The Anonymous & Pseudonymous “Shake-speare”

An artist’s impression of a scene from the Commedia d’el Arte (Baron Gerard Museum & Art Gallery, Bayeux, France)

Key Dates, Characters & Events

The following is a historical timeline of dates, characters and significant events taking place in London and elsewhere that had an impact on the theatrical milieu and its relationship to other important events, religious, political and social. The timeline is an attempt to compare the life circumstances of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and William Shakspere of Stratford-upon-Avon to determine who was best placed to, in personal experience and educational qualifications to be recognised as the author of “Shake-speare’s” Folio of 1623.

The inspiration of Italian poets and the subject of myth and legend, the enchantress “Melusine”, a mermaid with two tails is remarkably similar to the Starbucks logo but originally an emblem for the Lusignan dynasty.

James Halliwell Phillips writes in his two-volume analysis “Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare” published in 1887 in order to determine the “Correct Dating of Shakespeare’s Plays”:

“The would be biographer of Shakespeare is baffled in every quarter by the want of graphical documents, and little more can be accomplished beyond a very imperfect sketch or outline of the material features of the poet’s career.”

Despite the apparent dearth of information I was nevertheless tempted to write a feasible and realistic “Biography of William Shakspere”. Early biographers of Shakespeare relied on textual allusions made by the playwright and any recorded evidence of possible date of composition, date of registration, first performance and finally date of publishing. None of which were especially easy to deduce since only 15 of Shakespeare’s plays were actually registered at the Stationers Office (1603-1607), the majority being published anonymously and very few bearing his name or signature. Four more plays were registered from 1607 including “Romeo & Juliet”, “Love’s Labours Lost” and “Anthony & Cleopatra” the latter was not registered until the 1623 Folio was published. Shakespeare’s “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” (omitted from the first folio was published in 1609) and Othello, listed in October 1621 was published in 1622. Finally as late as the 8th of November the remaining unregistered eighteen plays were finally published in 1622. Since then other academics and scholars such as E. K. Chambers were persuaded to analyse Shakespeare’s evolving literary and poetic style in order to solve the problem of chronology. Using modern stylometric and computer analysis has led other researchers into numerous other conclusions as well as “blind alleys” and extensive theories on Shakespeare’s Chronology.

A scribe’s practice sheet showing Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare’s signatures and numerous references to plays such as Sir Thomas More, Richard the Second and Richard the Third.

One of the main problems is the absence of any dated, or hand-written manuscripts, researchers have found the manuscripts of other playwrights such as Ben Jonson’s “Masque Of Queens”, or Thomas Middleton’s “A Game at Chess” and the only original manuscript pertaining to the career of Shakespeare is that of “Sir Thomas More” (in which he collaborated with other playwrights), along with a scribe’s manuscript with several “practiced signatures” which are presumed to belong to Shakespeare but could so easily belong to the scribe or penman such as John Davies or John Day who were employed by Sir Francis Bacon. (See Shakespeare’s Signatures) Furthermore, there are no records indicating payment for Shakespeare plays performed at the Globe or elsewhere, the usual fee being somewhere in the region of £6-£7 pounds. There is however a record of John Day’s “Bristow Tragedy” in May 1602 and later in the same year the theatre manager Phillip Henslowe paid six pounds to John Day, Hathaway and Smith for a play entitled “Merry As May Be”. The earliest mention of William Shakespeare as a playwright is by Francis Meres on the 7th September 1598 in his inaugural guide to writers, poets and playwrights of the Elizabethan era; “Palladis Tamia” mentioning at least twelve of Shakespeare’s plays:

“As the soul of Euphorbus was thought to live in Pythagoras: so the sweete wittie soul of Ovid lives in mellifluous & honey-tongued Shakespeare, witness his Venus and Adonis, his Lucrece, his sugared sonnets among his private friends…As Plautus and Seneca are accounted the best for comedy and tragedy among the Latins, so Shakespeare among the English is the most excellent in both kinds for the stage. For comedy witness his Gentlemen of Verona, his Errors, his Love’s Labour’s Lost, his Midsummer Night’s Dream, and his Merchant of Venice; for tragedy, his Richard the Second, Richard the Third, Henry the Fourth, King John, Titus Andronicus and his Romeo and Juliet.”

