or 99 QUESTIONS
FOR THE STRATFORDIANS TO ANSWER.
Arranged by EDWARD D. JOHNSON
(from a Francis Bacon Society Pamphlet, 1950)
Edward D. Johnson was the author of:
"The First Folio of
"Francis Bacon's Cipher Signatures"
"Don Adriana's Letter"
"The Fictitious Shakespeare Exposed"
"Bacon Shakespeare Coincidences"
"The Mystery of the First Folio"
"The Bi-Literal Cypher of Francis Bacon"
"The Shaksper Illusion"
"Francis Bacon versus Lord Macaulay"
"Francis Bacon and "Shakespeare"
"Will Shakspere of Stratford"
"Francis Bacon of St. Albans"
"The Stratford Shakespeare Monument"
(1) Why did Will Shakspere
never take the slightest interest in any of the plays imputed to him?
(2) Why has no manuscript of
any play in his handwriting ever come to light?
(3) Why did Shakspere never
in any document acknowledge his authorship or even refer to any plays?
(4) Why does his will make
no reference to any of the plays?
(5) Why is there nothing in
his life, as we know it, to connect him with literature in any shape or
(6) Why do "the Shakespeare
Trust" tell visitors to Stratford-on-Avon that the bust of Will Shakspere
in the parish church at Stratford was erected prior to 1623, when they
know perfectly well that the original bust which depicted a thin faced
man with a drooping moustache and a ragged beard with his two
hands resting on a bag was taken down in 1748 [or prior to Pope's 1625
illustration] and the present bust showing a stout-faced man with a
smirking doll-like face, an upturned moustache and neatly
trimmed beard with his right hand holding a pen and his left hand
resting on a piece of paper, erected in place of the original bust.
(7) Why has the bust been
faked by providing a pen and a piece of paper which were not on the
original monument if it is not for the purpose of trying to connect
Will Shakspere the actor and tradesman with literature?
(8) Why does "the
Shakespeare Trust" charge visitors to Stratford the sum of one shilling
and sixpence for the privilege of gazing at a room at which they are
told was where Shakspere was born when "the Shakespeare Trust" know
perfectly well that the sup- posed birthplace is a sham and a fraud for
the following reasons:
(a) There is no evidence
that Shakspere's father ever owned or occupied the house
formerly on the site of the supposed birthplace until eleven years
after Shakspere's birth.
(b) That the cellar is the
only part which remains of the house originally on this site.
(c) That all the houses in
Henley Street that existed 400 years ago have long since been demolished
or destroyed by fires which swept Stratford on several occasions. Two
years before Shakspere's death there was a fire at Stratford which
destroyed 54 dwelling houses and other buildings.
(d) That the original
dwelling would have been thatched with mud walls, whereas the present
birthplace has brick walls timbered with a tiled roof.
(e) That in R. Wheler's
"History and Antiquities of Stratford-on-Avon" (1806) there is a
description of every public building at
Stratford but there is
no account whatever of the birthplace.
(f) That the original local
tradition has a pedigree beginning in 1759, 143 years after the
death of Shakspere, but in 1760 no birthplace was on view and it
was not until David Garrick arranged a Jubilee celebration in 1769 that
there was any intimation as to the site of the Birthplace.
(9) Why are the visitors to
Stratford told that the cottage known as Ann Hathaway's Cottage was where
Shakspere's wife lived prior to her marriage? There is no evidence
anywhere that this cottage ever belonged to Ann Hathaway's father. J.O.
Halliwell Phillipps spent 40 years of his life investigating Shakspere's
life but he had to admit in 1882 that "unhappily there is no tradition
indicating the birthplace of Shakspere's Ann upon which the least reliance
can be placed." The first mention of the cottage at Shottery, now shown to
visitors as her maiden residence, was made by Samuel Ireland (father of
William Henry Ireland the celebrated forger of Shakespearean documents) in
1795 nearly two and a half centuries after Ann Hathaway's Birth.
(10) In 1902 Joseph Skipsey,
who for some time had been the custodian of Shakspere's birthplace, wrote
a letter to Mr. J. Cumming Walters in which he said "that the chief reason
why he had resigned that position was because he had gradually lost all
faith in the so called relics which, as custodian, it was his duty to
show, and if possible explain to the visitors at the birthplace." How is
it that none of the relics have any definite history, and only serve to
perpetuate error and create false impressions?
(11) What has become of
Shakpere's armchair which was sold in 1777 and taken away, reappearing
again in 1815?
