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Whose Grave Was It? Or did Marlowe die in Deptford?Presented at The Shakespeare Authorship Studies Conference on the 8th of April 2005:

Major Points:

[ ]    Marlowe appears to die just before Shakespeare's name appears in print in Venus &     Adonis, which sets in Kent, Marlowe's county, and deals, obliquely, with Marlowe's patrons the Sidney/Herberts; 

[ ]    Marlowe and his powerful friends had compelling reasons to fake his death; 

The page scanned above, from Conyers Read's book, proves the Cecils had done everything possible to save the Marprelate suspects, John Greenwood and John Penry, both friends of Marlowe's.  They surely would have done even more to extract Marlowe from the clutches of Whitgift, since unlike these two, Marlowe was their MVP and was "on duty" in their secret service. There is no question Burghley released Marlowe on the 20th of May or that Marlowe was supposedly killed in what both Haynes and Nicholl call a "Burghley safe-house." 

[ ]    Killers don't stay with their victims after the fact, the only sensible reason for remaining with a body, in that age, would be to identify it; 

[ ]    The forensic evidence of the death is questionable;  the Official Period records suggest similar problems;

[ ]    Academic theories about it prove factually incorrect; 

[ ]    Shakespeare signals Marlowe survived Wit's Wednesday;

[ ]    Hamlet (link) suggests Marlowe the author of Richard II, as did Elizabeth; 

[ ]    Marlowe surfaces in the post 1593 records;

[ ]    Marlowe's publication record links him to his classmates until 1633 and continues to 1654 when it ends on the 8/18 April or on the same day Shakespeare's began and ended on, in 1593 and 1634.  It marks the birth of Thomas Marlowe, the poet's brother, and William Herbert, likely his illicit son;

[ ]    Marlowe's candidacy does not require the rearrangement of the chronological record, with the exception of Marlowe's date of death; Marlowe's survival explains all the vexations of the Sonnets and the plays;

[ ]    Marlowe's friendship circle conclusively links him to both canons;

[ ]    Marlowe's canon "organically" matures into Shakespeare's: Aenaeus and Dido morphs into Romeo and Juliet, Dr Faustus matures into Dr Prospero  or The Tempest, while Edward II becomes Richard II.

[ ]    Marlowe's "stylometric" overlap is essentially identical with Shakespeare's. 

Louis Ule was the first person to study, empirically, the entire canons of both Marlowe and Shakespeare, which collectively run to a bit over a million words.  Ule's methodology took no samples.  It studied both canons in their entirety.   As the chart above shows, the stylometric overlaps or "distances" for the "two" authors is frequently closer between the the two canons than within either canon.  The empirical conclusion is that there is no significant difference between the authors in their style.  If they were two people, they wrote so much alike that empirical computer studies cannot separate them.  For a fuller treatment click here.

Web link: this is:


Whose Grave Was It? Or did Marlowe die in Deptford?

Oxfordians have many remarkable theories, including some, that suppose Oxford out lived his own recorded life (1550 -1604).  These theories suggest Oxford continued to write until he reached his eighties or nineties, even though he had no compelling reason for such a charade.  So the proposition others contrived similar hoaxes, for very compelling reasons, during that less sophisticated time, should not be judged too far afield for consideration.

In the age before modern forensics, the identification of a cadaver and, from it, the means and time of death, were by no means certain. 

Criminal substitutions and contrivances were possible, if not commonplace.  After all "death's a great disguiser."    

Shakespeare goes so far as to teach such ruses are also moral. When the law miscarries it becomes our duty, as friends and countrymen of its would be victims, to act outside the law, as demonstrated in Measure for Measure and Massacre at Paris:

Who among us would not now work on the "Underground Railroad" to free English Studies from the pitfalls of Stratfordianism? 

Indeed Shakespeare several times has dramatic persona return from a nearly fatal brush with death, even one others had mistaken for it.  So many times, one should consider false death one of the common or repetitive themes of the canon, along with the repatriation of the returning exile, infidelity and mistaken identity. 

Fabricated deaths are less common in the cannon.  However it becomes essential to note Falstaff contrived his death during the battle of Shrewsbury, well enough to fool Prince Hal. While doing it Falstaff asks if "he who died o' Wednesday" has any honor? To which he answers "No."  (1H4, V.i.138)

The day is important to our narrative for it is was "upon Wednesday in Wheeson week" that we later learn Falstaff was bashed in the head and left for dead, as recounted by the Hostess.  She testified she’d saved his life by binding his wounds and in return Falstaff had promised to marry her. (2H4, II,i,92-112) 

Importantly this proves the same day Marlowe is said to have died on, from similar wounds, 30 May 1593, "Wits Wednesday." And thus, Marlovians argue, this must be considered a topical allusion to Marlowe's death or near death experience.

To cap this off "Shakespeare" gives the reason for the attack on Falstaff's head by Prince Henry, as "For likening his Father to a Singing Man of Windsor.."   (II.i.97-8) Thomas Morley was then the famous singing man at Windsor. 

So this "deciphers" or unravels as a hint that Prince Henry's parentage was tied up with his "tutor" and a famous signing man named "Morley,"  who was bashed in the head on Wits Wednesday by the Prince and left for dead. Marlovians love it. 

Harold Bloom suggests in Shakespeare Invention of the Human he cannot fathom the source of the "murderous tension" between Prince Hal and Falstaff.  In e-mail correspondence between us, I suggested it was because Shakespeare wants us to suppose Prince Hal was Falstaff's illicit son.  Bloom allowed this would explain the question, but was not happy with the suggestion.  When he asked for addition proof, I pointed out the "foregrounding" contains the solution, since Falstaff's first line to Hal is the one where he calls him "my lad..."  Later in 2 Henry IV, he says to Prince Henry , "Ha! A bastard son of the King's? And art not thou Poins his brother?" (II.iii.307-8)  After observing on Prince Harry's good qualities which Falstaff says "he did interit of his father..." he concludes, "if I had a thousands sons, the first humane principle I would teach them should be to forswear thin potations, and to addict themselves to sack."( iv.iii.133)

For Marlovians these allusions are of particular interest for two reasons.  First they hint at the period Prince Henry, the son of James VI of Scotland, gossiped illegitimate.  Second because they are taken up, more or less "whole cloth," from the source of Henry IV, the anonymous juvenile play, The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth.  That play actually gives the date the 20th/30th of May 1593 nearly in the clear and sets it in "Deptford, Kent," the village Marlowe is said to have died in, on that same day.  This, Marlovians point out,  is less in the nature of an allusion and more in the nature of a reference to Marlowe's near death experience, since the anonymous playwright makes is perfectly clear that the Prince's cobbler spy survives and surfaces in the home of John Cobbler, the name and occupation of Marlowe's father.  Since Famous Victories is the source of the quarrel between the author and Lord Cobham via his link to Sir John Oldcastle who appears in the plays a "Jockey" it is important to point out that the Cobham or Brooks lived just outside Canterbury and were well known to the Marlowe family:

In any case the allusions in Henry IV Famous Victories prove the Authors knew about Marlowe's alleged death and were signaling their audiences, who also knew about it, that Marlowe, like Falstaff, survived. (FV was originally published in 1594, so when the text reads on "the 20th of May last past," that means 1593.  Since the 20th of May was also the 30th, the date is thus clarified, at least for period audiences who were familiar with the two date problem.

Stratfordians who in large are ignorant of this historic and bibliographic background miss it. 

Worse, as we saw Professor Stanley Wells do in the documentary, Much Ado About Something, they accuse rival champions of claiming the text contains messages only the future could unravel.  Actually the opposite is true.  The text contains topical allusions that were only understood by period audiences.  Modern audiences and Stratfordian scholars, without this background, must learn it or miss these important allusions, as Oxfordians know only too well.

