[Chapter Nineteen: 1487—Leonardo in the East]


Chapter Twenty: 1593—Marlowe, Samuel Daniel, and Wilton House

The well-wishing adventurer, in setting forth,
wishes all happiness and that eternity promised by our ever-living poet,
to the only begetter of these ensuing sonnets, Mr. W.H.
—Dedication to "Shakespeare's" Sonnets, written by Thomas Thorpe in 1609
and expressing the wishes of the author,
modernized and grammatically decontorted

The Comet of 1593

Though what is sometimes referred to as the "authorship question" has many interesting aspects and is certainly worthy of detailed investigation, the current chapter is not initially aimed at the question of who exactly wrote the works commonly attributed to William Shakspere (pronounced Shacks-pear or Shags-pear) of Stratford that, until the First Folio of 1623, appeared in print only sporadically under the name Shakespeare or Shake-speare, the form of the supposed author's name as it is found on the title pages of some of the early quarto editions, as well as in other quarto editions of plays currently not attributed to this same Shakespeare. Since the name of the supposed author of the plays has been spelled in various ways in attempts to either clarify or cloud the distinction between the broker from Stratford and the playwright; in the following paragraphs we will consistently refer to the Stratford man, the investor in the Globe Theater and occasional actor, as Shakspere. Until it becomes clear exactly who was the author or authors of the plays, we will refer to him or her or they as "Shakespeare," in quotation marks.

Before answering the question, who was "Shakespeare"? we will deal with a parallel question, that is, who was the cometary avatar for the year 1593, and what was his relationship to the author or authors of the plays? Once we shift the discussion to this closely related problem, the authorship question takes on a new dimension not currently under discussion among the so-called Stratfordians, Oxfordians, Baconians, or any of the other disputants engaged in attributing the Canon to one or another individual or group of individuals. It was Godfrey Higgins, the squire and magistrate of Skellow Grange near Doncaster, who pointed out that the avatars, whose appearances were associated with certain chronological cycles, would sometimes be born in the appointed years, and sometimes die in those years. Though we have seen that neither of these was a strict necessity, it is only fair to ask which of the candidates for the author of "Shakespeare's" plays is most closely associated with the cometary year of 1593. In the case of Christopher Marlowe alone, we find that he purportedly died in that very year, conveniently "murdered" by those in the employ of Sir Thomas Walsingham, the literary patron of Marlowe and first cousin, once removed, of his former employer, Francis Walsingham, before the Star Chamber could work its diabolical will upon him.

A Short Timeline of Events Related to the Shakespeare Authorship Question

Location Event Year
  Charles V of Spain becomes Holy Roman Emperor 1519
Bologna Charles officially crowned emperor by Pope Clement VII 1530
Milan Duke Francesco II Sforza swears allegiance to Charles V March 11, 1533
Milan Events described in The Two Gentlemen of Verona Aft. March 14, 1533
Naples Spanish Inquisition imposed on Naples 1547
Nola, Italy, near Naples Birth of Giordano (originally Fillipo) Bruno 1548
Castle Hedingham,
Birth of Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford April 12, 1550
Penshurst Place, Kent Birth of Sir Philip Sidney Nov. 30, 1554
State of Venice Villa Foscari (Belmont) constructed on the Brenta 10 miles from Venice 1558
London Birth of Thomas Kyd Bef. Nov. 6, 1558
" Elizabeth becomes queen Nov. 17, 1558
Kent Birth of Sir Thomas Walsingham IV ca 1561
Bewdley Birth of Mary Sidney, later countess of Pembroke Oct. 27, 1561
Near Beckington Birth of Samuel Daniel 1562 or 1563
Castle Hedingham, Essex Edward de Vere becomes 17th earl of Oxford Sept. 3, 1562
Kent Birth of Sir Robert Sidney, later 1st earl of Leicester Nov. 19, 1563
Canterbury Birth of Christopher Marlowe Feb. 6, 1564
Stratford upon Avon Birth of William Shakspere April 23, 1564
Naples Bruno enters Monastery of San Domenico Maggiore 1565
Sussex Birth of Henry Wriothesley (pron. "Rosely"?), 3rd earl of Southampton Oct. 6,1573
State of Venice Marquis of Montferrat (Guglielmo Gonzaga, duke of Mantua) at Villa Foscari along with Henry of Valois (later Henry III of France), an obscure event referred to in The Merchant of Venice July 27, 1574
Europe Edward de Vere travels in France, Germany, and Italy 1575–1576
Italy De Vere in Italy May 1575–March 1576
State of Venice Edward de Vere writes a letter to Lord Burghley from Venice Sept. 24, 1575
" De Vere writes a letter to Burghley from Padua Nov. 27, 1575
Europe Giordano Bruno leaves Italy, travels in Europe 1576
  Mary Sidney marries Henry Herbert, 2nd earl of Pembroke, becoming countess of Pembroke 1577
Canterbury Marlowe enters King's School on a scholarship March, 1579
Salisbury? Birth of William Herbert, later 3rd earl of Pembroke April 8, 1580
Cambridge Marlowe enters Cambridge University on a scholarship Dec., 1580
Oxford Samuel Daniel at Oxford University for three years begin. on Nov. 17, 1581
Stratford Shakspere obtains license to marry Anne Whateley Nov. 22, 1582
" Shakspere obtains license to marry Anne Hathaway, who is 3-months pregnant Nov. 23, 1582
Penshurst, Kent Giordano Bruno visits England, promoting the Copernican idea of a sun-centered universe and his own theory of infinite inhabited worlds, an idea referred to tangentially in Hamlet. Bruno stays at the home of Sir Philip Sidney, brother of Mary Sidney, where he writes La Cena de le Ceneri [Pinksen], until the autumn of 1585 [Symonds] Spring, 1583
  Sir Thomas Walsingham III dies Jan. 15, 1584
Cambridge Marlowe receives bachelor's degree from Cambridge Spring, 1584
Wiltshire Birth of Sir Philip Herbert, later 1st earl of Montgomery & 4th earl of Pembroke Oct. 10, 1584
London Marlowe joins the secret service [Pinksen] ca 1585
Zutphen, Netherlands Sir Philip Sidney dies Oct. 17, 1586
Cambridge Marlowe receives master's degree only upon intercession of the Privy Council, after the suggestion that he had been at Rheims, a hotbed of Catholic plotting against the Protestant Elizabeth I. His Tamburlaine produced. Thomas Kyd enters the service of an unidentified noble (Henry Herbert? [Lukas Erne]) until 1593 1587
London "Shakespeare" writes Titus Andronicus, a revision of an old play using Marlowe's blank verse system, "... five-and-twenty or thirty years" before Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. Jonson more specifically places it "a dozen years" before his Cynthia's Revels of 1600, or in 1588. Some have attributed this play to Marlowe Between 1584 & 1589
[Ben Jonson, 1614]; or 1588 [Jonson, 1600]
" Mary Sidney moves to London Nov., 1588
" An earlier incarnation of Hamlet is mentioned by Thomas Nashe, suggesting a derivation from, or identity with, Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. A reference to the latter appears in Titus Andronicus 1589
Kent Sir Thomas Walsingham IV inherits Scadbury Manor in Kent Nov., 1589
London Robert Greene's Francesco's Fortunes, disparaging Edward Alleyn, appears 1590
France/Italy Samuel Daniel in France and Italy 1590–1591
London/Venice Marlowe enters the service of the same noble (Henry Herbert? [Lukas Erne]) as Kyd. He and Kyd write and room together in London. Bruno returns to Italy