This was in the same year that the first play was published with his name (without the hyphen) by Cuthbert Burby, entitled “Love’s Labours Lost”. So were Marston and Hall responding to the emergence of the author “Shakes-peare” from his “crack of virtual obscurity” into “an abyss of total anonymity”?

The Title page of Baldessar Castiglione’s “The Courtier”, a translation of which was dedicated to the 22 year old Earl of Oxford by his tutor, Bartholomew Clerke

On the other hand poetry attributed to William Shakespeare appears around the same time. Along with Joseph Hall the dramatist John Marston criticised Shakespeare’s first attempts as a poet (Venus & Adonis) in his own “The Metamorphosis of Pygmalion’s Image” (1598). He used the same euphemism “Labeo” as Joseph Hall and quoted from Shakespeare’s Venus & Adonis (lines 199 and 200). In some sense this hidden reference could be seen as all part of the cut and thrust during the War of the Theatres.

So Labeo did complaine his love was stone
Obdurate, flinty, so relentless none;
Yet Lynceus knows that in the end of this
He wrought as a strange a metamorphosis.
Ends not my poem thus surprising ill?
Come, come, Augustus crowne my laureate quill.

But it does suggest that Hall and Marston knew something more about Shakespeare’s character and personal circumstances and they were not afraid to say so. The poem suggests the author, like the cuttlefish hides behind a cloud of ink and that, should faith or fame be wronged, unlike other writers and poets, he could shift ownership or attribution of his work to another’s name. Meaning of course that the name of Shakespeare was a pseudonym employed by an anonymous author to avoid public attention or criticism.

Labeo is whip’t and laughs me in the face.
Why? For I smite and hide the galled place,
Gird but the Cynick’s helmet on his head,
Care he for Talus or the flayle of lead?
Long as the craftie Cuttle lieth sure
In the black cloud of his thick vomiture;
Who list complaine of wronged faith or fame,
When he may shift it onto another’s name?

“The Parallel Lives of William Shakspere & Edward de Vere, 1550-1623”

The Earl of Oxford’s coat of arms

1550 Birth of Edward de Vere, the Earls of Arundel and Southampton banned from court. In May, Joan Butcher was burned for heresy at Smithfield. Princess Mary barred from escaping to the continent.

1551 Earthquake in London, first standing English army established. King Edward marries Elizabeth, daughter of Henri IInd of France. Treaty of Angiers signed.

1552 King Edward suffers from smallpox and measles. Execution of the Duke of Somerset.

1553 Edward promotes a bill to counter Henry VIIIth’s Act of Succession naming the heirs of Lady Jane Grey to succeed him. 6th July King Edward dies. Lady Jane Grey proclaimed Queen but Mary Tudor, mobilising support for her accession meets an opposition from Duke of Northumberland. Edward buried at Westminster Abbey, Mary Tudor accedes to English throne. Princess Elizabeth and Robert Dudley sent to the Tower.

1554 The Wyatt Rebellion suppressed, 20th July Prince Phillip of Spain arrives at Southampton to marry Queen Mary at Winchester Cathedral. First unsuccessful attempt to find a northwest passage to India by Sir Hugh Willoughby. Muscovy Company established. Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Princess Elizabeth and Robert Dudley released from the Tower.

1555 Pope Julius IIIrd dies unexpectedly, his successor Marcellus dies after 3 weeks. The Protestant theologians John Hooper and John Rogers are publically executed. Ridley and Latimer follow them. Queen Mary fakes a pregnancy and Prince Phillip departs for Spanish Low Countries. Trial of Archbishop Cranmer, death of Lord Chancellor Gardiner.

1556 A comet is observed and Archbishop Cranmer is burned at stake.

1557 Thomas Stafford captures Scarborough Castle and declares himself Duke of Buckingham.

1558 Death of Mary Tudor, the accession of Queen Elizabeth 1st. Translation of Euripides“Iphigenia in Aulis” by Jane Lumley published. Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the Dauphin of France. Calais falls to the French.