For example, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, must be modeled on Burghley’s brother-in -aw, Sir John Cheek.  Aguecheek, like Falstaff, was bashed in the head (in Twelfth Night) and left for dead, before returning, unexpectedly, to the land of the living. Earlier he is accused by Maria as being a street fighter and "narrowly" missing death by a "gust," as Marlowe did in the Bradley Duel, when he was miraculously saved by his friend Dr Thomas Watson. 

Aguecheek, who says he has "the strangest mind i' the world," plays the viola de gamboys, is said to speak "three or four languages without a book," and to dote on "masques and revels sometimes altogether," is best described as a traveling Master of Ceremonies.  He is a dead ringer for Marlowe, whose musical abilities were a requirement for his Parker scholarship at Cambridge.  

Scholars now have the parallel lives of Nicholas Faunt and Sir Thomas Overbury, as cases in point.  They show us what Marlowe was being groomed to become: a secretary or diplomatic attaché for the rich and famous. Just as these two men were groomed.

Indeed the Sonnets, which as we must all remember, weren’t actually published until 1609, openly suggest the author has faked his death and returned to life using the nom de plume of William or rather, "Will" (136).  Unless, that is, we are to suppose he was resurrected from that "common grave" into which his name and body had gone (72).  They also attribute to Watson the impulse for all the works, via the acrostic in sonnet 76.


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 fell 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.

This Watson/Poet relationship is something that was possible between Marlowe and Watson, who were friends, but not between Watson and Shakespeare, who weren't.  Indeed Watson died well before Shakespeare's name entered print. 

In Measure for Measure the author chortles that "death’s a great disguiser." With all these hints, it certainly seems reasonable the author may have faked his death and come back to haunt us as William Shakspere. Now the 64 thousand dollar question is was it Oxford who did this or Marlowe?


Did Marlowe Die in 1593?

Clearly if Marlowe died in 1593, he cannot have written Shakespeare.  

But did Marlowe die? With this question in mind I’d like to take us back to May 1593.  My purpose is to provide us with a quick look at why and how Marlovians suppose Marlowe and his powerful friends appear to have faked his death that spring.  Marlowe's known friends were extraordinarily powerful.  They included the Queen, the Cecils, Northumberland, the Stranges, the Pembrokes, the Sidneys, Raleigh, Oxford, Southampton, Cheney, Thomas Walsingham, Anthony Bacon and Nicholas Faunt, to name a dozen or so.  I've collected paintings of many of them which appear at the end of this essay.  

Marlowe's friend and publisher, Edward Blount, who ended up with 20 of "Shakespeare's" manuscripts, must also have been a principle in this dangerous charade.  We should remember that Blount also published a stream of anonymous diplomatic translations, during this period, that were dedicated to the principles of the Shakespeare hoax, to Walsingham, Pembroke and Southampton.  Blount also published Don Quixote, which bore the initials, "T. S." later said "Thomas Shelton," now a proven nom de plume.  I mention it here because it is comprised of the names of Marlowe's patrons, Thomas Walsingham and Lady Audrey Shelton, Walsingham's wife.   Also because the post 1593 "Christopher Marlowe," who we shall be mentioning later, overlapped at Valladolid with Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. Blount's dedication to Walsingham of Marlowe's Hero and Leander which runs, "we think not ourselves discharged of the duty we owe to our friend when we have brought his breathless body to the earth" smacks of "an actual memory shared," namely of Marlowe's burial, which took place 2 June 1593.

Since the grave went unmarked it must have been a sham.

Our first biographic point notes the record establishes that Marlowe was working for Lord Burghley, as far back as 1587, since it proves Lord Burghley who extricated him from his troubles at Cambridge.


Not Walsingham.  All should be familiar with the Privy Council's entail that certified Marlowe's honesty and "faithful dealing" in "affairs" of which the Dons were "ignorant".  Please notice the use of the word "affairs."  It's plural.   Since he was employed in private affairs "touching the benefit of his country," affairs conducted "beyond the seas," it is certainly possible Marlowe made a journey about this time to Navarre.  Marlowe's Cambridge record proves he was AWOL for at least 78 1/2 weeks during his seven years there.  It is as certain as these things can be that he was attending to the Queen's business the entire time, as Faunt had done previously. Since the records for one year are missing, Marlowe was likely AWOL for about two years of his time at Cambridge.

Indeed Marlowe reports himself well connected to Lord Strange.  Strange was also the Earl of Derby or, in this case, Sir Henry Stanley, who died on the 25th of September 1593, or four months after Marlowe's problems and, some suppose, as a consequence of them. (Alan Haynes and Charles Nicholl)  Stanley had been employed both at home "an abroad...on...high undertakings...," like Marlowe, and seems to have visited Navarre, with an aid who might have been Marlowe, though some suppose this was William Strange, his son who was about Marlowe's age, for whom a Robert Browne later worked.  Berowne is a character in Love's Labor's Lost, set in Navarre. So there is a strong Marlowe connection between the play and events in Marlowe's life.

Burghley repeats this Cambridge favor in 1592 when Marlowe is shipped home to his custody from Flushing.  He is called  "the scholar" by Sir Robert Sidney.  He was charged with "uttering" a "Dutch shilling." Counterfeiting, at that time, was a capital crime.  The record shows Burghley had dismissed pending capital charges against Marlowe in 1592.  Moreover it was the Cecils who were planning, in the spring of 1593, to dispatch Marlowe to "be with" as Kyd put it that same month, "the King of Scots."  Kyd was the first to "leak" this secret assignment.

Charles Nicholl reverses himself on this issue, albeit under fire, as we can see in his essay  "At Middleborough" in the book pictured below (CMERC).  Nicholl's reversal is one of the more remarkable in the record.  Nicholl has to allow that Marlowe wasn't actually arrested in Flushing for counterfeiting, but sent home in "protective custody."  Given the dates it was after his identity was exposed by Charles Paget in October 1591 when he was in Brussels looking into a possible marriage between Arbella and the Duke of Parma's son. (Nicholl, we shall see in dealing with Marlowe's sudden death, is the scholar who proposed a severed artery might have carried an air embolism back to Marlowe's lungs.)

As a scholar with a Cambridge MA, Marlowe was employed by Burghley to tutor Lady Arbella Stuart. The proof of this "high employment" comes from a dispatch sent to Burghley, from the Countess of Shrewsbury, then Elisabeth Talbot, or Bess of Hardwick, as she was called. Burghley, of course was Master of Wards, and had been charged by Elizabeth with Arbella’s education, "Look to her well; she will one day be even as I am."  In modern language Elizabeth was implying Arbella was to be her successor. 

(Hardwick Hall, signed, "C.M.")  

Bess names Lady Arbella’s "attendant" and "reader" as "one Morley," a common form of Marlowe’s name, in that blessedly loose age. Orthographically loosely, that is. The dispatch has long been known.  It was first pointed out by E. St John Brooks in1937. But thought too vague to identify the poet, Christopher Marlowe.  Nicholl, in his appendix "False Trails..." concludes, "I cannot call him Marlowe because I want him to be Marlowe." (340-42). However it was noticed in 1997, (Baker, N&Q) that Bess stipulates her "Morley" had been "damnified by leaving the University," in order to tutor Arbella, which she reports he had been doing for a "space of three years and a half." Since the date the dispatch to William Cecil is known, 21 September 1592, it is easy to extrapolate Arbella’s "Morley" must have left a university c. 1588/9. 

This piece of hard evidence significantly limits the field.  It proved a relatively simply matter to discover only the poet, Christopher Marlowe, left a university setting about that time. Marlowe received his MA in the summer of 1587 and may well have continued on, perhaps as Southampton’s still unnamed tutor. (Southampton, Rowse) In any case he is the only Morley or Marlowe who left a university in either England or Scotland c. 1588. So the identification proves exclusive.

