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The Calvin Hoffman Prize Essay for 2002:

"Cast the scholar off"... Marlowe’s

Authorship of 1 Henry VI and other Works

Said Shakespeare’s

Abstract: This paper, written for the Calvin and Rose Hoffman Prize (2002), introduces new evidence for Marlowe’s life. This evidence, used later in the paper, proves him the author of 1 Henry VI or of a lost precursor play used by Shakespeare, "harey the vi." The paper then explores claims for Shakspere’s authorship of the works said Shakespeare’s. The paper determines, based on early period accounts, that Shakspere was a man "without any art at all" and was a producer or "supplier" of plays. The paper next makes the case for Marlowe’s authorship of Venus and Adonis and Richard II. The paper connects Marlowe to Mary Sidney Herbert, at the time of her conception of William Hebert, and suggests him Marlowe’s illicit son. It then shows how the Sonnets, said Shakespeare’s, but not authenticated by the First Folio, were addressed to William Herbert as the poet’s estranged son, rather than his lover. It concludes with establishing the 1616 version of Dr Faustus as dating to a revision of 1599, not 1602, as normally suggested. This study connects DF with Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600) and cites stylometric evidence for common authorship. Since MND depends on diplomatic evidence from Scotland, it suggests the author completed Marlowe’s diplomatic mission to Scotland. Since similar evidence is found in Hamlet and Macbeth a tandem case seems likely. The paper qualifies for the Hoffman prize in several ways. It offers convincing new evidence for Marlowe’s pre-1593 life. Particularly a three and a half year position with Lady Arbella Stuart, which proves his authorship of several works presently claimed for Shakespeare, including, 1 Henry VI, which bases on an insider’s knowledge of Arbella’s life at Hardwick Hall with the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury. It proves the actor cannot have been the author, based on the evidence gathered by the Rev. Dr. John Ward who found he "supplied ye stage with two plays a year." Extant records suggest he became Thomas Wilson, who reorganized Cecil’s secret service and oversaw the building of Hatfield House. It offers biographic evidence that he translated Don Quixote while he and Cervantes overlapped at Valladolid c. 1600, using an alias, "Thomas Shelton," constructed of the names of Marlowe’s patrons and friends, Sir Thomas Walsingham, and his wife, Lady Audrey Shelton. The paper offers strong biographic evidence for a post 1593 Marlowe and stylometric evidence for his revision of Dr Faustus in 1599 while he was at Valladolid.


The Rev. Dr. John Baker, Bishop

"Cast the scholar off"... Marlowe’s

Authorship of 1 Henry VI and other Works

Said Shakespeare’s

The more one knows about Christopher Marlowe (b.1564) the more one knows about human nature. He’s a bit like the litmus test. How we react to him tells us more about ourselves than him. Few brilliant poets have suffered so poorly in the hands of history. It has taken four centuries just to add his name to Poet’s Coroner in Westminster Abby. On the other hand, he’s faired much better among poets than among the general public. Shakespeare idolized him, as did Goethe and later Algernon Charles Swinburne and T. S. Eliot. So we must ask why has he faired so poorly at the hands of history? The answer is fairly simple. No one likes a snitch, let alone an educated snitch. Particularly if he was also an atheist and a fairy. But suppose he wasn’t just a snitch and a filthy play-maker? Not to mention a fairy. Suppose for a moment he wasn’t any more of these things than Shakespeare. This would certainly elevate his character. After all Shakespeare was a god. Or as close to one as mortals come. But how could he have been similar, let alone, identical to Shakespeare? It is true both men were born the same year, but Marlowe, we all know, died before Shakespeare began to write. Died rather badly they said, hoisted on his own poniard, in a quarrel in a brothel. But was it really a brothel and did he really die?

Scholars now have at least one of the answers: it wasn’t really a brothel. It was the home of Dame Eleanor Bull, the mother of one of Marlowe’s classmates, Nathaniel Bull. (CMC, 105) The Bulls were members of "an ancient armorial family with members close about the queen and a distinguished ancestry going far back into the Middle Ages." Or so discovered William Urry, long time archivist for Canterbury. (86) Dame Bull was a "cousin" to Lord Burghley, Marlowe’s master. The Bulls and the Cecils were connected to the Muscovy Company, whose registered agent was the London producer of plays, Anthony Marlowe. (CM, Bakeless, vol.1, 89, 141-2 and CSP, Foreign, 1584-5, 132-3 and CSP, Domestic, 1591-4, 396-7, CMERC, 64) Henslowe mentions this Marlowe in his Dairy. Well informed scholars now suppose him a Kentish cousin of the poet’s. (Ibid.)

Marlowe, modern scholars suggest, was in Bull’s home awaiting transportation "beyond the seas," on yet another assignment for the Cecils. Where to? To Scotland and to King James, or so his friend Thomas Kyd had heard. (ISCM, 310-20) Haynes, a diplomatic historian and author of Invisible Power: Elizabeth’s Secret Service, mentions this in his more recent boot, The Gunpowder Plot, "just before Marlowe’s sudden death in May 1593 [Burghley] may have been considering using him again." (26.) Tucker Brooke points out, almost in passing, that Deptford was a common port of departure for Scotland. (TLM, 71) So we know Marlowe was in the right place to have been sailing for Scotland. His continued good currency with the Cecils is proof that any negative publicity which has attached itself to his good name related to his clandestine activities for the Cecils and not from any lack of good character on his part.

Charles Nicholl, who first thought otherwise, has reversed himself on this topic in a recent essay, ""At Middleborough’: Some Reflections on Marlowe’s Visit to the Low Countries in 1592." (CMERC, 46) A repentant Nicholl writes, Marlowe’s "supposed ‘intent to go to the enemy’ was actually an attempt to infiltrate Catholic exile circles in Brussels; and that this was the reason he escaped any punishment after his arrest and exportation by Sir Robert Sidney." (Ibid.) In The Reckoning Nicholl had painted a much darker picture, telling readers Marlowe returns "a prisoner under escort, cold, scared, dying for a smoke. Arrest is always an undignified experience." (TR, 238) Nicholl offers readers no apologies for libeling the character of his betters. But he does reverse himself. The facts speak for themselves. Marlowe was promptly released by Lord Burghley from any pending charges and quickly put back to work as one of his most trusted agents. As the end of May, 1593 approached Marlowe had been selected to represent the Cecils’ interests in Scotland. He was thus in the midst of the succession-game. What is so intriguing about all this is that Shakespeare seems to have completed Marlowe’s mission to Scotland. For it is Shakespeare who writes Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Macbeth, all three of which seem to based on diplomatic knowledge of James and Scotland and, some say, a personal knowledge of both. (Hamlet and the Scottish Succession, Winstanley, 1921) Winstanley, a Cambridge trained scholar and historian, speculated he was given his diplomatic intelligence about Scotland and James from Essex and Southampton and, perhaps, even the Queen and James themselves. This is doubtful for several reasons. First he has not been shown to have known these people; and second, none were foolish enough to divulge this sort of material to a popular play-maker. It seems far more likely these three plays were written by an English agent who knew James VI in Scotland, where he had access to Elizabeth I.’s and James VI’s correspondence, more or less side by side. This was precisely the position the Cecils hoped for Marlowe to obtain. We know this from a letter sent between Lord Burghley to his son, Sir Robert Cecil, dated 21 May 1593, the day after Burghley released Marlowe from his arrest on the Privy Council order dated 18 May. (Lord Burghley and Queen Elizabeth, Read, 484) Scholars even know the cover story of the mission: the question of the so-called "Spanish Blanks" issue. They also understand why the Cecils were planning on sending a handsome dissident poet. James, they knew, had an eye for them.

Conyers Read reminds readers the Cecils knew Henry Locke, "an Englishman and a poet in a small way, [who had] turned up in Scotland about 1590 and found favor with the King and the Queen." (Ibid.) The young James was gullible in the extreme and an easy mark it seems for handsome young poets. He’d fallen deeply in love with Lennox. (CMERC, 172-194) Sir Henry Wotton would show up in Scotland some ten years later, incognito, traveling as the Italian "Ottavio Baldi.". Wotton claimed to have antidotes against some specific poison rumored about to be deployed against James. Wotton lived several months in the court, incognito, with no one the wiser. (Such was the nature of those times.) For his troubles a grateful James I soon offered Wotton any ambassadorship he wanted. The wise Wotton took Venice, the scene of several of Shakespeare’s plays. (En. Brit., Vol.22, 799) Marlowe was not only far more handsome than Locke, his poetry was also many times superior. If a novice like Wotton could pass for an Italian, Marlowe could have passed for St. John the Baptist. We shall show Marlowe was perfect for this assignment in another way as well, he’d just completed a tour of duty working with James’ "cousin" Lady Arbella Stuart. (N&Q, 1997, Baker) He thus had first hand news about Arbella and Mary Queen of Scots, James’ mother.

Unfortunately no dispatch to or from a post 1593 Marlowe can be cited. However the use of code names then is quite certain. In the absence of fingerprints and photographs identity changes were commonplace. The record suggests Marlowe was, in June 1593, either "Father John Cecil" or his traveling companion, "John Fixer" or "Thomas Wilson," both of whom completed Marlowe’s mission to Scotland for the Cecils. (The Second Cecil, Handover, 108) Handover notes "Cecil’s motives remain obscure...sent by Father Persons of the Society of Jesus, he later became an anti-Jesuit. 

 Fixer and Wilson were the same persons.  This yellow color is due to a MFP problem. If anyone knows how to turn it off, e-mail me, please!  Father Robert Presons, long a thorn in the side of Elizabeth I and James I, was also a King’s School scholar from Canterbury and has a well documented history at Rheims and Valladolid, two places Marlowe is said to have visited.

He shared with Persons, however, the ambition to be an influence in politics...he was a well educated man...a linguist, politically astute and, according to his conscience, incorrupt. A fellow priest described him as ‘that jolly scholar, that famous traveler, that notable wit’." Handover also notes that Lord Burghley reversed himself on "Father Cecil" at the time of Marlowe’s "death." So it is possible Marlowe was assigned to Father Cecil as Burghley’s "controller," i.e., as John [the] Fixer. Handover duly notes John Fixer was Thomas Wilson, however she later (266-7) fails to reconnect him, when he turned up in Florence, in 1601,

Thomas Wilson, [was] one of the most able men Cecil employed at this period...using the alias Jeronimo Palluzzi, Wilson traveled in Italy during 1602, then turned north to France, and eventually reached England, where he entered Cecil’s service.

Wilson, working behind the scenes, later reorganized Cecil’s secret service and oversaw the building of Hatfield House, Cecil’s primary residence. Haynes writing in Invisible Power, The Elizabethan Secret Services, found Wilson’s reward came in 1605

when Cecil installed him in London to be his secretary responsible for overseeing espionage, and his remarkable organizing abilities stood him in good stead too when Salisbury began a huge programme of building in London and at Hatfield." (151)

This 1602 period and itinerary fits nicely with the return to England of the Christopher Marlowe seen at Valladolid in 1602 by Vaughan and who we shall discuss in detail herein. The always able Wilson emerges as the best candidate for a post 1593 Marlowe. He is Nicholas Faunt’s analog, working hand in hand with Cecil, as his "private secretary," rather than with Bacon, as Faunt would. (For Faunt’s parallel track, we shall come to that in due course.) "Wilson" surfaces in the right places at the right time and his lovely Italic hand is a good match for Marlowe’s. [Hands can be matched, but not conclusively identified, as the history of these studies and modern forensic science have proven. ]  A Thomas Wilson was Marlowe’s neighbor in Canterbury, baptized in Marlowe’s church, and died there on 29 January 1621/22. (LDS, gen.records) So he would have provided a "working cover." Another "Thomas Wilson" was Secretary for Elizabeth I., still another wrote the book Shakespeare memorized, The Art of Rhetoric . Another was among the settlers of Jamestown, along with the Sidneys, the Herberts, the Talbots and the Cavendishes, all major players in our narrative. [http://www.jamestowne.org/adv.htm]  

Urry discovered the poet's brother, Thomas Marlowe, there as well and we have traced him as a resident of the "college lands" along with Thomas Harris, the man who was Marlowe's major professor at Cambridge and who lived in nearby Pluckley, Kent. (CMC, 15)  We've even traced the shipping manifests of The Jonathan. (Hoffman Prize Paper, 1990)

So it was a name brimming with hidden meanings, good omens and strong connections. However without DNA evidence the case remains an open one. Luckily one need not suppose Marlowe lived past 1593 to have written 1 Henry VI, Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece.

So the public decline of Marlowe’s currency had nothing to do with either his intrinsic value or any perceived lack of utility to the Cecils. The cloud that hangs over Marlowe’s head, then and now, stems from charges leveled against Marlowe the second week in May and finalized in a Privy Council warrent for his arrest dated 18 May 1593. (ISCM) What has been missed is that Marlowe may well have been innocent of the charges pending against him. The times were turbulent and London was in the grip of the Plague. Marlowe had never been without enemies, particularly English Catholics, and the time seemed right for them to strike again. But we have leaped a head of our narrative a bit. If scholars were as mistaken about the events in Brussels and Flanders, as Nicholl was, they may well have been mistaken about other aspects of Marlowe’s official life prior to his troubles in 1593.

Consider Darryll Grantley’s essay, " ‘What meanes this shew?’ Theatricalism, Camp and Subversion in Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta." (CMERC, 224-238) Grantley concludes,             

                    Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta have always posed the problem

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)

One would only add to this the rest of Marlowe’s canon, i.e., Tamburlaine, Aeneas and Dido, Massacre at Paris, Edward II, Pharsalia etc., prove equally as difficult to reconcile with a challenge to the "dominant social and religious order." Grantley then claims Marlowe’s plays don’t mean what they say, let alone what they were taken to mean at the time, rather they mean what Grantley says. The fact is that "what is known of Marlowe’s life and opinions" assures us he was working within the established order "for the dominant social and religious" fraternity. The fact it was "factionalized" then, as now, and that he had enemies who would defame him and worse, is hardly proof of his real opinions. A man’s works are evidence of his opinions. And if these works assure us, as Grantley knows they do, that the opinions attributed to Marlowe were not his, it is the attribution that we must suspect, not his opinions.

We have nearly three hundred thousand words from which to judge Marlowe’s opinions. Whereas we have only a few hundred words from his detractors radicalizing his opinions. Why shouldn’t his canon and his record for "faithful dealing" mean more to historians and biographers than those radicalized charges? This is not to suggest Marlowe was a conventional thinker. He wasn’t. But that his masters and close friends perceived him as benign can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He worked within, not from without, the power structure. Few men have led more selfless lives. No man, of his period, was more willing to take on wrong than was Marlowe. Faustus was wrong to sell his soul for "knowledge." Edward II was wrong to give up his kingdom for his love of Gaveston. Tamburlaine was wrong to count religion a childish toy. Barrabas was wrong to poison wells and beg after bacon. The Guise was wrong to massacre his subjects. And Aeneas was wrong to forsake Dido. Marlowe’s plays are strongly moralistic. And nothing in Marlowe’s life indicates that he wasn’t also.

We shall point our nearly half a dozen new chapters to what we might call Marlowe’s orthodox life, i.e., to his life prior to May 30, 1593. Chapters that will have to be added to, or at least, considered and carefully dismissed, in any authoritative future biography of Marlowe. We shall take them in chronological order.

1571 - 1579

The first one is the most speculative. Scholars simply don’t know what young Marlowe did prior to his entry into the King’s School at Christmas in 1578. Urry writes, "his preliminary education may have taken place at one of the small privately run schools in Canterbury...it seems likely he spent a few years at a private school before coming to the King’s School as a fee-paying pupil." (CMC,42) Not only don’t we know what he was up to prior to entering the King’s School when he was aged fourteen years and ten months, just two months under the statutory limit for entrance, scholars don’t know how he managed to pay for his education. Urry writes, "how his fees would have been paid is a mystery, if it is assumed that his indigent father is unlikely to have found the money. Charity or patronage may provide the answer, as it seems to have done for other local boys at this time." (Ibid.) Despite Urry’s extensive sociological study of Marlowe’s community and his "family, kin and neighbors," Urry misses the most obvious problem of all. Not only would the improvident John Marlowe have needed to have find the cash for Christopher’s schooling, he was losing Christopher from the family’s trade. In Lord Cromwell, a play published as "W.S.’s" in 1602, the young dramatist causes Cromwell’s father to lament, "Well, had I bound him to some honest trade, this had not been, but ‘twas his mother’s doing, To send him to the university." In fact, Cromwell never attended a university, so this bit of domesticity comes from the author’s imagination. The poet, living as he did at the time and knowing what it was to have been born into a tradesman’s family, knew full well he was the property of his father and expected either to take up the family’s trade or to be "bound out" to some other "honest trade." The bottom line here is that not only do we have to account for who paid for Marlowe’s school fees, we have to ask who compensated John Marlowe for the loss of his son’s expected income? We can trace Marlowe’s absence from a series of apprentices that John Marlowe took on to replace him, as documented by Urry. (op.cit.) We can also deduce from what happened to them, the sort of home life young Marlowe faced. One of them, poor Lactantius Presson, was beaten by John Marlowe so badly he "drew blood." The circumstances were so egregious John Marlowe lost this case in his own guild court. (Ibid., 22) The fight occurred when Christopher was thirteen. Presson had been enrolled on 21 April 1576, when Marlowe was twelve. Urry supposes Marlowe would have remembered this fight, one of several recorded. I suspect Marlowe wasn’t there. That’s why John was fighting, that’s why John took on Lactantius Presson as his apprentice. He took him on in Christopher’s place. The questions are: who compensated him for Christopher’s loss and where was Christopher?

Urry paints a rather complete picture of John Marlowe who seems to have been a trifle

"self-important." He also seems to have come up, from time to time, with unexpected sums of cash, frequently standing as bondsman for various sureties, one of them for L100. (TLM, 9) Yet his court record assures us of the meagerness of his financial reserves. So we now have two questions that seem to be interrelated: where did the money come from and why was John Marlowe prancing around Canterbury acting "self-important?" Urry put it this way:

Throughout his life John Marlowe would seem to have been one of the gregarious people hanging about in central Canterbury, every ready to mind someone else’s business, and one of those who hover about the edge of greater men’s affairs....from the wealth of evidence it might seem that Christopher Marlowe’s father was rowdy, quarrelsome, awkward, improvident,busy, self-assertive and too clever by half. (CMC, 26,28)

Now there is a single solution to these two questions. If young Marlowe had been selected for a "higher calling" in the secret service of England, while seven or eight, not only would John Marlowe have been paid for young Christopher’s absence but he would have gained a type of local notoriety which would account for Urry’s description of him. John Marlow would know his son was involved in "greater men’s affairs," and would have been compensated for the loss of his son in the family business, but he would not have been free to discuss these arrangements about town.

So we are going to suggest scholars have ample evidence to suspect young Christopher Marlowe, because of his obvious verbal skills, likely manifested early on in languages and music, had been noticed locally and was "snapped up" by what we call the English net, i.e., what is today Her Majesty’s Secret Service. If one follows the careers of the young scholars who were in the King’s School with Marlowe, once cannot but help to suppose it a fertile recurring ground for young spies. Urry lists many who became ensnared. Benjamin Carrier deserves far more attention than he has received. He was not only in the King’s School with Marlowe, he followed Marlowe to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1580. (CMC, 52) So a close connection between these two lads is certain. Carrier represents the clerical route Marlowe could have taken had he not opted "to cast the scholar off" for government service and literary triumphs. Carrier, who took a BD, became vicar at Thurnham, Kent and rector at West Tarring, Sussex, where the Marlowes and the Lueknors were family friends. In 1603, more or less out of the blue, Carrier became "chaplain to King James...and [afterwards] a cathedral canon at Canterbury in 1608." (Ibid.) Having reached the top of his calling, Carrier "defected to Rome and died in France [at Rheims] in 1614." (Ibid.) It is quite possible Benjamin Carrier had been a "double agent" all his life. It is equally as possible that Marlowe interacted with him continuously, for their similar paths would have made a solid foundation for a lifelong friendship. Particularly in the age where community and school ties counted for something. Who was responsible for Carrier’s appointment as James’ chaplain? Was it Sir Lewis Leuknor, James’ mysterious master of ceremonies, about whom we shall learn more later? Leuknor (~Lewknor) claimed Marlowe’s degrees from Cambridge, but a check of that institution’s records yields no student by that name. (A.C., passim) Or was it Marlowe? Or Wotton?

A scan of a letter from Oxford University confirming our claim.

Urry also found that Marlowe’s younger brother Thomas sang for the Archbishop in the Cathedral choir in 1589 (15) a certain sign the family genes contained musical talent. If the young poet and translator went to work as a page and messenger boy when he was seven or eight, his seven years of service would have ended about Christmas of 1578 or at the time he entered the King’s School out of nowhere. Moreover his masters, who would by this time have invested seven years into the precocious young Marlowe, would have picked up the bill for his schooling. This would explain where the money came from and many of the other unanswered questions as well. However we cannot assume it simply because of its explanatory value. Fortunately we have ample evidence that the net was recruiting young boys from Canterbury and doing precisely what we have suggested was done with young Christopher, i.e., using them as pages and messenger boys, honing their linguistic skills, and then sending them to the King’s School and on to Cambridge. It is this parallel evidence that makes the case for what might had happened to young Marlowe a near certainty.

It is thus at this point that we must introduce young Nicholas Faunt to our narrative.

Faunt was born in Canterbury, as was his father, his grandfather and his great grand father. That Nicholas Faunt was the executor of the will of the Canterburian, John Okborn.

See: Abstract of the Will of John Okborn 1456... his school. The residue to be disposed for the good of my soul bymy executors Nicholas Faunt & Stephen Swyft, Overseer. Sir John www.oginet.com/Chronicles/wjok1456.htm - 2k

We mention this because the prestigious DNB has mangled this now well established lineage. Edwards, in his History of the King’s School, was first to notice Faunt on the lists. Urry noticed that Faunt’s father, William, was the "singing man" or choirmaster at the Cathedral. (CMC, 46,108) Faunt, thus, would have taught young Marlowe "sweet division" and how to sing "plain song," which was one of the qualifications for Marlowe’s Parker Scholarship to Cambridge. Indeed young Nicholas Faunt was one of the first scholars to receive this distinguished scholarship. Thus Nicholas Faunt preceded Marlowe to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and eventually turned his room over to young Marlowe in 1580. (CMERC, Illustration, preceding title page) At that time Nicholas Faunt, MA, went on to become a trusted private secretary or attaché to Sir Francis Walsingham, as Edwards first noted in his History of the King’s School. Faunt is thus as good a parallel life as any scholar could wish for. Faunt evidences what Marlowe’s masters expected to do with young Marlowe. After Walsingham’s death in April 1590, Faunt went to work for Lord Burghley and later for the Bacon brothers, first Anthony and then Sir Francis. As we’ve pointed out, the enigmatic "Thomas Wilson" became Cecil’s private secretary in charge of covert affairs about 1606. (IP, 151) If Wilson was Marlowe, we know he was well qualified for his job description: both Marlowe and Faunt were trained to be private secretaries involved in espionage. He was ready to "be recalled from...exile" for he was certainly "reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment." (2GV, V,iv, 155)

Charles Nicholl picked up on some of this in his book The Reckoning, suggesting Faunt must have been Marlowe’s entree into the net. However Nicholl made the mistake of following the DNB and thus failed to discover Faunt’s all important (for our narrative) Canterbury past. That past makes it certain Faunt and Marlowe were on parallel tracks. More importantly Faunt’s past can be used to extrapolate into Marlowe’s. And here is where we begin to pick up speed. It turns out that young Faunt was used in the net before, during and after his enrollment in the King’s School. For example a young Faunt was with Sir Francis Walsingham during the St Bartholomew Massacre in Paris on 24 August 1472. The same Massacre Marlowe dramatizes in language that suggest he witnessed it. Faunt carried Walsingham’s dispatch of these momentous events home to Elizabeth I. in his head. (A safe place that did not require laborious encryption.) It is said he could deliver these messages verbatim. (DNB; CMERC, 26,27,36) While no one doubts Faunt’s mature skills, the only person known to have a verbatim memory at that time was young Christopher Marlowe, so the question arises was Marlowe with Faunt?  

