The Missing Pieces in the Jigsaw

I have already written at length highlighting the numerous anomalies that would undermine the notion that the jobbing actor, William Shagspere of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the plays and poetry attributed to William Shakespeare. He simply did not have the education, the aspiration, the motivation or the basic means at his disposal to carry out this enormous task. He simply had the good luck to be chosen as a “literary shadow” for the Earl of Oxford. These are in effect the missing pieces of the jig-saw which leave the layman and the expert in some doubt as to the true identity of the pseudonymous William Shakespeare. However, there are a number of factors that are either conspicuous by their total absence and some that tend to lead the forensic research towards some falsehood deliberately intended by the conspirators or fraudsters. The signature on the Blackfriar’s Gatehouse mortgage, the pleading letter of Richard Quinney for a loan of £30 which was never sent, and Mary Pembroke’s letter mentioning a house guest named William Shakespeare are a good examples of the latter. In my article entitled Shakespeare’s Signatures I mention those forgeries which were meant to give academics and historians a false impression of the depth of knowledge and education of the author (eg: Michel de Montayne’s Essaies and a translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in the Bodleian Library). The absence of any original handwritten manuscripts suggests that they were completely destroyed and it seems for very good reasons. Little would they have known what amount of money a single Shakespearean original handwritten manuscript would have made at auction at Sotheby’s today, probably extending to double figure millions for one good sample, let alone the other forty or more that were deliberately destroyed. However, it would have been fairly easy to examine the original manuscripts and compare the handwriting style of the Stratford actor and that style on the manuscripts and to conclude that they bore no resemblance whatsoever. Or, simply to conclude that it was Edward de Vere’s hand and none other. This revelation would have blown an irreparable hole in the fraud perpetrated by Robert Cecil and several members of the Pembroke circle, for example Mary Herbert-Sidney, Sir Francis Bacon and John Heminges and Henry Condell the compilers of the 1623 Folio. It also seems fairly evident that for the literary fraud to continue it would be expedient to give the impression that William Shakespeare (aka: Edward de Vere) was still writing plays even though the real author of Shakespearean drama had died in 1604, presumably of the plague. Soon after the Earl of Oxford’s death the family mansion in Hackney went up for sale and that was an opportunity for thieves to break in and acquire all the original manuscripts and poetry of Edward de Vere which were surreptitiously acquired for the benefit of Thomas Thorpe, as well as Heminges and Condell from which they would personally benefit. The task of imitating, redacting and editing the remaining plays was left to Sir Francis Bacon and possibly several scribal pens such as John Davies. The other alarming vacuum is the fact that when Shakespeare died he was not personally eulogised or his death officially commemorated either in Stratford or London. There was absolutely no mention of his death in official circles or court reports which seems strange considering his profile as the author of 36 plays and several volumes of poetry. In contrast when Sir Phillip Sidney died he was eulogised with a grand pageant and an expensive funeral procession.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Earl of Oxford had vitriol in his pen and took great pleasure in satirising, lampooning and sending up those who either stood in his way or which he believed were ludicrous, stupid or facetious from the numerous allusions found in the plays. Ben Jonson said much the same when he wrote the play Everyman Out of his Humour, in other instances Jonson was lampooning the Earl’s work itself (eg: Volpone in reaction to The Tempest 1609). Among those individuals were his arch nemesis, Sir Phillip Sidney, his aristocratic protagonist, Sir Christopher Hatton, his arch enemy Sir Robert Dudley, and the man he had been ward to after his father’s death, William Cecil, aka: Lord Burghley and his Machiavellian son Robert Cecil.

Finally, the other famous monument which would be designed and erected at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon similarly recommends that passers-by or visitors should stop and look more closely. At least that is what the antiquarian William Dugdale did when he visited the Church on the 4th of July 1634 and sketched out on paper what he saw and what was written as a monument to Shakespeare. His drawing was subsequently engraved by the artist Wenceslaus Hollar for Dugdale’s book on Warwickshire Worthies (Warwickshire Antiquities, 1656). However, Dugdale’s drawing and Hollar’s engraving differ considerably with what we see today or what has generally been accepted belonged to the past. The engraving above shows a man, with moustache and beard, in an arched alcove with down-turned collar holding a wool-sack between two columns. The history of the monument revealed several repairs, renovations and changes had occurred throughout its’ history. In his book describing the church Dugdale makes no mention of Shakespeare as a playwright and says simply:

The original manuscript design for the Shakspere family monument intended for Holy Trinity Church
The monument restored and refurbished as “William Shakespeare”

“In the North wall of the Chancell is this Monument fixt. One thing more in reference to this ancient town is observable, that it gave birth and sepulture to our late famous poet Will. Shakespere, whose monument I have inserted in my discourse of the church.”

By spelling his name Shakespere William Dugdale omits any indirect reference to the author Shakespeare, meaning that the Stratford actor never “shook a spear” or actually jousted in his entire career.

In actual fact the monument as it currently stands was renovated and repaired and “magically” altered to the extent that the wool-sack has become a cushion which supports the quill and paper on which the now portly Shakespeare has changed his appearance and profession from notorious “wool-brogger” to poet and playwright. Although this enigma has intrigued academics and researchers it has clearly reinforced the Oxfordian and Baconian groups to suggest that this provides clear and incontrovertible evidence that a fraud had been perpetrated on the public in order to improve the status of Stratford-upon-Avon and to capitalise on the myth that the Stratford actor Willemus Shagspere was actually William Shakespeare, the poet and playwright. The London poet, Lieutenant Hammond and the historian, Gerard Langbaine also saw a statue of a man holding a wool-sack on their visit to the church in the mid 17th century. It seems that the monument was actually designed and erected on the recommendations of Alexander Pope’s assistant, artist and engraver George Vertue who visited the church in 1737 with Edward Harley, the descendant of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

Following the discovery of the remains of Richard III beneath a Leicestershire car park and the use of DNA analysis to identify him, it was decided that a similar investigation could be conducted on the grave of William Shakspere at Holy Trinity Church by ex-CIA military analyst Peter W. Dickson thereby proving that William Shakespeare’s body actually lay there. Unfortunately, as previously discovered by the American author Washington Irving when he visited the church in 1815, the scan did not reveal any trace of a body or coffin but a pile of dust and rubble. Naturally, the Stratfordians were quick to suggest that Shakspere’s skull had been stolen by looters in the early 19th century and that Shakespeare’s remains must have been discreetly relocated to a safe and secret location elsewhere. We know however that the body of Edward de Vere was supposedly buried in Hackney, London so a DNA analysis could be conducted from bone samples in order to confirm or deny any hypothesis regarding his own lineage and offspring eg: Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton. It may also explain why Ben Jonson wrote in the 2nd Folio edition of 1632 in a dedication to Shakespeare that he was “a monument without a tomb”. The Greek writer Thucydides, who no doubt Shakespeare and Ben Jonson would have read, had declared that the sum total of a man’s life or his achievements should not be judged by the size or nature of the monuments erected in his name but on the influence he has had in his lifetime on other people’s lives. If that is the case perhaps the Earl of Oxford fancied that his literary work was just such a monument or at least his actions were?

The links to my publications “Shakespeare’s Qaballah”, a Companion to Shakespeare Studies and my anthology of poetry, “Parthenogenesis” are as follows:


“We all love Shakespeare, whoever he was…”

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The links to my publications 
“Shakespeare’s Qaballah”,
a Companion to Shakespeare Studies and my anthology of poetry,