1559 Queen Elizabeth rejects offer of marriage to Phillip II of Spain.

Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth 1st

1560 Publication of Geneva Bible printed by Rowland Hall. Translation of Seneca’s “Thyestes” by Jasper Heywood.

1561 Queen Elizabeth translates Seneca’s “Hercules Octaeus”. Sir Francis Bacon born.

1562 Earl of Oxford’s father John de Vere dies unexpectedly and Edward de Vere is made a ward of Queen Elizabeth. The wardship is then passed on to Lord Burghley when the young Earl is twelve years old. Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville produce “The Tragedy of Gorboduc” based on Seneca’s play. England intervenes in France to occupy Le Havre.

1563 Protestant England draws up and adopts the 39 Articles of Faith.

1564 Peace proclaimed between England and France. Birth of William Shakspere in Stratford-upon-Avon, baptised April 26th.

An early edition of the Geneva Bible

1564-66 Earl of Oxford given honorary degree at Oxford thereafter he attends St. John’s College, Cambridge and receives his degree. In May 1564, his uncle, Arthur Golding dedicated “Th’ Abridgement of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius” to his 14-year-old nephew, Edward de Vere.

1565 John Stow, who died in 1605, a member of the Merchant Tailor’s Guild publishes first chronicle of England (“Abridgement of the English Chronicle” published 1618). 3rd of February Henry Stuart Darnley marries Mary, Queen of Scots.

1566 Thomas Hoby dies. George Gascoigne translates Ariosto’s “Suppositi” as first British comedy in prose. Charles, James Stuart, the son of Lord Darnley and Queen Mary is born at Edinburgh Castle. Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex born.

1567 10th February Lord Darnley is treacherously murdered and within 10 months his son James is proclaimed King of Scotland. Mary is imprisoned at Loughleven. Red Lion Theatre opens. The Earl of Oxford kills a servant of Lord Burghley which is hushed up. Edward de Vere’s uncle and personal tutor, Arthur Golding publishes a translation of “Ovid’s Metamorphoses” in 1567, dedicated to him.

1568 John Shakspere made Mayor of Stratford. Mary, Queen of Scots escapes from Loughleven and is conveyed to Workington, then Carlisle and imprisoned at Bolton Castle. Bishops Bible published for the Jesuit foundation students at Douai. John Shakspere appointed Bailiff of Stratford. The Bishop’s Bible published.

1569 11th October Thomas Duke of Norfolk conveyed to the Tower and imprisoned.
The Earls of Northumberland and Westmorland proclaimed traitors. The Earl of Oxford’s mother dies and Thomas Underdowne dedicates his translation of the “Æthiopian History of Heliodorus of Emesa” to the Earl of Oxford which would have been a good literary source for the play Othello. On 22nd April 1569 the Earl of Oxford recieved his first nomination as member of the Knight’s Garter.

1570 The Northern Rebellion commences. Queen Elizabeth 1st excommunicated by Pope Pius Vth. Edmund Elviden, a gentleman, dedicated to the Earl of Oxford “The most excellent and plesant metaphoricall historie of Pesistratus and Catanea”.

Early wedding portrait of Anne Cecil, Lord Burghley’s daughter

1571 Earl of Oxford marries Anne Cecil, daughter of William Burghley on his return from the Northern Rebellion. England victorious against the Turks at Lepanto. The Ridolfi plot is uncovered. On the 20th October 1571, his uncle, Arthur Golding dedicated a third book to the Earl of Oxford entitled, “The Psalms of David” and others, with M. John Calvin’s Commentaries. Richard Burbage born.

