Here’s a “Smoking Gun” that brings together Edward de Vere (Oxford) and Henry Wriothesley (Southampton) in the Context of the 1601-1603 Aftermath of the Essex Rebellion

I’d like to present a document that brings together Edward de Vere Earl of Oxford and Henry Wriothesley  Earl of Southampton within the context of the Essex Rebellion of February 1601 and its aftermath until the death of Elizabeth and the succession of James in March 1603.  I consider it a “smoking gun” in terms of evidence of a relationship between them in connection with those events and that time period – supporting the context put forth and expanded within THE MONUMENT, my edition of the Sonnets (and its companion synopsis-volume SHAKESPEARE’S SON and HIS SONNETS, not to mention ANONYMOUS, the forthcoming movie from Roland Emmerich, due for general release October 28th.

The document is Anagrammata in Nomina Illustrissimorum Heroum (1603) By Francis Davison – published online by the Philological Museum by Dana F. Sutton.

The Anagrammata was a single-page broadsheet with anagrams & epigrams on the names of the following lords: Thomas Egerton, Charles Howard, Thomas Sackville, Chrarles Blunt, John Fortescue, Gilbert Talbot, Henry Percy, Edward de Vere and Henry Wriothesley.

The work was compiled partially during the time of Southampton’s imprisonment in the Tower [1601-1603] and completed after the queen’s death on March 24, 1603.  It was published later the same year. The anagrams/epigrams for Oxford and Southampton are presented ninth and tenth, respectively, as the final two lords.

“In general,” Professor Sutton writes, “the epigrams are fairly predictable exercises in courtly flattery.  A couple, however, may merit more consideration.  The one addressed to Oxford congratulates him on his non-involvement in the Essex Rebellion.  One wonders why Davison thought this necessary.  Even more curious is the one for Southampton, which explicitly states that he had been convicted of treason on false testimony inspired by envy.”


“Though by your zeal, Fortune, you keep perfidy’s murmurs and schemings at a distance, nonetheless I learn (at which my mind and ear quake) that our bodies have been deafened with respect to evil affairs. Indeed, I perceive men who come close to Catiline in deception, freeing other men’s fates by their death.”


“Justly you were able to pour forth this complaint from your mouth; your lot was harsh while a false accusation prevailed. “Lo, Theseus is guilty of nothing; here I fall by an unfair lot’s censure, betrayed by envy’s whim.” But now the complaint is to be altered, because of altered perils. Great man, do you take a fall with an innocent heart bearing witness?  Not at all.  The heir, wielding the scepter of rule conferred under Jove’s auspices, grants you to live free of this care.”

I submit that THE MONUMENT and its synopsis-book SHAKESPEARE’S SON AND HIS SONNETS contain the explanation that Professor Sutton is seeking.  No, it’s not “proof” of the Monument Theory of the Sonnets, but there’s no question that it brings Oxford and Southampton together in connection with the post-Essex Rebellion history.

THE MONUMENT attempts to demonstrate that the Sonnets tell the following story:  Upon the failure of the Essex Rebellion of February 8, 1601, followed by the sentencing of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton to death for high treason, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford made a bargain with Secretary Robert Cecil in order to save Southampton’s life.  Essex was executed six days after the trial.  Oxford’s aim was to spare Southampton from execution and gain the promise of his release upon the succession of King James of Scotland as King of England.  Once liberated, Southampton would regain all his lands and titles and receive a royal pardon, freeing him from the threat of being re-arrested for the same crime.  But the outcome of the deal depended on Cecil’s ability to bring James to the throne, so Oxford had no choice but to help him.  In effect, he was blackmailed.

One way Oxford may have helped is by becoming “40” in the secret correspondence between Cecil and James, behind Elizabeth’s back.  Also, shortly before the Queen’s death, he apparently acted to test Lord Lincoln’s loyalty to James.  In addition, having adopted the pen name “Shakespeare” in 1593, Oxford now agreed to take another step – to bury his identity in relation to Southampton after his death and for generations to come:  “I may nevermore acknowledge thee … My name be buried where my body is,” he testifies in Sonnets 36 and 72.

The Southampton Prince Tudor Theory is that, in addition, Oxford and Southampton agreed to bury their father-son relationship; and that Southampton agreed to forfeit any claim to the crown as the natural heir of Queen Elizabeth.   [Two Oxfordians who oppose the Southampton Prince Tudor Theory, Nina Green and Christopher Paul, are thanked by Dana Sutton for suggesting that the Philological Museum include Davison’s Anagrammata.]


Davison was the son of William Davison, whom Elizabeth had blamed for transmitting the warrant for execution of Mary Queen of Scots.  W. Davison and his family were ruined.  Upon the death of Secretary Francis Walsingham in 1590, Essex urged Elizabeth to name W. Davison to replace him.  The post was left vacant until 1596, when the queen gave it to Robert Cecil.

