electronically typed and edited by Juan Schoch pc93@bellsouth.net






Translated by WILLARD PARKER

President Bacon Society of America



Translator's Postscript.--The translator feels, constrained to call especial attention to an extremely remarkable feature of this book. Madame Deventer had never read any of the other numerous works on the subject, but plowed the field as absolutely new ground, beginning her investigations, many years before her book was published in 1921, without the least idea whither they would lead her. This gives to her conclusions a greatly added weight, and even if her admiring translator had failed to follow all her deductions, he, for one, would certainly not presume to criticise them. Let others do so if they feel competent. W. P.




The first critic of modern times to attack the Shakspere myth was A. W. von Schlegel in 1808.

Coleridge followed in 1811, Byron in 1821, and Disraeli 1837.

Emerson voiced his discontent at the incongruity of fact and verse in 1842.

Gfroerrer of Stuttgart was frankly skeptical in 1843.

But no substitute author seems to have been seriously suggested till Delia Bacon raised the standard of revolt in 1852.

Since that date, thinker after thinker has declared in favor of the Bacon authorship, and discovery after discovery has been brought forward, all tending, in the words of Lord Palmerston, toward the "explosion of the Shakespearian illusions", until now it is fair to say that half, or at least a very strong and scholarly minority of real readers and thinkers have adopted the Baconian belief.

But of all the great literary critics and students whose efforts have shed light upon this question of the Shakespeare Authorship, scarce one had deeply penetrated the historical mystery of Francis Bacon's lineage and birth, until the research on these lines was taken up by Madame Deventer von Kunow in the work which it has been my great privilege to put into English and which is now offered to the American reader.

The endless and indefatigable patience with which she has delved in the musty archives of the past--those in England, in Spain and in Italy--justly entitles her to a place in the front rank of fearless historical investigators.

The fact of Francis Bacon's parentage--the legitimate son of Queen Elizabeth and therefore the legal heir to the throne--is indubitable, supported as it is, not only by a mass of circumstantial evidence, but by such direct testimony as Leicester's letter to Philip of Spain, which Madame Deventer discovered among the Spanish State Archives, begging Philip to use his influence with Elizabeth to secure his public acknowledgment as Prince Consort.

And Elizabeth's real reason for posing as the Virgin Queen,--announcing at the very beginning of her reign that no Tudor should follow her upon the throne,--may well have been the union of England and Scotland under one sceptre; and this grand concept, carried to fruition through the sacrifice of her husband, her son, and who shall say how much of her own heart, is perhaps in its unselfishness the one bright spot in the whole ghastly tragedy.

No one with an open mind, or with the slightest cranny therein through which "revealing day can peep", can possibly


follow Madame Deventer's revelations and remain unconvinced.

Her study of the Plays in relation to their dates of presentation and publication is exhaustive and replete with valuable information. So important does the translator deem this feature of her book that he here subjoins a tabulated list of the Plays with the dates applying, in the belief that to many students, as to him, it will prove a most useful work of reference.

Her analysis of the motif of each Play, studied with such care from the standpoint of the personality of Francis Bacon Tudor Shakespeare brings out new meanings, oft-times of tremendous import which we are surprised to find buried just out of sight, where we have rambled over them a score of times. An interesting example of this is Macbeth's vision of the eight Kings descending from Banquo--the eighth bearing the two-fold balls and treble sceptres--and the glass showing more to follow.

All told and in all frankness, it is not too much to say that this work is one of the most interesting and important additions to Shakespearian literature since the production of the matchless Plays themselves, and if it serves but a tithe of its potential purpose in awakening new and stimulating old interest in the greatest literary production of the ages, both Author and Interpreter will be well repaid for their labors. The opportunity to reproduce the interesting picture on page 79 from a modern reprint in his possession, is due to the courtesy of Dr. W. H. Prescott, of Boston.

The gifted author does not, of course, claim that every fact and deduction is absolutely new and original. Many noble investigators, to whom be all well-deserved honor, have plowed the field, but Madame Deventer adds her contribution to the sum total in the hope and belief that the matter and the manner of her presentation will be welcomed and appreciated.


Conshohocken, Pa., U. S. A.



Short though the Title of this book, the question therein implied--"Who was Francis Bacon?"--is of vast import.

It embraces the descent, life and works of this man.

To this inquiry the author devoted many years of searching investigation entirely unconnected with the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy, which question did not become known to her until a later day.

In early youth, under the tuition of English instructors, I was taught English history and literature, read Shakespeare in English and later even in the original text, and when in after years I studied in England, I again turned my attention to history as a special branch. In this work I therefore treat the question regarding Francis Bacon in two separate parts: I. His descent and his life and work as a statesman. II. His work as a Philosopher, pseudonymous author, and "concealed poet," as he called himself in confidential and non-cryptic letters to his associates.

When the commission was entrusted to me by friends to prepare for private record a "Stuart-Chronicle" based upon MSS. investigation, I required for this purpose access to historical documents and MSS.; and my way to all manner of sources of information was therefore gladly open to me.

I also remember with gratitude the assistance of Dr. R. Garnett, LL. D., then director of the Department of King's Library in the British Museum in London, as also the MSS. offered me in Oxford, under Professor Max Muller's especial guidance.

In my searches among the old books on sale and through Theatre lists and works regarding them, Shakespeare's great interpreter, Sir Henry Irving, was always at hand with friendly assistance, and as these dear, ever-remembered friends have in the meantime passed from among us, I cherish them the more faithfully in grateful recollection.

An unpublished letter from Francis Bacon was the first cause and occasion of my Bacon-investigation. This letter is in itself of no general interest, as it refers only to a private affair of the recipient, but from this letter it is plainly evident that the correspondent must have been entrusted with the secrets of Francis Bacon's private life. Here occurred a lightly


mentioned and veiled observation concerning the fateful burden resting upon Francis Bacon, of which the recipient was obviously aware. What was that experience which the young barrister, Francis Bacon, had passed through? That was to me, henceforward, the all-absorbing question.

From the histories I had learned as his "Fate" only his fall from the Chancellorship. This, however, had occurred much later than the letter referred to, which had been written in the ninth decade of the Sixteenth Century, between 1580 and 1590.

When I first devoted myself to the study of Francis Bacon's Life and Works, his literary and philosophical productions, and especially his letters, I did not suspect the crushing life-tragedy which was to be finally unfolded before me.

But with all the greater clearness, from under the rubbish of years of false historical tradition, there then arose before me the true personality in the names:

Francis Tudor Bacon, Baron Verulam,

Viscount St. Alban,--Shakespeare.

as one in its tremendous unity.

It is therefore my purpose in this study through the application of known and admitted proof, and the aid of new evidence which I have discovered, to add what I may to the painstaking labors of other investigators, who have preceded me in this field.

In this spirit I commend the work to the friendly offices of my readers.


Weimar, Thuringen, Germany, 1921.





--Historical investigations: Documentary evidences, e. g. old genealogical proofs, positive and negative: Old MSS. and what they yield.

1. The secret marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley,Lord Leicester, and the two sons sprung from this marriage: Francis, named Bacon, and Robert, named Devereux--P. 9-15.

2. Francis, called Mr. Bacon under Elizabeth--P. 16-47.

3. Francis, Baron Verulam and Viscount St. Albans, as statesman under James I--P. 48- 54.


--Literary--Historical with MSS. evidence.

1. Francis Bacon, the Philosopher, and pseudonymous and anonymous author--P. 54-57.

2. Francis Tudor, "concealed poet" as he called himself in confidential and non-cryptic letters--P. 58-62.

3. What is positively known of the Actor "Shakspere"--P.63-66.

4. Contemporary Pamphlets--P. 66-68.

5. Comments concerning certain selected dramas in which Francis presents himself, allegorically on the stage as a Tudor--P. 69-85.

6. Sequence of the publication of Dramas, written for the Court, for masks at Gray's Inn, or for the stage. Quarto Editions: Alterations of Titles and finally the great Folio-- edition of 1623--P. 86-110.

7. The Work: De Sapientia Veterum and Comments upon individual sonnets--P. 111-118.

AFTERWORD--P. 118-124.

"It is ever darkest before day."


We searchers desire to bring light, and in our investigations have thought only of the fame of that "Great Inheritance" which on the reviving of his memory and the knowledge of his true name is, according to his Will and Testament, to be awaited by:

"Foreign Nations and the next ages."







Many believe this question to be fully answered in historical works, all of which state that he was the son of Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Queen Elizabeth.

But even during Francis' lifetime were rumors current that he was the child of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley.

All historians represent Dudley as the favorite of the Queen. In order to clearly understand her relations with him, it is necessary to seek for data from the time of their first acquaintance to the close of his life.

With the support of the most varied documentary evidence the life of Robert Dudley is here chronologically set forth:

The Sutton Family, Barons Dudley, was an old English Baronet Family.

John of Sutton I., who died in 1321, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of John Somery, Baron Dudley, upon the Estate and Castle Dudley. Through Margaret came the castle and title of Lord Dudley into the Sutton family.

Passing over the next generations, attention is drawn to John of Sutton II., Baron Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. He married his son, Guildford, to Jane Grey, oldest granddaughter of Henry VII's by his daughter, Lady Suffolk, sister to Henry VIII, as he hoped to bring this daughter-in-law to the throne. It is well known that Northumberland succeeded in persuading the young King Edward VI to pass over in his Testament his sisters Mary and Elizabeth and name Jane Grey as his successor.

After the death of Edward VI, July 6, 1553, Northumberland's conspiracy in favor of Jane collapsed, and he, his son Guildford, and Jane, were arrested. With him were his four other sons, John, Ambrose, Henry and Robert Dudley, suspected of participation in the conspiracy.

After the execution of the Duke, Lady Jane Grey and Guildford, the four other sons were still held prisoners in the Tower until 1555, when they were pardoned and by Act of Parliament

William Salt,

Archiolog Society,

Coll. IX, pt. II,

p. 9-11

State Papers 1553-54


Calendar of

Hatfield MSS.

New Rec. Office

Dictionary of

National Biography

New Rec. Off.

Dictionary of

National Biography

New Rec. Off.

Dictionary of

National Biography

Harleian MSS.

Brit. Museum

New Rec. Off.

State's Papers

Foreign 1551-52

reinstated in their former rights,--"restored in blood by Act of Parliament."

From this time the life of Robert Dudley begins to interest the Princess Elizabeth. She had met him at the court of her brother, Edward VI, where she had taken great delight in the society of the elegant Cavalier.

Robert Dudley had received a comprehensive education at the University of Oxford, giving special attention to languages and mathematics, together with Alchemy and Physic. In accordance with the custom of the times he kept permanently in his castle an Italian physician, who was at the same time an Alchemist and Astrologer and understood the preparation of chemical compounds.

His preference for Italian Physicians, who were celebrated for their secret arts, even as far as mixing poisons, caused it to be often suspected that the subsequent Lord Leicester had removed from his path by the poison route, persons who were disagreeable to him.

Of his friendship with the young prince, afterward King Edward VI, and of his sojourn in the court, information is found in Edward's diary, wherein it is also mentioned that Robert Dudley often met there the Princess Elizabeth, who was about his own age. The King also describes Robert Dudley's marriage with Amy Robsart, daughter of Sir John Robsart, which took place June 4, 1550, in the presence of the King in the royal palace of Sheen in County Surrey.

The Dictionary of National Biography adds that the two fathers, the Duke of Northumberland and Sir John Robsart, Lord of the Manor of Sidenstern, in May 1550 reached an agreement regarding the reciprocal dowries of their children. In February 1554 the Duke of Northumberland presented to his son Robert certain landed properties and Hemsby castle at Yarmouth.

The letters of this couple, Robert and Amy Dudley, show how harmoniously they at first lived together, first in Norfolk, where Dudley administered local offices.

In 1553 Robert Dudley was elected Member of Parliament from the County of Norfolk. In the meantime, when he sojourned at the court of the young King, Amy was not present. He also attended the King during his last illness, and Edward presented him with estates in the Counties of Rockingham, Easton and Leicester.

In 1551 Robert spent some months at the French Court, where he took service under the Scottish Queen Dowager, Mary Guise.


During his confinement in the Tower which was at the same time as the short imprisonment of Princess Elizabeth, Bishop Gardiner of Winchester, a fanatical Catholic and adherent of Queen Mary as her Chancellor of State, reports that a love affair had already sprung up there between Robert and Elizabeth.

A chronicle of the Tower offers the further statement that the couple had been married there by a monk.

The "Dictionary of National Biography" however states that after the execution of the Duke of Northumberland, Guildford Dudley and Lady Jane Grey, the imprisonment of the other Dudley sons was less strict, and that Robert Dudley was allowed to receive his wife Lady Amy.

On Robert Dudley's liberation he attracted the attention of Philip II of Spain, then in England for his marriage to Queen Mary, and was chosen while Philip was in the Netherlands, as private ambassador between him and the queen. This intimacy explains Leicester's subsequent appeal to Philip to secure his (Leicester's) acknowledgment as Prince Consort. See page 17.

After Robert Dudley and his brothers were pardoned, Oct. 18, 1554, and all honors and estates were restored to the four sons of Northumberland by Act of Parliament, Robert, with his brother Henry, entered the Military Service. Both fought at the battle of St. Quentin, where Henry was killed.

Thus far Robert Dudley had discharged the duties of his rank and age without receiving special distinction, and in so far as he remained in his castles, he lived in various locations with Lady Amy. Upon Elizabeth's accession to the throne he sent his wife to a separate dwelling in the deep isolation of a cloister farmhouse at Cunmor Hall, which had formerly belonged to the monastery of Abingdon. This house in Cunmor Hall was in charge of Anthony Forster.

Of the splendid furnishings of certain rooms in this house, as well as the payments for Robert's travelling costs, when he there visited his wife, all the particulars are to be found of record in the English archives of State.

Meanwhile Dudley rose in the favor of the Queen, and from this time on Lady Amy complains in her letters of her husband's neglect.

On Sept. 18, 1559, Lady Amy died suddenly; as was said, in consequence of a fall from the stairs in Cunmor Hall.

As history also reports, Robert Dudley's conduct regarding his wife's funeral was questionable, as he absented himself therefrom. The "Dictionary of National Biography" states that Lady Amy's death was reported to be the result of a plan to murder her, and that this rumor soon reached London.

New Rec. Off.

Wyatt's Rebellion

1554 by Gardiner

Gardiner's Annals

New Rec. Off.

Notes and Queries

3d Ser., p. 20, etc.

Harleian MSS.

Brit. Museum


From this point forward, Robert's career can be followed as constantly rising in favor with Elizabeth.

As early as Jan. 18, 1558, three months after her proclamation as Queen, she had appointed Dudley, Master of Horse.

Here it should be remarked that according to the reckoning of these times the year began March 25th.

Three months later, April 23, she created Dudley, Knight of the Garter.

In November of the same year she conferred upon him two extensive monastic estates in the County of Kew, and a large landed estate, also tax-exemption in the sale of woolen goods, and other favors.

And in the same month she appointed Dudley Commander-in-Chief over the Castle and Forests of Windsor. As the investiture of the Order of Knight of the Garter took place in St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Dudley thus became immediately the first Knight of this Order, causing much envy among the older Knights.

But the greatest distinction of all was conferred upon Robert Dudley when, in 1564, he was with all pomp created Earl of Leicester. Sir James Melville, at that time Scotch Envoy to England, attended this ceremony in Westminster and describes it minutely in his memoirs.

The possession of the magnificent Castle of Kenilworth had been previously conferred upon Robert Dudley by the Queen.

When we follow all the evidences of favor which the Queen heaped upon Leicester in far greater abundance, than had ever before fallen to the lot of a favorite, and then place over against them the fact that she proposed him for the husband of Mary Stuart, it appears to contradict the statement that she was herself consumed with love for him.

Obviously the two queens encountered each other in these transactions with reciprocal false representations and intrigues. From Elizabeth's standpoint this marriage proposal had only a political significance, to protect herself from a union of the Scottish Queen with some foreign Catholic prince, or with the Catholic Darnley Stuart Lennox, as a growing Catholic opposition might endanger her.

Eric Marks very correctly calls Leicester a "Figure upon Elizabeth's Chessboard", whom she put forward as soon as she desired to protect herself from a marriage-candidate by wavering and hesitation. In the case of Mary Stuart, also she employed Leicester as a go-between, in order to gain time, to frustrate the marriage plans of the Scottish Queen with Catholic princes.


Her statesman William Cecil betrays most accurately Elizabeth's real feelings on this subject in a letter:

"I see that her Majesty is anxious to be able to advance

My Lord Leicester to the high post of Husband to the Scot-

tish Queen; but when it comes to the necessary conditions,

then I see that her earnestness wanes."

History has erroneously depicted Robert Dudley only as Elizabeth's favorite,--her foot-ball used at will. At her court, however, there were watchful eyes, who perceived clearly that Elizabeth's heart, outwardly cold and since early youth repressed by fate, was glowing with the fires of love for Leicester.

The dispatches of the Spanish envoy de Fiera to Philip II give authentic proof of this:

"The prospect of a union of the Queen with the Archduke Karl is entirely miscarried, as the Queen evidently loves Dudley."

In Jan. 1560 de Fiera's successor de Quadra, the Spanish envoy, reports from London to Philip that Dudley's arrogance was continually increasing, and he was looked upon as the future King.

In December 1561 a secret despatch of the Spanish envoy advises that the queen is expecting a child by Dudley.

A book of which more notice will be taken later, entitled "Leicester's Commonwealth", "conceived, spoken and published with most earnest protestation of all dutiful goodwill and affection toward this realm", which first appeared in Antwerp in 1584, enters with still greater completeness and accuracy into these statements. In the "Dictionary of National Biography" the individual statements also agree with those in "Leicester's Commonwealth."

It is therein recorded that on Jan. 21, 1561, Queen Elizabeth was secretly married to Robert Dudley in the house of Lord Pembroke before a number of witnesses.

On the next day the birth of Francis, called Bacon, is registered "in London." Many years later the notice was added: "In York House."

In the family genealogy of the house of Nicholas Bacon, Francis was, however, not entered. Only the afternote "Born in York House" created the impression that Francis had first seen the light at the official residence of the Lord Keeper.

William Rawley, Bacon's personal chaplain and amanuensis, in his Life of Sir Francis Bacon, printed in Resuscitatio 1657, "in York House, or York Place, in the Strand." Rawley must have known that York House was the residence of Sir Nicholas Bacon, while York Place, known also as Whitehall, was the

Ellis, Letters

Ser. II, Vol. 2, p. 294

These Despatches

appear in complete

detail in the records

of Simancas Archives

Simancas Archives,

Escurial Pap.

Escurial Pap.

Dict. Nat. Biog

XVI, p. 114


State documents of

Simancas' Archives

Dict. Nat. Biog.

XVI. p. 114

Despatch Giac.

Surian, Paris, June

1, 1566

residence of the Queen. This ambiguity, therefore, would appear intentional and is highly significant.

In the same year,--June 24, 1561, is dated another communication of the Spanish envoy de Quadra to Philip II.

I extract the following also from the "Dictionary of National Biography," XVI 114 (same page) (italics mine):

"Sir Henry Sidney in January 1560-1 first asked de

Quadra whether he would help on the marriage if Dudley

undertook to restore the Roman Catholic religion in Eng-

land. In February Dudley and the Queen both talked with

the Spaniard openly on the subject; in April Dudley ac-

cepted the terms offered by de Quadra. He promises that

England should send representatives to the Council of

Trent, and talked of going himself. On 24 June de Quadra

accompanied Elizabeth and her lover on a water-party

down the Thames, when they behaved with discreditable

freedom. In a long conversation de Quadra undertook to

press on their union on condition that they should acknowl-

edge the papal supremacy. The negotiation was kept secret

from the responsible ministers, but Cecil suspected the

grounds of de Quadra's intimacy with Dudley and Eliza-

beth, and powerful opposition soon declared itself."

In these despatches it is noteworthy that de Quadra, in his conversation regarding the marriage of the Queen with Dudley received no denial and that Elizabeth and Robert Dudley jointly gave to him their promise of the acknowledgment of Papal Sovereignty.

Elizabeth, who seldom lost her presence of mind, as she showed in all the difficult crises of her life, and who in the future never recognized Leicester as her husband, much less Prince Consort, may at this time have acted under unexpected and embarrassing circumstances, for she betrayed in this joint acquiescence her relations with Robert Dudley. The Spanish Envoy so understood it, according to his reports to Philip as the records in Simancas clearly show.

The Venetian Envoy Surian, also speaks of the relations between Elizabeth and Dudley in 1566. Here it is apparent that he knew nothing of the secret marriage, but only considered this union probable, as the marriage of Elizabeth's choice. He writes: "Mi e' stato detto da persona, la qual e' ben avisata della cose di la', che l'amor che porta sua Maesta al soprascritto milord Roberto e' tale, che ella o' li prendera finalmente per marito o' non ne prendera mai niuno."

(A certain personage who knows the situation there very well has told me that the love which her Majesty bears for the above mentioned Milord Robert is so great that she will eventually take him as her husband or none at all.)


From all the above reiterated observations and communications is evidenced the enduring quality which Elizabeth showed in her love for Leicester, as also the carrying out of her original intentions never to concede to him the right of a Prince Consort. With her peculiar tenacity she knew full well how to guard the secret of her marriage.

These methods of procedure, like the repudiation of her sons, seem so incomprehensible that they are not to be credited without convincing proof, and all the less as the evidence remained so carefully hidden.

Even tho' we attempt to excuse this behavior of the Queen by citing the somewhat loose customs of the time, it still remains an incomprehensible enigma.

The solution is, however, to be sought in the reasons of state followed by her from her accession to the throne, always remembering that she as ruler was able to carry them out with the determination of character inherited from her father.

She indicated this purpose when in addressing her first Parliament she said "She desired to appear in the Annals of History as the Virgin Queen, and therefore wished no Tudor as successor to the Throne."

No one during her lifetime saw through Elizabeth's reasons of State and judged her more accurately than her eldest, dethroned son, Francis Tudor, called Bacon. His writings, his letters, and at last his great statesmanship under James I, offer the clearest evidence.




From the union of Elizabeth with Leicester sprang a second son, Robert, born in 1567. This child also was attributed to another family, namely, to Walter Devereux, Lord Hereford.

The evidences of this are to be found in the writings of his full brother Francis, referred to in the following pages.

The Devereux Family traces its descent from Robert D'Evereux, who came over with William the Conqueror and settled in Hereford.

Passing over the intermediate generations, we draw attention to Walter Devereux, Lord Hereford, born 1541, and married in 1561 to Lettice, the eldest daughter of Sir Francis Knollys, Knight of the Garter. The young pair lived at first quite retired upon their estates and were much troubled with financial difficulties.

Lord Hereford was gradually drawn by Elizabeth to the court, and later became Governor of Ireland.

In the old genealogical records of the Devereux Hereford family are registered three children of the marriage of Walter and Lettice Devereux Hereford.

The son, Walter, born 1569, who fell at Rouen 1591; also two daughters, Penelope and Dorothy.

On March 4, 1572, the Queen elevated Walter Devereux Lord Hereford to the Earldom of Essex,--five years after the birth of Robert Tudor, called Essex. And in the Essex genealogical register of the 16th Century this Robert is not entered as the eldest son until after the Earldom of Essex had been conferred upon his reputed father. As heir of this title he was then put forward as the legitimate sone of the Essex couple.

Thus at the outset, through the absence of two genealogical records we have two items of negative evidence that not only Francis so-called Bacon, but also Robert so-called Lord Essex, did not belong to these respective families.

The history of Robert of Leicester shows that year after year he hoped in vain to be openly acknowledged by Elizabeth as Prince Consort; also that she continually heaped distinctions upon him. Even after occasional outbursts of ill temper against Leicester the Queen was to the last ever the same in reconciliation and forgiveness.

In Froude's History of England, VII, p. 308-26, we find that,


according to the records of the Simancas Archives, Elizabeth and Leicester considered the announcement of their marriage through Spanish mediation, but that Elizabeth always refused.

This does not, however, indicate that the marriage was not concluded without Spanish mediation, since Elizabeth desired to keep it secret.

Much more remarkable is a letter from Leicester in the Simancas Archives, in which he asks the mediation of the Spanish Court to secure his acknowledgment by Elizabeth as Prince Consort.

In the Leicester genealogy is recorded his first marriage with Amy Robsart, and afterwards a secret marriage with Lady Douglas Sheffield before only eight witnesses in Esher, County of Surrey.

This marriage took place two days before the birth of a son to this couple who was named Robert. This Robert was afterward Leicester's sole heir, insofar as Elizabeth had not, after Leicester's death, appropriated a portion of his estates and other properties.

Leicester did not trouble himself about this child. He was sent early to school and later to Oxford University under the tutelage of a special instructor, but entered only as the "Son of a Lord," nothing revealing his ancestry. After Leicester's death he had great difficulty in legitimating himself as Leicester's son, which was afterward accomplished through the discovery of a contract between his parents. Concerning his father, he stated that for reasons unknown to him his father had kept secret his marriage with his mother.

After three years Leicester parted from Lady Sheffield, and evidently turned his passion toward Lettice, wife of Walter Lord Essex. After Lord Essex's death he married the widow, and this marriage also was apparently kept secret from Elizabeth. This secrecy was not, however, generally well preserved, as the French Ambassador, M. de Simier, in a conversation with the Queen, casually mentioned the marriage of Leicester with Lady Essex as a known fact. Elizabeth's anger blazed up most severely. Leicester was banished from the Court, and was apparently most repentant. He withdrew from the court as an exile and stated that he would poison himself in despair. But even after this grievous affront, which Elizabeth had suffered in his marriage with Lettice, she again pardoned him and permitted him to remain near her. Leicester appeared everywhere and to the last as victor in his influence over the Queen, even though his greatest wish, to be acknowledged Prince Consort, was always denied him.

Escurial Papers

State papers, Foreign


M. de Simier

Wil. Salt, Archeolog.

Society Coll., Family



New Rec. Off.

docum. Leicester

and Notes and


Ser. 3d. p. 20, etc.

His death occurred in 1588, while both he and Lettice were ill. As recorded in "Leicester's Commonwealth," Leicester had mixed a poison with medicine. Lettice, however, handed it to Leicester, believing it to be a harmless medical drink. His death resulted.

To summarize the historical facts: Leicester made three secret marriages, after he had gotten Amy Robsart out of the way. His secret marriages he contracted with Queen Elizabeth, with Lady Howard Sheffield, and with Lady Essex. Through the last named he became the so-called stepfather of his legitimate son Robert, born to the Queen.

When Leicester died in 1588 he bequeathed to Elizabeth valuable jewels, yet she also appropriated as her own after his death part of the landed estates presented to him, together with the costly gold and silver vessels and other valuable furnishings from Kenilworth.

That Leicester's hopes of acknowledgment as Prince Consort again revived,--after he had, before his expedition to the Netherlands, given them up,--is shown by significant letters written from the Netherlands at this period. And none of his "side marriages" would have stood in his way,--he was too cold-blooded a poison expert, as he is represented in Leicester's Commonwealth. (Leicester's Commonwealth facsimile, P. 161.

The following authorities are cited in addition to the above:

"Camden Society Publications and Calendar of State Papers," Correspondence of Robert Dudley; Lord Leicester's "Documents," Camden Society; "Leicester during his government in the Low Countries, 1585."




HIS LIFE FROM 1561 to 1603.

Francis Tudor grew up in the family of Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and so shared the love of these his foster parents that he felt himself in their home as their own child. In particular did he cherish to the last a grateful loyalty to Ann Bacon.

She was the second wife of Nicholas Bacon, daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, and sister to the wife of William Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, the first Lord Treasurer. Of Nicholas' first marriage were born to him three sons: Nicholas, Nathaniel and Edward, and three daughters. Lady Anne presented him with but one son, Anthony, who was two years older than Francis.

With Elizabeth's accession to the throne began the rising career of Nicholas Bacon, the Advocate, through the influence of his brother-in-law Cecil, as under the Catholic Queen Mary, even his life had many times been threatened. In 1558 Elizabeth both had advanced him to the position of Lord Keeper, and to Knighthood as Sir Nicholas Bacon.

As he had proven himself learned in both civil and ecclesiastical law, the queen for many years confided to him the guidance of ecclesiastical affairs in Parliament, he presiding at the opening of the first Parliament which she summoned.

For his official residence as Lord Keeper he received the palace of the Archbishop of York (York House) on the Thames.

Early in the fifteen sixties, Nicholas Bacon purchased the country seat of Gorhambury, and gradually acquired estates in the County of Middlesex.

His country house at Gorhambury, in the County of Hereford, near St. Albans, he built for himself in the years 1563 to 1568.

