> >>> Paul's schizpiracy theory is intentionally so insane
> >>> as to be almost impossible to refute, because
> >>> anyone trying to do that will be too overwhelmed by
> >>> its absurdities to know where to begin.
> >> You could show that a belief in the Stratford
> >> man as author was reasonable. That would
> >> be a good start. For example, you could
> >> show that yeomen were often literate, or
> >> that authors commonly grew up in illiterate
> >> households, or that good writers (as well as
> >> great ones) often had illiterate children, or
> >> that actors who are also authors tend to be
> >> reclusive, or that actor/playwrights can walk
> >> the streets of London at the height of their
> >> fame for 20 years without anyone noticing
> >> . . . . and so on and on and on . . .
> > Guess what, Paul? The subject is YOUR theory, not mine.
> Guess what, Bob? You asked (rhetorically?)
> how my (insane) theory could be refuted.
> I merely pointed out how.
I said your theory was insane. You replied by showing how I could
show that MY theory was not insane. You did not show how your theory
> >> "Intelligence" (whatever THAT is) had little to
> >> do with it. The great bulk did not understand
> >> Elizabethan literature, nor appreciate punning,
> >> nor perceive it in the plays they rarely, if ever,
> >> read and rarely, if ever, saw.
> > Intelligence in this case would be the ability to recognize an
> > imposter.
> How does the use of a pseudonym make you
> an imposter? How do you know whether or
> not the well-known author, Joey Barton, is 'an
> imposter' or not?
Evasion. By "imposter" I mean whatever Shakespeare the illiterate
was. Intelligence would be the ability to realize that he could not
have been the author he was said to have been on title pages and in
many other documents.
> >> How would they know? How would you know
> >> whether or not the well-known author (i.e.
> >> known only from his work) called "Joey Barton"
> >> works under a pseudonym or not?
> > Okay, the hoaxsters pick a man who could not possibly
> > have written the Oeuvre, then somehow manage (with
> > only a few persons involved) to conceal him from anybody
> > who would use the Truth against the government.
> Not hard. They just tell him to keep his head
> down, and make sure he does. Not that anyone
> would ever believe he had anything to do with
> works -- if he were to make the claim.
Others DID make just that claim. My point, which you seem to be
avoiding, is that when they did make that claim, there would have to
have been anti-government people who would have heard it, realized it
were a lie, and revealed . . . The Truth.
> > Meanwhile, certain people mention this unseen front in
> > print.
> No one mentions this illiterate person. A fair
> number remark upon the work of the poet,
They mention a man named Shakespeare, the man whose monument people
went to see within fifteen years of his death, and which was mention
in print seven years after his death. Names are meaningful, Paul.
And the deed to New Place indicates that Shakespeare was one of the
names the Stratford man was known as.
> > All of them must be part of the conspiracy--
> So, if you say you like Joey Barton's latest
> book, you are part of a conspiracy?
Irrelevant. I'm talking about people who stated in print that a man
named William Shakespeare was an author. They were either dupes or
conspirators. Certainly the ones who called him an actor were
conspirators, because, according to you, he was never on stage. You
make it hard to believe anyone could have been duped, since there WAS
a William Shakespeare whom people knew--from his millions of
appearances in court if for no other reason, and, according to you, he
was a drooling moron who wouldnot have been able to convince anyone he
was a writer.
Now, are you going to tell me the documents indicated he sued people
were forgeries, and he was not a money lender, after all?
> > all of them, that is, that mention him as an actual man,
> > as an actor, for instance.
> WHO mentions him as an actor? Write out
> the full list.
I've done that several times, but here, from my book, it is again:
(1) A record of 15 March 1595 indicates that the Treasurer of the
Queen’s Chamber paid “William Kempe William Shakespeare & Richarde
Burbage servants to the Lord Chamberleyne” for performances at court
in Greenwich on 26 and 27 December (St. Stephen’s Day & Innocent’s
Day) of the previous year. This is not the strongest evidence that a
William Shakespeare was an actor, but puts him prominently with the
right organization at the right time to have been one—in the company
of two known actors.
(2) Next, we have an indenture that was drawn up 21 February 1599 for
the Southwark property on which the Globe playhouse was erected.