London/Rome Marlowe's Edward II performed. Henry VI, Part 1 performed at Rose Theater. The pamphlet Groatsworth of Wit appears under the name of Robert Greene (though it has recently been attributed to the printer Henry Chettle) mentioning an actor called "Shake-scene" (identified by A. D. Wraight, Samuel Blumenfeld, and Daryl Pinksen as Edward Alleyn) portrayed as a usurer, a miser, a profiteer, and a paymaster who passed off others' work as his own. Giordano Bruno imprisoned 1592
London Possible entry into the Stationers' Record of Dr. Faustus Dec. 18, 1592
" Shakspere moves to London [Wraight] Early 1593
" Henry VI, Part 1, copyrighted by Thomas Millington March 12, 1593
" Black Death in London, possibly alluded to in The Two Gentlemen of Verona1 April, 1593
  Easter April 8, 1593 (Julian)
" Venus and Adonis copyrighted anonymously with an unattributed dedication to the earl of Southampton April 18, 1593
" Antagonistic letter appears on the Huguenot church wall intentionally referencing Marlowe's plays and clearly meant to direct suspicion toward him and Sir Walter Raleigh May 3, 1593
" Warrant issued by the Privy Council for the arrest of various writers in the matter of the Dutch Churchyard, as a result of which Thomas Kyd arrested May 11, 1593
London Warrant issued on the testimony of Kyd for the arrest of Marlowe May 18, 1593
Kent/London Marlowe arrested and released on bail May 20, 1593
  Whit Sunday (Pentecost) May 27, 1593 (Julian)

Marlowe supposedly murdered at Deptford in London, perhaps echoing other false deaths such as those of Socrates and King Arthur; purportedly flees to Scotland, then France, then Italy, where he writes the Italian plays [see below]

May 30, 1593
" Venus and Adonis published under the name "William Shakespeare" June, 1593
" Ingram Frizer pardoned by Elizabeth I for the supposed killing of Christopher Marlowe June 28, 1593
Asia/Europe Closest approach to earth of the Comet of 1593 (observed July 29Sep. 19 in Asia; August 4September 3 in Europe) Aug. 27, 1593
London Thomas Kyd writes that Marlowe had intended to flee to Scotland Sep., 1593

16 of 38 canonical plays published in quarto editions, 9 of these under the name "William Shakespeare." It is upon this evidence and the preface to the First Folio alone that the entire canon is attributed to "Shakespeare"

  Thomas Kyd translates Cornelia for Mary Sidney Before Jan., 1594
" The Rape of Lucrece (poem) published under "Shakespeare's" name. Thomas Kyd purportedly dies. Titus Andronicus quarto edition published. Creede and Millington publish 12mo edition of Henry VI, Part 1. Lord Strange's Men merged into Lord Chamberlain's Co. Shakspere first mentioned as an actor in the LCC. 1594
" First performance of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (including the character Saxon Bruno) by the Admiral's Men Oct., 1594

William Shakspere and two other men paid £20 for a performance of the Lord Chamberlain's Men in December of 1594. It is unclear in what capacity he was paid, though it is commonly assumed that he was an actor. This is the earliest recorded use of the name "William Shakespeare" by William Shakspere of Stratford [Price, 2012]

March, 1595
" Corrupt versions of Henry VI, Parts II & III, published anonymously under alternate titles 1595
London 8 non-canonical plays appear under the name "William Shakespeare," "W. Shakespeare," or "W. S." 1595–1611
Stratford/Salisbury? Shakspere buys New Place in Stratford. William Herbert's parents engaged in negotiating his marriage to Bridget de Vere 1597
London/Cambridge John Marston and Joseph Hall doubt the authorship of Venus and Adonis, ascribing it to someone they call Labeo, whom Marston Identifies with a heraldic motto used by Francis Bacon [Ros Barber] 1597–1598
London 1st performance of Henry VI, Part 1 After 1597
" William Herbert moves to London Spring, 1598
" First mention of the Sonnets in Palladis Tamia by Meres (when William Herbert was 17 or 18 years old). William Herbert moves to London 1598
London "Shakespeare's" Sonnets 138 & 144 published in The Passionate Pilgrim. Samuel Daniel becomes Poet Laureate 1599
Rome Giordano Bruno murdered by the Roman Inquisition Feb. 17, 1600
  Publication of Daniel's A Defence of Ryme, dedicated to William Herbert 1603
London Elizabeth dies. James I (James VI of Scotland) becomes king of England March 24, 1603
Wilton, Salisbury Mary Sidney mentions "Shakespeare" (AKA Daniel?) in a letter, now lost, to her son William Herbert requesting him to bring James I to Wilton House to see a performance of As You Like It, raising the possibility that Marlowe returned to England from Italy after the accession of James. The existence of the letter is mentioned in an entry to the journal of William Cory written at Wilton House on August 5, 1865 Late (?) 1603
London 1st quarto edition of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus 1604
Hackney, London Edward de Vere dies June 24, 1604
Salisbury? William Herbert marries Mary Talbot Nov. 4, 1604
London Publication of "Shakespeare's" Sonnets, dedicated to "WH" (William Herbert, son of Mary Sidney, nephew of Sir Philip Sidney, and brother-in-law of Susan de Vere). William, along with Philip, was a dedicatee of the First Folio as well as works by Giordano Bruno. The "well-wishing adventurer" again leaves England [dedication to the Sonnets] 1609
" Mary Sidney at Crosby Hall in London 16091615
Stratford Shakspere retires to Stratford Between 1611 & 1613
London Globe Theater burns during performance of Henry VIII, "a new play" [Henry Wotton] July 21, 1613
Waltham Henry Neville dies July 10, 1615
London 2nd quarto edition of Marlowe's Dr. Faustus appears, containing 676 new lines, suggesting that the author was alive in 1616 1616
Stratford William Shakspere, leaving a will that makes no reference to books, manuscripts, nor any other literary or scholarly items; is buried under an anonymous stone in Holy Trinity Church bearing the famous epitaph "... And curst be he that moves my bones" April 23, 1616 (the same day he was born)
Beckington Samuel Daniel dies Oct. 14, 1619
London Mary Sidney dies Sep. 25, 1621
Stratford Shakspere monument installed (by the freemasons?) with an inscription containing the rebus Christ-far More-ley2 Shortly before 1623
London William Herbert becomes Lord Chamberlaine. First Folio appears, including 20 plays not previously published, dedicated to William & Philip Herbert, sons of Mary Sidney. Publication of The Whole Works of Samuel Daniel, a quarto edition, dedicated to Queen Anne 1623
London? James I dies. Charles I becomes king March 27, 1625
London Francis Bacon dies April 9, 1626
  William Herbert dies, Philip Herbert becomes 4th earl of Pembroke April 10, 1630
  Thomas Walsingham IV dies Oct. 6, 1630
Stratford Sir William Dugdale sketches Shakspere monument showing no quill nor paper ca 1634
London Star Chamber abolished by the Habeas Corpus Act of 1640 1641
Chislehurst Scadbury, the Walsingham estate at Chislehurst, sold to Sir Richard Bettenson by Sir Thomas Walsingham V ca 1655
London Great London Fire Sep. 2–5, 1666
   Walsingham V dies 1669
 1"Like one that hath the pestilence."
This is a simplification of Peter Farey's "Christofer Marley" that he obtained using cryptographic as well as rebus elements.

Beyond the year of his purported death, Marlowe's life demonstrates another parallel with other members of the avataric succession. That is, he was swept up in the same theological madness that always threatened and often took the lives of some of the most important unconventional minds of the Christian Era. This opposition to the established religious order is often a key element in the biographies of our cometary avatars. Again, it is Marlowe who was the target of the British authorities, who charged him with atheism at a time when it was a capital offense to even suggest that the state religion of Britain, under the control of the queen and thus making atheism equivalent to treason, was based on something other than absolute fact.

 Daryl Pinksen, in Marlowe's Ghost, has trouble understanding why the Star Chamber continued to gather evidence against Marlowe even after his supposed death. He thinks they suspected that Marlowe was still alive. More likely, as we have already seen, the English version of the Roman Inquisition was planning on digging up Marlowe and placing him on trial—as they did with John Wycliffe for the high crime of translating the bible into the vernacular—presumably for his immortal soul, since his body was already in a state of advanced decay. One suspects that if Marlowe's place of burial were known, the ghouls of the Star Chamber would have had no qualms about repeating this demented practice. Fortunately for Marlowe, 1593 was a plague year, exacerbated, perhaps, by the effects of the Comet. No one in his right mind would have gone rummaging through the diseased remains of the dead in their common grave.