It is of interest Marlowe mentions this assignment in Edward II in a scene between Spenser or Spencer and Baldock, II.i.20-40, where he contrives to have Baldock say he'd read to the niece of the king in hope of advancement only to be sloughed off.  Spenser advices him to "cast the scholar off and learn to court it like a gentlemen."  The scene isn't historical. Additionally, Arbella’s correspondence of Friday, the 4th of March 1602/3 quotes from Lucan’s Pharsalia or The Civil Wars of Rome, which Marlowe translated, "Damnata iam luce ferox."  It is also of note 1 Henry VI appears to contain a non historic scene set inside Hardwick Hall, where Arbella lived as close prisoner. It alludes to the Countess’ famous portrait galley which contained paintings of Talbot. (II.iii.) The record shows 1 Henry VI wasn’t published until 1623, perhaps to protect the identity of the author privileged enough to have enjoyed personal access to that private residence? Privileged enough to know Bess well enough to call her "Thomyris", a woman now famous for her strong will and bad temper.

Bess Talbot, the Countess of Shrewsbury. 

Since Marlowe knew Lady Arbella, he could carry personal information about her to James VI, her first cousin, as part of his 1593 mission to Scotland and along with it assuage James’ suspicion that Arbella might succeed Elizabeth I. Importantly Edward II proves an oblique study of James VI and his homosexual relationship with Lennox. This suggests Marlowe had gone to Scotland, as do lines like Mortimer's  "I must to Scotland." 

("What passions call you these?..." CMERC, 172-197) At the very least, this corroborates that Marlowe enjoyed privileged access to diplomatic correspondence about James and Lennox. The same sort of access was documented, eighty years ago, in Hamlet by Professor Lillian Winstanley. 

Taken in tandem this diplomatic context suggests the author of both Edward II and Hamlet knew James VI and had been to Scotland, as does MND. Even Stratfordians concede that Dream is built around events in Scotland during the summer of 1594. (Harrison) Namely the baptism of Prince Henry, James’ first born.

So there is textual evidence the author of these works had a connection, at the diplomatic level, to James VI and to Scotland. It should be noted the works are related, chronologically, to Prince Henry, since they commence with his conception and end with his tragic death, 18 years later.  It is nearly certain Prince Henry is the object of the Author's observation in The Winter's Tale:

You have an unspeakable comfort of young Prince Maxillius.  He is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.                  I.i.37-40

Scholars know Marlowe was, on the 18th of May, ready to represent the Cecils in Scotland as their projector or proxy and that Locke, a minor English poet, who had found favor with James VI, had been called home at this same period. (Read, 384) Marlovians suggest Marlowe became Prince Henry's tutor, as he was Southampton's and Lady Arbella Stuart's, working closely with the Earl of Mar, John Erskine, for Cecil.

So when domestic circumstances contrived to brand Marlowe a hieratic, after Kyd’s rooms were searched and papers, said by Kyd, under torture, Marlowe’s, were discovered in Kyd's rooms, in the wake of the Dutch Church Libels, the Cecils were left with several choices. They could let the right-winged religious demigods of Elizabeth's domestic junta interrogate Marlowe, exposing, among other things, their Scottish plans; they could kill him before he was tortured; or they could spring Marlowe and then arrange for Marlowe to escape by appearing to die.  This last move would protect their MVP, the man said, by those who knew these things, and who were there at the time, to have been "the highest mind" to "haunt" St. Paul's.  Just the sort of geopolitical mind required for the works of Shakespeare. 

Bottom line: the Cecils had a large and long investment in Marlowe's grooming.  He was the only English intelligencer who they had acknowledged publicly. Cecil and Marlowe overlapped at Cambridge.  It is simply not sensible to suppose they would have abandoned Marlowe to the wolves, when they had it in their power to save him. 

Now it is worth mentioning, because Stratfordians just keep missing it, if the Crown or the Cecils had wanted Marlowe dead at this point, they would have left him in jail and seen to it he died under torture or trying to escape.  Is that clear?  The Crown had a legal means to kill Marlowe.  They were preparing a legal case against him.  He did not need to come to trial in order to die.  

However the record proves Marlowe was unexpectedly released on the 20th of May, released by the Cecils.  He was allegedly killed ten days later, in a Burghley or Cecil safe-house, in Deptford, Kent. Tucker Brooke describes the location as the jumping off point for English agents headed to Scotland.

Letters between Robert Cecil and Burghley on the 21 of May re-enforce their need for a man of Marlowe’s learning as their agent to James’s court. (Read, 384)  Since we don't know where Marlowe was during this period, it is possible Marlowe was already traveling back and forth to Scotland and the Hague to be with Locke and Roydon, during the late winter and early spring of 1592/3. Reporting back to Walsingham on Scottish affairs.

Similar letters to and between the Cecils also assure us the Cecils had attempted to extract both John Greenwood and John Penry from a fate similar to Marlowe’s and failed. (Reed) So they knew they could not act inside the law. The stage was thus set for an extralegal Cecil intervention into dynastic affairs. A dangerous gambit in any political milieu and particularly dangerous then. For one thing, the players must be judged trustworthy.

Here is what Handover reminds us about Arbella and the Cecils in her study The Second Cecil:

There were strong arguments for [Cecil's] policy.  The death of Mary Queen of Scots had left the Catholic with a choice of candidates to succeed Elizabeth.  The plots with which Cecil was concerned in 1594 suggested that the claim of Lord Strange, who had succeeded as Earl of Derby, was highly regarded, and their exposure had the effect of forcing this peer to ratify his allegiance to the Protestant cause. This was a constructive result of the examinations of the plotters, a result that may have been deliberate on the part of the Cecils.  Similarly, in 1595, it would seem that the Earl of Shrewsbury, uncle to the Lady Arbella, was discreetly warned not to meddle in the succession on behalf of his niece or anyone else.  Cecil bore the whole responsibility in this affair.  The Lady herself was still kept at Hardwick, under the hawk-eyed watch of her grandmother.  There can be little doubt that at this period the Cecils were working to simplify and reduce the dangers of a contested succession. (122)

We cannot cut it much closer.  The Cecils were, according to Handover, already well involved in "working to simplify and reduce the dangers of a contested succession"   They had warned off the Talbots.   Which means, they had decided in favor of James VI, at least by 1594 and most probably a year or so earlier.  Indeed by the summer of 1593 James VI began to receive an infusion of English favor which allowed him to solidify his hold on Scotland, which is the oblique theme of Midsummer Night's Dream. (James I, Scott In Dream Theseus is solidifying his rule over Athens, whereas in Scotland, James VI was doing likewise.  Stratfordians have long conceded Dream's subplot concerns the baptism of Prince Henry, which took place mid summer 1594.  James, working with his analog of Philostrate, also worked on preparations for these festivities himself.   

Moreover it was during the spring and summer of 1593 that 200,000 Spanish Crowns headed for Scotland went missing.  This was more than enough to finance the unexpected solidification of James' reign, and the entire Shakespeare hoax. (Alan Hayes,  Invisible Power :The Elizabethian Secret Service)  Here is Professor Hayes in his book The Gunpowder Plot, writing about Marlowe's final days:

Let's hit that note again. "William (sic ~ Henry) Stanley's plot to Kill Elizabeth was thwarted...so closely...it has not even acquired a name for identification." By the way elements of this Stanley (Lord Strange) plot are cleverly woven into Hamlet.  

Nicholl points out they were carried out by a "Cecil projector" calling himself "Lewknor." A Lewknor proves a classmate in Marlowe's King's School and one was a neighbor of Marlowe's father in Faversham.  A "Lewis Lewknor" is later named James' mysterious Master of Ceremonies and will, later yet, falsely claim Marlowe's MA from Cambridge, in order to enter Oxford.  