Though the land was owned by Sir Thomas Brend, his son Nicholas was
the agent in the transaction that resulted in seven of the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men’s becoming share-holders in the playhouse itself.
The indenture states that half of the shares were divided among
William Shakespeare, William Kempe, John Heminges, Augustine Phillips
and Thomas Pope, while the other half went to the brothers Richard and
Cuthbert Burbage. Only one share-holder was known not to be an actor,
Cuthbert Burbage, and there are extant records verifying his being a
theatrical entrepreneur of a kind none of the others was known to have
been. Ergo: a strong if not explicit record for a William
Shakespeare’s having been an actor.
(3) When Sir Thomas Brend died not long afterward, the post-mortem
inventory of his property made on 16 May 1599 included his Bankside
plot on which was “Una domo de novo edificata . . . in occupacione
Willielmi Shakespeare et aliorum” (“a house [actually the Globe
Theatre] newly built . . . in the occupation of William Shakespeare
and others.”) Interesting that Shakespeare is the only one named on
this document as occupying the new home of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men—
which, if it doesn’t make him an actor, certainly makes him an
important theatrical personage.
(4) The first piece of direct evidence that a William Shakespeare was
an actor (rather than someone associated with a company of actors but
not necessarily an actor himself) is the record previously mentioned
from the heralds’ office (which exists only in a copy made before
1700). It consists of a sketch of the Shakespeare coat of arms with
the notation, “Shakespear ye Player/ by Garter,” the latter reference
being to the Garter King of Arms, William Dethick, who granted the
Shakespeares their coat of arms. At the time, Brooke was attacking
Dethick for awarding coats of arms to undeserving families—such as a
fishmonger’s and—in this case—one with an actor in it. Whatever we
make of this document, it does establish that the Herald, Ralph
Brooke, who was almost certainly responsible for the original (in 1601
or 1602), considered somebody named Shakespeare an actor. I will
return to this record in much greater detail in a later chapter, one
whose purpose is to show that the actor/poet William Shakespeare was
the William Shakespeare born in Stratford, which this record helps
(5) The fifth piece of pertinent evidence is weaker: it is an entry of
circa 1602 in John Manningham’s diary. Manningham has heard that
during a performance of Richard III, “Shakespeare” had found out about
a female admirer of Richard Burbage whom Burbage had invited to meet
with him later; Shakespeare got there first and when Burbage showed
up, knocked at the door and had a servant announce him as “Richard
III,” Shakespeare sent back word that “William the Conquerer was
before Richard III.” This indicates that some William Shakespeare
was, in the public eye, intimately associated with Richard Burbage.
(6) Next is a Royal Warrant for a Patent and the Patent itself (19 May
1603) licensing the company of actors, “Laurence Fletcher, William
Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillipes, John Hemmings,
Henrie Condell, William Sly, Robert Armyn, Richard Cowly and the rest
of their associates” as the King’s Servants. Like most of the records
so far, this one does not prove that the Shakespeare named was an
actor (he could have been merely a prop man or something), but
strongly suggests it, particularly as (a) all the others on the list
were known to have been actors, and (b) he was listed in the second
spot on the list, which meant he was considered the second most
important person on it, such lists generally being hierarchical back
then. (The man first on the list, Lawrence Fletcher, had acted for
King James in Scotland, according to one record; apparently he joined
the troupe upon James’s ascension, and was given high status for being
a favorite of James’s.)
(7) Closely connected to the preceding record is the account of Sir
George Home, Master of the Great Wardrobe, listing the names of
“Players” who were given four yards of red cloth apiece for the
investiture of King James in London on 15 March 1604. Here a William
Shakespeare is named first among the same members of the company as
before—making the document the strongest explicit record stating that
a William Shakespeare was an actor.
(8) A little later, Augustine Phillips of the King’s Men died. In his
will, executed 5 May 1605, proved 16 May 1605, he bequeathed “to my
Fellowe William Shakespeare a thirty shillings peece in gould, To my
Fellowe Henry Condell one other thirty shillinge peece in gould . . .