[We owe to Thomas Nashe the description of Marlowe as what we would call and aural eidetic. It appears in his Unfortunate Traveler a month after Marlowe’s death, "learning he had, and a conceit exceeding all learning, to quintessence everything which he heard. His tongue and his invention...what they thought, the world [could] confidently utter." It sounds remarkably like the traits given to Shakespeare in the advertisements of the First Folio.

Marlowe would have been eight, just the right age for this kind of service. Faunt, the older of the two, would have been his companion or what is called, in the cloak and dagger trade, his "controller."

Scholars also know who else witnessed the Massacre that evening from the balcony of the English House, both of whom are of key importance to Marlowe’s life: Sir Philip Sidney, later to become Walsingham’s son-in-law, and Sir Thomas Walsingham, Marlowe’s friend and patron, who was Walsingham’s younger cousin. (W, Read) Thomas Walsingham and Marlowe were nearly the same age, so it is quite possible Christopher was his companion, as he later was. Scholars simply don’t know. But the case for conjecture seems strong. We do know Marlowe knew about and had studied these distant events closely. We know Marlowe knew these four men, Faunt, Sidney and the two Walsinghams. We know Walsingham was using King’s School scholars for messengers before, after and while they were enrolled in the school. And we suspect Marlowe was an aural eidetic, on precisely the same track or career path as Faunt and that he cannot be found in Canterbury, where he should have been, during this early period. Canterbury records are better than average, for this period, so not finding Marlowe in one of the other schools or working for someone else in Canterbury is suggestive of his absence. When we add to it his later comprehensive knowledge of languages and customs, we have to suppose he, like Valentine, was linguist and a youthful traveler in, "tongues...my youthful travel therein made me happy, Or else I often had been miserable." (IV.i.34) And that like Speed he had learned to "speak in print." (II.i.175)

New evidence regarding Sidney's trip after leaving Paris, close on the heels of the Massacre, pinpoints his route to Heidelberg and beyond.  It took Sidney through "Balduc," the town now called "Bar-le-Duc," which is due south of Verdun.   (PS-ADL, Stewart, 93)  "From Heidelberg, Philip, Lodowick Bryskett and the servants traveled north past Mannheim and Darmstadt to Frankfurt...just a little way up the Main from where this river joined the Rhine." (Ibid., 94; emphasis mine)  This is important because Ule has made the case the description of the falls at the confluence of the Rhine and the Main, found in Dr Faustus, based on a personal visit to this region. (CM, op.cit.) Indeed most of Faustus bases on what seems to be personal remembrances of what is now Germany.  Stewart, writing in his new biography of Sidney about the Massacre's impact on those that witnessed it, notes, "for many...it created a shared experience to which they referred constantly, almost compulsively, for the rest of their lives." (Ibid., 89, emphasis mine)  This is our whole point.  Marlowe's play on this subject was, at the very least, a poignant reminder to these young nobles of that horrible event.  More than likely, it is evidence of a "compulsively shared experience," a kind of catharsis, for the young poet and his friends who witnessed these atrocities.  Since it is our purpose here to propose to the reader that works said Shakespeare's were actually Marlowe's, I should note the very early Venus and Adonis contains a line or two suggesting the poet witnessed the Massacre, perhaps very closely, as Stewart speculates may have happened to young Sidney. The line is about the silent trajectory of a "deadly bullet,"

Or as the berry breaks before it staineth,

Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,

His meaning struck here ere his words begun.

It is easy for a reader to miss the significance of this passage.  Our normal experience of bullets  is that they are preceded by a loud report, i.e., they are not silent.  But here the poet knows "deadly bullets" strike before the report reaches the victim.  This is because they travel faster than sound.  The only way one learns this is either through experience or from the study of ballistics, a science, in this regard, almost non existent at the time.  So it seems likely the young poet had been standing next to persons who were felled by a silent rain of deadly bullets which struck them before  or "ere" the report reached their ears.  He remembers this and with this memory come the "berry's stain" that is characteristic of a bullet wound to the chest. 

In addition to this we have some circumstantial linkage to the Sidneys. Urry notices that Sir Phillip, then "Esquire," showed up in Canterbury shortly after the time Marlowe entered the King’s School. (CMC,6) Sidney and his sister were there to interact with John Casimir, Prince of the Protestant armies. This was during the summer of 1579, an important time for students of these events, since that was the summer of Sir William Herbert’s conception. Herbert is the driving force behind the First Folio’s publication. It was not the first time Sidney had visited Canterbury. Sidney’s biographer, Duncan-Jones, records that Sidney took on a new page, the lutist "Daniel Bachelor" at the very same moment Marlowe entered the King’s School. (SPS, op.cit.) Bachelor has been suggested as the rival poet and there is deep confusion among scholars and musicologists as to who Bachelor was. He may have been Samuel Daniel, Bachelor of Arts. In any case, the appearance of a young "Daniel Bachelor" or "Samuel Daniel," as Sidney’s page at the same moment Marlowe entered the King’s School is notable. Particularly since later, at Wilton House, Daniel was the tutor to young William Herbert. If we need to say this more clearly, the case can be made that Marlowe was replaced by Sidney with another page during the late summer or early fall of 1579, perhaps for an indiscretion, "practicing to steal away a lady." The page who replaced him seems to have become the tutor to William Herbert and thus, has standing as the "rival poet." Since biography is not a science, we cannot be much more certain of these events than this. And we remind the reader that these connections are not solid ones.

Nevertheless lets see how they fit in the larger picture. With them in, does it come into focus or drift further out? The time of service for a page was seven years. Extrapolating back from Christmas 1578 would take to us 1571, or to when young Christopher would have been seven. Which is the time these boys entered service. We can add to this Marlowe’s plays suggest he

traveled Europe on a route similar to Sidney’s travels. (CM, Ule) In looking for textual support Two Gentlemen of Verona is a play based on the adventures of two traveling English linguists and their madcap pages, Speed and Launce. Lastly we have hints from Thomas Nashe that Marlowe was "Jack Wilton" or chief of pygmies (or Pages) at Wilton House, Mary’s primary residence, where Sidney frequently visited. A personal relationship between Marlowe and Mary has always been possible, since Marlowe dedicated Latin love poems to her, which he attributed to his friend and former professor, Dr. Thomas Watson. (CW) Watson saved Marlowe during the fight in Hogs Lane. (Hotson, Urry) Again the case is circumstantial, but it would appear Marlowe served in the net prior to entering the King’s School and that he was used early on in a capacity similar to Faunt’s. Whether he was Sidney’s page or Thomas Walsingham’s page, or even someone else’s, we simply don’t know.

We shall now inquire into what Marlowe did for the net while he was at Cambridge and after he left it in 1587. This too is speculative since the net was, as Haynes put it, an exercise in "invisible power." It used spies, cipher and shredded or burned its paper trail. Working obliquely, scholars of Marlowe’s life have placed Marlowe at home in Canterbury in August 1595, when on "xix day of August" he witnessed the will of a neighbor, Kathryn Benchkin. (CMC,123.) What they had not noticed was that Giordano Bruno, who had been in England for several years, was at that same moment preparing to leave England, through Canterbury, as Bossy notes in his account of Bruno’s activities in The Embassy Affair. Was Marlowe absent from Cambridge because he was with Bruno? Or did they just run into each other in Canterbury or did his entree come though Sidney, to whom Bruno dedicated two of his books? Or in London at Ralegh’s or Harriot’s? Marlowe is also absent from his university during the winter quarter or semester. Or during the time Bruno trekked to Rheims, then on to Paris and from there onward, according to Bossy. Could Marlowe have gone with him? Scholars know that Walsingham had Bruno "shadowed." And scholars know the code name of the young man assigned was "Henry Fagot." We even have "Fagot’s" letters easy to hand, thanks to Bossy’s work. The letters use a Kings’ School cipher, which substitutes the next consonant for any given vowel. (Pollak, Interview, op.cit.) "Fagot" jokes with Walsingham about the code and sends the key in the clear. The joke turns on the difficulties of Germanic languages, already too rich( for English ears and tongues) in consonants. (PRO SP 78/14, no. 90 bis., see Bossy, 238, Pollak, op.cit.) Bossy proposes "Fagot" was Bruno. However his Italian is worse than his French. Even Bossy calls it "execrable, and on the face of it is inconceivable that they could have been written by an Italian." (85)

Morever his hand isn’t Bruno’s. Bossy writes "the documentary problem is that Fagot and Bruno wrote totally different hands." (81) So how could "Fagot" have been Bruno? "Fagot’s" hand in those letters is, however, a lovely Italic hand quite similar to the hand of the Arrian Heresy notes. Given Marlowe’s interest in Bruno’s thought and Bruno’s rescue, written into the revised Dr. Faustus (1616), it would seem biographers have enough material to make a reasonable case that young Marlowe was "Henry Fagot." The case grows stronger when we notice how frequently Marlowe and Shakespeare draw on materials from Bruno, as Lee and others have noted at length. (Elizabethan Essays, 152-5) Again scholars cannot prove it, but it is possible Marlowe shadowed Bruno for Walsingham late in 1585 and early in 1586. The letter we have cited, using the King’s School cipher and jesting with Sir Francis, is not dated, but seems to have been written in late November or early December from Paris. Bossy writes, "as well as having no real name, Fagot has no real biography: he appears from nowhere, disappears into space, says (at least directly) nothing about himself." (76) The dates of Fagot’s letters from France overlap well with Marlowe’s absences from Cambridge. The will is dated "xix August," or just at the moment Bruno was set to leave England. Surely he would have visited the Sidneys, in Kent. Fagot’s earlier letters from England, which Bossy quoted, were dated in April 1583. These also correspond to Marlowe’s absences from Cambridge. (CMC, 56.) Urry reports Marlowe was missing from Cambridge in 1583 during the "quarter ending at Midsummer," i.e., Spring quarter, for a period of "at least six weeks." We thus have a pattern, an important pattern. Fagot is writing to Walsingham when Marlowe is absent from the King’s School. He is writing in a King’s School cipher and he is writing in an Italic hand remarkably like Marlowe’s. The focus grows better with Marlowe in the picture than without him. The case for Marlowe as Fagot seems many times stronger than the case for Bruno as Fagot, as offered by Bossy.

We make one final point here. Urry gives Marlowe’s location as Canterbury on a "Sunday in November...either 7 or 14 November 1585," it comes from court testimony of his brother-in-law, John Moore, who was called upon to remember when Marlowe read the will of Mrs. Benchkin "plainely and distincktyly." a year earlier. (CMC, 57) So this date isn’t firm. The only sound date is that of 19 August, when Marlowe signed as witness to the will. Urry reports him at Cambridge for only three weeks in the first quarter of 1586 (Lent) and only two weeks during the quarter ending at Midsummer (Easter Term). The records aren’t actually proof that Marlowe was there, as another may have taken his place or used his name or it may have been entered on the so called Buttery Book by accident. But the fact they are, for the most part, bare, is suggestive Marlowe wasn’t there for most of this time. The same time Fagot was in France.

All of this wouldn’t be so important if it weren’t for what would soon happen to Marlowe. Urry reports:

Marlowe who appeared to be fading from the Cambridge scene, seems to have come back into full residence, as demonstrated in the buttery book for a few weeks following Michaelmas (fall quarter) after which the volume gives out, not to be renewed unto the eighteenth century. In the last year (from Michaelmas 1586) Marlowe seems to have put in most of a full term down to Christmas...and in the spring...indicating residence for nearly half a term.

This is important because we know Cambridge nearly refused to grant Marlowe’s MA at commencement in July 1587. The charges against him were, as we shall see, that he’d been traveling "over the seas" to France. These travels do not seem have taken place in 1586 or 1587, based on the record, so they must reach back to these earlier absences. 

It is true Urry found him absence for a while just before Commencement, but this is to be expected. He must have learned late in Easter Quarter that Cambridge wasn’t going to grant his degree. What to do? He had to travel to London, make his case known to Burghley, and then take the entail back to Cambridge. Or follow the Queen’s messenger back, whichever it was. In any case, as Urry concluded Marlowe "seems to have come back into full residence" at Cambridge during the year prior to Commencement 1587.

In any case, as Urry concluded Marlowe "seems to have come back into full residence" at Cambridge during the year prior to Commencement 1587. Marlowe’s BA was granted Palm Sunday 1584, i.e., before the bulk of this absences. Again the evidence is suggestive. Marlowe’s travels to France and the suspicion that surrounded them related to journeys made late in 1585 and early in 1586, not to a period in 1587. This is a important distinction and must be born in mind in future treatments of his life. Whatever Marlowe was doing for the net he had been doing it in 1585/1586, rather than in 1587 prior to graduation, when as Urry reports he was back in residence.

Oddly Brooke concludes the reverse. Brooke thinks the cloud hanging over Marlowe’s graduation was from something he did for the Crown between "March and June, 1587." (TLC, 34) Brooke’s reason seems sound enough, because it was in March that he applied for his degree and seems to be "in perfectly good standing." However as Urry and I have pointed out, Marlowe seems to have been at Cambridge during this period, with the only extended period of his absence harking back to 1585/6. One suspects Marlowe’s supplication for his MA was simply accepted, in the normal fashion, and that opposition to it arose, not because he was gone, but because he was there until June. Is this clear? Any Cambridge graduate can summit, after a period of two years, a petition for their MA. It’s a matter of routine. However the granting of it, is not routine and must pass review. So Brooke was wrong to assume that the fact his petition was accepted meant he was good standing.

Now let us recall his Cambridge problems. In June 1587, when Cambridge was preparing for commencement, Marlowe’s college appears to have baulked at granting his MA. We have no records of why, but scholars do have a most remarkable document from the Privy Council, bearing the signatures of Marlowe’s Archbishop and Marlowe’ master, Lord Burghley. This uncommon document, which has been quoted many times, was an entail or demand from the Privy Council to Cambridge that exonerated Marlowe from the local gossip about his activities and informed the Cambridge Dons Marlowe had been employed in the Queen’s secret service and had while there "behaued him selfe ordierlie and discreetelie wherebie he had done her Majestie good service, and deserued to be rewarded for his faithful dealinge:" (TDCM, 58)

Imagine for a moment being at Cambridge when this dispatch arrived. It is dated "xxix June 1587." Since that was in London, it must have arrived just in the nick of time at Cambridge, since commencement was held in the first week of July. Whoever Marlowe’s enemies at Cambridge were, they must have beat a hasty retreat. Marlowe had marshaled powerful forces into his affairs. However things looked from the outside, they simply were not as they seemed to be. The entail continued, "it was not her Majesties pleasure that anie one emploied has he had been in matter touching the benefit of his Countrie should be defamed by those that are ignorant in th’ affairs he went aobut/" (Ibid.)

Think about it for a moment. The Queen of England was interested in Marlowe’s fate. Not to mention Lord Burghley and the Archbishop of Canterbury. No higher accommodation was ever paid to an English "spy" or "covert diplomat," as he should be called, than this. Charles Nicholl, who has plowed this ground thoroughly, was able to cite a single roughly similar document concerning John Edge, "a cavalry-officer serving in the Low Countries." (TR, 93). While Nicholl does not mention it Edge’s rank, as a "cavalry-officer," suggests Marlowe commanded a similar status. Nothing in the records supports it, but the assumption is warranted. Behind the scenes Marlowe’s duties for the Queen had increased his status from that a cobbler’s son, to something on par with a "cavalry-officer." Such behind the scenes promotions were common enough in cloak and dagger work. Edge’s warrent is couched in the future tense. It was devised to indemnify him should those who were ignorant of his true motivations attempt to discredit him. Marlowe’s is in the past tense. In both cases the motivation was religious. Both Edge and Marlowe appear to have been acting as Catholics, when in fact they weren’t. (TR, 94) The dispatch alludes to rumors about Marlowe "going beyond the seas to Rheames and there to remain" but it does not confirm that he went there or what he did. Nor did it intend to. Where Marlowe had been and what he had done was none of Cambridge’s business. It merely needed to know that Marlowe had been acting on orders and had fulfilled them properly.

After reviewing the Cambridge records following graduation, Urry concluded, "by the late summer of 1587 Christopher Marlowe, MA, has (as far as we can tell) forsaken his college and university for ever." (CMC, 59) Urry does not end his narrative there, he reminds us Marlowe was, as a Parker Scholar, an aspirant for "holy orders." Had he taken them, he would have remained at his university for another year or so. We shall see why this is important in due course. Meanwhile the question is what did Marlowe do during the summer of 1587? A letter from Robert Ardern to Burghley dated the 2nd of October 1587 mentions a "Mr Morley." It is one of the many ways Marlowe’s name was spelled at Cambridge. Ardern’s Morley is clearly a Burghley projector. Phillip Henderson and many others have thought him the poet.

Nicholl rejects him as the poet, but the rejection is hardly conclusive. Ardern’s "Mr Morley" may well have been Christopher Marlowe, MA. It is, after all, Lord Burghley’s signature on the Privy Council’s message to Cambridge, not Walsingham’s. So scholars have evidence for an early Marlowe/Burghley alliance. That relationship becomes conclusive when Marlowe is shipped back to Burghley from Flanders in 1591/2 by Sir Robert Sidney and again when Burghley releases Marlowe from the Pricy Council warrent on 20 May 1593, even though the charges against him in both cases were of a capital nature. This proves the point that as far as the Cecils were concerned Marlowe had done no wrong. Haynes, in his study The Gunpowder Plot, was among the first to notice the Cecils were planning in May 1593 to send Marlowe to Scotland, ostensively on the issue of the so called "Spanish Blanks." A letter between Burghley and his son, Sir Robert Cecil, dated 21 May 1593 confirms this. (LBQE, Read, 484) As does the fact Marlowe appears to have died in what is now known as a Burghley "safe-house." (TR, 325)

So Marlowe emerges in "higher service," just as he and Faunt were trained and used, i.e., as a proxy, projector or messenger, in this case to the Low Countries in October of 1587. When he returned Burghley would have work for him with Lady Arbella Stuart. Arbella (~Arabella) was at that moment in London, staying with Mary Talbot and was much in need of an attendant and tutor, as she was in and out of Court and in and out of favor. (BOH, 159) Lady Arbella stood directly in line for the throne, with Elizabeth I. telling the French Ambassador she "would one day be even as I am." (160) This status went quickly to her young head. By the following summer she was in disgrace and banished back to Hardwick Hall. (Ibid.) I have, obviously, offered no reason why I believe Marlowe was working with Arbella during this important year, but it will become clear as we progress. For now it need only be known Arbella was being taught Greek, Latin, French, Italian and the viol, as well as a lovely Italian hand, one that would stand her well for the rest of her all too tragic life. We shall prove she was taught this by one "Morley." We can then prove "Morley" was the poet/translator/cover diplomat and play-maker. And we can show he used his knowledge of Hardwick Hall, Bess and George Talbot for the subplots of 1 Henry VI.

Sticking with 1588, scholars know Arbella Stuart had a letter in French, in an Italic hand like Fagot’s and Marlowe’s, dated 13 July 1588, delivered to Burghley a day or so before the Armada was spotted or while the country was at its highest level of alert. (BL Lansdowne MS 34,ff 145-46; LLAS, 120) Marlowe’s connection to Lady Arbella will be proven in due course, but the appearance of this letter, likely delivered by Marlowe to Burghley, suggests Burghley took the letter and dispatched its bearer, "one Morely," post haste, to The Nonpareil, once Drake’s flagship. Nearly every able bodied man in England was being drafted or "pressed" into service that July, so this isn’t difficult to suppose.

A. D. Wright found evidence for such service hidden in Edward III, a play published anonymously but often considered either Marlowe’s or Shakespeare’s. (Crawford gave it to Marlowe, Sams to Shakespeare.) The evidence is to be found in the so called Mariner’s Tale, an interlude that even names the ship and its captain the poet seems to have served with. The ship was The Nonpareil. (CM&EA, 73) Burghley was Vice Admiral. The poet speaks of the channel turning "pink" with human blood, as many, during the Normandy invasion, recall first hand. Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind, was anchored at Deptford, Kent. Both it and Drake are alluded to in the Timon, ms., now shown Marlowe’s. (Baker, op.cit.)

With Arbella safely back at Hardwick Hall and the Armada Crisis behind them Marlowe could be shipped back to Arabella full-time. This would have been in the late summer of 1588. As it turns out, scholars now know for a fact Marlowe joined Arbella’s staff at that same moment, as we shall soon prove. So the analysis seems to hold. After receiving his MA Marlowe left Cambridge in the summer of 1587 and worked for Burghley until about March 1588 when, with the exception of his Armada duties, he was with Arbella or "in her service" full time for the next "three years and a half."

To sum up, we have suggested several hypothetical chapters to Marlowe’s life. The chapters cannot be proven without a time machine. On the other hand the evidence for Marlowe is far stronger than the evidence offered by Bossy for Bruno or by Nicholl for another "Morley." We’ve also suggested he was with Faunt in 1572, witnessed the St. Bartholomew Massacre and carried Walsingham’s account of it back to Elizabeth I. in his head, under the supervision of the somewhat older Nicholas Faunt. We suspect him to have been either Sir Thomas Walsingham’s page or Sidney’s. We’ve placed Marlowe and Mary Sidney Herbert in Canterbury at the time of her conception of William Hebert, i.e., July 1579, and we’ve linked Sidney’s new page, taken on that year, with the rival poet, Samuel Daniel, Bachelor of Arts. In addition we’ve pointed out that earlier studies of Marlowe’s family life have neglected to account both for who paid for his schooling and who supplemented John Marlowe for the loss of his son in his shop. The fact John was forced to take on various apprentices, as shown in depth by Urry, (CMC) documents that Christopher’s lost cost him dearly.

We’ve suggested he worked with Walsingham shadowing Bruno to Paris, under the code name or alias of "Henry Fagot." A fagot is a burning branch or torch and did not carry the additional pejorative meaning it now has. That such a branch becomes Marlowe’s trope or motto is well known and will be reviewed shortly. So this too is suggestive. We’ve then offered evidence placing him with Burghley, acting as a proxy in the Low Countries during the fall in 1587 and afterwards with Arbella Stuart until the summer of 1588, at which time he was drafted or "pressed" for duty with the English fleet. He saw action on The Nonpareil, an account of which ends up in his play, Edward III. After his return he returned to full-time to Arbella. We’ve also located Faunt on the night of 30 May 1593 in Dover, Kent preparing to send English agents to France on the following day. (LPL, op.cit.) The reader is free to believe or disbelieve these chapters, but they are not simple conjectures. Faunt was in Dover, preparing to dispatch English agents to France on that important day. The Nonpareil is in Edward III. Marlowe did write a play about the Massacre at Paris, as if he’d witnessed it. Edward II does contain a stream of diplomatic intelligence about James VI, just as does Hamlet. Mary Herbert conceived William Herbert in July 1579 while in Canterbury. Sidney took on a new page at this same time.

Our next chapter is less speculative and more ironclad. We shall now prove Marlowe was the "attendant and reader" for Lady Arbella (~Arabella) Stuart. This proof reinforces the possibility he was the attendant for Arbella who delivered her letter to Lord Burghley on or about 14 of July 1588. It is also suggestive that before this he had taught her Greek, Latin, French, Italian, the viola and her Italian hand, a close match for his own, as evidenced by the Arrian Heresy notes retained by the Crown as evidence against him. This chapter takes us deeper and longer into Marlowe’s life after Cambridge than scholars have ever penetrated. Lady Arbella Stuart was "cousin" to James VI and heiress to the throne of England. She was the granddaughter of Bess Talbot, the Countess of Shrewsbury, said the wealthiest private woman in England. She was the center of many intrigues and the focal point of what Nicholl calls "the succession-game." Marlowe had become a strategic player.

We are not the first to suggest Marlowe as Arbella’s tutor. Charles Nicholl considered the possibility that Marlowe was her "attendant and reader," first suggested by E. St. John Brooks in a Times Literary Supplement letter in 1937. Nicholl did this in his Appendix headed "False Trails." (TR, 340-342) However Nicholl rejected his use here for reasons that have proven inconclusive. Nicholl’s foremost doubt involves Marlowe’s a life in London, while Arbella was sequestered in Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, under the watchful eye of her grandmother, the Countess of Shrewsbury. In fact both the Countess and Lady Arbella had moved to London during the period in question. (BOH, 166; N&Q, September, 1997, Baker) So there are no biographic conflicts. Thus Marlowe can have been with Arbella and in London at the same time. More definitively Bess’s letter to Lord Burghley mentioning "one Morley" as Arbella’s "attendant and reader," supplies a conclusive clue towards this man’s identification. (BL Lansdowne MS 71,f.3.) Bess writes that after his "three years and a half" of service her Morley left feeling that he had been "so much damnified by leaving of the University..." that he sought additional compensation from a lease on one of Lady Arbella’s properties. This phrase coupled with Morley’s years of service and the date of the letter (21 September 1592) means that Arbella’s tutor left a university standing c. 1588.