Lewknor was knighted, out of the blue, by James on the 21 of May 1603, standing next to Marlowe's friend an attorney, John Smith, "for his 'good education and experience' and instruction in foreign languages, on 21 May 1603 at a fee of L 200 a year." See Professor W. R. Streitberger, Edmond Tyllney Master of Revels and Censor of Plays A Descriptive Index to his Diplomatic Manual on Europe.  Curiously Nicholl does not index this name: (The Reckoning, 248)  Tyllney's thousand page manuscript was eventually published under Faunt's name! (See Tanner, Constitutional Documents of England )


Pace.  A peer to whom Marlowe was closely connected, Stanley, was implicated in a plot to kill Elizabeth, at just this time.  Marlowe was an agent for the Cecils (and for Elizabeth) and after Marlowe's troubles, Stanley (Lord Strange) is eliminated, thanks to the efforts of someone calling himself "Lewknor."   The Author of Hamlet weaves all this into his plot. Talk about web of interconnections!

The Bare Facts:

Returning to those all important ten days in May called "Marlowe's liberty."  After Kyd's "confession," orders for Marlowe arrest were issued on the 18th of May 1593.  Marlowe's The Jew of Malta will be registered on this same day one year later, i.e., the 17th of May 1594, the third Friday. Marlowe made his appearance on the 20th, a Sunday, likely without any time in the clink, since the trip to and from Kent to the Court at Nonsuch would have taken two days.  In any case Marlowe was unexpectedly released immediately. Why?

Before we answer that, and while we are here, I should note three works said Shakespeare's, the Sonnets, Anthony and Cleopatra and Pericles, appear on this day in consecutive years, under the hands of different publishers. Marlovians think intentionally so, as reminders of his freedom. Midsummer Night's Dream, surfaced on the 8th of October 1600 or on the day North said the Greeks set aside to honor Theseus on.   Marlowe's Edward II entered on the 6th of July 1593 or on the same day on which its action opens. Many Marlovians believe this an intentional pattern.  It is completed on the 8th of November 1623 when 1 Henry VI entered on the same day its action takes place on, two hundred and one years to the day later.   Someone was tracking the days.

Returning to Marlowe's unexpected liberty.  Curiously Marlowe was not released on "bail," as most authorities report, but a daily appearance requirement.  The legal term is "a daily recognizance bond." One without a termination, by the way.  So Marlowe's bond was not about to expire, as some authorities assert at the end, of ten days.  Marlowe was required to make a daily appearance.

Curiously he does not report back to the Privy Council, daily, as the conditions of his release mandated. Did he make daily appearances? If so why weren't they recorded?  If he had skipped, why wasn't a hew and cry sent out? We don’t know. 

Here's what we do know.  He had failed to make an appearance on that fateful Wednesday, the 30th of May, upon which he is said slain, since we know he was in Deptford from mid-morning until his "death" and the distance back to Court was too far for him to have made an appearance that day.  Yet there is no record of his failure to appear.  So the evidence is in hand to stipulate that Marlowe never returned to the jurisdiction of the Court.  More than likely Lord Burghley vouched for his whereabouts daily.

We also know a friend of Marlowe’s, John Penry, the Protestant martyr, was not so lucky. Penry was not at liberty and his letters to Lord Burghley dated the 26th, the 27th and the 29th track his thoughts. The last one written the day Penry was hanged, begs Burghley to see to his body. 

The site of Penry’s execution, was St Thomas-a- Watering, lying along the old high road to Canterbury, or about three miles from Deptford, Kent. It seems certainly possible Marlowe and his three friends were dispatched, by Burghley, to see after Penry’s body.  Or to say this more clearly, Burghley would have asked Marlowe to see to Penry's body and Marlowe would have picked up his three friends at Sir Thomas Walsingham's manor, Scadbury, about eight miles or so from Deptford, Strand, where Marlowe is said to have died. Together they would have removed Penry's body, under orders from Burghley.

The important thing here is that Penry’s body went missing.  

M. J. Trow in his study, Who Killed Kit Marlowe? claims that Penry's body had its head severed and was then cut into "four pieces" (235) which would preclude it from having been used by Marlowe as his stand-in. To support this preposterous proposition Trow cites a conversation he claims he had with a "Tony Butler," who Trow claims was "Curator of Human History" on the Isle of Wight.  According to Trow, Butler is "an expert in Radical Welsh Puritanism" and told him, "Penry was an enemy of the state and his death would have been as public as possible.  If this is not enough, the single fact that his head was severed and his body cut into four pieces would probably preclude an autopsy."  Not so maintains Professor John Waddington in his book Penry the Pilgrim Martyr (1854, 204) Waddington wrote:

He was led at five, from the prison in the High-Street, Borough, to the fatal spot. A small company of persons, attracted by seeing the gibbet, had collected together.  Penry would have spoken, but the sheriff insisted, that neither in the protestation of his loyalty nor in the avowal of his innocence should he utter a word.  His life was taken and the people were dispersed.  The place of his burial in unknown.

Trow gives his false account to prove Marlovians, "survivalists" as he calls us, are nuts.  But the sad fact is Trow's thesis is simply wrong-footed.  He was much closer to being correct when he wrote, "John Penry could have been substituted for Marlowe, as neither man's face would be as well known as it would today..." (234)  Moreover they were the same age and from the same socio-economic strata. 

Of course it isn't important whose body was used.  Just that someone's was, ala Measure for Measure.  There the Poet dubs him "Ragozine."  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "ragstone" was a rock used at Maidstone, Kent, "for rough work."  Cute. 

The moral point being the substituted body simply cannot have been killed or murdered for the purpose of freeing one falsely accused or in this case convicted under an unjust law, as Claudio was.  Trow didn't know about Penry's letters to Lord Burghley and his plea to his master to see his body decently buried.  But the letters are extant and in Burghley's papers. (I've seen them myself at the British Library, all on one sheet of paper.)  So the Marlowe/Penry thesis, first suggested by David More, has real historical merit and cannot be dismissed as speculation. 

While we're talking about poor scholarship on this question, let’s glance at a famous essay by Frederic Turner on the infamous School of Night, which is available now on-line:

 (http://www.montana.edu/corona/4/school1.html )  

Frederic Jackson Turner (1861 –1951) the world famous historian who stressed the role of the western frontier in the development of America and I suppose this to be him.  He wrote:

That year the trial of Christopher Marlowe for atheism took place, marked by the treachery of the playwright Thomas Kyd to his erstwhile roommate and the half-truths of the informer Richard Baines. Marlowe was not convicted because he was murdered first, in one of those tavern brawls he got into, like Shakespeare's Mercutio...

These remarks have been widely read and equally widely influential, given the stature of Turner, but they are wide of the mark.  First of all Marlowe was never  tried during this period.  Never.  Let alone for atheism.  Charges were pending against Marlowe at the time of his “official death,” but there had been no trial.  Second Marlowe was not murdered.  At least not officially.  Officially his death was the result of self-defense, the story going that he had attacked a friend of his in an argument over a tavern bill.  Thirdly Marlowe did not die in a tavern brawl nor is there any record he had been in any prior to his trouble in Deptford.  It is true he, or some one with a similar name, was arrested for street fighting, several times, but never for tavern brawling.  

Turner is even unfair to poor Kyd, who by the way wasn't Marlowe's roommate and only named the papers as Marlowe's under torture, which is hardly betrayal. 

Indeed the location of Marlowe’s alleged death, the home of Dame Eleanor Bull, proves not to have been a tavern, but something more like a SAFE house. Indeed Mrs. Bull was a member of an ancient Kentish armorial family with ties close to Lord Burghley and the Queen.  As a matter of fact her son, Nathaniel Bull, had been in Marlowe’s class in the King’s School in Canterbury, fifteen years earlier.  They all have ties to the Muscovy Company which traded with Russia and Ivan the Terrible, events that are written into Tamburlaine, as Rowse first noted.   Their registered agent was Anthony Marlowe, said a "cousin" of Marlowe's by Bakeless.  The Cecils were major stockholders of this company. 

