Both Bacon and Shakespeare (obviously treated separately by orthodox scholars) have very largely been presented as conservative political thinkers whereas more recently several modern scholars have finally begun to partly recognise the republican themes running through both the canons, which completely revolutionises and transforms our understanding of the first philosopher-poet of the modern world.
Following his return to England in February 1592 after a twelve absence abroad working closely with spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham for the English Secret Service, Anthony Bacon went to live with his brother Francis Bacon who was then already heavily in debt at Gray’s Inn. From the moment Anthony returned to England he immediately became involved in supporting and assisting his brother Francis with his money troubles and considerable debts. Francis and Anthony set up a literary workshop with connections to printers and publishers employing writers, translators, scribes and copyists for the distribution of private manuscripts, books, plays, masques and other entertainments. The enormous crippling costs of running and financially supporting this literary workshop resulted in Francis and Anthony further entering into a never ending cycle of debt incurred by having to raise large loans from money-lenders through bonds (legal agreements for loans) and other legal instruments.
The Bacon brothers were still dealing with various loans and mounting debts when in Trinity Term 1597 a goldsmith named Sympson of Lombard Street who held a bond for £300 principal, sued Francis for repayment but agreed to respite the satisfaction of it until the beginning of the following term. However without any warning a fortnight before Michaelmas Term commenced, Bacon was walking from the Tower of London when at the instigation of the moneylender Sympson he was served with an execution and arrested with a view to confining him to the Fleet prison. The events were to inform and colour the most famous legal play in the history of English drama, The Merchant of Venice, whose titular character is named Antonio, the Italianate form of Anthony named after and modelled upon Anthony Bacon. It was entered as a new play on the Stationers’ Register on 22 July 1598 and was first published in 1600 as The Most excellent Historie of the Merchant of Venice.
In the modern Arden edition of the play Professor Drakakis makes the obvious but very important observation ‘The central drama of The Merchant of Venice revolves around the relationship between the merchant Antonio and the Venetian Lord Bassanio.’ The character of Bassanio is modelled upon its author Francis Bacon. In The Merchant of Venice the two characters Antonio and Bassanio mirror the complex relationship and circumstances of Francis and Anthony Bacon before and during the time the play was written, revised and performed.
Apart from Bassanio, the spectral presence of Bacon is dispersed through several other characters in the play. Professor Lamb voices that not only does Bassanio resemble Bacon but so too its heroine Portia. Then there is the character of Dr Bellario who as pointed out by the orthodox scholar Mark Edwin Andrews also represented Bacon which is further substantiated by the videos and lectures of Simon Miles and Christina G. Waldman the first to publish a full-length work on the subject entitled Francis Bacon’s Hidden Hand in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (2018). In his work Law Versus Equity in The Merchant of Venice as its title indicates Mark Edwin Andrews reads the play as an allegory of the conflict between law and equity which constitutes the consensus among modern scholars that the trial scene dramatizes the struggle between the common law courts and the equitable Court of Chancery. From the outset of the trial Andrews juxtaposes a prose version alongside the text of the play in which he substitutes Bacon for Dr Bellario.
The Merchant of Venice is about love and friendship particularly focused on the characters of Antonio (Anthony Bacon) and Bassanio (Bacon); about usury (a subject on which Bacon composed an essay and legal paper); money-lending mirroring the real lives of the Bacon brothers; and a bond between Antonio and Shylock similar to the bond between Bacon and Sympson. It’s also partly an allegory about the issue of debt and assumpsit that was finally decided in Slade’s Case (Slade v Morley), in which Bacon appeared for the defendant Morley, whose first substantive arguments made before the Justices of the Exchequer occurred in the Michaelmas Term of 1597 and 1598, at the very time Bacon was planning, writing and revising The Merchant of Venice, the most dramatic legal play in all world literature.