To my Fellowe Lawrence Fletcher twenty shillings in gould, To my
Fellowe Robert Armyne twenty shillings in gould . . . .” All of those
besides Shakespeare whom Phillips characterizes as his “fellows” were
actors in the King’s Men.
(9) That same year John Davies of Hereford’s The Civil Warres of Death
and Fortune was published. Among its lines were the following:
Some followed her by acting all mens parts Stage Players
These on a Stage she rais’d (in scorne) to fall:
And made them Mirrors, by their acting Arts,
Wherin men saw their faults, though ne’r so small:
Yet soome she guerdond not, to their desarts; W.S. R.B.
But, othersome, were but ill-actioned all:
Who while they acted ill, ill staid behinde,
(By custome of their maners) in their minde.
So: a poem by Davies concerning an actor W.S. whom he associated with
an “R.B.” Later we’ll see that in another of Davies’s poems he refers
to a W.S. and an R.B. who act—this time mentioning W.S.’s poetry.
That a W.S. is mentioned but not a William Shakespeare makes this
inarguably a weak piece of evidence, by itself, that some William
Shakespeare was an actor, but it is evidence of that nonetheless.
However, the fact that Davies twice uses W.S. and R.S. together in
poems and, the second time he does so, makes it plain that Shakespeare
and Burbage are meant, makes this first W.S./R.B set almost certainly
a reference to Shakespeare and Burbage--as actors.
(10) A 1613 record (“Item, 31 Martii 1613 to Mr. Shakespeare in gold
about my Lord’s impresa xlivs. To Richard Burbage for painting and
making it, in gold xlivs.”) is further evidence that some William
Shakespeare was an actor, albeit only circumstantial since the
“Shakspeare” here not only is not identified as an actor but may have
been some other Shakespeare, such as John Shakespeare, the royal
bitmaker Charlotte Stopes turned up in her researches. But Burbage
and Shakespeare were associated together too many times for it to be
likely that here Burbage was for the first and apparently only time
associated with some other Shakespeare, who happened to be
constructing some kind of clever/arty picture/motto combination of
just the kind that Shakespeare the writer imaged so often in his plays
and that Burbage would have had the talent to paint. So I count the
association of the two fair evidence for a William Shakespeare’s
having been an actor.
Rob Zigler agrees. In an HLAS post to someone arguing the contrary,
he says, “To put it bluntly, the idea that the payee was not William
Shakespeare is ridiculous. The fee was exactly split between Richard
Burbage and Mr. Shakespeare, so we’re looking for people who are
likely to have been partners. I’m sure that you’ve noticed that
William Shakespeare appears in a number of documents as a partner with
Richard Burbage. I’m also fairly sure that you’ve also noticed that
John Shakespeare, the royal bitmaker doesn’t show up anywhere else
partnered with Richard Burbage. It’s been quite a while since I’ve
read what Stopes had to say, but my recollection is that John
Shakespeare makes pretty frequent appearances in the accounts of the
King and assorted nobles and I see that E.K. Chambers says that he
doesn’t start appearing in those accounts until 1617. . . . Here’s yet
another reason why Stopes idea doesn’t make any sense. Impresa
shields were small and made out of pasteboard, so why would the
construction process call for a man who made bits and spurs? What
could he have done that would have been worth the relatively grand sum
of 44 shillings?
“Actually, we know perfectly well what Mr. Shakespeare was being paid
for. The task of creating an impresa shield can be logically divided
into two parts; the design and the construction. The Rutland account
tells us that Richard Burbage made and painted the shield, so the
construction of the shield is entirely accounted for. That leaves
only the design. Needless to say, designing a tournament impresa is
something we know that poets sometimes did. (Jonson wrote an epigram
in which he complained that he had not yet been paid for ‘a gulling
imprese for you at tilt’.)
“If we knew nothing at all about Mr. Shakespeare outside of this
document, we’d assume that he was probably some sort of poet. . . .