The reader may have a question about this chronology. First we checked for missing Morleys, Marlowes, and Marleys between 1585 and 1590, just to be on the safe side. Only Christopher Marlowe, the poet, left a university standing during this period in England or Scotland. Second Elizabethans were notoriously casual about dates. They frequently appeared not to know what year they were born in or how old they were and would give sworn testimony such as "35 years or thereabouts," this in cases where they would be, according to their baptismal records, several years off the mark in either direction. The situation is complicated by the fact their new year began, not on 1 January, but 25 March. So Bess was, on 21September 1592, not yet past the middle of her year. Her Morley seems to have left late in August or early in September. (Earlier yet in the year.) Since Bess was in 1592, let us take her "for the space of three year and a half" to be exclusive of that year, i.e., to mean years other than 1592. Bess would be thinking, "let’s see, Morley was with us all of 91, all of 90, all of 89 and half of 88...or three years and a half." Half of 1588 would have been from 25 September to 25 March. This is why we have suggested Marlowe joined her staff on the heels of the Armada crisis.

If we must hold to 42 months, then obviously Marlowe would not have joined her staff until February or March of 1588/9. Since he left Cambridge midsummer of 1587, this would leave an 18 month gap. How does this gap square her assurance Morley left a university to be with Arbella? Bess does not say Morley’s service with Arbella was uninterrupted. He may have worked on and off for that total period of time. This might imply he was reading to Arbella while he was at Cambridge. This is possible because, as we have pointed out, his entree to her would have been through Lord Burghley and Burghley could have sent him to Hardwick prior to his graduation. Say sometime in 1586/87. Or even earlier. Alternatively, his duties with the Armada crisis may have begun earlier than the summer of 1588 and lasted longer. National service is a sort of "time out" in one’s life. ( I had students missing from classes for two years for duty in Vietnam during the early 1970s, who returned to pick up where they had left off. ) Thus Marlowe could have been promised the position with Arbella, left his university for it and was sidetracked for a year or more because the Armada crisis.

What is important here is his perception that he left the University for Arbella and the length of his service with her, "the space of three year and a half." When he left it and how long it took him to reach her are separate issues. One sees him as sincere. He could have worked within his University, but he choose to "cast the scholar off." So when the chips were down, he reminded the Countess of this choice. She, weary from the road, thought it inopportune, reacted and sacked him. Marlowe responded with writing her into 1 Henry VI. In any case we believe the identification stands, incontrovertibly, because the poet is the only "Morley" who left a university standing c. 1588.

We’ve pointed out that Marlowe was, in 1587, a candidate for holy orders and would, had he continued at his university, have received them. So leaving the university for service with Burghley and Arbella "damnified" him. In more ways than one, as we have seen. We’ve suggested Burghley used him in the Low Countries in October of that year, as the record indicates and that later he placed him with Lady Arbella. It is important to recall that Arbella, who was an orphan, like Southampton, was Burghley’s ward. She was also the Queen indormite, so he had dual interests in her welfare and would have been responsible for placing Marlowe with her. It was another reason Marlowe had required his MA. A tutor for someone at this level needed credentials form Cambridge, as well as an entree at the highest level. Marlowe had both.

Still this proves nothing. However a simple check of the records assures us that only the poet, Christopher Marlowe, left a university standing during this period. Thus the identification of Marlowe as the tutor to Arbella Stuart is conclusive and, as Hotson put it when he reviewed the evidence for the poet as the Morley of the Privy Council’s note to Cambridge, exclusive. Hotson wrote, "it is impossible to cast any doubt on the dating" and on the identity of the Privy Council’s "Morley." It is equally impossible to cast any doubt on the identity of Arbella’s Morley, he was the poet. Nicholl acknowledges how important it would have been for Marlowe to have gained this job and how it fits with the larger picture on Marlowe, for he’s written,

If Morley really was Marlowe, this would place him in a key position in the succession-game. Arabella [sic] Stuart was the centre of Catholic intrigue. In 1591, when she was eighteen, plans were afoot to marry her to Rainutio Franese, son of the Duke of Parma. English agents were busy meddling and projecting in these plans, among the Poley’s man Michael Moody...another rumour connected Arabella to Marlowe’s patron, the Earl of Northumberland. (341)


Yet Nicholl missed this link because he didn’t do his homework. He failed to check the college lists, as we have done. If he’d checked them, he’d have discovered, as we did, that only the poet left a university standing c. 1588 and was thus "damnified by leaving of the University."

David Durant, in his biography, Bess of Hardwick, gives us the following account of Arbella’s accomplishments:

            Bess...never learnt French and it is doubtful she understood Latin, whereas

            Arbella was reported to have studied Greek and Hebrew, as well as speaking

[           and writing] French, Italian, Spanish and reading Latin and, being fond of

            music, she played the viol. (196)

Since Arbella’s only known teacher was "one Morley," and what with Bess’ difficulty of replacing him on her staff, "I have no other in my house who will supply Morley’s place very well for the time," we can safely conclude who taught her these languages, and likely the viol as well. (ms., op.cit.) 

This must be the "source" of the slams in Merry Wives where the author ridicules women literate enough in English, but deficient in Latin.  He shows they become captives of their "servants."  I should also add that Urry has proven the plot from MW depends on events that took place in Canterbury.  Hoffman Prize Paper, 2000.
Bess’ letter to Lord Burghley implies Morley had been drafting her letters, since she introduces her son’s hand (William Cavendish) to him in the text, complaining her own too infirm to use. This raises the possibility of finding letters in the Burghley archives drafted by "one Morley."

As mentioned Marlowe’s scholarship required professional level competency in music, and Faunt’s father was the "singing man" or choirmaster of Canterbury’s Cathedral. (CMC, op.cit.) A "Morley" is known to have been in Utrecht on business touching on Arbella, just before Sidney deported Christopher home from Flanders. (CM, Ule, 244) He was using the name "Thomas Morley" and pretending to be the organist and "singing man" of St. Paul’s. No one feigns accomplishments in an area they lack competency in, so future biographers are going to have to acknowledge Marlowe’s musical skills, as well as his tenure with Arbella.

It is true Nicholl claims this Morley was the organist, during his rejection of the other "Morley" as Marlowe for Arbella. However Nicholl gives no reason for identifying Paget’s Morley as the organist. Thomas’ life is well known and he does not seem to have ever been involved in the spy-for-hire game. We know, for certain, he was not with Arbella for "three years and a half." That there would be two "Morleys" both in Brussels at the same time, both on business touching on Arbella, is not likely. Let us take a look at how Bess phrased her letter concerning Marlowe:

One Morley who hath attended on Arbell and read to her for the space of three years and a half, showed to be much discontented since my return into the country, in saying he had lived in hope to have some annuity granted him by Arbell out of her lands during his life, or some lease of grounds to the value of forty pounds a year, alleging that he was so much damaged by leaving the University...I... took the occasion to part with him.

With these circumstances in mind let’s consider this scene from Edward II, supposedly written the same year:

Baldock: Then hope I by her means to be preferred,

                                        Having read unto her since she was a child.

                                        Spencer: Then Baldock, you must cast the scholar off,

                                        And learn to court it like a Gentleman. (ii, i)

Notice that both Marlowe and Baldock had read to a "lady...since she was a child;" both hoped for "preferment" because of it; both had their hopes dashed and both had to "cast the scholar off" and "learn to court it like a Gentleman." One of Arbella’s letters actually quotes from Lucan’s Pharsalia or The Civil Wars of Rome, the book Marlowe was translating when the events at Deptford overwhelmed him. (LLAS,155 ) No parallels could be closer. Nicholl in reviewing the diplomatic evidence concerning Marlowe’s life and the evidence of it in his literary canon concluded that Marlowe’s materials were frequently drawn from his covert diplomatic experience:

I discern that rather disturbing closeness, that sense of collusion between his work as a poet and his work as—for want of a better word—spy. (48)

The "closeness" and "collusion" between Marlowe’s day job and night job is the theme of this paper. Finding diplomatic intelligence about Bess and George Talbot in 1 Henry VI is the clincher for identifying Marlowe as its author. This is the same sort of "closeness" modern writers of diplomatic spy games evidence in their works. Major cloak and dagger writers of our age were university educated former intelligent agents gone public: Ian Flemming, Tom Clancy and John le Carre. The plays, many of them best classified as diplomatic docudramas and nearly all of them drawing of what was then English diplomatic intelligence, i.e., cloak and dagger stuff, are laced with education and worldly travels. They suggest the same professional level background as Flemming, Clacy and le Carre: a university educated mind, a linguist of the first order and a traveler, actual or mental. I’ve mention the marvelous early play Lord Cromwell. It too teams with Marlovian and Shakespearian images, phrases and locales.

...Sir Christopher, is that your man?

Hales....Your grace, he is a scholar, and a linguist

One that hath traveled through many parts...

Wol. ...have you been a traveler?

Cromwell. My lord,

I have added to my knowledge, the Low Countries,

With France, Spain, German and Italy...

Sound familiar?

We are nearing the end of updating the reader on the new developments in Marlowe’s biography. I have mentioned that a man claiming to be "Thomas Morley" surfaced in Brussels in the home of Charles Paget, "a leader of the exiled Catholics." (CM, Ule, 242) Letters about him are among the CSPF. In the letter from Paget to Barnes, Paget


There is a Morley that playeth the organies is Paul’s that was with me in my house...I hear since his coming thither he hath played the promoter and apprehended Catholics. I pray you advertise me thereof.

Barnes passed the letter on to Thomas Phelippes, who passed it on to Lord Burghley. Meanwhile Barnes wrote back to Paget,

It is true that Morley the singing man employs himself in that kind of service ...and hath brought divers into danger.

This was just a few months before being arrested in Flushing and the subtext seems in both cases to have been Arbella and exiled English Catholics. It is not likely this "Morley" was the

organist. It is likely that both Morleys were the same individuals. In any case Marlowe was working for Burghley and for Arbella, or playing both ends against the middle.

The conditions of his termination suggest a ploy. From Bess’s despatch, we know Burghley had written Bess warning her that a plot on Arbella’s life had been discovered and that members of her household staff were suspected. What better ploy than to offer them a disgruntled employee who would have known Arbella personally, i.e., "one Morley"? Even if this was not the hidden case, we know the plot was foiled and that Marlowe returned shortly to Canterbury in what appears to have been a foul mood. He fought with the singing man William Corkine. (CMC, 66-68) The times are just right. He leaves Shrewsbury in late August or early September and is back in Canterbury on 15th of September 1592. We know that six months later he will be standing, first in line, as the Cecils’ proxy to the court of King James VI, Arbella’s cousin. He was the perfect agent for the assignment. Not only did he know Arbella and could thus carry James news of her, he had been studying James closely as we can see from the text of Edward II. Lawrence Normand has gone over it in considerable depth and noted the remarkable parallels between it and what was then a stream of private diplomatic intelligence about King James VI and Lennox. (CMERC, op.cit.) The plays were actually diplomatic docudramas which explored subjects that might not otherwise be exportable. Edward II was an oblique inquiry into how James’ homosexuality would effect his rule. Think of them as primitive computer simulations or "war games." In this case the writer selected proved to be larger than the subject and thus his treatments, as opposed to others, have survived. They took on a life of their own. Elizabethans were proficient at having to consider important issues indirectly and skilled at reading the "subtext." Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth all based on diplomatic intelligence from Scotland, as scholars know. The burning question is how did Shakespeare obtain access to this material? We know how Marlowe did.

This brings us up to the spring of 1593, when on the evening of 2 May, the often overlooked Dutch Church Libels appeared. They were signed "Tamburlaine " and written in iambic pentameter, the verse form Marlowe had more or less invented. Their sentiment parallels Gaunt’s in Richard II, who lamented on the decline of English liberties. The Star Chamber’s order gave the searchers the authority to use torture to extract confessions from the suspected poets:

you shall by authority hereof put them to the torture in Bridwewell, and by th’ extremity thereof, to be used at such times and as often as you shall think fit, draw them to discover their knowledge concerning the said libels. (CM,55)

Thomas Kyd, Marlowe’s roommate was tortured and provided "evidence" against Marlowe. He does not seem to have recovered from his ordeal. Handwritten notes, evidently in a hand similar to those of the Dutch Church Libels, were found in Kdy’s room and said to be Marlowe’s. (CMC) The Privy Council edict authorized the searching of writers rooms and persons, as well as "their chambers, studies, chest, or other like places for all manner of writings or papers that may give you light for the discovery of the libellers." (TLM,Brooke,55) After Kyd identified Marlowe a government informer, one Richard Baines, who knew Marlowe, gave a bill of particulars against him consistent with the atheistic appearance of the notes said Marlowe’s, which have since been identified as transcripts for a book in the library of Marlowe’s headmaster (from the King’s School) John Gresshop, The Fall of the Late Arrian. (CMC, 116) The inventory had been taken by Faunt’s father, William, called there "Faunt, the singing man." (108) The valuation of the books had been placed by a "Mr John Hill Prebendarye in christs chruche in Canterbury." (122) He set the value of The Fall as "2 d." Little did he know how important it would become to the history of English speaking peoples.

What they were up to can best be seen in the Baines Libel and nearly contemporary "conjectural records" of Marlowe’s death launched by pamphleteers. The Baines libel is still widely quoted as if it casts authentic light on the poet’s character. It accuses him of atheism, heresy, sedition, treason and homosexual acts with young boys. Lord Burghley, who knew better, would have tossed it into the fire, but for the domestic junta that wanted Marlowe’s hide it was pure gold. The Baines libel or its point of view is reflected in the attacks on Marlowe that appeared in print in the years following his death. Hotson noted they were all "of a homiletic turn dwelt upon the awfulness of God’s sudden hand upon this man who had ventured to doubt and deny." (TDCM, 11) Hotson duly noted they would prove more "amusing than instructive." (Ibid.) Were it only true. In fact, as we have been pointing out, these vicious libels are still hanging over Marlowe’s head. Hotson then cited Thomas Beard’s Theatre of Gods Judgements, (1598) and Edumund Rudierde’s, The thunderbolt of gods Wrath against Har-Hearted and stiffe-necked sinners (1618). With these Hotson quoted from Francis Meres’s account in Palladis Tamia (1598) which called Marlowe an "Epicurisme and Atheisme." Meres claimed Marlowe had been "stabd to death by a bawdy Seruing man, a riuall of his in his lewde loue." Also cited by Hotson was the narrative of William Vaughan (1600) in his Golden Grove. Vaughan mentions Deptford, Kent and the name of Marlowe’s killer, "Ingram." Vaughan also got correct or nearly correct the means of Marlowe’s sudden end, a dagger blow "into the eye, in such short, that his braines comming out at the dagger point, hee shorlie after dyed." (TDCM, 11-17)

To these fictionalized, partisan and inflammatory reports we have the official versions of his death. Unfortunately they conflict over when and where Marlowe died. They were rediscovered by Hotson in the early 1920s, having laid silent for almost four centuries. These inquest accounts certify that Marlowe was stabbed in the face, actually over his right eye, by Ingram Frizer, a servant of Sir Thomas Walsingham. Sir Thomas was Marlowe’s patron and friend, the man he was allegedly staying with when the Pricy Council sent for him. (ISCM) The coroner’s report reads "the aforesaid Christopher Morley then & there instantly died;..." (TDCM, 33) Neither Marlowe’s identification or the means and time of his death were independently confirmed. They were simply taken on the word of his killer and two companions. This report is contradicted by an account prepared for the Queen, which is endorsed on the back,

"Copye of Marloes


As sent to her H"


On the face of which was added:

A note delivered on Whitsun eve last of the most horrible blasphemies and damnable opinions uttered by Christopher Marley who within iii days after came to a sudden & fearful end of his life.

The problem is one of dates. The coroner’s report places the time of Marlowe’s death as 30 May 1593, whereas this report was delivered to the queen on the 2 of June. This same report suggests that Marlowe died on the 5th of June, well after the Coroner’s report’s date and even after his interment on 1 June.  


Tucker Brooke writes, "Danchin is incorrect in dating Whitsunday, 1593, 27 May...it fell on 3 June."(67) Above in the text he writes, "Yet if the note was indeed delivered on Whtsun Eve (2 June), as the revised heading of the ‘copy’ states, the man accused was not only dead but buried, and the coroner’s jury had made their inquisition. Marlowe was slain, not since Whitsunday," but on the Wednesday before, i.e., Whit Wednesday." Shakespeare, as we shall see, agree with Brooke in his account of these events in Henry IV.  We Yanks have a difficult time with dates tracked by the names of English holidays. So I am trusting Brooke.

So which was it? Could both official reports be wrong? Six days is a considerable discrepancy in official records. The Queen’s tenor sent to Sir William Danby, her Coroner, charging him with forwarding his report to her concerning Marlowe’s death is dated 15 June 1593 or a half month later. It shows her to be well informed about these events and commanded Danby, "to send the tenor of the indictment aforesaid with everything touching it and whatsoever names the parties aforesaid in that indictment are known by, to us in our Chancery under your seal...without delay." His report is so similar to her letter of inquiry, that Tucker Brooke only reports one. My question is, which came first? Her "command" or Danby’s inquest report? It looks to me that Danby drafted his report to reflect or harmonize with her tenor.

I’ve also always been troubled by her phase requiring Danby to respond with "whatsoever names the parties aforesaid in that indictment are known by." 


It seems she was commanding Danby not to inquire into their real names. Nicholl also suspects official coverup, so we are not alone here. (Nicholl supposes the Crown had him killed, [TR, 329] Marlovians suppose his masters helped him escape.) When she issued her pardon to Marlowe’s alleged slayer, the servant of Sir Thomas Walsingham, Ingram Frizer, she uses another phrase that, for me, is equally full of hidden meaning. By it she retained venue over the case, "provided the right remain in our court if anyone should wish to complain of him concerning the death above mentioned." (TDCM, 37) Because of this, Marlowe’s death was never to become a local question. It was forever sealed up and could only be reviewed under the watchful eyes of the Crown. Why? This is certainly not what happened when William Bradley was slain in Hog Lane on the 18/28 September 1589. Even though that killing took place inside the verge, the Queen’s coroner did not act. All the legal proceedings took place in the local court at Newgate. (TLM, Brooke, 97) Obviously the Crown was paying closer attention to Marlowe’s death. So close it confused the dates. Could it all have been a clever ruse devised to end Marlowe’s continuing problems with the Catholics? Why else would Marlowe’s lifelong friend and patron, Sir Thomas Walsingham, have gone on employing Ingram Frizer? If Frizer had actually killed that "Elementary wit," Christopher Marlowe, why would Walsingham have continued to retain him? And if he’d killed him, why wasn’t Marlowe’s body, allegedly laid to rest in the Churchyard at Deptford, marked by a penitent Sir Thomas?

arlovians have evidence suggesting the body said Marlowe’s was that of John Penry. Penry and Marlowe (and Greenwood, who was hanged a month earlier) were classmates from Cambridge. (CMC, 60) Penry and Greenwood were divines, Separatists, accused of having had a hand in the Marprelate Tracks, which many believe Marlowe involved in. (J. Joffen, MLA Conference, 12, 28,1981, TLM, op.cit.) Separatists believed the state should not be involved in religious matters. Penry had been jailed, tried and convicted over denying the Virgin’s supremacy in matters of faith, and was awaiting execution. (The Criss of the Seventeenth century: Religion, the Reformation and Social Change, Trevor-Roper, Chapter Three, "The European Witch Craze," 105-115 and henry Charles Lea’s Torture, 146) The Crown had even jailed Peter Wentworth for bringing up the question of succession in Parliament. He was lucky, earlier it had chopped off the hand of John Stubbs for the same "offense." (Elizabeth I, Somerset, 323-314) Penry’s last letter to Lord Burghley bears three dates, two on the recto, one on the verso. The last one just moments before he was hanged on the 29th of May 1593, about a mile or so from Deptford. (I have held it in my own hands.) It asks Burghley to see to his body and to his family. The letter is among the Burghley papers in the British Library. Now the question is who picked up Penry’s body and what happened to it?

The body said Marlowe’s, as we have mentioned, was promptly buried in Deptford. (TDCM, op.cit.) The record correctly identifies his slayer. But there is no record of Penry’s burial. (Moore, Farey) Did Burghley task Marlowe to pick up Penry’s body on the 29th of May? Did Marlowe have it with him at Deptford? It was just the next day. The English method of hanging does not break and "stretch" the neck as does the American method. So the body could have been used. Particularly since about twenty four hours after death rigor mortis has ended and the body is again slack and fresh looking. So substitution, particularly in those days, was possible, see: . Scholars simply don’t know the answers to these questions, but it should be an open question as to when and if Marlowe died.

Scholars have rather good evidence of his post 1593 survival. I bring these up not because they directly impact his likely authorship of Henry VI, Venus and Adonis and Rape of Lucrece, but because they are exculpating your author’s alleged mental condition. The records show that a Christopher Marlor (or Marlowe) surfaced on 20/30 May 1596 in Valladolid, Spain, pretending to be an English Catholic. 

Scholars persist in reading this word as "Marlor," I suspect because they are following Hotson's printed reading.  The original it looks like "Marlow" to me. And the Valladolid record confirms it. 

That was six years to the day from the date of the poet’s release and/or death in Deptford. A report sent to the Privy Council from Pisa dated on the 4/14 of July 1602 warns the Council that his "caterpillar" or "spy" was set to return to England. The letter’s date coincides with the time that "Thomas Wilson" would be traveling back to England, allegedly from Florence, but through France. Why travel inland, where the ocean route was faster? Perhaps he left from Valladolid? Leslie Hotson, who seems to have been the first to notice Vaughan’s dispatch, quoted it in full in his book on Marlowe’s death. (DCM, 60-61) However there he incorrectly identified this Christopher Marlow "as he will be called," as the Trinity Marlowe. The problem is the Trinity Marlowe had died in 1596 and thus cannot be this "caterpillar." (Alumni Cantabrigienses, I,3, 213) In my own investigation of these records, it turned out that this Christopher Morley’s will was witnessed by Hugh Holland, the same man who would later sign a dedicatory epistle to the First Folio of Shakespeare, as if he’d known the author. Odd, isn’t it? Bakeless, suspecting a problem, suggested him a John Mathew or Mathews from Trinity, but the dates and names simply don’t fit with the Cambridge records. (AC, op.cit.)

The sighting at Valladolid is of particular interest to scholars since this Marlow, whoever he proves to have been, was at the seminary at the same time Cervantes was there working on Don Quixote. This is important because the marvelous English translation of Don Quixote was attributed to a "T. S." or a "Thomas Shelton," a name comprised of the first name of Sir Thomas Walsingham and the maiden name of his wife, Lady Audrey Shelton. The matchless translator of Cervantes Spanish, "Thomas Shelton," has proven to be a nom de plume and has otherwise remained unidentified. (Francis Carr, "Who was Thomas Shelton?"; Francis Bacon Home Page) Fancy that. Under the circumstances the most likely suspect is this mysterious "Christopher Marlowe" or "Marlow" at Valladolid. Shakespeare is said to have written a play based on Don Quixote, Cardenio and Othello alludes to it several times. Charles Hamilton and I have suggested this was the so called Second Maiden’s Tragedy, ms. (1994, 258) So the linkage is important to Shakespearian scholars as well. Marlowe’s name is to be found in the records of Catholic poisoners in Gatehouse Prison for the period between 25 June and 23 September, 1604, where he is said to have been using the alias Mathews:

Committed by my Lord Chief Justice: Christopher Marlowe alias, Mathews

a seminary priest, oweth for his diet and lodging for 7 week and two

day being close prisoner at the rate of 14s the week: L5 2s. For

washing: 2s [Total] L5 4s 4d. (CM, Ule, 508; CSPD)

The charges for his billet were sent to Sir Robert Cecil. He was summarily released and is not heard of again. Who was he, if not the Marlowe from Valladolid, and thus the poet? Again scholars simply do not know. But there is ample evidence on the table to suspect that Marlowe may have survived 1593 and compelling evidence to suppose that he was not guilty of any of the charges leveled against him in the Baines note. This leads us to the conclusion that Marlowe’s treatment at the hands of history has been unjustified.

