If all of these remarkable works had been published anonymously between c. 1577 and 1654, scholars would long ago have gathered them together, as the works of one man.1 A gifted writer who began as a adolescent with The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth c. 1577.2 As evidence for this they would cite FV's remarkable lack of vocabulary (Types) and its absence of sexual humor and innuendo.3 Judging from the Kentish locales and the domesticity of a cobbler's home, one named "John," they would have guessed him the son of a cobbler who lived and worked in Kent, perhaps in Canterbury were Henry IV lies buried. Based on allusions to the "schools" of Canterbury and the writer's matriculation to his "University," evidenced in the Timon, ms., where he is taunted as a cobbler's son, they would have suspected him a student at the famous King's School, in Canterbury, and the holder of some sort of scholarship for bright but poorer scholars. A scholarship like the Parker Scholarship, left by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Mathew Parker.
They would have unanimously rejected the false and misleading advertisements of the First Folio, which implied that the rustic actor was the Author. The rejection would have been predicated on the verifiable falseness of its other claims, particularly its claims previously published plays had been reset from manuscript sources and that fair copies had been found for all the 36 plays included in the Folio.4 Some philosophers would have pointed out, because of this magic number and numerous other parallels, an intentional connection was being drawn to Plato's dramatic dialogues, which Plato held to 36.5 These same Platonic scholars would have concluded along with Harold Bloom, that Falstaff was deliberately drawn as an Elizabethan Socrates. Drawn by a university wit, who commanded the Greek to have read of his life and ordeals, since Plato had not yet been translated into English. A few familiar with these things, would have pointed to the remarkable library of John Gresshop, the headmaster of the King's School, which contains the bulk of Shakespeare's classical and neoclassical knowledge. Gresshop's library would have been accessible to scholars of the school.5a
In tandem with this, the actor's curious lack of an intellectual life or circle would have been cited as support.6 English scholars would have been joined by political historians who would have pointed out that the Actor's immunity from arrest, during those repressive times, remains prima facie evidence that he was not supposed the Author by the Crown and its minions.7 They would have cited Dr John Ward, who lived in Stratford and knew the Actor's daughters, that the Actor's role in this hoax was limited to producing or supply "ye stage with 2 plays a year", for which he had been paid well enough he "spent at the rate of a 1,000L. a year, as I have heard." Ward reports he "lacked art" meaning, Harrison tells us of a similar phrase in 1 Henry VI, that he "was without book learning."
With all this in mind, most of them would have guessed him Christopher Marlowe. A few of them would, no doubt, point to the brilliant aural puns that open Julius Caesar. Where an old cobbler is allowed to say he "mends old soles" and "works with awl," the puns being "souls" and "all." The unique dramas are clearly, upon inspections, cobbled together layer after layer from primary materials. Materials that were well beyond the reach of most subjects. To support the case for Marlowe, they would have cited Queen Elizabeth I.'s rant about the author of Richard II having been one that had forgotten God and one who was suspected of being about to forget his benefactors, since Marlowe was the only author who fits this narrow profile.7a Having come this far, they would have pointed out that Shakespeare suggests Marlowe as the author of Richard II in Hamlet, where he also lets slip that the Poet and the actor were two different people, capable of going to "cuffs" over the authorship question.
From this it would have been concluded that a small circle of Elizabethans, made Jacobeans by Elizabeth's death and James' coronation, had connected these matchless works to the lowly Actor, seven years after his death, in hopes of preventing a full inquiry into Marlowe's actual authorship.8 Marlowe, who all now know, was headed to Scotland on dynastic affairs, acting for the Cecils, in 1593. A clear trail in the plays leads to and from Scotland, one that begins in Marlowe's Edward II, as pointed out by Charles Normand in his essay " 'What Passions Call thee these?" Edward II and James VI," in Christopher Marlowe and English Renaissance Culture. Evidenced in Midsummer's Night's Dream, Hamlet and Macbeth, as shown by Professor Lillian Winstanley nearly a century ago. jcb
Part of this plan required the orphaning or abandonment of the Sonnets and the other autobiographic and, thus, incriminating poems, which pointed away from the Actor and towards a hidden Poet and Translator of enormous powers, who had been scandalized c. 1593, appeared to die, from a "knife" wound to his "brow," with his body supposedly tossed into a "common grave:"
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
And so should you, to love things nothing worth. (72)
One who lived the afterlife of a diplomatic exile only to return to haunt his family under the name of "Will."
Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there,
And made myself a motley to the view,
Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear,
Made old offenses of affections new;
Most true it is that I have looked on truth
Askance and strangely: but by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth, (110)
They would have deduced from these works that he was a cobbler's son, who had lived in Kent, more than likely Canterbury, and went off to the University about 1580, as evidenced by the Timon, ms., where he began to translate the Elegies at a considerable risk to his life, "my death endite." The Timon, ms., mentions the "schools" of Canterbury and the Cinque Ports of Kent and alludes, unmistakably, to the return of Sir Francis Drake in 1580 so both its provenance and its date are internally secure.9 Equally as secure, internally, is his status as a cobbler's son, "go home boy and mend old shoes," is the taunt repeatedly tossed at him. After the remarkable rediscovery of an Elizabethan portrait of a young Cambridge scholar, found in debris left from the remodeling of the Master's Lodge at Corpus Christi College, in 1953, scholars of these matters would have pointed out that variants of the unique personal trope found on that Cambridge portrait, have been cleverly woven into most, if not all, of these remarkable texts.10
The motto reads, "Quod me nutrit, me desruit" it and the painting are dated 1585 and he sitter's age is given as 21. A variant of it leads off the Sonnets, where it runs, "But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel." In the early Arden of Faversham, set in the Kentish home town of the Poet's father, he notes "a woman's love is like the lighting flash, that in bursting forth consumes itself." In 1 Henry VI, it surfaces in the lines, "power is like the little circles in water that in spreading forth disperses to naught." Or words to this effect.
In the Cambridge portrait the Latin translates as "that which nourishes me, destroys me," a solid mach with the lines from the Timon, ms., written four or five years earlier, "with ink that's black on paper white, morning noon and eke at night, my fate my life my death endite." From this evidence alone scholars would have internal evidence to prove the writer and poet to have been Christopher Marlowe, who was the Parker Scholar of the correct age and dates, and would have concluded his portrait was taken from a place of prominence c. 1593, when Marlowe was falsely accused of heresy by John Whitgift's minions and forced to fake his death.11 It was soon plastered over as wallboard, as lumber was not to be wasted, only to be exposed during a drizzle in 1953 and spotted, luckily, by a now nameless undergraduate student, to whom the world owes the face of the young Shakespeare.
From these remarkable works, particularly the early ones, they would have supposed he came from a Kentish family overloaded with women. One run by a woman named "Katherine" or Kate and a quarrelsome father named "John" who was "always in extremes." His sisters, no doubt, were name Jane, Dorothy and Margaret, as we can guess from Lucerne and Henry IV and VI. They would have deduced from the sonnets (and from the plays themselves) the scandal, the faked death, the exile, his lifelong desire to be repatriated.12 They would have laid bare his longtime affair with a blond woman whose easy virtues made her seem dark and in whose bay all men seemed, to him, to have ridden or anchored, "Be anchored in the bay where all men ride." (137) They might have guessed he returned to London as her lover using the alias Sir Matthew Lister. They would have known or guessed Mary and Christopher had a son among the nobility with the initials W. H. and thus, believed their boy to have been young William Herbert, given the dates and the added measure of the FF's dedication, which address him via his title "the Earl of Pembroke."13 When the lists were tallied they would know it for certain, because only William Herbert, the Third Earl of Pembroke, commanded those initials during that time.13a
From this they would then have guessed he was friends and lovers with Herbert's mother, the Countess of Pembroke. He would have known, either through her or before her, her two brothers, Sir Philip and Sir Robert Sidney. This they would argue would explain his dedication to her in 1592 of amours Latin love poems he attributed to his mentor, Thomas Watson, shortly after Watson's death. The would prove the linkage by citing Sonnet 76, which uses Watson's name as an acrostic:
Why is my verse so barren of new pride?
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new found methods and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
For as the Sun is daily new and old,
So is my love still telling what is told.
They would point to the parallels between Mary and Venus and then to the pledge of future patronage found in Venus and Adonis and deduce that their illicit son, William Herbert, was the intended victim:14
Venus salutes him with this fair good morrow:
"Oh thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a son that sucked an earthly mother,
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other."