Therefore, the Rutland document should count as part of a ‘personal
literary paper trail’ connecting Will Shakespeare to the profession of
(11) Ironically, the next piece of evidence was discovered by an anti-
Stratfordian researcher, Paul Altrocchi. It’s a Latin annotation in a
copy of the 1590 edition of Camden’s Remains: “et Guglielmo Shakespear
Roscio plane nostro.” Whoever wrote it was commenting on something
Camden wrote about how Stratford is known entirely because of John of
Stratford, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Hugh Clopton, the
magistrate of London, its two “foster sons,” as Camden termed then in
the Latin of his book. The aim of the annotation, which Alan Nelson
translates as “and to William Shakespeare, our very own Roscius,” is
clearly to credit Shakespeare with being a third eminent foster son of
Stratford, for the word for “foster sons“ (“alumnis”) in Camden is
underlined. Since Roscius was a famous Roman actor, the annotation is
direct testimony that Shakespeare was an actor. Nelson believes (but
isn’t positive) that the handwriting is that of the man who wrote his
name in the book as its owner, Richard Hunt, who was vicar of
Itchington from around 1620 until (probably) whenever he died; hence
the annotation probably dates from between 1620-1650. This is late
evidence but from a man born in 1596, give or take a year (according
to his college record), so was a contemporary of Shakespeare’s. It
thus should count as strong direct evidence for Shakespeare’s having
been an actor.
(12) Then there are the records of a 1615 suit by Heminges’s daughter
against her father which includes a William Shakespeare with other
members of her father’s company as a shareholder in both the
Blackfriars’ and Globe playhouses.
(13) Two further pieces of direct evidence for the existence of the
actor, William Shakespeare, are in the 1616 Folio of Ben Jonson’s
Works, which contains cast lists for his plays. The cast list for
Every Man in His Humor, performed in 1598, includes “Will Shakespeare,
Aug. Philips, Hen. Condel, Will. Slye, Will. Kempe, Ric. Burbadge,
Ioh. Hemings, Tho. Pope, Chr. Beeston, and Ioh. Duke.” Once again,
incidentally, Shakespeare is listed first among his fellows. The cast
list for Sejanus, performed in 1603, includes “Ric. Burbadge, Aug.
Philips, Will. Sly, Ioh. Lowin, Will. Shake-Speare, Ioh. Hemings, Hen.
Condel, and Alex. Cooke.”
(14) In 1623, a William Shakespeare was listed as an actor in the
First Folio collection of plays by “William Shakespeare.”
(15) Finally, there is the (direct) evidence of Cuthbert Burbage’s
answer in 1635 to a petition in which he declares that he and his
brother Richard purchased the lease of the Blackfriars theatre in
1608, in partnership with “men Players, which were Heminges, Condell,
Shakspeare, etc.” (Note the spelling of this Shakespeare, by the
way.) No question here but that this Shakespeare was an actor.
(16) Hardly worth adding except to be as complete as possible is the
fact that various records indicate that a William Shakespeare lived in
or near the theatre district for many years. This is the weakest of
corroborating evidence for his having been an actor—but still
corroborating evidence. It includes notes in the London municipal tax-
collectors’ records and the Langley Writ, which details a quarrel in
or around the theatre districts of London that Shakespeare got
entangled in. At least one of the others named in the writ was
involved in the theatre business, I might add.
> > But what about the people who would be able to see that
> > Polonius is Burghley,
> You have to see the play performed. How many
> recorded performances do you think there were?
Your idea that every performance would have been recorded is insane.
We don't have records, as far as I know, of ANY play's being performed
more than a few times. The play has been famous as long as we have
responses on paper to it. It is absurd to believe an acting company
would not have performed it many times.
> OR you'd have to read the play -- with a clear
> head and a lot of intelligence. Since you'd KNOW
> that no one would have dared to criticise the
> fairly-recently-dead much-respected counsellor
> to the Great Queen Bess, you would not begin
> to see this reading.
There would be morons just like you who'd see it, Paul, and some of
them would be hostile to the government, so would reveal it. If, on
the other hand, you had to be very intelligent to see from the printed
text that Polonius was a satire on Burghley, why couldn't the play be
performed without giving that away? Do you think it would be hard for
an actor to avoid making Polonius look bad--to show him just as the
printed text shows him?
> Look at the difficulties so-
> called 'intelligent' modern Strats (and most anti-
> Strats, such as Marlites) have with the idea.