In a work in which every element has a potential or actual meaning beyond what is on the surface, Davison deliberately placed Edward de Vere and Henry Wriothesley one after the other.   As stated above, such placement lends support to the theory of THE MONUMENT that, as expressed in the Sonnets, Oxford and Southampton were linked together at this crucial time.


Catiline: Lucius Sergius Catilina (108 BC – 62 BC), known in English as Catiline, was a Roman politician of the 1st century BC who is best known for the Catiline conspiracy, an attempt to overthrow the Roman Republic, and in particular the power of the aristocratic Senate.  [The name of Catiline was invoked in relation to Essex and his supporters at the joint treason trial of him and Southampton on February 19, 1601.]

“Freeing Other Men’s Fates by Their Deaths” – the final words of the epigram to Oxford could refer to Essex as one who went to his death in order to give Southampton a chance to live; but this epigram is for Oxford and therefore, I submit, it more likely refers to the bargain Oxford made with Cecil to figuratively die, as in Sonnet 81: “I, once gone, to all the world must die.”


Theseus:  the mythical founder-king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, both of whom Aethra had slept with in one night. Theseus was a founder-hero, like Perseus, Cadmus, or Heracles, all of whom battled and overcame foes that were identified with an archaic religious and social order.

“False Accusation … Betrayed by Envy’s Whim” – perhaps refers to Cecil betraying Southampton by falsely accusing him of trying to overthrow Elizabeth and kill her.

“The Heir, Wielding the Scepter of Rule” – appears to refer to King James, who ordered the release of Southampton; but, given the Prince Tudor Theory that Henry Wriothesley was the natural heir of Elizabeth and deserved to become King Henry IX, such language is certainly tantalizing and even, one might say, provocative.

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is good stuff: great find!

    Another evidence for PT I. Nice job!

    • Thanks. What plans do you have for your book?
      I read The Massacre at Paris recently. Good sleuthing on your part.

  2. Thanks.


    To publish it in Spanish on October, 2011.
    (Interestingly enough, 2011 is the four centenary of
    The KJV of the Bible.) And then to translate it into
    English for 2012.

    I will quote you something:

    Start reading from: “This book is the story of that triumph…”

    Streitz has done a valuable service for the Shakespeare’s authorship of the KJV. In 1604, June, de Vere disappeared. On January King James commissioned the translation.

    On 1609 we know de Vere was dead.
    On 1608, King James gave orders for the KJV to be publish.
    On 1611 the KJV was published.
    On 1611, “The Tempest” was acted on Whitehall.

    With the work of Stritmatter, I think I have many comments to do on the KJV. Do you know the KJV has almost 90% words of the Geneva Bible?

    Anyway, do you want me to send my book (in Spanish) to you in October? It will be my pleasure.

    “The Massacre at Paris” is just another evidence that Marlowe was another de Vere’s mask? For instance, as I am now at it, do you know that Marlowe publish in 1600 a translation of Lucan?

    It dealt with the roman civil war.
    The “translation” talks about Caesar going through the Rubicon.
    Who was the Caesar of 1600?
    Well, Essex.
    Essex crossed the Rubicon when he came to London
    without permission, just like Caesar in Lucan.

    How could Marlowe know?
    I mean: Marlowe was dead in 1593,
    so who wrote Lucan’s translation and
    how can it be so contemporary?

    In 1600 you have Marlowe’s “Lucan” and
    Shakespeare’s “Corolianus” and “Julius Caesar”
    dealing with the same thing: civil war’s approaching…

    Ben Jonson was in Holland under Francis Vere.
    In 1594 he married.
    In 1598 Spenser was dead in London.
    What happen to him? Nobody knows, but
    interestingly enough, Ben Jonson said that
    Spenser “died because of lack of bread.” HA!

    Ben Jonson translates the same XV Elegy of
    Marlowe’s “Amores” published in 1599. That Elegy
    has the same verses of “Venus and Adonis” quote
    in the title-page: Let base-conceited wits admire vile things…”

    B.J. translates: “Kneel hinds to trash…”

    And then, of course,
    Ben Jonson is the one who knew Shakespeare as
    we read in the First Folio.

    Another one:

    Richard Barnfield.
    We know de Vere and Derby were sharing their time together
    in 1599. A Jesuit reports in a confiscated letter that Derby “was busy penning comedies.”

