Skip to comments.Cryptic Signatures That ‘Prove Shakespeare Was a Secret Catholic’
Posted on 12/22/2009 6:50:24 AM PST by marshmallow
Three mysterious signatures on pages of parchment bound in leather and kept under lock and key may prove the theory that William Shakespeare was a secret Catholic who spent his lost years in Italy.
An exhibition at the Venerable English College, the seminary in Rome for English Catholic priests, has revealed cryptic names in its guest books for visiting pilgrims, suggesting that the playwright sought refuge there.
Arthurus Stratfordus Wigomniensis signed the book in 1585, while Gulielmus Clerkue Stratfordiensis arrived in 1589.
According to Father Andrew Headon, vice-rector of the college and organiser of the exhibition, the names can be deciphered as [King] Arthurs [compatriot] from Stratford [in the diocese] of Worcester and William the Clerk from Stratford.
A third entry in 1587, Shfordus Cestriensis, may stand for Sh[akespeare from Strat]ford [in the diocese] of Chester, he said.
The entries fall within the playwrights missing years between 1585, when he left Stratford abruptly, and 1592, when he began his career as playwright in London.
There are several years which are unaccounted for in Shakespeares life, Father Headon said, adding that it was very likely that the playwright had visited Rome and was a covert Catholic.
The Shakespeare entries are being kept in the colleges archive for security reasons but have been reproduced for the exhibition, which illustrates the history of the college from its origins as a medieval pilgrims hospice to a refuge for persecuted Catholics during the Reformation.
Set in the colleges extensive 14th-century crypt, the exhibition conveys the clandestine atmosphere of underground Catholicism, with its spies and priests bolt holes. It traces the secret journeys made by Catholics to Rome and by Jesuit priests from Rome to England to defend their faith despite the risk of being caught, tortured and martyred.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
Someone recently observed in “First Things” that all Crackpots have a theory about Shakespeare. I think this is true, based on my observation of my own family’s frightfully numerous Crackpots.
I have no theory about Shakespeare, which demonstrates (whew!) that I am not a Crackpot.
This thing has a 3 ft wingspan.
Now, returing to Shakespeare, his daughter and Marlowe's son were early Jamestown VA settlers.
There, work with that one remembering that Shakespeare, like others of his age, believed the New World was inhabited by fantastic beings ~ so maybe he was in King Powhatan's Court!
So, is it the cryptic signature of the “real” Shakespeare, or one of the guys suspecting of actually writing the plays (pretending to be Shakespeare), or what?
So it looks like Willie the Shake might have been a pioneer in the modern Exodus from Anglicanism.
Why, that explains *everything*! (Except the crow ... is it trash day on your street?)
My observation that every Crackpot has a theory was not a comment about the merits of the theory itself.
Oh, the irony!
“First Things” contributors aren’t *all* crackpots!
I’ve long felt he was Catholic just from reading his works.
I’ve always thought that there was a sliver of truth in the theory that Shakespeare was a Catholic. His plays and writings all have a virtue to them. How about “A Christmas Carol” for instance?
My favorite version of “A Christmas Carol” has Edward Woodward playing the Ghost of Christmas Present.
The 16th Earl of Oxford Edward De Vere was a Catholic, and is most likely the person who wrote all of Shakespear.
correction: 17th Earl of Oxford.
I’ve read long before of textual analysis suggesting he was a crypto-Catholic who tried to help keep the Catholic faith alive in England. You’ll recall “Hamlet,” for instance, describes the Prince’s anguish that the Queen (England?) has forsaken her true, murdered husband (Christ?) for the King that murdered Him (Henry?). If so, however, it contains also a warning against zealotry such as that which Guy Fawkes would have, for the avenger ends up killed. If that sounds far fetched to Protestants, know that nations (and the Church itself) were often modelled as brides of Christ. Also, note that Hamlet itself centers around using a play to point out the guilt of the murderous King.
Sheesh... everyone knows Shakespere was black.
I read “Shadowplay” and I thought her theory was credible.
People forget that there was terrible persecution and bias against Catholics then in England.
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