Cui-Bono?

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Peter Farey

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Nov 23, 2004, 12:41:29 AM11/23/04
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"Buffalo" wrote (in the "CONCEALED POET: Abbott Supposes
Bacon Wrote Anonymous Poetry" thread:
>
> Incidentally, how does your overall Marlowe case hold up
> on the cui-bono principle?

That the person who benefits from the crime is the one most
likely to have committed it? A splendid help to those who,
faced with the body in the library, must work out who might
have done it (although Agatha Christie's reductio ad absur-
dum in "Murder on the Orient Express" - in which every
single person with a possible motive had a hand in killing
the guy - did rather demolish that one!)

That's irrelevant here, of course, as Ingram Frizer is found
standing there with the smoking dagger, and wholeheartedly
admitting "I dunnit Milord, and he had it coming to him".

But what you mean, of course, is: Who stood to gain from
the faking of Christopher Marlowe's death? Well, let's see.
There could have been:

1) Those who wanted him legally executed but, if that wasn't
possible, for him at least to be *apparently* struck down
by God for his blasphemies, heresy, etc.

2) Those who feared what he might have been forced to reveal
under torture.

3) Those who, whether through personal or political reasons,
wanted to save him.

4) Those who might be paid - and paid well - by any of the
above, for sorting the whole thing out.

5) Those who simply did what they were told, if they wanted
to remain "in favour" with this lot.

6) Depending upon which options were offered to him, Marlowe
himself?

> Spies and informers were two-a-penny in Elizabethan England.

Weren't they just? So we may perhaps ask (assuming that
he *was* either a "spy" or an "informer", which is by no
means certain) why this one, after 400 years, is *still*
receiving such attention? For example, within the last ten
years we have had the following (that I know of!) published:

Paul E.J. Hammer: A Reckoning Reframed: the "Murder" of
Christopher Marlowe Revisited, in English Literary
Renaissance (1996) pp.225-242
Darryl Grantley & Peter Roberts, eds., Christopher Marlowe
and English Renaissance Culture (1996)
J.A. Downie and J. T. Parnell, eds., Constructing Christopher
Marlowe, (2000)
M.J. Trow: Who Killed Kit Marlowe? A contract to murder in
Elizabethan England (2001)
Charles Nicholl: The Reckoning: the Murder of Christopher
Marlowe (2nd edition, 2002)
Constance Brown Kuriyama: Christopher Marlowe, A Renaissance
Life (2002)
David Riggs: The World of Christopher Marlowe (2004)

and I understand that Park Honan (recently much praised by
Stephen Greenblatt for his "Shakespeare: A Life") has one on
Marlowe nearing completion.

"Two-a-penny"? Puhlease!

> I can't imagine the secret service being at all interested
> in a new Marlowe once they realized that the old Marlowe
> had to die.

Failure of the imagination is, alas, a common feature of
Stratfordian problem solving.

> A loudmouth and trouble-maker doesn't make a good spy,

Really? Your experience of spies must be rather different
to mine. The question, however, is whether they have an
ability to curb that tendency (if, indeed, it really existed
in the first place).

> and Marlowe would be no loss.

No indeed. If I may quote the arch-Strat, Jonathan Bate,
for a moment: "Shakespeare, I suggest, only became Shake-
speare because of the death of Marlowe". So better off
without him, I say.

> It's one thing to apply a little pressure to get your man
> the MA he thinks he deserves, but quite another to subvert
> the processes of state and commit massive fraud on his
> behalf. I cannot see that it was in either Cecil's or
> Walsingham's interests to do such a thing. Marlowe was
> well down the food chain. Why should they bestir them-
> selves to deflect his doom?

Why indeed? And why would you, equally, bestir yourself
to "deflect the doom" of either a friend or a valued
employee? No way, right?

> On the other hand, I can well see how Messrs Frizer,
> Skeres and Poley might, individually or collectively,
> be apprehensive about the forthcoming interrogation of
> Marlowe by the authorities, who would pump him for
> everything he knew about everybody - and he certainly
> knew too much about them. They had plenty of motives
> for real murder.

Certainly? I'm sorry, but for "certainly" you need
evidence. And yours is...?

> I'm very skeptical about a faked death that takes the
> best part of a day to bring to fruition, with all the
> participants apparently lounging around doing nothing.

Substitute the word "murder" (which you seem to favour)
for the words "faked death" (which I do) and I agree
with you 100%.

As you presumably know, my explanation for their having
to wait until after six pm. is that nothing could start
until Danby had arrived in Deptford Strand and (to be on
the safe side) until *rigor mortis* had almost completely
disappeared from the substitute corpse. What is yours?

> I'm even more skeptical about a faked death that leaves
> assailants known and named, and with the conspiracy
> resting on their testimony. All three were such
> unsavoury characters that it's difficult to imagine
> their employers trusting them with such a delicate task,
> where failure would cause a blowback that would travel
> a long way up the chain of command..

What an astonishing load of assumptions you have managed
to cram into that one paragraph. Look, people do strange
things. Every day I read in the paper of someone who has
done something which I would never have done. It is
usually, of course, because they are stupid and I am
really clever. Occasionally, however, I am prepared to
admit that it is because they know more about the reason
why they decided to do what they did than I do. Could it
be, do you imagine, that this might be just one of those
occasions?

And, before anyone else points it out, I am well aware
that my rejection of most of the other possible reasons
for the four of them being there is strongly influenced
by how strange *that* would have been each time.

> There is a much simpler way: the disfigured body of a
> man is found by the roadside in a wooded area of Kent,
> with documentation on him identifying him as Marlowe
> - death by asssailants unknown. Much safer, much easier
> to execute, and a smaller ring of conspirators.

Yes, that's certainly the way I would have done it. I
wonder why they chose not to? I guess we may never know.

> Set against that - the simplest, safest and most
> obvious solution - the Deptford scenario is so
> clumsy as to be completely implausible.

The problem is, of course, that every single explanation
of what *did* happen that day is implausible. So the
trick is presumably either
(a) to decide, based upon the evidence, which of them
is the least implausible, or
(b) to find some other evidence supporting one or other
of the competing scenarios.

For me, both approaches have been achieved. I show in my
essay "Marlowe's Sudden and Fearful End" why the 'faked
death' scenario is to be preferred. Beyond this, however,
the monument at Stratford tells us (with odds of over a
thousand million to one against my being mistaken) that
there is a hidden message contained in it. This hidden
message is, beyond reasonable doubt, that a surviving
Christopher Marlowe has, because of the death of Shake-
speare, been "placed" with him in this monument. That'll
do me.

Oh, by the way. What would be your explanation of how
Danby not only found out about the killing, but also
came to run the inquest all on his own? It's a *very*
crucial issue as far as determining just what really
did happen that day is concerned.