    Live Spenser ever, in thy Fairy Queene:
    Whose like (for deepe Conceit) was never seene.
    Crownd mayst thou bee, unto thy more renowne,
    (As King of Poets) with a Lawrell Crowne (…)

    And Shakespeare thou, whose hony-flowing Vaine,
    (Pleasing the World) thy Praises doth obtaine.
    Whose Venus, and whose Lucrece (sweete, and chaste)
    Thy Name in fames immortall Booke have plac’t.
    Live ever you, at least in Fame live ever:
    Well may the Bodye dye, but Fame dies never.

    Barnfield disappears in 1605, as de Vere was in 1604.

    So, why two poems of Barnfield in “The Passionate Pilgrim,” specially when the rest of poems where about Shakespeare’s story of Venus and Adonis?

    Well, look at poem 8 (or 9, depending on the ediiton and their consideration of poems 14 as one or two, 14 and 15):

    If music and sweet poetry agree (…)
    Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
    As passing all conceit needs no defence.
    (…) (…)
    When as himself to singing he betakes.
    One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.

    Is Barnfield saying Spenser and Shakespeare are the same poet?

    Anderson and the rest of critics say the “The Passionate Pilgrim” is a piracy of Jaggard. They forget that Jaggard was commissioned, with Edward Blount, for the edition of the First Folio. Strange reward for a pirate!, don’t you think?

    I am specially proud of my findings of de Vere’s life and secrets portraid in “The Faerie Queene.” You will love it, as I think he tells there what we already know about PT I and PT II.

    • Ricardo, I love your blog too. But I have to repeat your words: “Is Barnfield saying Spenser and Shakespeare are the same? Yep”. Are you saying De Vere penned Barnfield, Spenser, Shake-Speare and Marlowe? This last two, I too believe, were nothing but well-made hoaxs. They were heteronyms to De Vere. But in your blog you said (and I believe too) that John Donne was the man behind the mask of Thomas Nashe and Edmund Spenser. Then, if your saying here that Shakespeare was De Vere, and Shakespeare and Spenser (tehrefore, De Vere penned both this pen-names), then why you said in your blog that it was Donne? I think Donne is the best candidate to Spenser’s authorship. Or I am making confusion on your logic? Sorry my bad english

  3. This is great

    • Thanks! Any “good theory” is to be prized, because, if it’s accurate, it will keep yielding more information — or, in many cases, it will keep allowing the theorist to look at the same information, same documents, etc., with fresh eyes, and enable him/her to see something altogether fresh and vital that had been missed before. The Monument theory at its most basic level is that Oxford was involved in Southampton’s fate from the trial in 1601 until his release in 1603, and this document comes newly alive through that lens. I appreciate your comment! Best wishes, Hank

  4. Hi guys, I think Ricardo is right about the Jaggard thing. I’d been vaguely wondering along those lines myself. Regarding the Davison publication, let me say that it was well worth rereading, slowly. I got it this time.

  5. Hank, could you elaborate on this notion that Robert Cecil–and before him, his father–was the most powerful person in England? This seems to suggest that Queen Elizabeth herself was something of a figurehead. In this regard, I’m trying to understand the negotiations to save Southampton’s life in the aftermath of the Essex rebellion. Why couldn’t Oxford negotiate directly with the Queen on this? Was she incapable? If Southampton was the Queen’s son with Oxford, why wouldn’t she be amenable to sparing his life anyway, given the circumstances of the rebellion and the widespread unhappiness with Cecil? Was the Queen that much of a powerless pawn?

    • John, thanks for these questions. They spur me to try to do some research into the nature of Robert Cecil’s power in the wake of the failed rebellion. At the moment I have mainly speculations as to exactly how he was able to gain and maintain such power. The short answer is that it seems he was able to limit access to the Queen and to lead her into believing that Essex and Southampton both had planned to kill her. She may have been terrified, she was certainly furious; and it may well be that it was Cecil who actually prevented her from ordering Southampton’s execution! Cecil needed Essex to die, and that happened quickly; but he also needed a hostage — and if Southampton was who I think he was, he was the most valuable hostage Cecil could have had. This allowed him to work a deal — that Southampton would leave the Tower only if James succeeded to the throne, thereby ensuring Cecil’s own power, not to mention his very life. [Cecil knew he would not survive unless he brought James to the throne.]

      In various history books there are blanket statements about Cecil’s power at that stage (1601-1603), but there is little work on the substance of it. After Essex was executed “Robert Cecil remained at last in undisputed command,” writes Neville Williams in All the Queen’s Men, but there is little detail about the mechanics of such command, but it had to involve his manipulations of Elizabeth’s mind and emotions, while maintaining her trust in him amid a state of paranoia about nearly everyone else. In her final illness she told Charles Howard, Lord Admiral/Lord Nottingham, who was Oxford’s great friend, “I am tied, I am tied, and the case is altered with me.” What lay beneath those words?

      Anyway, my thanks again, and hopefully I can return here with better answers.

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