Brush up yer Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, as a person, is surprisingly elusive. People around him seem to have got wealthy and left a notable legacy behind them. For example: Edward Alleyn.
Edward "Ned" Alleyn ... was an English actor who was a major figure of the Elizabethan theatre and founder of Dulwich College and Alleyn's School ... It is said that Dulwich was built as a gesture of thanksgiving to God for Alleyn's acting ability and success in business dealings.Business? What business?
Ref : Edward Alleyn (Wikipedia)
Alleyn went into business with his father-in-law Philip Henslowe and became wealthy. He was part-owner in Henslowe's ventures, and in the end sole proprietor of several profitable playhouses, bear-pits and brothels.Aha, my kind of business! Although, I'm not so keen on the bear-pits. Can we substitute a brewery please?
But what's this?
Alleyn is unusual among figures in 16th-century drama because a large selection of his private papers have survived. They were published in 1843 as The Alleyn Papers, edited by scholar-forger John Payne Collier. He also developed professional relationships with religious and political figures such as Sir Francis Bacon and Sir Julius Caesar.
I'm not sure whether the "professional relationship with Francis Bacon" is a fabrication (courtesy of the scholar-forger John Payne Collier). Or whether Alleyn & Bacon & Co were busy getting rich by inventing one of the greatest pieces of stagecraft in British History. i.e. the fictional Shakespeare as a front (and firebreak) in case they attracted even more right royal wrath.
Being a playwright in Elizabethan England could be a rewarding business; it could also be a very dangerous one. We're used to modern-day politics being a dirty game. In Elizabeth's time, it was also a very deadly one.
Against a background of Mary Queen of Scots, the 16 assasination attempts against Elizabeth, the Spanish Amarda, the Spanish Inquisition...
It was a period of fracton, intrigue, plot, counter-plot and sudden death, and every man who entered public life realised that he walked in the shadows of the Tower or the block. Very few escaped one or the other. What greater reason could Bacon have for secrecy? He was working out his vast project of educating the people to which the Queen had repeatedly registered her disapproval. Had the truth been known, his chance of any judicial appointment, essential in many ways to the working of his scheme, would have been irretrievably lost, apart from the fact that many had gone to execution for far less disobedience. Concealed and feigned authorship was not an unheard of thing in those days by any means. There were many ever watchful for heresies and many more for treason. The incident with the Queen concerning the play Richard II bears out that fact ... The play, Richard II, was performed —anonymously— the afternoon before Essex broke into rebellion. It was denounced by the Queen as an act of treason. Bacon, as Solicitor-Extraordinary, was commanded to seek out the author of the play that he might be put on the rack. This alone proves that the authorship was not generally known.
Ref : The Shakespeare Myth
What a situation! London is in uproar over Essex's attempt at an armed coup d'état. The Queen has just commanded you to find the author of a play deemed to be an act of treason. Presumably so the author could be hung, drawn and quartered as a traitor. And you are the author?
Bacon's embarrassment can be well imagined. A scapegoat had to be found, someone outside the political arena and without motive for intrigue. All the data available point to the fact that the huckster Shagsper of Stratford was cited as the author, bribed with a thousand pounds through Bacon's friend Southampton, and despatched to his home in Warwickshire. His sudden acquisition of wealth supports the story, from which undoubtedly has sprung the germ of the present day myth and Stratfordian obsession. Ref : The Shakespeare Myth
And then there's the accounting, and the classic advise : follow the money...
Philip Henslowe, the greatest theatrical manager and producer of his day, kept a diary (which is preserved) in which he set down the sums of money paid to authors for their work. We find in this diary the names of practically all the dramatic writers of that day excepting Shakespeare, his name being entirely ignored. Neither does Shaksper, Shaxspur, or Shagsper figure anywhere in this historic list of Henslowe's.Shake-speare's Intellectual Copyright was a very valuable commodity. Why was nothing registered to maintain ownership of that copyright?
After 1594, all plays were required to be registered before publication. Nothing was ever registered in Shakespeare's name, nor is there any trace of the actual writer with the various people who effected the registrations at Stationer's Hall. Bacon had his reasons for secrecy. Shakespeare none. Ref : The Shakespeare Myth
And then there are the espionage and intelligence connections...
... on the afternoon of August 11, 1582 there was an entry in Dee's journal that they met at Mortlake. Bacon was 21 years old at the time and was accompanied by a Mr. Phillipes, a top cryptographer in the employ of Sir Francis Walsingham who headed up the early days of England's secret service. Ref : John Dee - 007Why so secret? The proto-intelligence services were involved in a deadly game of cat & mouse. Much mentioned in the recent BBC series on Elizabeth 1st's Secret Agents. But sadly without mentioning Francis Bacon and John Dee. Would it have complicated the story too much?
What's the Grael significance? It's because Francis Bacon had also extensively written many works which let slip "The Rosicrucian Mask".
Francis Yates in her seminal exploration Majesty and Magic in Shakespeare's Last Plays, comments, "Dare one say that the German Rosicrucian movement reaches a peak of poetic expression in The Tempest, a Rosicrucian manifesto infused with the spirit of Dee, using theatrical parables for esoteric communication?" Ref : John Dee - 007There will be more on the significance of the Rosicrucian connections in The Grael goes Dutch.
While Elizabeth was Queen, with sympathy for the likes of John Dee (the Royal Astrologer), these might have been tolerated. But when James became King, such thoughts became more heretical and dangerous.
James unfavorable and fearful attitude toward the occult was the opposite of Elizabeth's. Bacon became well aware that it was necessary to be very careful while advancing his scientific ideas to James and that any trace of Dee's weird angelic-alchemical studies could jeopardize his own projects from taking hold. Bacon's observation of the mis-treatment bestowed upon Dee by James served to reinforce that it was a different era and that the need to practice that Shakespeare maxim, "Discretion is the better part of valor" was imperative to anyone with a sweet disposition toward magic and mathematics or a secret society. Ref : John Dee - 007
Then there is James' Regal Attitude to deal with. "Kings are little Gods, they exercise a manner of divine power". Bacon well knew the dangers of publishing anything that expressed an opposing attitude or attracted Royal sanction. No surprise then that Bacon's Rosicrucian utopia The New Atlantis was not published until after his death. It portrayed a future world in which man could co-exist with his fellow man without the divine right of kings. An idea as explosive, in it's own way, as The Gunpowder Plot.
In conclusion, as many have noted in their own ways...
Either Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare were the same man, at least so far as the writings are concerned, or else for once in the history of mankind, two men absolutely dissimilar in birth, in education and in bringing up, had the same thoughts, used the same words, piled up the same ideas, wrote upon the same subjects, and thought, wrote, talked and dreamed absolutely alike. Orville Owen, M.D.
Ref : Wigston Parallels
Ref : The Spear-Shaker – Guardian of the Mysteries
Obscuris vera involvens
Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.Next : Here Be Dracos!
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.
Ref : Shakespeare In Love