The great banquet hall of Gorhambury was decorated with carvings (being partly Sir Nicholas Bacon's original verse) and maxims regarding Grammar, Logic, Arithmetic, Astrology, History, etc. These interests of the Lord Keeper show how Francis' spirit, from youth up, was awakened to the same. In lively remembrance, he recalled the visits of the Queen, who,

D'Ewes Journal, II.

Hayward's Annals

Camd. Society, p. 22

Lambeth Palace

Camden Society,

p. 29

Lambeth Palace

MSS., 644 ff. 5 & 6


Trinity College,

Cambridge, Brit.

Magaz., p. 144 &

p. 365

Gray's Inn Book of

Orders, p. 56

when tarrying in Gorhambury, conversed with the boys regarding their school work and progress in study. At these times she seemed to the young Francis particularly severe.

At twelve years of age he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and for two years lived there with his brother Anthony. In 1576 Anthony and Francis were received into the "Societas Magistrorum" of Gray's Inn, as Sir Nicholas had destined both youths for a legal career.

Francis does not state the exact day when he became aware of his mysterious birth, but there are reasons to believe that it occurred during his studies at Gray's Inn, for while the elder Anthony was able to complete the course, Francis, barely sixteen years of age, was suddenly torn from them at the desire of the Queen, and sent out of England. He was attached to Sir Nicholas' nephew, Sir Amyas Paulet, the English Ambassador in Paris. But this diplomatic career was likewise rudely interrupted, because, after Nicholas Bacon's death, being left without means, he was obliged to follow his legal career for a livelihood. Anthony on the other hand after his father's death could pursue his education for ten years further on the Continent.

Life at the French court broadened Francis' views and he met there prominent men, with some of whom he maintained friendship till mature years. Opportunity was also afforded him not only to engage in the study of the Romance languages, and of foreign literatures, but also to increase his efficiency in the ancient tongues. Thus did his sojourn in France bear for him lasting fruits.

After the death of Sir Nicholas Bacon in 1579 Francis was obliged to return to London. Here it is noteworthy that the Lord Keeper left all his children well provided with means and certain landed estates in the counties of Hereford and Middlesex. Anthony inherited Gorhambury, which also remained the dower seat of Lady Ann Bacon.

To Francis the Lord Keeper had bequeathed nothing and, almost without means, he became dependent upon the assistance of his foster-mother and occasional aid from Anthony. Although the Lord Keeper had apparently hoped for Elizabeth's support of Francis after his death, yet the enforced continuance of his legal career shows that he was obliged to seek a livelihood, and forms a sharp contrast with his life at the French Court, which had caused him to find legal pursuits much against his inclination.

Anthony, on the other hand, was able to maintain himself


for ten years on the Continent, become familiar with France, Germany and Italy, broadening his education in this manner.

From the time when Francis resumed his law studies in Gray's Inn, until he became there an "Utter Barrister", he had experienced the greatest hardships through Cecil, who from the outset opposed his efforts to secure a government office. With great tenacity, Cecil pursued his purpose to keep Francis away from the Queen.

In 1584 Francis was elected to the Lower House of Parliament from Melcombe, County of Dorset.

At this time the conspiracy of the Catholic powers, especially with the help of the banished English Jesuits, against Elizabeth and in the interests of Mary Stuart, was agitating all the English Protestants, while those of Scotland were attached to her son James. This synchronizes with the motif and earliest date of the Shakespeare Hamlet. See "Renascence Drama," by William Thompson, Melbourne, 1880.

In England, however, the Protestant party was divided. The Orthodox Wing desired to transfer the ecclesiastical power, which had been wrested from the Pope to a Protestant head of the Church, clothed with almost equal pastoral authority. Learned theologians of more moderate political opinions were thus hampered in the freedom of teaching and persecuted almost as fanatically as the Catholics.

The Non-Conformist party had thus formed itself in opposition to the Orthodox Church party, the former being in no way antagonistic to the Government, but standing only for the liberty of public teaching.

Francis, at this time but twenty-four years of age, was thus subjected to the influence of all the floods which surrounded him: Dangers to Elizabeth through conspiracies, mistrust against the Catholic Countries Spain and France, and against the still powerful Catholic Nobility of Scotland, and conflicts within the English Protestant Church. In addition was felt also the influence of Francis' greatly esteemed foster-mother, Lady Ann Bacon, who espoused the cause of the non-conformists, and even addressed to her brother-in-law, Lord Burghley a letter in regard to the same.

During the session of Parliament Francis' name is mentioned but twice as voting, and never as an extensive speaker, as is brought out in the Journal of D'Ewes.

During this epoch, however, proceeded from his pen:

"Letter of Advice to the Queen."

This article appears as the first significant work of a young politician and magistrate, who with candor and yet with becom-

D'Ewes Journal


Harl. MSS. 6867/42.

Probably written

1584, certainly not

before death of Pope

Gregory XIII. Apl.


ing respect offers to his monarch, during a period of her reign, when she was obliged to employ her wits against friends and foes alike, and when it was considered by him dangerous to press the Catholics too severely lest they might unite themselves in a great movement against her. He gives her delicate diplomatic hints how to act in order to prevent the Catholics' enmity from increasing, while at the same time not bidding for their friendship. In the same manner he expresses himself regarding the bishops of the English Church, although, as he writes, he fears that his views are contrary to those of the Queen. Yet he sees in the assumption of power by the bishops an oppression of her Protestant subjects equally dangerous to the Queen. Penetrating more deeply into all these subjects, he finally calls her attention to political alliances, stating how Spain is governed by a monarch, who can become a menace to her through the Catholic power, even as Scotland through proximity and claims to the throne. On the other hand he advises an alliance with France since that government cherished also a fear of the Spanish power.

This short extract from the Harleian MSS. 6867/42, shows how Francis, on his first public appearance in Parliament, was noticed for his political foresight and the fearless courage which led him even into a contradiction of the views of Elizabeth for the good of the country and herself.

How could such a young barrister have presumed to advise the strong-willed Queen in these highly important affairs of State, unless he possessed especial personal claims to her attention? The absence of royal resentment is most significant!

But through this bold fearlessness he became still more disliked by the Cecils, father and son, as they recognized in him a Statesman, who was becoming dangerous to them, and to whom no higher office must be opened, as his ability was superior to their own.

But slowly Francis won advancement for himself and became in 1586 a "bencher", a Judge Lateral upon the bench at Gray's Inn, which gave him the right to present addresses for the defence in the courts at Westminster; and in Parliament he became Chairman of the Committee on Subsidies for the Netherland War. Thus he soon gained reputation as a great orator, and in 1589 represented Liverpool in Parliament.

During the Parliament summoned in 1586, where the "Great Cause", the extraordinary case of Queen Mary Stuart was agitating all, Francis was, on November 4th, created a member of the appointed committee. Nevertheless no record has been preserved of any address by him on this memorable day.


The conflicting emotions and inward struggles of Francis over Elizabeth's duplicity and severity in the case of Mary Stuart, are readily to be appreciated in view of his own fate, of which he was at that time well aware. His decision in this case would therefore be more influenced by general views, which, however, is only supposition, as thus far no evidence is at hand.

The "Philosopher and Statesman Bacon" is depicted in history as a savant and a specially capable jurist, distinguished as a keen thinker, but in whom were lacking the sensibilities of heart and soul, as also the impulses of imagination. Superficial students of his philosophical works, essays and letters do not know that his far-seeing glance was projected a century in advance, that he had also a lively imagination, a fine humor, and united in himself such gifts as are only possessed in this degree by a poetic genius.

A clear, cold calculating nature, a prosy jurist, would hardly have been capable, like Francis, entering with full warmth into the inner religious struggles of the human soul, then being enacted through the tremendous controversies between the Non-conformists, later called Puritans, and the High Church of England. True they were no longer agitated in Parliament for fear of causing disturbance, but they were persistently fomented and continued through discussions at the University of Cambridge between the representatives of the High Church and the best orators of the Puritans.

Since the appearance of invidious and anonymous attacks by the Puritans upon the High Church and the latter's retaliation in kind, Francis, in attendance upon the Cambridge debates, followed these disputes with keen interest.

An essay which Francis at first withheld from general circulation is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

It is entitled: "Advertisement, touching the Controversies of the Church of England", and from its contents it is evident how deeply he was moved by the questions of faith, which found entrance into his soul, and how the words of Christ moved him to meditation. He invoked the prophecy of Christ; how in the latter days men would say: "Here is Christ,--there is Christ"; as we read the word and now witness its fulfilment. Entering into the controversy he writes that every man should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. And as he offers this advice to both parties he adds that he who mixes poison in the disputes, the more embitters the wounds inflicted.

He then continues: "Vos estis fratres: ye are brethren--

Oxford Bodleian

Library, E. Mus. 55


why strive ye?" But he who takes umbrage at this advice, shows most plainly that he is doing his brother wrong.

He will not enter more deeply into the controversies themselves, for, in order to remove them, was required rather tranquillity than further and deeper discussion.

At the same time he states, that all parties must recognize the fact that these questions are not of the highest significance, as they did not touch the real mysteries of the Faith, the dissemination of which has from the beginning been the first duty of the Church.

Thus he advised the parties to give over their pamphleteering animosity.

He weighs the ecclesiastical controversies pro and con and points forward to the time when unbelief will contaminate the leaders of the Church and undermine the foundations of the Faith. He goes still further regarding the similarities between the English State Church and the Churches on the Continent, and wishes that all may receive God's blessing in peace and harmony. Then he condemns all the authorities, which permit these discussions between the churches, but he speaks neither with the legal acumen of the advocate, nor yet alone with philosophical wisdom, (though he quotes both Solomon and Plato), but he speaks impressively of his knowledge of and respect for the Articles of Faith. He will not permit the Mystery of Faith to lose, through controversy, its value for the inmost human soul.

In 1590 we learn by letters for the first time of his meeting with Essex, who had distinguished himself under Leicester in the Netherlands. Leicester had died in 1588, as also the old counsellor, Lord William Burghley, and thus Elizabeth found herself isolated and deprived of her former staff. She now turned her favor toward Essex, who accepted it, though without especial gratitude.

Elizabeth had already appointed him in 1587 Master of Horse, and in 1588 General of Cavalry. She thus seemed disposed to heap upon him the same rapid distinctions as formerly upon Leicester, but in this latter case appear radical differences from the former.

We observe that Francis was in this matter thoroughly in Essex's confidence, and in case of misunderstandings, which were not lacking between Essex and the Queen, the elder, more experienced and intellectually superior Francis sought to bring his hot-spurred younger brother into submission to the Queen, in order not to forfeit the royal favor.


In comparing the personalities which influenced most strongly Elizabeth's self-engrossed life, Leicester remains paramount. Her love for him overcame even his most grievous offence against her--his marriage with Lady Lettice, the widow of the elder Essex. But with all the passion which she felt for him in youth, and which to the last never entirely cooled, she understood how to cause him to appear before the court only as her favorite and counsellor, and, whatever more might be thought of their relations, the preservation of the secret was a life and death matter.

Leicester and young Essex, Father and Son, and again appearing before the world as Stepfather and Stepson, and the younger serving also under the elder in the Netherland Wars, presented, even for those times, an almost unbelievable complication.

In addition to the confirmation of these circumstances through a significant, contemporaneous book, the similarity of feature, according to the best portraits of Leicester and Robert indicate a close blood-relationship. There is a tell-tale resemblance in their figure, elegant carriage and cast of countenance. In character, however, the son was better than the father, even though his hot blood swept him finally into high treason and to the block. All the statements here made concerning Leicester, even in his relations with Elizabeth, have been preserved through the centuries in a book with a recital of all the facts, condemnatory it is true, but as to Leicester, depicting truthful public opinion.

In 1584 this volume first appeared under the peculiar title of "Father Parson's Green Coat," a title which in no way suggested the contents. But as it was published anonymously, or to speak more correctly, pseudonymously, it was so-called because of its green cover and green edges, and its authorship without any reason at all attributed to a Reverend Parson.

It was prohibited in England and especially at the court, but the interdict came too late, for in 1585 the second edition appeared in London and in Naples. It is evident, that the author of this work, directed as it was against Leicester, describing with accuracy his life and character, and exhibiting him as debauchee and poisoner, could only have been a courtier with exact knowledge of all the facts. But the real author never betrayed himself.

In 1641 this book was again published, but under the title: "Leicester's Commonwealth, conceived, spoken and published with most earnest protestations of all dutiful goodwill and affection toward this realm." It is cited in the State Calendar

State Calendar

1641-43, p. 136


Cole's MSS.--129


MSS., Alnwick

Castle, Durham Co.

Plates of


MSS., facsimile and


The Letters and Life

of Francis Bacon, by

James Spedding,

London, Green,

Longmans and

Roberts, Vol. VII.


The Northumberland


for the years 1641 to 1643, p. 136, where it is stated: "This book forms the basis for every memoir written of Robert Dudley, Lord Leicester, as drawn from original writing and records."

The underlying purpose was evidently that the author desired to provide for the upholding of the truth beyond his own life time. The author, however, did not become known to the afterworld until 1867.

As early as the 17th Century it was shown as proven by letters--that the suspicions which were directed against the clerical parson as the author, were entirely unfounded, as the work must have proceeded from the pen of a statesman and courtier who possessed accurate information regarding Leicester's life and conduct at the court.

Two hundred years later, 1867, brought to light a hitherto unknown MSS.

The "Northumberland MSS" is so called from the place of its discovery, in Northumberland House, London, afterward Northumberland Avenue Place. Since then the Northumberland MSS. has been preserved in Alnwick Castle, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland in Durham County.

The so-called "Bacon Discoveries," in so far as they concern MSS. and Letters of Francis Tudor, are being brought more and more to light. But it must not be thought that all the writings of Francis have yet been brought out from private archives, even perhaps against the wishes of the owners, nor that the sum total of these discoveries can be regarded as complete.

Still the number of documents already discovered is so great that, in the middle of the last century, Spedding felt called upon to revise and publish those at that time known, in the second series of his 14 volume work on Francis Bacon.

The Northumberland MSS., the publication of which Spedding undertook in 1870, consisted of an envelope or portfolio cover, containing the list of writings which at an earlier date had undoubtedly all been contained therein, but of which only 90 pages remained. The list included:

Mr. ffrauncis Bacon of tribute or giving what is dew.

The praise of the worthiest vertue.

The praise of the worthiest affection.

The praise of the worthiest power.

The praise of the worthiest person.

Various essays and speeches.

Leycesters Commonwealth.

Orations and essays.

Then follows the line:

"By Mr. ffrauncis William Shakespeare."


Under this combined name appear upside down the words "your sovereign."

Rychard the second.

Rychard the third.

Asmond and Cornelia.

Isle of Dogs.

Between, beside and over these titles are written many times in various forms and abbreviations the names "ffrauncis Bacon," "Fr. Bacon," "William Shakespeare," "Wm. Shak.", &c. The latter, is, however, written, not in the form applied to the actor, but invariably "Shakespeare."

The masque composed in 1592 and produced for the first time in honor of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, Nov. 17 of that year, is noted in the fragments first above cited.

The first six lines, referring to the masque of 1592, are in a large, clear, and comparatively modern-pattern hand, closely resembling, if, indeed it is not, the chirography of Bacon himself. The balance of the lists and scribblings on the cover are in the usual hand of the court scrivener of the period. The large S, shaped like the S on the Shakspere Will, and a thousand other documents of the time, and on account of which Mr. Sothern has tried to identify the handwriting on the Thomas More MSS., occurs at least a dozen times on this cover. The real authorship of Leicester's Commonwealth, so long a mystery, is also here indicated though not positively stated. Most of the cover and the ninety pages of contents preserved to us are supposed to be the handwriting of John Davies, who acted at times as Bacon's secretary.

Spedding in his reproduction of this list has overlooked the notice marked on the back: "put into type", which clearly indicates a definite or planned order of printing. And the majority of the titles shown in this list can be identified as having been printed.

Concerning this Northumberland MSS. it should also be noticed that is shows on the edges damage by fire, and certain words on the margin have become illegible, but the titles cited have not suffered.

And now turning to the friendship between Essex and Francis, let it be mentioned that in 1592 Anthony Bacon returned from the continent, and that from this time on, the friendship of these three men assumed an intimate character.

Meanwhile the political horizon had become more clouded and Essex, who had gained a seat in the Council, brought about negotiations between France and England concerning the contemplated apostasy of the Protestant King Henry IV to Catholicism, which caused his allegiance to Elizabeth to totter.


Lambeth Palace,




and Addl. MSS. 5503,

p. 1b

The many despatches which were at this period exchanged with France and came under Essex's charge, Francis and Anthony assisted him in deciphering. Cipher correspondence between these three friends is also in evidence during this period, showing that the three men exchanged secrets among themselves.

Interesting political events then developed. The Spanish conspiracy against Elizabeth, undertaken for Philip by Dr. Roderigo Lopez for large compensation, was discovered by Essex.

Whether and how far Francis assisted him in the matter of cipher letters is not known, only that at that time they were closely associated.

During this period Francis was repeatedly under pressure of poverty. His literary tendencies, secretly pursued, which will be more fully touched upon later, required money, as he was soon obliged to pay,--now for borrowed pseudonyms,--now for costs of printing, and again for costly copper-plates.

Essex, in favor with the Queen, exerted himself actively to secure for Francis a better income through a higher office, but Elizabeth remained deaf to his recommendation.

She had not forgotten that in 1593 he had failed to vote for the war preparation subsidies in accord with the upper house, in event of a Spanish attack, but had stood out for an extension of time. In this matter he had voted against the wishes of the Queen and was advised to address a letter of apology to the Upper House.

His letter, which Elizabeth had opportunity to read, contained, however, no apology at all.

He wrote in regard to the subsidies:

And it is not unknown to your Lordship, that I was

first of the Ordinary Sort, of the Lower House of

Parliament, that spake for the Subsidy; And that, which I

after spake in difference, was but in circumstances of Time

and Manner, which methinks should be no greater Matter,

since there is Variety allowed in Counsel, as a Discord in

Musick, to make it more perfect."

A second conspiracy was discovered in Scotland, which gave occasion for sending Francis thither as secret agent. He unfortunately fell ill upon the journey without being able to fulfil his mission, and on his return he took up his abode in Cambridge. This visit drew to him the attention of the outside world, as his old university conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts.

From this same year, in which he received such distinction in the world of letters, but during which he knew that shame-


ful intrigues were being carried on against him at the court to prevent his advancement to higher office, a MSS. packet, unpublished until 1883, affords a glance at the nevertheless uninterrupted intellectual activity of this great thinker. Spedding drew attention to this MSS. in 1859 and in 1883 Mrs. Henry M. Pott most exhaustively analyzed the same in their relation to the plays.

Among these papers is noticeable a memorandum book in Francis' own hand, entitled: "The Promus of Formularies and Elegancies," which contains single words, sentences, collected quotations and also proverbs which he had selected in order out of this collection to enrich his mother tongue where it had been hitherto found wanting. The number of his newly-created words together with those adapted from other languages is reckoned by an Etymologist at nearly five thousand. And they show themselves in brilliant utilization in his writings in comparison with the English language of his day in pregnant, extraordinary and delicately turned sentences and modes of expression.

"A prophet is not without honor save in his own country"--a bitter truth which Francis experienced to the full. In spite of his intellectual labors, in spite of his brilliant oratory, the higher offices remained closed to him. In spite of Essex's efforts to secure for Francis the vacant office of Attorney General, they saw it bestowed upon Francis' enemy Coke, and in like manner the vacant office of Master of the Rolls was denied him.

Essex was now doubly anxious over Francis' distress for money and offered him a piece of profitable land as a gift. This Francis would not at first accept, which so wounded the passionate and impulsive Essex that he positively forced it upon him, until Francis could no longer decline. From this period the transaction was carried on by word of mouth and when brought to a conclusion Francis touched upon it by letter.

This letter is worthy of remark, as it shows the intimate relations between these friends and brothers.

Francis during Elizabeth's lifetime had received no advancement in rank, having not even been Knighted as was his foster-father, and he always observed rigidly these difference of rank. In his letters he always addressed his foster-mother, who had been to him as his own, "Madam" or "Your Ladyship," and subscribed himself as "Your Ladyship's most obedient son, F. B."

The same difference of rank he observed in letters to Essex. In many letters he expressly states that he regards himself as belonging to the "Commons."

The Promus of

Formularies and


James Spedding,

Robert Leslie Ellis

and Douglas Denen

Heath, 1859, Vol.

VII, London.

Longmans, Green Co.


Letter to Essex,


Resuscitatio, 1657.

Other Letters, p. 93

On one occasion, when during his years of waiting, he saw himself continually the victim of false hopes, he wrote to Essex to the effect that he would not pursue further the profession of the law unless indeed the Queen should especially call him on a case. He had determined to employ his time to better advantage. In this letter he concludes with these words:

"For your Lordship, I do think myself more beholding

to you than any Man. And I say, I reckon myself as a

Common (not Popular but Common) and as much as is

lawful to be enclosed of a Common, so much Your

Lordship shall be sure to have."

Here it should be noticed how Francis continually admits his rank as below that of the Lord, as "Common", twice repeated but with the addition "not popular", which indicates that he knew that he did not, like Essex, stand high in popular favor.

His pun on the "enclosing of the commons" shows a sense of humor unabated by his misfortunes. Could he possibly have had in mind the Actor Shakspere's attempt to enclose the commons at Stratford and the consequent litigation?

In another letter he emphasizes the fact that despite all friendship and devotion he can no longer remain politically attached to Essex, as it would be contrary to the laws of the State and his duty to the Queen.

And in still a third letter he states that he loves Essex above all, but yet loves more the preservation of peace and the untroubled reign of the Queen. After the acceptance of the gift of land, Francis states that the bestowal of property constitutes vassals, but that Essex, despite the gift, must not so consider him.

Francis had purchased the country place at Twickenham Park, formerly the property of his deceased elder foster-brother, Edward Bacon, and Elizabeth had granted him the ownership license for a term of years. Adjoining this park lay the land presented to him by Essex, which Francis sold later for £1800. Twickenham Park made it possible for him to periodically retire into seclusion, which in a letter to Essex he regards as essential in order to concentrate his thoughts upon his intellectual labors.

Upon the whole his correspondence with Essex shows how he, though standing in friendly intimacy with him, often expressed his opinion against him.

Nor did he conceal from Essex his bitter feelings concerning his own life destiny. Yet these thoughts are so expressed that their full significance can only be grasped by the initiated and like-minded.


He also remembers with bitterness his early youth at the French Court, which to him had seemed the beginning of a diplomatic career. On the other hand he emphasizes the fact that he had left England at that time at the Queen's command and had been sent to Paris as the companion of Sir Amyas Paulet at an unusually early age. So much the more discontented did he feel that he had been precipitately misplaced in the legal career and adds that he had served Elizabeth for twenty years without the slightest reward from her. He writes to Essex (1594 or 95?) an undated letter which contains the following sentence:

"And you Lordship may easily think that having now

these twenty years (for so long it is and more, since I went

with Sir Amyas Paulett into France, from her Majesties

royal Hand) I make her Majesties service the scope of my


Even in the time of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, as early as 1580 can be traced the manner in which he was continually fed with false hopes. He was during that time fully conscious that the Queen, who usually encouraged young blood about her, left him unnoticed. He considered his treatment most unjust, for although admitting himself to be still young for a high office, he realized that as early as his sixteenth year he had entered the Queen's service.

He gives expression to this thought also in a letter to the First Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, dated August 25, 1585. The original of this letter is preserved. Many years afterward he complained in like manner regarding Essex.

Francis' relations with Essex did not, however, confine themselves to confidences regarding his own cares, but as the older and more experienced man he ever followed Essex in his forward-pressing nature, ever zealous for accomplishment. Nor was he sparing in advice against the imprudences into which Essex was easily drawn.

A special opportunity for this arose when Essex had successfully carried out his bold stroke against the Spaniard in 1596.

If Essex thereby advanced in public favor then would his enemies endeavor to lessen his favor with the Queen and in his conduct toward her Essex needed good advice and guidance.

As Spedding rightly judges, one can compare the conduct of Essex toward the Queen with the capricious and impulsive behavior of a "spoiled child" if one but considers the various misunderstandings between Essex and the aging Queen.

Many historians have represented the relations between


Resuscitatio, 1657.

Other Letters, p. 73

New Rec. Off.

S. P. O. Domestic.



Essex and the Queen as a love affair. When, however, they are considered from an unprejudiced standpoint, especially in view of the great difference in their ages, such scenes as the example hereafter cited, cannot fail to awaken the impression that the incidents thus portrayed in history were enacted between mother and son.

It is true that some historians are disposed to cast doubt upon this scene which was enacted in Elizabeth's sleeping apartment, when in 1599 Essex had returned from Ireland, prematurely and against her wish, and, in traveling garb, surprised her late in the evening in order to report to her in person his military disaster. But it is plain that the passionate young man desired to express on the one hand his despair at the miscarriage of his all too obstinately advanced plans for the Irish campaign, and on the other hand, knowing his army to be destroyed, wished to present his justification before her. Her vascillating, diplomatically calculating nature, which was so often the despair of her advisors and subordinates, Essex could never endure but took immediate offence.

Again and again Elizabeth meets him as the condescending and forgiving Queen.

But the same patience which she exercised toward Leicester did not extend to the son. Francis scrutinized the whole with quiet clearness and plainly saw the dangers to which Essex's passionate nature would expose him. He also realized that Essex possessed many traits of character similar to Leicester which might easily work to his disadvantage since his relations to the Queen were quite different and required the greatest circumspection. How accurately he perceived the entire situation is shown by a detailed letter from him to Essex. He recognized that the young man, popular with the people, thirsting for action and fame, possessed at the court jealous enemies who threatened to estrange him from the Queen. Leicester had also risked much and wounded the Queen to the heart through his secret marriage with Lettice, Widow Essex--but he felt that he was to her indispensable and therefore secure.

Elizabeth's love transferred to the son was not so strong,--it was only the reflection of those feelings which she had buried in Leicester's grave. When we weigh this fact in view of the advice which Bacon gives Essex concerning his behavior toward the Queen, we see at once that he lays everything plainly before him, not as being his inferior in rank, but with the wisest foresight with which he has thought out the entire matter and gives in his letters to Essex the most confidential advice in the plainest of language, though sometimes between the lines.


[Picture 1] A Facsimile of the Original Northumberland MSS.

[Picture 2] This "Letter of Advice to Essex," is printed in Rawley's "Resuscitatio," p. 88.

It is dated Oct. 4, 1596. The purpose of this book does not necessitate its reproduction in full detail, but the quotation of a few sentences from it will suffice.

First of all Francis states that he had already expressed similar views verbally, and that he here repeats them as he values Essex's fortunes as his own. He then reminds him of the arguments which Essex had heretofore adduced against such advice regarding the Queen, namely, that, if he had shown himself too submissive, he would have suffered from her cold and spiteful moods: In reply Francis writes:

"But whether I counsell you the best, or for the best,

duty bindeth me, to offer you, my wishes.". . . . . . . ."Win

the Queen; if this be not the Beginning, of any other course,

I see no end."

Here he begs Essex to win the Queen as this is the only way to establish the right relations and to destroy in Elizabeth all mistrust against him. Also in his conduct toward friends who advise him rightly as against those who would ensnare him with falsity, he must give such expression to his choice as would be in agreement with the Queen: "for I know the excellency of her (Majesty's) nature too well!"

In this last sentence he points out to Essex the proper relations to be sustained toward the Queen whose excellence he extols, although elsewhere not denying her weaknesses.

Further on in this letter he warns him against the hypocrisy and flattery in vogue at the court.

He also warns Essex to avoid and minimize his likeness to Leicester and all imitations of his ways:

"Next, whereas I have noted you, do fly and avoid in

some respect the resemblance and imitation of my Lord

of Leicester--yet I am persuaded (howsoever I wish your

favor, integrity, magnanimity and merit) that it will do you

good between the Queen and you, to allege him for authors

and patterns."

In this and other advice and counsel comes clearly to view in few words the openness between Francis and Essex, how they respectively judge of Leicester and how the elder brother admits to the younger the latter's resemblance to Leicester, while also recognizing his far superior character.

Essex's transactions in Ireland appear at this time full of duplicity. He had entered into negotiations with the powerful Earl of Tyrone, who was upheld by Spain against England, and, without having defeated him, had returned to England in advance of the Queen's recall. He had disregarded the re-


Resuscitatio. 1657.

Other Letters, p. 88


Original MSS. by

Bacon's own hand.

Brit. Mus. Lansd.


210, quoted in


Several Letters, p. 8


Resuscitatio, 1657,

Several Letters, p. 10

Lambeth MSS.

941, p. 139

peated advice of Francis, so that the latter's efforts with Elizabeth for reconciliation proved all in vain. Essex was denied access to the Queen and held in arrest in his own house.

Thus closed the year 1599.