Peter F.
pet...@rey.prestel.co.uk
http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index.htm

Penny

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Nov 23, 2004, 5:22:26 PM11/23/04
to
I have some questions about Marlowe's death (or escape). Maybe you can
guide me to the best reading.

-Did Marlowe die the day before his bail ran out? Thought I read this
somewhere. In other words, is there an official document or any
reference that states or suggests the date of his trial?

--Has anyone analyzed the size of the dagger? A larger dagger might be
more likely to cause an accident. The price is listed as 12 pence and
cut to a depth of 2 inches and length of 1 inch, while the
dagger/sword that Watson had used was worth 3 shillings, 4 pence, and
cut to a depth of 6 inches and a length of 1 inch.
(From Kuriyama documents, English version)

--I like the escape theory, whether or not Marlowe had anything to do
with Shakespeare afterwards, but I find it amazing that Frizer would
agree to be known and recorded as a murderer, even in self-defense, if
he had not committed the crime. Would that have remained very secret?
I assume that records were not as readily available (for example, to
future employers) then as they are today.

--If there were an escape plan, is there any probability that Eleanor
Bull could have known about it and helped out, making it easier?

--Farey's site says that if a hanged body were used (Penry), witnesses
might notice signs on it of a hanging. Is is possible that blood on
the face and neck (sorry to be so gory in this letter) could have
covered that, or would the body have been thoroughly washed before
examination?

--I don't understand the assassination theory, but haven't read Riggs
yet and am not up on this angle. Who exactly could Marlowe
incriminate? Would anyone really be concerned (or surprised) if
Harriot or Raleigh were accused as atheistic? And if it were desired
that they be incriminated, wouldn't it be better to let Marlowe live
and incriminate them?

Thanks,
Penny


"Peter Farey" <Peter...@prst17z1.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<cnuimk$5r2$2$8300...@news.demon.co.uk>...

Art Neuendorffer

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Nov 23, 2004, 6:09:52 PM11/23/04
to
"Penny" <penny...@lycos.com> wrote

> -Did Marlowe die the day before his bail ran out? Thought I read this
> somewhere. In other words, is there an official document or any
> reference that states or suggests the date of his trial?
 Marlo was stabbed on the day he was released: May 30, 1593 (N.S.)
   (May 30, 1593 (O.S.) is of no particular astrological significance.)
 
"Penny" <penny...@lycos.com> wrote

> --Has anyone analyzed the size of the dagger? A larger dagger might be
> more likely to cause an accident. The price is listed as 12 pence and
> cut to a depth of 2 inches and length of 1 inch, while the
> dagger/sword that Watson had used was worth 3 shillings, 4 pence,
>  and cut to a depth of 6 inches and a length of 1 inch.
>     (From Kuriyama documents, English version)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
          Prize doesn't matter (except as some sort of code)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
        Watson:  6"   :  40 pence
     BrinKnell4"   :  12 pence
         Knell3"   :  60 pence
        MAR-LO:  2"   :  12 pence
        HI-RAM:  ?"   :   ? pence
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
<<Inquisition taken in the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields 24 July
1567 before Richard Vale, coroner, upon a viewing of the body of Thomas
Brincknell, of Westminster, yeoman, lying dead, by seventeen named
jurymen, who affirm that on 23 July 1567 between seven and eight in the
evening Edward earl of Oxford and Edward Baynham, tailor of the same
city, were together in the back yard of the residence of Sir William
Cecil in the same parish, meaning no harm to anyone.  Each had a sword,
called a foil, and together they meant to practice the science of
defense.  Along came Thomas Brincknell, drunk, . . . who ran and fell
upon the point of the earl of Oxford's foil (worth twelve pence), which
Oxford held in his right hand intending to play a round (as they call
it).  With the foil Thomas [Brincknell] gave himself a wound to
the front of his thigh four inches deep and one inch wide,
 of which he died instantly.  This, to the exclusion
 of all other explanations, was the way he died.>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------
<<A young hothead and recognizable talent called William Knell is one of the
company's most noteworthy actors, and on the night of the Thame performance
gets into a fight with a fellow actor, John Towne. Passions are such that
Knell has his sword drawn, and according to the contemporary coroner's
report has intent to kill. Towne backs off and tries to elude Knell,
 but in self defense, desperate to save his life, draws his own sword.
 Towne makes a lucky strike straight into Knell's neck, and
 the young hothead is stone cold dead soon after.
 
William Knell was, according to the report of the Coroner,
 murdered by John Towne on the June 13th, 1587:
 
"William Knell continuing his attack as before, so maliciously and
furiously, and Towne [...] to save his life drew his sword of iron
(price five shillings) and held it in his right hand and thrust it into
the neck of William Knell and made a mortal wound
 three inches deep and one inch wide.">>
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Penny" <penny...@lycos.com> wrote

> --I like the escape theory, whether or not Marlowe had anything to do
> with Shakespeare afterwards, but I find it amazing that Frizer would
> agree to be known and recorded as a murderer, even in self-defense, if
> he had not committed the crime. Would that have remained very secret?
> I assume that records were not as readily available (for example,
> to future employers) then as they are today.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Adam S wrote:

> Danby's inquest states that
> Marlowe was killed by Ingram FRIZER on May 30th.
> However, the church records indicate that Marlowe was buried on June 1st,
> having been slain by one FRancIS archER.  This doesn't add up at all.
> How do you suppose that a mistake this great could have been made?
>       And who was FRancIS archER, anyway?
--------------------------------------------------------------
"Penny" <penny...@lycos.com> wrote
 
> --If there were an escape plan, is there any probability that Eleanor
> Bull could have known about it and helped out, making it easier?
--------------------------------------------------------------
 
 >      In the churchyard at Deptford there is a 
 >   dedication to Marlowe, I think on the north wall,
 >     traditionally he was buried nearby.