So nearly none of what Turner has to say about the circumstances of Marlowe’s alleged death withstands close scrutiny.  

Turner is hardly alone in thinking Marlowe to have been MURDERED.  He is joined by such notables as Charles Nicholl and David Riggs.  Professor Riggs concluded Marlowe was murdered by "the Queen," I suppose he means on her orders.  Nicholl thought Raleigh behind it then reversed himself and guessed Essex.  But the fact is Marlowe was killed among employees of his patron, Sir Thomas Walsingham.  So if were to be thought  murder, Walsingham, not Raleigh, would be the "prime suspect."  

But Thomas Walsingham was Marlowe's long-time friend, perhaps from as far back as 1572 when young Thomas witnessed the St. Bartholomew Massacre at Paris.  With young Thomas was Sir Francis' daughter Frances Walsingham, Philip Sidney and Marlowe's friend and predecessor, Nicholas Faunt.  Importantly Faunt proves to have been still in the King's School, proving the Crown was using King's School scholars even while they were enrolled.  This provides a mechanism by which young Marlowe would have met fact to face with the Queen.  These boys were being used as "cam recorders." 

    N. Faunt   Frances W.  Philip S.  Audrey S.?  Thomas W.     Marlowe?

Marlowe writes about the Massacre as if he'd seen it, we simply don't know.  We do know Marlowe's friendship with Walsingham was unusually deep and long. (No pun intended.)

 It is true that Marlowe was suspected of atheism.  It is equally true the charge was bogus.  Marlowe’s plays evidence precisely the reverse.  Faustus dramatizes the schism between period Catholics and Protestants, namely whether or not someone can be saved solely by grace.  Grace was dramatically offered to Faustus, repeatedly, even in the last moments of his life, but he refused it.  Period English audiences must have been on their feet chanting, “Take it!”.  Marlowe was trained for holy orders and his plays reflect a profound degree of Christian conscience.   But Stratfordians, as masters at spin, ignore all this.  Consider what Professor Darryll Grantley writes about this quandary:

Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta have always posed the problem of reconciling what appears to be conventional support for the dominant social and religious order with what is known of Marlowe’s life and opinions.  (236)

So let's get this straight.  Marlowe's text, about a quarter of a million words, shows he supports "the dominant social and religious order," but we are to discount this and to believe that Marlowe was a homosexual and an atheist on the basis of hysterical rightwing libels against him!  It's utter nonsense and obsequious reasoning.  Edward II is a play that exposes homosexuality in the king, its oblique text being King James VI, for public ridicule.  How can this be thought of as pro homosexual?

Confusions about the Queen's Location and being inside the Verge:

Period records,  namely the Inquest, stipulate Marlowe was killed inside the Verge or the 12 mile circle that surround the Queen.  But independent investigation makes this impossible.  Court was at Nonsuch, about fifteen or twenty miles away.  So Marlowe was not killed inside the verge.  But the verge was cited as the reason for an official cover up.  Peter Farey has proven that the law mandated that in cases where the "verge" was invoked, the Queen's Coroner generally sat with the local Coroner, but not in Marlowe's case.  More evidence of some sort of official ruse.  Even more curiously Marlowe's slayer was NOT imprisoned.   And was quickly pardoned by the Queen, who at the same time invoked a legal lid over the case and quashed any local inquiry, just as there was never any in Dallas after Kennedy's death.

Here is a link to Peter Farey's scholarly essay on this subject, linked from there to several others on this same topic: http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rey/inquest.htm .   Peter concludes that by period measurement Marlowe would have been inside the verge:

"Every other point in Deptford Strand must have been further away than this, so - contrary to what is said in the coroner's report - it would appear that Widow Bull's house, if in Deptford Strand, cannot have been legally within the verge.

However, these measurements relate only to the statute mile, which was not defined until the same year in which these events occurred, and which did not come into regular use until much later. At that time, according to contemporary maps, the "mile" was some 20-30% longer than ours. So, according to such maps, Deptford Strand would have been considered to be within the verge."

The important point is that scholars had not established where the Court was at the time of Marlowe's death! If it was at Nonsuch he simply could not have ridden down to Dame Bull's home in the morning of 30 May. A ride of some 20 miles or more, by road, pluss crossing rivers and streams. So evidently he had violated the terms of his release.  Even Alan Haynes in Invisible Power proves confused about where the Court was during this crucial period.

Notice London is on the other side of the Thames from Deptford, Strand.  So a rider coming from London would have to cross the river first, he'd also have to cross the small streams that lie between London and Deptford. Greenwich, is on the ox bow of the Thames and on the same side of the river as Deptford and just three or four miles off.  But the Court was not at Greenwich.  The period woodcut shows a setting very much like the one Marlowe is said to have died in, except there was a bed against the far wall. 


Returning to Marlowe's "death."  The timing turns out to be important. We know the four men were at Dame Bull's all day, engaged in "quiet conversation."  Why?  A dead body, as we all know, under goes "rigor" following death, becoming stiff. But rigor is not a permanent condition of a corpse. Rigor leaves the body after about 24 hours. Hence, Marlovians suggest, the reason Marlowe and his three friends spent the day "in quiet conversation" at Dame Bull’s home.  Indeed the inquest over Marlowe's body, generally held the next day, was put off 36 hours until 1 June 1593, when it too would have been out of rigor:

Sot the theory goes the four men were waiting for the body of John Penry to pass through rigor. Only at this point could they realistically drive a dagger through it’s forehead and then proclaim it Marlowe’s body. 

Think about it for a moment. If the Cecils or the Crown had wanted Marlowe dead, and this turn of events had taken place only after his release from custody, i.e., after the 20th of May, surely they would simply have had him killed. Their assassins would not have been friends of Marlowe. Nor would they have lingered with the body. Assassins generally do their thing privately and leave. Assassins do not linger over their kills.

Even his friends would have been tempted, Marlovians argue, to have dumped "his" body in the river, just a few meters distant, and vanished in the night. Why remain with the body to face charges? Unless, of course, you wanted the authorities to know Christopher Marlowe was dead. 

To prove it, in that age, you’d have to stay with the body just to identify it.

Marlowe and his classmate Robert Boyle...look-alikes or the same man? The hated man below is still unidentified, according to Sir Roy Strong, but Marlovians have a candidate. 

Now there are certain forensic problems as well. The inquest claims Marlowe was killed when the dagger went through his forehead and into his brain. The size, depth and place of the wound are made clear by the inquest. But it is difficult to drive a dagger through a person’s forehead, particularly when they are alive, because natural bodily reflexes will propel the head backwards, when the knife attempts to enter the skin. Try it your self.

However it is relatively easy to stab a sleeping figure or a dead one though the forehead. 

Secondly is the problem with the time of death. The Coroner’s report reads that Marlowe died "instantly...then and there..." Yet modern forensic authorities agree this would be inordinately unlikely. Yet as a matter of fact wounds of this nature are generally not fatal. 

Several period accounts of Marlowe maintain he died several days later.  One of them is the official report delivered to the Queen on Whitsun Eve:

Copye of Marloes


As sent to her H

A note delivred on whitsun eve last of the most horrible blasphemes and damnable opinions utteryd by xtofer Marly who since whitsodnay dyed a soden & vyolent deathe.


...who with iij days after came to a soden & fearful ende of his life.

There are two versions of the note, corrected on the face.  The first one says Marlowe died "since Whit Sunday", while the other one says, "iij days after Whitsun Eve."  

Both official versions cannot be correct.  But both can be wrong. In fact the inquest claims Marlowe died BEFORE Whitson Eve ( Whit Sunday) on Wednesday, the 30th of May 1593.


So something is wrong with the records.  As they stand they are mutually contradictory.