When finally released, the restless Essex planned new undertakings. He regarded the government of the aging woman, Elizabeth, who held him in too close restraint, as out-lived, and intrigued secretly against her with James VI of Scotland, he relying too strongly upon the popular favor by which he believed himself supported. He thus drew down more dark clouds, not only over his own head but over Elizabeth's. And again did Francis' wisdom and discretion penetrate the dangers which Essex prepared for himself. It was a tremendous moment--an historical landmark in which two letters grandly exhibit alike Francis' character and statesmanlike loyalty to his monarch, and Essex's restless and strongly antagonistic spirit. Politically the two brothers here separate, though their personal friendship remains unbroken.

Francis' letter to Essex is here given literally:

"My Lord--

No man better expounds my doings which maketh me

need to say the less. Only I humbly pray you to believe that

I aspire to the conscience and commendation, first "bonus

civis" which with us is a good and true servant of the Queen

and next of "bonus vir" that is an honest man. I desire your

Lordship also to think that though I confess I love some

things much better than I love your Lordship, as the

Queen's service, her quiet and contentment, her honor, her

favour, the good of my country and the like, yet I love few

persons better than yourself both for gratitude's sake and for

your own virtues which cannot be hurt but by accident or


Thus runs the principal content of this letter to which Essex replied in proper spirit. Although he was by no means without literary ability as his reply shows. It is worthy of note in Essex's answer that he touches upon the difference in their respective literary endowments, saying: "I am a stranger, to all Poetical Concerts, or else I might say somewhat, of your Poetical Example." This exchange of views concerning their literary abilities is most interesting.

Then follows an undated letter from Essex to the Queen which is to be found in Lambeth MSS. 941, 139, with the note by Francis:

"A letter framed for my Lord of Essex to the Queen." Its contents are, therefore, to be accepted as having been written by Bacon. But the Queen probably guessed that this letter


had been framed by Francis and sprung from his own sentiments rather than from any real submissiveness on the part of Essex.

These letters failed in their purpose to bring about Essex's full restoration to the court as hoped by Francis. Then began secretly Essex's progress with a conspiracy of which he gave Francis no further intimation. He gained other friends, exchanged secret letters with James VI, till at last he felt himself strong enough by means of an organized faction to overthrow the Queen and place himself on the throne.

In this can be seen the increasing recklessness of this man who, with Elizabeth overthrown, would thus desire an entire revolution of government. He was completely entangled in these complications by his unquenchable thirst for action. Here again is made apparent the great difference between Francis and Robert, for the former maintained continually his tranquil superiority despite the many struggles from which he privately suffered through neglect and ill treatment.

The conspiracy proceeded to the point of outbreak in open rebellion and now Essex was taken prisoner; and upon the command of the Queen, Francis was compelled to appear against him as prosecutor.

His address to the prisoner is most remarkable! Bacon begins his condemnation with these words:

"You, my lord, should know that though princes give

their subjects cause of discontent, though they take away

the honour they have heaped upon them, though they bring

them to a lower estate than they raised them formerly--yet

ought they not to be so forgetful of their allegiance that they

should enter into any undutiful act,--much less upon

rebellion, as you, my lord, have done."

Francis, as Judge in the Crown Council, was compelled to recognize the conspiracy as high treason and the death sentence followed. But it is noteworthy that he begins his speech with an indirect reproach to the Queen, admitting that she had given Essex cause for discontent, though he follows with the statement that no subject is on that account justified in rebellion.

Historians of later days regarded his conviction of his friend Essex as almost treason, whereas the blame, if any, should rest upon Elizabeth who demanded his services in the case.

When, a year before, the case of Essex came up in the Star Chamber, Francis had absented himself, which had displeased the Queen. In the subsequent trial he but acted the part of an obedient subject. The conflicting emotions which


Ellis Letters, Ser. 2,

Brit. Museum,

Vol. 3, p. 195

swept over him, will be fully described from his works and letters in a later volume.

His lifelong resignation to his own fate was clearly displayed before the eyes of Essex when he unequivocally represented her as the instigating cause of Essex's guilt. But the ending upon the block of Essex's young life must ever be regarded as tragic and unpardonable in its severity.

However historians may try to paint it in the colors of justice, the fact remains that Elizabeth from that time fell into melancholia. Though she fought against it with all her energy, while those about her sought to divert her mind--still the underlying melancholy remained. And what unprejudiced mind, without transforming into a ridiculous old woman the highly gifted monarch whose forceful brain had laid the real foundation of England as a world power, can insinuate that her feelings for the young man were merely an unworthy and amorous passion? No! No! the natural yearnings of the mother forever dominated her agonized heart after that awful death scene.

Elizabeth's last hour was approaching, no heir apparent had as yet been named. And when the high dignitary Cecil, Secretary of State, the Lord High Admiral Lord Howard, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, gathered on March 24, 1603, about her deathbed and laid before her for decision the question of a successor, she remained silent. And to the direct question of whether James VI of Scotland should inherit the crown only a silent gesture is said to have given her none too definite reply.

A letter dated November, 1603, which gives the account of Elizabeth's last hours, states:

"It is hard to say whether the report that the Queen

agreed by gesture to the succession of James, rests upon

truth or whether it was circulated by those who desired that

this be believed a fact."

A backward glance over her forty-four year reign shows the development of a reason of state which she consistently followed and which she had apparently had in view from the beginning: To ultimately unite England and Scotland under one sceptre.

The will of her grandfather, Henry VII, provided that in event of the failure of the Tudor line, England should be united with Scotland under the Stuarts. With this end in view he married his daughter Margaret in 1503 to James IV of Scotland.


The will of her father, Henry VIII, provided that in case his children, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth, died without issue the succession should pass to the descendants of his sister Suffolk.

On the assembly of Elizabeth's first Parliament in 1558 she replied to the address laid before her by the Commons requesting that she choose for herself a husband, that it was her wish that a monument might ultimately be erected to her with the inscription that she had lived and died as the "Virgin Queen."

Shortly after her accession the treaty of Edinburgh was negotiated (1560), when the young queen Mary Stuart, returned to Scotland. There the Protestant party had meanwhile gained the ascendancy and desired to assert itself against the Catholic party of the Queen. Furthermore, Scotland desired to free herself from French influence.

The principal points of this treaty were as follows:

1. The French troops heretofore stationed in Scotland must

leave the country.

2. The French fortifications at Leith must be destroyed.

3. The French Kings could no longer bear the Scotch and

English arms.

4. All Scotch peers who had been banished were to return,

and be restored to their former rights and possessions.

5. The higher Court offices could no longer be conferred

upon Catholic dignitaries.

6. Scotland was to be governed by a Council of State in-

stead of the military power as heretofore.

This treaty was laid before Mary Stuart in France by her half-brother, James Stuart, afterwards Lord Murray. She, however, on the advice of her uncle, the cardinal of Lorraine, refused to sign it. That the hands of Cecil and Elizabeth were active in this treaty is shown by many letters from this period.

In one we read that, as protector of the Protestant Church, Elizabeth had also attached to herself the Protestant nobility of Scotland:

"That in providing for the security and liberty of

Scotland, the realm was more bound to her Majesty, Queen

Elizabeth, than to her own sovereign." July 17, 1560.

Cecil's preparatory work for this treaty is still more clearly mentioned in the following letter written by him:

"That the treaty would be no small augmentation to

her Majesty's honour in this beginning of her Majesty's

reign, that it would finally procure the conquest of Scotland

which none of her Majesty's progenitors with all their

New Rec. Off.

State Pap., Letter

dated July 8, 1560,

from Cecil


battles ever obtained--namely the whole hearts and good

wills of the nobility and people which surely was better for

England than the revenue of the crown."

Here it is clearly brought to light, how Elizabeth, with Cecil Lord Burghley, pursued together the same object, namely, the bringing of England and Scotland ultimately under one scepter.

It is true that Elizabeth never expressed this wish but it is plainly shown by her actions. When, before a later Parliament, she was asked regarding the succession she avoided the giving of a decisive answer. She kept secret her marriage with Leicester, surrendered her two sons, Francis and Robert, to other families, maintaining always a position which gave no indication of blood-relationship. This hard-heartedness is readily explainable by the inherited Tudor character of her father, as also the power and the masterfulness with which she carried through what to her appeared the justifying reason of State--the bringing of England and Scotland under one crown. That she was able, despite her marriage to attain this purpose, must be considered due to the great scope of the royal power in her hands where the death penalty followed so easily any resistance to her authority or wishes.

On the other hand, her definite refusal even to the hour of death, to name a successor may easily have had its cause in a troubled conscience, for she well knew that she was not departing this life without a legitimate heir of her body.

And Francis, her son, he whom this dethronement most nearly affected, composed her worthiest memorial: "In felicem memoriam Elisabethae", not out of gratitude, but in recognition of her real greatness as Queen.






After the death of Queen Elizabeth the resignation of Francis in the face of his disinheritance as the legitimate Tudor successor to the throne might seem to indicate weakness of character.

But it should be remembered that he not only had powerful opponents in the Government and Court party, but did not, like Essex, possess the popular favor, so that it is more than probable that such a revolution would have lacked the adherents necessary to ensure success. But there was a second and still more potent reason. He was a thorough going monarchist, a foe to all revolutions, and to him the last will of Elizabeth was sacred. He had correctly grasped her object--the union of the two lands under one sceptre and he therefore bowed before the last silent expression of her will. Do not also the confidence, protection and rapid advancement which he enjoyed under James I for eighteen years, and even the very incidents of his "fall" point to a private understanding between them?

It now became his duty to offer the new ruler his abilities and his loyalty, hoping in higher office to be able to better serve his country as counsellor to the King, and this he sought to accomplish through various letters, one direct to the King in Scotland and others to those whose mediating influence he believed would assist in the attainment of his purpose. It is true that, as his detractors sometimes sneeringly allege, he persistently sought public office, but always, as his own utterances abundantly show, for the good of his country and mankind, and not for himself.

If it be asked whether no one in his time was aware of his unfortunate position, we can reply that many letters, well worthy of careful and searching consideration, lead logically to the belief that devoted friends were not lacking who were pledged to secrecy.

From MSS. in Francis' hand which was discovered by Mrs. Henry M. Pott in the British Museum in 1888 to 1895, she compiled that interesting book: "Bacon's Secret Society," which alleges that he founded such an organization. "Bonds" or secret societies were then quite the order of the day, and in the strict silence of these circles alone could the secrecy

Remains, p. 55,

Addl. MSS., fol. 19b


Lambeth MSS. 976,

fol. 4.

The letter is written

by a secretary, but

the signature and

the docket by Bacon's


of weighty political and other matters be maintained, not only during, but beyond, the period of life. These organizations brought into being the system of cipher correspondence among their members, such as is now customary in diplomatic and other important affairs.

It is known that Essex, Anthony Bacon and other contemporaries belonged to this society. Among these must be counted the poet, John Davies, later appointed by James I as Attorney General of Ireland. He belonged to the deputation which went out to meet the King on his journey from Scotland.

To him Bacon wrote the following letter in March, 1603:

"Mr. Davis:

Though you went on the sudden, yet you could not go

before you had spoken with yourself to the purpose which I

will now write. And therefore I know it shall be altogether

needless, save that I meant to show you that I am not

asleep. Briefly I commend myself to your love and to the

well using of my name, as well in repressing and answering

for me, if there be any biting or nibbling at it in that place,

as in impressing a good conceit and opinion of me, chiefly

in the King (of whose favour I make my self comfortable

assurance) as otherwise at court.

And not only so, but generally to perform to me all the

good offices which the vivacity of your wit can suggest to

your mind to be performed to one, in whose affection you

have great sympathy, and in whose fortune you have so

great an interest. So desiring you to be good to concealed

poets, I continue

Your very assured

Fr. Bacon."

Gray's Inn this

28th of March 1603.

This letter shows Francis' interest in the service of the State, his hope for advancement in position and his expectation of the favor of the King. The last words addressed to his poet-friend Davies, requesting him to be good to "concealed poets" reveal Bacon as such!!

The events which followed are too well known to necessitate going into details. James who was an adherent of the Essex party, when the conspiracy was first developed to place him on the throne, must, as Essex's friend, have received assurance from Francis to the effect that only under compulsion he had sentenced Essex to death, for, as before stated, Essex's friends had found no excuse for Bacon in the matter of this sentence as demanded by the Queen.

Francis therefore considered it necessary to submit a written justification of his procedure in this case.

His memorial entitled "Apology" and addressed to the Earl of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, furnished a


comprehensive statement of the entire Conspiracy case. Here it is to be noted that he draws especial attention to the Queen's visit to him at Twickenham Park. This visit had taken place after the adherents of Essex had brought about the stage presentation of Richard II. The writer Hayward was the supposed author of this drama.

The abdication of Richard II was first published in a pamphlet entitled "Henry IV". The earliest edition of this is preserved in the British Museum and is dated 1599. The Northumberland MSS. discovered in 1867 gave the first intimation that Bacon was the author. After the stage presentation, the publisher, John Wolfe, was examined by Sir Edward Coke and stated that Dr. Hayward was the author. When this tragedy of Richard II was presented on the stage in connection with the conspiracy, and Elizabeth was apprised of the fact, her keen perceptions grasped immediately the correct allusion to her own abdication. Dr. Hayward was therefore, after the examination of the publisher, taken to the Tower in order to compel him by torture to name the actual author.

The Queen was evidently possessed of definite suspicions and as she had known Bacon as the writer of plays for the Gray's Inn Christmas celebrations or at least as a willing participant therein, she now sought to discover in conversation with Bacon at Twickenham Park, the real author of Richard II.

In his "Apology" he writes on this subject:

...."About the same time I remember an answer of mine in

a matter which had some affinity with my Lord's (Essex)

cause, which, though it grew from me went after about in

others' name. For her Majesty, being mightily incensed

with that book, which was dedicated to my Lord Essex,

being the story of the first year of King Henry the Fourth,

thinking it a seditious prelude to put into the people's heads

boldness and faction, said she had good opinion that there

was treason in it, and asked me if I could not find any places

in it that might be drawn within the case of treason: whereto

I answered: for treason surely I found none but for felony

very many.

"And when her Majesty asked me wherein, I told her the

author had committed every apparent theft, for he had taken

most of the sentences of Corneilius Tacitus and put them

into his text.

"And another time when the Queen would not be

persuaded that it was his writing whose name was to it, but

that it had some more mischievous author and said with

great indignation that she would have him racked to

produce his author, I replied, 'Nay, Madam, he is a Doctor,

never rack his person but rack his stile; let him have pen,

ink, and paper, and help of books, and be enjoined to

continue the story where it breaketh off, and I will

undertake by collecting the stiles to judge whether he were

the author or no.'"

This apology con-

cerning the late Earl

of Essex was written

to the Right

Honorable, his

very good Lord,

the Earl of

Devonshire, Lord

Lieutenant of

Ireland. Printed,

London, for Felix

Norton, was to be

sold in Paul's

Churchyard at the

Signe of the Parrott,



Bacon's subtle irony in this reply, lulled every suspicion of the Queen and at the same time achieved his purpose of saving from the rack, the luckless Dr. Hayward for whom he was later able to provide an excellent position.

From the "Apology" it would appear through the expression, "the matter grew from me" and the following sentence "went about in others' name" that both the pamphlet and Richard II emanated from Francis.

Francis soon had opportunity to render his first service to England in the new office of "Learned Counsel" and as member of the Crown Council after the King had first raised him to Knighthood as Sir Francis Bacon.

The Union between England and Scotland was not so easily welded. The common as well as the individual interests of the two countries must be well considered and blended as a whole.

The advisory commission consisted of 48 Englishmen and 31 Scotchmen, Bacon acting as chairman. He was the first to propose the name of Great Britain for the United Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales, which appellation still exists.

Under James I, Francis quickly rose to higher rank.

Meanwhile his financial position was also greatly improved through his inheritance upon Anthony's death in 1601 of the estate of Gorhambury. Lady Ann Bacon lived until 1610 and he cared for his foster mother, stricken as she was with religious insanity, with the greatest faithfulness and devotion.

In Parliament, 1605, after the Gunpowder Plot, threatening the lives not only of the king but of the entire Parliament, had wrought tremendous excitement throughout the land, Bacon was again summoned to more strenuous labors. He fully realized, however, how little the young King was adapted to his great duties. He showed no energy, nor did he possess the cleverness to win to himself the favor of the people. Francis sought in vain to encourage him and his ministers to wise procedure. His efforts were futile and Parliament was again adjourned without having accomplished any results for the good of the State.

In this year, 1606, Francis being already in his 46th year, he married Alice Barnham and was at last appointed to the again vacant post of Solicitor General.

In all court events he participated with the same diligence with which he devoted himself to the duties of State.

The death of the heir apparent, Henry, Prince of Wales, 1612, brought upon him new responsibilities and in the Privy Council, 1613, he was fully occupied with the negotiations for


the marriage of the Princess Elizabeth with Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate.

On the assembling of Parliament the following year, 1614, the sentiment of the people was very emphatic against the King and the Government. What with the wasteful extravagance at the court; the reciprocal intrigues, James' new favorites, Somerset and the rising star, George Villiers, later Duke of Buckingham, and the severities of the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Edward Coke, amidst all these personalities surrounding the King, Bacon was obliged to steer his course.

He who had never in the slightest degree attempted to make himself popular, became, as he now appeared more prominent in his higher offices, more and more appreciated by the people. As Parliament on this occasion was to be chosen, he was proposed as candidate three times--in St. Albans, in Ipswich and by Cambridge University.

He was regarded as the greatest orator from whom great influence was expected. But again Parliament passed by in stormy controversies especially against the unpopular ministers. The Crown showed itself absolutely without comprehension of the means advised by Bacon for bringing about a peaceful understanding, while the King showed but a vacillating indecision.

These internal dissensions were most unfortunately contemporaneous with serious affairs in France where Marie de Medici was arranging two Spanish marriages. The young King, Louis XIII, was to marry the Infanta Anna and his sister a Spanish Prince. In the meantime the Spanish King had in secret urged the marriage of his daughter with Charles, Prince of Wales. Bacon advised against this plan very energetically, as it would still further incense against the King the Puritans who on account of James' High Church proclivities regarded him as but a masked Catholic.

Again the process against Lord Somerset, accused with his wife of poisoning the imprisoned Sir Thomas Overbury, and the favors which the King showered upon Sir George Villiers--all added to the distrust of the people against the King. It is true that James asked Bacon for advice but failed to accept his wise counsel.

Nevertheless, James showed him every mark of confidence and in 1617 appointed him to the vacant position of Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, whereby he received as his official residence York House, in which he had spent a portion of his childhood.

The next year, 1618, the King elevated him to the Lord


Chancellorship and, as a member of the Upper House, to the rank, Baron Verulam of Verulam.

Now ensued a lengthy period without the assembly of Parliament, during which occurred the war in Bohemia, whereby James' son-in-law, Frederick, lost his crown, and the Spaniards occupied his country, while at last the Thirty Years War on the Continent developed, during which James, despite the disapproval of part of his subjects, remained neutral.

In the absence of Parliamentary sessions the ever more urgently needed funds for Crown Government were secured through monopolies and patents. Herein the Lord Chancellor perceived great improprieties and urged a new summoning of Parliament.

The whole mismanagement had so embittered the people against the Government that both Crown and Upper House saw ever-increasing difficulties in the coming negotiations, owing to the opposition of the Lower House. It was, therefore, determined to unload upon the shoulders of the Lord Chancellor, Francis, all blame for the troubles, in order that the remaining party in the Upper House might make a bid for popular favor.

Meanwhile, Jan. 1, 1621, Francis Bacon Verulam was created Viscount St. Alban by the King, in recognition of his services while every distinction conferred upon him created only violent envy on the part of his opponents in the Court and the Upper House.

Thus was the stage set for his fall, by the insidious intrigues against him in the Parliament which assembled in March, 1621, with no forewarning suspicion on his part.

Since Buckingham's acquisition of complete mastery over the weak King, the conferring of monopolies became more and more the vogue, in order to defray the continuous expenses of the State.

The custom had obtained in Elizabeth's time but was now considered the greatest piece of mismanagement against which the House of Commons set itself. In the second month of the session was begun the investigation of the conditions obtaining in the Courts of Law. Bacon had previously always spoken in Parliament against all intruding improprieties but such were necessarily caused by the conditions of the time and the poorly paid officials. The purchase of appointments had become common and ostensible on behalf of the lower placeholders, the upper officials endeavored to secure special emoluments in irregular manner, while every higher position demanded its price. Thus fees became the fashion, these intruding irregularities


finding example among the names of the high worthies of Henry VIII's Time.

Parliament, which in the Upper House had determined upon Francis' fall, accused him of the dishonesty of accepting fees in lawsuits, charging that they represented corruption money.

Upon these charges, Francis admitted to have received the moneys, but declared that they never influenced him in his decisions.

In consequence of this confession he was sentenced by the Upper House to pay a fine of £40,000 and was imprisoned in the Tower.

The payment of the fine was later remitted and after two days the King demanded his liberation.*

The Upper House even chose him again as a member, but Francis preferred to withdraw from the theatre of public life and betake himself to the solitudes of Gorhambury.

Considering the wrongful custom which had crept in during the days of Henry VIII to accept fees or presents for any service, we read in the State papers in Rome, 1558, Sanuto-Dar. XXVI of De Leva I, p. 274:

"The foreign diplomats who transacted business with

Cardinal Wolsey, Giustiniani and La Sauche, but also their

opponent, as Polydor Vergil reports that Wolsey demanded

presents and pensions, but with the consent of Henry VIII.


Writers of history have, after this termination of his period of public service, and after his fall whereby he acknowledged himself as guilty, persistently represented him as a despicable and confessedly guilty character.

Delineations of this kind concerning the various personalities of this epoch, and remaining substantially unchanged through the centuries are to be accounted for by the fact that it was customary to write up the history of a given ruler, his court and his reign during his lifetime. Thus Camden was entrusted with the compilation of the history of Queen Elizabeth. Such a selected historian, however, had access only to such state papers as the Secretary of State might desire to place at his disposal, this giving an intentional color to the work, which obviously served as a foundation for the works of future historians. In the time of James I., opponents of Bacon were again at the helm of State, so that it may be readily understood how the presentation of his personality during his own lifetime was


* Translator's Note--To what extent James himself may have personally profited by Francis' alleged irregular income is a question never yet answered.


Lamb. MSS.

Gibson Papers.

Vol. VIII. fol. 7

dictated by a spirit of hate. Not until the middle of the last century did Spedding undertake to produce not only the publication of Bacon's philosophical works in standard form, but to penetrate still deeper into the great spirit and noble character of this man, studying him in the light of his letters, speeches, conversations and scattered essays. And his second work, also of seven volumes: "The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon," has at last brought light into the darkness to dispel all the calumnious shadows with which historians had endeavored to surround his image.

Only in his letters as in an autobiography appear the inmost depths of feeling in intercourse with true friends. Even while they give expression to the bitterness of great disappointment, continual hindrance, setbacks and hateful intrigue, there is shown great relief in the consciousness of being really understood by a few chosen intimates.

Francis has been called false in that he placed himself at the disposal of the new ruler so soon after Elizabeth's death. But consider that though designed from earliest youth for the public service, every high position had been denied him, so that it is quite conceivable that he explained this to the young King in order to make him more inclined, after all the years of vain toil and struggle, to appreciate his potential usefulness to the State.

In 1612, when the King was already suffering from great financial and other troubles, and the Lord Treasurer, Salisbury, was dead, Bacon wrote an advisory letter to James. He counseled him before all to convene Parliament. And, offering his own services in so far as they might be agreeable to the King, he reminded him again how under Elizabeth he had been able to devote his powers all too little to the service of the State. On this point he writes:

"Your Majesty may truly perceive that though I cannot

challenge to myself either invention, or judgment or elocu-

tion, or method, or any of those powers, yet my offering is

care and observance and as my good old mistress was wont

to call me her watch-candle, because it pleased her to say I

did continually burn (and yet she suffered me to waste

almost to nothing) so I must more owe the like duty to your

Majesty, by whom my fortunes have been settled and


Such pieces of "inside information" in open expression through the medium of letters mirror with accuracy both time and character.

When we consider the fearful life tragedy of Francis Tudor, held in such strict concealment not only in his own time but


centuries thereafter, and realize that he, though fully aware of it, would not bring it to light, we can discover three reasons for the same:

1. Francis lived in the days when the throne of England

was held by that powerful dynasty, the House of Tudor,

which although it had been confirmed and ratified by

Parliament, and although every succession must be so

ratified anew, and although it could not reign without the

consent of Parliament, had yet acquired in specific and de-

ciding cases a far-reaching absolute power.

2. Also,--although, in that epoch, humanity and the

Renaissance had begun to take root, still it was deeply

tainted with the relics of Middle Age brutality and force.

The torture of the rack as well as sentences to the scaffold

for subjects merely inconvenient to the rulers, and secret

trials for treason on account of single occurrences at court,

were the order of the day.

From this it is evident that the Court surrounding Elizabeth maintained strict silence regarding her secrets, in so far as they were let into them. Francis therefore well knew that it would cost him his life if he were to divulge his parentage.

3. This maintenance of secrecy also obtained to like extent

in Spain and betrayal was equally threatened with death,

save that under Jesuit rule the scaffold found less

employment than the quicker poison. Men were silenced by

death in frivolous wantonness, such was the cheapness of

human life.

Whoever desires to gain a deeper insight into these horrors must read the old records, the Calendar of the Hatfield MSS. (edited by the Historical MSS. Commission, London, 1883-88). These give among others a view of the Elizabethan Epoch and afford a deep insight into the, to us, unbelievable occurrences at the Court, and the secrets and intrigues of the two Cecils, William Lord Burghley and Robert Earl of Salisbury.

But even this tell-tale document has not as yet brought to light all the records of that period.

In the State Archives of Venetia, as in Spain in the Simancas Archives, still rest important records and diplomatic letters, relative also to the marriage of Elizabeth and Leicester. But insight is only so far granted as will not at the same time cause undesired revelations regarding Spain at that period.

Calendar of the MSS.

at Hatfield House

Edited by the

Historical Com-

mission, London,

1883-88. 2d Part








"Knowledge is Power."

Not until late in life did Francis compile the philosophical works published under the name of "Bacon", though the philosophical trend of his thought is to be traced in early youth. A thorough student of the old philosophers he came to the conclusion that Philosophy has not as yet shown itself as bearing sufficient fruit, but was atrophied in syllogisms and the transcendental speculations of the Middle Ages.

He was the founder of Empiricism, and his free spirit strove after new goals for science. To him the mastery of nature through unprejudiced knowledge of nature was all-essential.

His keen perceptions sought ways and means of investigation, together with the consciousness that our power was coextensive with our wisdom.

The road to knowledge requires the union of Theory with Empiricism, as the latter alone simply collects facts, and Metaphysics reach their summit in the thought-web of the individual. Therefore Philosophy could not confine itself solely to the assembling of facts, nor yet to the flimsy web of Metaphysical thought, but Natural Science, Empiricism and Metaphysics must unite to bring forth the real fruits of science.

Philosophy therefore should not, like the ant, gather only, nor yet like the spider weave but flimsy strands, but like the bee industriously collect in order that the hoard so accumulated might be employed for useful constructive purposes.

At that time Philosophy and Natural Science were not yet separate territory, and Francis therefore turned his attention specially to investigations in physical science. Only as their mysteries are observed he believed, could their laws be determined:


"Natura parendo imperatur."

The great inventions of his age--gunpowder, printing, and the compass, he recognized as challenging the mind to deep consideration, which brought him to the conclusion that even inventions must be developed by methodical planning and not be left to the haphazard of accident. They but offered scope for those investigations which were in close union with the powers of Nature and with Nature's laws, into the depths of which the spirit of man must ever busy itself to penetrate.

At that time Alchemy, as well as Magic, were in high favor, but Francis, who had familiarized himself with these as with Astronomy and Astrology, strove toward scientific physical investigations and tried himself all manner of chemico-physical experiments. Even in the last year of his life he apparently fell a victim to such an experiment, having for a time taken himself to Gray's Inn for scientific work.

Previously, during the summer of 1624, Francis had lived in Gorhambury, the plague being prevalent in London. Of delicate health and constitution, he suffered much and was the more liable to illness on account of the strain endured through the intrigues which brought about his deposition from office.

In August of this year he was seriously ill and recovered slowly. Meanwhile he was continually worried through the shrinking of his income on account of the loss of his office.

Nevertheless, he lived to pursue further his scientific researches. As soon as his strength recovered he returned to London, and in March, 1626, on the journey to Highgate, being overtaken by a snowstorm he wished to make the experiment whether snow, like salt, would preserve meat from decay.