>       A nice page can be found at
>
>  http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/marlowe%20c.htm

>    There is a photo of the wall with dedication,
>        and of the dedication itself.
--------------------------------------------------------------
   Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,

         And burn'd is APOLLO's LAUREL bough,
         That sometime grew within this learn'd man.
                       --    _Dr. Faustus_ by Christopher Marlowe
--------------------------------------------------------------------
            NOBLE LAUREL
             {anagram}
            ELEANOR BULL
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Marlowe, Dedication to Mary Countess of Pembroke
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.03.0004
 
       TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS NOBLE LADY, 
       ADORNED WITH ALL GIFTS BOTH OF MIND 
       AND BODY, MARY COUNTESS OF PEMBROKE
 
 Delia born of a LAUREL-crowned race, TRUE sister of Sidney the bard
 of APOLLO, fostering parent of letters, to whose immaculate embrace
 virtue, outraged by the assault of barbarism and ignorance, flieth
 for refuge, as once Philomela from the Thracian tyrant; Muse of the
 Poets of our time, and of all most happily burgeoning wits; descen-
 dant of the gods, who impartest now to my rude pen breathings of a
 lofty rage, whereby my poor self hath, methinks, power to surpass
 what my unripe talent is wont to bring forth: Deign to be patron to
 this posthumous Amyntas, as to thine adoptive son: the rather that
 his dying father had most humbly bequeathed to thee his keeping.
 And though thy glorious name is spread abroad not only among us
 but even among foreign nations, too far EVER to be destroyed by the
 rusty antiquity of Time, or added to by the praise of mortals (for
 how can anything be greater than what is infinite?), yet, crowned as
 thou art by the songs of many as by a starry diadem Ariadne, scorn
 not this pure priest of PHOEBUS bestowing another star upon thy
 crown: but with that sincerity of mind which Jove the father of men
 and of gods hath linked as hereditary to thy NOBLE family, receive
 and watch OVER him. So shall I, whose slender wealth is but the sea-
 shore myrtle of Venus, and Daphne's EVERGREEN LAUREL, on the fore-
 most page of EVERy poem invoke thee as Mistress of the Muses
 to my aid: to sum up all, thy virtue, which shall OVER-COME
 virtue herself, shall likewise OVER-COME even eternity.
 
 Most desirous to do thee honor,
----------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer

Elizabeth Weir

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Nov 23, 2004, 10:59:10 PM11/23/04
to
Peter Farey wrote:

> . . . who stood to gain from


> the faking of Christopher Marlowe's death? Well, let's see.
> There could have been:

[...]

> 2) Those who feared what he might have been forced to reveal
> under torture.

The facts that surround Marlowe's death are much
more cogent than the facts that precede his death but there
are two documents produced before his death that Marlovians
haven't integrated into the Deptford narrative and those are
Chettle's Groatsworth of Wit and Kinde Hart's Dreame.

In the first Chettle charges that one of the 'three base
playwrights' is an atheist, a capital crime in Elizabethan
England.

In the second, 'worships' (university MAs) come around to set
Chettle straight on the accused playwright. Chettle then
hurriedly writes Dreame to correct his earlier (possibly fatal)
charges.

After the best-selling Groatsworth puts the charges
out on the street some kind of investigation must have
taken place. Chettle is so shaken in Dreame, Topliff
must have dropped by.

The question is where Chettle got the information
that the third base playwright was an atheist?

It's possible this idea came from the widespread
opinion that Faustus was an atheist work. It isn't
an atheist work--it's a dramatic dissertation on free will
and predetermination--but only the Protestant aristocrats
and clergy would have known that in 1588.

Cordially,

Elizabeth

Buffalo

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Nov 24, 2004, 12:05:12 AM11/24/04
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"Peter Farey" <Peter...@prst17z1.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:cnuimk$5r2$2$8300...@news.demon.co.uk...
> "Buffalo" wrote (in the "CONCEALED POET: Abbott Supposes
> Bacon Wrote Anonymous Poetry" thread:
> >
> > Incidentally, how does your overall Marlowe case hold up
> > on the cui-bono principle?
>
> That the person who benefits from the crime is the one most
> likely to have committed it?


Or it's a factor in deciding whether a crime has been committed at all.


>A splendid help to those who,
> faced with the body in the library, must work out who might
> have done it (although Agatha Christie's reductio ad absur-
> dum in "Murder on the Orient Express" - in which every
> single person with a possible motive had a hand in killing
> the guy - did rather demolish that one!)


At the moment I'm halfway through Christie's "The Crooked House" where, so
far, the cui bono question has occupied at least half of the investigation
time.


> That's irrelevant here, of course, as Ingram Frizer is found
> standing there with the smoking dagger, and wholeheartedly
> admitting "I dunnit Milord, and he had it coming to him".
>
> But what you mean, of course, is: Who stood to gain from
> the faking of Christopher Marlowe's death?


Certainly that's what I mean. Was there any doubt about it?


>Well, let's see.
> There could have been:
>
> 1) Those who wanted him legally executed but, if that wasn't
> possible, for him at least to be *apparently* struck down
> by God for his blasphemies, heresy, etc.
>
> 2) Those who feared what he might have been forced to reveal
> under torture.
>
> 3) Those who, whether through personal or political reasons,
> wanted to save him.
>
> 4) Those who might be paid - and paid well - by any of the
> above, for sorting the whole thing out.
>
> 5) Those who simply did what they were told, if they wanted
> to remain "in favour" with this lot.
>
> 6) Depending upon which options were offered to him, Marlowe
> himself?


Better to apply the question to those who you say were the prime movers.
Cecil, for example. What was in it for him? We can allow that subverting the
laws of the land was not out of the question for Cecil, if his own interests
were heavily enough involved. He had already done it while covering up a
crime of Lord Oxford. But since Oxford was married to his daughter, the
question "what's in it for him" pretty well answers itself. In Marlowe's
case, one is left scratching one's head.


> > Spies and informers were two-a-penny in Elizabethan England.
>
> Weren't they just? So we may perhaps ask (assuming that
> he *was* either a "spy" or an "informer", which is by no
> means certain) why this one, after 400 years, is *still*
> receiving such attention? For example, within the last ten
> years we have had the following (that I know of!) published:
>
> Paul E.J. Hammer: A Reckoning Reframed: the "Murder" of
> Christopher Marlowe Revisited, in English Literary
> Renaissance (1996) pp.225-242
> Darryl Grantley & Peter Roberts, eds., Christopher Marlowe
> and English Renaissance Culture (1996)
> J.A. Downie and J. T. Parnell, eds., Constructing Christopher
> Marlowe, (2000)
> M.J. Trow: Who Killed Kit Marlowe? A contract to murder in
> Elizabethan England (2001)
> Charles Nicholl: The Reckoning: the Murder of Christopher
> Marlowe (2nd edition, 2002)
> Constance Brown Kuriyama: Christopher Marlowe, A Renaissance
> Life (2002)
> David Riggs: The World of Christopher Marlowe (2004)
>
> and I understand that Park Honan (recently much praised by
> Stephen Greenblatt for his "Shakespeare: A Life") has one on
> Marlowe nearing completion.

Yes, I've read Honan's Shakespeare book. And maybe he is the clue to
answering your question. Park Honan is not Christopher Andrew. He's a
literary historian, not a historian of espionage. Could it be that the
reason Marlowe gets so many books written about him is that he was a great
dramatist, and not that he was a great spy? Casting an eye down the list of
books and authors you have so thoughtfully posted, one has to suspect it.

> "Two-a-penny"? Puhlease!