Returning to the problem of the "instant death," some experts, like Charles Nicholl and William Urry, have suggested Marlowe was actually stabbed IN the eye, i.e., between the eye and the occipital ridge, as we saw Nicholl attempt to demonstrate in the documentary Much Ado About Something. In his book The Reckoning he first cites the Coroner's Report which runs, in translation, 

'And so it befell, in that affray, that the said Ingram, in defense of his life with the dagger aforesaid of the value of twelve pence, gave the said Christopher a mortal wound above his right eye, of the depth of two inches and of the width of one inch.' From this wound, Christopher Marlowe 'then & there instantly died." (18)

The highlight is mine, since Nicholl seems to have missed its import.  For he then writes:

Judging for this description, the point of the dagger went in just above the right eye-ball, penetrated the superior orbital fissure at the back of the eye-socket, and entered Marlowe's brain.  On its way the blade would have sliced through major blood-vessel: the cavernous sinus, the internal carotid artery.  The actual cause of death was probably a massive hemorrhage into the brain, or possibly an embolism from the inrush of air along the track of the wound.   (18)

The link below shows the arteries in the eye socket.  The "internal carotid artery" does not pass through the eye socket.  Only the Ophthalmic.


Nicholl forgets, as we see above, that the eyeball is round, (hence it's name) and fits into occipital socket, so there isn’t any room between the eye and the ridge for a dagger. So if the dagger went in below the occipital or orbital ridge, the dagger would have simply entered the eye above the pupil. And the Coroner’s report would have reflected that by reading, "Marlowe was stabbed in the right eye, just below the brow." Or words to that effect. 

As gruesome as it sounds, enucleation, or the loss of an eyeball, was fairly common and easily treated by direct pressure and cauterization.  (Emergency War Surgery) In this case, where the knife entered the brain through the "brow," the knife would have been removed, heated and put back into the wound, cauterizing it. Left open, the wound would have drained and the prognosis would have been reasonable. 

In desperation Nicholl suggests Marlowe might have died from "an embolism from the inrush of air along the track of the wound."  An "embolism" is "large blood clot" which would find its way to the lungs.  Indeed of the some 600,000 or so cases of pulmonary embolism only 9000 or so die in the US. http://ije.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/29/3/465  

It is very difficult to imagine how "the inrush of air along the track of the wound" would take place.  If an artery had been severed, as Nicholl supposes, particularly "the cavernous sinus, the internal carotid artery," as Nicholl has suggested, the flow of blood is outward , not inward. More over since the knife went in and out, the "massive hemorrhage into the brain" Nicholl writes about could not have happened, as the blood would have been pumped out, not into the brain. 

So this "instant" death is difficult to explain. 

Recall that the Sonneteer suggests his life was taken by "a wretch’s knife," that his body went into a "common grave," and his "name" along with it. Moreover he even suggests the location of the deadly blow, "vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow."



Your love and pity doth th' impression fill

Which vulgar scandal stamped upon my brow,

For what care I who calls me well or ill,

So you o'er-green my bad, my good allow?

He also suggests, in the next sonnet, he was blinded in one eye:


Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind,

And that which governs me to go about

Doth part his function, and is partly blind,

Seems seeing, but effectually is out;

For it no form delivers to the heart

Of bird, of flower, or shape which it doth (latch),

Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,

Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;


This man lost his right eye when an eighteen inch drill bit bored through his head, but he survived.


In an even more famous case, Phineas Gage, a railroad worker tamping powder had a twenty pound steel tamper blown through his face and out of the top of his head, taking out his front teeth and eye and coming out of top of his skull, or what is called a "through and through" the brain, in 1848. He walked home on his own after the accident.  Lived successfully for many years.  His skull is on display in the Smithsonian.  

(I don’t actually suppose he was, but from an allusional point of view, it would make sense to suggest it, since he was hinting he was Marlowe and who most believed had been stabbed in the brow.) The circumstances fit Marlowe, perhaps exclusively. 

Also suggestive of Marlowe is the poet’s necessity to sell "cheap" what he held "most dear."  The circumstances of Oxford, Bacon and Derby were tight, but not that tight. Equally odd for Oxford, the Poet speaks of these travels as giving him "another youth," which might be a pun, but which would only apply to a person who was not a youth when he was forced to travel by circumstances outside his control.

This same sonnet (notice they are actually sequential sonnets) alludes to what appears to be a period of religious confinement:


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,

And worse essays proved thee my best of love.

Now all is done, have what shall have no end,

Mine appetite I never more will grind

On newer proof, to try an older friend,

A God in love, to whom I am confined.

Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,

Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.


All this is quite likely for Marlowe, who was trained for Holy Orders and who is believed to have been to Rheims and Valladolid, but unlikely for Oxford.  Moreover the travel is clearly involuntary

Last, but hardly least, if we suppose the initials "W.H." to be William Herbert’s, as they must have been, since he proves the ONLY peer with those initials whose dates match, the only person who might have been his de facto father would be an exiled Marlowe. By the way the obvious difference in "rank" between the Poet and his "sweet boy" excludes any member of the peerage, particularly Oxford, from being his father. 

Below I have illustrated this possibility along with the secondary "hunch," that Prince Henry might prove to be Herbert's half brother.

William Herbert                   8/18 April 1580 -  10/20 April 1630 Prince Henry 

1594 -1612

Charles I. 

1600 - 1649 


Even so my Sun one early morn did shine

With all-triumphant splendor on my brow,

But out, alack, he was but one hour mine,

The region cloud hath masked him from me now.

Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth:

Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.       (33)

Prince Henry (flipped)

Marlowe, scholars know, had known and, perhaps, had loved William Herbert's mother, Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, dedicating amorous Latin love poems to her in 1592, attributing them to Watson. 


Mary and Marlowe can be shown to have overlapped in Canterbury at or about the time of Herbert’s conception.  Sidney was there with John Casimir, the Prince of the Protestant armies, just when Marlowe enters the King's School and Sidney takes on his new page Daniel Bachelor.  Nashe suggests Marlowe the Page, Jack Wilton, Wilton House was Mary's primary residence.  And she is, once noticed, the real life model for Venus,  scandalously so.  Shakespeare, of course could not have known Mary during "the lovely April of her prime." Both  Mary and Venus have the same color hair and the same private passion for watching stallions leaping mares, at least according to John Aubrey.  Both lived in Kent where Venus and Adonis sets. Aubrey suggests the children were her brother's, so Marlovians don’t feel their explanation is as risqué as nearly contemporaneous accounts were.

So the case is a straight forward one. Marlovians suggest Marlowe did not die in Deptford, Kent. 

With the help of powerful friends, Marlovians suppose he faked his death and continued to travel in covert services for the Cecils. 

Heading, it seems, back to Scotland via Calais. 

Marlovians have done a bit better. Nicholas Faunt, who was Marlowe’s townsman and friend, I've borrowed Henry Lee's portrait, to fill in for Nick, since I have been unable to find his; see http://www.tudor-portraits.com/HenryLee.jpg; http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/RichardLee.htm   Lee owned the house at Woodstock, had Kentish ties through the Kempes and the Cheneys. Lee was deeply involved in the Muscovy Company and went to Russia in 1600.

Faunt followed a path nearly identical with Marlowe, first to the King’s School, then to Paris to witness the St Bartholomew Massacre, taking Walsingham’s report home to the Queen in his young head, (which is how we think Marlowe first met the Queen, then on to Cambridge, also as a Parker Scholarship recipient, even to the same college, where he was roommates with Thomas Harris, Marlowe's Kentish friend and major professor, in whose village the manuscript of Henry IV surfaced. (Pluckley, Kent) Afterwards Faunt worked as secretary, projector or diplomatic attaché for Sir Francis Walsingham, Lord Burghley and then the Bacon brothers, proves to have been in Dover, Kent on the 30th of May 1593, actively sending English agents to Calais. 

                          At Dover this 30th May 1593 at 9 (pm)

Where they were to meet with Anthony Standen. Standen, who was Scottish, was Elizabeth’s agent then returning from Spain and a man Marlowe would have needed to have met with face to face, to be brought up to speed on the issue of the Spanish Blanks and the missing 200,000 Spanish Crowns, which had been earmarked for Scotland. 