Enter the Freemasons

[Shakespeare] is a brontosaur:
nine bones and six hundred barrels of plaster of paris.
—Mark Twain, Is Shakespeare Dead?

In her last published book, A. D. Wraight makes reference to her forthcoming Legend of Hiram: Shakespeare & the Freemasons, in which she intends to demonstrate the connection between Marlowe and the Masons. Dolly Wraight died before she could finish this work, and those in possession of the manuscript claim that it contains no new information. One finds this difficult to fathom in that the title of the book suggests a direction not previously explored in any of Wraight's previous works. One can see by the following genealogical chart that Marlowe's employers in the secret service, first Francis Walsingham and then Baron Burghley, were closely related to two of the candidates for author of the plays and sonnets, and to other important literary figures of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, as well as William Herbert, grandmaster of the Freemasons.

Partial Genealogy of the Cecils, de Veres, Sidneys, and Herberts

It is Peter Bull, however, who notices the similarity between the death of Marlowe, according to the report of the queen's coroner at the hands of Ingram Frizer, an employee of Thomas Walsingham, at the house of Eleanor Bull in Deptford, and that of Hiram Abiff, supposedly King Solomon's architect and the founder of Freemasonry. Bull lists a series of similarities between the two events that include attacks on them by "three ruffians" and their point of assault "above the right eye." The relationship between Abiff and Solomon was fairly complex and hints at the true identity of the architect. The story of how Solomon engineered the death of his half-brother Adonijah is well known. Less well known is the charge that Solomon had Hiram Abiff, who is also known among the Freemasons as Adoniram, murdered. The name Adoniram is not a great linguistic distance from Adonijah, where the Hebrew theophoric "Jah" is replaced by the equally theophoric "Ram". Add to this the tradition that Hiram the architect was the father of King Hiram of Tyre and we have a fairly complex series of royal relationships described in the genealogical table in Chapter Seven, all revolving around the enigmatic Balkis Bath-Sheba.

From 1618 until 1630, William Herbert was grandmaster of the Freemasons. If the current author is correct, it was to William Herbert that the Sonnets were dedicated under the initials W.H. We must assume that before 1618 William was involved at a slightly lower rank. Though, if Thomas Thorpe, the printer of the Sonnets, were also a Freemason, it might suggest an explanation of why William Herbert was addressed as "Mr. W.H.," rather than by his position among the nobility, in that the relationship of the two gentlemen within the Masonic organization would have trumped their exoteric social status. More likely, however, the author was in the habit of referring to William Herbert as "Mr. William," having been employed in the household of his mother.


Mary Sidney, Samuel Daniel, and the Wilton Circle

Composite Image of Shakspere (from the Droeshout Engraving)
and Samuel Daniel (from the 1609 Edition of The Civil Wars)


The sweetest swan of Avon to the fair
And cruel Delia passionately sings;
Other men's weaknesses and follies are
Honour and wit in him; each accent brings
A sprig, to crown him poet, and contrive
A monument, in his own work, to live.
—George Daniel of Beswick, A Vindication of Poesy, 1647

David Kathman writes,

But there are some writers who exhibit more similarities to Shakespeare than usual, either because they influenced Shakespeare or were influenced by him. Samuel Daniel has been recognized for the last 200 years as one of the most pervasive influences on Shakespeare's writing, particularly in the Sonnets but extending throughout the canon. Shakespeare repeatedly appropriated Daniel's vocabulary, images, themes (compare Shakespeare's Sonnets 1-18 with sonnets 33-40 of Daniel's Delia), and even unusual grammatical constructions (such as the pattern "so [verb or adjective] as [adverbial modifier]," which is uncommon outside Shakespeare and Daniel). The parallels between Daniel and Shakespeare are much more extensive than those Sobran notes between Oxford and Shakespeare, and extend far deeper than superficial verbal parallels.

Peter Farey writes,

As far as I can discover, nobody has ever challenged this actual statement [that "only the (pro)creative author may be called a 'begetter' "],...

G. Blakemore Evans does take issue with Donald Foster's solution (that the "W.H." is a misprint), and makes much of that one exception (from Samuel Daniel's Delia), even though Foster made it quite clear that the normal usage is being consciously reversed by claiming that the inspirer rather than Daniel himself was the real author.

In both of these instances, Samuel Daniel appears exhibiting similarities to the language of the plays or to that of the Sonnets and their dedication. Is this some bizarre coincidence? These are not the only "coincidences."

Michael Prescott writes,

The satirical play Return [from] Parnassus [performed at St. John's College between 1599 and 1601, most likely in December of 1600] has a character quote lines from Romeo and Juliet as his own, prompting another character to quip, "Romeo and Juliet: o monstrous theft! I think he will run through a whole book of Samuel Daniel’s."

The conventional explanation of this line is that Daniel was being accused of borrowing from "Shakespeare." If the current author is correct, the author of the Parnassus plays clearly knew who "Shakespeare" really was, and we begin to suspect why no-one noticed when the grain dealer and part owner of the Globe Theater died in 1616. It must have been an open secret that he had written neither the plays nor the sonnets.

Romeo and Juliet is not the only work whose "Shakespearean" authorship was called into question by the author of Return from Parnassus, sometimes called "Part 1." Steven Steinberg (2013) makes the following point about Venus and Adonis in his attempt to identify the 17th earl of Oxford with the author using the pen name William Shake-speare:

No doubt some were envious of the success and quality of Venus and Adonis. No one was laughing at it. So, if the poem is not the joke, where else can the joke be but with the poet? How so? The only obvious satirical implication is that the fool Gullio has been gulled into worshipping the wrong person or a person who doesn't exist. An alternative to that conclusion would have to pass the test of audience comprehension. There is no such alternative.... The unavoidable implication of viewing the joke as a joke is that Shakspere's authorship was a sham and that the sham was an open secret.

This is not the only place where "Shakespeare" appears alongside a reference to Samuel Daniel. The following appears in a printed marginal note in Polimanteia of 1595 "beside praise of Samuel Daniel in the text," as quoted by Penny McCarthy in her Pseudonymous Shakespeare:

All praise worthy. Lucretia sweet Shakespeare. Eloquent Gaveston, Wanton Adonis. Watson's heir. So well graced Anthonie deserves immortal praise from the hand of that divine lady who like Corinna contending with Pindarus was often victorious. [modernized spelling and punctuation]

"That divine lady" is, of course, Mary Sidney, who translated Garnier's Antonie. "Shakespeare" was the author of Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, and Antony and Cleopatra. But why is this note next to a passage on Samuel Daniel who wrote The Tragedy of Cleopatra and A Letter from Octavia to Marcus Antonius and not elsewhere? Again, an open secret—despite scholarly attempts to muddy the waters, William Covell knew in 1595, as the author of Return from Parnassus knew in 1600 and George Daniel knew in 1647, that Daniel was "Shakespeare."

Along the same lines, Steven Steinberg (2013) reproduces a quotation from Henry Peacham's The Perfect Gentleman of 1622. Steinberg points out that Peacham's "list of writers who had made Elizabeth's reign a Golden Age of Literature" contains the names of various authors but not that of "Shakespeare." He suggests that this resulted from the author's knowledge that Edward de Vere, the earl of Oxford, was the author of "Shakespeare's" works and, therefore, listing the name of the man from Stratford would have been redundant. But Steinberg's logic applies to all of the names on the list, de Vere, Lord Buckhurst, Henry Lord Paget, Sir Philip Sidney, Edward Dyer, Edmund Spenser, and, of course, Samuel Daniel.

Of these, de Vere died in 1604, hence the obsession of the Oxfordians to show that the plays were written early; Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, in 1608; Henry Lord Paget, quite a minor figure, in 1569; Sidney in 1586; Dyer in 1607; and Spenser in 1599. Only Daniel makes any sense from a chronological point of view, having lived until 1619, though clearly there are many authors from this period not mentioned by Peacham (see the table below), so Steinberg's logic is flawed, though one would certainly expect someone as important as "Shakespeare" to be listed as a luminary of Elizabeth's reign if, indeed, he wasn't identical with one of the gentlemen listed.