(12) All people agree that
the author of the "Shakespeare" plays must have had a very good education.
How is it that there is no record that Will Shakspere ever went to school,
either at Stratford or elsewhere, no record that any fellow townsman was
at school at the same time, no record that anyone at Stratford was able to
say that his father or grandfather attended at the same school as the
celebrated dramatist? The common people were densely ignorant, they had to
pick up their mother tongue as best they could. The First English Grammar
was not published until 1586, seven years after-Shakspere could have left
school, if he ever went to school, which is very doubtful.
(13) It is interesting to
observe that nearly all the English dramatists of the 16th century had
received a university education or were the sons of landed gentry, with
the exception of Will Shakspere. Lyly, Peele, Chapman, Marston, Ford, and
Massinger were educated at Oxford; Francis Beaumont, Greene, Marlow, Nash,
Jonson, Heywood, and Fletcher at Cambridge. How is it that Will Shakspere
is the only one who cannot be shown to have received any education at all?
(14) Will Shakspere was a
countryman. How is it that he was curiously unobservant of animated
nature? His boyhood was passed among the woods and streams and yet
apparently he neither saw or heard anything of the birds and animals of
his native country. He should have known something about the habits of
(15) Why therefore do we
find in Henry IV, Act IV, scene 4, the following erroneous statement
referring to bees "our thighs packed with wax, our mouths with honey"? He
ought to have known that bees do not carry wax on their thighs but in
their tails, and honey not in their mouths but in their stomachs.
(16) Why does "Shakespeare"
say that "The old Bees die, the young possess their hive."? Shakspere
should have known that there are no generations of bees; they are all the
offspring of the same mother. In the play of Henry V is a very elaborate
description of a bee hive and its inmates which is absolute nonsense with
an error of fact in every line, showing that there could have been no
personal observation by the author. For example "Shakespeare" in Henry
V, Act I, Sc. 2, referring to bees says, "They have a King." Shakspere,
the countryman, should have known that bees have no King but a Queen. This
statement is of classical origin and "Shakespeare" found it in Virgil's
(17) Why in Henry V, Act, I
Sc. 2, does "Shakespeare" say that the weasel steals the eggs of the
eagle? Shakespere the countryman should have known that the weasel does
not plunder eagle's eyries.
(18) Why does "Shakespeare"
in Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Sc. 5, write of the nightingale, "Nightly
she sings on yon pomegranate tree."? It is only the male nightingale that
sings, not the hen bird. Surely the countryman Will Shakspere should have
known better than to make such erroneous statements.
(19) The author of the
"Shakespeare" plays described with accuracy the animals of the chase and
is familiar with the aristocratic sport of hunting. Shakespere left
Stratford before he was 21. It is unlikely that he could ever have seen a
boar hunt. How therefore is it possible that he could have given us the
superb description of the boar and its chase which we find in Venus and
(20) The play of Love's
Labour's Lost dated 1589 is all about the Court Life at Navarre with an
accurate description of French manners and customs, and clearly
shows that the author, whoever he was, must have been resident at the
French Court, also that he was both a scholar and a philosopher. How could
Shakspere of Stratford at the age of 24 have obtained the familiar
knowledge of French politics and courtly fashions in the French Court
displayed in this play, if he had never been to France?
(21) How was it possible
that a young man coming straight from a small provincial market town with
only 1,500 inhabitants; a man who was the son of parents neither of whom
could write, a man who if he ever went to school (which is very doubtful)
left at the age of 13, could within a few years master the language of the
French Court and show an intimate acquaintance with aristocrats?
(22) How is it that this man
could have become an intimate friend of the Earl of Southampton, as
the author of Venus and Adonis and Lucrece must have been, as is indicated
by the dedication of these poems to the Earl of Southampton?
(23) How is it that no
biographer of Southampton has ever been able to trace that any association
whatever existed between Will Shakspere and Southampton?
(24) Venus and Adonis is
written throughout in the purest most elegant and scholarly English of
that day without a trace of local patois. As we all know, different
counties in England each have their own peculiar, well-marked dialect and
pronunciation, and it is quite easy to tell from a man's conversation if
he comes from say Lancashire or Yorkshire. When Will Shakespere came to
London he must have spoken the Warwickshire dialect or patois; why is
there not a trace of this in Venus and Adonis?
(25) How is it that "Venus
and Adonis" is evidently written by an aristocrat as it displays a
scholarly contempt for the illiterate and vulgar?