1572 Earl of Leicester’s Men perform at Stratford. St. Batholomew’s Massacre in France, Admiral Gaspard de Coligny is assassinated. Sir Francis Walsingham appointed Ambassador to France. On 1st of January 1572, the Gentleman Pensioner Thomas Bedingfield dedicated his “Cardanus’ Comfort” to the Earl of Oxford, this being a translation from the Latin of “De Consolatione Libri Tres” by the Italian mathematician and physician Girolamo Cardano. On the 3rd January 1572 Oxford wrote a Latin epistle to Bartholomew Clerke’s “De Curiali”, a translation into Latin of Baldassare Castiglione’s “Il Cortegiano”, (The Courtier) and in the same year Thomas Twyne dedicated his “Breviary of Britain” to the Earl of Oxford, noting that ‘your Honour taketh singular delight’ in ‘books of geography, histories and other good learning’.

1573 Sir Francis Walsingham appointed Principal Secretary of State.

1574 Merchant Taylors Boys established. Elizabeth Hoby marries Sir John Russell. Earl of Warwick’s and Worcester’s Men perform in Stratford then given patent to perform in London. The Earl of Oxford goes on his European tour visiting France, Italy and Frankfurt. In that year the Earl of Oxford‘s surgeon, a certain George Baker, dedicated to him two translations namely, “The Composition or Making of . . . Oleum Magistrale”, and “The Third Book of Galen”.

1575 St. Paul’s Boys established and patronised by Earl of Oxford. Birth of Arabella Stuart.

Drawing of the interior of the Blackfriar’s Theatre

1576 The Blackfriar’s Theatre opens. James Burbage builds the Theatre at Holywell Street, Shoreditch. The Earl of Oxford returns from his European tour and invests extravagantly in and patronises drama, poetry and literature.

1577 November, Sir Francis Drake sets off on his circumnavigation of the Globe aboard “The Pelican”. John Shakspere’s first application for a coat of arms refused. John Brooke dedicated to the Earl of Oxford a translation entitled “The Staff of Christian Faith”, the only work by the popular writer Guy de Brès to be printed in English. Towards the end of this year several of Edward de Vere‘s poems are published anonymously in “The Paradise of Daintye Devices” (assumed to be the work of his friend and fellow, Sir George Gascoigne)

1578 Privy Council edict on Boys & Adult players. In July Gabriel Harvey makes reference to the Earl of Oxford’s popularity at court:

“In the prime of his gallantest youth he bestowed Angels upon me in Christ’s College in Cambridge, and otherwise vouchsafed me many gracious favours at the affectionate commendation of my cousin, Master Thomas Smith, the son of Sir Thomas.”

On the 23rd December 1578 Geoffrey Gates dedicated his book “Defense of Military Profession” to the Earl of Oxford. In 1579 Anthony Munday dedicated his “Mirror of Mutability” to the Earl of Oxford. Furthermore, in April 1580, Edward de Vere had taken over the Earl of Warwick‘s playing company. 1579 Richard Field enters apprenticeship with Vautrollier. Earl of Oxford has a bitter altercation with Sir Phillip Sidney at the tennis court. The Earl of Oxford and his newly appointed secretary John Lyly move into the literary hub, Fisher’s Folly. The Earl of Leicester, Robert Dudley marries Lettice Knollys.

A street view of Fisher’s Folly, the literary hub for the Euphuist Movement supported by Edward de Vere

1579 Fisher’s Folly was the Euphuist’s Literary Hub with Anthony Munday, John Lyly, Robert Greene, and Thomas Nashe, among many others. Their first probable collaboration being a performance written and produced by the Earl of Oxford of “Agamemnon & Ulysses” “enacted before her majesty by the Earl of Oxenforde, his boys on St. John’s Day (27th December) at night in Greenwich”. This later formed the basis of Shakespeare’s “Troillus & Cressida”.

Oil painting on panel, Ann Vavasour (1560-1650), attributed to Robert Peake the elder (c.1551 ? 1619). Traditionally thought to be the ‘dark lady’ of Shakespeare.

1580 Earl of Oxford has an extramarital affair with Anne Vavasour making her pregnant. The Earl was subsequently satirised by his literary adversary Gabriel Harvey in his “Speculum Tuscanismi”.

1581 The Recusancy Act. The Earl of Oxford and Anne Vavasour sent to the Tower for his misdemeanours, his illegitimate son, Edward is born.

