Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deathday: Edward de Vere 1550-1604 Shakespeare?

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (12 April 1550 – 24 June 1604) was an Elizabethan courtier, playwright, poet, sportsman, patron of numerous writers, and sponsor of at least two acting companies, Oxford's Men and Oxford's Boys,[1] and a company of musicians.[2] He was born at Castle Hedingham to the 16th Earl of Oxford and the former Margery Golding.

Oxford was one of the leading patrons of the Elizabethan age and, during his lifetime, 33 works were dedicated to the Earl, including publications on religion, philosophy, medicine and music. The focus of his patronage, however, was literary, with 13 of the books presented to him either original or translated works of world literature. Authors dedicating their works to de Vere include Edmund Spenser, Arthur Golding, John Lyly, Anthony Munday, and Thomas Churchyard, the latter three writers all having been employed by de Vere for various periods of time. He also patronized musicians, including the composers William Byrd and John Farmer. His extensive patronage, as well as possible mismanagement of his estates,[3] forced the sale of his ancestral lands. In 1586, Queen Elizabeth I granted the Earl an annuity of £1,000. De Vere was awarded military commands in 1585 in Flanders and in 1588 during the Spanish Armada.

Oxford is today most well known as the strongest alternative candidate proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare's plays,[4] a claim that most historians and literary scholars reject but which is supported by a number of researchers and theatre practitioners. For further information on this topic, see Oxfordian theory.

Early life

As a student, Oxford benefited from the tutelage of some of the greatest minds of the Elizabethan age. He was first tutored by the Cambridge don and statesman, Sir Thomas Smith Thomas Smith (diplomat)[6] at his estate of Ankerwycke [1] in the Upper Thames Valley from some time in 1554 until the death of Queen Mary. Smith likely taught Oxford a great deal about the subjects which were his abiding passions: civil law, the ancient Greek and Latin languages and literature, horticulture, astronomy-astrology, Paracelsian medicine, and hawking [7]. When Smith was called to prepare for the accession of Elizabeth [8], Oxford enrolled at Smith's alma mater, Queens' College, Cambridge, where he remained for five months [9]. Another of Oxford's tutors was Thomas Fowle, a fellow at St. John's, Cambridge.[10]

On the death of his father on 3 August 1562, the twelve-year-old Oxford became the 17th Earl of Oxford and Lord Great Chamberlain of England, inheriting an annual income of approximately £2250.[11] In his last will and testament, the 16th Earl appointed six executors, including his widow and his only son and heir; however administration of the will was granted on 29 May 1563 to only one of the executors, the 16th Earl's former servant, Robert Christmas.[12]

Because the 16th Earl held land from the Crown by knight service, Oxford became a royal ward and was placed in the household of Sir William Cecil, the Secretary of State, a leading member of Queen Elizabeth's Privy Council, and one of her chief advisors. In view of Oxford's theatrical activities, it is interesting to note that Cecil is regarded by many Elizabethan scholars as the prototype for the character of Polonius in Hamlet. Shortly after the 16th Earl's death, Oxford's mother, Margery (nee Golding), married a Gentleman Pensioner named Charles Tyrrell, often erroneously stated to have been the sixth son of Sir Thomas Tyrrell of East Horndon and his wife, Constance Blount, although it is clear from his will that he was not a member of that branch of the Tyrrell family. Oxford's mother died five years later, on 2 December 1568.[13] Oxford's stepfather, Charles Tyrrell, died in 1570, leaving bequests to Oxford and to Oxford's sister, Mary de Vere, in his will.[14]

As a ward, under Sir William Cecil's supervision Oxford studied French, Latin, writing, drawing, cosmography, dancing, riding and shooting.[15] At Cecil House he was tutored by Laurence Nowell, one of the founding fathers of Anglo-Saxon studies.[16] Nowell was Oxford's tutor in 1563,[17] the same year that Nowell signed his name on the only known copy of the Beowulf manuscript (also known as the "Nowell Codex"). Oxford may also have assisted his maternal uncle, Arthur Golding, in the first English translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses.[18] In 1564, while both were living at Cecil House in the Strand, Golding wrote of his young nephew in the dedicatory epistle to Th’ Abridgement of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius, collected and written in the Latin tongue by the famous historiographer Justin:
During the Queen's visits to Cambridge and Oxford universities in 1564 and 1566, Oxford was awarded a BA by the University of Cambridge on 10 August 1564 [19] and an MA from the University of Oxford on 6 September 1566.[20] On 1 February 1566 he was admitted to Gray's Inn,[21] where he studied law. Alan Nelson, a Stratfordian Oxford biographer, argues that because such degrees were awarded to numerous other persons of rank in the same royal visits they were merely honorary and “unearned," and that “no academic accomplishment or dessert is to be imputed to any recipient.”[22] Oxfordian biographers of Oxford disagree with that assessment[23] and point to what John Brooke had to say of Oxford in his dedicatory epistle of The Staff of Christian Faith, published in 1577:
"It is not unknown to others, and I have had experience thereof myself, how earnest a desire Your Honor hath naturally graffed in you to read, peruse, and communicate with others, as well as the histories of ancient times and things done long ago, as also the present estate of things in our days, and that not without a certain pregnancy of wit and ripeness of understanding."