(26) In 1594 there was
published a quarto edition of Titus Andronicus, in 1597 a quarto edition
of Romeo and Juliet, in 1598 a quarto edition of Henry IV Part I, in 1600
a quarto edition of Henry V. All these plays were published anonymously,
which seems very extraordinary if they were written by Will Shakspere who
as a coming playwright would naturally want all the publicity he could get
and there would be no object in his hiding his light under a bushel. How
do the Stratfordians account for these facts?
(27) In 1597 there were
published quarto edition of Richard II and Richard III; in 1604 there was
published a third edition of Henry IV Part I; in 1600 there was published
a quarto edition of The Merchant of Venice. All these plays are stated on
the title pages to have been written by William Shakespeare. If the author
desired publicity and wished the public to know that those plays had been
written by Will Shakspere--why divide the name by a hyphen, thus showing
that the author was the man who shakes the spear?
(28) In Romeo and Juliet,
Act III, Sc. 5, we read, "The county Paris, at St. Peter's church shall
happily make thee there a joyous bride." How did Shakspere know that there
was a St. Peter's church in Verona unless he had seen it and that this
church was quite close to the reputed mansion of the Capulets?
(29) In the same play Act
iv, Sc. I, we read, "or shall I come to you at Evening Mass." The
Stratfordians, say that this is a mistake as in Italy, Mass was only
celebrated in the morning. On the contrary, at the Cathedral of Verona,
Mass was said in the evenings even though it had been expressly forbidden
by the Pope. How did Shakspere know this fact if he had never been abroad?
(30) In The Merchant of
Venice "Shakespeare" tells us that Portia went to Padua to seek legal
aid for Antonio. Why to Padua? Because Padua had a famous university
which granted legal degrees recognised as qualifications for
Venetian lawyers. How could Shakspere know this if he had never been
(31) Portia in this play
obtains the help of a lawyer Bellario. The name Bellario is that of an old
Paduan family, whose descendants still live there. Why should Shakspere
choose the name Bellario for his character if he had never been to Padua!
(32) In Othello
"Shakespeare" writes of "The Sagittary." It appears that in Venice there
was a residence for the commanding officers of the Army and Navy and in
front of this building were four statues, one of which was the figure of
an archer with a drawn bow. The Venetians called this residence "Il
Sagittario" (the archer). How could Shakspeare know this if he had never
(33) In The Merchant of
Venice is a character "Launcelot Gobbo." The name Gobbo is a peculiarly
Venetian name not found in other cities. How could Shakspere know this if
he had never visited Venice?
(34) In the Taming of the
Shrew, Act iv, Sc. 3, we read, "Like to a censer in a barber's shop". A
censer was a kind of brazier used by barbers in Southern Italy to keep the
water hot. How did Shakspere knows this if he had never visited Italy?
(35) In Othello we read,
"Forsooth, a great arithmetician one Michael Cassio, a Florentine."
If Shakspere had never visited Italy, how did he know that men from
Florence were in great demand all over Italy as book-keepers, because the
study of mathematics was a speciality of Florence?
(36) In Othello, Act I, Sc.
I, we read, "raise some special officer of the night." How could Shakspere
know that in Venice there was a special night police called "Signori di
notte" unless he had visited Venice?
(37) If Shakspere had never
visited Italy, how is it that the Merchant of Venice displays an
intimate acquaintance not only with the manners and customs of Italy
but with the minutest details of domestic life? In Act II of The Taming of
the Shrew Gremio gives a complete list of all the goods and gear with
which his house is stocked including a number of goods never seen in
Englewood but only in the palaces of Italian nobles.
(38) How did Shakspere if he
had never visited Italy know that in that country a betrothal of two
people is carried out by the father of the girl joining their hands in the
presence of two witnesses, as we find in The Taming of the Shrew, Act II,
(39) In The Merchant of
Venice we find the following---"This night, methinks, is but the daylight
sick. It looks a little paler: 'tis a day such as the day is when the sun
is hid." Act. v, Sc. I. In Italy, the light of the moon and stars is
almost as yellow as the sunlight in England. How did Shakspere know this
if he had never been in Italy?