Similarity of content and style also bears upon the question. In her attempt to show that Mary Sidney, the Countess of Pembroke, wrote the plays of "Shakespeare," among many works by many authors, Robin P. Williams (2006) lists the following from the pen of Daniel as sources of the plays:

Delia (1592)
The Complaint of Rosamond (1592)
The First Four Books of the Civil Wars (1595)
Musophilus (1599)
The Tragedy of Cleopatra (1599)
Letter from Octavia (1599)

The Complaint of Rosemond is echoed in The Rape of Lucrece, Love's Labour's Lost, and Romeo and Juliet. The First Four Books of the Civil Wars foreshadow Henry IV. The specific details of these and other parallels may be found in Henry R. D. Anders' Shakespeare's Books (Berlin 1904) beginning on page 85, available at Google Books. These include the supposed lifting almost untouched of "Romeo's words over the apparently dead Juliet" from "Henry's lament over the dead Rosamond," as noted by Rees (1964). The details of the derivation of Lucrece from The Complaint may be found in Henry Lee's introduction to the 1905 facsimile edition of Lucrece, beginning on page 18, also available at Google Books. On numerous occasions, critics have noticed the similarities between Daniel and "Shakespeare," but rather than draw the obvious conclusion, they have accused "Shakespeare" of borrowing from Daniel. More reasonably, the borrowing is illusory, the use of similar language and motives occurring within the production of a single author, sometimes writing in a more scholarly and literary vein under his own name, and sometimes writing in a more popular style for the public stage under a pseudonym.

Peter Ackroyd, in his Shakespeare: The Biography of 2006, sees borrowing in the other direction:

If Shakespeare borrowed from Daniel, then in turn the poet borrowed from the dramatist; some effects from Antony and Cleopatra become part of Daniel's verse drama on the same theme. So there was in a sense, a meeting of minds. Samuel Daniel is an image of what Shakespeare might have been—a writer of obscure country origins who, by dint of learning and skill, fashioned a career for himself as poet and retainer.

Specifically, Seronsy (1967), in his chapter on Daniel's production of "Senecan Closet Drama," suggests the influence of "Shakespeare's" Antony and Cleopatra on the 1607 revision of Daniel's Cleopatra. However, "Shakespeare's" work was not registered until 1608. The reader will appreciate the absurdity of this kind of parsing of influences, as if the two authors belonged to some kind of mutual admiration society, membership in which allowed them to continually use the work of the other. As long as Daniel and "Shakespeare" are seen as two different authors, the opportunities for scholars to analyse these supposed borrowings remain almost limitless.

 Peter Ackroyd also sees connections between "Shakespeare" and Mary Sidney:

There is another intriguing connection between The Rape of Lucrece and a noble family. It has been suggested that the poem was conceived and written under the auspices—or at least under the influence—of Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke.... She had ... created an informal network of literary patronage, and under her direction three neo-classical tragedies were written or translated from the French.... Each of these tragedies concentrated upon the sufferings of noble heroines, among them Cleopatra and Cornelia, and in deference to Mary Herbert takes an almost "feminist" reading of women betrayed by a hostile male world. The Rape of Lucrece is very much part of this tradition. It is not otherwise clear why Shakespeare would have chosen such an apparently unpromising subject. Samuel Daniel wrote a poem, The Complaint of Rosamond, and dedicated it to the Countess of Pembroke; this poem also expresses the sorrows of a suffering woman....

Talk about "close but no cigar."

Many of the works used by "Shakespeare" beyond those written by Daniel under his own name would have been available in the library of the Countess of Pembroke. Williams (2006) lists 219 works believed by scholars to have been used by "Shakespeare." And, of course, the knowledge and advice of the members of the Wilton Circle or those associated in other ways with Mary Sidney would have been close at hand to someone serving as tutor to Mary's children and living at Wilton House. This would tend to explain the indications seen by some that "Shakespeare" was a group effort, Mary Sidney serving, in that scenario, perhaps as a general editor. Among the works believed to have been used by "Shakespeare," many of which were foreign or classical in origin, 24 were written by Mary Sidney or her associates listed in the following table, including six by Samuel Daniel.

Persons Associated with Mary Sidney and Wilton House

Ident. Number Person
[Univ. Attended]
Lived Association Travels Known For Shakespearean Attributions5
1 Mary Sidney
1561–1621 Self   Wilton Circle, translation of the Psalms begun by #3, translation of Garnier's Marc Antoine, practiced alchemy All of "Shakespeare's" plays and sonnets
2 Robert Sidney
1563–1626 Brother   Sonnets, etc.  
3 Philip Sidney
1554–1586 Brother   Astrophil & Stella,
Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia
4 William Herbert
1580–1630 Son   Dedicatee of 1st Folio; and Sonnets?
tutored by #9
5 Philip Herbert
1584-1650 Son   Dedicatee of 1st Folio; tutored by #9  
6 Thomas Walsingham
1561–1630 In-law France Patron of Thomas Watson, Thomas Nashe, George Chapman, & Christopher Marlowe  
7 Francis Walsingham
1532–1590 In-law   Spymaster, received letters in 1586
from #9 in France, employer of #19
8 Edward de Vere
1550-1604 In-law Europe including Italy   The Italian and other plays
9 Samuel Daniel
[Oxford3 years]
1562–1619 Wilton Circle/tutor of her children/
taught poetry by her
France (1586),
France & Italy
The Collection of the History of England; Tragedy of Cleopatra; Delia; sponsored by Henry Wriothesley3, to whom Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were dedicated. A Defence of Ryme of 1603 was dedicated to William Herbert  
10 Edmund Spenser
1552/53–1599 Protégé/Wilton Cir   The Faerie Queene  
11 George Whetstone
ca 1549?–1587 Wilton Circle Italy Heptameron of Civil Discourses; Promos and Cassandra (source of Measure for Measure)  
12 Nicholas Breton
1545–1626 Wilton Circle   Religious and pastoral poetry, satires  
13 Walter Raleigh
[Oxford—one year]
1554?–1618 Wilton Circle Ireland,
South America
The Historie of the World; The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd (in response to Marlowe); El Dorado expedition  
14 Fulke Greville
1554–1628 Wilton Circle   Biog. of Philip Sidney; Antony & Cleopatra;2 mentor of Francis Bacon;
purported founder of The Areopagus,
supposed forerunner of the Wilton Circle
15 Thomas Watson
1557–1592 Wilton Circle   Latin poetry; Hekatompathia or Passionate Centurie of Love  
16 Thomas Kyd
1558–1594 Wilton Circle   The Spanish Tragedy, Soliman and Perseda; Tamburlaine? translator of Cornelia King Leir, The Troublesome Reign of King John, Titus Andronicus; an early version of Hamlet?
17 Abraham Fraunce
1558/60–1592/93 Wilton Circle   Victoria  
18 Michael Drayton
1563–1631 Wilton Circle   Idea, The Barons' Wars Co-author of Sir John Oldcastle;
The London Prodigal
19 Christopher Marlowe
1564–1593? Employee of #7; Wilton Circle?1 Scotland? N. Italy? 1&2 Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus 1,2,&3 Henry VI, Titus Andronicus; an early version of Hamlet?
20 William Alexander
ca 1567–1640 Wilton Circle France, Spain & Italy Aurora, The Monarchick Tragedies (Croesus, Darius, The Alexandrean, Julius Caesar), Doomes-day, 3rd Part of Sidney's Arcadia, mayor of Nova Scotia  
21 John Davies
[Oxford—18 months]
1569–1626 Wilton Circle   Hymnes of Astraea, Epigrams  
22 Samuel Brandon
fl ca 1598 Wilton Circle   The Virtuous Octavia4  
23 John Dee
1527–1608/09 Friend   On the Mystical Rule of the Seven Planets  
24 Arthur Golding
1536–1606 Friend   Translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses, which influenced "Shakespeare."  
25 John Harington
1560–1612 Friend   ... The Metamorphosis of Ajax; inventor of the flush toilet  
26 Giordano Bruno
1548–1600 Guest of #3 & #14 Europe incl. N. Italy La Cena de le Ceneri; De la Causa, Principio et Uno; De l'Infinito, Universo e Mondi  
 RED: Candidates for authorship of one or more of the plays.  PURPLE: The William Herbert–Samuel Daniel association.