On 23 July 1567, the seventeen-year-old Oxford accidentally killed an unarmed under-cook, Thomas Brincknell, while practising fencing with Edward Baynham, a merchant tailor, in the backyard of Cecil House in the Strand. The finding of the coroner's inquest was that Brincknell, being intoxicated, had run upon the point of Oxford's sword and was thereby condemned as a suicide.[24] (Interestingly, the English chronicler and Shakespeare source Raphael Holinshed was one of the jurors at this trial.)
"For if in the opinion of all men, there can be found no one more fitte, for patronage and defence of learning, then the skilfull: for that he is both wyse and able to iudge and discerne truly thereof. I vnderstanding righte well that your honor hathe continually, euen from your tender yeares, bestowed your time and trauayle towards the attayning of the same, as also the vniuersitie of Cambridge hath acknowledged in graunting and giuing vnto you such commendation and prayse thereof, as verily by righte was due vnto your excellent vertue and rare learning. Wherin verily Cambridge the mother of learning, and learned men, hath openly confessed: and in this hir confessing made knowen vnto al men, that your honor being learned and able to iudge as a safe harbor and defence of learning, and therefore one most fitte to whose honorable patronage I might safely commit this my poore and simple labours."


Oxford was a leading patron of the arts and drama of Elizabethan England, with at least thirty-three works of literature, history, philosophy, theology, music, military theory, and medicine, dedicated to him. Stephen May, commenting on this tradition, calls him “a nobleman with extraordinary intellectual interests and commitments” whose biography exhibits a "lifelong devotion to learning.”[25] Continues May: "The range of Oxford's patronage is as remarkable as its substance. Beginning around 1580 he was the nominal patron of a variety of dramatic troupes, including a band of tumblers as well as companies of adult and boy actors. Among the thirty-three works dedicated to the Earl, six deal with religion and philosophy, two with music, and three with medicine; but the focus of his patronage was literary, for thirteen of the books presented to him were original or translated works of literature."[26] Works patronized by Oxford include Thomas Underdown's influential historical novel Aethiopica (1569), the first Latin translation of Baldassare Castiglione's Courtier (1571),Thomas Bedingfield's (1573) translation of Jerome Cardan's de Comforte (sometimes called "Hamlet's Book"), John Lyly's second Euphues novel, Euphues and His England (1580), Thomas Watson's Hekatompathia (1581), and the first epistolary instruction manual to use English letters as models (Angel Day's English Secretary, 1586).[27]

Court years

By indenture of 1 July 1562, Oxford's father, the 16th Earl, had arranged a marriage for him with one of the sisters of Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon.[28] However when Oxford became a royal ward, this contract was allowed to lapse, and on 16 December 1571 he married Lord Burghley's fifteen-year-old daughter, Anne Cecil — a surprising choice since Oxford was of the oldest nobility in the kingdom whereas Anne was not originally of noble birth, her father having only been raised to the peerage that year by Queen Elizabeth to enable the marriage of social inequals.[29] As master of the queen's Court of Wards, however, Burghley had the power to arrange the marriages of his wards or impose huge fines upon them. [30] Oxford's marriage produced five children, a son and daughter who died young, and three daughters who survived infancy. The Earl's daughters all married into the peerage: Elizabeth married William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby; Bridget married Francis Norris, 1st Earl of Berkshire; and Susan married Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, one of the “INCOMPARABLE PAIRE OF BRETHREN” to whom William Shakespeare's First Folio would be dedicated. Shortly after his marriage, at the age of twenty-two, Oxford was licensed to enter on his lands by the Queen's letters patent of 30 May 1572.[31]

By the 1570s he was a major figure in the Elizabethan court and a leading contender for the affection of Elizabeth I. In a letter of 11 May 1573, one contemporary, Gilbert Talbot, wrote that Oxford had lately grown in great credit with the Queen, and "were it not for his fickle head he would pass any of them shortly."[32] Oxford remained in favour for a time, and won prizes in several tilting tournaments at court.[33]

He toured France, Germany and Italy in 1575-6, and was thought to be of Roman Catholic sympathies, as were many of the old nobility.