(40) In The Winter's Tale we
read---"The Princesse hearing of her mother's statue, a peece many yeeres
in doing, and now newly perform'd by that rare Italian Master, Julio
Romano."---Act v, Sc. 2. Here we find Guilio Romano described as a rare
sculptor but in Shakspere's time Romano was known in England as
a painter and architect only, not as a sculptor. Vasari, however in
1550 and again in 1565, described him as a sculptor--on both occasion in
Italian, not in English. This means that "Shakespeare" must either have
studied Vasari in the original Italian or else have actually been to
Mantua and seen Romano's sculptured works. No evidence exists that
Shakspere could read Italian or had ever travelled abroad.
(41) In Shaksperes day,
there was at Venice a common ferry at two places, Fusina and Mestre, the
ferries in Venice being called Tragetti. In The Merchant of Venice we find
"Unto the tranect, to the common ferry which trades to Venice." The word "tranect"
appears to be a misprint for "traject"; presumably the printers would not
understand such an uncommon expression as "traject". If Shakspere had not
personally visited Italy, how did he know that there was such a
(42) In The Merchant of
Venice Portia and Nerissa travel from Belmont Montebello to Padua and we
find in this play the line "For we must travel twenty miles to-day" (Act
III, Sc. 4). How did Shakspere if he had never visited Italy, know that
the exact distance from Montebello to Padua is twenty miles?
(43) In The Taming of the
Shrew Lucentio changes places with his servant Tranio and in doing so
calls himself Cambio. Why should Shakspere use the name Cambio unless he
had a good knowledge of the Italian language, because the word Cambio
(44) From 1585 to 1600
Correggio's famous picture of Jupiter and Io was in the palace of the
sculptor Leoni at Milan and was on view to travellers. In the
Introduction to The Taming of the Shrew we read--"We'11 show thee Io as
she was a maid, and how she was beguiled and surpris'd as lively painted
as the deed was done," which is clearly a reference to Correggio's picture
at Milan. How could Shakspere have inserted these words in the play if he
had never seen the picture at Milan? With regard to the last eighteen
questions it must be remembered that there were no guide books for the use
of travellers in those days, so the author of these plays could not have
gathered his local knowledge of Italy from such sources and must have
visited Italy in person.
(45) In "As you like it"
Rosalind and Celia fled to the Forest of Arden. The Stratfordians say
"There you are, Arden was the name of part of Warwickshire --here is a
direct reference to the country where Shakspere lived which proves that he
wrote the plays." They can produce no evidence that there was any forest
or even woodlands in the district known as Arden, where the land was
either enclosed pasture or open field arable. They ignore or suppress the
fact that the play of "As you like it" is taken direct from Lodge's novel
Rosalynde where the forest scenes are laid in the Ardennes in
Belgium, altered in the play to the English equivalent Arden.
(46) The Stratfordians say
that the reference in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" to the "dozen white
luces" on Justice Shallow's coat identifies this character with Sir Thomas
Lucy of Charlecote Park near Stratford-on-Avon, whose coat of arms had
three luces on it. If this is so, how do the Stratfordians account for the
fact that this reference to the luces first appeared in the First Folio of
the Plays published in 1623, seven years after Shakesper's death
and is not found in the Quarto of the Play published in 1602 in
(47) Many years ago, Mr.
Appleton Morgan, the president of The Shakespeare Society of New York,
produced a glossary of 518 words which he claimed as words exclusively
used in Warwickshire. The English Dialect Society's Dictionary shows that
of those 518 so called pure Warwickshire words only 46 were not current in
Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire and
Leicestershire. How is it, therefore, that not a single one of the
46 words which can be shown to have been used exclusively in
Warwickshire are to found in the "Shakespeare" Plays? If Will Shakspere
wrote the plays we should naturally expect that he would use some of the
local words. There is only one character in all the plays who speaks a
rustic dialect and that character is Edgar in "King Lear". Edgar was son
and heir to the Earl of Gloucester so he might reasonably be expected when
talking in dialect for the purpose of disguise to use the Gloucestershire
dialect, instead of which he uses the Kentish dialect.
(48) Edward Alleyn, who was
not only an eminent actor but also a theatrical proprietor, who
founded Dulwich College, left his memoirs which contain the names of all
the notable actors and dramatists in Shakspere's time, as well as
the name of every person who helped or received money in connection with
the production of all the plays at the Blackfriars, Fortune and
other theatres. How is it that Alleyn in this list of actors and
dramatists does not even once mention Shakspere?