He entered a house and filled a vessel with snow to bring back to Gray's Inn. But he was suddenly attacked by illness so he could not reach his destination, but entered the house of the Earl of Arundel which he was then passing. As the Earl was absent and he made use of his hospitality without the host, he wrote a letter to Arundel from his sick bed.

This letter states that, on sudden illness he had taken refuge in his house and been cared for by his servants in the best possible manner. At the same time he mentioned that his case was like that of Caius Plinius who lost his life though burning while trying an experiment with Vesuvius in erruption. His snow experiment had been a great success, but his hands had been rendered useless by it and he himself made very ill, so that he must dictate the letter.

Letter to the Earl

of Arundel and

Surrey, Matthew

Collection, p. 57,


This was the last

letter published


The Lord St. Alban

to the Earl Marshall

with humble thanks

for a favor.

Miscellany Works,

1629, p. 79

Niceron tom III,

p. 45

This letter to Arundel is apparently his last. History states that he did not recover, but was thus the victim of a scientific experiment, and being thus torn suddenly away from vast undertakings he had planned, died April 9, 1626.*

Francis intended to leave behind him a comprehensive Encyclopaedia of Scientific Knowledge, accompanied by methodical instruction, but this great work it seems never reached completion.

In 1597 he published a small collection of ten essays upon various themes, Observations in Nature, Medicine, etc., and fragments, entitled: "Colours of Good and Evil and Meditationes Sacrae," bound in Octavo.

The self criticism of his philosophical works can best be followed in his letters on the subject written to Bishop Andrews, Bishop of Wincester, 1622, and to the Philosopher, Father Redempt-Baranza in Italy.

To Bishop Andrews he writes that he will continue the work begun, "Instauration," and had already received letters regarding it from the Continent. His "Advancement of Learning" is to serve as a Key to the better understanding of the "Instauration" and he will therefore translate it into the "Universal Language" (Latin).

He then goes into a more detailed enumeration of the whole work as planned.

The "Novum Organum" (Instauratio Magna) he had published in October, 1620. This constitutes the first part published of the complete work as he had planned it, (See Preface of 1640 Advancement of Learning), as the following enumeration shows:

1. De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, preceded by Partitiones


2. Novum Organum, sive indicia vera de interpretatione Naturae:

Interpretation of Nature.

3. Historia Naturalis et experimentalis ad condendam Philosophiam:

Sive Phaenomena Universi. Heher Francis shows himself as

the founder of Experimental Natural Philosophy.

4. Scala Intellectus: Advancement of "Intellectual and Spiritual


5. Prodromi, sive anticipationes philosophiae secundae. A stepping-

stone to the New Philosophy.


* Note that the year then began and ended the latter part of March. Some recent discoveries seem to indicate that his death was but simulated, that he secretly left England and lived many active years on the Continent of Europe.


6. Philosophia secunda, sive scientia activa. The New Practical


He divides Science according to memory, imagination and reason into the following parts: "History, Poetry and Philosophy.

His philosophical work, however, apparently remained incompleted, as his sudden death (?) is thought to have prevented the full working out of the above plan. Parts 4, 5 and 6 have not so far, at least, been located with certainty, and seem to be missing; though it is possible, that they were published in other than a philosophical form, under other names, or even in cipher.

In 1623 appeared the De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX. Here,--as in the later English 1640 Advancement of Learning,--Book I is merely introductory, the main body of the work, being comprised by Books II-IX. Hence the nine books are preceded by a Summary, entitled "Partitiones Scientiarum," etc., containing chapter-contents for Books II-IX only.

The Novum Organum which he published in 1620 is also not entirely completed as the subject is often presented by aphorism, and single sentences must frequently stand for completed work: The Winds, History of Life and Death, etc.

In July, 1607, he wrote a more comprehensive sketch of his philosophical works, "Cogitata et visa de interpretatione naturae, sive de inventione rerum et operum."

In Oct., 1623, he sent to the King, the Prince of Wales, and Buckingham the enlarged Latin translation, "De Augmentis Scientiarum" of his earlier work: "Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning," which had appeared in English in 1605.

In February, 1610, he sent an interesting communication to his banished friend, Sir Toby Matthews, then in Salamanca, and later sojourning in Italy and Brussels.

Toby Matthews was the son of the Bishop of Durham, and having gone over to the Romish Church, was for a time, banished, being first granted permission to travel upon the Continent. But under all his changing circumstances Francis remained his faithful friend, and corresponded with him liberally regarding his literary works, while Toby also remained loyal to Bacon through his fall.

As a pledge of their friendship Francis sent him an essay: "On Friendship." Matthews, who on his travels met many eminent savants, ever supplied his friend with the latest works,


"The Promus of

Formularies and

Elegancies." Being

private notes of

about 1594.

Illustrated and

elucidated by

passages from

Shakespeare by Mrs.

Henry M. Pott, with

preface by E. A.

Abbott, London,


Also "Bacon is

Shakespeare," by

Sir Edwin Durning-

Lawrence. McBride

Co., New York, 1910

and reported to him by letter conversations on scientific subjects.

To enter into the details of Bacon's scientific works is not the purpose of this book, but simply to emphasize their influence upon his own times as well as upon the afterworld.

He towered above his contemporaries by reason of his wonderful spirit of investigation, his thoughts which projected far into the future and his constantly flowing springs of many-sided Knowledge.

He became the Pioneer of the new idea with the motto: "Hypotheses non fingo." "I do not frame suppositions."


The aforementioned essays, published in 1597, are more, so to speak, the fore-runner of the philosophical works brought out by Bacon in his more advanced years. But this note-book, the "Promus of Formularies and Elegancies," shows that Francis, in the last years of the 16th century busied himself with comparative linguistic science in order to improve his mother-tongue, which seemed to him still barbarous as compared with the Romance languages.

Moreover, during the last years of the 16th Century, from 1584 onward are to be placed to his credit parliamentary addresses prepared by him , judicial treatises, letters of advice and counsel to the Queen and many more MSS. of similar nature.

His extended correspondence with friends and savants in England and on the continent and many smaller yet noteworthy writings, as well as a confidential note-book compiled in 1608, were not sufficient to fill the idle hours of this active and versatile brain. That he had such hours against his every wish, is shown by his repeated complaints to the effect that his duties did not place and employ him to his full ability. He found himself continually called to and employed in petty offices and unimportant affairs which one less gifted could easily have undertaken in his place.

As he complained to the King he was for Elizabeth "A Watch Candle" which burned uselessly (p. 54). If we trace his literary activity further, beginning with the year 1603, the following works are prominent:

1. Memorial to Elizabeth: "In felicem Memoriam Elizabethae."

2. Francis' detailed "Apology" concerning his sentence of Essex.

3. The confidential notebook on Politics, Philosophy, Temperament,

Personal Health, and Personal Finances.


4. A memorandum: "On the Greatness of Britain," which, however,

remained only as a fragment, 1608.

5. An enlarged edition of his essays of 1612.

6. History of Henry VII, which he wrote after his fall as Lord

Chancellor and during his banishment to Gorhambury, June

23 to October 8, 1621.

7. Imago Civilis Julii Caesari, 1607.

8. His last work published in 1624, "The Apophthegms"--

Apothegms and Anecdotes, and the translation of several

Psalms which are particularly noteworthy for their peculiar


9. A year before his death (?) 1625, he published his third edition

of essays further enlarged.

Among the above-mentioned works the History of the Reign of Henry VII: "Historia Regni Henrici VII" is most conspicuous. Spedding writes concerning it:

"It is the most complete work unapproached by any history

of this period written either before or after Bacon, for it gives

an exact description of the character, actions, governmental

activities and their development under this King and all other

historians have drawn their knowledge from its pages."

Not less significant was the second historical work begun by Francis later: "King James I, Accession and Times," which was to

portray this epoch.

Such were the most important of the scientific and historical works of this phenomenal intellect, which England can be proud to have possessed, embodied in this man--an immortal genius.

Attention may be particularly given to the last chapter of the work: "De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum," as he here evidences deep Christian principles. And his own melancholy experiences and dreadful fate gave to Francis a resignation to the authority of the revelations of Him who had sounded the heights and depths of human life, and thereby laid the foundations of his Christian Knowledge.

Those who fail to grasp the thought that Francis was a Tudor, but hold to his unproven Bacon parentage, who deny with quibbling argument that he was the author of pseudonymous works,--sometimes credit him with being a dry savant.

Spedding was the first to thoroughly investigate his scientific works and he came to the conclusion that neither before him nor yet since his day had any English writer attained to such powerful, majestical language,--his brilliant metaphors and turns of speech resembled but one,--Shakespeare.

The other objection, brought forward by the opponents of Francis Bacon, is that on account of his occupations he could


possibly have had time to produce so many pseudonymous and anonymous works, and even poems. This supposition he answers by observations in his letters. Now in this and now in that letter to friends he complains how little employment was found for his powers under Elizabeth, and in his letter to James I. at the time of his accession he distinctly states that under his sceptre he hopes for a more comprehensive activity and a proper employment of his many-sided knowledge. In fact, he was, under Elizabeth, as he himself states, an ever-burning light which had wasted away for her in vain, as many of his services could have been performed equally well by men of lesser attainment.

He found abundant time in Gorhambury, later in Twickenham Park, and at last still oftener as dismissed Lord Chancellor for the profitable and delightful company of his Muse and his Sciences.







Before we endeavor to follow Francis' various pseudonyms and the writings which he composed under them, we must seek for a practical reason why it was, in his time, impossible for a man of rank and especially a State official who aspired to higher office, to appear before the public as a poet or a writer.

In addition to the customs of the time, under which a man of rank could not publicly exhibit himself as a poet, there appealed even more strongly to Francis the grounds for discretion regarding his descent, which condemned him to lifelong silence.

In his day all civilized states were filled with political and ecclesiastical contentions. In England, since the days of Henry VIII, the two confessions, Romish and Protestant, had alternated, and France was in the throes of war with Huguenots. Thus, as forerunner of the Thirty Years' War, with the victory of the Reformation under Luther and the reformed reformers, and emancipation from the papal power, the popular spirit was shaken to the core.

In England raged also the contest between Parliament and the Tudors which continued under the Stuarts, while in Spain


the secret diplomatic and Jesuitic intrigues of Philip II. formed the support for his despotic power. The contest between England and France, both striving for the throne of Scotland, together with the bloody termination of Mary Stuart's pitiful tragedy through which Elizabeth had precipitated herself into the world struggle of the Calvinists and counter reformers and at the same time assured England of the Scotch Crown,--all these far-reaching events busied not only the rulers but the ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries from the highest jurisdiction to the lowest.

Frequent and varying problems, whose nature could hardly be rightly determined, as well as the diplomatic chess-moves between rival embassies, demanded in any official an extraordinary cleverness and foresight, while a political victory could often be won by employing against the opponent his own wiles.

Under such circumstances, a freely spoken word was often very dangerous and could be used by the opposing party in counter intrigues. Cipher was employed much more than now in letters of importance and served both the ecclesiastical and secular statesmen.

To announce in print, opinions or statements of fact or comments upon political questions and occurrences was also most dangerous, as not only the opposition party but the general ignorance of the reading public had to be reckoned with.

Whosoever wished to entrust his opinions to print could safely do so only anonymously or by the use of a pseudonym.

To what extent these pseudonyms constituted the order of the day is shown in a work published in the year 1700 entitled:

"Vicentii Placii Theatrum Anonymorum et Pseudonymous

(Vincent Platz Theatre of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works.)

The title page engraving shows a great library into which an author is entering, other writers being also present, and where the librarian removes all the masks--hangs them up on a cord suspended through the library so that authors can see one another face to face. This book reveals a great number of authors whose names have hitherto been concealed behind closed visors as anonymous or pseudonymous writers.

It is also known that Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, was a writer and even claimed to be the only one of his class. However, but one of his books is preserved, which he published under the name of one of his subordinates, John Hales, died 1571.

Ben Jonson states that a writer who at the same time held office could never venture to make himself known.

A part of Francis' pseudonymous work was first brought

Sir Edwin Bormann

--"Die Kunst des


Leipzig, 1901,

reduced facsimile on

p. 5

Harleian MSS. 550


Northumberland MSS.

reproduced in fac-

simile by Mr. Fr. J.

Burgoyne, 1905

to light in the Northumberland MSS. discovered in 1867. This must here be mentioned again as it reveals the new title of the work concerning Leicester. In 1584 Leicester's Life appeared under the title of "Father Parson's Green Coat"; the same work appeared under the altered title "Leicester's Commonwealth", after Francis' death (?), and under this name it appears in the list upon the Northumberland MSS. In this portfolio all the works enumerated were apparently originally contained. Some had been removed either purposely or through destruction by fire, but the remainder indicate that it originally contained a portion of Francis' pseudonymous works.

This partly burned packet of MSS. found in 1867 in Northumberland House and reproduced in facsimile and published by Fr. J. Burgoyne in 1905, furnished us with the only known manuscript line of Shakespeare's "Lucrece" slightly altered.

"reuealing day through every crany peepes."

Among other titles enumerated are:

"Rychard the second."

"Rychard the third."

These two dramas were at that time (1596) as yet unpublished.

"Essaies by the same author."

And as previously noted on page 27 the often repeated names: Nine times "ffrauncis Bacon," and repeatedly beside it: "Shakespeare," not Shakspere, as it was applied to the actor. This leaves no room for doubt that all these notes point to one Author, Francis Bacon--identical with Shakespeare.

The oldest anonymous work of Francis thus far discovered is unquestionably the book concerning Leicester under its first title: "Father Parson's Green Coat," which since its republication in 1641 has been known as "Leicester's Commonwealth."

When Leicester died in 1588 the author obviously desired to publish the truth to posterity through this satire on his real father, to which he gave a new title. It is therefore desirable to note what sources he employed.

The facts regarding Robert Dudley's first marriage with Amy Robsart, with its tragic end, later chronicled in the "Antiquities of Berkshire," are drawn from the city notices of the time, which Francis presumably also employed. They give with accuracy the circumstances of the murder of Lady Amy in Cunmor Hall, with the names of Leicester's servants, who ingeniously contrived the fall from the stairs, preceded, however, by the administration of poison.


Mention is also made of the physician, Dr. Bayly, whom they requested to prescribe the medicine which they were to obtain from Oxford. When they told him, however, that they wished to mix his medicine with a good, quieting home remedy, Bayly became suspicious and declared that Lady Dudley needed no medicine. Thus the physician became the first witness to their intentions.

When sudden death followed by means of a carefully planned fall from the stairs, the whole occurrence was looked upon as murder. This is also indicated by a note which states that the clergyman, Rev. Babington, D. D., several times in his funeral address characterized her death as "murder."

This entire affair also appeared later worked into a play: "Yorkshire Tragedy," whose author remained unknown, but who was rightly or wrongly supposed to be the "Concealed Poet"--Shakespeare.

In this tragedy occur the following lines:

"The only way to charm a woman's tongue

"Is, break her neck,--a politician did it."

In Evan's Ancient Ballads, Vol. IV, p. 130, is found an Elegy on Lady Dudley's death, entitled "Cunmor Hall," by Mickle. It is without poetic value but its contents harmonize with the above facts.

After describing, in many verses and in the style of the day, the heartache of the neglected wife, he portrays the cause of Dudley's neglect of Amy in this verse:

"Then, Leicester, why, again I plead

(The injured surely may repine),

Why didst thou wed a country maid

When some fair princess might be thine?"

On account of these widely circulated reports, which could never be entirely suppressed and which spread even to the Continent, it became obviously impossible for Leicester's sons ever to feel any actual respect for their real father.

In this connection it is also easy to comprehend, as is revealed by the letters between Francis and the so-called Essex, that the latter recognized in himself some resemblance to his father Leicester and that Francis having called his attention thereto he endeavored to overcome it.

The work: "Leicester's Commonwealth," also gives the cause of Leicester's death as poison, but this time it was a draught which he had prepared for his sick wife, Lettice, and which she,


"Cunmor Hall," by


P. 38: Leicester's

Commonwealth, by


Parson; Author:

Francis Tudor


MSS. Sir Robert

Sibbald's copy

"Ben Jonson to

Drumond of


as he also was ill, poured out in error for him as his supposed medicine.

The same account of Leicester's death is repeated by Ben Jonson to Drumond of Hawthorndon.

To consider now the "Concealed Poet," as Francis called himself in his letter to Mr. Davis (page 40), in the light of his ever-increasing creations, let us turn attention first to one of his allegorical works. This furnishes one more answer to the charge of his opponents--"No imagination."

In "The New Atlantis" he portrays the "Island of Bensalem," for a thousand years inhabited by a learned society called the "House of Solomon," as the lawgivers of this society have chosen the Proverbs of Solomon as the basis of their statutes. Bacon (for he published the allegory under this name) now describes the manner in which the headquarters of the Society are constructed upon this Isle. Under lofty mountains extend cellars three English miles deep which are designed for chemical experiments. A half mile distant rises towers upon the mountain peaks. The island presents salt and fresh water lakes, waterfalls, ravines and rocks projecting into the sea, all of which are intended for the purpose of observing marine animals. Artificial fountains are laid out, rooms with artificial ventilation and imitation meteors. Sanitariums served for experiment and instruction in dietetic and medicinal work. Factories and sample establishments are provided for practical production. One building is designed for the study of light and perspective. Echo-galleries for acoustic experiment are there; also complete collections of minerals.

J. G. Buhle has interpreted and elucidated this allegory in the following manner in his work which appeared in Goettingen in 1804, entitled: "Concerning the origin and most eminent destiny of the Orders of Rosicrucians and Free Masons."

On this vexed question he comes to the conclusion that Bacon, in case he had belonged to the then existing orders on the Continent, probably designed through them a secret combination of savants.

He writes further concerning this imaginary building of Francis:

"In his poem regarding the 'House of Solomon' will be

encountered what lies therein:--the colossal plan of a bold

scientific genius who soared far above his literary age, and in

the heights to which he attained, indulged himself in the

dream of what a rich nation under a wise ruler could

accomplish toward the perfection of Art and Science. In this

respect this poem of Bacon's has not been barren of actual

results. It caused the founding of the Royal Society of

London, which for nearly two hundred years has


rendered immortal service to the cause of Natural Science

and will continue to do so."

The allegorical form in which Francis clothed his plans regarding Science and especially Natural Science, shows how well he understood contemporary taste, which would certainly pay more attention to them in that form than if presented in the usual dry matter-of-fact manner.

His Sonnet with which he greeted Elizabeth on her visit to him at Twickenham Park, shows again how well he could, by a poem in her honor, cater to her peculiarities. During his life at Gray's Inn he also co-operated prominently in the production of the masques and mummeries for the customary Christmas celebrations.

As Spedding states in his Life and Letters of Francis Bacon, Vol. I, p. 326, under "Gesta Grayorum." Francis' Christmas Play, "The Prince of Purpoole," was produced in 1594.

Spedding expresses himself regarding the articles which form the piece, as follows:

"The articles present in a strain of playful satire so

elegant an illustration of the fashions and humors of those

days that I shall transcribe them at length; the rather as

forming part of an entertainment in the preparation of

which Bacon certainly had a hand, though not, I think, in

the execution of this part of it."

Later, however, we find this comedy incorporated in the Shakespeare Folio under the title "The Comedy of Errors."

Bacon, with Essex, also undertook the presentation of a play in celebration of the birthday of the Queen, Nov. 17, 1595. In his Vol. I Spedding credits Bacon with the composition of this play and we find the arrangement of the same in the previously cited list in the Northumberland MSS. in the following manner:

"Mr. ffrauncis Bacon

of Tribute or giving what is dew."


The praise of the worthiest vertue.

The praise of the worthiest affection.

The praise of the worthiest power.

The praise of the worthiest person.

All the foregoing has been cited for the purpose of demonstrating that Francis, from youth to age, was gifted with poetic ability and occasionally devoted himself to the Muse.

If in his youth he participated in the customary Christmas presentations at Gray's Inn through his own productions:--if he was the poet brought forward for the special comedies de-


De Dignitate et



libri IX, Lugd.

Batavorum, 1645

signed for the queen:--then in the product of his advanced years: "New Atlantis," we find a deeply contrived allegory inspired by the highest flights of imaginative power and in his last versification of certain of the psalms, a finely polished rhythm which still remains a classic standard.

If we add to these special examples of his talent his expressed thoughts upon the Drama and the purposes of the Stage, we realize his distinct predilection for the Drama and his far-seeing judgment regarding its purposes which made a transformation of the dramatic poetry of his time an imperative necessity.

In Book II, Chapter 13, of his "De Augmentis Scientiarum," he writes in part regarding it:

"Dramatica" (poesis) "est veluti Historia Spectabills; nam

constituit Imaginem Rerum tanquam praesentium, Historia

autem tanquam praeteritarum" (Paris, 1624).

(Dramatic poetry may be described as the visible pres-

entation of history, it shows by its pictures, history as in the

present, whereas history in itself only sets forth the past.)

In another part of the same work:

"Dramatica autem Poesis, quae Theatrum habet pro

Mundo, vsu eximia est, si sana foret. Non parua enim esse

posset Theatri, & Disciplina, & Corruptela: Atque Cor-

ruptelarum, in hoc genere, abunde est; Disciplina plane

nostris temporibus est neglecta. Attamen licet in Rebusp.

modernis, habeatur pro re ludicra Actio theatralis, nisi forte

nimium trahat e Satyra, & mordeat; tamen apud Antiquos

curae fuit, vt Animos Hominum ad Virtutem institueret.

Quinetiam Viris prudentibus, & magnis Philosophis, veluti

Animorum Plectrum quoddam censebatur. Atque sane

verissimum est, & tanquam Secretum Naturae, Hominum

animos, cum congregati sint, magis quam cum soli sint, Af-

fectibus & Impressionibus patere." (Paris, 1624, p. 121).

Here he alludes to the corruptions of the contemporary theatre. He states in this passage that dramatic poetry, as pertaining to the theatre, could be of great service if it were healthful.

He recognizes stage-plays for those who witness them as either a moral source of uplift or a corruptor of public morals. Immoral dramas were very numerous and little notice was taken of their moral influence. In the contemporary theatres the play was regarded merely as a show or as a satirical attack, while with the ancients the drama played an educational and ennobling part. Wise men and philosophers had regarded the drama as a work of art to touch the souls of the audience. As a mystery of human nature it was observed that the passions of a multitude were more accessible and could be more easily influenced and excited, than those of the individual.


A dramatic poet who in his youth found opportunity for his first attempts, and who, while recognizing his own genius and at the same time the great defects in the Dramas of his time, for the most part mere spectacles for gallery applause, could not fail, if actuated by the wondrous intellect of Francis, to turn his attention early in life toward the elevation of this branch of poetic art. That he would not be content with mere proposals for the betterment of the drama, but would strive to carry his ideas into effect and employ his creative genius and enriched vocabulary in the most varied dramatic works, is obvious.

His whole obsession was to work for the good of mankind and to forget in intellectual activity the oppressing circumstances which all too often surrounded him. Indeed he occasionally refers to the fact that his soul had remained but a stranger to his earthly surroundings.

In spite of the fact that Richard II had been the subject of other dramatic poets besides Shakespeare, Francis' reply to the Queen at Twickenham Park in which he referred her to the felonious copies of Cornelius Tacitus, betrays the fact that the matter had nevertheless proceeded from his pen, while the Northumberland MSS. shows that Richard II and Richard III are included among his papers.

"22. The book of Deposing King Richard the second, and

coming in of Henry the 4th, supposed to be written by Dr.

Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, had

much incensed Queen Elizabeth; and she asked Mr. Bacon,

being then of her Counsel learned, whether there were any

Treason contained in it? who intending to do him a pleasure

and to take off the Queen's bitterness with a merry conceit,

answered: No, Madam, for Treason, I cannot deliver

Opinion, that There is any, but very much Felony: The

Queen apprehending it gladly, asked, How? And wherein?

Mr. Bacon answered: Because he had stollen many of his

sentences and conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus" (Apoph-

thegms, 1671).

There is also preserved in the British Museum an ancient pamphlet entitled "Henry IV," which treats of the abdication of Richard II and which is accredited to him.

From Francis Bacon's "Apology" regarding the condemnation of Essex, we gather not only that the supposed author of Richard II, Dr. Hayward, was actually imprisoned because of its production, for the sole purpose of compelling him by torture to reveal the real author; but that the publisher, Mr. John Wolfe, had been previously examined before Attorney General Coke on July 13, 1600.

This furnishes an illustration of the responsibility at that time assumed by the publisher of Books and Dramas. In Eliza-


Phil. Stubbs:

"Observations on

the Elizabethan

Drama 1583"

1616; "State of the

Drama illustrated

by contemporary


beth's time is was customary for the author to seek a deputy or representative for his work. Thus was the publisher, for a consideration, obliged, in event of litigation, to assume the responsibility for all errors of the author. Three individuals are thus to be differentiated:

1. The author who, especially in the case of dramas, kept himself concealed.

2. The publisher, who in the case of dramas, usually named the actors, also for a remuneration.

3. The printer, whose name also appeared upon the work.

Thus plays put forth under the names of Marlowe, Greene and other contemporary actors, which fact was not unknown to Elizabeth, who, for this reason, felt it necessary to put forth some effort to determine the real author of Richard II. That Ben Jonson collaborated with Francis is well enough known; and only such writers as were known to be friendly to one another, were in position to gain information regarding each other's works.

The Drama, which until the appearance of the Francis Tudor Shakespeare Plays, ranked only as a stage performance emanating from the despised class of dissolute play-writers, was to such an extent prohibited that the Oxford Bodleian Library, founded by Sir Thomas Bodley, accepted at that time no dramatic works.

Many pieces were not written down at all, but were learned from the stage copies, rehearsed, presented before the public often with new humorous interpellations to amuse the "groundlings."

On the subject of the "playwright," who then ranked as a person of low caste, it may be said of Marlowe, that after he took his degree of A. M. at Cambridge, he gave up his studies and became an actor. Such was his education that the writing of good plays might well be credited to him, but the debauchery of his life as an actor is well known, as is also his melancholy end, stabbed to death in a brawl with a servant over a tap-room wench.

Ben Jonson on the other hand is known as a collaborator in Latin translations and was personally so close to Francis that he doubtless stood on a far higher intellectual ground than the actors of his day.

When Francis selected the name of an actor to father the publication of his plays it is to be noted in that the name of the Actor Shakspere was altered in the spelling to "Shake-speare"--Shaker of the Spear--and as such we find Francis identified in Emblem Books of his time, of which more hereafter.






Of the numerous Shakspere stock in County Warwick it is known that a few families lived as small householders in various villages. The actor's father lived in Stratford-on-Avon as a cobbler,--another account says as a butcher. Among his many children two sons became actors, and William ranked as the better. He could at best have attended the grammar school of Stratford only until his thirteenth year, as his father is supposed to have needed him in his business;--all this being, however, hypothetical.

In Halliwell-Phillips' "Outlines" there is published but one letter addressed to Shakspere dated Oct. 25, 1598.* He had come to London, probably 1585 or 7, deserting his wife and daughter, having been obliged to leave the neighborhood on account of poaching. It is further stated that he held horses at the Globe Theatre for the country equipages.

At Christmas time, 1598, his name appears with the actors William Kemp and Richard Burbage on the pay list of the "Lord Chamberlain's" players, issued by the Treasurer of the Chamber, for two plays on "St. Stephen's" and "Innocents' Daye," given before Elizabeth.

When Shakspere left the theatre is not definitely known, only that in the meantime he made his living as hair dresser and marriage broker. He was not numbered among the players who were granted leave of absence for the Continent, to accompany the Earl of Leicester. This troupe produced Hamlet at Antwerp in 1586.

But as stated in Halliwell-Phillips' "Outlines of the Life of Shakspere," London, 1883, he purchased "New Place" at Stratford-on-Avon for sixty pounds, and later acquired adjoining land. He was very litigious and prosecuted many petty suits, the papers in some of which are still extant.

And here come under consideration his five existing signatures, each in a different and perfectly uneducated hand-writing


* Translator's Note:--Two or three other letters to Shakspere are extant, but for obvious reasons none from him. All letters to him were regarding petty loans,--nothing to remotely suggest an interest in literature, but quite the reverse.



Note of Halliwell

and Furnival:

"Accounts of the

Treasurer of the


Sign for bloted


oftener with only

one dot


Malone: An inquiry

into the authenticity,

etc. London 1796,

p. 177

with the side note: "bloted" by William Shakspere, the name being, however, almost illegible. It should also be noted that "bloted" signifies the same as is now meant, in the case of an illiterate who makes a cross or "His mark" instead of the signature, his name being added by the scribe. In fact, a heavy point with a small diagonal stroke is all there is to Shakspere's signature.

We conclude from this that he was an illiterate who had to substitute his mark for his name.