The philosophical, political and legal DNA of Francis Bacon runs through the very veins and arteries of the Shakespeare poems and plays. As the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Elizabethan Lord Keeper and de facto Lord Chancellor of England from a very early age he drank in, assimilated and internalised, the inner workings of the law, the superstructure of its legal machinery, and all its procedures, practices and operations. Under the guidance of his father Bacon was admitted to Gray’s Inn where with his extraordinary intellectual gifts and masterful comprehension of the law he enjoyed a stellar rise that eventually led to him occupying all the major legal offices of state, solicitor-general, attorney-general, Lord Keeper and Lord Chancellor of England.
During his time at Gray’s Inn Bacon was de facto Master of the Revels writing and producing several masques, entertainments and plays, several of which have survived. Most importantly, Bacon wrote a play entitled The Misfortunes of Arthur (a political allegory about Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots) which was performed by members of Gray’s Inn before Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich on 28 February 1588, a date notable for the very singular fact that it marked the beginning of what is known as the Shakespearean era. Its themes and language find expression and are demonstrably echoed in a significant number of his early Shakespeare plays including the first tetralogy of I Henry VI, 2 Henry VI, 3 Henry VI and Richard III, written around the same time or shortly after the Misfortunes, and from the same early period Titus Andronicus, King John, Richard II and The Comedy of Errors.
These plays display an intimate familiarity with the principles and practices of all the major branches of the law: common law, civil law, statute law, and the maxims of English law, as well as its principles, complex technicalities, customs and jurisprudence. Their legal language and phrases readily flow from his pen and in the plays his characters talk in a language of the law straight out of Bacon’s Legal Tracts: from Slade‘s Case, The Maxims of the Law, The Postnati Case, The Charge of Francis Bacon Touching Duels, The Elements of the Common Laws of England, etc, none of which were published in his lifetime.
Several of these plays also reflect some of his other political-legal tracts (also not published during his lifetime), most notably Certain Observations Upon a Libel (c. 1592) commissioned by and written in defence of his uncle Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley (married to Lady Mildred Cooke Cecil, elder sister of his mother Lady Anne Cooke Bacon) aspects of which are reflected in 2 Henry VI wherein the Duke of Gloucester is modelled on Cecil and Dame Eleanor points to his wife Lady Mildred Cecil. Their son Sir Robert Cecil, with whom Bacon grew up, he painted in the titular character of Richard III and in his essay Of Deformity.
In the less well-known The Troublesome Reign of King John Bacon explores the law of bastardy, in particular the law surrounding royal bastardy, through the most important and largest role in the play, the royal bastard Sir Philip Faulconbridge, universally regarded as the hero of the play. It is revealed here for the first time that the character of the royal bastard is a disguised dramatization of its author Bacon, the secret concealed royal son of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
For the best part of a year Bacon organised and directed the magnificent Gray’s Inn Christmas Revels (1594-5) which witnessed the premier of his legal play The Comedy of Errors in which a programme of legal reforms began by Sir Nicholas Bacon and continued by Francis Bacon found dramatic expression. On the last of its Grand Nights which took place on 3 January 1595 Bacon wrote six speeches on the Exercise of War, the Study of Philosophy, the Eternizement and Fame by Buildings and Foundations, the Absoluteness of State and Treasure, Virtue and a gracious Government, and Persuading Pastimes and Sports, in the fifth of which, he sets forth arguments for the extensive reform of the machinery of the law, the courts of law and justice, and its delays and abuses, necessary for the peace and security of the kingdom, completing the cycle of his early Baconian-Shakespearean legal plays.
DID FRANCIS BACON DIE IN 1626? OR DID HE FEIGN HIS DEATH WITH THE HELP OF HIS ROSICRUCIAN-FREEMASONRY BROTHERHOOD?