(49) Phillip Henslowe, the
theatrical manager who had erected the Rose Theatre on Bankside,
Southwark, in 1592, was the greatest theatrical agent and producer of his
day and kept a diary (which has been preserved) in which he sets down the
sums that he paid to various authors for their work. How is it that the
names of Shakespeare, Shakspere, Shaxspur or Shagsper do not appear
anywhere in this diary? In Henslow's diary we find the names of the
following men who were all writers for Henslowe's theatres: Chapman,
Chettle, Day, Dekker, Drayton, Haughton, Heywood, Jonson, Marston,
Middleton, Munday, Porter, Rankins, Rowley, Wadeson, Webster and Wilson.
Here we find mentioned practically all the dramatic writers of that day
with any claim to distinction, with one exception only, that of Shakspere
who is never once mentioned in Henslowe's diary, which completely ignores
(50) The Stratfordians
refuse to admit that Will Shakspere was educated at Cambridge University.
How therefore do they account for the fact that the following expressions
appear in the "Shakespeare" plays, such expressions being those which
only a man educated at Cambridge University would use? In "King Lear"
Act 2, Scene 4, we read "To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes".
The expression "scanting of sizes" was used exclusively at
Cambridge to denote the punishment of a sizar (a poor student who received
sizes or allowances) by cutting his rations or sizes. With the exception
of the "Shakespeare" plays the word sizes is not used by any other
Elizabethan dramatist except by the author of the "Return from Parnassus"
written by an anonymous Cambridge author. The Oxford Dictionary states the
use of this word was peculiar to Cambridge.
(51) In "Hamlet" Act 2,
Scene 2, we read--"Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris; and how,
and who, what means, and where they keep." The Oxford Dictionary
states that the use of the word "Keep" for "reside" is peculiar to
Cambridge University, and the use of this peculiar word "Keep" is
found thirteen times in the "Shakespeare" plays.
(52) In "The Merry Wives of
Windsor" is the character of a physician Dr. Caius. His character is
identical with that of Dr. Caius who founded Caius College Cambridge, both
being overbearing, choleric and revengful men. Dr. Caius in the play hated
Welshmen as is shown by his quarrel with Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson,
and the real Dr. Caius hated Welshmen so much that he excluded Welshmen
from the privileges of fellowship of Caius College. How did Will Shakspere
who never went to Cambridge know anything about the character of Dr. Caius
who had died before Shakspere was 9 years old, and why should he put this
character in the play of "The Merry Wives of Windsor. There were no
newspapers in those days and it is very doubtful if the peculiarities of
Dr. Caius would have been known outside University circles, and there
is no evidence that Shakspere had ever been to Cambridge or knew anyone
(53) On 1st March, 1595 a
play entitled Laelia was performed by the undergraduates of Oueens'
College, Cambridge. The character of Laelia in this play and the character
of Viola in the "Shakespeare" play "Twelfth Night" are absolutely
identical and "Shakspeare" must have either seen or read this played
Laelia before writing Twelfth Night. How could Shakspere who was never at
Cambridge, manage to obtain a copy of this play Laelia and develop the
character of Viola on exactly similar lines?
(54) All references to
Shakspere direct and indirect in contemporaneous literature during the
period 1592-1616 have been carefully collated and published. They number
127 classified as follows: those made to his works, 120; those made to him
as a man, 7. The seven references to him as a man are made by Thomas Nashe
1589; Robert Greene, 1592 John Manningham, 1601; two anonymous writers in
1605; Thomas Heywood 1612, and Ben Jonson, 1616. Nashe calls Shakspere an
idiot, Greene an upstart crow, Manningham makes him the hero of an amour,
the anonymous writers only refer to his wealth, landed proprietorship and
aspirations to a title, Heywood because two of Heywood's poems had been
published as Shakspere's, and Jonson scoffs at him as a poet ape. Here we
find three authors Nashe, Greene and Jonson who knew the man Will well,
treating him with contempt and his literary pretensions with ridicule,
sneering at him and his poetical claims. Ben Jonson in particular scoffed
at Shakspere's pretensions, well knowing that many of the plays were
earlier than Shakspere's theatrical career and, moreover that he was
incapable of such productions. Why are there only seven references to
Will Shakspere's the man, and why is there no word or hint anywhere
that he possessed any literary ability whatsoever?
(55) Ben Jonson in his
Discoveries (1637) gives a list of all the great men that he had known. In
this list Shakspere's name is not mentioned. Why did Jonson omit his name
if he thought that he was the author of the "Shakespeare" plays?
(56) The Stratfordians say
that Shakspere's earliest reputation was made as an actor. If so, why is
there no record anywhere of the parts he played with one exception, namely
Rowe (in 1709) who wrote that Shakspere played the Ghost in his own Hamlet
and that this was the top of his performance?