In his last will and testament not a syllable is mentioned concerning MSS. of plays, nor yet of any books. It is an open question whether in addition to being unable to write, he was not also unable to read!

Halliwell-Phillips also notes that his name no longer appeared in the theatre lists after his return to Stratford. Not until 1604, after the accession of James I., is he named among the "King's Players." He purchased a property in Blackfriars, London, in 1613, but it is not stated whether the business was not done from Stratford. This property was the legacy for his daughter Judith.*

Concerning his intellectual knowledge and interests, nothing is known, which is at least an evidence that in his own time he was recognized only as an actor with no poetic talent.

Concerning the etymology of the family name Shakspere, it is stated that the family had sprung from a Norman, "Jacques Pierre." These two names, spoken rapidly in English and run together were easily changed into Shakspere, and the name was so employed by the actor and his family.

The exhaustive investigations which have been made concerning the actor Shakspere have only yielded the above meagre results and utterly fail to justify the credulity of a later age in according to him a fame far, far above any possible deserts.

All else that has been said regarding the actor has been made up of pure suppositions for which no shred of evidence can be found, and which are only maintained and believed by those who hold to false "historical" traditions.


So reads the heading of an article which follows the preface in an English edition of the Plays in which the life histories of the actor and of the poet are ascribed to one person.

It is worth while to follow the interest which is shown in


* Translators' Note: Judith was also an illiterate. At the age of 26 she signed, with her mark, legal papers still extant.


these articles regarding Shakespeare, as efforts are still being made to identify the unproven legends of the actor with the personality of the poet, entirely disregarding the fact that the names of the actor and the poet are different, and the further fact that the records do not furnish us a single authentic proof that the actor William Shakspere was also a poet.

We read the following sentences in the edition of the Chandos Classics (London: Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, Warehouse Amen Corner EC):

--"A life of peace and prosperity furnishes but little matter

for a chronicle."

--"We have no authentic anecdotes of the 'Myriad-minded

Man,' as Coleridge terms him, only imperfect and

apocryphal traditions."

--"His paternal ancestor is believed to have fought at

Bosworth Field."

--"The boyhood of Shakespeare till he was ten years old

was spent probably in a manner well adapted to foster his

genius." (!!!)

--"From about the time Shakespeare completed his

eleventh year, the prosperity of the family waned--in 1578

John Shakespeare (the father) was unable to pay poor rates

and was left untaxed. During these eleven years his gifted

son was receiving his early education at the free grammar

school of Stratford--of the where or how that education was

completed we have no records. That his days of youthful

study ended early we may, however, conjecture, as he

married at the age of eighteen."*

--"We may believe that he had by some wild boyish freak

given annoyance to the "Justice," and thus added another

motive to those which disposed him to leave his

Warwickshire home. Doubtless but little inducement was,

however, required to lure him into the world of famous

men,** whose renown then filled the length and breadth of

the land, and whose grand memories surrounded his own,

lightening the age of Elizabeth with a galaxy of statesmen

and heroes."

With such statements as: "probably" or "we believe" or "doubtless but little inducement was required," a biography is constructed out of pure supposition without one positive fact, as the very first sentence frankly admits that there are no authentic records concerning his life and his studies!

In the continuation we read:

"As it is supposed (he) became an actor and adapter of

plays for the Blackfriar's Theatre--in 1598 he was able to

purchase a share in it, and from that time his fame and good

fortune grew rapidly. His dramas became known--"

In Shakspere's Will this Blackfriar's property is not mentioned at all as a "share," but as a messuage or tenement,--


* Translator's Note: Francis did not have time to marry 'till his 46th year.--W.P.

** Translator's Note: (The relative dates of his marriage, his departure from Stratford and the birth of his eldest child suggest further "inducements"!--W.P.)

Albion Edition

The Works of

William Shakespeare,

With Life and

Glossary, prepared

from the text of the

folio and the quartos

by the editor of

the Chandos


Robert Greene

a piece of real estate, therefore, which he bequeathed to his daughter Judith.

When we compare all these uncertain suppositions regarding the actor with the old and reliable sources of information which exist concerning other contemporary actors and play-writers who have chronicled their works and dramatic performances in book form, we find all these imaginary embellishments of the actor Shakspere absolutely meaningless and absurd.



We should say in advance that the entry of a work at the Stationer's Office did not by any means fix the year of its printing, which often took place much later.

Among the pamphlets we find two names, which, like their author, deserve attention.

1. Robert Greene, born in Norwich 1560, studied at Cambridge, and took the degree of Master of Arts, was at first a clergyman, who devoted himself to Philosophy, especially Natural Science. He published the work: "Planetomachia," but being, on account of his dissolute life, removed from his clerical office, he became at last a writer for the stage in London. As such there remain two of his known works: "Orlando furioso," and "Alphonsus, King of Arragon." At last he died in 1592 in great poverty in London, shortly before his death publishing another book: "A Quip for an upstart Courtier."

It is claimed that three months after his death, another book, "Groats-worth of Wit," already published, was found among his few possessions. This claim, however, rests only upon a work entered at the Stationers' Office in 1592 entitled "Kind Heart's Dream," by H. C. Even though this book was really entered at the Stationers' in December, 1592, the year of its publication is still unknown.

The preface of this "Kind Heart's Dream" by H. C. is worthy of note, signed by Henry Chettle and reading as follows:

"About three months since died Mr. Robert Greene, leav-

ing many papers in sundry book-sellers' hands, among other his Groats-worth of Wit, in which a letter written to divers play makers, is offensively by one or two of them taken;

and because on the dead they cannot be avenged, they

wilfully forge in their conceits a living author; and after

tossing to and fro, no remedy but it must light on


me. How I have all the time in my conversing in printing

hindered the bitter inveying against scholers it hath been

very well known; and how in that I dealt I can sufficiently

prove. With neither of them that take offense was I

acquainted, and with one of them at that time, I did not so

much spare as I since wish I had, for that I moderated the

heate of living writers and I might have used my own

discretion (especially in such case), the author being dead;

that I did not, I am sorry as if the original fault had been my

fault, because myself have seen his demeanor no lesse

civill, than he excelent in qualitie he professes: Besides,

divers of worship have reported his uprightness of dealing,

which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writing,

that approves his Art. For the first learning I reverence, and

at the perusing of Greene's book, stroke out what then in

conscience I though he in some displeasure writ: or had it

been true; yet to publish it were intolerable: him I would

wish to use no worse than I deserve. I had only in copy this

share; it was ill written, as sometimes Greene's hand was

none the best; licensed it might be, ere it could be printed,

which could never be it might not be read. To the briefe, I

writ it over; and as I could I followed the copy: only in that

letter I put something out, but in the whole book not a word

in; for I protest it was all Greene's, not mine, nor Master

Nash's, as some unjustly have affirmed."

In this preface of Chettle's there is no evidence at all that the work was printed in 1592. Chettle describes only in general what Greene left and one badly written MSS. to which he added nothing but omitted some portions. He also assures us that the same was not composed either by himself or Nash, but by Greene. But meanwhile Greene was dead, and certain undesirable passages were ascribed to him, Chettle, against which he protected himself. Meanwhile this preface does not state either what work is referred to nor yet the passages which gave offense.

When this preface of Chettle's was printed is nowhere to be discovered as the title page of "Kind Heart's Dream" shows neither date nor year.

Also of Greene's "Groats-worth of Wit," there is no copy extant of 1592, but only of 1596.

It is therefore uncertain whether it has any connection with this preface. One expression "shake-scene," printed in 1596, could easily have been changed to or from Shake-speare!!

Shakespeare was first made known in 1593 in the dedication of "Venus and Adonis." Here first comes to public notice Shake-Speare with the given name of the player Shakspere--"William." If a pun was intended in the change of name it could easily have been altered to "Shake-scene."

But Greene up to the time of his death was ignorant of this ambiguous name, and could therefore hardly have made use of the word-play "Shake-scene."

New Shake-speare


Shakespere Allusion

Books, London 1874,

Part 1, p. 1


Francis Meres

"Palladis Tamia"

London 1598

Perhaps the writing which appeared four years after Greene's death was intended as an announcement to excite curiosity, as the use of the deceased's name could not be attacked.

A second contemporary, Francis Meres (perhaps Mere Francis), who is stated to have been a country pastor, figures also as a literateur of that epoch. In his work: Palladis Tamia; Wit's Treasury, the author calls himself Master of Arts from Cambridge and Oxford on the title page.

He treats of the literary men of his day, and compares the old classics with the historical works of his period. He mentions twelve plays of Shake-speare, using the name as here written.

Whence had he in 1598 knowledge of twelve Shakespeare plays? Up to that time, but two, Richard II and Richard III, had flowed from the pen of the poet, "Shakespeare."

Nor had the Sonnets of Shake-speare yet been printed at that time; still he speaks of these as being the creations of the author of Venus and Adonis. He takes for granted that these also had flowed from the pen of the poet, "Shake-speare."

This again may be regarded as advertising praise for the new poet.

And many years later, in 1623, Ben Jonson repeats the praise of Greene's "Groats-worth of Wit" and Meres' "Palladis Tamia" with the word-play "Shake a Stage" in the lines of his Eulogy:

"--From thence to honour thee, I would not seeke

For names, but call forth thund'ring Aeschyilus

Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordoua dead,

To life againe to heare thy Buskin tread

And shake a Stage; Or, when thy Socks were on,

Leaue thee alone for the comparison

Of all that insolent Greece, or haughtie Rome*

Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.

The merry Greeke, tart Aristophanes,

Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please."

Although we cite but few examples which show criticisms of "Shake-speare" by his contemporaries, yet these alone have the force of self-evident truth. For following the chronological order of the publication of Francis Tudor's plays under the pseudonym "Shake-speare," only the list in the Stationers' Office can be fully relied upon. The documents of the Master of the Revels also give some data regarding stage plays and new publications, he having charge of the Court Entertainments in the time of Elizabeth and James I.


* Jonson used exactly the same words in his eulogy of Bacon printed in the "Discoveries" nine years after Bacon's official death. See page 73. W. P.



To make a close examination of all the Shake-speare Plays is not the purpose of this book, but only to bring forward such as, in the selected plot, as well as in the development of the same, reveal a tone--an echo from the soul of the poet, and in harmony with his own life.

As such we will first consider the Play of "Dr. Faustus," published under the pseudonym of Marlowe.

Here it must be noted that possibly neither Marlowe nor Francis Tudor Bacon knew the German language, and could perhaps hardly have become familiar with the tale of Faust, until the first English translation of the "Faust-book" of Frankfurt-am-Main in 1593. As Marlowe, however, reached the end of his degraded life on June 6, 1593, he could scarcely in this short time, after the appearance of the English translation, have been able to master the problems of philosophy as does Dr. Faustus.

All branches of science with which Francis had from youth made himself familiar, pass in review before the intellect of the English dramatizer of Faust, under the pseudonym of Marlowe, each judged according to its value.

The first struggle of Francis' youth is told in the soliloquy in the first scene:


"Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin

To sound the depths of that thou wilt profess,

Having commenced by a divine in show,

Yet level at the end of every art

And live and die in Aristotle's works."

Here the poet still stands in the first experience of youth hemmed in by the scholastic doctrines of Aristotle, which he later replaces with his own philosophy--that of the far-seeing mature man of keenest perceptions.

And note another passage!

Irony, sharp and drastic, speaks in the following lines:


"Si una eademque res legatur duobus

Alter rem, alter valorum rei, etc.

A petty case of paltry legacies.

Ex heriditari filium non protest pater nisi, etc.,

Such is the subject of the Institute

And universal Body of the Law.

This study fits the mercenary drudge

Who aims at nothing but external trash

Too servile and illiteral for me."


Here lies the whole bitterness of his knowledge of unjust fate--his disinheritance of the crown.

And still more clearly sounds the self-instilled moral teaching in the Epilogue of the Chorus, which appears for the first time in the third rewriting and publication:

"Thus is the branch that might have grown full straight

And burned is Apollo's laurel bough

That sometimes grew within this learned man.

Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall

Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise

Only to wonder at unlawful things

Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits

To practice more than heavenly power permits."

Here we see one of the metaphors so often found in the Shakespeare Plays. It is a warning:

"Exhort the wise

Only to wonder at unlawful things."

As it refers apparently to the fate which overtook Dr. Faustus as a consequence of his trials of magic, so the poet here reminds himself of his own dangerous inquiries regarding his birth, since the day when, after the death of Sir Nicholas Bacon, his fate was first whispered to him. How willingly would he have searched this out until fully certain of the truth!

"Then broke the branch that might have grown full straight,

And burned was Apollo's laurel bough."

Such a bough was he himself, sprung from the first glowing passion of Elizabeth and Leicester. In ripe manhood he recognized the bounds which fate had set for him, and knew that he must spend his life in the depths of subjecthood. And to be fully conscious of the truth,--that was the hardest fate of his existence,--undone,--disinherited.

This play which, owing to the lack of an English translation of the Faust story, could hardly have come to the knowledge of Marlowe, was published under this pseudonym after his death, and was subjected at all events to a peculiar, careful and repeated rewriting, such as Francis was in the habit of giving to those of his early productions which were written with an important purpose. Though the Play was entered at "Stationers' Hall" Jan. 7, 1601, under the pseudonym of the deceased Marlowe, the first published edition appeared in 1604 perceptibly improved. In 1616, however, appeared a third edition, materially amplified.

What friend would thus have undertaken such a rewriting of the drama for Marlowe--dead these three and twenty years?


And who would have stood for the then costly printing for the benefit of the dead man?

For Francis, the attraction in his age for the mysteries of Magic, which had drawn him in his youth, lay in his later years presumably in the ripened experiences of his own life, which caused him to abandon magic and turn to the more highly prized investigations of Nature.

To master Nature, to surprise her mysteries, to penetrate her secrets and hidden powers, to impress her into the service of mankind,--this thought is finally reflected in the wisdom of Faust, even as Francis portrayed it, in allegorical form in the "New Atlantis." In Faust he coins for it the words:

"These metaphysics of magicians

And necromantic books are heavenly:

Lines, circles, scenes, letters and characters;

Aye, these are those that Faustus most desires.

Oh! what a world of profit and delight,

Of power, of honor, of omnipotence

Is promised to the studious artisan!

All things that move between the quiet poles

Shall be at my command . . . . . . . . . .


A sound magician is a mighty god,

Here, Faustus, tire thy brains to gain a deity."

Everywhere the reward of wisdom is brought forward. Would a man submerged in debauchery like Marlowe, or a play-actor without scientific education, like Shakspere, be capable of such a longing for knowledge--such a high appreciation of wisdom?

In the Northumberland MSS. we have already encountered the titles of two Plays which show the pseudonym "Shake-speare" placed side by side with "ffrauncis Bacon."

Also the then forbidden piece: "The Isle of Dogs," which is attributed to Thomas Nash, Spedding has been able to better explain when he writes that the adjoining words: "Thomas Nashe, inferior places," having become practically illegible through age and the smallness of the characters, would more correctly give sense if read: "Thomas Nash, inferior player."

Writers of literary history have been led grievously astray in attempting to discover notable differences in the works of the dramatic writers of that day.

A. H. Bullen, on the contrary, in his edition of the works accredited to Marlowe, has emphasized the fact that it would


Gesta Greyorum

London 1688

"The tracts of the

Prince of Purpoole"

reprinted in Nichols'

Progresses of

Queen Elizabeth

be very difficult to differentiate the fine lines of demarcation in the works Henry VI, Edward II and others, in order to ascertain positively whether or not they had emanated from Marlowe's pen.

Ben Jonson writes in his "Discoveries,"

"Cicero is said to bee the only wit, that the people of

Rome had equall'd to their Empire. Ingenium par imperio.

We have had many, and in their severall Ages, (to take in

but the former Seculum.) Sir Thomas Moore, the elder Wiat;

Henry, Earle of Surrey; Chaloner, Smith, Cliot, B.

Gardiner, were for their times admirable: and the more,

because they began Eloquence with us. Sir Nico: Bacon,

was singular, and almost alone in the beginning of Queen

Elizabeth's times. Sir Philip Sidney, and Mr. Hooker (in

different matter) grew great Masters of wit, and language;

and in whom all vigour of Invention, and strength of

judgement met. The Earle of Essex, noble and high; and Sir

Walter Raleigh, not to be contemn'd, either for judgment or

stile. Sir Henry Savile grave, and truly letter'd; Sir Edwin

Sandes, excellent in both: Lo. Egerton, the Chancellor, a

grave, and great Orator; and best, when hee was provok'd.

But his learned, and able (though unfortunate) Successor* is

he, 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 and haughty Rome. In short, within his

view, and about his times, were all the wits borne, that

could honour a language, or helpe study. Now things daily

fall: wits grow downe-ward, and Eloquence grows back-

ward: So that hee may be nam'd, and stand as the marke,

and acme of our language."

Ben Jonson knew the "Concealed Poet" "Shakespeare" well, but though he was under obligation not to betray him, he knew how, in these words, to raise an imperishable monument to his genius.

For purposes of analysis we propose to divide the dramas, according to the lapse of time from their inception to first publication, and their publication in the folio of 1623, into two groups: Such as were originally composed for special occasions, either for the Court or for the Christmas celebrations in Gray's Inn under the auspices of the Barristers' Association, and those which were also composed for the theatre.

Mention has already been made (page 59) of the play "The Prince of Purpoole" for the Gray's Inn Christmas Masque 1594-95.

Further data regarding it can be found in the works cited. Of greatest importance in this piece are the five speeches by


* Translator's Note: That is Sir Francis Bacon, as the marginal Catalogue of Writers states in the 1641 edition. The word "acme" further down is in Greek letters in the original text here quoted. Jonson's omission of Shakespeare or Shakspere from this list seems to clinch the entire argument.

** A clear reference (numbers) to poetic production.


the five judges, which repeat the same philosophical thoughts given in Solomon's House in the "New Atlantis," and cover exactly the views expressed by Francis in Parliament, and his proposals for State and Government Reform.

In 1594 Francis inherited from his deceased foster-brother a country palace, Twickenham Park, and on November 17, 1595, he received from the Queen "the lease" for this property for 21 years. Here he could at last live in rural retirement, and meditate upon his "new inventions," this expression then signifying poetic work.

The play: "The Prince of Purpoole" has experienced many changes of title. On account of humorous complications during its presentation at Gray's Inn it was called thereafter: "The Prince of Error" and "Night of Errors," until for the folio edition it received its final name: "The Comedy of Errors." in the edition of this play published 1922 by the University Press, Cambridge, the title page gives no author's name, but the Frontispiece, opposite title page is the portrait of--FRANCIS BACON!!

Spedding refers especially to a festival poem for the Coronation Anniversary of the Queen, November 17, 1595.

This festival play was for a long time regarded as the work of Robert, Earl of Essex, but we are indebted to reliable sources for the assurance that it was the work of Francis Bacon.

"Sydney Papers I," 360 and 62. Also a letter from "Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, 1595." Also "Nichols' Progresses of Queen Elizabeth: Entertainments given to the Queen at York House 17 November 1595." All of these sources furnish full evidence that even at that day the poetic work of Francis Bacon was recognized.

Spedding also takes the same position regarding the "Bacon Devices for the Queen" and recognizes them by contents as well as style, as his creation.

There is worthy of notice in this festival play the inwoven allegory, from a West Indian legend which is again repeated in Midsummer Night's Dream: An Indian Princeling comes to England in fulfillment of a prophecy representing allegorically England's great colonial possessions there. Here Francis has also introduced into the play Raleigh's discoveries in the Amazon territory, and the frustrating influence of Essex's ambition.

On this account the Poet (Bacon) composed a sonnet, which was probably not produced on this occasion. But as Spedding found it among the MSS. examined, it is, therefore, added hereto:


Life and Letters of

Francis Bacon,

Vol. 1, p. 325

Sydney Papers I,

p. 360/62

Gibson's Papers

VIII, No. 270 and



Life and Letters of

Francis Bacon,

Vol. 1, pp. 387-91



Life and Letters of

Francis Bacon,

Vol. 1, pp. 388-9.

A Sonnet

Midsummer Night's


"Resuscitatio" 1671,

p. 55.

"Certain Miscellany

Works of the Right

Honorable Francis

Lord Verulam

Viscount St. Alban

"The Attendant or Conductor to the Indian Prince. He

repeats the oracle in this Sonnet before the Queen:

Seated between the Old World and the New

A land there is no other land may touch,

Where reigns a Queen in peace and honour true

Stories or fables do describe no such.

Never did Atlas such a burden bear

As she, in holding up the World opprest:

Supplying with her virtue everywhere

Weakness of friends, errors of servants best,

No nation breeds a warmer blood for war

And yet she calms them by her policy:

To her thy son must make his sacrifice

If he will have the morning of his eyes."

The Indian Prince is born blind. What a metaphor for Bacon! Born blind to their parentage were both of Elizabeth's sons--she only possessed the power to open their eyes.

In "Midsummer Night's Dream" we find scenery with nymphs and similar allegorical presentations, such as occurred plentifully in Kenilworth Park, and Moonlight feasts such as were offered on its heaths and among its shrubbery in honor of Elizabeth.

And whoever looks deeper into the symbolism of the Midsummer Night's Dream cannot fail to be reminded of poor Amy Robsart's vain and pitiful lamentations, and Leicester's duplicity between her and the Queen.

The play of "Henry VIII" bears a certain relation to the "Miscellanies," which are closely related to the "Resuscitatio."

These contain two folio pages concerning the commencement of the reign of Henry VIII.


I. An Advertisement touching an Holy Warre.

II. An offer to our late Soveraigne King James of England.

(London: Printed by John Haviland for Humphrey

Robinson, 1629.)

III. The History of the Reigne of King Henry the Eighth.

(London: Printed by John Haviland for Humphrey

Robinson, 1629.)

In the Folio of 1623 the Play is entitled:

"The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the


No earlier edition, not even a quarto copy, has ever been found. Concerning this book there have been advanced many hypotheses by the Shakespearians. A letter of Sir Henry


Wotton of July 6, 1613, who became Rector of Eton in 1624, states that:

"The King's Players had a new play called 'All is True,'

representing some principal pieces of the reign of Henry

the Eighth."

This piece, writes Wotton, was produced with extraordinary appointments including the firing of mortars, on June 29, and set fire to the Globe Theatre, which was built of wood and straw. There are no other mentions of this Play.

As Wotton, however, mentions the Prologue to "All is True," and the same is identical with that in the Folio edition of Henry VIII, the identity of the two works is possible, only the title being changed.

In Elizabeth's time it may have been necessary to make many changes in the text, above all in the form and content of Wolsey's words regarding his fall. At all events Wolsey is idealized and his feelings regarding his sudden and precipitous fall, sound like the echo of the thoughts which were later to fill Francis' heart when overtaken by the same fate.*


. . . . . . "Nay then, farewell:

I haue touch'd the highest point of all my Greatnesse,

And from that full Meridian of my Glory,

I haste now to my setting. I shall fall

Like a bright exhalation in the Euening,

And no man see me more."

This passage in Act II, Scene 2, appears also as a soliloquy, composed perhaps by Francis, and in the rewriting of the play for the Folio, clothed in these words which he puts in Wolsey's mouth:

"Farewell? A long farewell to all my Greatnesse.

This is the state of Man; today he puts forth

The tender Leaves of hopes; to morrow Blossomes,

And beares his blushing Honours thicke vpon him:

The third day, comes a Frost; a killing Frost,

And, when he thinks, good easie man, full surely

His Greatnesse is a-ripening, nippes his roote,

And then he fals as I do. I haue ventur'd

Like little wanton Boyes that swim on bladders:

This many Summers in a Sea of Glory,

At length broke vnder me, and now ha's left me

Weary and old with Seruice, to the mercy

Of a rude streame that must foreuer hide me.

Vain pompe and glory of this World, I hate ye,

I feele my heart new open'd. Oh how wretched


* It is not impossible, and in fact, seems quite probable, that this play in the Folio form, the only one known to us, was not written until 1621 or later, after Bacon's similar experience.


Dr. Faustus

under pseudonym


Is that poore man, that hangs on Princes' fauours?

There is betwixt that smile we would aspire too,

That sweet Aspect of Princes, and their ruine,

More pangs, and fears than warres, or women haue;

Neuer to hope againe."

And againe the self-accusation:

By that sinne fell the Angels: how can man then

(The image of his Maker) hope to win by it?

Loue thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;

Corruption wins not more than Honesty."

And is it not like a direct laudation of Francis, when Griffith, servant of the fallen Wolsey, speaks in Act IV, Scene 2, to Katharine of Arragon, the deposed queen:

"He was a Scholler, and a ripe, and good one:

Exceeding wise, faire spoken and perswading!

Lofty, and sowre to them that lou'd him not;

But, to those men that sought him, sweet as Summer,

And though he were vnsatisfied in getting,

(Which was a sinne) yet in bestowing, Madam,

He was most Princely: euer witnesse for him

Those twinnes of Learning, that he rais'd in you,

Ipswich and Oxford: one of which, fell with him,

Vnwilling to out-liue the good that did it.

The other (though vnfinished) yet so Famous,

So excellent in Art, and still so rising,

That Christendome shall euer speake his Vertue.

His Overthrow, heap'd Happinesse upon him:

For then, and not till then, he felt himselfe,

And found the Blessednesse of being little.

And to adde greater Honors to his Age

Then man could giue him, he dy'de fearing God."

These passages certainly prove that the play was not a work of Francis' youth. But in addition to the resignation with which he here speaks as a great statesman concerning his fall, the attention is still more attracted to the praise poured upon the infant Elizabeth at the time of her christening in the speech of Cardinal Cranmer to the King, Act V, Scene 4:

"This Royal Infant, Heauen still moue about her;

Though in her Cradle: yet now promises . . . . . ."

Here follow all the blessings which are to be fulfilled upon her and upon England when she becomes queen (italics by the writer):

"God shall be truly knowne and those about her,

From her shall read the perfect ways of Honour,

And by those claime their greatnesse; not by Blood.

The Bird of Wonder dyes, the Mayden Phoenix,

Her ashes new create another Heyre,

As great in admiration as herselfe.

So shall she leave her Blessedness to One,

(When Heauen shal call her from this clowd of darkness)


Who, from the sacred Ashes of her Honour

Shall Star-like, rise, as great in fame as she was,

And so stand fix'd. Peace, Plenty, Loue, Truth, Terror

That were the Seruants to this chosen Infant,

Shall then be his, and like a Vine grow to him;

Where euer the bright Sunne of Heauen shall shine,

His Honour and the greatness of his Name

Shall be, and make new Nations; he shall flourish

And like a Mountain Cedar, reach his branches,

To all the Plaines about him: Our Childrens Children

Shall see this and blesse Heauen."

The King, to whom the birth of a daughter instead of the desired son was a great disappointment, recognizes in these words of Cranmer's a comfort, and at the same time a prophetic oracle. He answers the Archbishop:

"Thou speakest wonders.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This Oracle of comfort ha's so pleas'd me."

This prophecy was fulfilled. From the ashes of the maiden-phoenix arose the heir of her spirit in the person of Francis Bacon Tudor, Elizabeth's rejected and dethroned son, still greater in wisdom, and leaving behind him those imperishable evidences of genius, upon which Europe and the whole civilized world gaze in wonder.

When will England at last recognize this great heir of the house of Tudor, this fixed star of prophecy in Francis Tudor--called Bacon as the Philosopher, and Shakespeare as the poet--as the greatest genius in her history? And at the same time thrust from his usurped throne the uneducated Actor--scarcely noticed in his own day--Shakspere of Stratford.

Some critics of the Play of Henry VIII believe it to be the one in the construction of which the poet exercised the least care, but on the contrary, all scholars at present agree that the Tragedy of Hamlet as given in the Folio of 1623, called forth the Poet's finest and most painstaking labor.

To set forth here all the hypotheses of the adherents of the player "Shakspere" as the Poet, would exceed the purpose of this book. It will be much more to the point to search for the arguments which, rightly judged from the internal evidences of the dramas, point indubitably to Francis Tudor as the author.

To occupy ourselves first with the earliest notices of this play, we find from contemporaries that it had already been presented with great applause in 1585 and 1586--according to both Nash's and Henslow's accounts. They also state that the father's Ghost appeared upon the stage.

The Danish historian, Saxo, with the nom-de-plume Gram-

The Tragedy of


Prince of Denmark



"Outlines," p. 175

maticus, who died as Provost of Roeskild in 1204, tells nothing about a Ghost in his history: and other old sources of the Hamlet story tell also of no appearance of the Ghost. This must, therefore, be the direct invention of the dramatist.

"Hamlet" was registered at the Stationers' in 1602, but was first published in 1603. It was then in quite incomplete form of which two specimens only are now extant; but it apparently satisfied the tastes of the theatre-goers of the day to judge by the applause which it received.