Portrait of Anne Hathawaye

1582 Will Shakspere marries Anne Hathaway. Sir Thomas Knyvett fights a duel with the Earl of Oxford on his release from the Tower demanding justice for his cousin, Anne Vavasour, both men injured as a result but skirmishes continue throughout the next year.

1583 Richard Mulcaster‘s Boy players formed. Earl of Oxford begins writing plays for “Oxford’s Boys” and supports and integrates the Earl of Warwick’s Men with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. The Francis Throckmorton Affair, a Catholic counter-conspiracy. In 1583 Thomas Watson dedicates his work “Hekatompathia” and then the Earl’s brother-in-law, Peregrine Bertie returns from Elsinore, Denmark, the actual historical site of the Shakespearean play Hamlet. In 1584 Robert Greene published his “Greene’s Card of Fancy” while the Earl takes over Lord Worcester’s Men and acquires the sub-lease of the Blackfriar’s Theatre and then transfers it to his personal secretary, John Lyly. Susanna Shakspere born in May.

1584 Sir John Russell dies. The Babington plot discovered.

1585 Anne Hathawaye delivered of twins, Judith and Hamnet Sadler.

1586 The Babington plot revealed. June 23rd Edward de Vere issued an annuity of £1,000 by Queen Elizabeth. Angel Day dedicates his “English Secretary” to Earl of Oxford. October, Mary Queen of Scots tried and sentenced to death, the Earl of Oxford attends her trial and later commissioned to Flanders. September 22nd Sir Phillip Sidney dies on the battlefield at Zutphen.

1587 The Rose Theatre opens. William Shakspere arrives in London soon after his father is replaced as alderman following his failure to pay his brother’s loan. State funeral of Sir Phillip Sidney.

An artist’s depiction of the arrival of the Spanish Armada

1588 Oxford’s wife, Anne Cecil dies, the Spanish Armada sighted off Lizard’s Point. Earl of Oxford renames his ship “Elizabeth Bonaventure” and instructs George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland to attack the Spanish Armada. Anthony Munday dedicates “Palmerin d’Olivia” and “Four Romances of Chivalry” to Oxford. Earl of Oxford sells Fisher’s Folly and Devere House probably because Oxford is sued by Lord Burghley for the balance of marriage fee to his daughter Anne Burghley. The Queen’s paramour Sir Robert Dudley dies just before his intended journey to Buxton Spa.

1589 “The Art of English Poesy” is published anonymously but attributed to George Puttenham. The first Martin Marprelate tracts are circulated with John Lyly, Thomas Nashe and Robert Greene contesting against the anonymous author. Christopher Marlowe arrested for street-fighting and bound over to keep the peace in Canterbury. William Shakspere named in legal proceedings when his father loses property in Wilmcote.

1590 Edmund Spenser’s “Fairie Queen” published in which the Earl of Oxford contributes laudatory poem. The proposed marriage between the Earl of Southampton and Elizabeth de Vere fails at Southampton’s expense paying Lord Burghley £4,000. Thomas Lodge, the tutor of the young Earl of Oxford publishes “Rosalynde”.

1591 “The Troublesome Raigne of John King of England” published anonymously. Earl of Oxford marries Elizabeth Trentham.

1592 First performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry VIth Part One”. Robert Greene dies of a surfeit of red herring and wine. Theatre riots at Blackfriar’s. September 20th Robert Greene’s “Groatsworth of Wit” published by Henry Chettle, the real author. December 8th “Kind Hart’s Dreame” registered at Stationer’s Office by Henry Chettle.

1593 Richard Baines reports Kit Marlowe’s atheism to the Privy Council, Marlowe later murdered by Ingram Frazier. Richard Field prints and publishes “Venus & Adonis”, the first time the pseudonymous name “William Shakespeare” is used. Shakespeare admonished by Robert Greene as an “Upstart Crow”. Theatres closed by Privy Council (E. Russell’s petition succeeds). Henry May’s report of a shipwreck in the Bermudas in 1593 in the Edward Bonaventure owned by Edward de Vere, and could so easily be the event that inspired the Tempest.