Indeed they would cite, no doubt, the veiled threat in the sonnets as proof the Poet may have on occasions resorted to family pressure to obtain that light:
For if I should despair, I should grow mad,
And in my madness might speak ill of thee;
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be. (140)
They would have supposed he witnessed the Massacre in Paris, with Faunt and Sidney; and, decades later, had some sort of relationship to Prince Henry, building Midsummer Night's Dream around his baptism and ending his major dramatic thrust with the young man's unexpected death in 1612.15 They would have concluded, from this and from the then secret and often encrypted diplomatic materials evidence in these works, that he continued to work in the English Secret Service.16 By this means they would quickly have connected him to Nicholas Faunt.17 Faunt's dates don't work out as the Poet, though he was was from Canterbury and his father's name was John. Worse Faunt's father was a "singing man" or choral master and not a cobbler. So they would have guess him a friend of Faunt's. A friend on a parallel life track. Perhaps someone Faunt introduced to these masters and matters?
Scholars would, given the date trail and publication record, have guessed he out lived the FF, was responsible for that collection, and went on writing and translating until about 1654, when the last work said Marlowe's appeared on the same day the first work said Shakespeare's had appeared on in 1593, memorializing the birth date of William Herbert and the poet's brother, Thomas Marlowe, the 8/18 April 1580.18
They would have traced, in the end, some 250 or so works to him, plays, translations, political and theological works, history books, military works, travel and lifestyle offerings, additional poetry and novels.19 Or, on the average four works a year for sixty years. From this they would have concluded that his literary life was not unlike that of Lope de Vega...noting that both were eventually cloistered and ordained....if anything they would have concluded that Lope out produced him 4 to 1, since Lope's total canon hovers around a thousand works. They would have tagged him as the translator or author of the English version of Don Quixote and numerous similar works.20 Form this and the Valladolid records, they would have eventually guessed Marlowe was the author, as the only cobbler's son at the University in 1580, as evidenced by the Timon, ms, and his name on the Valladolid records c. 1600 or while Cervantes was also there.21 They would have seen his hand in the King James translation of the Bible and in the lovely iambic pentameter rhymed version of the New Testament which he attributed to the courtesan Emilia Lanier, Rex Judaeorum, and in "Hugh Stanford's" De Desentus, an equally heretical theological work dealing with Christ's decent into Hell and continuing the Marprelate attacks on English Bishops, which appeared in 1608, shortly after "Sanford's" death. Many would have guessed him, as Bacon seems to have done, Marprelate.21a
They surely would have tied down his travels for the Secret Service, his time in Scotland, with King James VI, and before that with Lady Arbella Stuart, "for a space of three years and a half," Spain, France and Italy, Venice and Vienna.21 They would have found the Privy Council's entail to Cambridge, proving him in good standing with the Queen and Lord Burghley and later the records of his death at the end of May 1593, timed conveniently to coincide with a solar eclipse.22 They would have, given the both the inquest record and his reappearance in the post 1593 record, concluded it faked.23 They would have supposed he lived successfully under numerous names or aliases, maintained relationships with many of his former friends. They would have pointed to the appearance of Hero and Leander in 1598 as proof he had been quietly repatriated behind the scenes, since Walsingham could otherwise not have tolerated the connection. Upon his return to England in 1603/4, back from Valladolid and Italy, they would cite his pardon in the Rolls of Canterbury as evidence of his public clemency, under James I and the rise of several of his friends, under James, as evidence of his personal influence on James.24 They would quickly deduce from Henry IV that he had become the tutor to Prince Henry Stuart, in Scotland, working for the Earl of Mar and, as always, for the Cecils.