Concerning this play, as originally presented with comic by-plays, Halliwell-Phillips says:

"It is worth notice that the incident of Hamlet leaping

into Ophelia's grave, now sometimes omitted, was

considered in Burbage's time to be one of the most striking

features of the acted tragedy, and there is a high probability

that a singular little incident of by-play, enacted by the first

grave-digger, was also introduced at the Globe

performances. The once popular stage-trick of that

personage taking off a number of waistcoats one after

another previous to the serious commencement of his work,

is an artifice which has only been laid aside in recent years.

The Tragedy, which appeared in 1604, bore the title:

"The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke,

by William Shakespeare, newly imprinted and enlarged to

almost as much again as it was according to the true and

perfect Coppie."

This was the second Quarto edition which is still extant. Again greatly altered and improved the Tragedy appeared in new edition in 1605 and 1611, in which rewritings, however, certain characters bore new names.

For instance, in the edition of 1603 Polonius was called Corambis; and his servant, instead of Reynaldo, Montano. Also certain scenes were changed and reversed. The final rendering of text and division into acts and scenes are given us in the Folio of 1623.

To scrutinize the drama more carefully it must be emphasized that the original material offered in the Hamlet story underwent important changes in the poet's hands.

In riper age and after all the vast experience of life through which Francis Tudor had passed, the motif of the drama might well appeal to him with double force, and the play seem well worthy of a fundamental revision. He had as Statesman learned the weakness of the government of his own land, as well as the mismanagement of the two Cecils, and already perceived in the rising indignation of the people, especially the Puritans, the heralds of a future revolution.

In accord with his principle that the Theater should be an educational institution, and because he felt himself called to


put forth his best endeavors for the good of mankind, he regarded the material of Hamlet as practical, furnishing an example in the ruin of Denmark, which could be brought forward as a warning to his own land.

The last version of this play, in the folio 1623, therefore, shows increased and carefully thought-out allusions, partly in plainly expressed sentences, and partly in metaphors, which clearly refer to the English Court.

The episode of adultery, which is the central point of the play as given before the Danish Court, was in the original story, and not invented by the poet,--in short, it pictured the immorality of the Court. To transfer this in detail to the Court of Elizabeth gives instant rise to a variety of suppositions. Yet the portrayal was not of violations on the part of Elizabeth, but of the twice unfaithful Leicester, who contracted two secret marriages after his marriage with the Queen.

There is no evidence of any infidelity to him on the part of Elizabeth, but only of her coquetry with her various wooers, all of whom she finally rejected. But immorality was very prevalent, and under her successor, James, all manners of scandals permeated the Court so that Francis could well hold up the mirror to his time in this play.

But the principal character, Hamlet, interests us more than the motif. He is easily identified with the Poet himself, who knows so well how to portray his resemblance to the character of the disinherited Prince.

Whether all the circumstances in each case are identical is unimportant; but the inner struggles, the feelings in Francis' case, toward his mother, who alone had the power to acknowledge his father as Prince Consort, and thereby himself, her first born son, as heir apparent, would naturally cause the woes of the disinherited Hamlet to awaken in him a manifold echo of his own bitter years. He had necessarily been obliged to simulate ignorance all his life. How often would he appear to himself as abnormal--stunned--hardly grasping the reality of his situation in the strained meetings with his mother! These are soul-throes into which the outsider can never enter, but all the more could he portray himself in the role of the insanity-simulating Hamlet.

Unfortunately Francis had been no stranger to insanity, as he watched its inroads for years upon his dearly loved foster-mother, Lady Ann Bacon, and beheld to his sorrow,


[Picture 3] 80

how, owing to the strifes in the Protestant Church which at last gripped her too passionately as an adherent of the Puritans, she sank into a religious mania.

We find Francis' profound psychiatric knowledge shown in the cases of mental disease which his plays present, as in Lady Macbeth, in Ophelia, in King Lear. In every instance he shows the fundamental character of the individual altered through the diseased mind,--deformed, filled with illusions, or with moral obliquities developed to the highest degree,--in short the most varied pathological pictures.

The fundamental tones which speak at the outset in the Tragedy of Hamlet, are Melancholy and Discontent, two sentiments in themselves readily comprehensible in the disinherited, and present a thousand-fold in Francis, and which he, delving ever more deeply into philosophy, at last smothered in resignation. But here in Hamlet he shows us both, in pathological coloring, in a riot of a thousand words, now in sarcasm, now in a subtle irony, now in utter weariness of life. To what extent he feigns insanity--to what extent the madness finally masters him,--therein also the poet offers us a most interesting example of a pathological problem, almost beyond the limits of comprehension. He desires to feign insanity, but his nerves already greatly overstrained give way before the terrible illness.

To probe the individual personalities in the dramas which in part at least seem to have been taken from life, and to endeavor to determine which contemporaries served as models, so to speak, might seem to rob the poet of his creative power. Nevertheless it must not be forgotten that theatrical presentation often served as the scourge of the great.

And so one can not go far astray if one finds in Richard III with the crippled form, many points of resemblance to Robert Cecil, son of the great Lord Burghley: Now that the recently published Hatfield MSS. have for the first time revealed the criminal deeds and intrigues of the two Cecils, we can understand that Francis in his Essay on Deformity, draws his comparisons showing how the Envy of the cripple, who measures himself with normal men, often warps his character and indeed furnishes him in place of the lacking bodily power, with a greater wit and cruelty, and with the cleverness and inventive ability to exercise them.

And how grievous is his picture of this degeneracy in the blood-thirsty Tyrant Richard III. Read the self accusation of this King when he says:

Callander of

MSS. of the

Marquis of Salisbury.

Preserved at

Hatfield House

Edited by the

Historical MSS.


London 1883-88


Third Part of

King Henry VI.

"I that haue neyther pity, loue, nor feare,

Indeed, 'tis true that Henrie told me of:

For I haue often heard my Mother say

I came into the world with my Legges forward,

Had I not reason (think ye) to make hast

And seeke their Ruine that vsurp'd our Right?

'The midwife wonder'd, and the Women cri'de

O! Isus bless us, he is borne with teeth!'

And so I was, which plainly signified,

That I should snarle and bite, and play the dogge:

Then, since the Heauens haue shap'd my Body so,

Let Hell make crook'd my Minde to answer it.

I have no Brother, I am like no Brother:

And this word (Loue) which Greybeards call Diuine

Be resident in men like one another,

And not in me: I am my selfe alone."


Indeed, we find a second likeness of the two Cecils, father and son, in Hamlet, in the flatterer Polonius and in the younger Guildenstern. Horatio, Hamlet's friend, could, however, be compared with Francis' close friend and foster-brother Anthony. Though these be, indeed, but my individual thoughts which the reader of these plays may regard as he pleases, one can perhaps recognize in the characteristics of these three persons a justification for the poet's selection of his models. Through the Cecils and in consequence of their intrigues, Francis was certainly cheated of his birth-right, as William Cecil from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign continually encouraged her in her refusal to permit the elevation of Leicester to the rank of Prince Consort. Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, was later influential in causing Francis' fall as Lord Chancellor, and in all these intrigues Francis appreciated with full penetration the despicable character of the Cecils, father and son.

That a secret existed between Anthony Bacon and Francis Tudor is plainly shown by the subtle allusions in their letters and in their occasionally recorded conversations.

Anthony's sympathy for Francis shows itself in tenderest form in his tireless willingness to go to the extreme of self-endangerment as surety for Francis' debts; and in no case can be found the slightest reproach on Anthony's part. It is true that Francis received nothing from the Bacon family estate, and was, indeed, entitled to nothing, but shared continually the bounty, now of his foster-mother, and now of the brother Anthony. Brought up in the great style of the house of the Lord Keeper, accustomed early to the French court, and then suddenly thrown upon his own resources, with all the inherited extravagant tendencies of Leicester,--who could ever regard this man, the grandson of Henry VIII. as aught but a


Grand Seigneur? Anthony at all events seems to have firmly so regarded him. But, thanks to his powerful and governing genius, Francis learned to feel himself at home in the solitude of Twickenham Park, in order to meditate in this Tusculum upon his "new inventions," meaning obviously his intellectual creations, in part at least poetic.* We obtain a deeper insight into the friendship of these two men, Francis and Anthony, from the last will and testament of the latter, who, dying before Francis, made him his sole heir, bequeathing to him Gorhambury and estates in Herefordshire.

How deep is the friendship portrayed between Hamlet and Horatio! Hamlet appears in the first scene as the younger, perhaps in the thirties, passionately aroused, and yet of melancholy temperament, which caused him many a struggle. The whole tragedy of his life rests upon him.

Horatio, the elder and more discreet, faithful unto death, accompanies him through the perplexities of his troubled spirit.

He is represented as the faithful participant in the dark and fateful secrets of the impending tragedy and it may readily be thought that Anthony served as the model.

One metaphor in the drama should also be noticed, of the double meaning of which only Horatio is cognizant. In Act III, Scene 2, Hamlet has the players produce a play of his own composition referring to the events at the court. So keenly works its poignancy that the new Danish King is unable to hear it to the end. The Hall of the Castle is emptied, and only Hamlet and Horatio remain, whereupon Hamlet now speaks of the result of his Play:

"Why let the strucken Deere go weepe;

The Hart vngalled play:

For some must watch and some must sleepe;

So runnes the world away.

Would not this sir, and a Forrest of Feathers, if the rest

of my Fortunes turn Turke with me; with two Provin-

ciall Roses on my rac'd Shooes, get me a Fellowship in

a crie of Players, Sir?"

Hor.--"Halfe a share."

Ham.--"A whole one I,

For thou dost know: Oh Damon deere

This Realme dismantled was of Iove himselfe,

And now reigns heere,

A verie, verie,--Pajocke!"

Hor.--"You might have Rimed."

Ham.--"Oh good Horatio, Ile take the Ghost's word for

a thousand pounds."


* In Bacon's Promus, fol. 109, front, he used the expression:

--"Ye Law at Twicknam for mery tales." W. P.


Here is a reference to the "concealed poet"--to the Dramatic Poet, who will save two badges of his dethronement as compensation for his lost inheritance:

1. A forest of feathers.

2. Also two provincial roses. Here is a play upon two emblems which we find portrayed in the Emblem-book of 1612, entitled "Minerva Brittana" (sic). In this book, where the titles of Francis are enumerated, and placed, veiled, in the Quarto and Folio editions of the so-called Shake-speare Plays, both before and after the death of Elizabeth, he signs himself first: "The Prince, Prince of Wales," and there is shown on the back side of the title-page the symbol of the rank of the Prince of Wales, the Three Feathers with the motto: "Ich dien," surrounded by a garland of white and red roses with the thistles of Scotland. Also later his veiled name may be read: "Francis I, King of Great Britain and Ireland."

Of the secrets of this Emblem-book the most intimate friends were doubtless cognizant, those who recognized in Francis both the dethroned heir-apparent, and the Poet Shake-speare, and who, therefore, rightly understood the metaphors in his plays.

As, with these references to Hamlet, we close our consideration of its innumerable double-meaning passages, we must also, with reference to the above-cited emblems, touch upon the peculiar and wonderfully inventive method of the so-called Bacon Secret Writings. The literature regarding them is so extensive that it would require a work by itself and is beyond the scope of this book.

Toby Matthews was also deep in Francis' secrets and lived until 1655. Through him the afterworld has received a number of Francis' letters, which, however, were not published until 1660, after Matthews' death. This collection entitled: "A Collection of Letters made by Sir Tobie Matthews" bears the simple inscription: "To a Friend," which implies that Matthews was the recipient. In these letters the greatest caution is evidenced not to betray anything which the writer would not desire to be known even after his death, and no one knows to what extent Matthews was guided by Francis' instructions. At all events, dates and names are omitted from this publication--in short everything which would tend to the revealing of any mysteries.

In Birch's edition of Bacon's works we come upon another letter also without date and addressed from Matthews to Francis, which is very important to the Bacon investigator. The


original of this letter from Matthews to Francis is preserved in the British Museum.

As this letter is addressed to Lord St. Alban it must have been written after his elevation to that rank, Jan. 27, 1621. Whoever has followed Matthews' life after his reinstatement at the English Court, and his continuous friendship for Francis, in order to better estimate the relations between the two men, knows that Matthews on April 18, 1923, accompanied Charles, Prince of Wales, upon his fruitless bridal journey to Spain. In this letter Matthews thanks Francis "for the great and noble token"--a magnificent intellectual creation, not more closely described,--so much at least these few words indicate. But of still greater value is the postscript which follows the letter in these words:

"The most prodigious wit that ever I knew of my nation,

and of this side of the sea is of your Lordship's name--

though he be known by another."

Here is indicated past question, a pseudonym which Francis had adopted, and the Great Folio, just published by Francis St. Alban (under another name) was certainly a "great and noble token."

These partly veiled indications, as well as the omission of all betraying information in Francis' letters to Matthews speak volumes regarding a well considered caution against the betrayal of an existing important mystery. But if such a secret was to be guarded even beyond the time of Francis' death, it must have been of such scope, that it should not only hide the Poet Francis Bacon St. Alban under a nom-de-plume, but also conceal a far more important personage as the author, namely, the masked Prince, who, by reason of his birth, belonged upon the throne. Had all been forcibly exposed at that time, the Stuart would have lost his right to the crown. But that was not Francis' purpose.

This motive must be grasped as the cardinal point in his life and character, and only in so doing do we get a true impression of his real greatness.


Quarto Editions

of the Plays



1. The Historical Plays.

It is important in following the Plays to their completion, relative to the enrichment of their contents and the refinement of their style, to distinguish among their various editions from the time of their first appearance until their issuance from the press.

Here it is most important to compare how the Quarto editions differ from the Folio of 1623 in lacking many words and sentences which later appear.

In Dec., 1597, Francis began his dictionary entitled: "The Promus of Formularies and Elegancies" (see p. 58).

In some of the Quarto editions of the plays many expressions from this word-treasury,--some formed anew by Francis,--some of them from other languages,--are not to be found, but appear later in the Folio.

The Quartos also lack many of the metaphors with which the Folio is enriched. In addition these are so plainly allusions to occurrences which took place at the Court, or scenes in Parliament are so distinctly indicated, that they could only have been portrayed by a poet who had actually witnessed them. In those days there were no newspapers, and still less were they likely to be divulged in conversation, outside of very narrow circles, within the hearing of the people.

The reader's attention is also particularly drawn to the numerous legal expressions, the correct representation of the customs and proceedings in the courts of law, which only one thoroughly initiated, himself a practitioner, could possibly have introduced to such an extent and with such accuracy and ease.

These constantly increasing allusions, always in accordance with the facts, are brought out as coming direct from government officials and dignitaries. In some of the later dramas the mistakes of the Stuart government under James I are finely mirrored.

The Quarto editions lack the division into Acts and Scenes which first appears when the plays were worked over for the Folio.

When one follows the Historical Plays one realizes that England can boast to the full of such a dramatic presentation of her history and her constantly increasing power, as is enjoyed by no other land on earth.


From the ancient King of Scotland, Macbeth, onward, past King John "Lackland;" through the life and death of Richard II, the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V, three plays on Henry VI, then Richard III, until at last it reaches Henry VIII, showing also the great Queen Elizabeth as an infant at baptism,--thus has Francis celebrated this great pageant in matchless lines.

In the Tragedy of King Lear, a ruler of Britain from the realm of myth, Francis expresses his own views regarding absolute monarchy.

Here he alludes, as an opponent of Byzantine glorification, to the absolution towards which James I improperly strove; for he sees, looking far into the future, in the yawning discontent of the people and the activity of the Puritans, all the coming dangers, even to the fall and destruction of the royal power.

In place of the missing play of Henry VII, Francis has left us a monument in his matchless historical work concerning this reign. No monarch worthy of name in the entire line is forgotten. The poetic representation extends, even to the natural heir of Elizabeth, to the disinherited son of this queen; in reference to this character,--himself, the interwoven allegories are most delicate and ingenious. To him, the son robbed of his earthly crown, fell the compensation of genius in such measure that his name won immortality not only in England, but throughout the entire civilized world.

We now follow the plays according to the dates of their first appearance and their publication in which the following authentic works serve us as guides.

Besides the two editions of "Bacon's Works" by Spedding and Birch the following are to be named: Sir Tobie Matthews: Collection of Letters, London, 1660. Edmond Malone: "An Inquiry into the papers and legal instruments attributed to Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth and Henry, Earl of Southampton. Illustrated with facsimiles." etc. London, 1796.

Halliwell-Phillips: "Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare," London, 1883. By the same: "Shakespeariana. A catalogue of the early editions of Shakespeare Plays and of the Commentaries and other publications illustrative of his works," London, 1881. "Marlowe's Works," edited by A. H. Bullen, 3 Vol., London, 1885.

"Unedited Tracts: Illustrating the manners, opinions and occupations of Englishmen during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Now first republished from the original copies with a preface and notes," London, 1868. "Accounts of the Revels


The two first

publications of


Also the numerous lists cited by Spedding of the masques and Christmas presentations at Gray's Inn are named as authorities. Philip Stubbs: "Observations on the Elizabethan Drama, 1583." "State of the Drama in 1616," illustrated by a contemporary publication.

In general it is demonstrated that there exist no handwritten MSS. of the individual Plays except the speeches in the Gray's Inn Christmas play of 1595, which were found later in the Northumberland MSS.

Furthermore, it is pointed out that the Folio of 1623 contains sixteen plays never printed before.

In 1593 appeared "Venus and Adonis," the first publication printed with the pseudonym "Shakespeare" not spelled like the name of the actor. After this, the first publication under this name, followed the second in 1594: "The Rape of Lucrece." These were two sensual productions such as Elizabeth preferred.

Four years later the name Shakespeare next was seen under the Tragedies "Rychard II and Rychard III."

Meanwhile, however, several pieces had been played in the theatre under the name of Shakespeare, which had not been printed, and of the manuscript compositions of which nothing is known.

In 1596 and 1598 appeared the expressions of appreciation already mentioned on page 67, under the pseudonym of the deceased Greene in "Groatsworth of Wit," and in "Palladis Tamia," by a certain "Francis Meres," of whose actual existence there is no real evidence. (Another pseudonym for "merely Francis"?)

In this last named work it is stated that during the same year, 1598, twelve Shakespeare plays had already been presented on the stage, but they are not named.

As the chronological enumeration of the publication of the plays according to their entry, and the citation to the various original sources of information are here repeated, the question at issue shall not, as is the custom with certain critics and especially the partisans of Shakspere, be repeatedly laid before the reader. With the enumeration of the dates of publication all these points of controversy are laboriously dragged forth in order to support the claims of the Stratford Actor as Dramatic Author, for such is the custom in England, from motives of purely personal and local interest, despite the fact that they cannot carry weight in the determination of the truth in the domain of international literature.

We consider first the historical plays in order of the epochs depicted.


"The Life and Death of King John" appeared anonymously in 1591 under the above title but with the added note: "As it was (sundry times) publikely acted by the Queene's Majesties Players in the honourable Cittie of London."

This notation is peculiar in that under Elizabeth the

players were not called the "Queen's" but the "Lord Cham-

berlain's Servants," or his players.

In the second and third editions 1611 and again ten years later, 1622, the title pages read: 1611 the initials "W. Sh.," and 1622 the name W Shakespeare. It is known that Francis had employed this pseudonym since 1593, and that he did not affix it to his plays, till he had worked them over, so that they might not be printed in the temporary and partially incomplete form in which they had been presented on the stage. Nor was the name affixed until after Shakspere, the actor, had left London for Stratford--about equivalent to an emigration to Australia today. The reason of this emigration is obvious.

"To the Gentlemen Readers:

"You that with friendly grace of smoother brow

Have entertained the Scythian Tamburlaine

And given applause unto an infidel;

Vouchsafe to welcome with like courtesie

A warlike Christian and your countryman."

Under whatever name this Play may first have figured, its repeated reworking and its appearance in the Folio edition are certainly Francis' work.


"The Life and Death of Richard II."

This Drama, as already told in the account of Essex's treason, played a peculiar role for its composer, as it is the only play which not only mirrored political events, but was regarded by its promulgators as propaganda of Rebellion, for the purpose of winning over the people.

Here the views of the critics diverge, depending on how they interpret the play, in view of the light thrown upon it thro' Francis' secret writing.

The piece, as may be supposed, was presented with the Parliament Scene and the abdication of Richard II, which were to add impetus to the uprising.

After the earnest inquisition of Francis by Elizabeth at Twickenham Park, the irritating passages were apparently cut out, so that the court might have no cause of complaint, and

King John

Richard II


Elizabeth herself be misled. That the play was acted, however, in 1597 or perhaps earlier, with the Parliament scene added, is shown by the papers in the Essex treason case.

How well Elizabeth guessed the object of all this, namely, that she should be deposed thro' this rebellion, is shown by her historically authenticated exclamation: "Know ye not I am Rychard Second!"

Whoever will cherish any doubt regarding this play, and denies that the entire piece, from its first composition and including alterations and omissions in the most important scenes of this tragedy, came from one hand and sprang from a most astute and deliberating brain, must indeed be blinded to the truth.

The improved and thoroughly worked-over edition appeared finally in the Folio of 1623.


The Trilogy from the Folio: Two parts of Henry IV and Henry V is the successor of the older play entitled:

"The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth."

Thus the play was entered at the Stationers' Guild in 1594, and again published in 1598. Later under James I, it was published again without date, but unquestionably several years before the Folio edition.

Through the list of the "Lord Chamberlain's" players it is shown that the play had been presented prior to 1588 and 9, as the actor Tarleton, who died in 1588, is given the principal role. It is supposed that the first hasty edition of the play bore the name of Marlowe as Author, but that does not prove that the play was not one of Francis' youthful productions in crude form; since for the theatre of those days, quickly improvised plays sufficed, which acquired literary value only later when worked over.

For all these old historical plays the authors gleaned their material from the old Chronicles which they transformed as demanded by the stage, and which, according to their composition, offered the poets rough or finished material, often with additions at variance with the truth. These facts must be reckoned with, and the finer the ultimate version of the drama as produced for the Folio, the more fully will be appreciated the poetic ability of the Author.

Henry IV first appeared, though in the first part only, in 1598, and was entitled:

"The History of Henry the Fourth; with the Battell at

Shrewsbury, between the King and Lord Henry Percy

surnamed Henrie Hotspur of the North. With the humor-


ous conceits of Sir Falstaff. At London. Printed by P. S. for

Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the sign of

the Angel."

This same edition was four times reprinted--1599, 1604, 1608 and 1613.

The Second Part appeared in print in 1600, and this was the only edition of the Second Part of Henry the Fourth during the lifetime of the Actor Shakspere. It was entitled--"The Second Part of Henrie the Fourth, continuing to his death and the coronation of Henry the Fifth, with the humors of Sir John Falstaffe and swaggering Pistoll. As it hath been sundry times publickly acted by the right honorable, the Lord Chamberlain his servants. Written by William Shakespeare. London, Printed by V. S. for Andrew Wise and William Aspley."

These plays were acted before Elizabeth at the court at Whitehall, at the Christmas festival 1597-98, but are said to have been previously acted at the theatre.

The queen was specially amused at the comic character of Falstaffe, as she possessed a great fancy for such burlesques.

Falstaff was the physical embodiment of the Actor Shakspere, with his weaknesses drastically caricatured for which Francis possessed especial ability.

These intermediate Falstaff-scenes afforded the amusement demanded by the theatre-going public, between the tragic portions of the Play.

The whole therefore possessed great attraction for the people who loved its broad and drastic humor.

Many apparent typographical errors are found in the folio edition, which will only be mentioned now but will be given consideration later in this work.

In Henry V the reworking for the Folio is even more noticeable.

Under this title: "The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth," this piece was presented at the Globe Theatre in 1599.

The play had previously appeared in print in 1594, and appeared again in 1598, 1600 and 1602, with the title: "The Chronicle History of Henry the Fifth with his battell fought at Agin Court. Together with Ancient Pistol," and in all the Quarto editions the author remained anonymous.

The final publication in the Folio showed an entirely new and amplified rewriting, for the contents were increased by 3,500 lines. The Choruses were introduced in the Folio and the play was first divided into acts and scenes.

Henry V


Henry VI

The tragedy of Henry VI furnishes a second trilogy of historical value.

This play was also completed step by step.

In their original form the Plays sufficed for the Theatre. In the Oxford Library are preserved two Quarto copies of this original text, which constitute evidence of how little of the pains taken with the Folio edition, was bestowed on the Plays for stage purposes.

The portion which corresponds to the first part of this trilogy does not seem to have been published until the Folio of 1623.

The earliest edition of the second part dates from 1594 and is entitled:

"The first part of the Contention betwixt the two famous

houses of York and Lancaster, with the death of the good

Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and Death of

the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall End of the Proud

Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack

Cade. And the Duke of Yorkes first claim unto the

Crowne," London, 1594.

In the next year, 1595, the third part was published, entitled:

"The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of York, and the

death of the good King Henry the Sixth, with the whole

contention between the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke,

as it was sundrie times acted by the Right Honorable the

Earl of Pembrooke his servants." London, 1595.

The London Shakespeare Society had these two quartos reprinted through Halliwell-Phillips. They are interesting because of their comprehensive titles which show how the contents were explained in detail in order to attract the public.

In the Folio of 1623 the three parts appear under the titles:

"The First Part of Henry the Sixt."

"The Second Part of Henry the Sixt with the death of

the Good Duke Humphrey."

"The Third Part of Henry the Sixt with the death of

the Duke of Yorke."

As the old quartos bear the dates of 1594 and 1595, though the play was presented in 1592, by the "Servants of the Honourable Lord Strange," it is a question whether these first presentations followed the text of the Quartos. Perhaps they were much more shortened, written more hastily as, for the theatre, gripping portrayals were most in demand.

At all events, in this tragedy are shown to the full Francis' adaptive ability to interest the public and in the last rewritings for the Folio that poetic genius which could master all materials and recoin them in enduring forms.


The tragedy of King Richard III is closely united with Henry VI, and mention has already been made of its contents (p. 82), but we will here note briefly the individual editions of this Play.

The first draft that was printed bore the title:

"The True Tragedie of Richard the Third: wherein is

shown the death of Edward the Fourth, with the smother-

ing of the two young Princes in the Tower, with the

lamentable end of Shore's wife, an example for all wicked

women. And lastly the conjunction and joining of the

noble Houses Lancaster and York."

In 1844 Baron Field procured a copy of this first edition of 1597 for the Shakespeare Society, and it has therefore been possible for me to obtain a view of it. In 1598 the poet improved this first edition but both editions appeared anonymously.

In 1623 the play came out in the Folio with the text of the Quarto edition of 1598 here and there altered, and for the first time published under the pseudonym of Shakespeare.

The last dramatic picture from English history: King Henry VIII, is discussed on pages 76-78, and we have there stated that it ranks as the historical drama composed latest in life, hence there are no early editions in question save possibly the play of 1613 under the title: "All is True," and finally the folio edition entitled: "The Life of King Henry VIII."



There is much interesting comment to be offered regarding the other Plays, Comedies and Tragedies, which appeared in the Folio of 1623 and, to consider them carefully, especially the dramatic representation of various forms of mental disease, opens a wide view of Francis' knowledge of medicine,* as well as the depth of philosophical thought, likewise set forth in his Essays.

In the historical plays, Francis was in great measure confined to available material, as well as circumscribed in many respects by his critical position in life, as a legitimate Tudor by birth and a statesman by calling; but when developing a neutral motif in the non-historical plays, he could grant himself much more freedom to arrive at his object as a dramatic writer, and at the same time exhibit as in a mirror the ruling errors, passions and faults of his contemporaries.


* Translator's Note: Madame Deventer followed for years the profession of psychiatrist and alienist, practicing in some of the leading institutions of Central Europe. W. P.

Richard III


The Tempest

In these dramas we recognize the greater delicacy of texture, intended for a higher class of readers and less for the mere applause of the theater. Many of these plays were first produced at Court, partly also as "masques" and presented before audiences of Jurists and Advocates at Gray's Inn before being turned over in part to the public theater.

Brief mention will here be made of the dates of origin of the plays and of their various printed editions:


"The Tempest" has been declared by Malone to be the last composed of all the Plays, though it appears to us that several of the plays were written much later. It shows a knowledge of sea-faring matters which Francis might have gained in part on his journeys to France, but more thoroughly through his association with Sir Walter Raleigh.

His use of the sailors' tales regarding the devil infested Bermuda Islands shows how his imagination loved to dally with such enchanted isles, as repeated very similarly in his New Atlantis. And indeed this similarity of the two works betrays the identity of authorship, even as his natural science essays on the Winds and the Sea call forth the same thought.

Malone declares that the play was not written before 1610 and the "Accounts of the Revels at Court" indicate that it was produced for the first time in 1611; then again in 1613 at the wedding celebration of the Princess Elizabeth.