Indeed Tucker Brooke writing in his biography of Marlowe (33, cf2) suggested that the Valladolid scholar was widely believed to have been the poet (as one would certainly suspect) and that it was this "caterpillar" who was responsible for the second wave of bad press that overwhelmed the poet’s reputation. Tucker wrote:

The fact that shortly after Marlowe’s death one John Mathew, a seminary priest, employed the alias of Christopher Marlor or Marlowe may have contributed to blacken the poet’s reputation.

Brooke cites TLS letters from Hotson which appeared on June 24 and July 27, 1925. Or just before Hotson’s book made it to print. As we have just seen, Hotson incorrectly identified this Marlowe as the Trinity Marlowe, who died in 1596. No John Mathew can be traced at Cambridge. So the question as to who this Marlowe was is still unsolved. We suggest the English record, which calls him Christopher Marlowe alias Mathews, is more likely to be correct tham the Valladolid record, which reverses these names. The fact that those alive at the time believed this man to have been the poet is also worth noting. Why shouldn’t they know more about his real identity than we do? Weren’t they there? Didn’t they know these people?


So if his friends were in high places, his enemies were also. Suppose for a moment that Marlowe had run a collision course against Rome? Just as the entail suggests. Just as Nicholl discovered. Suppose further that he, unlike Henry VIII, was unflanked. Rome has a history of being slow to forgive. It has taken four hundred years for it to concede that the earth rotates the sun and two millenniums for a papal degree clearing modern Jewry from their ancestors’ role in the death of Jesus. While we no longer see Dr Faustus as an anti-Catholic broadside, we can hardly suppose it to have been perceived in any other way during Marlowe’s age. Consider just its dramatic end. Faustus is urged by his good angels to repent as his death draws near. Yet he will not repent. Why? because there is not enough time for good deeds. Faustus, like orthodox Catholics, didn’t believe in salvation by grace. So we have dramatized in Faustus the conflict that is the root of the schism between Protestantism and Catholicism: salivation by grace versus salivation by deeds. Faustus, a Catholic despite his conflict with the pope, will not believe in salivation by grace even when urged to it by a choir of angels. He kept his faith in tact and died a martyr to he Catholic cause, as many true Englishmen were dying during that period. We can bet our boots that Marlowe’s audience was on its feet urging Faustus to take salivation by grace. And from this simple analysis we can see that Marlowe, trained for Christian service, was fulfilling the requirements of his Parker scholarship. Dr Faustus is still bringing souls to Christ and more than a few of them have been Roman Catholic souls. It is more than merely preposterous to suppose the author of Faustus was an atheist. That charge has to be schismatic, Roman Catholic in its origin. As is much of Marlowe’s bad press. Signaling a reconciliation, T. S. Eliot, a headline Catholic himself, has called Marlowe the "most Christian...of his contemporaries." (Collected Essays, "Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca.")

It is not our purpose to awake sentiments best left sleeping. We live in an age when one’s religion and sexual orientation is properly not connected to one’s political rights. But the fact is that Marlowe lived in an age when men and women died for what seem today to be minor schismatic differences. Into that melee Marlowe’s The Massacre at Paris must have been a focal point for anti-Catholic sentiments. So Marlowe, for better or for worse, had thrown himself headlong into the midst of this struggle for the ascendancy of Protestantism. Surely his inflammatory The Jew of Malta fits nicely into this scheme. Step by step, play by play, Marlowe was signaling his allegiance to Christian causes of an anti-Jewish and anti-Papal nature. This meant he was making powerful enemies.

We all know the charges pending against him on the 18th of May, the charges lying behind the Privy Council’s arrest order of that day and itemized in the Baines note, included not just treason, but heresy and homosexuality as well. Sober minds doubt the efficacy of any of these charges. But the fact that he officially died before he could address them, and died under suspicious circumstances, circumstances that seemed to confirm them, certainly painted him in the worst possible light. Tamburlaine and Edward II both helped increase the intensity of this negative illumination. It was Tambrulaine, who counted religion but a childish toy, and Edward II, who delighted in homosexual joys. Neither were helpful as exculpating witnesses. Though both could be defended as psychological studies of demented men. However taken out of context, as Marlowe’s enemies did and do, they were nothing but trouble for him. The question is could Marlowe and his high friends afford, in that era, an open fight with witch-hunters who believed the Plague to have been caused by God’s wrath against London play-makers and not Yersinia pestis? The question answers itself. In truth, they could not. Such is the power of ignorance.

Scholars now know both Tamburlaine and Edward II base on diplomatic intelligence streams, the former about the Russian Tzar, Ivan the Terrible, and the other about James VI of Scotland. That James VI was destined to become James I of England. These discoveries have been brought out in considerable detail by a school of modern, mainly Kentish scholars, and appear as collected papers in the book Christopher Marlowe and English Renaissance Culture. (1999) Rowse seems to have been the first to notice the parallels between Ivan the Terrible and Tamburlaine. (CMERC, ‘Visible Bullets’) With this in mind Marlowe would have had an ace or a trump card up his sleeve. And a living Marlowe could defend himself from either charge, but a dead Marlowe had no standing in the propaganda war that was about to break over his head. As Kyd put it, mortui non mordent, the dead don’t bite back. The conservative Charles Nicholl, after years of consideration, concluded that the Crown had Marlowe killed to avoid an open fight:

He died in the hands of political agents: a victim, though not an innocent victim, of court intrigues that flourished in this ‘queasy time’ of change and succession. The story of the ‘recknynge’, concocted within hours and elaborated over the centuries, was a lie. It neutralised potential embarrassments. It served to cover up the tracks that led form Mrs Bulls’ house, through the back-ways of government service, to the doors of Her Majesty’s Privy Council. It was just another for these ‘fictions and knaveries’. (329)

We don’t conclude that at all. The three men with Marlowe were never suspected of being killers, or "wet boys" as they are called in the trade. Foreswearers, yes, but killers no, as Peter Farey has pointed out at great length. (Op.cit.) We do however agree with Nicholl that the events at Deptford were certainly lies. Elaborate ones. But the notion that Sir Thomas Walsingham had Marlowe murdered is nothing short of implausible. The Crown could have had Marlowe killed under torture. We have seen the Privy Council edict authorizing its use. Kyd nearly died under it.

Scholars even have a letter from Elizabeth I. authorizing its use. Elizabeth I, Collected Works, Chicago, 127.  A very ugly fact for a Virgin Queen. 

 If the Crown had wanted Marlowe dead there were a thousand legal means. Instead Burghley released him on a recognizance bond. Ten days later Marlowe is said dead in Burghley’s safe-house. He had been awaiting transportation to Scotland to be with King James VI as a Cecil projector. On that same evening Marlowe’s life-long friend and ally is at Dover, Kent preparing to send English agents to Calais on the next day. (LPL, op.cit..) Faunt returns to London via the inland route, through Canterbury. A year or so latter Shakespeare writing, for all the world like Marlowe, is privy to the same stream of diplomatic intelligence that Marlowe was. He is up to his ears in the protean events of the succession-game. He is preaching Cecils’ constitutionalism, nearly openly. He writes as if he’d been to Scotland and knew King James VI personally. Later, in The Winter’s Tale, he will allude to knowing young Prince Henry personally,


You have an unspeakable comfort of your young Prince Mamillius.

He is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.( I.i. 37-38)

While scholars never seem to mention it, Shakespeare appears to have stopped writing with the death of Prince Henry, c. 6 November 1612. Henry was "an unspeakable" comfort because to speak of his succession to King James was tantamount to cutting one’s own throat. Scot reports the young Prince of Wales was attracting so much favorable attention in Court his father was heard to mutter, "Will he bury me alive?" (JI, 324) It was not long after this the young Prince died under circumstances which are still unclear. What is clear is that Queen Anne, Henry’s mother, blamed James I in his death and seems to have been backed in this claim by Lord Coke during the investigation of Franklin, the apothecary who supplied the poison for Overbuy. (The Overbury Affair, 49-50) While de Ford imagines "Henry undoubtedly died of typhoid...Coke apparently really believed that Henry had been poisoned..." Again I stand stupefied before such "logic." Coke, who was the Chief Justice of England, who was there at the time, who risked his life and career, over and over, to do battle with James I for the rights that all modern Americans and most Englishmen now take as "inalienable," believed Prince Henry had been poisoned. However de Ford writes we are to discount this "belief," for the opinion of someone who wasn’t there at the time and who has no first hand knowledge of the subject whatsoever. The fact is Coke and Queen Anne suspected James I had Prince Henry poisoned. That’s the fact. And given the cessation of these marvelous works at this same point in time, Shakespeare seems to have agreed with them. I should point out here Prince Hal (Henry IV) did have a real life counterpart in that age: Prince Henry of Wales. The young Prince was the hope of the English Enlightenment and it died with him, as Sir Roy Strong notes in his biography Henry, Prince of Wales and England’s Lost Renaissance. I suppose I shouldn’t trouble the reader with noting Strong’s most useful source on Prince Henry was The True Picture and Relation of Prince Henry (1641) by the still unidentified "W.H.", who described himself as "in the Prince’s service." These are same initials that grace the Sonnets. I should note the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury does bear directly on the Marlowe case. For Overbury, like Faunt and Wilson, was an "ex-secretary, ex-protege, and ex-friend of Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset—the favorite of King James I." Carr, who was nearly illiterate, depended on Overbury, just as many titled men depended on their "secretaries." Overbury’s knighthood was something that Faunt and Wilson both aspired to and something that lay easily within Marlowe’s grasp had his life been "normal."

Two more things must be said here. I’ve noted powerful men and women, there at the time, believed James I might have had Prince Henry killed to prevent him from taking over the throne. It wouldn’t be the first time in history something like that had happened, as Xenophon notes in his study on Tyranny. James would not only have had motive and opportunity, he might even have had another, more compelling reason to mistrust Prince Henry. Henry’s eyes were a lovely brown, whereas his and Anne’s were both blue. William Roughead summed up James not unfairly when he wrote,

He was the son who abandoned to her fate his mother Mary Stuart; the kinsman who held his cousin Arabella captive till she went mad and died; the prince who repaid England’s debt to Raleigh by spoilation, imprisonment, and death; the guest who caused his boyhood hosts the Ruthvens to be butchered in their own home, and immured their child brother in the Tower for forty years. (Nothing But Murder, Sheridan House.)

Roughead says nothing about his open homosexual habits that encouraged the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury and led to a revolution. It is those habits, as well as the color of Prince Henry’s eyes, that cast a doubt on his fatherhood. The record shows James and Anne were without a pregnancy until the late spring or early summer of 1593. Why? Queen Anne was a close friend of Henry Locke, the minor English poet who had shown up in Scotland in the early 1590s. Wouldn’t she have been even a closer friend to Marlowe? "Emilia Lanier" implies so in her banned translation of the New Testament which appeared in 1611.(SDRJ, Rowse) It argued, in what was then a heretical and Marlowe like fashion, that sin enters the human race through men, since Mary birthed Jesus without it. This long overlooked book, which appeared at the same time the King James Bible appeared, also contains a dedication to Arbella Stuart. It boasts the author knew her as well: "whom long I have known, but not known so well as I desired." This same author also laments he was "blessed" by "Great Queen Eliz’s favor" but now lived "closed up in sorrow’s cell." Its marvelous rendering of Biblical Greek, in what Rowse called its "easy command of iambic pentameter," rhymed I might add, makes a post 1593 Marlowe the usual suspect. Lanier, a famous courtesan of the period, can hardly have been the actual translator of its Greek, as occasional lapses from the feminine to the masculine pronoun suggest. For those who have not read it, it is a moving version of the New Testament. focusing on the betrayal of Jesus, with all four Gospels reduced to one, along with a schismatic commentary. Scholars have long suspected Shakespeare worked on the King James translation and point to his name appearing in the 46th Psalm, neatly encrypted. Indeed the plays reflect a religious conversion dating to about this same period. Violet A. Wilson, the author of Society Women of Shakespeare’s Time, doesn’t stoop to mention Ms. Lanier, perhaps she had never heard of her? Rowse claims only two copies are known to survive, both damaged. Rowse argued Lanier was Shakespeare’s "dark lady," but of course she was no lady, as Wilson must have blushingly known.

So pardon me if I scoff a bit. The "Marlowe survived 1593 and lived to become Shakespeare theory," first suggested by Queen Elizabeth I., is the most viable of all the theories advanced to date. It is particularly more viable than the rustic actor theory first proposed by advertisements in the First Folio, seven years after his death. However to keep things chronological, we must now turn to the years following Marlowe’s official death. The analysis will explain how Elizabeth I. became the world’s first known Marlovian.




'Tis now June 1593. Marlowe is said to have been killed. An odd silence surrounds it. Yet a remarkable thing happened. Somehow between 1593 and 1598 Marlowe’s public currency skyrocketed. In fact it soared so high that beginning in 1598, or just after the publication of Hero and Leander, broadsides against him began to appear for the first time. Let us follow this vicissitude closely. Marlowe is released on 20th of May 1593 and allegedly slain on the 30th of May in Deptford, Kent. His works are nevertheless brought to registration in the normal fashion over the next 60 some odd years. An account of his death was prepared for the Queen, but we have no public notices of it until 1598, five years later. (With the single exception of what Tucker Brooke called Gabriel Harvey’s "cloudy drivel," which seemed to suggest Marlowe had died of the plague. (TLM, 112) Indeed there seem to have been no court gossip about Marlowe’s fate. At least none of the thousands of thoroughly scrutinized journals or letters mention it. Edward II can hardly have accounted for all of his increased standing. It appeared in 1594, boasting that Lord Pembroke’s players had performed it. Was a lost edition of his The Jew of Malta responsible for his popularity? It entered on 17 May 1594 or a year to the day from the date of his arrest order. Was it published? Scholars don’ know. Had Hero and Leander appeared in print? It too had been entered shortly after Marlowe’s death on 28 September 1593, by John Wolf. Or six years to the day from the date of the Bradley Duel in Hogs Lane, where the hero Watson save Marlowe’s skin by a "gust."

Again scholars don’t know, but somehow before the appearance of Blount’s edition of Hero and Leander, late in 1597 or early 1598, Marlowe underwent a dramatic reversal of fortune. Marlowe’s host in May of 1593 was his friend and patron Sir Thomas Walsingham. Thomas was the cousin of Sir Francis Walsingham and a court figure, who many suspect, (including the authors of Invisible Power, The Gunpowder Plot and The Reckoning) continued Sir Francis’ work for Elizabeth’s secret service. A possible friendship between Marlowe and Thomas Walsingham can be traced back into their childhoods, as we have pointed out. In any case it would have been foolish in the extreme for the aspiring Blount to link the post May 1593 Marlowe with the powerful Sir Thomas Walsingham. Yet that is precisely what happened in 1597/8 (CMCW, V2, 425) when Edmund Blount published what is believed to be the first edition of Hero and Leander. Scholars have no idea how many copies of it were printed but the link to Walsingham is more than merely casual and it continues in future editions without interruption. Blount makes them out as close personal friends and no objection or retraction ensued. How could this be?

How could a confidant of the Queen, as powerful as Sir Thomas, be closely linked to a seditionist and an atheist? Let alone to a homosexual. Something dramatic had happened behind the scenes to repatriate Marlowe. What was it? Why were there no tracts or broadsides against him between 1593 and 1598? The broadsides cited by Hotson all date to 1598 or later, i.e., after Marlowe’s currency at Court seems to have been rising.

His publication history helps here. Hero and Leander appeared in 1598, in several popular editions and continued in print until 1616. Marlowe’s translation of Lucan’s The Civil Wars of Rome, or rather its first book, is known from an edition dated to 1600, suggestive of this revival. No one knows when Marlowe’s translation of Ovid’s Elegies first appeared, but the 1 June 1599 entry in the Stationers’ Registry to have them and "Davyes Epigrams" burnt is suggestive of a reaction to his rising popularity of 1598 and as a reaction to the broadsides against him cited above. One perceives three things: 1) behind the scenes Marlowe’s currency was rising (somehow) between 1593 and 1598; 2) it became strong enough to go public in 1598; 3) there was a backlash against it which resulted in the public burning of his translation of Ovid in June 1599. For a dead poet he seems quite active. Indeed even his printer suggests the same thing in his epistle attached to the 1600 edition of Lucan. There Thomas Thorpe addresses "Edward Blunt...in the memory of that pure Elementall wit Christopher Marlowe; whose ghoast or Genius is to be seene walke the Churchyard in (at the least) three or four sheets." Thorpe is writing of editions and the churchyard is St Pauls’ where books were sold. Simple math assures us Thorpe was writing about editions we don’t know, since only two, Ovid and Hero and Leander, not "three or four" books can be cited. We must either suppose lost editions or editions under other names. Unless we are given to think Thorpe didn’t know what he was writing about. What other names? How about "Shakespeare" ala Richard II? Even the Queen wasn’t prepared to by that whooper.

Among the Bacon papers in the library of the Archbishop of Canterbury, now housed in the Lambeth Palace Library directly across the Thames from Parliament, are papers from English agents to Anthony Bacon, who appears to have been running a covert operation for, let us say, the highest bidder. One of the letters is postmarked on Marlowe’s birthday in 1596, 26 February. (LPL, MS 656,f.109v) It is supposedly from "Anthony Rolston" and was postmarked in "Fontarabie" Spain. It reads in part:

I am now to trie my fortune in going home shortlye to my country in hope that I shall find by yr good helpe friends and protection, for I do protest that I am to my prince and country in all points as dutifull subiect and for my callinge as readye to serve as any man liuing.

This portion of the dispatch was first published by A. D. Wraight in Shakespeare: The New Evidence, which traces out several of Bacon’s men and suggests that at least one of them was a possible nom de germ for a post 1593 Marlowe. I find this letter to be of particular interest for three reasons: its date; "A.R’s." uses the phrase "as any man living" ; and because it is a perfect parallel for the ending of Shakespeare’s play Two Gentlemen of Verona. That play is said to date to this same year. And there in his marvelous verse we find an identical sentiment:

These banished men that I have kept withal

Are men endued with worthy qualities.

Forgive them what they have committed...

And let them be recalled from their exile.

They are reformed, civil, full of good,

And fit for great employment.... (V,iv, 155)

It is an indisputable fact that the canon of Shakespeare, from this early play to The Tempest, is concerned with the repatriation of the returning exile. Overwhelmingly concerned with it. Why? The Sonnets suggest the author was exiled, almost in the open. They also suggest he was knifed by a coward:


But be contented when that fell arrest

Without all bail shall carry me away,

My life hath in this line some interest,

Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.

When thou reviewest this, thou dost review

The very part was consecrate to thee:

The earth can have but earth, which is his due,

My spirit is thine, the better part of me.

So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,

The prey of worms, my body being dead,

The coward conquest of a wretch's knife,

Too base of thee to be remembered.

The worth of that is that which it contains,

And that is this, and this with thee remains.

And here all the weary bone chilling miles of an imposed exile in Sonnet Fifty:


How heavy do I journey on the way,

When what I seek (my weary travel's end)

Doth teach that ease and that repose to say,

"Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend."

The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,

Plods (dully) on, to bear that weight in me,

As if by some instinct the wretch did know

His rider loved not speed, being made from thee.

The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,

That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,

Which heavily he answers with a groan,

More sharp to me than spurring to his side,

For that same groan doth put this in my mind:

My grief lies onward and my joy behind.


Yet nothing in the life of the rustic suggests it. Why? I might add that nothing in the known life of "Anthony Rolston" suggests why he needed to send such a letter. In the part missing from Wraight’s transcription Rolston hints he knew the Queen and hoped upon seeing her again to make his case face to face. Of the two, only Marlowe could have known the Queen.

So we have ample evidence Marlowe underwent a reversal of fortune between1593 and 1598 and that somehow those in the know were sufficiently pleased with this reversal that they could then allow their names to be linked in public with Christopher Marlowe’s. Is this not a remarkable state of affairs? What could have repatriated Marlowe, supposedly five years in his grave? Had he like so many of Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s characters made an unexpected curtain call, back from the dead? Had he like Helen been conjured up? Or was he like one of Valentine’s men "forgiven?" This reversal in Marlowe’s fortunes, as we have seen, wasn’t new. It had happened in 1587 when the Privy Council stepped in an secured his Cambridge MA. We just happen to have the record of this exchange. Or at least one side of it. Above we’ve seen evidence of another reversal, but lack documentation as to what was behind it.

It is at this point we must introduce new evidence concerning Lord Burghley’s role in working not merely towards the succession of James I, but towards modern constitutionalism. Towards this let us turn our attention to John Guy, of St. Andrews University. Guy wrote a feature story for the Sunday Times, 11th November 2001, as a prelude to "Conspiring against the Queen," a television documentary. Professor Guy introduces the new evidence by noting that though historians normally regard Elizabeth as the arbiter of her policy, and the privy counselors her lackeys she was as often controlled by them as they were by her, "Historians have suspected this, but the evidence wasn't sufficient. There were examples, but they didn't form a pattern," Guy wrote. Here’s Guy’s new evidence,

Now new evidence has turned up, in documents known as the "Bag of Secrets" in the Public Record Office, that proves there is a pattern after all. This evidence concerns the Lopez Plot. In 1594, the Earl of Essex, Elizabeth's last favorite and the rival of Lord Burghley, her chief minister, accused Roderigo Lopez, her Portuguese-Jewish doctor, of plotting to poison her. By accusing Lopez, Essex was tilting at Burghley, who had employed the doctor as an informant. Lopez never intended to harm Elizabeth. He was greedy and wanted money. The Queen knew this, and stopped his execution. But Lopez was hanged. Nobody knew who was responsible, until now.

Historians had guessed that Elizabeth reversed her decision to stay his hanging and signed an execution warrant, but the new evidence proves she never did. To circumvent the "problem" of Elizabeth's intervention, Lopez was tried for a second time in a different court the records of this second trial are in the Bag of Secrets. When convicted, he was hanged straight away.

The prime mover in Lopez's execution was Burghley. Why? Because Essex had discovered that Lopez had been bribed by Manuel d'Andrada, a Portuguese spy in the service of Philip II of Spain, the Catholic power against whom Protestant England was at war.

Three years earlier, Burghley had recruited d'Andrada as a double agent. It was a smoking gun. And if Essex were to find it, Burghley might himself be accused of treason. What makes it all fit is that this had happened before. When Burghley decided on his own authority to summon the Privy Council and dispatch a warrant to execute Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, he had gone against the known wishes of Elizabeth and muddied the waters to obfuscate the fact that he and his fellow counsellors acted clandestinely.

It was a blatant act of defiance for which Elizabeth sought to hang William Davison, her secretary, for allowing the death warrant to leave his possession.

On this occasion, too, Burghley covered his tracks in the archives, removing crucial documents. He lied to Elizabeth about his actions and he sent false evidence to the court of Star Chamber so that Davison would take all the blame.

We should no longer talk about Elizabeth and Burghley in the same breath. Queen and minister had different political creeds. Elizabeth believed she had an "imperial" sovereignty, but Burghley believed her monarchy was limited by the advice of the Privy Council, and the assent of Parliament. When push came to shove, he held that the Privy Council and Parliament could override royal sovereignty.

The key to Burghley isn't deference to monarchy, but quasi-republicanism. He bulldozed Elizabeth into a military strike in Scotland to assist the Protestant Lords in revolt against the Catholic regent. And then conspired with the rebels to exclude Mary from returning to her throne. Burghley was an outright republican because he not only sought to exclude Mary, but also plotted to subvert her rule. His constitutional schemes were breathtaking. (emphasis added) If Elizabeth died, the Privy Council and Parliament were to stay in power to safeguard the Protestant succession. Burghley's drafts envisaged an Interregnum at which time the "Council of State" would govern England and settle the succession.

The facts no longer support the familiar story. Nor was Burghley the model citizen he liked to appear. Later in life he looked after number one, fiddling his taxes and building expensive houses. He was the Queen's puppeteer, pulling strings to a greater degree than Elizabeth ever knew. To a large extent England was his fiefdom, governed by his "assured" Protestant clique. He wasn't the power behind the throne but the power in front of it....The gap between popular and academic history must be closed. History must always be accessible but the complexities, the depth, the feel, the ongoing debate, should not be stripped out.