> And they have seen numerous highly-skilled
> performances and read the play many times,
> in a context where there is effectively a whole
> industry devoted to its interpretation.
You are saying it was OBVIOUS that Polonius was Burghley. Now you're
saying it would not have been noticed even by intelligent people.
> > and hate the English government?
> > How is the hoax protected from them? Why wouldn't
> > they try to find out what was going on, and find the
> > invisibility of the alleged author strange?
> Take a look around you, and remember that then
> there were next-to-no performances, and only a
> few very expensive printed copies. Imagine a
> David Webb or a Peter Groves in such a society.
> They're as thick as two short planks in this one.
> Then they'd have difficulty finding employment as
> shit-shovellers in a stable.
The facts are against you. The quartos were not that expensive, and
you have no evidence that there were few performances of the
Shakespeare plays, and no reply to the fact that title-pages claimed
they were performed at the Globe or other theatres were lies.
> > What would keep some of them from sneaking into
> > Stratford and getting by Greene and learning The Truth?
> Plain ordinary stupidity (vide Groves or Webb)
> plus the time, trouble, expense, and willingness
> to believe in something no one around them did
> -- i.e. all quite unthinkable. They'd have to take
> a couple of weeks off from their occupations as
> shit-shovellers to get to Stratford and back. There
> is no way that they could have afforded it.
Nonsense. Londoners went to Stratford for other reasons. Why would
they not look up Shakespeare on the side? Also, there were known
Catholic plotters in Stratford. How could they not known about
Shakespeare and figured out what was going on, and revealed in in one
or more of their pamphlets? Also, there were Stratfordians in
London. How would they never be asked about Shakespeare, and why
wouold no one make anything of their answers?
> > Another involved ordinary intelligent people who like plays
> > and wonder about a man called Shakespeare and said to
> > be an actor in the King's Men
> Who ever said he was an actor in the King's Men?
Who ever said Oxford was literate? Who wasn't lying to keep the
masses fromknowing such a high-ranking noble could be a moron?
> > but no one has ever seen on stage. How would they
> > know that it would be impolite to say anything about it?
> One of your problems is that you imagine most
> of the Stratfordian mythos is a reflection of true
> historical fact.
No, I KNOW that most of the belief in Shakespeare is based on
documents not shown to have been invalid by experts in that kind of
thing. Your assertions that they are invalid, although confirmed by
you yourself, don't count with me.
> > Another huge problem is that it would be so much easier
> > just to hire an genuine literate actor to pretend to be a
> > front
> Crazy. Think of some modern actor (e.g. Tom Cruise
> or Brad Pitt), and imagine him claiming to be a great
> poet and playwright -- and being able to put on a
> front in the presence of those who knew him well.
Right. No actor could pull it off. Because the most air-headed
actors you can think of might not have been able to. I think Dustin
Hoffman would have had no trouble doing it. He could have studied
Oxford, or some other actual writer. All he'd had to do is be shy
about talking about his writing, but occasionally do something
writerlike the way all good actors get into character.
> > --and figure out a way for the truth to come out later--
> > ten years after the True Author died should work for any
> > sane hoaxster; but SOMEtime after he died.
> Ten years would not do. The threat was to the
> monarchy and aristocracy, especially by those
> of a Puritan disposition. Catholics were also a
> problem. James would have squashed the whole
> thing if it threatened his power and influence or
> that of his sons and grandsons.
So you say. But what you consider obvious allusions to the court of
Elizabeth would be soon forgotten.
> >> How would they know?
> > By going to the man with the name. Or his daughter,
> > after going to the monument spoken of in the First Folio.
> They'd go to Stratford (where the 2012 Olympics
> are to be held) and ask to see the monument.
> Having met puzzlement there, they might try
> Stony-Stratford on Watling Street (another few
> days of travelling). After failing there, they'd
> likely have run out of time, money and energy.
> Paul.- Hide quoted text -
Puzzlement? If they asked to see the monument to Shakespeare? You're
crazy. We have documentary evidence that people went to Stratford and
were taken to the monument by a curate (or something). The curate
even told stories about Shakespeare. And, remember, his NAME was on
it. And almost everyone in the town went weekly to the church the
monument was in.