1594 “Doctor Faustus” performed and “The Taming of a Shrew”, published anonymously. Anonymous registration of “A Wynter’s Night’s Pastime” at Stationer’s Office. The Roderigo Lopez Conspiracy. Shakespeare”s “The Rape of Lucrece” published and dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, “Titus Andronicus” and “Henry Sixth Part Two” published anonymously. “Edward the Second” published and attributed to the deceased Christopher Marlowe. City of Stratford was ravaged by two fires. By June 1594 Lord Strange’s Men, most notably Burbage and Kempe were incorporated into the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (under Lord Hunsdon but essentially Edward de Vere’s acting company). “Willobie his Avisa” is published anonymously with euphemisms suggesting Shakespeare (W.S.) is the author of the poem “Lucrece” dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley (H. W.) and to Bessie Vavasour, the Earl of Oxford’s mistress. Sir Francis Bacon rejected by Lady Elizabeth Hatton for Sir Edward Coke.

1595 January Elizabeth de Vere and Earl of Derby are married. Swan Theatre opens on Bankside. “Will Shakespere” and Kempe is mentioned as receiving payment for performance which was a forgery by the Dowager Countess of Southampton to account for discrepancies in her husband’s accounts. Henry VIth published anonymously. W. Shakspere listed as a member in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.

1596 Richard Field signs petition against James Burbage to convert Blackfriar’s theatre. August William Shakspere’s son Hamnet dies, but he is finally granted his coat of arms. Shakspere ordered to keep the peace (W. Gardiner/Wayte). Ban on performances at the Blackfriar’s theatre issued by Privy Council. Edward de Vere settles into King’s Place, Hackney with his wife Elizabeth Trentham. Henry Carey, Baron Hunsdon dies. John Harrington banned from court for his satire “Metamorphoses of Ajax”.

1597 Earl of Essex and Earl of Southampton go on Azores expedition. Lease of the Theatre expires. Richard the Third, Romeo & Juliet, and Richard the Second published anonymously. William Shakspere lays deposit of £60 on mortgage for New Place.

1598 William Shakspere is listed as a tax defaulter who failed to pay an assessed 13s..4d. 4th February – List of Hoarders. Shakspere is named as having illegally held 10 quarters (80 bushels) of malt or corn during a shortage. *1598 – List of Actors. In the initial presentation of Ben Jonson’s “Every Man In His Humour”, “Will Shakespeare “was a “principall Comoedian”. Francis Meres registers “Palladis Tamia” mentioning “William Shakespeare” as best for comedy. William Cecil, Lord Burghley dies and is replaced by his son Robert Cecil. 2nd Earl of Essex has his ears boxed at court by Queen Elizabeth and draws his sword in retaliation.

1599 The Theatre dismantled to build the Globe Theatre across the river Thames. Censorship of London plays, Privy Council with the powers given to Lord Chamberlain and Master of Revels to prevent performance of controversial material. 2nd Earl of Essex, Robert Devereux made Lieutenant of Ireland.

1600 Fortune Theatre opens. Soon after the Globe is built William Shakspere moved to the Liberty of the Clink, Southwark. Richard Burbage leases the Blackfriars Theatre to Henry Evans. “As You Like It” published. William Shakespeare credited with authorship of “The Passionate Pilgrim”. John Farmer publishes and dedicates his “Set of English Madrigals” to the Earl of Oxford. Theatre managers Heminges and Condell contrive to credit William Shakspere with a 10% share in the newly constructed Globe Theatre.

1601 Essex Rebellion (the play Richard III staged at Blackfriar’s). William Shakspere’s father John Shakspere finally dies leaving his son and other members of the family with a reasonable inheritance. Robert Chester published an anthology of poetry entitled “Love’s Martyr; or Rosalind’s Complaint”, in which a poem by Chester appears to bear the same title as Shakespeare’s own poem which is described on the title page:

1602 1st May – Property document. For £320, Shakspere bought 107 acres of land and 20 acres of pasture in Old Stratford from William and John Combe. 28th September Will Shakspere acquired a quarter-acre of land with “Chapel Lane Cottage” and a garden.