Standen’s dispatch dated the 2nd of June tells us that Faunt’s agent(s) had arrived safely. Faunt returned home through Canterbury, rather than the easy way, by water. There is no mention of Marlowe’s end in the letters from Bacon, though they contain jocular domestic correspondence and news.  A bit like the dog that did not bark.  Below is Professor Alan Haynes in Invisible Power The Elizabethan Secret Services 1570 - 1603, (96 in hardback; 114 in paperback)

Haynes does not mention all of these places seem to have been visited by Marlowe about this time: Scotland, London, Flushing and Brussels or point out here that Poley was present at Marlowe's "death."  So we know Marlowe was in the middle of all this.  Faunt’s job may have included ushering Marlowe out of the realm, to meet with Standen, who was, by the way, Scottish, as well as informing Marlowe's family, in Canterbury, of his safety. Remember that in Famous Victories the Prince's "spy" of his "booties" turned up in the house of John Cobbler before going to Calais. 

The larger diplomatic picture proves that James’ reign was, in fact, consolidated during the next 18 months and like Theseus, James concerned himself with the entertainments for Prince Henry’s baptism, entertainments that are cleverly woven into Midsummer Night’s Dream. Moreover this diplomatic background cited above by Haynes places Marlowe right in the middle of Scottish affairs and a soon to be missing gift of 200,000 Spanish Crowns, set to enlist James VI.  

By the way, now that both sides of the records are available to scholars, diplomatic historians know that Sir Robert Cecil was, himself, a retainer of Spain.  He would have died for this had it become known, since it was high treason. Just as he would have died for dabbling, without authorization from Elizabeth I., in the Scottish succession of James in 1593 and onwards.

It is easy to picture Marlowe as Philostrate, Theseus’ Master of Ceremonies and, later, as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who, as I pointed out earlier, was based, in part, on Lord Burghley’s brother-in-law, Sir John Cheek, who was exiled and who found work in much the same capacity for small European dukedoms and principalities, later teaching at Cambridge.   In this Cheek was much like Sirs Henry Wotton and Lewis Lewknor, both figures of interest to the Marlowe narrative.  Apart from Nicholas Faunt and Robert Boyle, several other of Marlowe's King School and later Cambridge graduates and/or classmates, Thomas Hammond and Benjamin Carrier, prove important to the Marlowe hypothesis. Hammond had Marlowe's The Jew of Malta dedicated to him in 1633, "Thomas Heywood" claiming to have known him throughout "the long compass" of their lives.  Both Marlowe and Hammond were 69 that year.  Heywood was younger. Benjamin Carrier was appointed, like Lewknor, out of nowhere, as James' Chaplin in 1603/4.  In 1612 Carrier defected to Rome, apparently a double agent all his life. Some mutual friend of theirs (Lewknor, Carrier, Boyle, and Hammond) must have known James VI.

Marlovians point out Shakespeare's plays stopped with the death of Prince Henry, just as they commenced with his conception. Henry's birth, like William Hebert's, was "long awaited" and, like William Herbert, Prince Henry did not resemble either his de jure father or his brother, Prince Charles.  Marlovians have suggested two simple DNA tests.  First of Henry and James, who are interred side by side; this would settle the question of whether or not James was his de facto father.  Additional forensic tests would also reveal the cause of Henry's death, long a mystery. (The Overbury Affair, Miriam deFord, 1960) Professor deFord suspects James behind it, as did Queen Anne.  Scott reports an ominous rumbling from James shortly before Henry's death.  According to Scott, James was watching courtiers fawning over Henry in Court, when he grumbled, "will he bury me alive?"  A similar DNA test for Henry Herbert and William, also side by side, would likewise clarify that linkage. With the added bonus of settling the question, raised here, were William Herbert and Henry Stuart actually half-brothers?

In closing I add that "Christopher Marlowe" has been traced to Valladolid, Spain, where he entered the Spanish/English seminary there on the 20/30th of May 1599 or six years to the day from the date of his Deptford troubles.  Once believed the Trinity Marlowe, that scholar proves dead in 1596.  This other Marlowe returned to England in 1604 where his name appears on the prison record at Gatehouse as "Christopher Marlowe alias John Mathew" and again on the Canterbury Pardon Rolls where he received an official pardon in 1604 from the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Bancroft, who overlapped at Cambridge with him.  Marlowe's last known work, the lost Maiden's Holiday, appeared on the 8/18 April 1654, the year he turned 90, two of his sisters making nearly making that advanced age. That was the same day that Venus and Adonis had appeared on in 1593 and Two Noble Kinsmen in 1634, or the first and last works of Shakespeare.  Someone was keeping track of the days and connecting the dots.  Marlovians believe they know who it was.

Our Cast of Characters:


Thomas Hammond, KS,CC,Jew of Malta 1633 Lewis Lewknor, C? Benjamin Carrier, KS, CC Thomas Marlowe b. 8/18 April 1576 Hugh Sanford, Sir Adam Newton-Tutors
John Gresshop, HM, KS, Library  Thomas Harris, KS, CCCC Sir Edward Dering, H4, ms., "I Shakesperes plays.."1623 Thomas Wilson alias John Fixer and later 'Jeronimo Palluzzi" Wilson was knighted and became Cecil's net master. Not The Art of Rhetoric author. Father John Cecil, alias John Snowden "that jolly scholar, that famous traveler, that notable wit."
Edward Blount  Sir Thomas Walsingham

Found!! Nicholas Faunt, CCCC

Portrait dated 1579.

Earls of Talbot George and John, 1 Henry VI. "For in my gallery thy picture hangs." (II.iii.37)"...this is a child, a silly dwarf!" Talbot was six feet tall, a giant for an Elizabethan.  Lord Cheney, Master of the Cinque Ports in Woodstock, ms., and Arden of Faversham, a Cheney was sued by Marlowe's father.

This Lord Cheney (John) buried in Salisbury Cathedral, Cecil was "The First Earl of Salisbury."  Mentioned 50 some odd times in the canon. 

Lord Cobham  Dr John Hayward, C  Francis Meres , C Sir Edmund Tyllney  Edward Alleyn  
Thomas Watson Hugh Holland Leonard Diggs Christopher Diggs, KS Anthony Marlowe Philip Henslowe 
John Marlowe, FV, L Jane Nightwork More The Windmill Tavern H4 John Penry, C John Greenwood, CCC; William Warner
Margaret Jordan, R3 Prince John Casimir, 1579 KS Mathew Parker, AB Mathew Parker, Gnd. Son, KS, CCCC Sir John Cheek
The Ardens, Faversham "Our old host," FV Samuel Kennett,KS, Rheims, Defector Father Robert Parsons, KS, Rheims, Valladolid Francis Kett,CCCC burned 16/1/1589 Robert Poley, Ingram Frizer, Nicholas Skeres
Above John Lyly KS, Canterbury, born c. 1555  similar to the hand said A of the Dering Ms., Henry IV, above.
ABove: Marlowe's So called Arrian Heresy Notes, B.L. style matches Timon, ms., Italian Hand, below, and Edward II, ms. page.


Coded Letter sent to the Earl of Moray (James Stuart) signed by Elizabeth Regina in 1569, containing the type of diplomatic intelligence found in Marlowe's Edward II.