 1At the very least, an acquaintance of Mary Sidney.  2"Lost."  3The 3rd earl of Southampton, pronounced "Rosely" or "Risely" or similar.  4Modeled after Daniel's Cleopatra
 5Known and purported. These include works published under the names "William Shakespeare," "W. Shakespeare," and "W. S.", whether or not they appeared in the First Folio or are generally considered part of the corpus. The point is to track the association of various authors with the pen name "William Shakespeare" or "Shake-speare."

While it has been suggested that the reference at the head of this section was lifted from Ben Jonson in his dedication to the First Folio, at the very least it shows that the "Avon" mentioned is the one associated with Mary Sidney (the Salisbury Avon) and not the Stratford Avon, either (through poetic license) the rivers Nadder and Wylye that feed the Avon and flow through the grounds of what was called Wilton Park in 1900, or the actual Avon that flowed past "Mary's seat at Ivychurch," the former Ivychurch priory east of Salisbury, as noted by Margaret P. Hannay in Philip's Phoenix. The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia is supposed to have been written at Ivychurch.

Furthermore, "Delia's home [was] near the Avon," according to sonnet 48 of the 1892 edition of Delia, as noted by Joan Rees (1964). The passage reads:

   No no my verse respects nor Thames nor theaters,
Nor seeks it to be known unto the great:
But Avon rich in fame, though poor in waters,
Shall have my song, where Delia hath her seat.
   Avon shall be my Thames, and she my song;
   I'll sound her name the river all along.

Again, this is clearly not a reference to Stratford. It should also be pointed out that the Thames flows past Oxford University, a fact that will become important shortly. Thus, by "my Thames," Daniel appears to mean his equivalent of Oxford University where he had studied for three years. He now was being instructed by Mary Sidney, and perhaps other members of the Wilton Circle.

Map of Wilton House and Environs

to be continued


The Author in Italy

Richard Roe (2011) presents solid evidence that whoever wrote the plays had on-the-ground knowledge of northern Italian locations. According to Fred Faulkes (2007), Daniel was in France and Italy during most of 1590 and 1591.

Geographical Settings of the Contemporary and Medieval Italian Plays

Plays in the Order
Used by Richard Roe1
Italian Setting Italian State First Published
or Mentioned
Dating of
Harold Bloom11
Romeo and Juliet Verona, Mantua Venice, Mantua 15973 1595–1596
The Two Gentlemen of Verona Verona, Milan, Mantua Venice, Milan, Mantua 15984 1592–1593
The Taming of the Shrew Padua, [Pisa] Venice, [Tuscany] 15945 1593–1594
The Merchant of Venice Venice, [Padua], "Belmont"2 Venice, [Venice], Venice 15984,6 1596–1597
Othello Venice, "Belmont"2 Venice, Venice before 1598?7 1604–1605
A Midsummer Night's Dream Sabbioneta Sabbioneta (SW of Mantua) 15984,6 1595–1596
Alls Well That Ends Well (France), Florence Tuscany 1623 1602–1603
Much Ado about Nothing Messina Sicily 15996,8 1598–1599
The Winter's Tale Sicily 1610–16119 1610–1611
The Tempest Vulcano Island, near Sicily? Sicily? Prospero=Duke of Milan 1610–161110 1611–1612
 []=Mentioned but not visited.

 1Roe (2011).  2This would appear to be the Villa Foscari on the river Brenta.
Quarto edition published in 1597. "Weever in an epigram" (1599): Stokes (1878). The quarto suggests that it had already been performed multiple times.
 4Meres in Palladis Tamia of 1598.  5First quarto edition.  6Quarto edition published in 1600. 
Parodied in Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humor (Steinberg, 2013). Possibly mentioned in the Accounts of the Revels at Court of 1604. Quarto edition published in 1622.
 8Registration.  9Stokes (1878). Performed at Globe Theater in May of 1611.
 10Stokes (1878).  Eslava's book of tales, Winter Nights, was published in Spain in 1609. Performed at court by the King's Company in 1611.  11Steinberg (2013).

In Italy, Daniel met Sir Edward Dymoke, to whom he had dedicated his translation of The Worthy Tract of Paulus Jovius in 1585. Johanna Procter, quoted in Selene Scarsi's Translating Women in Early Modern England, calls Daniel "an excellent Italianist, with a wide knowledge of Italian literature." Unlike the Stratford Shakspere, one finds no problem in explaining the Salisbury one's knowledge of Italian geography. That Daniel was in Italy is not just speculation or surmise, According to June Schlueter (2012), during that time the Austrians were in the habit of keeping what are now called autograph books. It seems that Daniel's companion in crossing the Alps was Erhard Grünthaler, whose Stammbuch Daniel signed in 1591. Since Erhard and his brother crossed the Alps in 1590 and Daniel's signature is sandwiched between entries for Padua, it seems that he was there on June 30, 1591, and had already been in Italy the year before, though the entry locates it at "Augusta," perhaps a reference to the nearby Villa Augusta. Romeo and Juliet, set in Verona west of Padua, was already in publication by 1597, having been acted many times before. In the same year its authorship was being ascribed to Samuel Daniel in a performance of Return to Parnassus at St John's College.

One of the two possible routes available to Daniel would have taken him along the Via Claudia Augusta, an old Roman road that ran from Donauswörth south of Nuremburg all the way to Verona, the site of the partially historical events of 1302 dramatized in Romeo and Juliet, and on to the port town of Ostiglia on the Po from which they would have traveled by boat to Padua. If Daniel was indeed "Shakespeare," we can fill in his itinerary in Italy with the locations of his contemporary and Medieval Italian plays. Thus, besides Verona and Padua, he would have visited Milan, Mantua, Venice, "Belmont" (the Villa Foscari on the Brenta), Sabbioneta, Florence, and even Messina in Sicily far to the south, perhaps taking a short boat ride to Vulcano Island off the northern coast.

Map of Northern Italy ca 1591

As a student of British and Italian history, Daniel would have been familiar with the main characters in "Shakespeare's" historical plays, as well as others containing historical elements:

Historical Dates of the Events Described in Some of the Plays

Plays in Order of
Historical Events
Dates of Characters
and Events Described
Supposed Main Literary Source5 (Date)
Troilus and Cressida Trojan War (1195–1186 BC) Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde (ca AD 1380)
King Lear (or Leir) Ruled from 848-788 BC Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande (1587)
Timon of Athens Lived during the 5th century BC William Painter's Palace of Pleasure (1566)
Coriolanus " Plutarch's Lives, Thomas North translation (1612); William Camden's Remains of a Greater Work Concerning Britain (1605)
Julius Caesar Assassinated in 44 BC Plutarch's Lives (1579)
Antony and Cleopatra Committed suicide in 30 BC As above, plus Daniel's Cleopatra (1593)
Cymbeline (Kymbelinus) Fl ca AD 1 Holinshed's Chronicles, second edition (1587)
Macbeth Died in AD 1057 Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), Daemonologie of King James (1597)
King John Died in AD 1216 The Troublesome Reign of King John (1591)6
Hamlet (Amlodhi of the famous mill) Before 12201 Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (bet 1582 & 1592)7
The Winter's Tale Partly 13th century with later elements Robert Greene's Pandosto (1588)
Romeo and Juliet Mainly 1302 with later elements William Painter's Palace of Pleasure (1566)
Richard II Died in 1400 Holinshed's Chronicles, 2nd edition (1587), Samuel Daniel's
The First Four Books of the Civil Wars (1595)5
Henry IV (2 plays) Died in 1413 " "
Henry V Died in 1422 " "
Henry VI (3 plays) Died in 1471 Edward Hall's The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548), Holinshed's Chronicles (1587)
Richard III Died in 1485 Holinshed's Chronicles, second edition (1587)
Two Gentlemen of Verona Imperial visit of 15332 Montemayor's Los Siete Libros de la Diana (French: 1578), Elyot's The Boke Named the Governour (1531), Sidney's The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (Mary Sidney edition: 1593)
Henry VIII Died in 1547 Holinshed's Chronicles, second edition (1587)
Othello After 15583/after 15704 Cinthio's "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi
(1565 or 1583)8
The Merchant of Venice After 15743 Giovanni Fiorentino's Il Pecorone (1558), Alexandre Sylvane's The Orator (English transl. 1596), Gesta Romanorum
(13th cent.)
  Red: Direct associations with Wilton House.