1603 Queen Elizabeth dies. King James 1st of England crowned. “Troillus & Cressida” and Hamlet published as by William Shake-speare. Earl of Southampton released from Tower of London and the Earl of Oxford’s annuity is renewed. Lord Chamberlain’s Men renamed as King’s Men.

1604 Earl of Oxford dies presumably of plague. Red Bull Theatre opens. William Shakspere now lodging with the Mountjoy family.

1605 The Gunpowder Plot. Thomas Hariot imprisoned for casting the horoscope of James 1st . Phillip Herbert, Earl of Montgomery marries Oxford’s daughter Susan. Author and translator of “Ovid’s Metamorphoses”, Arthur Golding dies.

1606 “King Lear” performed at court. William Davenant born. The novelist and dramatist John Lyly dies.

1607 Oxford’s illegitimate son with Anne Vavasour is knighted as Sir Edward de Vere. William Shakspere’s daughter Susanna marries Dr. John Hall.

1608 Richard Burbage takes back the lease for the Blackfriars theatre. Elizabeth Trentham sells King’s Place. “King Lear”, “Anthony & Cleopatra” and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” registered at Stationer’s Office with author’s name Mr. William Shake-speare. Dr. John Dee dies in absolute poverty.

1609 “Shakespeare’s Sonnets” published by Thomas Thorpe with dedication to Henry Wriothesley. The Earl of Southampton sets off in the Edward Bonaventure, owned by the Earl of Oxford to the Bermudas. “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” finally published.

1610 22nd of June, Arabella Stuart secretly marries William Seymour but they were arrested with Seymour imprisoned in the Tower and Arbella detained in house arrest at Lambeth. Her planned escape to the Netherlands was uncovered and she was sent to the Tower. William Shakspere involved in dispute to enclose common land at Welcombe.

1611 “A Winter’s Tale” performed publically and at court. Richard Lane and Thomas Greene join William Shakspere in the tithes dispute at Wilmcote.

1612 Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury dies

1612 A deposition as witness is made by William Shakspere in the Mountjoy/Bellot case. His daughter Susanna is accused of immorality with two local men but later sues them for defamation. Henry, Prince of Wales dies.

1613 “Henry VIIIth” first performed. William Shakspere listed as owning a share in the Blackfriar’s Gatehouse but mortgages it back to the original owner. Susanna Hall successfully sues John Lane and Ralph Smith for defamation.

1614 Hope Theatre established. Will Shakspere is then commissioned to write the motto for the arms of the Earl of Rutland which Richard Burbage painted. Thomas Combe, a lawyer and close associate of Will Shakspere with his brother attempt to enclose common lands at Welcombe.

1615 Richard Field moves out of Blackfriar’s workshop and relocates to the “Splayed Eagle” on Wood Street. William Herbert appointed as Lord Chamberlain, George Buck appointed Master of the Revels. Arabella Stuart dies.

1616 Early January W. Shakspere instructs his lawyer Francis Collins to draft his last will and testament. William Shakspere dies after a visit from Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton. His daughter Judith marries without licence Thomas Quiney and are excommunicated as Quiney had extra-marital affair with Margaret Wheeler, pregnant with child both die and are buried at Holy Trinity Church. Ben Jonson publishes his anthology of plays and poetry.

1621 George Buck suffers mental breakdown and his office awarded to Ben Jonson.
1622 Mastership of the Revels is awarded to Sir Henry Herbert.
1623 Shakespeare’s Folio of 36 plays are finally published by Heminges and Condell. Anne Hathawaye dies.

Shakespeare’s First Folio, containing the playwright’s 36 plays and dating from 1623, is seen in an undated photo before going up for an auction where it is expected to fetch between 4 and 6 million dollars, in New York City, U.S. Courtesy of Christie’s/Handout.
The links to my current publications, on the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy; “Shakespeare’s Qaballah” and an anthology of poetry “Parthenogenesis” are as follows:


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