Thomas Marlowe 16001557 -1603 En. Brt.  Above, The Earl of Mar, Sir John Erskine, Prince Henry's Protector

"For likening his Father to The Singing Man of Windsor..."  2 Henry IV; 

Charles Paget

"This Reading of the Flushing episode opens up a connection that has not been suspected before: in this realm of secret politics, between Marlowe and the Cecil."  The Reckoning, "Poley's Network" (250)  "On the Catholic side [of Poley's key] are ten names listed: all the principal conspirators in the Low Countries---Sir William Stanley (Lord Strange)...Charles Paget...Father Persons..."  In October 1591 Paget had written about "I have seen Morley, that plays on the organ in Paul's," to which Phelippes answers, "it is true that Morley the singing man employs himself in that kind of service...a marriage between Arbella and the Duke of Prama's son..."  (The Reckoning, 342)


Oxford  Essex   Christopher Marlowe Queen Anne Stuart Prince Henry
Sir Horatio Palavicino, of  Genoese decent, but English,"aided Walsingham in matters of espionage abroad." John Florio, translated Montaigne.  Bacon knew Montaigne.  Shakespeare alludes to him frequently.  Antoni Perez, intelligencer to Phillip II of Spain, ended up in Essex circle.  Alluded to in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta, used to fan the flames of the  Plot, a plot not exposed until after Marlowe's death. Dr. Roderigo Lopez, convicted of attempting to poison the Queen. Hanged along with Ferrera and Tinoco at Tyburn in 1594:

The role played by Marlowe's The Jew of Malta in this affair is cited at length by Handover in The Other Cecil, but not indexed, perhaps because of the problem with dates. (117)  Handover notes Marlowe friend Nicholas Faunt was up to his ears in this intrigue. (116)  She failed to mention that Barabas boasts of being a poisoner, ala Lopez. 

Mary Fitton, the woman William Herbert went to jail over, ala the Sonnets, "confined doom."  Lady Arbella Stuart about the time of Cymbeline, said to be about her. "Whom long I have known, but not known so much as I desired." 
Letitia (Lettice) Knollys, rival Elizabeth in dress and bearing, arrived at Court on 17 July 1579 and was tossed out.  Had four healthy children and lived to a ripe old age.  After this flap, Mary Herbert and her mother, who was Lettice's sister-in-law, retired to Penshurst in Kent, i.e., at the moment of Mary's conception of William Herbert. A Double Life, 214. Frances Howard, Countess of Essex, (3rd Earl) then Countess of Somerset, convicted of murdering Sir John Overbury, hinted by Coke as implicated in the death of Prince Henry. 
Princess Elizabeth Stuart, Prince Henry's Sister and Queen of Bohemia, who fled to Vienna, both scenes of late plays of Shakespeare.  Wotton helped her and her letters were forged so well James was fooled, ala Malvolio in Twelfth Night. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/photodraw/portraits/stuart.jpg The Countess of Kent, Lady Jane Grey, said the "mistress of my youth" by the author of Slave Deus Rex Judaeorum, a radical translation of the Bible attributed to the courtesan Emilia Lanier.

Wotton, Kentish, traveled incognito to Scotland as an Italian using a name similar to the one Marlowe used in writing about the Armada, which ends up in Edward III. Wotton lived in James' court as "Ottavio Baldi".  Marlowe's pseudonym was "Unbaldino." The account mentions the ship Marlowe sailed on, the Nonpareille, formerly Drake's flagship.

Later Wotton works with Queen Elizabeth of Palatine. In the wake of the Essex  Rebellion he made France in 16 hours.

Thomas Kyd 1625? Thomas Harriot  Sir Henry Wotton  Thomas Nashe  "Christ's Tears" with Marlowe at Cambridge; along with John Hayward, Greene, Harvey and Harrington.



Sir Walter Raleigh  William & Robert Cecil          Bruno   Northumberland The Wizard Earl


Southampton  6 October 1573

Othello and Spanish Tragedy 6 Oct.



Ferdinando Stanley, Lord Strange, [5th Earl of Derby] a patron of Marlowe's in the early 1590s. c.1559-1594 Spenser eulogized him as "Amyntas" (Above)

William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby, c.1561-1642

Sons of Henry Stanley, Lord Strange, 4th Earl of Derby, c. 1531 - 1593 (September)


One of Marlowe's First Patrons, Lord High Admiral,  Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, Master of the Admiral's Men, for whom Philip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn worked. Married a 19 year old Scottish girl when he was 67 in 1603, after the death of his wife.  He lived to be nearly 90. Justice Sir Edward Coke.  41 in 1593.  Believed Prince Henry was murdered.  Bucked James I. over the "divine right of kings," upheld the "rule of law," and was responsible for the Chess Painting of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, the only period portrait of Shakespeare known. 


Dr. John Dee, frequently said the model of Dr Faustus.  Owned the largest private library of the period, said by Dee to contain 10,000 volumes. Came home with Steganographia used by Walsingham and his agents. Coded Letter from Anthony Rolston  10 April 1596; based on Steganographia.  "Rolston" sent a dispatch on Marlowe's birthday from Spain in 1597 claiming to know the Queen and upon his return to prove to her he was as fit to serve her "as any man living."  Letter found it's way into Two Gentlemen of Verona's final scene. "These banished men that I have kept withal, are men endued with worthy qualities, Forgive them...let them be recalled from their exile, they are reformed, civil, full of good and fit for great employment." V.iv.153-156  Proof the entire Shakespeare canon is concerned with the repatriation of the returning exile, from TGV to The TempestMarlowe was privately pardoned and Hero and Leander published the next year.   


The Earl of Southampton  Mary Sidney Herbert 

Countess of Pembroke 

William Herbert

Earl Pembroke 

  Marlowe ? Bess Talbot 

Countess of Shrewsbury

Sir Francis Walsingham


Sir George Carey, Lord Chamberlain, Baron Hunsdon (1564-1603) Precisely Marlowe's age, Carey was an intimate friend of Henry Brooke and Matthew Roydon.  He was a member of the School of Night, as pointed out by George Chapman in 1594, "that most ingenious Darby, deep searching Northumberland, and skill-embracing heir of Hunsdon had most profitably entertained learning..."

He was patron of Marlowe's friend William Warner and of Shakespeare's company.  He was married to Lady Elizabeth Spenser, Edmund Spenser's cousin. Roydon and Spenser were close friends. So Marlowe would have known Carey, up close and personal, from several sides.



Earl of Cork, Robert Bolye William Cecil Burghley James I.    Eliz. I.  Arbella   Mary, Q.S.


John Whitgift, A. C.  Richard Bancroft, A. C.  Cervantes Anthony Bacon
Right: Father Robert Parsons, Jesuit Provincial, active at Rheims and Valladolid, graduate of the King's School.
Sir Phillip Sidney Sir Robert Sidney, Governor of Flushing.  Sent Marlowe home to Burghley on 26th January 1592. Burghley signed the pay warrant to Sidney ensign, David Lloyd, "for bringing of letters from ye said Sir Robert Sidney, knight, importing Her Majesty's special service, together with three prisoners committed to his charge." 3 March 1592.


George Chapman  Edmund Spenser
Sir Phillip Herbert 4th Earl of Pembroke Sir William Herbert; 3rd Earl of Pembroke 
"Thomas Shelton"                                 Printed by Edward Blount    1620

Sir Thomas Walsingham & Lady Audrey Shelton  Marlowe's Patrons

Books In Anthony Bacon's Library including Montaigne's Essays.  Neither Sidney or Dee mention Montaigne. The Same List of Books in the "Coffre" of Essex's Agent, Le Doux, said Marlowe by Wraight that included, in an English secretary hand, the entry, "my secret memories of Scotland." 
Right. Michael Drayton (1563-1631) Marlowe's age and wrote about Marlowe and his death as if he'd known him:

Neat Marlowe, bathed in the Thespian springs, Had in him those brave translunary things That the first poets had; his raptures were All air and fire, which made his verses clear; For that fine madness still he did retain, Which rightly should possess a poet's brain. 

Epistles of Poets and Poesy, 1635      

Drayton's The Harmony of the Church (1591), except for 40 copies seized by the archbishop of Canterbury, was burnt by public order.  Drayton was from Hartshill, Warwickshire and was said to have been with Shakespeare at the time of his death, but is silent about him.


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