If that's an injunction to repeat, I'll repeat. Spies and informers were
two-a-penny in Elizabethan England.


> > I can't imagine the secret service being at all interested
> > in a new Marlowe once they realized that the old Marlowe
> > had to die.
>
> Failure of the imagination is, alas, a common feature of
> Stratfordian problem solving.


Imagination does not so much fail as remain stubbornly earthbound. By
contrast, we have the anti-Stratfordian imagination, untethered by facts,
rising through the cloud-layers like a hot-air balloon. Not so much
problem-solving as problem-transcending, what?


> > A loudmouth and trouble-maker doesn't make a good spy,
>
> Really? Your experience of spies must be rather different
> to mine. The question, however, is whether they have an
> ability to curb that tendency (if, indeed, it really existed
> in the first place).
>
> > and Marlowe would be no loss.
>
> No indeed. If I may quote the arch-Strat, Jonathan Bate,
> for a moment: "Shakespeare, I suggest, only became Shake-
> speare because of the death of Marlowe". So better off
> without him, I say.


For the benefit of the inattentive reader, just let me put my two statements
back together into the sentence they originally inhabited: "A loudmouth and
trouble-maker doesn't make a good spy, and Marlowe would be no loss". Which
makes it clear that what is no loss is Marlowe the spy, not Marlowe the
dramatist. And if that sentence is reconnected to the sentence that preceded
it, it's also clear that "no loss" is my assessment of what the Elizabethan
secret service would think about Marlowe the spy, not what I or Jonathan
Bate or Park Honan would think about Marlowe the dramatist. In short, I was
attempting to pursue the cui bono principle, and asking what interest the
Elizabethan state would have in Christopher Marlowe's survival. And, as I
was making clear (or so I thought), I see none.

>
> > It's one thing to apply a little pressure to get your man
> > the MA he thinks he deserves, but quite another to subvert
> > the processes of state and commit massive fraud on his
> > behalf. I cannot see that it was in either Cecil's or
> > Walsingham's interests to do such a thing. Marlowe was
> > well down the food chain. Why should they bestir them-
> > selves to deflect his doom?
>
> Why indeed? And why would you, equally, bestir yourself
> to "deflect the doom" of either a friend or a valued
> employee? No way, right?


Forcing cards is a conjurer's ruse that needs a willing audience. I bounce
back your "friend" and your "valued employee". I have seen no evidence that
Marlowe was viewed as either by his employers. A glowing reference to
Cambridge University for the purpose of persuading them to cough up an M.A.
is a favour you might do for the lowliest of your employees. It only takes a
few minutes to write, and if it keeps him sweet, it's a good investment. At
the other end of the scale - and just about falling off it - the favour you
have in mind with your faked-death scenario is nothing less than the
subverting of the will of the Privy Council, and the commission of a capital
crime - by William Cecil, the Queen's first minister, aided and abetted by
Robert Cecil, Thomas Walsingham, William Danby, etc, etc...If Marlowe was
worth that much, then he was the most valuable spy in history. Not even the
great Sidney Reilly had that much pull.


> > On the other hand, I can well see how Messrs Frizer,
> > Skeres and Poley might, individually or collectively,
> > be apprehensive about the forthcoming interrogation of
> > Marlowe by the authorities, who would pump him for
> > everything he knew about everybody - and he certainly
> > knew too much about them. They had plenty of motives
> > for real murder.
>
> Certainly? I'm sorry, but for "certainly" you need
> evidence. And yours is...?
>
> > I'm very skeptical about a faked death that takes the
> > best part of a day to bring to fruition, with all the
> > participants apparently lounging around doing nothing.
>
> Substitute the word "murder" (which you seem to favour)
> for the words "faked death" (which I do) and I agree
> with you 100%.
>
> As you presumably know, my explanation for their having
> to wait until after six pm. is that nothing could start
> until Danby had arrived in Deptford Strand and (to be on
> the safe side) until *rigor mortis* had almost completely
> disappeared from the substitute corpse. What is yours?


Why would anyone be bothered about a triviality like rigor mortis? A more
pressing problem would be concealing the much more visible evidence that the
substitute corpse was that of a hanged man (John Penry is your corpse of
choice, isn't he?) "Gentleman, I invite you to ignore the swollen neck and
protruding eyeballs, and focus your attention on this suspiciously fresh
knife-wound..."

>
> > I'm even more skeptical about a faked death that leaves
> > assailants known and named, and with the conspiracy
> > resting on their testimony. All three were such
> > unsavoury characters that it's difficult to imagine
> > their employers trusting them with such a delicate task,
> > where failure would cause a blowback that would travel
> > a long way up the chain of command..
>
> What an astonishing load of assumptions you have managed
> to cram into that one paragraph.


Is is really so astonishing? Read it again. What you call the "assumptions"
in that paragraph are better described as "estimations", that is, judgements
based on common knowledge of how people behave when behaviour is planned
and its consequences weighed before action is taken. And I'd be prepared to
bet that the number of people who would call those estimations astonishing
is quite small.


>Look, people do strange
> things.

Ah, *now* we come to the "astonishing" stuff.

>Every day I read in the paper of someone who has
> done something which I would never have done. It is
> usually, of course, because they are stupid and I am
> really clever. Occasionally, however, I am prepared to
> admit that it is because they know more about the reason
> why they decided to do what they did than I do. Could it
> be, do you imagine, that this might be just one of those
> occasions?


No, I don't imagine. Or, rather, my imagination remains stubbornly
earthbound, especially when one of the people involved in your proposed
conspiracy is William Cecil, a politician about whom the word "cautious" has
been used more often than it has about any other politician in history. To
tell me that there might be hidden reasons for behaviour that would have to
be called "astonishing" is merely to tell me that you have started with your
conclusion and worked backwards through the facts, tweaking each until it
points in the right direction. A theory that needs hidden reasons to make it
stand up is symptomatic of a faith-based investigation. In a very literal
way, we see where you're coming from.

Since the act took place within the magic twelve miles, it was someone's
duty to inform Danby. Had they not done so, that would have been
"astonishing". As for his running it all on his own, I haven't got enough
knowledge of Elizabethan judicial procedure to know whether he was or wasn't
supposed to work in tandem with the local coroner. I would like to see
documents relating to other deaths handled by Danby, to see whether this
omission of the local coroner's name was a one-off or standard practice. If
his name does not appear on the document, the reason might be that it
customarily didn't.