 1First appears as "Amleth" in the Gesta Danorum of Saxo Grammaticus (ca AD 1150–ca 1220).  2Charles V of Spain at Milan (March 10 thru March 14).
 3Villa Foscari (Belmont) constructed in 1558, visited by the Marquis of Montferrat in July of 1574 (Magri, 2003).
 4As noted by Roe (2011), the later acts of Othello unfold against the background of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus of 1570.
 5For the British plays, one has to assume a congruence of sources among Daniel's History of England, his Civil Wars, and the plays.
 6Later published under the names W. Sh. and W. Shakespeare.
 7A version of Hamlet was performed on the London stage at least as early as 1588.
 8Roe (2011) reports the contention of the Arden Shakespeare that Othello derives from the Italian Gli Hecatommithi (1565) by Cinthio (Giovanni Battista Geraldi), the French translation thereof (1583), or an unknown English translation (before the one of 1753). Both the Italian and French editions fit the linguistic abilities of Samuel Daniel quite well. There is no evidence that the grain trader from Stratford could read either language. Considering the author's knowledge of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, this play could not have been written before 1570. That the author was familiar with the city of Venice, as confirmed by Roe, suggestsassuming that it was written by Danielthat the play could not have been written before his visit to Italy in 1590 and 1591. The latter dates would allow either the 1565 or 1583 edition as source material.


The Author in Time

Comparing the life and works of Samuel Daniel with the first references to the works of "Shakespeare," we have the following:

Chronology of the Life and Credited Works of Samuel Daniel Aligned with the Earliest References to the Works of "Shakespeare"