There can be no question, thus, that Marlowe and, after him, Shakespeare, supported Burghley’s anti-royalism with what is called an Ovidian cursus, or life-time work plan, as proven by Professor Cheney in his landmark study, Marlowe’s Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spencer, Counter-Nationhood (1998) Cheney wrote,

Marlowe inscribes this cursus [i.e., an Ovidian career model] not simply to participate in the Renaissance recovery of classical authors, but in particular to contest the national authority of the ‘Virgil of England,’ Edmund Spenser. Using an Ovidian cursus to contest Spenser’s Virgilian cursus, Marlowe enters the generational project of writing English nationhood. Unlike Spenser, however, Marlowe writes a ‘counter-nationhood’—a nonpatriotic form of nationhood that subverts royal power with what Ovid calls libertas. (Inside Book Cover)

Cheney’s book is the first comprehensive rereading of Marlowe’s canon in many generations, perhaps ever. It shows in minute detail that Marlowe had embarked on a cursus or Ovidian career model to retell the history of English speaking peoples and to retell in it such a way that all future generations would see their past through his eyes or, rather, through the eyes of his characters. There is absolutely no question that Shakespeare followed Marlowe in this Ovidian cursus. The same claim that we saw in Sonnet 81, here is the full sonnet:


Or I shall live your Epitaph to make,

Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;

From hence your memory death cannot take,

Although in me each part will be forgotten.

Your name from hence immortal life shall have,

Though I (once gone) to all the world must die;

The earth can yield me but a common grave,

When you entombed in men's eyes shall lie;

Your monument shall be my gentle verse,

Which eyes not yet created shall o'er-read.

And tongues to be your being shall rehearse,

When all the breathers of this world are dead;

You still shall live (such virtue hath my Pen)

Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.


And here is how Ovid said it in the Metamorphoses:

Now I have done my work. It will endure,

I trust, beyond Jove’s anger, fire and sword,

Beyond Time’s hunger. The day will come, I know,

So let it come, that day which has no power

Save over my body, to end my span of life

Whatever it may be. Still, part of me,

The better part, immortal, will be borne

Above the stars; my name will be remembered

Wherever Roman power rules conquered lands,

I shall be read, and through all centuries,

If prophecies of bards are ever truthful,

I shall be living, always. (OM, Humphries)

Both poets knew, with absolute certainty, the power of their verse. Shakespeare knew that he had, in an Ovidian fashion, retold the story of Western Civilization and was, because of it, to become immortal. So long as English power rules, Shakespeare’s version of our past will be there prompting us into the service of his liberal causes. That Shakespeare, whoever he proves to have been, was working in Burghley’s shadow should now be quite certain. Just as certain as the fact that it was Marlowe, not Shakspere, who was Burghley’s most valuable player, in 1593. Yet the very next year Shakespeare is playing the same tune. We find it noted in the text of Rape of Lucrece, entered for publication on 9 May 1593 or a year from the date of the London pogrom against writers that netted Thomas Kyd and, after him, Christopher Marlowe. (TLM, Brooke, 54).

In Rape of Lucrece the poet, more than likely Marlowe, if for no other reason than the fact the poem is predicated on then untranslated Latin materials, noted it was the poet’s duty to "wrong the wronger until he renders right[s]" pledges, nearly in the clear, in the introduction, to do so "until the state government change[s] from kings to counsels." In the text he observes "no outrageous thing From vassal actors can be wiped away. Then king’s misdeeds cannot be hid in clay." It’s as close as he came to an open political manifesto and its date of registration signaled its cause. The Crown had declared war on writers. Both Urry and Nicholl believe Nashe to have been writing about Marlowe when he wrote, "his life he contemned in the comparison of the liberty of speech...princes he spared not, that in the least point transgressed." (TR, 55) Nashe didn’t live to know Shakespeare, but these words apply equally to the author of King Lear, Cymbeline, King John, Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV, Henry V , Henry VI and Henry VIII.

Remember, gentle reader, this was an age when conversations could be considered criminal. Both Lope de Vega and Walter Ralegh were arrested for "criminal" considerations. As we have just proven the poet’s words have Burghley’s, i.e., the Cecils’, modern anti-royal constitutionalism stamped all over them. They were the "counsels" Shakespeare and Marlowe thirsted for. And this thirst was hardly their own. Rape went through numerous editions. Why? Because Elizabethans were adapt at reading obliquely and easily saw Elizabeth in this figure:

In her the painter had anatomized

Time’s ruin, beauty’s wreck, and grim care’s reign..

Of what she was no semblance did remain.

Her blue blood changed to black in every vein...

Showed life imprisoned in a body dead. (1456)

Yes, Marlowe had been caught in volley of a war pitched against English writers, particularly poets. And it seems that Shakespeare stepped into his shoes, the moment he vacated them. If we seek parallel support in the plays, we’ll see Shakespeare is more open about Marlowe’s fate than any of the writers Hotson or Nicholl cited. And he is out there before them. Indeed he alone is consistently suggestive that Marlowe survived 1593. Since Shakespeare continued Marlowe’s plan and completed Marlowe’s life work for him, we should give at least some credence to what he signals us about Marlowe’s fate.

To take the evidence chronologically we must begin with The Famous Victories of Henry V, long acknowledged the source play of the mature Henriad. Opinion is divided as to whether the original play was Marlowe’s or Shakespeare’s, but given its date of appearance, 14 May 1594, the case for Shakespeare having, at the very least, revised it after Marlowe’s sensational end, seems strongest. A close look at this delightful early version of Henry IV and Henry V assures us the mature author used this play, more or less in its entirety, as his underlying fabric in the adult versions of this story. The vast majority of its scenes appear in the mature versions and in the same order. (TCSAFV) What has not been noticed, however, is that Famous Victories has contrived to allude directly to Marlowe’s troubles in Deptford, Kent and to signal he survived them. Since this "signal" is cleverly reworked into the mature version of Henry IV scholars interested in these matters should play close attention to what is being said, particularly since it was said at or about the time of these now distant events and said by a man much more likely to know about these events than any man now living.

We shall not rehearse the need Elizabethans had for oblique speech. Many topics were forbidden. Free speech and the right of a free press were dreams yet to be obtained. So it is not surprising that Shakespeare, in revising the text of Famous Victories, late in 1593 or early in 1594, might have been tempted to insert into it an oblique conversation about the events at Deptford, Kent and Marlowe’s ultimate fate.

Famous Victories is a thoroughly Kentish play, though it owes much to pre-existing histories of Henry IV and Henry V. Henry IV lies buried in Canterbury’s cathedral, just a block or so from Marlowe’s boyhood home. It contains leading roles for a family of cobblers, a family similar to Marlowe’s. Indeed both Marlowe’s father and Famous Victories’ cobbler share the same Christian name, John, and many characteristics. Both can be described as "always in extremes."

Computer studies of the text, have proven Famous Victories to have the lowest vocabulary of any of the plays supposed to be either Marlowe’s or Shakespeare’s. It is missing about half the anticipated vocabulary, a fact that was not noticed until Ule studied the text stylometrically. This along with the absence of sexual innuendo and humor suggests an author who had yet to reach puberty. (ACSA,Ule; Pace, Baker) These same computer studies closely tie it to the manuscript of Henry IV, (D) which like FV contains both parts of Henry IV. (ACSA, Ule; "Found Shakespeare’s Manuscript of Henry IV," Baker) A similar absence of allusions or references to the Kentish quakes of 1580 and to the comet of 1577 suggest a date of c. 1576. (CM, Ule) Given its Kentish locale and its abundant knowledge of Kentish topography and persons, of the two, only young Marlowe is likely to have been its original author. However the play in its present form dates between1594 to 1598, when its second edition appeared. In fact it is certain that modifications to it post date Marlowe’s debacle in Deptford, Kent on the 20/30 May 1593.

We know this because the play mentions this small Kentish community and the date. Since Deptford is not broached in the sources, we know the location was inserted into the text c. 1593/1594. Deptford is not the only Kentish village infused. Faversham is mentioned in the opening lines. This has to be an allusion to another of these delightful Kentish plays often claimed for either Marlowe or Shakespeare, The Murder of Master Arden or Arden of Faversham. Faversham was a Kentish port lying on the high road between Dover and Rochester. The road passed right though Canterbury. Faversham’s suburb was the fishing village of Ospringe, where Marlowe’s father, John Marlowe, was born. (Urry) Arden’s murder was sensational and John Marlowe would have witnessed the hangings of Mosbie, Black Will and Shakebag in 1551. Arden’s wife, Alice, was burnt in Canterbury that same year for her crimes. As Urry notes, "if Marlowe’s name had appeared on [Arden’s] title page it is unlikely that anyone would have doubted it." (Urry, xxvii) The allusion to Arden occurs near the end of Scene One, in the lines

......my lord, you know our old host’s at Faversham.

Prince. Our host’s at Faversham! Blood, what shall we do there?

Since Arden, the more mature of these two juvenile plays, had to have followed Famous Victories in its composition, this allusion must have been inserted during its revision for print c. 1594. Arden had then been in print for two years. It would have been at this time that the references to Deptford, Kent were also inserted. They too appear in Scene One:

Jockey, Faith, my lord, such news as passeth! For the town of Deptford is

risen with hue and cry after your man, which parted from us last night and

has set upon and hath robbed a poor carrier.

To which the Prince answers,

Zounds! The villain that was wont to spy out our booties?

Jockey, Ay, my lord, even the very same. (Emphasis mine)

Given what we know about the events in Deptford, these lines are suggestive. Of particular interest is the connecting of the Prince’s man to spying and to booties, i.e.,to the two trades that Marlowe was associated with. This would be suggestive only if it were not for the fact that when the Prince’s cobbler spy (Cutter) is brought up for charges the date given for his crimes is said to have been "the 20th day of May last past.." Now keep in mind that the action of Famous Victories opened on the eve of "St. John Baptist, 1410," which would have been June 24th, not May 20th. Thus Jockey’s news was about an arrest on the 24th of June, not the 20th of May. So this second legal date is an anachronism. An obvious one to readers who can but count. Yet it is clearly printed into the text in Scene Four. Since the phrase is "the 20th day of May last past," and the year of appearance was 1594, the revisor, whoever he proves to have been, was clearly alluding to events in Deptford, Kent on the 20/30 of May 1593.1594, but the second of 1598.

There is a small glitch here. The edition scholars have of FV isn’t the first edition of 1594, but the second of 1598. It is thus possible, but not likely, that this scene entered in 1598.


 It is thus possible, but not likely, that this scene entered in 1598. Which is to say that the allusions are directly related to Marlowe’s troubles in Deptford.

While we don’t know the circumstances of Marlowe’s arrest, scholars do know that his arrest orders were issued on the 18th of May 1593 and that they specified his location as near Deptford. Specifically at the home of Sir Thomas Walsingham, which was in Chislehurst, Kent. Walsingham’s manor Scadbury is just seven miles or "half an hours ride" from Deptford. (Wraight, 285) We don’t know when Marlowe was arrested on the warrant, but we do know he was released on 20th of May. It seems likely he was released the same day he was arrested on. (Brooke, Urry) So the events would have been thus. The Privy Council warrant was issued on the 18th. It was given to Master Henry Maunder on the day following, who then rode the twelve miles or so to Chislehurst, only to learn that Marlowe was in Deptford. He stayed the night in Chislehurst and apprehended Marlowe the next morning, they rode together back to the Star Chamber and there Marlowe was promptly released on a daily appearance bond, dated 20 May 1593. (Wraight, 284) Read indicates that Burghley had been sick during this period and Burghley’s absence from the Council signaled an opening for Marlowe’s enemies. Read says he returned on his stretcher, good evidence he considered his presence required. (op.cit.) On the 22 May 1593 Burghley sent another letter to his son, Robert, stating:

I have entered into the consideration of the earl of Bothwell’s cause and I have uttered the state thereof into some writing with my own hand which I dare not commit to be better written by any others here with me. There if you may have leisure to come hither I would more boldly impart the same to you to be showed to her Majesty. (Cal. Salisbury MSS., iv, 319.)

"Bothwell’s cause" was a decidedly Scottish affair. And it is clear form the letter that whatever Burghley was considering wasn’t about to become public knowledge. It was so closely guarded he could not or would not trust the matter to his own private secretaries and felt it best, even with the gout, to write this letter himself. As a matter of fact he tells Robert to "come hither" because his decision on this sensitive matter wasn’t going to be reduced to writing. This letter has "Deptford" written between each line, metaphorically speaking. Burghley concluded, "And yet I find the matter as in a labyrinth, easier to enter into it than to go out." Indeed it was, for it has taken four centuries "to go out" of this maze. Bothwell was Francis Stewart Hepburn, the 5th Earl, not the infamous 4th Earl, James Hepburn. He’d been back and forth to England asking for money and gained, for a time, the Queen’s favor. However Scot tells us that it was at this time, i.e., May 1593, that Burghley decided against Bothwell and thus for Maitland. Queen Elizabeth I. supported Burghley in this ploy and wrote a note to Queen Anne supporting Maitland over Bothwell. (JI, Scot, 224) This was thus a pivotal time for Scotland and for James VI. A year later Bothwell would be an exile and John Maitland firmly in control of James VI, who in less than a year had "emerged in the strongest position of any king of Scotland since Robert the Bruce." (JI, 232) Note the solidification of James VI’s rule and thus his eventual rise to the throne of England took place between June 1593 and early in 1595.

This is, we have noted, the same time Marlowe would have established himself in Scotland and in James’ court. I’ve mentioned Shakespeare writes as if he were there. Indeed it was during this period on 30 August 1594, that Prince Henry was baptized at Holyrood and a

series of festivities, masques, and entertainments followed. James appeared in one as a Knight of Malta, other nobles played various parts, and some were even persuaded into women’s clothes. An elaborate ship, eighteen feet long with silken lines and cloth of gold sails, awed the court; mock windmills, Moors, chariots and lessor marvels followed." (JI,232)

This Midsummer festival is the core of Shakespeare’s play MND, as Harrison and others have noted. (CW) They believe Shakespeare read about them, but it would seem someone like Shakespeare was in Scotland putting on this show, a show that ends up in MND. Indeed Bottom’s problem with playing the lion came about because in this 1594 jubilation a lion drawn chariot was replaced with a Moor "because his presence might have brought some fears to the nearest." (Harrison, 511) Sound familiar? Harrison thought so. This report appeared in what Harrison calls "a contemporary pamphlet," but neglects to cite it. Anne Barton, in The Riverside Shakespeare, neglects to mention it at all. Sir Roy Strong in his biography of Prince Henry reduces his early life to two pages and also fails to mention this report of his baptism. I would suggest all this silence about it is due to the fact it was precisely the sort of report Marlowe would have sent back from Scotland to Burghley for publication. The sort of report that he left of the Armada battle signing himself "Petruccio Ubaldino" and/or "J.L." and, later, worked into Edward III as the Mariner’s Tale. (CMEA, Wraight, 71)

It is at this point that the whole Peter Quince and Bottom subplot begins to make sense. Recall that Quince, Bottom and their troop are engaged is a "contest" for a masque before Theseus’s court, driven by an amateur competition. If Shakespeare was in Scotland during the time of these festivities, he would have witnessed several troops similar to Quince’s preparing and competing for this midsummer night’s event. One would suppose he would have helped oversee it. In any case he would have witnessed it from a far more lofty and sophisticated perspective. Harrison comes perilously close to this conclusion himself, writing, "It is likely that those present, used to a far higher standard of courtly comforts and entertainments, brought back amusing accounts of the affair, especially of the grand dinner...and...the...lion." (CW, 511) However it is not likely a London living Shakspere would then write MND round it based on these accounts. On the other hand, were he there himself, the proposition seems credible.

Returning to Famous Victories, the stage is thus set for oblique speech. A well tuned Elizabethan reader would know that Marlowe’s arrest in Deptford was being alluded to. The dead give away would be the change of dates from 25 June to "20th day of May last past." But what are we to make of these allusions? The lesson follows in the text. For it is after these charges are read into the record, that the Prince appears and tries to extract his little spy of the booties from the clutches of the law. It is here they exchange the famous box to the ears. Despite this and despite the fact that the young prince is soon to become Henry V, the Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, stands his ground, orders the Prince’s spy to be hanged and the Price taken to jail. What’s the lesson? The lesson is that even the Prince cannot prevail over the law. What’s the solution? The spy must be freed outside the law. So if we follow the action line, we’ll discover that this is precisely what happens. Both the Prince and the spy turn up free in later scenes. The Prince boasts "‘tis enough for me to look into a prison, though I come not in myself. (Scene Five) The spy surfaces alive and well in Scene Nine, boasting "so soon as my Lord Chief Justice heard that the old King was dead he was glad to let me go for fear of my lord the young Prince." This same character is next seen in the home of John Cobbler. (Scene Ten) There we learn he is pressed into service for the Crown in France. Quite a lesson. Let’s review it. A cobbler spy working for the "prince" is arrested in Deptford, Kent on 20th May 1593, while his "prince" tries to free him legally, the attempt fails, so he is freed off-stage, and afterwards, at John Cobbler’s home, he is pressed into duty for his "prince" in France. Could any oblique speech be more direct to our narrative?

This is not the only place that this date is given in an anonymous play of the period. In The Shoemaker’s Holiday, the 18th of May is given as the date of the battle of Agincourt, i.e., the famous victory of Henry V. The only problem with this date is the battle took place on St. Crispen’s day, or 25th of October 1415! (iii,2) It would seem several period writers choose to allude to Marlowe’s troubles obliquely. Unless, that is, the anonymous author of TSH was Marlowe, not Dekker, as often claimed.

I’ve mentioned these same events are alluded to in the mature version of 2 Henry IV. There in II,i we find an account given to the audience by the Hostess, given in front of the Lord Chief Justice, of Falstaff’s pledge to marry her. She tells us he gave it to her "upon Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the Prince broke [his] head for liking his father to a singing man of Windsor." It was while she was "washing thy wound" that Falstaff swore "to marry me and make me my lady thy wife." This is indeed a very mature and clever account of these events. The key here is the phrase "the singing man of Windsor," who would have been Thomas Morley. The catcher is the date, "Wednesday in Wheeson week." This means the 30th of May for the year 1593. (Perfect Calender, A2) We just can’t get any closer with oblique speech. The clincher is, in both of these cases, the "victim" survives the attack.

If we jump ahead to Twelfth Night one can find Marlowe hidden in the character of Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Aguecheek is a traveling master of ceremonies type, who can "speak three or four

languages without a book." And who had "all the good gifts of nature." (I,i) Like Marlowe, Sir Andrew plays the "viol de gamboys" and was "a great quarreler," i.e., a street fighter, who has only narrowly missed death by a "gust." This is an allusion to the fight with Bradley in Hog Lane. We know Marlowe played this instrument because he taught it to Arbella Stuart. The parallels to Marlowe become even more apparent as the play progresses. Sir Andrew is bashed in the head, off stage, and enters saying "he has broke my head across..." (V,i,178) Earlier he’s described himself as "a fellow of the strangest mind i’ the world. I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether." (I,i,121) No description of Marlowe can be more accurate. Unless we add to it the allusion to being "born under Taurus!" (I,i,148) Taurus rules the skies in May. (When the new Marlowe was born.) Indeed it is in May that this attack took place, "more matter for a May morning." (Ii,iv,157). Sir Andrew is just the sort of character Marlowe would have been playing in Scotland during the summer of 1594. Any way we cut it Shakespeare keeps alluding to Marlowe’s troubles in Kent in May 1593 and keeps on hinting that he survived them.

Even Harold Bloom is puzzled about how often Shakespeare thinks about Marlowe. (SIH) Bloom is convinced he never got over Marlowe’s "murder." Bloom is not unlike many Stratfordians who imagine Marlowe was murdered by the Crown:

Who is the true nihilist, Ulysses or Thersites? The authentic chill

that emanates from Ulysses comes when he speaks as the Elizabethan

spymaster, Walsingham or Cecil, whom Shakespeare must have suspected

of terminating Christopher Marlowe with maximum prejudice, and of torturing

Thomas Kyd. As we hear Ulysses, we can guess shrewdly why Shakespeare

           suppressed this brilliant play.

Bloom then quotes a passage from Troilus and Cressida (III.iii.195-205) and calls it

"sublime." He notes

[it] is doubly blasphemous, set as it is both against the intelligence service

and (by implication) against the divine mystery for which the state apparatus

professes to work, Church and state being one then and (increasingly) now.

Perhaps Shakespeare wrote this dangerous speech only for his private

pleasure, as a protest against the evil that had destroyed his playwright

precursors. (SIH, 341-2)

Please note the problem with the margins above (and elsewhere) is caused by the fools that wrote MFP's program.  These same fools have made it impossible to turn off the yellow highlight color.

Then again perhaps he wrote it because the secret service had not destroyed his precursors and because he was working within it to promote Cecil’s modern constitutionalism? Bloom suggests he wrote T&C after the fall of Essex (late in 1601 or early in 1602) and suppressed its performance in fear of reprisals. (SIH, 327) So I am hardly the only one to see political parallels in the plays to what were then rather obvious contemporary events. We remind the reader that Stratfordians don’t know what to make of T&C ‘s unique prose introduction that boasts it was "never clapper-clawed by the palms of the vulgar." Shakspere is supposed to have written solely for the vulgar. Though even Greg concedes he must have had "an alternative mode of publication in view." (SFF,2) This is a double-think phrase and what Greg means by it is that Shakspere must have been considering printing his plays as he wrote them. A conclusion that does not sit well with those who believe he tossed off the plays as we do salads, for gain, not fame. Indeed Greg will concede that complexity aside many of them are simply too long to produce in a theater like the Globe. (Ibid.)

An oblique Shakespeare goes so far as to suggest the means by which Marlowe was saved. This occurs in Measure for Measure. Here in a scene which Dover Wilson contends has little to do with the plot of the play, he has Claudio’s friends prevent his execution by substituting a freshly dead cadaver for his own, the author chortling, "death’s a great disguiser and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard, and say it was the desire of the" deceased. The play abounds with allusions to Marlowe. Indeed Lucio, the fantastic, seems to be modeled on him and Angelo on Bacon. Ragozine, the name of the body used for Claudio’s, when the recalcitrant Barnardine refuses to be executed on short notice, is based on the Kentish word "ragstone," which is "a rock used for rough work." (En.Brit.)


In any event, we have amply proven that the case for Marlowe is not a fanciful case. It is based on solid historical evidence and biographic research. Now let us examine the evidence for Shakspere for a moment. Stratfordians are famous or infamous for claiming that their case is the only factual case going and that their rivals are all fruitcakes. For example Alfred Harbage, once a famous Harvard professor of English, claims that the authorship question has "no rational basis," and that those who ascribe to it are, thus, fruitcakes and fakes. He goes on making false assertions in an attempt to prove his point that more is known about Shakspere’s life than about nearly anyone’s:

Thomas Dekker and Thomas Heywood, who between them wrote nearly three hundred plays, a fair number of which were printed along with copious nondramatic works complete with dedicatory epistles. Yet all that is known about Heywood’s birth, parentage and marriage is conjectural, and nothing is known of Dekker’s. No playwright’s life was then written up, the most remarkable thing about Shakespeare’s is that our record of it is as full as it is.

Harbage wrote this for a New York Times Book Review of Hoffman’s book, The Murder of the Man Who was "Shakespeare," in 1955 (Vol. CIV, No.#5, 568, June 12) It was reprinted in the useful Shakespeare and His Rivals A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy by George McMichael and Edgard M. Gleen (1962) (139). Harbage must have known that this diatribe was simply a partisan volley, since the lives of many playwrights were "then written up." Some of them very accurately. Jonson’s life, for example, was and remains very well known and thoroughly documented. It was Jonson, not Dekker or Heywood, who was Shakespeare’s closest rival. Why don’t we know at least as much about Shakspere as we do about Jonson? Worse the facts that are known about Shakspere seem to preclude him having been the writer. So it would be far better to have known nothing than to know what we do know.

