare (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1883); N. B. Cockburn, The Bacon Shakespeare Question (Guildford and Kings Lynn: Biddles Limited,1998), pp. 509-47; A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon's Private Manuscript Notebook (Known as the Promus of Formularies and Elegancies) The Source of Several Hundred Resemblances, Correspondences and Parallels Found Throughout his Shakespeare Poems and Plays, (2023), pp. 1-133.

3. James Spedding, A Conference Of Pleasure, Composed For Some Festive Occasion About The Year 1592 By Francis Bacon. Edited, From A Manuscript Belonging To The Duke Of Northumberland (London: Whittingham an Wilkins, 1870); Frank J. Burgoyne, Collotype Facsimile & Type Transcript Of An Elizabethan Manuscript Preserved at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland (Longmans, Green, and Co., 1904); A. Phoenix, The Bacon-Shakespeare Manuscript (Hitherto known as the Northumberland Manuscript) which originally Contained Copies of his Shakespeare Plays Richard II and Richard III (2022).

4. A. Phoenix, ‘Francis Bacon and the so-called ‘Dering’ Manuscript of Henry IV, the Unique and Earliest Known Manuscript of a Shakespeare play: or the Holy Grail of Shakespeare Scholarship a Shakespeare Manuscript (c.1596) Originating from Bacon’s Literary Workshop and Corrected in his Hand’ (2022), pp. 1-126.

5. A. Phoenix, The 1623 Shakespeare First Folio: A Baconian-Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Illusion (2023).

6. William Rawley, ed., Memoriae Honoratissimi Domini Francisci, Baronis De Vervlamio,
Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani Sacrum
(Londini: In Officina Johannis Haviland, 1626); W. G. C. Gundry, ed., Manes Verulamiani (London: The Chiswick Press, 1950); A. Phoenix,
The Secret Links Between the Rosicrucian-Freemasonic Memoriae (1626) Containing Thirty-two Verses Dedicated to Francis Bacon our Shakespeare, the First Folio of the Shakespeare Works (1623), and the Stratford Monument (soon to be published on 1 January 1624).

 

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