They would have deduced the principals of the Shakespeare hoax were Edward Blount, the publisher, who in 1623 turned up with 16 priceless manuscripts, including The Tempest and Macbeth, hitherto fore unpublished, Southampton, the patron, along with the Sidney/ Herberts, who he seems to have blackmailed and who must have cut a deal with him to leave out of the First Folio the incriminating Sonnets and other poems, the Walsinghams and the Faunts. They would have connected him with James I., with the Earl of Mar, James' keeper of Prince Henry, "he is the finest man to come into my note," with the Cecils, father and son, with the mysterious Sir Lewis Lewknor, James's Master of Ceremonies, who claimed Marlowe's M.A. from Cambridge,25 with Sir Henry Wotton and his Chaplin William Bedinfield, who also translated the Bible, the Earl of Corke, a former classmate, Sir Edward Coke, Northumberland, Strange, Hugh Sanford, George Chapman, Thomas Heywood, John Hayward, Benjamin Carrier, James' Chaplin and a former classmate, John Penry and John Greenwood, Cambridge friends and classmates, and Francis Meres and Hugh Holland, also friends from his Cambridge days. His female connections were equally comprehensive.26 He knew Elizabeth I. as evidenced by the Privy Council's entail of 1587 and of the notes to her about his "death" in 1593, Queen Anne, Lady Arbella Stuart, the Countesses of Pembroke, Northumberland, Kent, and Cumberland. Lady Talbot, etc. Connecting the dots and following up on the acrostic to Thomas Watson, found in sonnet 76, they would have known him the friend of Thomas Watson, as they knew Marlowe to have been, and supposed Watson's influence to be stronger than might otherwise be supposed. Evidence for this would eventually surface in the Sonnets, which would be proven to have been patterned on Watson's, including numerous hidden cabalistic conceits.27 Eventually scholars would detect a Masonic presence to the First Folio.28 Everything else is minutia.
1. The first modern suggestions that Marlowe and Shakespeare were the same person came to us anonymous in The Gentleman's Magazine, perhaps offered by the young Alexander Dyce. There the anonymous writer supposed Marlowe's works were Shakespeare's missing early plays, meaning Marlowe was a pseudonym for the young Shakespeare. Once it turned out Marlowe's biography connected him not only to his own works, but to Shakespeare's, this proposition was reversed. Dr Mendenhaul working in the late 1800s and early 1900 was the first to prove a significant stylistic overlap between these "two" writers.
2.Louis Ule, ....; John Baker....
4. Sir W. W. Greg...
5. The City and Man, Leo Strauss; Cop'd Hills Towards Heaven, Shakespeare and the Classical Polity, Howard White; Philosophers and Kings, Leon Craig, Shakespeare Invention of the Human, Harold Bloom and my essays on this topic in these pages.
6. See Christopher Marlowe and Canterbury, William Urry, 1988.
6. Twain, Greenwood, Price, etc.
7. Hayward, Bacon, Hamlet, Baker; etc. Hostage to Fortune, negative...
7a.Lambarde, Chambers, SL, 176-7.
8. The principles of this cartel would have been identified as Edward Blount, the publisher; Southampton, William and Philip Herbert, and Thomas Walsingham the dedicatees. Safely behind them in the second circle would have been the Cecils and various friends of Marlowe including Nicholas Faunt, Benjamin Carrier, Lewis Lewknor, Richard Boyle, Lord High Treasure of Ireland and the famous Earl of Cork and writers and intellectuals who would have included William Warner, Thomas Harriot, John Hayward, and Francis Meres. See Read...., Handover....Nicholl and Haynes...
10. Hoffman, Wraight, Nicholl, Baker, etc. Robert's case that the portrait has not been proven Marlowe's may be dismissed as deliberately misleading. Link
11. Shakespeare reminds us of Whitgift's role in all this by a marvelous play on word in Hamlet. Link.
12. Webster, Wraight, Farey, Baker, links...
13. Boas; Sir E. K. Chambers,
14. Baker...; John Aubrey...
15. Lillian Winstanley, Hamlet and the Scottish Succession, Harrison, Norman, CMERC, Baker..link
16. Ibid.; Scott
17. DNB, Urry, Roberts, Baker...link...
18. Baker; link...Date Trail...
19. Doris Wilbur; SRV...
20. Baker; Hotson, Bacon; links...
21. Baker, link...
21a.Bacon, Read, Joffen, etc.
22. Brooke, Hotson, Baker, Distant Suns...link
23. Nearly every authority has concluded the circumstances were not as they were reported to have been. Link Deptford and Burghley...htms.
26. See the dedicatees of Slave Deus Rex Judaeorum, where he hints personal friendships with fifteen noble ladies, including three queens (Elizabeth I., Anne, Elizabeth Stuart) and Lady Arbella Stuart, "who long I have known, but not so well as I desired..."
27. Peter Bull, Baker...links..
28. Bacon cite; Wraight, Donna Murphy, Peter Bull, etc.
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