Event {publication dedicated to} Loc.9 Date Synchronous "Shakespearean" Work {dedicated to}10 Date
(Birth of John Florio)   1553    
(Elizabeth I becomes queen). Marriage of Thomas Daniel and Magdalyn Denman at Philips Norton north of Beckington (June 30)1   1558    
Birth of Samuel Daniel near Beckington, Somerset1   1562 or 1563    
(Birth of Penelope Devereux [Lady Rich, perhaps the model for Philip Sidney's Stella and "Shakespeare's" Cleopatra])   1563    
Thomas Daniel baptised at Beckington1   1567    
(Birth of Henry Wriothesley)   Oct. 6, 1573    
Editha Daniell baptised at Beckington1   1574    
Florio teaches Italian at Oxford1 (until 1583)   1580    
Began his studies at Magdalen Hall at Oxford University2 (until 1584). This date was earlier thought to be 1579   Nov. 17, 1581    
Daniel meets John Florio and Robert Ashley at Oxford3 ?
Giordano Bruno begins to lecture at Oxford, meets Daniel?3. (Charles Blount [pron. Blunt] arrives in London)   1583    
Sir Edward Dymoke at Rome (1584 or earlier)1,
becomes Daniel's patron3
Samuel's unnamed sister marries Florio1,4 ? by 1585    
Publication of his translation of Paolo Giovio's Dialogo dell'Imprese of 1555: The Worthy Tract of Paulus Jovius: Containing a Discourse of Rare Inventions, both Military and Amorous Called Imprese1,3 {Sir Edward Dymoke ("Champion to her Majesty")}. Daniel leaves England for France, perhaps to study at the Sorbonne (ca December)2 ? 1585
Letter from Daniel in France to Francis Walsingham2   March, 1586    
Servant of Edward Stafford, ambassador to France2   bet Mar. & May thru August of 1586    
Letter from Daniel in Paris to Walsingham (May 20)2. Daniel returns to England at Rye (Sept. 4)2   1586    
In the service of Mary Sidney for three years? (until 1589)   1587    
(Mary Sidney moves to London [Nov.])   1588 Titus Andronicus written, according to Ben Jonson 1588
    1589 Hamlet mentioned in Thomas Nashe's introduction to Robert Greene's Metaphon11 1589
(Birth of Lady Anne Clifford [Jan. 30]. Mary Sidney completes her translation of Garnier's Antonie [Nov. 26])   1590    
Travels in France and Italy. Crosses the Alps with Erhard Grünthaler sometime after March 13, 15902,5   15901591    
Autograph of Daniel at "Augusta" (Villa Augusta northeast of Padua?)5   June 30, 1591    
Daniel and Sir Edward Dymoke meet Battista Guarini in Italy, possibly at Padua (Guarini's villa was there). Also meets Robert Tofte. 27 sonnets published with Astrophel and Stella along with poems by the earl of Oxford5   1591    
Daniel back in England2   by Nov., 1591    
Registration of Delia {Mary Sidney, countess of Pembroke6} and The Complaint of Rosemond (about Rosemond Clifford), Delia having been partially written in Italy and being a reminiscence of his separation from Mary Sidney while there, implying that he knew her at least as early as 1590 when William Herbert was 9 or 10 years old   Feb. 4, 15922 1 Henry VI performed at Rose Theater March 3, 1592
(Publication of Mary Sidney's translation of Garnier's Antonie [Marc Antoine]. Aemilia Bassano marries Alfonso Lanier [Oct.18]). Daniel in the service of Dymoke at Lincoln1   1592    
Daniel becomes tutor to William Herbert.
(Comet of 1593 [perihelion on July 19])
  1593 Publication of Venus and Adonis {Henry Wriothesley12, the earl of Southampton} 1593
Publication of The Tragedy of Cleopatra (registered Oct. 19, 15933) {the countess of Pembroke}, containing an identification of the mind with a temple7. Daniel loses the patronage of Mary Sidney1. (Charles Blount becomes Lord Mountjoy)   1594  Publication of The Rape of Lucrece {the earl of Southampton} using the same rhyme-royal stanza developed by Daniel in his Complaint of Rosamond and later used in "Shakespeare's" A Lover's Complaint; also containing an identification of the mind with a temple7. Publication of Titus Andronicus*, 1 Henry VI, and The Taming of the Shrew*. Publication of a corrupt version of 2 Henry VI. Early performance of A Comedy of Errors. Hamlet performed at the Rose Theater? 1594
Publication of the first four books of The Civil Wars (registered Oct. 11, 1594). Fulke Greville tries to find Daniel a parsonage2. Daniel goes to live with Lord Mountjoy1 Crisis1 1595 Publication of a corrupt version of 3 Henry VI*.
First mention of Richard III. Earliest recorded use of the name "William Shakespeare" by William Shakspere of Stratford (March)
    1596   1596
    1597 Publication of Romeo and Juliet and Richard II, both of which contain parallels with Samuel Daniel. Antony and Cleopatra is also mentioned in this regard. The "book," Romeo and Juliet, was mentioned in Return from Parnassus, ca 1600 1597
(Baron Mountjoy buys Wanstead Hall in northeastern London. Wanstead became the home of Mountjoy's library, mentioned by Daniel and stocked with books recommened by Sir Robert Cotton and others)   1598 First mention of a small number of the Sonnets; First mention of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, based in part on Philip Sidney's Arcadia of 159013, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Love's Labour's Lost, also based in part on Sidney's Arcadia13, King John and Love's Labour's Won (All's Well That Ends Well?).
Registration of 1 & 2 Henry IV. Hamlet and Othello parodied in Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humor11
Daniel becomes poet laureate for a short time. Publication of "Musophilus" {Fulke Greville, signed "Muse"}, "A Letter from Octavia to Marcus Antonius" {Lady Margaret Clifford, the countess of Cumberland}, and the first five books of The Civil Wars in Poetical Essays {Lord Mountjoy}3   1599 Registration of Much Ado about Nothing. First mention of Julius Caesar 1599
Daniel becomes tutor to Lady Anne Clifford, daughter of the countess of Cumberland and later husband of Philip Herbert and countess of Pembroke, later still countess dowager of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery3,8. First three acts of Philotas written while "living in the country" (Lillford House? ca 1600). Performance of the satire Return from Parnassus at St. John's College, Cambridge, in which one of the characters ascribes Romeo and Juliet to Samuel Daniel (ca 1600)   1600 Publication of The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Henry IV, Henry V, and As You Like It.
References to Romeo and Juliet, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece in the anonymous Return from Parnassus (ca 1600)
Authored Panegyricke Congratulatorie to His Majesty
{James I, presented in 1603}
  1601 Allusion to Julius Caesar in Weaver's Mirror of Martyrs. Performance of Twelfth Night. Publication by Edward Blount of "The Phoenix and the Turtle[dove]" in Love's Martyr, by Robert Chester 1601
Translated Il Pastor Fido by Giambattista Guarini {Sir Edward Dymoke}   1602 Publication of The Merry Wives of Windsor 1602
Daniel leaves Lady Anne, becomes master of the queen's revels and a groom to Queen Anne3,8. Publication of "An Epistle to Henry Wriothesley," "An Epistle to Lady Margaret," and "An Epistle to Lady Anne," in an edition of Panegyricke Congratulatorie. Publication of In Defence of Rhym by Edward Blount {William Herbert, earl of Pembroke1}. (Performance of As You Like It at Wilton House for James I, possibly in the presence of "William Shakespeare"
[December 2]. James was at Wilton from October 24 until December 12)
  1603 Registration of Troilus and Cressida 1603
Publication of The Vision of the Twelve Goddesses {Lucy Russell, countess of Bedford}. Performance of Philotas. Publication of The Queen's Arcadia {Queen Anne, wife of James I}. Philotas possibly staged3. John Daniel, his brother (and perhaps mistaken for his father), graduates from Oxford with a degree in music (July 14)1   1604 Originally thought to be forged references in the Revels Records to Measure for Measure and Othello.
Othello performed at court (November 1)11
 Publication by Edward Blount and Simon Waterson of Certain Small Works including Philotas {Prince Henry, son of James I}
and Ulysses and the Siren. The Queen's Arcadia acted at Christ Church, Oxford, before the queen (August)
  1605   1605
(Lord Mountjoy dies, April 3)   1606 Performance of King Lear, based in part on Sidney's Arcadia13. Reference to the Gunpowder Plot (1605) and its aftermath (1606) in Macbeth?
(after 1605)
 Publication of a revised edition of Cleopatra ("The tragedy of Cleopatra newly altred")   1607 Registration of King Lear 1607
Daniel at a farm (in Beckington, rented with the aid of the earl of Hertford) and doing business in London3     1608 Possible reference to Timon of Athens in John Day's Humour Out of Breath. Possible registration of Pericles by Edward Blount. Registration of Antony and Cleopatra by Edward Blountt(May 20), purportedly based in part on Daniel's Cleopatra (1594) as well as Mary Sidney's translation of Garnier's Antonie (1595) 1608
Publication of the eight book Civil Wars {the countess of Pembroke}. Daniel "adventuring" in Sicily? (see quotation from "Shakespeare's" Sonnets at head of chapter)   ? 1609 Publication of the Sonnets by Thomas Thorpe,
a friend of Edward Blount
{WH (William Herbert)}
with A Lover's Complaint.
Publication of Troilus and Cressida and Pericles,
passages of the latter of which appear to have been derived
from Sidney's Arcadia, as well as the name itself13
Publication of Tethys' Festival or the Queenes Wake (not included in The Whole Works ... of 1623)     1610 Allusion to Othello in Jonson's Alchemist? 1610
1611 A Winter's Tale performed at the Globe Theater. The Tempest performed at court. Cymbeline performed 1611
Publication of the History of England (through Edward III) {Sir Robert Carr, Viscount Rochester}     1612 Coriolanus appears to be based on the 1612 edition of Plutarch's Lives13 1612 or later?
      1613 Henry VIII performed at the Globe Theater, during which the Globe burned to the ground 1613
Retires to Beckington8   1614 or 1615    
Publication of Hymen's Triumph (presented in 1614) {Queen Anne} 1615  
(Birth of George Daniel)   1616    
Publication of the remainder of his History of England
(through Richard III) {Queen Anne}
(Anne of Denmark dies, March 2.) "Mrs. Daniell" (his wife?) buried in Beckington northwest of Salisbury (March 25)1. Samuel Daniel, retired, dies on his farm at Beckington. Buried in Beckington churchyard
(October 41)
(Mary Sidney dies)   Sep. 25, 1621    
Publication of the quarto edition, The Whole Works of Samuel Daniel {Prince Charles (dedication by John Daniel, his brother)}   1623 Publication by Edward Blount and William Jaggard of the First Folio dedicated to the sons of Mary Sidney {William & Philip Herbert}, in which Ben Jonson calls "Shakespeare" "sweet swan of Avon" 1623
(Henry Wriothesley dies) Nov. 10, 1624
(Charles I becomes king. John Florio dies of the plague8)   1625    
Publication of George Daniel's Vindication of Poesy, in which he calls Samuel Daniel "the sweetest swan of Avon"   1647    
(Great London Fire)   1666    
 RED: First publication of works by Samuel Daniel.  BLUE: Earliest references to substantially completed works of "Shakespeare."  PURPLE: Dedications of the works.
 GREEN and WHITE: Publication or registration by Edward Blount.
: At Beckington.  BLUE LOCATION: At Oxford University.  YELLOW LOCATION: At Lincoln with Dymoke.  RED LOCATION: In France.
: At Wilton House for 5 years total.  GREEN LOCATION: In Italy.  GRAY LOCATION: In London with Lord Mountjoy.
 CYAN LOCATION: At Clerkenwell Green in London and Lillford (Lilford) House in Northamptonshire (home of the Elmes family) as tutor to Lady Anne Clifford.
 PURPLE LOCATION: At court as groom of the privy chamber to Anne of Denmark, queen consort of James I. Part of this time, beginning sometime around 1608 but not continuously thereafter, he was living at the "garden house" near London owned by Simon Waterson.

Performed by The Earl of Pembroke's Men.

 1Rees (1963).  2Eccles (1937).  3Seronsy (1967).  4Anthony à Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses (Oxfordian Athens [Athens=university town]) of 1691.
Schlueter (2012).  6
Daniel spells this "Pembrooke," suggesting its proper pronunciation.  7Counterfitting Shakespeare, by Brian Vickers.
Selections from the Poetical Works of Samuel Daniel, by John Morris (1855).  9Dates of these are approximate.
 10The quartos of "Shakespeare's" plays generally contain no author's dedications.  11Steinberg (2013)  12Most likely pronounced "Rosely" or "Risely."  13Stokes (1878).

Joan Rees (1964) presents two chronological clues from Delia, though she sees them as two versions of a single clue. In sonnet 26 of the 1592 edition, Daniel claims that he has served Delia for three years:

   My privilege of faith could not protect it,
That was with blood and three years witness signed:
In all which time she never could suspect it,
For well she saw my love, and how I pined.