That said, I do not claim that what was going on here was routine, and I'm
quite ready to believe that procedural rules were being bent. I would not be
surprised if Danby's brief was that of the clean-up man (like Harvey Keitel
in Straw Dogs). I have no doubt that the meeting at Deptford was not a
social gathering, but a conference of some sort, that Cecil and others knew
about it, and that Marlowe's fate was in some way being decided. What I do
not believe is that any orders were given either to murder Marlowe or to
fake his death. Either action, even had Cecil been willing to countenance
it, would have been better done some other way than via this clumsy charade.
(Incidentally, in your scenario it was a rare act of self-sacrifice for
Frizer to inflict upon himself not one but *two* wounds "on his head of the
length of two inches & of the depth of a quarter of an inch". With Danby in
charge, did his alibi have to be quite that convincing?).

There is a long-shot possibility that Frizer &Co exceeded their brief, maybe
applying pressure and getting carried away, with fatal results, then having
to concoct a story which their employers had no choice but to swallow. But
it's more likely, in my view, that the official verdict was actually the
true one - Marlowe tanked up was always a threat to the Queen's peace - and
that Danby was brought in to put the lid on it as soon as possible.


Buffalo


Peter Farey

unread,
Nov 24, 2004, 5:48:10 AM11/24/04
to

"Penny" wrote:
>
> I have some questions about Marlowe's death (or escape).
> Maybe you can guide me to the best reading.

Nicholl's "The Reckoning" is still easily the best, even
if his revised conclusion is not much better than the
original one.

> -Did Marlowe die the day before his bail ran out?
> Thought I read this somewhere. In other words, is
> there an official document or any reference that
> states or suggests the date of his trial?

As far as I know, this is one of those myths (like his
being born on February 6th) for which there is no
evidence, but which seems to gain a life of its own.
Coincidentally, I was about to point this out to the
webmaster of the Marlowe Society's site, where it says
that this was so. We know that the Privy Council met
on the day following the Deptford incident, but there
is no mention of Marlowe in the minutes, and there
was certainly no time limit given in the original order.

> --Has anyone analyzed the size of the dagger? A larger
> dagger might be more likely to cause an accident.

No. The only comments I have seen have been related to
whether a wound two inches deep would have killed him
instantly or not.

> The price is listed as 12 pence and cut to a depth of
> 2 inches and length of 1 inch, while the dagger/sword
> that Watson had used was worth 3 shillings, 4 pence,
> and cut to a depth of 6 inches and a length of 1 inch.
> (From Kuriyama documents, English version)

The standard format for all inquisitions included this
information. The value of the weapon needed to be given
as it was part of the amount payable to the crown as a
form of tax called a 'deodand'. I imagine that there
may be some correlation between value and length, but
it would be unwise to make any estimates based on it!

> --I like the escape theory, whether or not Marlowe had
> anything to do with Shakespeare afterwards,

So do I, and I think it merits far more serious consider-
ation by Marlowe's biographers than it has been given so
far, regardless of any consequences it may have for the
authorship issue. I have high hopes for Park Honan's
forthcoming book, however.

> but I find it amazing that Frizer would agree to be
> known and recorded as a murderer, even in self-defense,
> if he had not committed the crime. Would that have
> remained very secret?

If it was agreed to have been in self-defense, then he
was not recorded as a murderer. As for the secrecy, it
would presumably depend upon what the incentives were
for keeping his mouth shut. I try as far as possible to
work simply from what the facts of the event were, and
avoid guesswork about what people would or would
not have been capable of doing, or wanted to do, over
400 years ago.

> I assume that records were not as readily available
> (for example, to future employers) then as they are
> today.

I suspect that in Frizer's case, his 'future employers'
(Thomas and Audrey Walsingham) knew as much about
it as he did anyway!

> --If there were an escape plan, is there any probab-


> ility that Eleanor Bull could have known about it
> and helped out, making it easier?

She certainly plays a major part in my own speculation
as how it might have been managed.

> --Farey's site says that if a hanged body were used
> (Penry), witnesses might notice signs on it of a
> hanging. Is is possible that blood on the face and
> neck (sorry to be so gory in this letter) could have
> covered that, or would the body have been thoroughly
> washed before examination?

Much of what I have to say on this subject is a direct
response to a fascinating, if *very* gory, discussion
(including the examination of photographs of victims
of hanging) that I had with Thomas Larque here in
June 2002. It was in the thread "Jurors at Marlowe's
inquest - members of the royal household?" starting
to pick it up around 26th June. Before this, I hadn't
really paid nearly enough attention to what would and
would not have happened at an inquest. Now I have!

If you don't want to go back and browse through that,
then I would suggest that most of what you need to know
is already covered by my essay, Marlowe's Sudden and
Fearful End", particularly my guess at what did happen,
and the associated end-notes starting at no.81.

> --I don't understand the assassination theory, but
> haven't read Riggs yet and am not up on this angle.

Riggs is only the latest of many who have suggested
that Marlowe was murdered, each of whom has come
up with a different person (or people) behind it. He
has the Queen herself as having initiated it.

> Who exactly could Marlowe incriminate? Would anyone
> really be concerned (or surprised) if Harriot or
> Raleigh were accused as atheistic? And if it were
> desired that they be incriminated, wouldn't it be
> better to let Marlowe live and incriminate them?

Well, I don't think that he *was* murdered, so someone
else can answer that one!

> Thanks,
> Penny

You're welcome.


Peter F.
pet...@rey.prestel.co.uk
http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/index/htm

Peter Farey

unread,
Nov 25, 2004, 1:53:05 AM11/25/04
to
Coincidentally, I have just received an e-mail from someone
(Rado Klose) concerning this topic. I found it very funny,
and thought others might like to see it too. Here it is:


A question on the inquest that has bothered me. How was
Marlowe's wound measured? the width ? one can see that
being done. But the depth? If the knife point strikes
above the eye it will surely be deflected downwards to
the back of the eye socket before breaking through the
bone. Subtract the depth of the socket (from the eyebrow
ridge back) from the 2 inches given and it leaves not a
lot of blade to do the mortal damage. (They surely did
not scoop the eye out and poke around in the back of the
eye socket with their wound measuring pens did they?)

So how do they agree on 2 inches? An al fresco post
mortem ? Or was the blade left in situ to be withdrawn
in a coup de theatre in front of the jury:

"About two inches, do we agree?" says Danby.

"Whatever" say the jury, whose own eyes are feeling
distinctly uncomfortable by now and are only too happy
to look away from the mess on the table.

"While on the subject of the dagger" continues Danby,
warming to his theme as jurymen crowd round to get a
look, "this, if I'm not much mistaken, is a Purdy ezygrip
stabright, retailing in better stores for as little as
half a guinea." This is too much for one of the jurymen.

"Half a bleedin guinea. I can get you one of them for
a tanner, and anyway the stabright's been updated by
the woundmaster and that comes in at fourteen.. "

"O for godsake", breaks in Ingram Frizer. "I paid a
shilling for the damm thing - twelvepence, Ok?"