But let us not take this on faith. Let us touch base here with a world famous historian and biographer of this period. Let’s see what an objective or disinterested party who commands academic credentials in English history and biography has to say about the authorship question. Sir Hugh Trevor-Roper is such an authority. Roper is one of the world’s foremost historians and scholars. Roper was Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was author of always useful, The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Religion, the Reformation and Social Change and the award wining biography of Archbishop Laud. Laud’s dates and position suggest he must have known Shakspere, certainly saw or read Shakespeare’s plays. However Roper found no evidence whatsoever to suggest Laud knew either the actor or the author when he investigated Laud. Likewise Sir Roy Strong, who wrote the authoritative biography on Prince Henry, King James’ first born son, Henry, Prince of Wales and England’s Lost Renaissance, found no connections between Henry and Shakespeare (and/or Shakspere) whatsoever. As Strong pointed out Henry patronized nearly every author in London during the same period Shakespeare’s plays were holding the public stage. Yet he made no attempt to engage Shakspere or even Shakespeare in his stable of gifted writers. He did, however, strongly support Dr John Hayward, who Elizabeth I. had tried to have executed over his study of Richard II and Henry IV, as we shall touch upon below. Roper, writing years after his biography on Laud, considered the authorship question head on. A perturbed Roper wrote,

Of all the immortal geniuses of literature, none is personally so elusive as William Shakespeare. It is exasperating and almost incredible that he should be so. After all, he lived in the full daylight of the English Renaissance, in the well-documented reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I. Since his death, and particularly in the last century, he has been subjected to the greatest battery of organized research that has ever been directed upon a single person. Armies of scholars, formidably equipped, have examined all the documents that could possibly contain at least a mention of Shakespeare's name. One hundredth of this labor applied to one of his insignificant contemporaries would be sufficient to produce a substantial biography. And yet the greatest of all Englishmen, after this tremendous inquisition, still remains so close to a mystery that even his identity can still be doubted. (emphasis mine) During his lifetime nobody claimed to know him. Not a single tribute was paid to him at his death. As far as the records go, he was uneducated, had no literary friends, possessed at his death no books, and could not write. It is true, six of his signatures have been found, all spelt differently; but they are so ill-formed that some graphologists suppose the hand to have been guided. Except for these signatures, no syllable of writing by Shakespeare has been identified. Seven years after his death, when his works were collected and published, the other poets claimed to have known him, a portrait of him was painted. The unskillful artist has painted the blank face of a country oaf.

Roper expressed his opinion in Realites (Nov. 1962) in an essay entitled, "What’s In a Name." (41) Sir Trevor-Roper is but one of many serious scholars and/or world class intellects who have looked deeply into this issue and come away exasperated. Emerson, Dickens, Henry James, Freud and Mark Twain were all doubters. Any sentiment to the contrary is partisan rhetoric of the worst sort. Indeed it is clear that Elizabeth I. was the first public person to link Marlowe with the authorship of one of Shakespeare’s plays.

This remarkable linkage is never pointed out in any detail by Stratfordians. In fact, in a new biography of Bacon, Hostage to Fortune, the entire episode, including Queen Elizabeth I.’s remark, is left out of what is otherwise a most comprehensive account of this time and these figures. Here’s how it came to pass. Richard II, the play said Shakespeare’s in the First Folio and earlier on several of its quarto title pages, the play that deposes Richard, was used by Essex’s followers in February 1600/1 to foment their ill-fated rebellion or palace coup, as they are properly classified by political historians. The presentation, which we have records of, came on the night of 7 February, an important evening for supporters of King James, since his mother had been executed on the following day a decade or so earlier.

Because the English counted the years curiously and scholars make their own corrections, I’m not entirely certain in which years these two events took place. I think Mary died in 1587, N.S., and the Essex Rebellion was in 1601, N.S., a period of 14 years.

Thus the rebellion was planned to fall on the anniversary of her execution. More proof these men, if not Stratfordians, could track their dates.) The rebellion, as all now know, failed, the men involved were arrested. Torture was used to extract their confessions and they were quickly hanged, beheaded or imprisoned. To take Essex’s head took three blows of the axe, the same grizzly number required to take Mary’s. Not because either’s was particularly well attached but because it played well with the spectators. (CMERC, 119-26)

The actors at the Globe were, of course, "questioned." Augustine Phillipps answered for them. (SL, 175) Yet no mention was made of William Shakspere. No warrent for his arrest was ever issued. A very curious state of affairs, particularly so since the scholar, Dr. John Hayward, who had written the source book the play depended on, nearly lost his life over the coup even though he was in prison at the time it happened. In prison because he’d written his history of these events which was banned expo facto. So banned that Part Two did not appear in print until 1991(!) when it was published by the Camden Society.

The printing history of Part One is a joy to behold. Once the second edition was banned and burnt, it became a runaway best seller. So dozens of spurious editions of it were printed by daring Elizabethan and Jacobean printers, all claiming to be the legal first edition. A similar scam was pulled regarding several quartos of Shakespeare and long plagued bibliographic studies until they were set aside as impostors. (SFF, Greg, op.cit.)

 Surely the junta that arrested Hayward would have sought out the author of Richard II, if they thought they could have found him. Phillipps testified the play was "an olde one." Old enough that Elizabeth I. felt justified in supposing it written by Christopher Marlowe. Since a name similar to the actor’s had appeared on its title page, we can surmise it was obvious to all concerned that the actor, who "was without any art at all," wasn’t the author. I should point out here the curious fact that the missing deposition scene from Richard II didn’t appear in print until 1623, when it surfaced in the First Folio.

Stratfordians often claim the deposition appeared in Q4 (1608) but as Greg notes, "the pasage is very inaccurate and apparently represents a report." (SFF,236).

Had it been rewritten by the author? Where did it come from? No one knows. But they do know Q5 (1615) was used in the printing of the Folio. (SFF, 257) Shakspere, near to death in Stratford, is not likely to have seen this edition.

How do we know Elizabeth I. believed Marlowe wrote Richard II and not Shakspere? Scholars know this because Elizabeth I. was later quoted by her jurist Sir William Lambarde as falling "upon the reign of King Richard II. saying ‘I am Richard II. know ye not that?" So it is crystal clear from this report that the Queen perceived herself under attack by the author of this play. Who was that author? The title of the second quarto proclaimed it was "William Shakespeare." However, as we have seen, no charges were ever brought against the actor of similar name. Worse Lambarde recorded the rest of her remarks on this sensitive topic. Her observations cut right to the point, "He that will forget God, will also forget his benefactors; this tragedy was played 40tie times in open streets and houses." (SL, 177)

Stratfordian authorities like David Kathman would like to argue that Elizabeth I. was speaking about Essex. But Essex was never charged with "forgetting God." Worse he was more than merely suspected of being about "to forget his benefactors" he had forgotten them. So whoever Elizabeth I. was ranting about could not have been Essex, Hayward or even William Shakspere. The only person we know of who fits her description was Christopher Marlowe. She’d made him, with her order to Cambridge and with his high employment in her secret service, and he was certainly, in 1593, accused of forgetting God. Since he hadn’t yet fled to Scotland, he was simply accused of being about to forsake his benefactors. If anyone has another candidate, Marlovians would be happy to consider him. But for the time being only the writer Christopher Marlowe fits the Queen’s description.

We believe this means that Marlowe, not Shakespeare wrote Richard II. There is actually quite a bit of evidence for this theory. First scholars have an account of a Richard II at the Globe in 1611, presented on 30th of April, a Tuesday. It is an extensive account penned into Simon Foreman’s Book of Plays. Chambers quotes it in its entirety and notes, "this is certainly not Shakespeare’s play." (SL 183) What Chambers meant was the play Foreman saw wasn’t the Folio’s play. The play that dared to depose Richard II and to boast in iambic pentameter precisely the same sentiment embodied in the Dutch Church Libels signed "Tamburlaine." How does it go?

This England that was want to conquer others hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

That’s how it ran. A perfect example of what Professor Cheney called Marlowe’s anti-royal, counter-nationhood, the rhyme "that subverts royal power with what Ovid calls libertas." The rhyme that cost Marlowe his freedoms and some say his life.

Foreman’s play seems however to have been Shakspere’s play. That’s why it was being presented at the Globe Playhouse, shortly after Cymbeline and why it was called Richard II.

For an overview of how Stratfordians have attempted to argue against this being Shakespeare’s play, see the Camden edition of Hayward’s History. Keep in mind we have overwhelming evidence this was the Folio’s play, as Greg notes (SFF) and of the players being punished for presenting it. See Hamlet, "are these the great tragedians..." Yet we have no evidence that Shakspere was censured. Haynes (GP, 130) is mistaken that the actors weren’t censured. The title page of Hamlet attests to their having to tour the hinterlands, after the Rebellion, as does the cited passage. The problem is the author wasn't questioned, let alone censured.

 Why aren’t scholars scouring the countryside for this missing play? Do they have reason to suspect it was something similar to Sir John Oldcastle, said Shakespeare’s but not included in the First Folio? A play Nashe would have described as "timorous servile flatter[y] of the commonwealth." The sort of play that Nashe boasted Marlowe never wrote, "princes he spared not that in the least point transgressed." Yes the more one knows about these times the more Marlowe seems to have become Shakespeare.

Just as importantly, there is an anonymous precursor of Richard II, the so called Woodstock, ms. It was for decades called "Part One of Richard II." It is one of those delightful Kentish plays now thought to be Marlowe’s. (ACSA, Ule, op.cit.) It shares interlocking characters with Arden of Faversham. Namely Lord Cheney, who Urry has documented as a person Marlowe’s father interacted with. (CMC) His ahistoric place in these two plays signals the young poet was appealing to him for patronage. A technique that continues in Marlowe’s mature canon and in Shakespeare’s. In any case if Marlowe wrote Part One of Richard II then it is quite possible he also wrote Part Two, i.e., the play found in the First Folio. Woodstock, like Richard II, pulls no punches. It makes it perfectly clear that Richard killed Woodstock, which is important to know when one sees Richard II, because he is there called to judge who murdered Woodstock. He is thus hearing the case as the accused. Its hand matches fairly well with Marlowe’s only known signature and with the secretary hand of the Timon, ms., now proven Marlowe’s. (N&Q, September, 1998, Baker) The hand of the Arrian transcript was Italic and matches very well with the Italic hand in the Timon. ms., and in the letters to Walsingham from the mysterious young "Henry Faggot."

Contrary to what Harbage claimed, a recent survey of other Elizabethan writers, undertaken by Diana Price in her biography, Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, has proven that this lack of corroborative or substantiating evidence for his authorship is unique. (301-313) Other period writers lived tangible lives and left many real connections between themselves and their writings. Not so for Shakspere and or Shakespeare. Despite what Roper has called an "inquisition [conducted by]] armies of scholars, formidably equipped," nothing linking Shakspere to the works has been turned up. No books, no papers, no letters, no invitations, no diary entries, no record of travels, education or intellectual friendships. Stratfordian apologists claim Price carefully constructed her categories in order to exclude Shakspere. But this criticism falters when the categories, all ten of them, are considered. In order to add Shakspere’s name to the list new categories such as "worked in the theater," would have to added. This one seems too general. Many people acted in the theater or even managed playhouses who were not writers. The fact Shakspere worked in the theater proves nothing about his authorship of these works. She might have added categories entitled "claimed an author in published advertisements," "arrested for writing," or "remembered as a writer within five years after his death." Even if we added these three, Shakspere would have evidence in only one of thirteen categories, appreciably less than the other writers.

Sticking just to Harbage’s claims, Price found for Thomas Dekker records of correspondence touching on literary affairs, evidence of Dekker having been paid to write, handwritten "inscriptions, receipts, letters, etc., touching on literary matters...commendatory verse, epistles and epigrams contributed or received" and "miscellaneous records" that "refereed to [Dekker] as a writer." (WSAUL, 304.) Yet Harbage made it appear we knew nothing about Dekker. For Heywood, Price found ample evidence in the same categories, plus extant original manuscripts and contemporary notices of his death, as a writer. She missed direct evidence of Heywood’s relationship with his patron, Thomas Hammon, (~Hammond) about which we shall have more to say latter, likely because it is to be found in the dedication to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta and not in one of Heywood’s plays. Contrary to Harbage’s claims, no one needs to know personal biographic facts about a writer to know he was a writer, since many of us share similar facts, but are not writers. What we need to know about Shakspere was that he was seen as a writer by his peers. And this is precisely what we don’t know. If he’d been arrested for his role in the Essex Rebellion or for Macbeth, a play with more than a few anti-Scottish sentiments, we’d know he was the author despite knowing nothing about this schooling or travels. If he was mentioned by Henslowe or Alleyn (or anyone else) as having been paid to write, we’d know it. If we found evidence of his library and papers in Stratford, even an inventory of it, as was customary and as was taken for John Gresshop, we’d know it. (CMC, op.cit.) If we found letters from or about him treating him as a writer, we’d know it. But as Price and Trevor-Roper have pointed out we have none of this evidence.

I suspect many Stratfordians are going to cry when they learn that Mark Reylance, the famous Shakespeare actor and now artistic director of Shakspere’s restored Globe Playhouse, sides with me in a major new BBC and PBS documentary on this subject. Mark is among many who have looked deeply at the plays and discovered their content betrays the Stratfordian myth. Even Andrew Gurr, the Globe’s historian and a respected academician, uses the "if" word in this documentary "Much Ado About Something," as in "if he wrote them."

No let us suppose for a moment that there is historical evidence against Shakspere and that partisan Stratfordians have been suppressing or obfuscating it for several centuries. Where would that evidence be? In Stratford, of course, where Shakspere lived. It was gathered by the Rev. Dr. John Ward, who settled there while Shakespeare’s daughter, Judith, still lived. Ward wrote that Shakspere was,


a natural wit, without any art at all,

frequented ye plays all his younger time

in his elder days [he] lived at Stratford: and supplied ye stage with 2 plays every year, and for yt had an allowance so large, yt hee spent att the Rate of a 1,000L a year, as I have heard.

This account, taken while Shakspere’s daughter was still alive and taken in Stratford by a university educated person, a person who must have taken over many of the same patients of Dr. Hall, Susanna’s husband and Shakspere’s son-in-law, tells us that Shakspere never attended school, and frequented the plays all his younger days instead. Dr. Ward tells us Shakspere lacked "any art at all!" G. B. Harrison, when he encounters this phrase in a line of Joan La Pucelle, in 1 Henry VI, "I am by birth a shepherd’s daughter, My wit untrained in any kind of art," provides the following footnote, "art: book learning." A bit further on, after fielding dozens of scholarly allusions to arcane characters and events, an apologetic Harrison writes, "the excessive use of classical names in this passage is typical of Shakespeare’s early work." (CW, G.B. Harrison, 116) Now we simply cannot have it both ways, gentle reader. Shakespeare cannot be "a natural wit, without any art at all," and evidence an "excessive" wellspring of classical learning in his plays. Not if Shakspere equals Shakespeare.

Ward’s most important discovery is his finding that Shakspere "supplied" the stage with two plays a year. Supplied, not wrote. This account should be the cornerstone of studies into the authorship question. But it is cleverly hidden and quickly discounted by Stratfordians. Chambers even quarrels with the math. (SL, op.cit.) As a matter of fact, Shakespeare is credited with 40 plays, if we count Edward III, Two Noble Kinsmen, Cardenio and Pericles. He entered print in 1593 and seems to have stopped writing about 1613 or twenty years later. Simple division yields "two plays a year" as the number he "supplied the stage." So Ward, not Chambers was correct.


Nicholas Rowe is generally considered to be the first "outsider" to investigate Shakspere’s life. Rowe, during the early 1700s, had sent Thomas Betterton, then a well known London actor, to Stratford. Incredibly, Betterton discovered the village hardly remembered Shakspere at all. Indeed Betterton’s research so thoroughly confused Shakspere’s family that he combined it with the shoemaker of similar name. We cannot blame Betterton. He spoke with the vicar and others villagers who should have known, so Beeston’s confusion reflects a deep ignorance in Stratford about who Shakespeare had actually been, i.e., the son of the glover and alderman, Mr John Shakspere, or the son of the cobbler, "plain John Shakspere." Scholars still cannot be certain, since William’s baptismal record does not distinguish as to which John Shakspere was his father. Later, after the glover became a "Mr," the register would differentiate, but at the time of William’s birth it simply didn’t.

So Marlovians aren’t a batty as Stratfordians claim. The evidence is clearly for Marlowe’s authorship of the works said Shakspere’s. Shakspere was a man without "any art at all" and thus could never have written the plays later said his. These plays reflect great art, the sort of book learning that Marlowe, not Shakspere commanded. Shakspere was a producer of plays, no more, no less and he was well paid for it, a 1000 L a year.

ard’s observation would explain how Shakspere got his money, it was an "allowance," and it would explain how he could spend about half that amount on several occasions. (SL) Stratfordians have vacillated back and forth about how much money that amount represents in today’s currency. The calculation is actually rather straightforward. A pound Sterling equals 12 Troy ounces of silver or roughly $60.00 U.S., at today’s quote. So a thousand pounds Sterling computes to $60,000.00 a year, after taxes. That’s a real cash income, particularly in those days, when much was still bartered. However it didn’t make Shakspere a millionaire, as many have claimed. Professor Stanley Wells, who appears with me in Much Ado About Something , and is the Director of the Shakespeare Trust in Stratford, has suggested Shakspere earnings to have been ten times that amount, but this speculation is not supported by the record. Chambers set Shakspere’s earnings at about a third or forth of what Ward discovered, i.e., between two and three hundred Pounds a year, still many times more than what the local teacher was making. Of the two, Ward seems more likely correct, since he was there at or nearly at the time. More it is doubtful that Shakspere could have spent over an entire year’s income on one or more occasions, as he did for the "tithes," on 24 July 1605. He shelled out L440 for them. (SL,60) Someone was playing Shakspere handsomely to produce these plays. And he got rich on the deal. But he wasn’t their author.

Let’s recall that Marlowe’s master, Sir Francis Walsingham, "received from the Queen 3,300 pounds for secret service...between March 1587 and June 1588," as Brooke notes. He goes on, "a larger allowance apparently than he ever got before of after during the same length of time." (TLM, 35) Brooke has forgotten this was during the prelude to Armada crisis. The English knew the Spanish were coming, but not when, where or how many. So they required military and navel intelligence, and were willing to pay for it. Now it is obvious that large sums of money were on the table. If, as we have suggested, Shakespeare’s plays were promoting English nationalism and hegemony, as well as alerting the population to the horrors of another civil war over succession, Burghley could have found the pence to see that they were produced. Oxford was given this same sum, i.e., 1,000 pounds a year for duties that were never specified. Many scholars believe he was behind the production of these plays. (CO, op.cit.)

Lastly Ward’s account that Shakspere spent his retirement in Stratford seems to be, in the main, correct. Indeed most scholars accept Ward’s version of Shakspere’s death following a drinking bout, though there is general disagreement as to who, precisely, Shakspere was drinking with. (SL, DL) With all this agreement to the record in mind, Ward’s finding that Shakspere merely "supplied" plays should be given substantial weight in these studies.

I don’t wish to close this section on Ward’s findings without mentioning his reminder that he should study Shakespeare’s plays to seem versed in them. Ward wrote, "Remember to peruse Shakespears plays, and bee versd in them, yt may not bee ignrant in yt matter..." Notice that Ward knows of the plays and his sentiment indicates that if he didn’t peruse or study them he would seem "ignrant in yt matter." What matter? Ward doesn’t say "ignorant in them" or "ignorant of their content," but "ignorant of the matter." "Matter" suggests a larger context. Indeed this reminder also assures us that the townsmen who had actually known Shakspere were still versed in the plays he’d produced. If Ward was going to appear well versed, he’d have to read these plays. Since Betterton found, just fifty years later, a widespread ignorance in the village about Shakespeare’s plays and even about the actor’s actual family, we can easily suppose the community knowledge that Ward discerned was illiterate or verbal knowledge. (Since a literate knowledge would have remained.) Its what we call today "oral history." Shakspere’s friends and townsmen were illiterates, for the most part. And the plays and the stories about Shakspere’s life and times enjoyed an oral not a written tradition in Stratford. A tradition that had vanished by the time Betterton showed up, half a century later. This is why Ward writes "as I have heard."

Ward’s reminder suggests he had a copy of the plays, i.e., something he could "read." He makes no mention of the poems. So we can assume it was a Folio. Which one was it? Was it a second Folio? If so was it the so called "Perkins Folio," the one that seems to have been modified by the author in 20,000 places c. 1635? (Ganzel, FIME) Alas we have no way of telling. What scholars do know is that Stratfordians labeled the emendations Collier forgeries in an effort to ignore them. We also know that modern forensic studies of the ink has proven it to predate Collier by several hundred years. Ganzel called the defamation of Collier the most successful "literary conspiracy in history." Stratfordians still ignore Ganzel’s benchmark biography even though it was published by the Oxford University Press.

And what about Ward’s phrase "Shakespears plays," doesn’t that imply Shakspere actually wrote them? Only if the phrase "Shakspere’s house," when used to describe New Place, must be taken to mean he’d built it. He reminds himself he "supplied" or produced these plays for the stage, at the rate of two a year, so what else could he have called them? Jonson’s plays? Or Marlowe’s plays? No, they were Shakspere’s plays, just as New Place was "his" house, even though he hadn’t built it. No more, no less.

Ward’s Diary depicts the same rustic the will and the Mountjoy deposition depicts. His will, which may be in holograph, shows no evidence of the writer or the world class mind. It labels his granddaughter Elizabeth, who Ward knew, his "niece." This allegedly mirid-minded man, whose vocabulary remains unrivaled, used the phrase "after my deseas" twenty some times in the text of his will, without ever once employing a synonym. He’s worried about Judith remaining "covert baron," his phrase for childless or barren for the rest of her "lief." That’s right "lief" for "life." Another shocking and discordant phrase remains with me, this one about Susanna, "for better enabling of her to pforme this my will." In the Mountjoy deposition he recalls having "hard" the defendant say something. Yes, "hard" for "heard." How could this be the voice, let alone the mind, of the Folio? A man who, in April of 1616, when the will was drafted, was just fifty-two years old. He was 47 when the Mountjoy deposition was taken from him. Which reminds one, why wasn’t he deposed first with written interrogatories, as is normally the case? It would appear that he couldn’t answer in writing.


So we can prove the Stratfordian case rests solely on a commercial advertisement and that Stratfordians are ignoring or obfuscating primary evidence against it. Indeed the First Folio’s advertisement, suggesting the rustic as the author has been proven false in nearly all of its other particulars. For example most of the previously printed plays weren’t reset from their "true and original copies" but from the last printed edition, which in many cases had been modified on its face, apparently by the author, as the case of Othello, first published in 1622 and modified for the FF in 1623 on its face, amply proves. (SFF, Greg, SIH, Bloom) Indeed we must say a word about the First Folio’s content. Why does it contain precisely 36 plays? Why are they divided into three categories? Why was one play hidden? Are the parallels to Plato’s cannon intentional? Plato’s dialogues number 36, but one was lost making their total 35. Is this a coincidence? When we add the missing play Troilus and Cressida to the Tragedies, where it belongs, we get twelve tragedies. Are there also twelve comedies and twelve histories? Is the table of plays a rebus? Or an invitation to a puzzle. Many think so.

Evidence of Marlowe’s education abounds in Shakespeare’s plays and poems, but is widely ignored by Stratfordians. Leon Craig, a professor of Greek philosophy and political science at the University of Alberta, has, for example documented Shakespeare’s debt to Plato, a figure most Elizabethans had never heard of, let alone read, in his new book Of Philosophers and Kings. Plato was a master of a literary styles similar to Shakespeare’s and Marlowe’s. Indeed it is correct to note that only Plato, Marlowe and Shakespeare have ever mastered it. Craig isn’t the first to note his. Howard White, also a professor of political science and a biographer of Francis Bacon, noted it in his book, Copped Hills Towards Heaven, Shakespeare and the Classical Polity. Both were students of Leo Strauss, who also wrote and lectured on these connections, as has Harold Bloom, one of the foremost critics of Shakespeare’s text. Bloom has correctly identified Falstaff "as an Elizabethan Socrates." (SIH, 298) Textual studies have documented that Shakespeare intentionally paralleled not just Falstaff’s life on Socrates, but his death as well. (Baker). Bloom notes he even makes it clear the charges against Falstaff are the same as those against Socrates, "that villainous abominable misleader of youth, Falstaff." (II,iv, 450) People this intimately familiar with Plato have always been considered "learned" or "intellectual." For a list of the several hundred classical sources see:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/sources.html .