(57) Will Shakspere's
residence in London extended over a period of more than twenty years. The
men of letters, his contemporaries, were Sir Walter Raleigh, Spenser,
Bacon, Cecil, Walsingham, Coke, Camden, Hooker, Drake, Hobbes, Inigo
Jones, Herbert of Cherbury, Laud, Pym, Hampden, Selden, Walton, Wotton and
Donne, How is it that there is no evidence whatever that Will Shakspere
was personally known to any of these men or to any others of less note
among the statesmen, scholars, soldiers and artists of his day?
(58) Why is it that of
Shakspere's social life during his long residence on London we have not
even a tradition?
(59) The three signatures to
Shakspere's Will are so atrocious that the Stratfordians have suggested as
a reason for this that he was suffering from paralysis at the time, in
spite of the fact that his Will states at the beginning that he was in
perfect health. If Shakspere could produce these signatures when suffering
from paralysis, how is it that he could not produce a really legible
signature when in health as none has yet been discovered!
(60) Shakspere by his Will
bequeathed a number of memorial rings and other mementos to his friends
and associates, such as Sadler, Raynolds, Heminge, Burbage, and Condell.
How is it that he bequeathed nothing to Ben Jonson who, according to Sir
Sidney Lee, was one of his closest friends?
(61) How is it, that when
Shakspere died, Jonson never referred to his death, not mentioning his
name for 7 years until the publication of "The First Folio" in 1623?.
(62) Why did Will Shakspere
in his will leave no directions as to the disposition of his plays or the
manuscripts thereof? If these passed to his daughter Susanna as residuary
legatee, why did she not claim them as a portion of the residuary estate?
The plays were valuable, and Susanna, if she was anything like her father,
would not be likely to give anything away. If Shakspere had parted with
the manuscripts in his lifetime, he must have had in his possession
copies of his printed poems "Venus and Adonis" and the "Rape of
Lucrece" and of "The Sonnets." What became of them? It is clear that they
were never in the possession of his daughter Susanna.
(63) Susanna Hall and her
husband had only one child--a daughter Elizabeth, born in 1608, (Shakspere
by his will bequeathed to this granddaughter the greater part of his
plate). Elizabeth Hall first married Thomas Nash, and afterwards John
Barnard, who was subsequently knighted. On her mother's, Susanna's, death,
she became the owner of New Place and other property under Shakspere's
(64) Why is there no record
that Lady Barnard ever mentioned her grandfather, the great poet?, or ever
possessed any relics of him or any books belonging to him?
(65) When Will Shakspere
died, why did none of his literary friends attend the funeral of the great
genius "Shakespeare", or express their grief that the greatest poet that
the world had ever seen had passed away?
(66) Why did not one of the
literary fraternity in London realize that when Will Shakspere died a
great poet and dramatist had passed away--not one of them came to his
funeral or sent their condolences to his family?
(67) Why did no one take the
slightest notice of the death of the retired actor and tradesman of
Stratford? The world of letters seems to have been quite unconscious of
any loss, for not a single note of regret that a great poet had passed
away has reached us from any source whatsoever.
(68) In the days of
Elizabeth, it was customary to write elegies on the deaths of any well
known men. Ben Jonson was a very minor poet compared with "Shakespeare":
why do we find over fifty allusions to Jonson's death but not a single one
to the death of Shakspere? [Jonson does not mention the publication of the
Manes Verulamiani shortly after Franis Bacon's death, in which
there are thirty-two tributes to his genius.]
(69) The Historian William
Camden published in 1610 a Book entitled "Britannia" in which there are
several references to Stratford-on-Avon. Why is it that Camden does not
mention Shakspere although the majority of the plays had been written
prior to the year 1610? Is it not clear that Camden saw no connection
between Stratford-on-Avon and the writer of the plays?
(70) When James Cooke, who
was an Army surgeon attached to troops stationed at Stratford-on-Avon in
1642, called upon Shakspere's daughter Mrs. Susanna Hall, he asked to be
shown any manuscripts or books belonging to her husband or father. Why did
she say that she had not got any books or manuscripts or anything in
her father's handwriting?
(71) On 28th June, 1613, the
Globe Theatre was burnt to the ground. In a published account of the
catastrophe, why is reference made to Richard Burbage, Henry Condell and
others, but not a word is said about Shakspere?