"Well you was done Squire," says another of the good men,
"you toffs are all the same - all money and mouth and
zero bleedin sense".

At this point, general argument and minor brawling begin
and all exit, leaving Danby to file his report and, by
now forgotten, on the table???


I wrote to Rado, asking his permission to post it here.
He agreed, and added further details of the inquest.


If you would indulge me, the other niggle I (and I
daresay many others) have is with the word "instantly"
in the inquest. consulting my rcords I find that one
of the jurymen shared these doubts

Reg the Baker: Sorry to be a bit dense like, but as I
understand, you and your mates come ere for a bit of
dinner and an ale or two.

Ingram Frizer: Yes yes, wine and some supper.

R t B: And after woods, when you got the bill, you had
a bit of a barney like

I F: You have the jist. Our friend here Mr Marlowe
simply refused to stump up his share of the bill.

Reg is is excited to discover some common ground with
this exotic stranger

R t B: Egsackley egsackley. You go out wiv some mates
for a pie an that, and you drink the water (and bleedin
dangerous that is) while they are quaffin the rarest and
finest of meads an sacks an ales, an when the bill comes
you finish payin more than all the other buggers. I dont
understand that at all

I F; An analagous situation I grant you.

R t B: So your mate Marlen..

I F: MARLOWE, Mr MARLOWE

R t B: Right, whatever. Anyway this Merlin don't pay
and gets a poke in the eye but, and frankly this is where
you lose me squire, it weren't that much of a poke was it
(Reg is in full Perry Mason now) I mean I've done almost
as bad wiv me fum. So why dint you get help, rush abaht,
find a doctor (or in our case a barber). I mean your mate
Morley is frashin about sayin bugger that urts FFreezer
and generally caryin an you jest stand there and do bugger
all ...

I F: If you will just allow me a moment. Of course
appalling situation, most regrettable, and of course we
would have, but our friend Mr MARLOWE, delicate
constitution, here one minute, gone the next, keeled
over dead as a doornail, just like that, nothing to be
done but call the coroner.

Reg is about to say "Well, about the coroner" but catches
a mate's eye and retires to the ranks

Later as our jury make its way from Mrs Bull's estab-
lishment Reg is still grumbling, "That wern't no proper
inquest" he confides to Ron the Butcher. "We was led by
the nose there, Ive a good mind..."

Luckily Ron is a much more worldly person. "Listen " he
says, "At times such as these it don't much matter which
particular bit of your anatomy you was being led by, what
matters is who was doing the leading. If I was you I
should go home and get on with tomorrow's bread and
forget the whole thing."

Peter Farey

unread,
Nov 26, 2004, 6:00:50 AM11/26/04
to

"Buffalo" wrote:

>
> Peter Farey wrote:
>
> > "Buffalo" wrote (in the "CONCEALED POET: Abbott Supposes
> > Bacon Wrote Anonymous Poetry" thread:
> > >
> > > Incidentally, how does your overall Marlowe case hold up
> > > on the cui-bono principle?
> >
> > That the person who benefits from the crime is the one
> > most likely to have committed it?
>
> Or it's a factor in deciding whether a crime has been
> committed at all.

Right. IF it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere ... done

> > A splendid help to those who,
> > faced with the body in the library, must work out who might
> > have done it (although Agatha Christie's reductio ad absur-
> > dum in "Murder on the Orient Express" - in which every
> > single person with a possible motive had a hand in killing
> > the guy - did rather demolish that one!)
>
> At the moment I'm halfway through Christie's "The Crooked
> House" where, so far, the cui bono question has occupied
> at least half of the investigation time.

That's what comes of trying to do without either Marple OR
Poirot! (Not that my remark was intended to be taken seriously).

> > That's irrelevant here, of course, as Ingram Frizer is found
> > standing there with the smoking dagger, and wholeheartedly
> > admitting "I dunnit Milord, and he had it coming to him".
> >
> > But what you mean, of course, is: Who stood to gain from
> > the faking of Christopher Marlowe's death?
>
> Certainly that's what I mean. Was there any doubt about it?

Well yes, actually. What you appear to be *using* is perhaps
better described as the cui-non-bono principle.

"So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, whilst the butler
was indeed found standing over the body clutching a blunt
instrument upon which were the blood and hairs of the
victim. there is no evidence whatsoever of his having any
*motive* for such a murder, therefore he didn't do it!"

> > Well, let's see. There could have been:
> >
> > 1) Those who wanted him legally executed but, if that wasn't
> > possible, for him at least to be *apparently* struck down
> > by God for his blasphemies, heresy, etc.
> >
> > 2) Those who feared what he might have been forced to reveal
> > under torture.
> >
> > 3) Those who, whether through personal or political reasons,
> > wanted to save him.
> >
> > 4) Those who might be paid - and paid well - by any of the
> > above, for sorting the whole thing out.
> >
> > 5) Those who simply did what they were told, if they wanted
> > to remain "in favour" with this lot.
> >
> > 6) Depending upon which options were offered to him, Marlowe
> > himself?
>
> Better to apply the question to those who you say were the
> prime movers. Cecil, for example. What was in it for him?

You see?

> We can allow that subverting the laws of the land was not out
> of the question for Cecil, if his own interests were heavily
> enough involved. He had already done it while covering up a
> crime of Lord Oxford. But since Oxford was married to his
> daughter,

Oh, *that* Cecil.

> the question "what's in it for him" pretty well answers itself.
> In Marlowe's case, one is left scratching one's head.

There is indeed very little to base a cui-bono argument upon,
which is why I don't follow that particular line. All I claim
is that, based upon the evidence we have, the Cecils were
more likely to want to save Marlowe than to allow him to die,
and if a way could be found of achieving this which would pose
no real threat to them, this is the one they would support.

Of course the reason they were written is that he was a great
dramatist. How great a 'spy' he may or may not have been is
completely unknown. That's what great spying is all about, of
course. Therefore I cannot base my case upon the fact that he
*was* a great spy any more than you can base yours upon the
fact that he wasn't - as you seem to be trying to. The point
is, of course, that some combination of his brilliance as a
poet/dramatist and his apparent service to the crown could
well have made his survival particularly attractive to them.

> > "Two-a-penny"? Puhlease!

> If that's an injunction to repeat, I'll repeat. Spies and
> informers were two-a-penny in Elizabethan England.

Therefore this one *must* have been worth only a halfpenny?

> > > I can't imagine the secret service being at all interested
> > > in a new Marlowe once they realized that the old Marlowe
> > > had to die.
> >
> > Failure of the imagination is, alas, a common feature of
> > Stratfordian problem solving.
>
> Imagination does not so much fail as remain stubbornly
> earthbound. By contrast, we have the anti-Stratfordian
> imagination, untethered by facts, rising through the
> cloud-layers like a hot-air balloon. Not so much problem-
> solving as problem-transcending, what?