The implication is that Daniel was continuously employed by Mary Sidney for three years sometime before the first pirated edition of Delia appeared in 1591. Despite Rees, who thinks that Daniel did not enter the employ of Mary Sidney until 1592, this period can be determined rather precisely. Daniel left Oxford in 1584, which year Edward Dymoke became his patron. In 1585 he published his translation of Paolo Giovio's Dialogo dell'Imprese of 1555 dedicated to Dymoke and late that year he left for France, where he remained until September of 1586. In 1590 and 1591, Daniel was in Italy, at least part of the time with Edward Dymoke. He returned to England late in 1591 and by the next year he was again in the employ of Dymoke before again entering the service of Mary Sidney. The three years when Daniel was in the employ of the countess must therefore have been sometime between September of 1586 and March of 1590. This is a rather narrow window, suggesting that the vast majority, if not all, of Daniel's service—at that time—occurred during the years from 1587 until 1589. This is the period during which Samuel Jonson claimed that Titus Andronicus was written. In 1589, we have the earliest known mention of Hamlet, after Mary Sidney, and presumably Samuel Daniel, had moved to London.

By the edition of 1601, in which they are found in sonnet 28, the years of service have increased to five, the following version being from the final memorial edition of 1623 in which they are found in sonnet 31:

   No privilege of faith could it protect,
Faith being with blood, and five years witness sign'd,
Wherein no show gave cause of least suspect,
For well thou saw'st my love and how I pin'd.

This suggests two possible explanations. Either Daniel had only worked for Mary Sidney an additional two years before 1601, or the line was modified after five years of service, perhaps in 1594, and never changed thereafter. In fact, the wording remained "five years" for the rest of Delia's publishing history. According to Joan Rees (1964), Daniel lost the patronage of Mary Sidney sometime between the registrations of Cleopatra on the 19th of October, 1593, and the "first instalment" of The Civil Wars on the 11th of October, 1594. This fits perfectly with the notion that Daniel left the service of Mary Sidney in 1594, after a total of five years of service. 

As for the suggestion in the dedication to "Shakespeare's" Sonnets, published in 1609 and quoted at the beginning of this chapter, that the author was off adventuring at the time of publication, thus explaining certain defects in the publication, it should be noted that two of "Shakespeare's" Sicilian plays appear to have been written between 1610 and 1611. The argument for those dates may be found in the work of Henry Paine Stokes at Cambridge in 1878. They suggest that the author was in Sicily just prior to that time and that he visited Vulcano Island during his stay there. We can therefore place Daniel tentatively in Sicily in 1609 and perhaps into 1610.

to be continued


The Spear Shaker

The name "Shakespeare" had no prominence
while he lived because the Elizabethans knew
what the troglodytes wish you never to find out;
"Shakespeare" or "to shake a spear" meant
nom de plume.
The name "Shakespeare" was attached to any play
when the author wished to remain anonymous.
—Keir Cutler in his performance, Is Shakespeare Dead? [12:20]
based in part on Mark Twain's book of the same name

Among the supporters of various candidates for author of "Shakespeare's" plays, it has been noted that the plays often appeared in print under the name William Shake-speare, with a hyphen, indicating to them that the name was a pseudonym—a pen name. Some have even gone so far as to make the connection with Athena, the "spear shaker" of Greek mythology. The story is that when the sun reflected off of the spear of her statue, it appeared to shake. Though Athena was the goddess of knowledge and learning among other things, as noted by some of these authors, among them Paul Hemenway Altrocchi, in To All the World Must Die, what has not been addressed is how this identification with Athena related to the biography of any particular author. However, one does not have to search very far to find evidence of the origin of this reference to Athena. It turns out that a book written by Anthony à Wood, the one that serves as the only solid evidence that Samuel Daniel's unnamed sister married John Florio, was called Athenæ Oxonienses, meaning "Oxfordian Athens," Athens suggesting a classical university town and cultural center. The book is a history of the authors and bishops who attended Oxford University and its title is important in that it directly connects Oxford to the ancient city of Athens and its local goddess, Athena. Thus, the hyphenated name "Shake-speare" points to someone who studied at Oxford. This is our first clue, but not our last.

In 1998, John Dougill published a book entitled Oxford in English Literature: The Making, and Undoing, of the 'English Athens'. In which he refers us to the work of William Camden, who died in 1623 in Chislehurst where Thomas Walsingham was buried, the same year as the publication of the First Folio and The Whole Works of Samuel Daniel. In Camden's words, originally published in Latin in 1586 in his Britannia and shortly thereafter translated into English,

Where the Cherwell flows along with the Isis, and meets it; and where their divided streams make several little sweet and pleasant islands, is seated on a rising vale the most famous University of Oxford, in Saxon Oxenford; our most noble Athens, the seat of our English Muses, the prop and pillar, nay the sun, the eye, the very soul of the nation: the most celebrated fountain of wisdom and learning, from whence Religion, Letters, and Good Manners, are plentifully diffused through the whole Kingdom. A delicate and most beautiful city, whether we respect the neatness of private buildings, or the stateliness of public structures, or the healthy and pleasant situation. For the plain on which it stands is walled in, as it were, with hills of wood, which keeping out on one side the pestilential south wind; and on the other the tempestuous west, admit only the purifying east, and the north which disperses all unwholesome vapour. From which delightful situation, authors tell us, it was heretofore called Bellositum. [emphasis added]

The Cherwell is to the east of Oxford, the Isis (or Thames) to the south and west. Clearly, the identification of Oxford University with ancient Athens was current in the late 16th century. Neither Mary Sidney, nor Christopher Marlowe, nor Francis Bacon, nor even the 17th earl of Oxford attended Oxford University. Samuel Daniel, on the other hand, studied at Oxford—though for only three years—as did William Stanley and, for a brief time, Sir Walter Raleigh. Both Mary Sidney's brothers and her sons attended Oxford. There is, thus, a deep Oxford connection to the productions of the Wilton Circle.

 to be continued


Shakespeare and Shakspere, Conspiracy or Coincidence?

It is a curious fact that all the writings
were put forth in the name of
very often printed with a hyphen,
as I have given it above,
while in every one of the five cases
where the man's signature has come down to us,
he spells his name
—Ignatius Donnelly, The Great Cryptogram, Book 1

Two names, one the nom de plume of a well known poet and author augmenting his income by writing for the less than respectable public stage, the other the almost exclusively theater-related spelling of the name of a small-time broker and part owner of the Globe Theater engaged, on occasion, in playing minor roles at said theater; these two gentlemen were both connected to the Globe, one as management and the other as playwright, and at some point around 1594 or 1595 their names were confounded, so that the broker was given credit for the works of the playwright and the playwright was robbed of his position as author of the greatest works ever written in the English language. This confusion may not have been accidental, the broker being less than a shining example of ethics and moral rectitude, having hoarded grain during a shortage and engaged in other questionable activities, and the poet not finding himself in a position to challenge the authorship claims of the broker for reasons of social standing and reputation.

It is the position of the current author that the similarity of the names Shake-speare and Shakspere was entirely coincidental and that they never referred to the same person. In this regard, it is his contention that they are not, as commonly claimed by the believers in the legend of Stratford upon Avon, simply variant spellings of the same name. They are different names and refer to different people with entirely different biographies and the identification of the plays of the one with the name of the other may very well have resulted from the greed of a social climber who adventitiously found himself in a position to take advantage of the similarity of his name to the pseudonym of the other.

Applying Occam's razor, the current author further asserts that the notion that William Shakspere was somehow engaged in a complex conspiracy to protect the identity of the playwright—thought by some to have been the fugitive Christopher Marlowe, in mortal fear for his life—is totally specious. In short, Shakspere was not in cahoots with the true author of the works of "Shake-speare," he was operating on his own and his motives were purely mercenary and self serving. Most likely, attempts to identify Shakspere with "Shake-speare" after the former's death resulted from ignorance and wishful thinking rather than intentional misdirection. Even so, knowledge of the name of the true author survived at least until 1647, as evidenced by the application of the expression "sweetest swan of Avon" to the historian, sonneteer, and playwright Samuel Daniel, even as the myth of the Stratfordian "Shakespeare" was taking root. In short, it is only by completely dissociating Shakspere from "Shake-speare" that one is able to make any sense at all of the various conundrums that arise in trying to connect the broker with the literary works.


[Chapter Twenty-One: 4375 BC—Orion in India]


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