It is true that Shakespeare doesn’t display his knowledge the way some pedants do, but it is equally certain that the plays drip with the evidence of what was then one of the world’s foremost educations. They remain, even to this day, the single largest repository of education about human action in existence. Its author, whoever he was, would have been far more at home in a university setting than in the Mermaid Tavern or in the Mountjoy boarding house. Can you imagine how sought after he would be today if we could conjure him up? No university chair would be safe. Tenure or no tenure. And this, gentle reader, is the heart and soul of the Shakespeare problem. No one sought after the actor for his intellectual and educational metal. It’s proof positive he wasn’t he author, as Plutarch can tell us: similar intellectual endowments share parallel lives. Or should.


With all this firmly in mind, we are (at last) ready to make the case for Marlowe’s authorship of 1 Henry VI which appeared in print for the first time in the First Folio. Henry VI, as we know it, is a three part history. Its other two parts had been published early on and were vastly popular judging from the editions and allusions to them. They shook the stage and wrapped player hearts in tiger skins. But where was 1 Henry VI, for the better part of thirty years? Why wasn’t it published? Surely it would have been popular and sold well. Scholars don’t know why it wasn’t published. They do know, however, that it was the longest suppressed play of Shakespeare. We shall suggest it was curbed because it contained enough diplomatic intelligence about the Talbot family to identify the author as Christopher Marlowe. If we bother to check the character lists we’ll learn that Talbot is not present in either Part Two or Part Three. This fact, along with a wealth of similar ones, caused Dover Wilson to suppose these two plays could not have been written by the same author as the author of 1 Henry VI. (Op.cit.) So we have reason, twin reasons, to suspect the problem with 1 Henry VI was Talbot. He seems to have been taken out of Parts Two and Three, writ large. The technical term for this is redacted.what is now 1 Henry VI. The redacted or censured versions without Talbot could be published and were published. It is true Joan La Pucelle is also missing from Parts Two and Three, but she can hardly be the cause of the suppression of the play, since Joan was French and long dead. Even if we concede she was based, in part, on Mary Queen of Scots, this fact could not explain the suppression of the play for three decades.

The watershed study on this topic is Allison Gaw’s, The Origin and Development of ! Henry VI in Relation to Shakespeare, Marlowe, Peele and Greene (1926) Gaw (Ph.D.) was Chairman of the Department of English at the University of Souther California. It was revised a bit after J. Q. Adams’ Life of Shakespeare appeared, Gaw writing "he brilliantly advances similar views as to Shakespeare’s relations with the Pembroke company." The fly in this ointment is that Shakspere, is not known to have worked with the Pembroke company, whereas Marlowe did. (CW, Edward II) Gaw and Marlovians, agree "Green’s reference to ‘Shake-scene’ in early

September of 1592 therefore has no bearing whatever upon the subject...there is not a scintilla of evidence that it was written prior to 1592." ("General Conclusions," 162) We also fully embrace her conclusion that "Edward Alleyn, naturally turned for a new play [i.e., 1 Henry VI] to Marlowe..." (163) and that this play was thus Henslowe’s "harey the vj", which premiered on 3 March 1591/2. (CMEA, op.cit.) (Gaw, Ibid.) We cannot, however, endorse Gaw’s conclusion the play, as we now have it, is the collaborative work of three or four authors, i.e., Marlowe, Peele, Greene and Nashe.

Gaw gives 10 scenes to Marlowe, 10 to Peele and the rest to "B" and "C." (159) She then guesses which of these "original" scenes Shakespeare "participated" in revising. There she find just four scenes that might have been Shakespeare’s, iv,i; iv, ii; iv, viii and v,iii’s "Suffolk woos Margaret of Anjou." The Countess of Auvergne scene she believes was written by "B.

To cite but one study ("Pace...op.cit.), 1 Henry VI simply does not evidence the sort of expanded vocabulary anticipated in a collaboration between three or four gifted writers. 1 Henry VI, which is 20,515 words (or tokens) in length, contains a vocabulary of 3812 words or Types. Marlowe’s Massacre at Paris and Edward III, neither of which is suspected as collaborative works, have nearly identical T/trs to 1H6. Edward III, which is just 600 or so words shorter than 1H6, contains 3735 words. Pace indicates had it been 600 tokens longer it would have contained another 75 or 80 Types. This would make it almost exactly the same number of Types as 1H6. As we’ve pointed out Edward III appeared in 1595 but appears to date to a period closer to the Armada crisis, so if they were by the same author, the similarity in T/trs offers independent proof both plays were roughly contemporaneous. (For why this is so see ahead to the discussion of Dr Faustus, at the close of this paper.) So excepting her opinion that Marlowe had three collaborators, none of whom where Shakespeare, we agree wholeheartedly with Gaw. We particularly agree with her conclusion:

The mythical character of Greene’s supposed allegation in the Groatsworth of Wit that Shakespeare plagiarized from him in 1 or 3 Henry VI has been demonstrated. Such an interpretation of the Tygers hart passage is certainly chronologically impossible as to 1 Henry VI and almost certainly so as to Part 3 also, while on other grounds as well the theory is logically and factually fallacious. (168)

We are simply reminding the reader of her study proving Marlowe, not Shakespeare, wrote 1 Henry VI, which Shakespeare simply "polished up." We thus do not have to repeat the 160 pages or so of Gaw’s closely reasoned work ourselves. Greg embraces Gaw’s earlier works, but is curiously silent on this one. (SFF, 115) He does, however, suffer himself to cite and to concur with Dover Wilson’s landmark study mentioned above. We are, of course, here adding to it new evidence about the origin of one of its scenes, evidence which ties the episode to Marlowe’s assignment with the Talbots. At the same time we have notified the reader of new evidence about the lives of Marlowe and Shakspere, which we hope is pivotal.

Returning to the question that Marlowe must have conceived of embellishing Talbot’s role in 1H6 in order to gain favor or patronage, it is true Talbot is mentioned twice in the rest of the canon, once in Richard III and one in Henry V, and both times falteringly. These appearances prove the point against Dover Wilson, Shakespeare did know of Talbot’s role in the affairs of Henry VI. However this play features John Talbot and his sons John and Gilbert Talbot. Gilbert became the second Earl of Shrewsbury, with the deaths of his father and brother. Just as we don’t know why the play was suppressed, scholars aren’t certain of when it was written. Harrison suspects "1591 or the beginning of 1592" just as Gaw did. However Harrison isn’t precise enough to notice this leaves Greene’s alleged allusion to it hanging. Harrison’s hunch about the date is based on Henslowe’s entry of 3 March 1592 of a new play "harey the vi." He may be right. In any case there is no doubt Marlowe was alive and well in 1591 and, as we have seen, working with the Talbots and with close ties to Alleyn. (CMEA, op.cit.) His Talbot was George Talbot, the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. This Lord Talbot had made the mistake of marrying Elizabeth or Bess Cavendish in 1567. He died twenty-three years later at Sheffield Manor on 18 November 1590, still married to her. Their marriage had been tumultuous and their combined wealth made them, according to many, the wealthiest private family in England. (BOH)

So it is certain that the John Talbot of 1 Henry VI had an Elizabethan analog and that Marlowe knew him. We have established both Marlowe and Shakespeare liked to style their plays in such a fashion as to appeal to the patronage of families then living. Famous Victories goes out of its way to appeal to the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, the same man widely supposed to have been Shakespeare by many. So if Marlowe were the author of 1 Henry VI, it would be consistent with his habits to create roles for Talbot that would flatter him. This is, in the main, what we find in 1 Henry VI. On the other hand, Shakspere would not have known Talbot. However, as we have noted, George Talbot died late in 1590 and thus could not have patronized Marlowe beyond this point. So Marlowe had to turn to his son, Sir Gilbert Talbot, who became the 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. A young Earl represented rising expectations. And Marlowe could play on the good sentiment between a son and his lost father. Indeed there is a pronounced father son relationship in 1 Henry VI, which signals (or could signal) the playwright’s growing awareness of George Talbot’s fast approaching end. This relationship will not be found, in this degree, in the sources. So we know it is an invention of the play-maker.

Our young playwright had other materials to work with as well. His Talbots had been the keepers of Mary, Queen of Scots. Indeed George Talbot was widely rumored as having had an affair with her. And it was to him that the unpleasant chore of her execution fell. He gave the order. Now consider how this background fits with Talbot’s interaction with Joan La Pucelle or Joan de Arc. And how well Joan’s personality matches Mary, Queen of Scots. When Mary and Talbot were rumored to be having an affair, it was rumored that she, like Shakespeare’s Joan, was pregnant. Shakespeare having caused Joan to name Reigneir, King of Naples, as the father of her unborn child, then writes, "A married man, That’s most intolerable." Was this oblique speech?

Be this as it may the real connection to the Talbots and to Bess comes in the famous non historical scene between Talbot and the fictitious Countess of Auvergne. Auvergne is a place in France, but consider the scramble, "our revenge." Indeed it is nearly certain that the Countess cannot have been modeled on anyone other than Bess, the Countess of Shrewsbury, George Talbot’s wife and Arbella’s grandmother, who sacked Marlowe in August 1592. We have pointed out how the playwright calls attention to certain ahistoric dates by placing them improperly in the text. Let us consider the date he gives for Talbot’s initial troubles, I,i, 110. There he writes, "The tenth of August last...retiring form the siege of Orleans..." Now as a matter of fact the capture of Talbot happened on 18 June, 1429, not 10 August 1422. So this is quite a mistake. Was it intentional? Durant reports that Bess and Arbella (and thus Marlowe) left London for Hardwick Hall on "the last day of July 1592." Their entourage must have seemed like an army. Durant notes Bess had forty servants on horseback, many wagons and her lovely new coach in the lead. Something happened during this journey "back to the country" that unsettled Marlowe. Did it happen on 10/20 August? We don’t know, but it might have. We do know the date is an intentional misnomer, devised to attract our attention and it attracts it to precisely the time Marlowe seems to have become come "dissatisfied" with his return to Hardwick Hall.

Let us now turn to scene II,iii, the scene between the Countess and Talbot. It is funny even if we don’t know the parallels. So it must have been a veritable riot for Elizabethans who knew the domestic background and who thus suspected who the Countess really was. He sets the stage by having her compare herself to Tomyris who captured and slew Cyrus the Elder. This is a bit of scholarly learning well over the head of the rustic actor. (Unless he’d read Herodius, i,201.) Tomyris chopped Cyrus’ head off and ordered it placed in a bowl of man’s blood so he could "drink his fill." (WWIS) Talbot’s Countess planned a similar fate for him. However Talbot came prepared. In the preceding scene he’d cautioned his captain to bring a company of armed men and to standby outside the Countess’ castle until they heard his command. By means of this prearrangement Talbot subdued the Countess without ever firing a shot. In Elizabethan life, the Talbots had fought so over George’s infidelities, real or imagined, that Elizabeth I. had to intervene in their domestic affairs. As we began by noting the more one knows about these affairs the more it is certain that this particular scene draws on private domesticity that of the two only Marlowe would have had access to.

Marlowe, not Shakspere, knew what the inside of Hardwick Hall looked like. Only Marlowe knew how domineering the Countess was. Only Marlowe knew how Talbot reacted. Only Marlowe knew of Bess’s portrait gallery and of her portraits of Talbot.

The interior has fine plaster work and is richly decorated and splendidly furnished. The High Great Chamber was especially designed to display the Brussels tapestries Bess had bought a few years before the building began. The Long Gallery, occupying the entire length of the east front, has a collection of family portraits.


Portraits that the Countess of Auvergne boasts about owning in her portrait gallery:

I [have] trained thee to my house.

Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,

For in my gallery thy picture hangs.

But now the substance shall endure the like,

Notice the hint of a bit of old fashion witchcraft. The Countess boasts she’s "trained" his "shadow" to her house. Marlowe would have known that Bess may have dabbled some in the dark arts, doing some conjuring herself. Arbella’s first letter, addressed to Bess, reads,

Good Lady Grandmother, I have sent your Ladyship, the endes of my heare which were cutt the sixt day of the moone, on Saturday laste; and with them a pott of Gelly, which my Servante made;

The letter is dated 8 February 1587/8 or a bit before Marlowe began to work for her full-time. (Huntington Library Ms HM 803) What Bess was going to do with the "heare" or why the date of its cutting was important is not known. But the intention cannot be entirely "normal."

Additional proof of Marlowe in 1 Henry VI is that it contains a cleverly reworded version of Marlowe’s Latin trope or motto found on his Cambridge portrait, "quod me nutrit, me desruit." Or something like, "that which nourishes me destroys me." It is twice hidden in the Sonnets (1 and 63) and is concealed in many, if not all, of the plays. Sonnet 63 is the closest match, "That on the ashes of his youth doth lie...Consum’d with that which it was nurish’d by." Here it becomes a lovely observation about power, "Glory is like a circle in the water Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself Till by broad spreading it disperses to nought." (I.i.135) In Arden of Faversham, it’s gingerly woven into the text as "a woman’s love is as the lighting flame, which even in bursting forth consumes itself." (I.ii.) In the opening sonnet it appears as, "But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes, Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel." Romeo and Juliet are said to be like fire and powder that in kissing consume themselves. In Edward II, he goes at it twice, having Edward say, "I am that Cedar." Earlier Mortimer has explained the problem, "A lofty Cedar tree fair flourishing...and by the bark a canker creeps me up and gets unto the highest bough of all." Self-consumed. Nicholl, always cautious of entering the turbulent waters of the authorship question, contrives to use Marlowe’s motto as it appears in Pericles, as a bold heading under his "Introduction,"

A Torch Turning Downward. (TR, 1)

Since it is unsigned it is likely a self-portrait, as self-portraits are generally unsigned. TR, 5-8.

In Pericles, the author contrives to have it seen as an upside down torch with the Latin phrase, "qudo me alit, me extinguist," or "that which lights me, extinguishes me," written beneath it. Harrison, who was familiar with Marlowe’s trope, translates it rather ungracefully as "what nourishes me, kills me." Nicholl wisely avoids the authorship debate over Pericles, but joins a growing lists of authorities who are convinced the evidence is overwhelming that Marlowe was the sitter for this portrait and the motto his. Since period sumptuary laws forbid students not working for the Crown to wear silks or velvets, and the sitter is most certainly wearing velvet, the case for the sitter having been Marlowe, is, as Wraight first observed, intensified. (ISCM, 68-9) The appearance of the motto in his works makes it conclusive.

Edward II and 1 Henry VI share another common ground. Both entered history on the day they opened on. For Marlovians this signal suggests common authorship. Edward II opens, off-stage, with the death of Edward I, which took place on 5 August. However it actually opens with Edward II’s first official act, his infamous letter to Gaveston, a letter sent on the 6th of August or the same day Edward II stood for registration on. 1 Henry VI opens with the funeral of Henry V which took place on 7 November 1422, the play entering on 8 November 1622 or precisely two hundred years later. Pause, gentle reader. Think about this a moment. A mind fascinated with history and with dates. A mind that teams with historical figures. A mind that has contrived not simply to write this great trilogy about Henry VI, but one that had written an entire dramatic history of English speaking peoples, a canon which he has boasted would outlast stone. That same mind seems to have contrived to enter 1 Henry VI on the bicentennial anniversary of Henry’s rise to power, what a feat. Imagine being a member of the select audience that saw the first performance of Edward II staged on the same day it opens on. Or to marvel that the funeral of Henry V took place on the very same day in history that the play appeared on. Stratfordians ignore the registration dates of the plays for two very good reasons. First they signal an intentional author, something the paradigm doesn’t allow and second, they suggest him to have been Marlowe, a Marlowe who lived until 1654 when the last of these works appeared out of the blue on the same day that Venus and Adonis appeared on in 1593, boasted the first heir on the author’s invention. It’s a sixty year registration cycle connecting the works of Marlowe and Shakespeare.

So the parallels are sustained and significant. One more needs to be mentioned, Marlowe’s George Talbot was a tall man, so making him a "silly dwarf" was humorous. Orthodox Stratfordians note her sneer at him as a "writhled shrimp" is "unexplained." (WWIS) All in all the play was controversial enough to be suppressed from publication for 30 some odd years. Why? Because the materials in it point back to the time Marlowe worked for the Talbots and he was uncomfortable with this fact.

The case for Marlowe’s authorship of I Henry VI, is an old case, many orthodox scholars have supposed it. Charles Crawford put it in his concordance to the works of Marlowe early in the 20th Century. Gaw, as we have seen, credits Marlowe with the invention of it and the bulk of its scenes. C. F. Tucker Brooke has proven Marlowe to be the author of the earlier anonymous plays that Parts Two and Three depend on, i.e., the so called Contention. ("The Authorship of the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI," The Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, 1912, xvii, 141) Brooke and Urry suggest his interest in the subject dates to 1583 a time when Marlowe was nineteen. (CM, 57) We have simply pointed out that the life of Marlowe, as it is now known, places him in the household of Bess and George Talbot. This placement led to him having what is called "insider knowledge" about the Talbot family. This knowledge and this placement encouraged him to revisit Henry VI and write 1 Henry VI, several years later. And with George’s death and Marlowe’s survival, led him to suppress it publication for thirty years. In fact it was his local knowledge of Kent and of the events dramatized in all three parts of Henry VI that encourage him to write this remarkable trilogy. Andrew Butcher replaced William Urry as the archivist of Kent and is currently professor of History at the University of Kent and author (with Peter Brown) of The Age of Saturn, a study of literature and society in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Butcher was also the editor of Urry’s Christopher Marlowe and Canterbury, so we can offer no higher authority on the local color of Kent in Shakespeare’s works. Butcher wrote,

Furthermore it seemed to Urry that the detailed local knowledge of East Kent which occurs in Henry VI Part II was certainly of a kind which Marlowe might have possessed and used. In describing Alexander Iden, Best, Wingham tanner, Emmanuel, the Clerk of Cartham (or possibly Chatham), and Dick, the Ashford butcher, the dramatist seemed to be drawing on a knowledge of individuals who were demonstrably known to those living in Canterbury and its hinterland. (xxvii)

Needless to say we wholeheartedly second this notion. The internal evidence for Marlowe’s authorship of all of Henry VI is overwhelming. The more one knows about Kent and its history the more overwhelming it becomes. At the very best, the Folio versions of these three plays are Shakespeare’s in name only. Their conception and first appearance must surely have been of Marlowe’s invention. No student of Shakspere’s life can explain how he might have gained this "detailed local knowledge of East Kent," particularly in the 1580s or early 1590s. Doing so would require entirely new chapters of his early life, a life imaginative scholars like E. A. J. Honigmann (Shakespeare’s the ‘lost years’, 1985) are currently pushing northward, not southward.


Before closing we like to tie up a few loose ends. First we need to say a word or two about registration dating. As we’ve noted 1 Henry VI ‘s registration fell on the same day it opens on. I Henry VI has a curious registration history. It was not published during the player’s lifetime, though Part Two and Part Three were, in several forms, which are still the bane of many bibliographic scholars. So it first stood for registration along with a group of other plays destined for the First Folio on 8 November 1622. There it is incorrectly called "The thirde partt of Herny ye sixt." (DL,257) Incorrectly because it was the First Part that had not been printed, not the Third part. (But paradoxically correct since it was the third part to be registered and printed.) Greg comes to this same conclusion in Shakespeare’s First Folio. (60) Like Edward II, it opens on a real day in history, with the funeral of Henry V, which took place on 7 November 1422, which is close enough for notice. It is even more important than the action, which is hardly historic, jumps from the death of Henry V to the notice given to Henry VI, which would have come, if we follow the action, on 8 November, the following day, in Eltham, as Exeter, the Duke of Beaufort, notes. (i,1,170) Since this "chronology" is not historic only the author would have considered 8 November to have been the day Henry VI became king. Yet that is the day it entered on, albeit, along with 16 other plays said to be Shakespeare’s. It does not seem to be coincidence. One might ask why track Henry VI rather than Henry VIII, which also entered that day? Two reasons suggest themselves, first, because the registration of 1H6 completed the trilogy it was of obvious importance and second, because the opening of Henry VIII is not specific as to date, whereas 1 Henry VI is very specific.

Obviously an author bent on memorializing dates could not count on the Stationers’ Court, and thus its Registry, being open seven days a week, 365 days a year, so these registrations are not always precise. (This allows critics to cry "numerology." However the pattern remains.) November 30, for example, was a Sunday in 1595, the year Edward III was entered for publication. The Court would have been closed, so December 1st would have to do. Mid Summer Night’s Dream, which appears to have no historical significance, triumphs on a marvelous private registration conceit that would have been known only to the author. The 8th of October, its registration date, was, according to North, the day Athenians set aside as Theseus’ day. (As we Yanks do the 4th of July.) Theseus, of course, is the ranking human in MND. Its registration, on that same day, was, thus, a private conceit of the author. North was the Elizabethan translator of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, which Shakespeare frequently relied upon. It is the only date North provides readers with and it comes at the end of his fifty some odd page treatment of Theseus’ life. I don’t see how anyone but the author would have known this well enough to orchestrate its registration accordingly. (North appears to have made up the date, so we can tell Shakespeare was following North, not the Greek at this point.) Three works widely claimed as Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, Pericles and The Sonnets, all entered on 20/30 May in consecutive years and under the hands of different publishers. It was a day of considerable importance to Marlowe, as we have noted several times. Consider the registration of Hamlet. As we have pointed out Hamlet’s oblique text is about King James. Like Hamlet, James’ father was murdered by his mother and her lover. Like Hamlet, James was an indecisive and vengefully murderous intellectual. So the question becomes is there a connection in the registration of Hamlet to King James? Hamlet entered history on 26 July 1602. It was a day of importance for James because news of his mother’s abdication reached his household on that same day in 1567. Mary’s abdication came on 25 July. He would be crowned King of England on 25th of July 1603, St. James’ day, proof his Master of Ceremonies could count the days.

James’MC was the mysterious Sir Lewis Leuknor. Marlowe was in the King’s School with his cousin and the two families have been long connected. A Leuknor revenged Marlowe’s death on Lord Strange’s messenger, the poor Richard Hesketh, details of which are woven into the plot of Hamlet. Leuknor appeared out of the blue in 1603 and was appointed over Sir Edmund Tyllney. Leuknor claimed an MA for Cambridge, but only Marlowe had one. Several of Leuknor’s translations appear in the works of Shakespeare, including his go at the Constitution of Venice. Since this man, like Tyllney must have known both Shakspere and Shakespeare, the community silence about both is suspicious. .http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/leuknor.htm

The 25th of July in 1602 was a Sunday, so Hamlet entered history on Monday, the 26th of July. Anyone who supposes this to be coincidence has missed the point.

The author of Hamlet contrived to register it on a day of importance to James VI. Why? Because the play was about him, as Winstanley found out.

Again it is not our intention to badger the reader into believing that Marlowe became Shakespeare. It is however odd that Shakespeare follows him in the intentional registration of his plays. It is odder yet that he connects his works to dates of importance in Marlowe’s life and not to the life of Shakspere. I Henry IV, the most personal and Kentish of the plays, is not obviously connected to Henry IV but to Marlowe’s birth, Marlowe having been christened on 27 February 1563/4. It was transcribed out for a presentation copy in Pluckley, Kent on that same day, i.e., 26 February 1621/2, and later used in preparation for the printing of the First Folio. Who was tracking these important days, if not the author? It was in that same ledger the curious excited utterance "two copies of I Shakespear plays" appears. (T.S. Lennam, SQ, 1965, 145-53; Kent Archives Office, U350 E4) Who was this I Shakespear, if it wasn’t Marlowe? Puckley, Kent was the home of his major professor, Thomas Harris and it was there the only manuscript of a Shakespearian play has ever been discovered. Puckley is village of just a few souls. Odd isn’t it? Sir Edward Dering’s library housed there contained over 250 play books and there is a daily record of his having attended plays by "going by water." Meaning they were in London crossing the Thames. Who was Dering’s tutor? Thomas Harris or William Shakespeare? Dering went to the King’s School and to Cambridge.