Nice rhetoric. Shame about the facts. My *case* for what
happened at Deptford relies in no way upon any authorship-
related evidence.

> > > A loudmouth and trouble-maker doesn't make a good spy,
> >
> > Really? Your experience of spies must be rather different
> > to mine. The question, however, is whether they have an
> > ability to curb that tendency (if, indeed, it really existed
> > in the first place).
> >
> > > and Marlowe would be no loss.
> >
> > No indeed. If I may quote the arch-Strat, Jonathan Bate,
> > for a moment: "Shakespeare, I suggest, only became Shake-
> > speare because of the death of Marlowe". So better off
> > without him, I say.
>
> For the benefit of the inattentive reader, just let me put
> my two statements back together into the sentence they
> originally inhabited: "A loudmouth and trouble-maker doesn't
> make a good spy, and Marlowe would be no loss". Which
> makes it clear that what is no loss is Marlowe the spy,
> not Marlowe the dramatist.

I would also remind this inattentive reader of yours that
there are not two separate people, as is being suggested
here, but just the *one* (as I explain in my essay "The
Spelling of Marlowe's Name"). I also dispute the claim
that "a loudmouth and trouble-maker doesn't make a good
spy" and, since we in any case have no idea what role
if any Marlowe had as a "spy", the remark can have no
validity as an argument whatsoever.

> And if that sentence is reconnected to the sentence that
> preceded it, it's also clear that "no loss" is my
> assessment of what the Elizabethan secret service would
> think about Marlowe the spy, not what I or Jonathan
> Bate or Park Honan would think about Marlowe the dramatist.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "Elizabethan secret
service", but if there were such a thing, their views for
or against "Marlowe the spy" has no bearing on my argument.

> In short, I was attempting to pursue the cui bono principle,

That's the "no known benefit, therefore no crime" version.

> and asking what interest the Elizabethan state would
> have in Christopher Marlowe's survival. And, as I
> was making clear (or so I thought), I see none.

Fine.

> > > It's one thing to apply a little pressure to get your man
> > > the MA he thinks he deserves, but quite another to subvert
> > > the processes of state and commit massive fraud on his
> > > behalf. I cannot see that it was in either Cecil's or
> > > Walsingham's interests to do such a thing. Marlowe was
> > > well down the food chain. Why should they bestir them-
> > > selves to deflect his doom?
> >
> > Why indeed? And why would you, equally, bestir yourself
> > to "deflect the doom" of either a friend or a valued
> > employee? No way, right?
>
> Forcing cards is a conjurer's ruse that needs a willing
> audience. I bounce back your "friend" and your "valued
> employee". I have seen no evidence that Marlowe was viewed
> as either by his employers.

Ingram Frizer took the blame. Ingram Frizer (with Skeres) was
closely associated with Thomas Walsingham, who was Marlowe's
friend. We have this both from Edward Blount and from the
likelihood that he was staying with Walsingham when arrested.
On the genuine cui-bono principle, we can infer that Thomas
Walsingham was, whether directly or indirectly, involved in
what happened, for the protection of his friend.

> A glowing reference to Cambridge University for the
> purpose of persuading them to cough up an M.A. is a favour
> you might do for the lowliest of your employees.

"Lowliest", therefore not valued?

> It only takes a few minutes to write, and if it keeps him
> sweet, it's a good investment.

As saving his life could be, I guess. Are you aware
of *any* other case where such an intervention by the
Privy Council has occurred, by the way?

> At the other end of the scale - and just about falling off
> it - the favour you have in mind with your faked-death
> scenario is nothing less than the subverting of the will
> of the Privy Council, and the commission of a capital
> crime - by William Cecil, the Queen's first minister,
> aided and abetted by Robert Cecil, Thomas Walsingham,
> William Danby, etc, etc...

Have you actually read what my proposed 'scenario' is?
From this, it seems most unlikely.

> If Marlowe was worth that much, then he was the most
> valuable spy in history. Not even the great Sidney Reilly
> had that much pull.

More rhetoric. This was a simple compromise between those
who wanted him silenced and seen by everyone to have been
punished by God for his blasphemy and heresy, and those
who thought (for whatever reasons) he was worth saving.
That these people just happened to be the most powerful
people in the land made this somewhat easier to achieve.

> > > On the other hand, I can well see how Messrs Frizer,
> > > Skeres and Poley might, individually or collectively,
> > > be apprehensive about the forthcoming interrogation of
> > > Marlowe by the authorities, who would pump him for
> > > everything he knew about everybody - and he certainly
> > > knew too much about them. They had plenty of motives
> > > for real murder.
> >
> > Certainly? I'm sorry, but for "certainly" you need
> > evidence. And yours is...?
> >
> > > I'm very skeptical about a faked death that takes the
> > > best part of a day to bring to fruition, with all the
> > > participants apparently lounging around doing nothing.
> >
> > Substitute the word "murder" (which you seem to favour)
> > for the words "faked death" (which I do) and I agree
> > with you 100%.
> >
> > As you presumably know, my explanation for their having
> > to wait until after six pm. is that nothing could start
> > until Danby had arrived in Deptford Strand and (to be on
> > the safe side) until *rigor mortis* had almost completely
> > disappeared from the substitute corpse. What is yours?
>
> Why would anyone be bothered about a triviality like rigor
> mortis? A more pressing problem would be concealing the
> much more visible evidence that the substitute corpse was
> that of a hanged man

I couldn't agree more. That's why (in my proposed scenario)
Danby's arrival in Deptford Strand would have been the most
important event, before which nothing could happen

> (John Penry is your corpse of choice, isn't he?) "Gentleman,
> I invite you to ignore the swollen neck and protruding
> eyeballs, and focus your attention on this suspiciously
> fresh knife-wound..."

Do read my essay, please.

Which is why I have suggested that the Queen knew all about
it beforehand, merely insisting that the record must show
beyond any doubt that the guy was dead. Other than being a
party to the agreement, in fact, I don't see Burghley himself
being involved in any way at all.

> To tell me that there might be hidden reasons for behaviour
> that would have to be called "astonishing"

Oy, I never said that! I called your assumptions astonishing,
and said that people do things which appear "strange" if
you don't know what their reasons were .

> is merely to tell me that you have started with your
> conclusion and worked backwards through the facts, tweaking
> each until it points in the right direction. A theory that
> needs hidden reasons to make it stand up is symptomatic
> of a faith-based investigation. In a very literal way,
> we see where you're coming from.