The storm which is described with technical accuracy was, according to contemporary report, part of the experience of the Expeditionary Ship Admiral, which brought the first colonists to Virginia.

The play was first published in the Folio edition.

The comparison made by critics that Prospero was the Poet shows how the story of Prospero's loss of the Dukedom of Milan through the machinations of jealous relatives offers a remarkable counterpart to Francis cheated out of his crown. And thus in fine allegory he typifies his muse by Miranda, brought up amid all the dangers of the enchanted isle. On the desert land the work of his poetic genius is fulfilled. We know that later our poet no longer courted his peerless Muse.

He devoted himself rather entirely to Divine Philosophy, demanding from her power and wisdom in order to rise above his fate.

When we add to the aforesaid, the further fact that our poet, as we shall show in the last chapter, not only bade farewell to his poetic muse, but finally devised a cipher in which he


laid bare his fate to the afterworld, the words which he puts into Prospero's Mouth (Act V, Scene 1) become all the more pregnant with significance:

". . . . . . . . . . But this rough Magicke

I heere abiure: and when I haue requir'd

Some heauenly Musicke (which euen now I do)

To worke mine end vpon their Sences, that

This Airie-charme is for, I'le breake my staffe

Bury it certain fadomes in the earth,

And, deeper than did euer Plummet sound,

Ile drowne my booke."

The comparison here brought forward, shows again how much easier it was for Francis in the employment of fictitious material to bring in poetic allusions regarding his own fate, and the persons who were responsible for it, as well as the various court intrigues and improprieties of his time.


"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" develops from an early poem, at first in a somewhat fantastic form, the material afforded by a Spanish pastoral romance, entitled "Diana." The "Accounts of the Revels at Court" state that it was presented as early as 1584* at Greenwich as a "Pastoral," entitled: "The History of Felix and Philomena."

It's contents correspond with the later play: "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," but as it is not possible to state the exact extent of any later alterations, nothing can be definitely said on this score.

At all events, the facts gathered from the "Accounts of the Revels at Court" and other authentic sources show that while Shakspere the actor was still in Stratford, Francis had already become the "concealed" Court-Poet.


"The Merry Wives of Windsor" was entered at Stationers' Hall in 1602, entitled:

"A most pleasant and excellent conceited Comedie of

Sir John Falstaffe and the Merrie Wives of Windsor. En-

termixed with sundrie variable humours of Sir Hugh, the

Welch Knight, Justice Shallow and his wise cousin M.

Slender. With the swaggering vaine of Ancient Pistoll

and Corporall Nym. By William Shakespeare. As it has

been divers times acted by the Honorable my Lord

Chamberlaine's servants. Both before her Majestie and


The printed is the same as of the Quarto editions of the Shakespeare dramas already mentioned.

As indication that this drama was not written by the Actor,


* Two or three years before the Stratford boy came to London. Did he telegraph the play on ahead of him? W. P.

The Two Gentlemen

of Verona

The Merry Wives

of Windsor


Measure for


The Comedy of


Much Ado About


we may note therein the rehearsal of his youthful escapades, where he appears as a poacher, which would hardly have been to his taste. Concerning the rewriting of this Play for the Folio we will speak later in our concluding chapter.

In the Folio edition we find the so-called typographical errors, also the newly inserted scenes and altered names,--all this necessitated by the ciphers introduced therein by the writer and required the most careful and accurate revision.*


The comedy "Measure for Measure" appears only in the Folio. According to the "Accounts of Revels at Court," it was enacted on Dec. 26, 1604, before King James I. But the material had been twice before made use of: once dramatically in 1578, under the name: "The History of Promus and Cassandra," by George Whetstone. And later as a novel in 1582, entitled: "The Rare Historie of Promus and Cassandra, reported by Madame Isabella."

This plot, which appears to have been employed in three different works, and which brings up the law-question of adultery, may well have interested Francis as a young lawyer. At all events the drama, as it appears in the Folio, is so replete with technical legal expressions, that it could not possibly have been created save by one learned in the law. The drama as produced at Court bore the pseudonym of Shaxberd--a new spelling of the name, of which this is the only specimen.

As the King so interested himself in both the literary and the philosophical works of Francis, it is quite possible that he would be as well-known as a poet to James as he had been to Elizabeth, under whatever pseudonym he might conceal himself from the general public.

Concerning the Comedy of Errors not much more need be said, as it has already been mentioned on page 74.

According to the "Gesta Grayorum" (Program of masques at Gray's Inn) we know that it was written for the same and was there produced in 1594 under the title: "The Prince of Purpoole." It came into print under the new title in the 1623 Folio.

The Comedy: "Much Ado About Nothing," is to be found in a quarto edition of 1600 and the alterations for the Folio are but slight.


* Translator's Note: Tradition says that Queen Elizabeth on witnessing the performance of Henry IV was so interested in Falstaff (See pp. 90-91), that she expressed a desire to see how he would act if in love,--hence, the creation of the "Merry Wives."


"Love's Labor's Lost" bears in the quarto edition the title:

"A Pleasant Conceited Comedie called Loves Labours

Lost. As it was presented before here Highness this last

Christmas 1598."

It remained a favorite, sparkling comedy at Court and was again given in 1605 in honor of Queen Anna of Denmark, and was printed almost unchanged in the Folio.*

"The Midsummer Nights Dream" is discussed as to its contents on pages 105 and 106.

This Comedy appeared in two Quarto editions in 1600, and was an especial favorite at Court because of its delicious legendary aroma. It is supposed to have been first presented in 1595 on the Queen's Birthday at York House, and regarded at first as a work by the Earl of Essex. Whether the two brothers, Francis and Essex, worked on it together is uncertain, but at all events, according to Spedding, who believed Essex to have been falsely regarded as the Author, he at least criticized, exerting his influence to such an extent that certain passages inimical to his ambitions and perhaps also Francis' Sonnet, were not presented.

Between 1595 and its first publication in 1600, it is possible that Francis eliminated some of the passages more directly flattering to the Queen, in order better to adapt to the general public the form of the first printing which in turn passed hardly altered into the Folio Edition.


"The Merchant of Venice" was entered and published in 1600, after having been previously mentioned by Meres in 1598.

The quarto edition of 1600 bore the title:

"The excellent History of the Merchant of Venice, with

the extreme cruelty of Shylock the Jew towards the said

Merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh. And the

obtaining of Portia by the Choyse of three caskets. Pub-

lished by I. Roberts."


* Translator's Note: In Act V of this play, supposed to have been one of the earliest, if not the very first dramatic "heir" of our poet's invention is found,--thrown meaninglessly into the text--the Latin word "Honorificabilitudinitatibus." This word occurs in uncompleted form on the cover of the Northumberland MSS. and, so far as known, no where else in literature in the exact form permitting the following anagram: A rearrangement of the letters of this word was discovered a few years ago to make the remarkable sentence: "Hi ludi F. Baconis nati tuiti orbi." These plays, F. Bacon's offspring, are preserved for the world. Fully discussed in Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence's "Bacon is Shakespeare," New York, 1910, McBride Co.

Love's Labor's Lost

The Midsummer

Night's Dream

Merchant of



As You Like It

Another quarto edition appeared in 1600 through the bookseller Hayes, a trifle altered and entitled only

"The Merchant of Venice."

Here it should be remarked that in 1598 a Drama is mentioned, by the untraceable Francis Meres,* entitled: "A book of the Merchant of Venyse, otherwise called the Jew of Venyse"--probably a first draft of the afterward improved drama.

As Francis' debts are known to have been heavy, and as he was once sent for a visit to the Debtors' Prison, he would certainly have had plenty of experience and opportunity for psychological study of Usury and Usurers.**

His foster-brother Anthony may well have served as model for the noble Merchant, Antonio, as his liberality "many a time and oft" made him Francis' saviour from financial embarrassments.


The Comedy: "As You Like It," is to be found only in the Folio edition.

Malone has supposed it to have been entered at the Stationers' in 1600 under the title of Love's Labour Won." Perhaps Francis changed the name as being too similar to "Love's Labour's Lost," but all remains in the realm of uncertainty.

Of much more significance is the similarity of sense where Lord Jaques compares all the world to a stage, Act II, Scene 7.

"All the worlds a stage

And all the men and women meerely players;" &c.

Spedding has preserved for us in "Lord Bacon's Works," Vol. VII, p. 271, a poem by Francis which expresses the same thought as Jacques' speech.

Into both citations, the poem and Jacques' words the same thought is woven, of the seven ages of man and the general worthlessness of earthly life. This fundamental thought is applicable to no one more than to Francis, the renouncer of all earthly honors and of the rights that were his due.


Of the comedy, "The Taming of the Shrew," three early editions are extant, 1594, 1596 and 1607.


* Translator's Note: As the identity of this Francis Meres has never been discovered, may it not stand for "Merely Francis," for Francis being neither Tudor nor Bacon was "Merely Francis." W. P.

** Translator's Note: See Bacon's Essay on Usury. W. P.


A sketch is known entitled:

"A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called The Taming of a

Shrew. As it was sundrie times acted by the Right Hon-

orable the Earl of Pembrooke his servants 1594."

In the first presentation the scene is laid in Athens, but in the last reworking, it is transferred to Padua and the names of the persons changed.

There has been much controversy among the critics regarding this play, principally on the ground of its publication in 1594 and also later 1596 and 1607 anonymously. In the Folio edition we find it enumerated among the Shakespeare plays.

In the prologue, Scene 2, is a hint at "Venus and Adonis," and a connection with the writer of this poem, when the Tinker is asked:

"Dost thou loue pictures? We wil fetch thee strait

Adonis painted by a running brooke

And Citherea all in sedges hid

Which seeme to moove and wanton with her breath

Euen as the waiuing sedges play with winde."

There are many of these ever-recurring ideas of the poet, to which he imparts new form, and which come forth now from his prose--now from his essays, poems and the deep thoughts of his philosophical works to live anew in the dramas.


The play, "All's Well That Ends Well" appears in print only in the Folio, and regarding its date there is much difference of critical opinion.

Malone holds that it was first written in 1606, but this is mere supposition. The original name, however, is shown by the conclusion which harks back to the title:

"All yet seemes well, and if it end to meete

The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet."

And again the thought repeats itself in the words:

"The Kings a Beggar--now the play is done

All is well ended. . . . . . . . ."

Of the first presentation of this play we have no record. At all events it would number among the finer comedies which would win before the court its modicum of applause.


The title of the comedy "Twelfth Night," or "What You Will," plays upon the twelve nights of Masque performances in the judicial chambers, Gray's Inn and others, which were celebrated at Christmas time. When it appeared is uncertain but Halliwell-Phillips

has learned from the diary of an advocate

The Taming of

the Shrew

"All's Well that

Ends Well"

Twelfth Night, or

What You Will


The Winter's Tale

The Tragedy of

Troilus and Cressida

by the name of John Manning that this play was presented on Feb. 2, the "Feast of Purification" in the "Inner Temple," possibly, however, the previous Christmas, before Elizabeth, 1602. This appears to have been the first presentation of this comedy. Further data regarding its history are lacking.


"The Winter's Tale," the last comedy in the Folio, is also published only in the complete edition.

The "Master of the Revels" states that the play was acted on Nov. 5, 1611, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, and repeated on the occasion of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick V, elector of the Palatinate.*

A report by the well-known Dr. Forman, Francis' Contemporary, states that he saw the Comedy on May 15, 1611, at the Globe Theatre.

This play is another subject of critical controversy, the opponents of Bacon claiming that a man of his learning would never have chosen the "sea coast" of Bohemia as the scene of the play. But Francis was better informed.**

The cause of his authorship is much more eloquently argued by the description of the flowers and the laying out of the garden in the story which again fully corresponds with Francis' Essay of Gardens.

This Essay was published with others in 1625, another evidence, that the Actor could not have taken Francis' essay as a model and followed it nearly word for word. Far more easy is it to believe that it flowed from the pen of the Essayist, transformed into poetry.



These Plays will also be briefly touched upon, in so far as there is something definite to say regarding their publication.

Troilus and Cressida.

Whether or not Francis inserted this Play in the Folio after its completion and in a supplementary manner, opinions and suppositions are divided. It is striking, however, that this play received no consecutive page-numbers and the regular Tragedies with page-numbers began with Coriolanus.

A still extant Quarto Edition of the Play entitled: "The Tragedy of Troylus and Cressida" dates from the year 1609


* Translator's Note: Her late Majesty Queen Victoria was a descendent of this union.

** Ancient Bohemia had at one time two sea coasts, Baltic and Adriatic.


and the preface of this edition is uniquely prophetic: "And believe this, that when he (the poet) is gone, and his comedies out of sale, you will scramble for them and set up a new English Inquisition"!

The poet, therefore, appears to have originally numbered this play among the Comedies, but he sets it as a transition piece between the Histories and the Tragedies.

It was entered at the Stationers' as early as 1603, and the theater-owner Henslow states in his diary that the piece was played Feb. 7, 1603, by the servants of the Lord Admiral Nottingham. Whether this was the same as the Quarto and Folio editions is not known, and, moreover, the piece was attributed to "Dekker and Chettle," which, however, signifies nothing, as Francis is known to have used a great variety of pseudonyms. This is the play, which at that early day hints at the Law of Gravitation, thus again pointing to an author given to scientific investigation. Francis Tudor, therefore, appears to have known of it through his indefatigable and far-seeing researches.

At all events such thoughts would have been utterly beyond the mind of the Actor Shakspere.


"The Tragedie of Coriolanus" was also published only in the

Folio and there are no indications when it was written, where it was played, or when, if at all, it was printed prior to 1623.

Its depiction of the ingratitude of a nation leads us to place the date of its writing after Francis' "fall" in 1621.


The next Drama, "The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus," is ranked as a work of the Poet's youth. It was mentioned by Meres* in 1598, appeared anonymously in Quarto form, and the title page of 1600 shows how many different troups of actors had played it.

"As it has sundry times" stands after the name of the Tragedy, "beene playde by the Right Honorable, the Earl of Pembrooke, the Earl of Darbie, the Earl of Sussex and the Lorde Chamberlaine their servants, London, 1600."

It had been printed prior to 1600, for Halliwell-Phillips writes that it was played Jan. 23, 1594, for the first time, and entered the same year at the Stationers.'

The second Quarto Edition appeared in 1611, again anonymous and following the title is the addition: "As it has sundrie times been playde by the King's Majestie's servants."


* See Translator's Note to p. 98. W. P.

The Tragedy of


The lamentable

Tragedy of

Titus Andronicus


Romeo and Juliet

Ben Jonson, on the contrary, assumes that this play is the earliest work of Francis' youth, when he returned from France, as he locates its composition in this period. Granted that it is thus to be attributed to the youthful poet, it might account for the really horrid material employed, as a young beginner might have eagerly chosen it.


Regarding the Tragedy which has perhaps best sustained public interest up to the most recent times: "Romeo and Juliet," the Shakespeare Society has furnished us with most valuable data to enable us to follow it from its earliest publication.

The "New Shakespeare Society" has not only had printed the two first quarto editions but placed the two texts side by side in parallel, and also published the sources of the plot.

The first Quarto appeared in 1597 and bore upon its title page the information that the drama had been played by "the Right Honorable Lord Hunsdon's servants."

But the royal players were so-called only from July, 1596, to April, 1597, hence the publication of the play must have been early in 1597, but was anonymous.

Halliwell-Phillips states in his "Outlines," p. 113, that the first presentation of "Romeo and Juliet" may be ascribed to the Curtain Theatre in 1596.

Here it is worthy of note that prior to 1597 no Shakespeare play appeared in print, but that in 1597, also anonymously, appeared the two Tragedies, Richard II and Richard III, in Quarto editions. From this we can judge that the Author at this time began to publish in print, anonymously, the plays which had been already acted.

The second Quarto of "Romeo and Juliet" appeared in 1599, but had been already greatly improved, as noted on the title page: "Newly corrected, augmented." And a close comparison of the text of these two editions shows that from Francis Tudor's Dictionary: "Promus of Formularies and Elegancies," which was known only to him, were taken for the second edition no less than 130 words and phrases then entirely new to the English language.

The subsequent Quarto, that of 1609 and the final publication in the Folio of 1623 show little change from the second, greatly improved Quarto of 1599.

Concerning the contents of the play and the impulses which prompted its writing, opinions differ widely. But they all unite on one point,--namely, that the Montague-Capulet feud found its strongest echoes in the Court of Elizabeth.


The secret marriage of Juliet and Romeo reminds us of the first legend of Elizabeth and Dudley to the effect that, during their imprisonment they were married by a friar at the Tower. The allusion to the letter R in Romeo also reminds us of Robert Dudley, when the nurse (Act II, Scene 4) says to Romeo, as she assures him that Juliet is not in love with the young Nobleman, Paris:

". . . . but Ile warrant you, when I say so, shee lookes

as pale as any clout in the versall world. Doth not Rose-

marie and Romeo both begin with a letter?"

When the love is said to have arisen between Elizabeth and Robert Dudley in the Tower, Dudley belonged to the hostile party at Court--that of his executed father, Northumberland. There were Montagues and Capulets at Court playing off their ever-varying intrigues.

Francis knew at this time whose son he was. How did he discover it? On this point there are thus far two explanations. First, that the fact of Francis' birth and the secret marriage of his parents was revealed by one of the Court ladies who heard it from Cecil. Be this as it may, the fact remains that Francis knew why he was suddenly and at the Queen's command removed from the Court and sent to Paris, as he states in all candor and as a reproach against Elizabeth, in his letter to Robert Essex (page 31).

Another explanation states that, Cecil in a fit of anger against Francis, because he would not as a young advocate and in Parliament, bow abjectly to his wishes, told him in malice of his parentage and disinheritance.

The exact details may never be known. They, however, offered the young Poet in themselves abundant material to make use of again and again even though he was constrained to disguise his knowledge in the embellishment of the Drama. Among Leicester's friends he might well have found a model for Mercutio, who, dying cried out (Act III, Scene I):

". . . . A plague a both your Houses,

They haue made wormes meat of me,

I haue it, and soundly to--your Houses."

Until the Poet's own commentary upon this Tragedy shall be discovered through his not yet wholly fathomed cryptography, it is left to the imagination of the reader to accredit to the Author this or that hidden meaning.

It is specially interesting in this work to note the development of the style between the first and the last writings.



Timon of Athens

Julius Caesar

Tragedy: "Timon of Athens."

If one were to enumerate all the hypotheses of which the critics have delivered themselves regarding this play, one might easily go far astray from the Poet's original thought.

Only the setting of the Folio edition 1623 is known and this was not divided into Acts nor Scenes, but resembled rather a loosely arranged series of pictures. In 1842 the play was again printed by Dyce for the Shakespeare Society in the old form without Act or Scene division. In the preface the theory is advanced that it was intended originally for an "Academic audience," reminding us of Gray's Inn, emphasizing the Banquet Scene. It is regarded by some as a youthful production, but there are many indications that it was written after Bacon's "fall," illustrating as it does the ingratitude of friends.

At all events it is not one of the plays carefully rewritten for the Folio. The leading motif, namely, the ingratitude of mankind on the one hand and the wasteful generosity of the hero on the other, and at last the scorn and bitterness of Timon, who, leaving Athens in disgust finds a dwelling in his cave and cuts himself off entirely from human-kind,--might in the last conclusion refer to Francis' bitterness over his fall as Chancellor, but, for those before whose eyes are the entire life and fate of Francis Tudor the scathing words of Timon now complaining and now cursing his native city and aimed so plainly at the barbarous usages of court society; and the still more gripping self-composed epitaph which the poet imparts through Alcibiades after his death (Act V, Scene 4)--these tell the story of our Francis to the life:

"Heere lies a wretched Coarse, of wretched Soule bereft:

Seek not my name: a plague consume you, wicked Caitifs


Here lye I, Timon, who, aliue, all liuing men did hate,

Passe by, and curse thy fill, but passe, and stay not here

thy gait."

We have seen Timon take leave of the world with only scorn for all it had to offer--in solitude he ripened fully into the Philosopher.


The origin of The Tragedy of "Julius Caesar" is difficult to follow, as only the Folio edition is extant.

That it was the product of the older poetic period is evident from the entire intellectual composition of the history and the brilliant oration of Antonius, reminding us of the eloquence of Francis Tudor, when we think of his enkindling and transporting parliamentary addresses, as reported by Ben Jonson and Spedding.


In 1607 when he wrote the Memorial for Elizabeth: "In felicem memoriam Elizabethae," Spedding tells us that he was at the same time engrossed in Roman studies. (Lord Bacon's Works, Vol. VI, page 335.)

From the papers left by Francis, Dr. Rawley printed an Essay in 1658, written in Latin and entitled: "Imago civilis Julii Caesaris," which Spedding also notes in Vol. VI. Thus Rome may well have been associated, and his letters show such interchange of thought with Matthews.

This Tragedy may, therefore, easily have originated during this epoch as the Poet would first have familiarized himself with the material before coining it into dramatic poetry.

Whether the drama was then acted or not is entirely unknown.*


"The Tragedy of Macbeth" is printed only in the Folio Edition of 1623, no Quarto edition having been discovered.

This Drama is numbered with the most classically finished of poetic works, richest in philosophic thought and at the same time morally educational.

We know how unselfishly Francis devoted himself to the arduous labors connected with the amalgamation of the three Kingdoms at the beginning of the Stuart reign (page 42), and he might easily have selected this material out of Scottish history in honor of James I.

We know from the records of Dr. Forman, the Astronomer, that he saw the play performed at the Globe Theater on April 20, 1610, and yet this gives no indication of the date of its origin. At all events there is no notice of its having been produced at an earlier day as even the "Revels at Court" fail to mention it.

The contents are absorbingly interesting when one notices here Francis' love for the commingling of myth and fact, and the perpetual melancholy of the Scot, which he felt closely allied to his own.

The tragedy reminds one of the old Stuart proverb: "Tha mi Dubhachas"--(darkness lies upon me), fate yielding deeds with sorrow as the aftermath. "Ma tha sin an Dan," as it is said in Celtic, "When it is so ordained." And how, plunged in sorrow, suffering the qualms of a troubled conscience, and


* Translator's Note: Apparent mention is made in Ben Jonson's Discoveries, in his note on Shakspere the Actor, of a stage presentation of this play, but no date for same can be fixed.



King Lear

gripped by the deepest despair, Macbeth hears voices through the castle (Act II, Scene 2):

"Still it cry'd, Sleepe no more to all the House,

Glamis hath murther'd Sleepe, and therefore Cawdor

Shall sleepe no more. Macbeth shall sleepe no more."

Then later, Act IV, Scene I--a cave in the Highlands, the Witches Cauldron boiling with their dread incantations. Macbeth alone with the Weird Sisters craves answer to the questions which rack his troubled conscience.

He is told of his fall, and given a glance into the far-off future, where he sees a line of Kings arising. Indeed, he believes his own dynasty assured, as Banquo, the traditional progenitor of the Stuarts, has been numbered with his victims. But now the murdered man's descendants rise before him.

No material would have appeared to Francis better adapted to flatter and win the young King than the prophecy of his race,--the Stuarts, to the eighth of whom, James I, fell the united crowns. 'Tis true that the Poet does not pass over the tragic element in the inheritance of the reigning house, and yet he brings forward conspicuously the eighth King. From this point onward he sees the race bearing two imperial globes and three sceptres.

Reckoning from Robert, his second son, James I, II, III, IV, V, Queen Mary and at last James VI, eighth in the line and crowned James I of England,--the poet permits the young King to see himself in the vision as the first heir of the United Kingdoms.

In Act IV, Scene 1, Macbeth recites the vision:

"Why do you shew me this?--A fourth? Start eyes!

What! Will the Line stretch out to th' crack of Doome..

Another yet? A seauenth? Ile see no more:

And yet the eight appears who beares a glasse

Which shewes me many more; and some I see

That two-fold Balles and trebble Sceptres carry."

When we consider, mingled with the hastily sketched climaxes of this strenuous drama, the carefully thought-out pathological representation of Lady Macbeth's ambition, fanned even to madness, the entire work of such consummate art fills us with the greatest admiration for the genius of the Poet.


"The Tragedy of King Lear" was also first brought out anonymously. In 1594 it was entered without Author's name at Stationers' Hall, then entitled:

"The True Chronicle of King Lear and his three Daugh-

ters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia."


Whether it was at that time printed remains in doubt as the oldest edition extant bears date of 1605. In 1608 the play appeared twice in quarto editions. These bore the author's name as "Mr. William Shake-speare."

In the separating of the name into two syllables, the purpose of the author to draw attention to the pseudonym is plain. How much the play was altered from the original theater edition to fit it for presentation at court, cannot be accurately determined, but according to the register it was played at the Court at Whitehall, Nov. 26, 1607. At all events, the "Concealed Poet" might well have sought a justified disguise for his true person, for the drama represented throughout, not the views of the King, but was rather in agreement with the opinions expressed in Francis' parliamentary addresses against absolute monarchy, without parliamentary co-operation, and portrayed vividly all the evils which an absolute monarch could bring upon his land.

We see again the wisdom of the astute statesman, united in Francis with the far-seeing intellect which could detect with prophetic vision the faults of the Stuart monarch, as they constantly grew more dangerous through his vanity, the extravagance of his court, and his vain-glorious character,--all pointing to inevitable revolution.

In vain Francis warned against it, and in delicate manner, brought forward in the drama the consequences of these royal weaknesses. Francis produced in this work a masterpiece of intellectual power, when, with gripping force he portrays the vagaries of madness, the phenomena of Nature, in storm and tempest, and the virulence of contesting monarchs.

It belongs among the immortal works of this titanic personality which rose sublime over fate, regarding everything earthly as but dust.


The Play: Othello.

"The Master of the Revels" reports that on Nov. 1, 1604, a Tragedy entitled: "The Moor of Venice" was presented at Whitehall by the King's servants." From this is to be inferred, that it was written for the Court. This is also confirmed by the first publisher of the Quarto edition of 1622, when he states on the title page that the drama has been given to him for publication by Sir George Buck, the Master of the Revels.

From Halliwell-Phillips we know that it was also produced in the theater. In 1613 it was again presented at Court on the occasion of Princess Elizabeth's marriage celebration. During the intervening years there was no new edition until the Quarto

The Tragedy of

Othello, the Moor

of Venice


Anthony and



of 1622 and it then appeared much enlarged in the Folio of 1623. But here the polishing revision of the Poet is recognizable and the title is changed, now reading:

"The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice."


Anthony and Cleopatra.

In 1608 there appeared, entered at Stationers' Hall, "a book called Anthony and Cleopatra." It was, however, not printed.

Concerning the reason for its non-publication, the opinions of commentators vary. Halliwell-Phillips follows the supposition that there was nevertheless a hasty copy prepared for the theater and that it was acted. And the form of the play as it appears in the Folio, cannot be considered as one which was carefully revised for the work, because it was not even divided into Acts and Scenes. Although the play shows Francis' powerful eloquence, it is on the other hand, lacking in the careful revision, which would have brought the loosely arranged scenes into closer harmony, more in keeping with the grandeur of the basic material.

How easy it must have been for Francis to sketch a drama for the theatre, is shown by the words of Wm. Rawley, when he casually remarks that versified writing flowed from Francis in play! He evidently did not rewrite them all, but in the main endeavored to give them proper revision for the complete edition. On the other hand, time might have been lacking, since some, as we have noted, missed the last finishing touch.


Who can gaze into the intellectual workshop of a poet, let alone such a genius as Francis Tudor? Who can guess when the first idea of a given creation occurred to him? When he first put it on paper? When he completed it for the purpose, be it Theatre or Printing press, for which it was originally intended?

When there appear no date of entry at the Stationers', and no Quarto edition or evidence of the presentation of a drama, there is nothing to say with any degree of positiveness regarding its first inception.


There remains now but the Tragedy of "Cymbeline," a play most variously commented upon by the critics as to its first formation and publication.


One certain piece of evidence as to when it was played, is furnished again from the diary of the Astronomer Forman who saw it acted at the Globe, though he does not state the day when this occurred.

His diary, however, in which he enumerates only occurrences of the years 1610 and 11, mentions this presentation of Cymbeline, hence he could have seen the play only in one of these years. Whether it was given in the original version, is not indicated, but Forman's description of the drama corresponds in contents with the Folio edition of 1623. It therefore only remains a question as to how far Francis polished and improved this work for publication.

The charm of the fictitious, which renders it so attractive, mingled with deep philosophical thought, tells of the same fountain, namely Francis' genius, which in all the dramas, knew how to mingle the delicious aroma of poetry with the seriousness of philosophical wisdom, all leading onward to the accomplishment of his high purpose, namely, through the presentation of historical and poetic pictures of the yet rough and backward usages of his time, to educate mankind to higher aim and stronger endeavor. Dr. Samuel Johnson in his edition of Shakespeare (1778) criticises this play most severely and, as we feel, unjustly.