(72) George Sandys published
his "Journey" a few months before Shakspere died. Sandys wrote "By the
Pillar, standing in a vault within the castle, entered by the Nile, they
measure his increase." "Shakespeare" wrote "They take the flow of the Nile
by certain scales on the Pyramid", which is practically the same thing.
Sandys wrote "answerable to the increase of the river, is the plenty or
scarcity of the year succeeding." "Shakespeare" wrote "The higher Nilus
swells, the more it promises" which is the same thought expressed
differently. The above quotations from "Shakespeare" are from Antony and
Cleopatra, Act II, Scene 7. Antony and Cleopatra was not published until 7
years. after Shakspere's death. How therefore could Shakspere have quoted
from Sandy' work as he had no time to read this work before he died?
(73) Why did the late Dr. C.
W. Ingleby, who. in compiling his Shakespeare's Centurie of Praise spend
two years in research through English literature from 1592 to 1693 to find
every allusion, however slight it might be, to the poet Shakespeare and
his works. state that "no pains of research, scrutiny or study could
find the most trivial allusions to the bard or his works by any one of the
great men of his day." He adds "It is plain for one thing, that the
bard of our admiration was unknown to the men of that age."
(74) The letters of every
great man in literature have been preserved with the sole exception of
Shakspere. Is not this due to the fact that Shakspere could not write?
(75) In the First Folio of
the "Shakespeare Plays'" there are over 634,000 words, each of which have
been written out by hand in the first instance. How is it that if Will
Shakspere wrote the plays, there is not in existence a single one of those
634,000 words in his own handwriting?
(76) Why does "Shakespeare"
always take the aristocratic point of view and pour contempt on the common
people. He refers to them as the common herd--sweaty rabble, etc.
Shakspere of Stratford came from the common people--why should he foul his
(77) How do Stratfordians
account for the fact that in the first Folio of the Plays published in
1623 there are nearly 10,000 lines absolutely unknown in any form
before 1616, the year Shakspere died?
(78) Who was it who revised
all the Plays for the First Folio and wrote all those additional lines in
exactly the same style as the original matter?
(79) Twenty-two years after
the publication of the First Folio of the "Shakespeare" Plays in
1623--namely 1645--the French people apparently had not heard of Will
Shakspere of Stratford-on-Avon as a playwright, because in that year Jan
Blaeu published his "Theatre du monde" in which, describing Stratfordon-on-Avon,
he wrote: "The Avon passes against Stratford, a rather agreeable little
trading place, but which owes all its glory to two of its nurslings: to
wit, John de Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, who built a temple
there, and Hugh de Clopton, who threw across the Avon, at great cost, a
bridge of fourteen arches." How is it that there is not a word in this
book about the man on whom Stratford-on-Avon now depends for its sole
claim to fame?
(80) In 1576 a play "A
Historie of Error" (probably the first form of the "Shakespeare" Play "The
Comedy of Errors") was acted before Queen Elizabeth at Hampton Court. At
this date Shakspere was 12 years old and still at Stratford. How therefore
can you say that Shakspere was the author of this play?
(81) In 1579 "The Merchant
of Venice" in its earlier title of "The Jew showne at the Bull,
representing the greediness of wurldly choosers and bloody minds of
usurers" was produced. Shakspere at that date was 15 years of age. The
plot of this play was taken from two Italian novels. How could he have
learnt Italian at Stratford at this early age?
(82) In 1584, when Shakspere
was 20 years old and still at Stratford, the play "The Two Gentlemen of
Verona" based on a play called "Felix and Philomena" was acted before the
Queen. The plot of this play was taken from the Spanish. If
Shakspere wrote this play whilst he was still at
Stratford, how was he
able to read Spanish?
(83) "Hamlet" was played by
Lord Leicester's men before Queen Elizabeth at Oxford in the Spring of
1585. This was before Shakspere left Stratford for London. If he wrote
this play how was he able while still at Stratford to get it
produced by Lord Leicester's Company of Actors?
(84) In 1612, the
performance of all stage plays at Stratford was forbidden by the
municipality under a penalty of ten pounds. Shakspere was then permanently
residing at Stratford. If he was the celebrated dramatist, why did he not
protest at this action of his fellow townsmen?
(85) The Boatswain in "The
Tempest" speaks in the true vernacular of the Forecastle. Salanio and
Salarino in "The Merchant of Venice" use accurate sailor's expressions.
"The Comedy of Errors" is full of nautical allusions and sea words. There
is no evidence that Shakspere ever went to sea. How could he realize the
life and language of a sailor by force of his imagination?