No, "Buffalo". You've got the wrong guy. If I were to be
doing that, I would have based my argument upon the assump-
tion that he *was* highly valued as a spy, just as you are
basing yours on the assmption that he wasn't. If you look
at my essay, however, you will see that this is *not* the
line I take, because (as I have already said) we just don't
know how important he was to them as what you like to call
a "spy".

Yes, the County Coroner should have brought him in if he
had realized it was within the verge. Given that the Court
was actually some sixteen statute miles away by road,
however, one must doubt whether he would have realized it.

> Had they not done so, that would have been "astonishing".

I assure you that there are plenty of cases on record where
the County Coroner apparently failed to "notice" that it
was within the verge, and successfully managed to keep the
Queen's coroner out of the loop completely.

The other way round, as this is, however - presumably with
the exception of deaths occurring within the palace (or
whatever) itself - appears to have been fairly unique.

> As for his running it all on his own, I haven't got
> enough knowledge of Elizabethan judicial procedure to
> know whether he was or wasn't supposed to work in
> tandem with the local coroner.

I have, and he was.

> I would like to see documents relating to other deaths
> handled by Danby, to see whether this omission of the
> local coroner's name was a one-off or standard practice.
> If his name does not appear on the document, the reason
> might be that it customarily didn't.

It did. It had to, or the inquest would be "erroneous and
void". Please read my "Was Marlowe's Inquest Void?" which
gives as much information as I have managed to assemble
on the subject. I have shown it to the current Coroner to
the Queen's Household, who (whilst not being an expert)
said that he could see nothing obviously wrong with it.

> That said, I do not claim that what was going on here was
> routine, and I'm quite ready to believe that procedural
> rules were being bent. I would not be surprised if Danby's
> brief was that of the clean-up man (like Harvey Keitel
> in Straw Dogs).

Super film. Paul Hammer had Poley very much in that role
in his "A Reckoning Reframed" that I mentioned above.

> I have no doubt that the meeting at Deptford was not a
> social gathering, but a conference of some sort, that
> Cecil and others knew about it, and that Marlowe's fate
> was in some way being decided. What I do not believe is
> that any orders were given either to murder Marlowe or
> to fake his death. Either action, even had Cecil been
> willing to countenance it, would have been better done
> some other way than via this clumsy charade.

We are faced with the problem of deciding what *did*
happen, based upon the facts as we know them. I can
imagine all sorts of other ways in which this might have
been done, and all sorts of reasons why they might have
*not* done it in those ways, but those imaginings are not
evidence. I have genuinely tried to restrict myself to
establishing what possible *purposes* there could be for
for those particular people to assemble there at that
particular time, and to determine which of those purposes
best explains all of the evidence we do have. That the
result points at an answer where we are unable to know
precisely *why* some people would have agreed to it is
unfortunate, but hardly surprising.

> (Incidentally, in your scenario it was a rare act of
> self-sacrifice for Frizer to inflict upon himself not
> one but *two* wounds "on his head of the length of two
> inches & of the depth of a quarter of an inch". With
> Danby in charge, did his alibi have to be quite that
> convincing?).

A wound was essential for the plea of self-defence to
be sustainable. How genuine the dimensions of the wounds
were is less certain. Danby wrote that the wounds were
*longitudinis duorum policium & profunditatis quartij
vnius policis*, but whether this accurately reflected
what was actually said or seen at the time is anybody's
guess.

> There is a long-shot possibility that Frizer &Co
> exceeded their brief, maybe applying pressure and
> getting carried away, with fatal results, then having
> to concoct a story which their employers had no choice
> but to swallow. But it's more likely, in my view, that
> the official verdict was actually the true one - Marlowe
> tanked up was always a threat to the Queen's peace -
> and that Danby was brought in to put the lid on it as
> soon as possible.

Frizer worked for and with Thomas Walsingham, Marlowe's
friend. Which "brief"? That is the crucial question!

Mark Cipra

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Nov 26, 2004, 8:14:43 AM11/26/04
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"Buffalo" <none...@here.com> wrote in message
news:co14q2$noi$1...@sparta.btinternet.com...
[snip]

>
> surprised if Danby's brief was that of the clean-up man (like Harvey
Keitel
> in Straw Dogs). I have no doubt that the meeting at Deptford was not a

I suspect you mean "Pulp Fiction". Do you think Danby would have made
Frizer and Skeres appear before Walsingham in Mrs. Bull's clothes, too?

Peter Farey

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Nov 26, 2004, 11:14:34 AM11/26/04
to

Mark Cipra wrote:

>
> "Buffalo" wrote:
> >
> > surprised if Danby's brief was that of the clean-up man
> > (like Harvey Keitel in Straw Dogs).
>
> I suspect you mean "Pulp Fiction".

So do I, and when I said "super film", this was certainly
the one I had in mind. Yet another example of how you
see what you expect to see when you read something.
And there's not a single one of us posting here who,
far more often than we care to admit, isn't guilty of that!

Buffalo

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Nov 26, 2004, 1:29:32 PM11/26/04
to

"Mark Cipra" <ci...@apk.net> wrote in message
news:10qeb2b...@corp.supernews.com...

>
> "Buffalo" <none...@here.com> wrote in message
> news:co14q2$noi$1...@sparta.btinternet.com...
> [snip]
> >
> > surprised if Danby's brief was that of the clean-up man (like Harvey
> Keitel
> > in Straw Dogs). I have no doubt that the meeting at Deptford was not a
>
> I suspect you mean "Pulp Fiction".

I've seen too many films with too many titles. They're all starting to
merge.

While on the subject, Reservoir Dogs (I hope I've got it right this time),
where the gang members were named after colours, reminded me of "The Man Who
was Thursday", where they were named after days of the week. But it's so
long since I've read Chesterton's book that I've forgotten the plot. Does
anyone know if Reservoir Dogs is based on it?

Buffalo


Penny

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Nov 26, 2004, 5:47:27 PM11/26/04
to
I need to read more about all of this, but about Marlowe being a
loud-mouthed spy, well, I've heard that's just a standard intelligence
trick to figure out people's beliefs. For example, make a
controversial religious joke (without giving away your own beliefs)
and see how other people react so that you can get a feel for how
religious they are and of what religion. Anyway, it seems that
Elizabeth and her leaders were aware of such tactics, and that such
ambiguity would be desirable in a spy.

And as far as Elizabeth supporting Marlowe, she was a poet, knew Latin
as well as other languages, and probably saw many dramas of the day,
so I would guess that she would likely support saving someone who was
in the forefront of the English literary scene.

Penny

Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
To whom the heavens, in thy nativity
Adjudg'd an olive branch and -->laurel<-- crown,
As likely to be blest in peace, and war; (HVI, Pt. 3, IV.vi.34-37)

"Peter Farey" <Peter...@prst17z1.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<co72ce$om$1$8300...@news.demon.co.uk>...

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