Following his fall from grace which was one of the greatest political betrayals in English history, in order that King James could save the favourite George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and so that he could save himself, Francis Bacon spent the last five years of his recorded life writing, revising and translating his works for publication with the help of his good pens among them Ben Jonson and George Hebert. During the last year of his life the health of James I was steadily deteriorating and he was rarely able to visit London, while the favourite Buckingham who had sacrificed Bacon and in his distress extorted York House from him, took the opportunity to extend his influence over the heir to the throne, Prince Charles. On 27 March 1625 King James died at Theobalds with Buckingham at his bedside. These are the simple facts known to general history. Following the succession there was no return to favour for Bacon or any offer of a position in the new regime or government and the two of them Charles I and Buckingham believed they could jointly rule without the need or advice of the kingdom’s greatest and wisest statesman. He knew better than anyone and had first-hand experience of the behaviour of monarchs towards those they perceived as a threat or had fallen out of favour.
In the weeks and months leading up to Bacon’s supposed death a certain George Eglisham’s, one of King James’s physicians, was busy writing an explosive pamphlet entitled The Forerunner of Revenge which when published caused a sensation and had very far reaching consequences for Charles I and the favourite Buckingham. In the pamphlet Eglisham directly accused Buckingham of poisoning and murdering his lover and royal master James I as well as other members of the nobility including the Earl of Southampton to whom Bacon had dedicated his Shakespeare poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. There were also many who believed that King Charles had been complicit in the murder of his father King James and Bacon too feared King Charles would try to kill him. The great philosopher died to the profane world on Easter Sunday 9 April 1626 and on 8 May the most reviled and hated man in the kingdom Buckingham was impeached by the House of Lords on charges relating to causing evils affecting the state, bribery and corruption on a colossal scale, and the murder of King James. The decision by King Charles not to allow Buckingham’s impeachment to proceed to trial by dissolving parliament at the cost of a much needed subsidy bill led more to believe or strongly suspect he was complicit with Buckingham in the foul act of killing a king, the very progenitor of his own royal blood. These events eventually led to the assassination of Buckingham in 1628 and helped set in train the state execution of Charles I and the English Civil War.
In the meantime hidden to mainstream history for four hundred years Bacon having feigned his own death with the help of his Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood apparently quietly slipped off to the continent, perhaps travelling first to France and moving on to The Hague in the Netherlands, before eventually spending many years in Germany with Johann Valentin Andreae living to a very old age.
Evidence for his second life includes textual evidence involving indications he did not die in 1626 (‘He is gone, he is gone: it suffices for my woe to have uttered this: I have not said he is dead’), etc. Letters, one written in his prose including the phrase ‘when I was alive’, another letter written by Sir Thomas Meautys to Bacon dating from 11 October 1631, proving he was still very much alive five years after his supposed death in 1626, as stated in every single orthodox biography to the present day. There is also a good deal of evidence supporting that Bacon was responsible for producing, revising and enlarging his own works, and for his direct involvement in writings published in the name of others, post 1626. He also wrote the little known poem ‘On Worthy Master William Shakespeare’ prefixed to the 1632 Second Shakespeare Folio and was responsible for 1,679 changes in what was an attempt to clarify and correct the text including hundreds of alterations in grammar, changes pertaining to the action, and amendments and revisions, affecting metre and style. There is also evidence for his involvement in the publication of the first English translation of the Rosicrucian manifestos the Fama and Confessio (1652) and the publication of the unique version of his New Atlantis known as The Land of the Rosicrucians (1662). This is all supported by extensive cryptographic evidence, Rosicrucian-Freemasonic frontispieces, portraits and engravings, including a portrait with the initials ‘F. B.’ prominently displayed in it depicting Francis Bacon as a very old man. He was born in secrecy and died in secrecy all of which is known to the select elite of his present day Rosicrucian-Freemasonry Brotherhood who will eventually disclose to the world where Bacon truly died and where he is actually buried, that he is the true author of the Shakespeare works, as well as other secrets about his life and writings. The full truth will truly stagger humankind.