So Marlovians have a good case. No DNA evidence, but a good case. Marlowe’s death looks like it was fabricated. And better yet Marlowe surfaces under his own name in the diplomatic records of state during the decade after his "death" and for many years later, as well. We don’t know, of course, if this was the same Christopher Marlowe or not, but the circumstances fit him to a T, as we Yanks say. His last known appearance in the public record came in 1633, when he, or someone with his name, won a case against the bishop of Winchester, a very difficult trick, considering the bishop’s standing. It was the same year (1633) that Marlowe’s play The Jew of Malta first appeared it print. Despite a hiatus of forty years, it was dedicated to Marlowe’s King’s School classmate, Thomas Hammon or Hammond, who also attended Corpus Christi with Marlowe. (CMC, 103,105; Alumni Cantabrigienses, Vol.2; Baker, op.cit.) Here’s what we know. Officially the play was ushered into print by someone signing himself as "Thomas Heywood," who many, including Swinburne, have considered a "prose Marlowe" or prose Shakespeare. Heywood first appeared on the London scene on 17 May 1594 or on the same day The Jew of Malta had first stood for print on, a year after Marlowe’s crash. Heywood’s first work was Oenone and Paris. Coincidence or evidence of a connection? It constitutes one third of the triptych formed by it, Venus and Adonis and Hero and Leander. (Marlowe first mentions these lovers in Tamburlaine and later in Faustus.) The problem is the younger Heywood cannot have known Hammon "within the compasse of [his] long knowledge," i.e., "within" it. On the other hand both Marlowe and Hammon were turning 69 that year and both had known each other since they were boys or within the compass of their long knowledge. (Ibid.)

Heywood uses a Latinism at the close of "his" dedication, "Tuissimus." For those familiar with rhetoric, as the author surely was, the word calls to mind the rare word or term, "tuism," which means, "the use of the second person in avoidance of the first." The suffix would imply "the extraordinary use of the second person in avoidance of the first" and/or the masculine use. Technically speaking the second person is "you," however another meaning of "the second person" is its primary meaning, i.e., a second person. The use of the word "tuissimus" can thus be said to imply that Thomas Heywood was a fictitious identity.

We cannot know if it was meant to imply that Heywood never wrote his own materials or if the use of his name in this particular case was a guise or temporary "loan." However the fact Heywood was connected to The Jew of Malta in 1594 and again in 1633 seems odd enough to mention. The fact the earlier date constituted his debut into print cannot be ignored. There seems to be some sort of connection. It is hardly odd there should be, since Elizabethan writers would have had much in common and would have been prone to help out a follow when the need arose. What is odd is that the connection should endure for forty years. Marlowe must have produced prose works, more easily than verse, and would have needed a front. Heywood’s English histories seem more like notebooks a well organized writer might have created while he was working on verse history plays. So it is possible he served as front, we know his boast about collaborating in 250 plays. Here he is years later, still thinking about Christopher’s companionable side and his brilliance:

Marlo, renown’d for his rate art and wit,

Could ne’er attain beyond the name of Kit:

This gem is found in Heywood’s Hierarchie of the Blessed Anges (1635) published just two years after his edition of The Jew of Malta appeared. If the reader reads it twice, it will be noticed one meaning of this lovely couplet is that Marlowe could not attain fame beyond his name, which implies he used other names for his rare art and wit. So Heywood joins Shakespeare in signaling that Marlowe survived 1593 and wrote under other names. In As You Like It, a play teaming with clusters of allusions to Marlowe, as mainstream scholars have long noticed, Shakespeare suggests him exiled among the Goths like Ovid, albeit obliquely. (CW, Harrison) AYLI bases on a romance supposedly written by Thomas Lodge, I say supposedly because "Lodge" claims to have written it on a voyage to the "Canaries," with "Captain Clarke." His editors doubt this, I doubt his authorship as well, particularly since the book opens with back to allusions to cobblers, "the cobbler’s check shall never light on my head" and Marlowe’s motto, here phrased as "Euphues dying to live." In any case, Rosalynde, which appeared on Southampton’s 17th birthday in 1590, is one of three works intimately connected with these works, to appear on his birthday. The other two were Spanish Tragedy and Othello. Marlowe and Southampton overlapped at Cambridge and both knew Lord Burghley, while no connection between Southampton and Shakspere’s has been discovered. As for Spanish Tragedy, it was merely said Kyd’s by Heywood, but discovered stylometrically to be "closer" to Marlowe’s works than the two parts of Tamburlaine are to each other. (ACSA, Ule) Regardless of its authorship SP appeared on Southampton’s 19th birthday in 1592 and alludes to it in line. (III.xiii.35) Othello surfaced on 6 October 1621, Southampton’s 48th birthday. Proof someone remembered or just another coincidence?

If we take the parallel case of Lope de Vega, we can easily understand even with all the works thought Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s that we are, very likely, missing several hundred prose works. Marlowe was producing translations at a regular rate, along with political and theological tracts and, many suppose, music. If we suppose he produced six other works a year, transactions, prose histories, romances, political or religious tracts, and take that times forty years, the result is 240 or just the same number Heywood boasted of having a "finger in." It is the same number of play books cataloged in Sir Edward Dering’s library in Pluckley, that little Kentish village Marlowe’s major professor, or praelector, Thomas Harris lived in. (Urry) Here are the facts about de Vega. Lope turned out over four hundred surviving plays,

out of a considerably larger total...a huge body of nondramatic writing—pastoral novels; a Byzantine novel; Italianate epics, serious and burlesque; narrative poems on contemporary history and on mythological and other subjects, short stories; and a steady stream of lyric poetry spanning more than fifty years and including over sixteen hundred sonnets alone. (EAELDV, 1)

Not only was Lope (1562-11635) Marlowe’s exact contemporary, the two had very similar lives. As would be expected since both were endowed with similar mentalities. Both were university educated and gained their education under the arm of their respective bishops. Both worked as high ranking "secretaries," Lope to the marques de las Navas and Marlowe for Walsingham and Burghley. Both were jailed for criminal libels, street fighting and "criminal conversations." Both were involved in political work and thought and both had hidden theological depths. Lope founded the Spanish theater, Marlowe the English. Lope’s biographer in the Encyclopedia Britannica, writes, "such was his prestige that he dealt with his noble patrons almost on a footing of equality," just as Marlowe did. Alan Trueblood reminds us,

the intensity with which Lope lived—his rich love and family life; his full if spasmodic religious life (as a priest during his last two decades); the restless comings and goings allover Spain and even to the shores of England in the Armada; his share in every representative aspect of life of his day, official and unofficial, at every level from royalty to roguedom, his responsiveness to the most popular as well as the most select artistic stimuli—one understand why his contemporaries dubbed him the Phenomenon of Nature, "Monstruo de la Naturaleza..." (Ibid.)

This is exactly the sort of life that Shakespeare must have lived. There simply would have been no other way to have gained the knowledge and experiences of life that we find in the plays. Like Anthony the author lived "to walk the streets and observe the qualities of people." Yet we know the actor’s life to have been placid. So placid Boas, in his biography of Marlowe, hints Shakspere could not have been the writer, at least of the Sonnets. (CM) Of the two, only Marlowe could have pulled off this enterprise. Lope de Vega is our proof. Marlowe’s motto, which, as we have seen, is found embedded in one form or another in all of Shakespeare’s works, "quod me nutrit me desruit," or that which nourishes me destroys me, is the motto of a driven man. Whoever translated Don Quixote claimed it something that "sprang from" him and that he "tossed it into a coroner" when he was finished with it, intending to return to it later. Something he then says, apologetically, he never did. (DQ, 1605, Introduction) Translations would keep his faculties sharp. One Marlovian, Doris Wilbert, has traced out his possible supernumerary production in considerable detail in her book, Silent Shakespeare and Marlowe Revivified. (1998) Wilbert was a student of Kenneth Muir’s "image cluster analysis" technique and came to the conclusion either the technique was wrong or Marlowe survived. She took the second path. Muir cautioned her that unless she subscribed to the majority opinion she could never join "the community of scholars." Muir, kindly and towering, told me nearly the same thing when we presented papers together in 1983 at the First International Conference on Marlowe.

There was a difference, of course, between Lope and Marlowe’s stream of works, de Vega lived an open life and published mainly under his own name. Marlowe lived a hidden life, under the names of others.

Our purpose here is not psychological, but we are convinced Marlowe’s need for privacy was not simply the result of the problems that overwhelmed him in May 1593. They began in Kent, early in his life. His family fits the profile of a dysfunctional family. His father was "always in extremes." His sister, Jane Marlowe, was married off pregnant to an "uncle" while still twelve. She appears to either have drowned or committed suicide soon after the birth of her child. (CMC) Marlowe, like Hamlet, was away at college when it happened and would have returned

home to find her being laid to rest outside the churchyard, just as Ophelia was. Marlowe’s Cambridge records suggest him home shortly after this tragedy. (CMC, op.cit.) The records of two, of his other three sisters, are not pleasant. They are associated with drinking, wild sexuality, blasphemy, open profanity and violence. (Urry) The lack of mention of this family and Canterbury, in his adult plays, tells us he choose to draw a curtain over his family affairs, as he would over himself. The nature of the family and of the curtain used to conceal it, along with the subject matter of the excluded plays, suggest Marlowe was hiding something. Was it incest and infanticide in his home? How succinctly the playwright puts it in Pericles, "But custom what they did begin Was with long use account[ed] no sin." In Yorkshire Tragedy scholars are agreed the killing of the boys appears to have been written from the "inside out" and not the "outside in." The writer, whoever he was, was driven. Driven to write in a self-consuming fashion and to "act out." In the early Timon, ms., we find young playwright lamenting, "with ink that’s black on paper white, both morning noon and ecke at night, my fate my life, my death, indite." This most selfless of writers hid himself because he wasn’t pleased with what he was. With the motley he’d made of himself:



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.


How does he put it in Measure for Measure? "Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues did not go forth of us, ‘twere all alike As if we had them not." I,i,33-36 Gentle reader, there simply is no measure of the good this selfless man did for mankind. We don’t go to Romeo and Juliet to see what happens to them, we go to see what will happen to us. And something good always happens to us when we see what happens to them. His focus wasn’t on them, but on us. Romeo and Juliet first appeared anonymously. Was it Marlowe’s? It could have been, without modifying Shakespeare’s claim to the Folio’s play. We believe both were Marlowe’s and that neither was motivated by gain.

Ten years earlier than the materialization of his The Jew of Malta or about the time the First Folio was being printed (1622), Marlowe’s translation of Dido’s Death surfaced with this authorship attribution on its title page, "By the one that hath no name." (N&Q, September 1997, Baker) Sorting all this out has taken over a century of hard work, hundreds of scholars have been involved, but the outlines of the deception at Deptford are now taking shape. They whisper: Marlowe did it. He, not Shakspere, wrote 1 Henry VI. The more we know about Marlowe and these times, the more likely it seems. The actor was, as Ward discovered, "without any art at all," so we rest our case. If the reader finds any art at all in Shakespeare’s works, look not towards Stratford but towards Kent, where the "twin" responsible for these matchless works was born and raised. And where most of these works, when they are English, set. Even Venus and Adonis sets, underlyingly, in Kent, amongst it "downs," "brakes," and "waves." Its ocean allusions and sustained remembrances of the Kentish quakes of 1580 suggest the author’s firsthand experience of these events and time not very distant from them.

I’ve mentioned that Venus and Adonis entered history on the 18th of April 1593. It was the thirteenth birthday of young William Herbert, later the Third Earl of Pembroke, who had been born on 8/18 April 1580, the year of the quakes. One might honestly say during the quakes, as the author jokes in Henry IV about Owen Glendower’s birth. Owen was Herbert’s predecessor as Chieftain of Wales.

Herbert was President of the Welch Marshes. Like Owen, he spoke Welch, better than the King's English.

The 8/18 April was the day Two Noble Kinsmen would enter on in 1634, said the last play of Shakespeare, and on that same day in 1654 Marlowe’s last play, the lost Maiden’s Holiday, entered. Who was tracking these dates if not the author? Herbert’s mother and Marlowe prove to have been in Canterbury when Mary conceived William. (PP, Hannay, 47) Marlowe dedicated Latin love poems to her he attributed to Thomas Watson. (CW) Venus pledges a boy bounced on his mother’s breast by the quakes, as the poet’s future patron:

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."

We know this pledge was fulfilled when William Herbert backed the publication of the First Folio in 1623. Herbert had no particular connection to Shakspere, but he seems to have had one to Marlowe. His mother knew him and his de jure father produced his plays, as we learn from the title page of Edward II. If we follow the clues in the Sonnets, as Boas and Chambers did, Mary Sidney Herbert devolves as the mother of the Pretty Boy, the mother whose features were cast in the boy’s face:


Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest,

Now is the time that face should form another,

Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,

Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.

For where is she so fair whose uneared womb

Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?

Or who is he so fond will be the tomb,

Of his self-love, to stop posterity?

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee

Calls back the lovely April of her prime,

So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,

Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.

But if thou live remembered not to be,

Die single, and thine Image dies with thee.



Short Life, 129-130, for Chamber’s famous reversal on this subject which embraced Boas’ position in Shakespeare and His Predecessors. Chambers wrote, "on the whole, therefore, if we are to look in the ranks of the higher nobility, it is Herbert, rather than Southampton, who affords the most plausible identification for Shakespeare’s friend." We have to look among "the higher nobility," because that is were the Poet placed him.

The Sonnets were dedicated to a peer with his initials, "Mr. W. H." Herbert turns out to have been the only peer, whose dates fit, with those initials. (Titled Elizabethans, Arthur Kinney, passim) It is true he is not addressed as a peer in the dedication, but the poet implies him a peer in the text:


Let me confess that we two must be twain,

Although our undivided loves are one:

So shall those blots that do with me remain,

Without thy help, by me be borne alone.

In our two loves there is but one respect,

Though in our lives a separable spite,

Which though it alter not love's sole effect,

Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.

I may not evermore acknowledge thee,

Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,

Nor thou with public kindness honor me,

Unless thou take that honor from thy name.

But do not so, I love thee in such sort,

As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.

To take "honor" from a name would imply that the name was that of a peer, in the protocol of that age.

Our thesis that the poet was the boy’s illicit and thus estranged father makes perfect sense of this sonnet and indeed the rest as well. Herbert’s de jure father, Sir Henry, had proven himself infertile through two previous marriages and many affairs. Mary’s first conception did not occur until several years after their marriage. John Aubrey suggested her brother, Philip Sidney, was the father of her children, but we think it more likely his page, young Christopher Marlowe. Nashe calls Marlowe "Jack Wilton," and makes him "chieftain of pygmies," meaning one supposes Marlowe was chief page at Wilton House, Mary’s primary residence. It is another bit of tantalizing speculation, which cannot be proven. We do know Sidney lost his page the year Marlowe entered the King’s School and replaced him with Bachelor, as we have mentioned earlier. Valentine, in Two Gentlemen, seems based on Sidney, as several have suggested. His page, Speed, is well developed, literarily speaking. So the case is sensible, if not provable. It is more likely when we consider the good use Walsingham had put young Faunt to when he was this age. Mary, who was two or three years the poet’s senior, would have had much more in common with young Marlowe than she would have had with Sir Henry, who was three times her age when they married. Her experience with Henry and her social status would have made her as worldly as Venus, particularly to a young poet just entering puberty:

"Fair Queen," quoth he, "if any love you owe me,

Measure my strangeness with my unripe years;

Before I know myself, seek not to know me,

No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears;

The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,

Or being early plucked, is sour to taste.


Venus and Adonis is actually a young man’s complain about what we call child abuse:


"What have you urged that I cannot reprove?

The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger.

I hate not love, but your device in love,

That lends embracements unto every stranger.

You do it for increase: o strange excuse!

When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse.


"Call it not love, for love to heaven is fled,

Since sweating lust on earth usurped his name,

Under whose simple semblance he hath fed

Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;

Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves,

As Caterpillars do the tender leaves.


And the poet never backs off on his theme. He’s mad at Venus:


"Had I been toothed like him, I must confess,

With kissing him I should have killed him first,

But he is dead, and never did he bless

My youth with his, the more am I accursed."

With this she falleth in the place she stood,

And stains her face with his congealed blood.


Later in the Sonnets he comes to understand and even to relish her promiscuity, which he calls "the bay where all men ride." But not in Venus and Adonis, he’s still too young to understand it:



Thou blind fool, love, what dost thou to mine eyes,

That they behold and see not what they see?

They know what beauty is, see where it lies,

Yet what the best is take the worst to be.

If eyes, corrupt by over partial looks,

Be anchored in the bay where all men ride,

Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks,

Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?

Why should my heart think that a several plot,

Which my heart knows the wide world's common place?

Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not,

To put fair truth upon so foul a face?

In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,

And to this false plague are they now transferred.


According to the Marlovian view, the conflict between the Pretty Boy and the Poet for the love of this woman is the same conflict all father’s have with the mothers of their children. This famous "Dark Lady" is not dark in complexion but in virtues:

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,

Who art as black as hell, as dark as night. (147)

The Stratfordian take on this is that the poet and the pretty boy were lovers and later they shared the affections of an adulterous "dark lady." It’spart of the negativism that comes from believing the actor was the author. But pray tell what sort of homosexual recalls the face of his lover’s mother every time he looks at his young lover? It seems much more likely the poet thought himself the estranged father of this boy, who as he notes, was "but one hour mine." In Spanish Tragedy one recalls the line, "My best belo’d, my sweet and only son." (I.iii.38) And later, "My son? And what’s a son?...What is there yet in a son, To make a father dote, rave, or run mad?" (III. xii, 5-10)

Speaking of running mad, Bloom is curious of the motive that drives the growing enmity Prince Hal has for Falstaff. (SIH, op.cit.) In private correspondence with Bloom I suggested the motive was a simple one. Falstaff was his de facto father. Shakespeare foregrounds this possibility with Falstaff’s opening line, addressed to the young prince. He calls him "lad." The OED defines "lad" as "a male son." In this light consider the marvelous scene where Falstaff is forced to play Hal’s de jure father, the King Henry. There a penitent Falstaff is made to recall just how he knows or suspects Hal to be his son, "chiefly thy mother’s word." In the Sixteenth Century fathers, who had yet to invent DNA typing, were limited to "chiefly" the word of the mother. So young Hal had to know that Falstaff was his father and thus carried a deadly secret. In the subtext, Falstaff dies from poison, the same poison that killed Socrates.

We know this because the death of Falstaff parallels Socrates' death point for point. .http://www2.localaccess.com/marlowe/Plato.htm

The implication is that Prince Henry, then King Henry V had him poisoned. Bloom wasn’t happy with my analysis, but it fits the facts. Similar facts suggest William Herbert to have been the de facto son of the poet. That was the hidden shame which connected them and why the boy could never acknowledge him without taking "that honor from thy name." That’s why the poems weren’t in the First Folio, they pointed too closely to the relationship between William Hebert and the poet. A poet who could not have been from far away Stratford.

Don’t take my word for it, reread Venus and Adonis and you’ll find the older, blond Mary Sidney Herbert cast as the worldly Venus, right down to her "golden hairs" and her passion for watching her horses mate, a perversion attributed to her by John Aubrey. (BL) He even names the correct breed, Jennets.

Jennets are a small Spanish horse prized for their gate. They were rare, then as now, so linking Venus with Mary’s mount was a subtext means of further identifying her as Venus. One may go a bit further. Given Mary’s tastes, a poem like Venus and Adonis seems to have been designed for her, as some say Sidney’s romance was.

In a long overlooked TLS essay John Bakeless recounted his discovery of a diary entry by Thomas Harriot naming Marlowe and gifting him with a riding habit and a Jennet. In an interview with Paul Pollak, the King’s School archivist, Pollak was able to prove King’s School scholars from this period frequently rode the downs on horseback, as Adonis had, and were sometimes killed during these forbidden excursions. (08,12,1999) Of equal importance none of the poems were mentioned, let alone included, in First Folio and thus have never been authenticated as Shakespeare’s. If Shakespearian scholars played by the rules their status would be the same as Yorkshire Tragedy or London Prodigal, said his at the time, but excluded today from his canon, because they weren’t included in the First Folio.


Speaking of playing by the rules, scholars have argued the version of Dr. Faustus containing the scenes rescuing Bruno (1616) must date to the revision of the play backed by Phillip Henslowe, recorded in his Diary or Ledger in 1602. (C.W. Bowers) However this simply cannot be the case. Bruno had been burnt alive at the stake in Rome well prior to that time and thus a staged rescue of him would be worse than senseless.

The author, errant truant that he is, knows, of course, that the play’s Bruno wasn’t Giordano Bruno, but the audiences wouldn’t have.

Greg must be right, Henslowe’s revision has been lost. (D.F., viii) However, there is a problem. A Marlowe who died in May of 1593 would not have known of Bruno’s impending fate and the need to rescue him. Bruno seems to have been in no real danger until 1599. (Brosy, op.cit.) Yet not only does the 1616 text look like Marlowe’s, it is the 1616 text which seems to have only a single author, while the shorter 1604 text appears, of the two, more likely to be collaborative effort. (ACWM, Ule; "Pace, A Test for Authorship...,LLC, Vol.3,No.1, 1988) Greg believed the earlier text to be a botched memorial reconstruction and that someone revised Marlowe’s original for the 1616 text sometime around "1611." However this view also suffers from the Bruno problem. Audiences in 1611 would be nearly as confused by his rescue as those of 1602. Worse, as we have pointed out, the 1616 version has fewer Types in it than would be expected if it were a collaborative text.

How do we know it is the 1616 text that seems less likely to be the result of collaboration? Scholars know this because the vocabulary of the 1604 version is richer than expected, richer than the 1616 edition. This richness suggests two authors, each with their own vocabularies. ("Pace," Baker, 1988) So the case for Marlowe as Shakespeare aside, there is considerable internal evidence for a post 1593 Marlowe.

Another example is that Hero and Leander, which cannot have known about Venus and Adonis, alludes to it not only in its opening lines, but a number of times in the text. Its publication history, which was delayed for five years, gave Venus and Adonis an unchallenged run in the public press. Surely if the poems had two authors, Hero and Leander would have been brought out hard on the heels of the poet’s death. But it wasn’t.

That Marlowe knew of Bruno’s plight and contrived to have Faustus rescue him. That Marlowe was, almost certainly, the same Marlowe who had entered Valladolid in 1599 and thus would have been in closer contact with Rome. From there he was in position to follow Bruno’s worsting plight.

In a study of Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s canons, which included nearly 90 Elizabethan texts, none of which were sampled but studied in their entireties, the 1616 Faustus text and the 1600 version of Midsummer Night’s Dream ended up contiguously ranked, i.e., side by side. (Baker, 1988) Both plays are of very similar lengths. DF contains 16,140 words, or tokens as they are called in stylometric studies, while MND contains 16,087 words or tokens. Their actual vocabulary count is within ONE type or word. DF contains a vocabulary of 2,983 types or words (types are tokens counted once), while MND contains 2,984 types or words of vocabulary.

Now imagine this. Suppose two men were involved. What are the odds that each man would "reach" into "this bag of words" at precisely the same rate? "Pace" took notice of the common type/token ratio and converted it to a "rate" or a "pace." "Pace," a study published by the prestigious Oxford University Press in the journal Literary and Linguistic Computing, found that world class writers like Shakespeare and Marlowe "reach into their bag of words" at predictable rates. Just the way long distant runners churn out many consecutive miles at the same pace. Of course it is possible for two runners to pace themselves side by side for an entire race, so pace alone is not enough to conclusively identify either a runner or a writer. On the other hand it is unexpected that two runners who are not pacing each other, side by side, would maintain the same pace out of sight of each other. Particularly over two vastly different terrains. Yet the same runner is likely to complete two similar courses of similar lengths in roughly the same time, because his "pace" is internal.

In this case we have two texts, DF (1616) and MND (1600), both of which turn out to be of similar lengths and nearly precisely the same T/trs. Since we can date this particular text of DF to 1599, because of the rescue scene dates to the 1599 period or the same period that Bruno’s plight had grown desperate (Bossy, op.cit.) and because MND (1600) dates, by its registration date, to this same period, we can suggest both texts were written or significantly revised, about the same time, by the same person.

Pace documented that a writer’s canon follows a natural bell curve, his works start out with low T/trs, rise to higher T/trs and then roll back off to lower T/trs, in the expected "bell curve" shape. Pace also documented a writer’s pace was, within certain obvious limits, independent of the length of his text. Thus several works of Shakespeare, of greatly different lengths, evidence remarkably close T/trs. This suggests either a similar period of composition, or plays written at opposite ends of the writer’s life, i.e., on opposite sides of the bell curve. In this particular case, where the time of composition seems to be the same, the similarity in T/trs suggests the same author working at the same time. The study is not conclusive proof of this, but it is suggestive both texts share a common author. So as we begun by noting, the more one knows about both authors and their period, the more likely it seems (at least to some) that both Marlowe and Shakespeare were one and the same person. Neither one was the rustic actor and producer, William Shakspere, said to be "without any art at all" by those who had lived with him in his village.

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