In the Tragedy "Timon of Athens" the Poet unfolds with compelling power the devastating consequences of the forsaking of religious and moral law, when the embittered Timon cried out as a curse upon his native city:

Act IV, Scene I.

". . . . . . Piety, and Feare,

Religion to the Gods, Peace, Iustice, Truth,

Domestick awe, Night-rest, and Neighbour-hood,

Instruction, Manners, Mysteries, and Trades,

Degrees, Obseruances, Customes, and Lawes,

Decline to your confounding contraries,

And yet Confusion liue: . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . .Nothing Ile beare from thee

But nakednesse, thou detestable Towne,

Take thou that too, with multiplying Bannes:

Timon will to the Woods; where he shall finde

Th' vnkindest Beast, more kinder than Mankinde."


We meet the same expressions of detestation toward the wickedness, malice and falsehood of mankind which Francis had so grievously experienced in his own person and in his own immediate sphere, brought out in the text of many dramas. As has been heretofore mentioned (page 98) Francis in the


Comedy, "As You Like It," portrays himself in the figure of the melancholy Jacques, who compares all the world to a stage, upon which we are merely players and in Act II, Scene 7, likens the life of man to seven steps or acts as they are played.

Here we are reminded of another poem of Bacon's, quoted by Spedding in "Lord Bacon's Works," Vol. III, p. 271, and Francis' versified paraphrase of the 137th Psalm.

Everywhere, in the same comparison of the world with transitoriness in this or that form, whether soap-bubble or stage, speaks continually the realization that all is vanity, all is but a deceptive mirage.

The poem by "Bacon" will be a fitting conclusion to our consideration of the dramas of the "Concealed Poet," Francis Tudor, named Viscount St. Alban.

The world's a bubble and the life of man

Less than a span;

In his conception wretched from the woombe,

So to the tombe,

Curst from the cradel, and brought up to years,

With cares and fears.

Who then to fraile, mortality shall trust

But limnes in water, or but writes in dust.

Yet since with sorrow here we live opprest:

What life is best?

Courts are but only superficiall schooles

to dandle fools.

The rurall parts are turn'd into a den

of sauvage men

And where's a city from all vice so free,

But may be term'd the worst of all the three?

Domesticke cares afflict the husbands bed,

or paines his head.

Those who live single take it as a curse,

or do things worse.

Some would have children, those that have them none,

or wish them gone.

What is it then to have, or have no wife,

But single thraldome, or a double strife?

Our owne affections still at home to please,

is a disease,

To cross the seas to any foreigne soyle,

perils and toyle,

Wars with their noyes affright us; when they cease,

We are worse in peace.

What then remains? but that we still should cry,

Not to be borne, or being borne to dye?





The discussion of the dramas by no means exhausts the evidence regarding the "Concealed Poet," as Francis calls himself.

In order to fully understand his predilection for poetry, for allegories, for grand dramas as well as for the smaller humorous comedies, one must delve into his Essays, and into the discussions wherein he gives his opinions in detail regarding them.

Thus he expresses himself regarding the fables and parables of antiquity. His little work: "De Sapientia Veterum" (The Wisdom of the Ancients) was most popular in his time and was considered very delicately composed. It assembles a continuation of similar ideas which he had previously treated in the "Advancement of Learning" in the section: "Poesie Parabolical."

Old fables and myths which had survived the handing down, must, he says, inspire the Poet to make use of them in poetry allegorically, and at times united with moral teaching, whether the old parable relate to Religion, Politics or Philosophy. From this the vibration of Francis' mind in unison with this class of poetry is easily to be comprehended.

As one follows his innermost emotions the thought comes over the reader with irresistible force; that in his comments upon allegorical poetry he revealed those profound thoughts which he knew so well to inter-weave effectively in the Plays with their Allegories and Metaphors, in the "New Atlantis," or in the adaptation of the Indian legend in Queen Elizabeth's birthday Sonnet (1595), (pages 75-76).

A cold intellectual nature without depth of sentiment would never have recognized the value of such mysteries, let alone have been able to give them expression with poetic beauty and power, as was the case with Francis in such extraordinary measure.

It would be proper here to treat somewhat of the Sonnets. We know thus far of two Sonnets which are given to us by Spedding, cited from the original works of Bacon.

The Sonnet which he wrote to Elizabeth when she invited herself to dine with him at Twickenham Park, and with which he welcomed her, was a Sonnet of opportunity, which flowed from his pen lightly and rhythmically, but which can hardly be called the free and untrammeled work of his hand, owing to his constrained demonstrations of respect under such abnormal cir-


cumstances (Authorship of Richard II). Nevertheless the selection of the Indian legend, regarding the blind child, whereby he referred to himself ambiguously, as the son held in blindness, was a delicately chosen allegory which apparently referred to the Indian Colonies, but concealed a far deeper meaning.

He left to the afterworld a great collection of Sonnets celebrating his "Love"--his "Muse" in varied song. Whoever probes deeply into these sonnets, studies them in their absorbingly interesting allusions to his own fate, but always upheld by the consolations of his Muse, cannot but appreciate anew the greatness of the Poet, victor over all misfortune, though he repeatedly calls himself but a "stranger on the earthly pilgrimage."

In the edition of the Sonnets as a collection in 1609, their sequence may or may not have been arranged by the Poet, and perhaps purposely not in the order of their dates of writing.

Sonnet 29 is most impressive. Here Francis speaks at the outset of his disgrace as an outcast from life, but closes with a hymn of praise to the Muse which stands in his eyes higher than his lost Kingdom:

"When in disgrace with Fortune and mens eyes,

I all alone beweepe my out-cast state,

And trouble deafe heauen with my bootlesse cries,

And looke vpon myself, and curse my fate.

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featur'd like him, like him with friends possest,

Desiring this mans art, and that mans skope,

With what I most inioy contended least,

Yet in these thoughts my selfe almost despising,

Haplye I thinke on thee, and then my state,

(Like to the Larke at breake of daye arising)

From sullen earth sings hymns at Heauen's gate,

For thy sweet loue remembred such welth brings,

That then I skorne to change my state with Kings."

And we cite one more of the number, in which he remembers his hard calling, the undesired profession of the law, which on all occasions, especially in the plays, furnished him with a copious supply of technical expressions, representation of Parliament scenes, and Affairs of State. It is Sonnet 111:

"O For my sake doe you with fortune chide,

The guiltie goddesse of my harmful deeds,

That did not better for my life prouide,

Then publick meanes which publick manners breeds.

Thence comes it that my name receiues a brand,

And almost thence my nature is subdu'd,

To what it workes in, like the Dyers hand,

Pity me then and wish I were renu'de,

Whilst like a willing patient I will drinke


Potions of Eysell 'gainst my strong infection,

No bitternesse, that I will bitter thinke,

Nor double pennance to correct correction.

Pittie me then deare friend, and I assure you,

Euen that your pittie is enough to cure mee."

Here is expressed in the bitter pain but also the compensation for his sad fate in the friendship of his Muse.

And his fair fame with the afterworld is likewise in his thoughts, when he prophesies that his works as a poet shall better perpetuate his memory than monuments of marble and gold. Sonnet 55:

"Not marble, nor the gilded monument,

Of Prince shall out-liue this powerfull rime,

But you shall shine more bright in these contents

Then vnswept stone, besmeer'd with sluttish time.

When wasteful warre shall statues ouer-turne,

And broiles roote out the worke of masonry,

Nor Mars his sword, nor warres quick fire shall burne:

The liuing record of your memory.

Gainst death, and all-obliuious enmity

Shall you pace forth, your praise shall finde roome,

Euen in the eyes of all posterity

That weare this world out to the ending doome.

So til the judgment that your selfe arise,

You liue in this, and dwell in louers eies."

These sonnets can be regarded as a sort of spiritual autobiography of the Poet, in which he gives expression to the thoughts and feelings, which he otherwise holds hidden from the world. And the manner of publication plainly shows that even in these he will avoid all possibility of self-betrayal.

They appeared in 1609, without the name of the author but only that of the publisher. Yet the previously mentioned and mysterious "Francis Meres" speaks in 1598 of the "honeyed" sonnets in connection with certain dramas, both written by "Shake-speare." The "concealed poet" could thus under the pseudonym of Francis Meres easily have handed down a criticism on his own sonnets! At all events the fact thus established beyond doubt that they were the work of the poet "Shake-speare."

The last quoted sonnet, No. 55, shows the desire of the poet to leave a monument to his fame to the afterworld, not according to the manner of Kings and Princes, in perishable marble--subject to the ravages of time, but in the enduring products of his Divine Muse.

The inner struggles, which he passed through, regarding the tragedy of his life, are again most vividly portrayed in Sonnet 29, where he speaks of himself as an "outcast" and refers to the wakeful vigils of his weary nights. Melancholy


was a close relative to both the brothers, Francis and Robert (Essex), but in Francis' case his greater intellectual power, elevated him above his fate, and enabled him, while delving deeply into the truths of natural and philosophical science, to rise like the lark on the wings of his poetic Muse, far above his earthly sorrows and the bitterness of his lost royal power.

Robert, as we know, was a veritable "Hotspur,"--passionate, ambitious and thirsting for action. He could not brook the reproach of the queen nor her crossing of his wishes.

He not only lacked resignation, but the real thought-power of Francis was not within his scope, and the elder brother was thus able to calm and forewarn the younger, so long as his advice was followed. But when Robert insisted on hewing his own path and kept his brother in ignorance of his plans--he dug his own grave.

Spedding recognizes Francis' calmness and tranquillity, but associated it with a weakness of will-power. He saw in him only the fallen Chancellor, only the son of the House of Bacon. Spedding considered that a more yielding policy toward the Queen would have been more appropriate, when he gave powerful emphasis in Parliament to his opinions in opposition to hers, and thereafter failed to adopt the offered course to obtain her forgiveness.

But we, who recognize in him the Tudor blood, well know how sincerely he endeavored to point out the errors, which he recognized in the piloting of the Ship of State. And viewing him from this standpoint, we realize that his purposes were unchanged, but that he, knowing that his mother's recognition would never be his, resigned himself to his fate, not weak of will but in full power, raising himself above his personal grievances in firm endeavor to work the good of his land in whatever position it pleased God to place him.

But he did not wish his real person to remain forever unknown to the Afterworld. The honor of his name was at stake, which is evident not only in the allegorical allusions in his dramas and sonnets, but even more clearly in his last Will and Testament.

Notwithstanding, in the full consciousness of never having accepted money as a bribe, he, for the moment, bowed to the stroke, but while in the Tower wrote to Buckingham, the favorite,* not asking, but demanding his instant release. His devotion to his sovereign was such that he was willing to enter


* This peremptory letter, May 31, 1621, opens with the following blunt demand: "Good my Lord:--Procure the warrant for my discharge this day."


the Tower under condemnation, with his head erect in the consciousness of innocence, but there was a limit even to his long-suffering and patience, so that when King and favorite showed a disposition to break faith with him, he was most firm and insistent in his demands for instant liberation. The entire affair was obviously a sham planned perhaps by himself to save the favorite and it may well be, even the throne. It is not past belief that had he refused to be the sacrifice, but insisted on defence and justice, the Revolution which broke 20 years later, might have come down upon the head of James the father instead of Charles the son. His fine was promptly remitted--his imprisonment lasted less than two days, and his letter to the King shows that he submitted voluntarily to the sentence of Parliament.

Bacon wrote to the King on May 2, 1621, as follows:



It hath pleased God for these three days past, to visit me with such extremity of headach upon the hinder part of my head, fixed in one place, that I thought verily it had been some imposthumation; and then the little physic that I have told me that either it must grow to a congelation, and so to a lethargy, or to break, and so to a mortal fever or sudden death; which apprehension, and chiefly the anguish of the pain, made me unable to think of my business. But now that pain itself is assuaged to be tolerable, I resume the care of my business, and therein prostrate myself again, by my letter, at your majesty's feet.

Your majesty can hear me witness, that at my last so comfortable access, I did not so much as move your majesty by your absolute power of pardon, or otherwise, to take my cause into your hands, and to interpose between the sentence of the House. And according to my desire, your majesty left it to the sentence of the House by my lord treasurer's report. (Translator's italics.)

But now, if not per omnipotentiam, as the divines say, but per potestatem suaviter disponentem, your majesty will graciously save me from a sentence, with the good liking of the House, and that cup may pass from me, it is the utmost of my desires. This I move with the more belief, because I assure myself, that if it be reformation that is sought, the very taking away of the seal, upon my general submission, will be as much in example, for these four hundred years, as any further severity.

The means of this I most humbly leave unto your majesty, but surely I should conceive, that your majesty opening yourself in this kind to the lords, counsellors, and a motion of the prince, after my submission, and my lord marquis using his interest with his friends in the House, may affect the sparing of the sentence; I making my humble suit to the House for that purpose, joined with the delivery up of the seal into your majesty's hands. This is my last suit that I shall make to your majesty in this business, prostrating myself at your mercy-seat,


Additional MSS.

4259 f. 111. Copy in

the hand of

John Locker. No

reference to the

MSS. from which it

is copied

after fifteen years' service, wherein I have served your majesty in my poor endeavours, with an entire heart. And, as I presume to say to your majesty, I am still a virgin, for matters that concern your person or crown, and now only craving that after eight steps of honour, I be not precipitated altogether.

But, because he that hath taken bribes is apt to give bribes I will go further, and present your majesty with a bribe; for if your majesty give me peace and leisure, and God give me life, I will present you with a good history of England, and a better digest of your laws. And so concluding with my prayers, I rest

Clay in your majesty's hands,


May 2, 1621.

Note especially the last paragraph of this letter in which he treats the whole matter of alleged bribery as a joke! Are these the words of a confessed criminal? Does the confessed criminal demand his instant release as did Bacon in his letter to Buckingham? And what reason of state or prejudice could have been back of the fact that this Buckingham letter, written 1621, was first published by Montague 1842,--221 years later!

Nevertheless he deemed it of the last importance that he should be judged intelligently by the afterworld, and, above all, that his real personality should be properly recognized.

While the proceedings against him were under way and he awaiting the result at Gorhambury, he wrote a short Will.

This "Last Will and Testament" bearing date of April 10, 1621, was a short and obviously hastily composed document, as Francis could not foresee the exact outcome of the pending parliamentary proceedings.

The preamble, however, is worthy of note, the first three stipulations reading as follows:

"I bequeath my soul to God above, by the oblation of my


My body to be buried obscurely.

My name to the next ages and to foreign nations."

On account of his fall as Chancellor he desired his mortal remains to be buried quietly, obscurely and without ceremony. But regarding his name and his undying memory he expresses even at this time desires and hopes.

And this is made still plainer in his second and last, Will and Testament.

Here the second clause, regarding his memory after commending his soul and body to God and Saviour until the resurrection of his body in God's hand, reads:


"For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and to the next ages."

Here follow, as a part of his bequests, most detailed instructions regarding his works and the MSS. and Fragments which he left.

This last Will which Francis drew on Dec. 19, 1625, in presence of W. Rawley, Rob. Halpeny, Stephen Paise, Willm. Atkins, Thomas Kent, and Edward Legg, was, in accord with the custom of the time, deposited in "Doctor's Commons Will Office," on St. Bennett Hill, in the "Perogative Court," the proper office for the Registry and Filing of Wills. Francis signed it with but the one name: "Fr. St. Alban." It was not opened till several months after his death.

As regards his true life-history and his concealed parentage, it is important to note that this will repeats verbatim the same wish concerning the memory of his name, but with the addition that he left it to "men's charitable speeches."

Having as Chancellor experienced all the intrigues of his enemies who had carefully prepared and staged his fall, and knowing the partisan character of contemporaneously written history, he could fully realize the efforts which would be made and which, in fact, have been made, and even believed since, to darken his record as Chancellor. Spedding's Works on "Francis Bacon" were the first to throw light into the darkness and upon the injustice of his conviction, to which he deliberately submitted without defense to safeguard his King.

But does the word: "My Name" refer to his name as the alleged son of the House of Bacon? or only to his reputation as Chancellor?

Both of the names conferred upon him later: "Baron Verulam of Verulam" and "Viscount St. Alban" were new names created for him, and in the selection of which he even had some choice. He was, when he received from the King these names, with advanced rank, already the possessor of Gorhambury. This is not far from the City of St. Albans. In the Roman days there was erected here the Fortress of Verulamium, which later fell into ruins, so when Francis was raised to the baronetcy he requested the name: "Baron Verulam of Verulam," and on his second elevation in rank James I conferred upon him the name of the new order: "Viscount of St. Albans," but Francis dropped the S at the end of this name.

However, it must be emphasized that he, instead of follow-

E. Regr. Curiae


Blackbourne's edition

of Bacon's works.

Vol. 11, p. 559


ing the English custom of continuing the original names as the first--in this case "Bacon," dropped this name entirely, as soon as he received the new titles created for him. He knew that these new names came to him in truth as a legitimate Tudor, but he showed in dropping the name "Bacon" that he was fully aware of the entire absence of any blood-relationship with that family.

Nevertheless he showed constant loyalty to this foster-family, both in his esteem and gratitude to his foster-mother, and the confidence, friendship and inner sympathy with his foster brother Anthony.

But he desired that the afterworld should some day learn the truth regarding his person, the royal rank to which he was entitled, and of which he had been despoiled; and if, as he correctly supposed, England, his motherland, would be slow to recognize him, he directed the wish expressed in his Last Will and Testament to "Foreign Nations and the Next Ages."


When, in the preparation of this study I drew upon the comprehensive store of material gathered during a long period of years, for the evidences which bear on the question of Francis Bacon's real person and works, I was only able to bring forward a small portion of the data which touched upon the subject. All deserves to be set forth in far greater detail than is possible within the limits of this brief treatise.

I regard this work as but one of the many stones in the mosaic which has been in process of construction by many investigators for nearly fifty years, and which will in the end constitute together a likeness of Francis-Tudor-Bacon-Shakespeare--drawn to the life.

My work differs from the productions of my predecessors only in the fact that, as stated in my foreword, I had in mind at the outset simply a genealogical historical investigation of Francis Bacon's personality and lineage.

In the course of these studies it became clear to me, with what suggestive power all historians since Camden have left the real personality of Francis as a Tudor, unrevealed, and how it has been more and more deeply buried as generations passed.

My search centered around the cardinal question of his parentage, and therefore all his works, published under the name of Bacon, were closely scrutinized in order to discover any ray of light, which they might be able to throw upon the sombre fate so often hinted at.


Later I examined the Shakespeare Dramas and Sonnets for passages which paralleled Bacon's works, and for allegories and metaphors, which, in their double meaning, could be applied as indicating the Tudor.

For an example of the repetition of similar views by "Shakespeare" and Bacon, let us note the position taken by Francis in regard to the various religions, and how he endeavored in the dramas to avoid espousing the party of any one church.

This corresponds exactly with his published views in the

"Advertisement, touching the controversies of the Church

of England."

Having thus expressed himself in this article as opposed to every church contention, he would certainly not wish to see these questions placed upon the stage, that the mysteries of the Faith might not be profaned, the inner peace of the believers' soul destroyed, or the clerical-political controversy fanned anew.

In view of these, his known opinions, it will be readily understood why he takes in his dramas a position neither openly favoring Rome nor yet the Church of England, nor any ecclesiastical party, in order that the religious controversy might not, through the stage be presented and discussed before the people.*

As the controversy waxed through the rebellion of the Catholics, he counseled the queen, in his "Letter of Advice" for political expediency, neither to irritate the Catholics by too strenuous opposition, nor yet to permit them to attain to too great a development of power.

We can trace Francis' clear convictions as a Protestant, who, however, did not follow the inclinations of his foster-mother Lady Anne Bacon as a non-conformist, but endeavored to bring his Protestant faith ever more completely into harmony with his philosophy.

When we compare the religious, political and philosophical views brought out in his speeches, essays, letters and writings, the changing temperament from his early years to the melancholy and often despair of his maturity, with the allegories and metaphors whose double meaning re-mirrors them in his dramas


* Translator's Note: In the original writing of Henry IV the name of "Falstaff" was apparently "Oldcastle." In one of the early quartos the prefix "Old" appears before one of his speeches. In the epilogue to the Second Part of Henry IV we are told "Oldcastle died a martyr and this is not the man." The Poet obviously sought to avoid giving any possible offence.


and sonnets, we are overpowered by the tremendous struggle for Truth put forth by this universe-embracing intellect.

Thus in a careful comparison of the Bacon and Shakespeare works in prose and poetry the guiding thread of Ariadne is ever present to lead the searcher through the unending depth and fullness of identical thought in all the works, arriving inevitably at the ultimate conclusion: Tudor-Bacon-Shakespeare--one Author--one Person.

The plays and sonnets are not only replete with the allusions to the dethroned Prince, of which I have selected a few, but they mirror in other words and allegories his clearly elaborated political views. As a Tudor--a scion of the race which had been confirmed upon the throne by Parliament,--he became the opponent of the inimical pretensions of the Stuarts toward an absolute monarchy in defiance of the will of Parliament.

The work of the searcher would be crippled if an attempt were made to separate the Statesman, the Philosopher and the Poet. One great thinker only is to be recognized in the unification of his views as expressed in all his different characters.

In order to suppress this Tudor by every power of suggestion and through false representations of history, his mighty intellect was purposely belittled and the afterworld robbed of a great gain.

But now there is opened to us a far-embracing Tudor literature, from the pen of a Tudor himself.

Early placed in possession of the facts of his lineage, Francis was able to grasp, consider and judge all that pertained to his blood and race with the spirit of a legitimate Tudor, even though his friendship for his foster-mother and for his foster-brother Anthony also exerted great influence upon him from early youth.

It goes without saying that he would certainly know himself better than he could be known by his contemporaries who believed him a scion of the House of Bacon.

When in letters and conversations with his legitimate brother Robert, called Essex, he laid stress upon the fact that he belonged to the "Common," it but expressed his subtle irony.

He knew himself, like Robert, to be the child of Elizabeth's secret marriage and knew that their royal mother favored Robert above him, even though she would acknowledge neither. But she showed this preference in the elevation of the foster-brother to the rank of Earl, which would ultimately inure to Robert's advantage.


Francis she left as plain Mr. Bacon, and without advancement in his career, while Robert (Essex) was loaded with favors.

That Francis often called his brother's attention to these evidences of royal favor was never in the spirit of petty jealously, but that he might urge and admonish him not to trifle them away. And yet the innate sarcasm of Francis also speaks out through these same letters.

As Elizabeth was herself legitimated and the act corroborated by the Testament of Henry VIII, so it stood within her power, as Francis was well aware, at any time during her life to confirm his own legitimacy. Notwithstanding this, the outcast, shorn of all his rightful honors, became and remains, through his own ability and industry, the greatest historical representative of the House of Tudor.

Even though his recognition as such has not hitherto been generally acknowledged, yet the Bacon-Shakespeare question has long since been settled through Bacon's ciphers, and other indubitable proofs.

Such men as Nietzsche, Bismarck, Gladstone, Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Palmerston, Lord Byron, Emerson, Benj. F. Butler, William H. Furness, Coleridge, von Schlegel and innumerable others among the World's great thinkers have declared it to be either impossible or to the last degree incongruous, that the actor Shakspere should have been the poet of the Plays and Sonnets.

We quote the words of Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Beaconsfield:

"And who is Shakespeare, said Carducci. We know of

him as much as we do of Homer. Did he write half the

play? I doubt it. He appears to me to have been an in-

spired adapter for the theaters, which were not then as

good as barns. I take him to have been a botcher up of old

plays. His popularity is of modern date and it may not

last,--it would surprise him marvellously."

Venetia 1837.*

It would be piling Pelion on Ossa to cite here all the partisans of the Bacon-Shakespeare identity.

Some of these base their belief largely upon the deciphering of Bacon's cryptic writings. To enlarge further upon these is not the purpose of this study, which the writer has based, above all, upon historical researches.


* Translator's Note: At this date, 1837, no substitute name had as yet been suggested to whom to accredit the plays. This was first done by Delia Bacon in her "Philosophy of the Shakespeare plays unfolded," nearly twenty years later. W. P.


That the historical truth regarding Bacon could remain so long undiscovered was foreseen by him, and can be ascribed largely to the political upheavals which so quickly followed his departure.

The grave had apparently closed above Francis Tudor, and the repeated false and erroneous "histories" placed even more and more obstacles in the path of the searcher, who would discover his real name and do justice to his memory."

A genius, who shines as a star apart in the intellectual life of all civilized nations, becomes an international possession to whose work and history the searchers of all lands have an equal right. When Francis Tudor-Bacon-Shakespeare is placed beside the immortal Homer, the truth of the above becomes self-evident. No civilized land can be deprived of Homer, for there is no nation whose intellectual sword has not been whetted upon his genius. What do we know of Homer? It cannot be ascertained whether he was born in India or elsewhere. The long-forgotten legends of antiquity have obscured his person in the mists of tradition. The days of Francis Tudor, however, lie not so far in the past, as to preclude the intelligent search for his real person.

A genius, who, as scion of the royal house of Tudor, is justly entitled to the highest honors of his name, and after whom are modeled not only the philosophies of life's wisdom but the art and poetical development of other heroes of poetry, and who above all, in his last Will and Testament desired to be rightly known for what he was, must be brought out of the darkness of error and misrepresentation into the clear light of perfect knowledge and truth.

Of the labors of other searchers into the life and works of Bacon I will not speak, as I myself sought only the sources of historical information, in which quest the requisite aids had been tendered me. In addition, I was guided in my study of the plays by Sir Henry Irving, who referred me to the Theatre-list quoted.

One work only on Bacon-Shakespeare had I been privileged to examine, when after I had given my lectures on Francis Tudor-Bacon during the winter of 1920, and was preparing my Study, Count Vitztum of Silesia honored me with the book, hitherto unknown to me, of his distinguished relative, the late Ambassador Count Vitztum Eckstaedt.

"Shake-speare-Shakspere. The Genesis of the Shake-speare Plays," Stuttgart Cotta-sche Buchandlung, 1888.

Gripping and highly interesting as Count Vitztum's book is, it still falls short of my own researches which have reached


beyond the Shakespeare question to the still greater truth of Bacon-Tudor.

Although I am a hand-writing psychologist, I have never yet occupied myself with the deciphering of the Bacon ciphers. To engage in this in order to verify the exhaustive work of other searchers were a belated and a useless labor. The discovery and demonstration of Bacon's cipher methods and keys will verify all the ciphers thus far decoded.

In special works yet forthcoming I intend as hand-writing psychologist to enter further into several of Francis' Cryptographic methods with which I am familiar.

For me as a historian, the Tudor research is the all-essential, as this name stands as the foundation stone of the edifice: Tudor-Bacon-Shakespeare. The individual personality can always be best understood and appreciated, when its blood and lineage, and the race from which it sprung are thoroughly known.

Books and letters are the voices of men, which speak to us after the lapse of centuries. In the passionate and poetical language of the dramas and in the delicate rhythm of the Psalms and Sonnets, the words of Francis come down to us and awaken in us the echoes of spiritual music. They animate the ideal world in his legendary tales; in the sonnet of the blind child from India's fairy-land; they resound again from the mythological forms of the Midsummer Night's Dream, and in the magic domain of Prospero's sea-girt isle.

We walk with him in his lonely wanderings through the rocky and wooded ledges on the banks of the Wye, through the park of Kenilworth with its grottoes, nymphs and sparkling fountains, in his extravagant and luxurious splendor; we follow him to the shore in contemplation of the storm-tossed sea; we find him in the quiet solitude of Twickenham or Gorhambury, where the creative genius of the naturalist transformed and broadened his domain.

Everywhere his "new inventions" surrounded and absorbed him. Nature was ever living and weaving, budding and blossoming about him, all,--all to be immortalized in the delicate elfin tales and legends, or to grow and develop into those figures of titanic power worthy the invention of a son of the mighty race of Tudor.

What a wide chasm yawns between the young man embittered at his fate, filled with contempt for all things transitory, and the sublime conqueror who rises triumphant over all that is earthly and declares:

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

In deepest sympathy with the great Universal Harmony, emerging victorious from every struggle, filled with the fullness of passionate courage, his gigantic Promethean figure rises in immortal grandeur above the calumnies with which lying history has for centuries vainly endeavored to tarnish his fair fame.



Translator's Postscript.--The translator feels, constrained to call especial attention to an extremely remarkable feature of this book. Madame Deventer had never read any of the other numerous works on the subject, but plowed the field as absolutely new ground, beginning her investigations without the least idea whither they would lead her. This gives to her conclusions a greatly added weight, and even if her admiring translator had failed to follow all her deductions, he, for one, would certainly not presume to criticise them. Let others do so if they feel competent. W. P.








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