(86) Research has traced the
life of Shakspere from the cradle to the grave, and by means of tradition,
legal documents, records and inscriptions formed quite an accurate
biography. How is it that this research does not record a single item to
connect Shakspere with "Shakespeare" the author of the Plays?
(87) If Shakspere wrote the
Plays, why did he apparently conceal this fact from his friends instead of
being proud of his authorship?
(88) If he did not conceal
it, why did not his friends say something about their friendship with the
(89) Why did not the other
authors and dramatists know of his existence and make some reference to
the man Shakspere?
(90) The Stratfordians say
that Shakspere made sufficient money to buy New Place either through
acting or writing plays. If he earned this money by acting, how is it that
we have no record of the parts he played, which seems to show that he must
have been a very inferior actor whose salary would therefore be small?
(91) If he made money by
writing plays, how is it that there is no record that any theatrical
producer' or any other person ever paid him a penny piece for writing a
(92) There is nothing
whatever in Shakspere's. Will to connect the testator with either plays or
actors, except one erasure and one interlineation. The Christian name of
Hamnet Sadler has been scratched out and someone has written above it
Hamlett instead of Hamnet in order to suggest that the testator
was familiar with the name of the play. There is an interlineation of
gifts "to my fellowes John Heminge, Richard Burbage and Henry
Condell of 26s. each to buy rings". Neither of these alterations was
initialled by the testator or the witnesses as was customary. Why should
the only indications in the will that Shakspere had anything to do with
the plays or actors have been apparently inserted as an after-thought?
(93) When Shakspere died, he
was one of the richest men in Stratford. Yet when his father mother and
son died, he never spent a penny in marking their resting places with a
stone. Is this the man who in the Play "Cymbeline" is supposed to have
written "Sore shaming those rich left heirs that let their fathers lie
without a monument"? (Act IV Sc. 2.)
(94) The author of
"Shakespeare" Plays seems to have hated drunkenness because we read. "To
be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast, O
strange." (Othello, Act 2, Scene 3.) "O monstrous beast, how like a swine
he lies." (The Taming of The Shrew, Act I, Scene 1.) Are not these strange
sentiments to be expressed by a man who was himself a heavy drinker?
(95) The "Shakespeare" Plays
denounce in scathing terms ignorance as follows: "O thou monster
ignorance, how deformed dost thou look!" (Love's Labour's Lost, Act 4,
Scene 2.) "Ignorance is the curse of God--Knowledge the wing on which we
fly to heaven." (2 Henry VI, Act 4, Scene 7.) "O gross and miserable
ignorance". (2 Henry VI Act 4, Scene 2.) How do you account for the fact
that Shakspere who is supposed to have expressed those sentiments allowed
his two daughters to be brought up in such a state of ignorance that they
could not even sign their names?
(96) Robert Greene in his "Groatsworth
of Wit" is believed by Stratfordians to have alluded to Shakspere. Why
therefore does he call Shakspere an upstart crow beautified in others
(97) How is it that after
Shakspere's death plays continued to pour forth as if nothing had
happened? Not only a number of new plays which were unheard of
before and the greatest of them all, but the old plays were
considerably augmented, revised and virtually rewritten. Who was
responsible for this?
(98) In the year 1777 a Mrs.
Hornby as a private enterprise opened at Stratford a museum of relics of
Shakspere. She exhibited as Shakspere's personal belongings, a carved oak
chest, part of a carved bedstead, an iron deed box, a sword, a lantern,
pieces of the famous mulberry tree, one of Mrs. Shakspere's shoes and a
drinking glass. In 1827 Mr. R. B. Wheler, The Stratfordfordian Historian
and author of the Local Guide Book, denounced these relics without
exception as being "scandalous impositions," and stated that "It is well
known that there does not exist a single article that ever belonged to
Shakspere." Where now are these so-called relics?
(99) It is possible to make
a list of 1500 celebrated Englishmen and go to the Histories, Biographies
and Encyclopaedias and find out the history of each one of' them, with one
exception only, namely Shakspere.
Is not the reason for this
the fact that Shakspere had no history, with nothing whatever in his life
worth recording--nothing to show that he was anything but possibly a third
rate actor and a tradesman in a small town, nothing to show that any
single person regarded him as a person of importance, nothing to show that
he had any prominence when he lived, nothing to show that he was anything
but utterly obscure and unimportant? not only in London but in his own
Edward D. Johnson