On his return across the English Channel in April 1576, Oxford's ship was hijacked by pirates, who stripped him naked, apparently with the intention of murdering him, until they were made aware of his noble status, upon which he was allowed to go free, albeit without most of his possessions.[34] Further controversy ensued after he found that his wife had given birth to a daughter during his journey. Gossip speculated that the child was not his, and Oxford complained that her father's handling of the birth date had made Ann become "the fable of the world." Thus he refused to live with her from 1576 until 1581. [35]

In December of 1580, Oxford accused two of his Catholic friends, Lord Henry Howard and Charles Arundel, of treason, and denounced them to the Queen, asking mercy for his own Catholicism, which he repudiated.[36] Both Howard and Arundel later received pensions from Philip II, and furnished Spain with intelligence against England, suggesting that Oxford's allegations against them in 1581 were not without merit.[37] After fleeing to the house of the Spanish ambassador, Mendoza, on the night of 25 December 1580, Howard and Arundel gave themselves up to the authorities, were placed under arrest,[38] and in turn denounced Oxford, accusing him of a laundry list of crimes, including plotting to murder a host of courtiers, such as Sir Philip Sidney and the Earl of Leicester. The charges against Oxford were not taken seriously at the time, although the libels found their way into some historical accounts and Oxford's reputation was thereafter tarnished.[39] Charles Arundel later fled England in December 1583 for fear of arrest,[40] was declared guilty of high treason in 1585,[41] and died in exile in Paris in 1587. Lord Henry Howard was again arrested in 1583 and 1585,[42] but remained in England throughout Queen Elizabeth's reign, and was created Earl of Northampton by her successor, King James I.

Oxford fathered an illegitimate son by Anne Vavasour, Sir Edward Vere, in 1581, and for this offence was imprisoned in the Tower of London for several months, and later placed under house arrest and banished from court. He was not permitted to return to court until 1 June 1583.[43] By Christmas of 1581, after a five year separation, Oxford had reconciled with his wife, Anne Cecil.[44] However his affair with Anne Vavasour led to a fray in the streets of London in 1582 with Anne Vavasour's uncle, Sir Thomas Knyvet, a courtier in favour with the Queen.[45] On 3 March 1582, Oxford fought with Knyvet, and both men were 'hurt,' Oxford 'more dangerously,' and Oxford's man 'Gerret' was slain.[44] Oxford's injury perhaps resulted in the lameness mentioned in his letter to Lord Burghley of 25 March 1595.[46]

Later years

In 1585, Lord Oxford was given a military command in Flanders,[41] and served during the Battle of the Spanish Armada in 1588. His first wife Anne Cecil died in 1588 at the age of 32. In 1591, Oxford married Elizabeth Trentham, one of the Queen's Maids of Honour. This marriage produced his heir, Henry, Lord Vere, later the 18th Earl of Oxford.

Extensive patronage, as well as possible mismanagement of his finances reduced Oxford to straitened financial circumstances, and in 1586 he was granted an annual pension of £1,000 by the Queen.[47] It has been suggested that the annuity may also have been granted for his services in maintaining a group of writers and a company of actors, and that the obscurity of his later life is to be explained by his immersion in literary and dramatic pursuits.[48] As noted above, he was indeed a notable patron of writers including Edmund Spenser, Arthur Golding, Robert Greene, and Thomas Churchyard. In addition to patronizing the creative work of John Lyly and Anthony Munday, both considered important sources for and influences on Shakespeare, he employed them as secretaries, although for how long is not clearly known.[49] According to at least one 17th century source (Anthony A. Wood), he also employed for some time the Democritean philosopher Nicholas Hill as a secretary.

Oxford seemed destined to enjoy greater favour under King James, whose accession he supported,[50] than he had during the latter years of Queen Elizabeth's reign. On 18 July 1603, the King granted Oxford's decades-long suit to be restored to the offices of steward of Waltham Forest and keeper of the King's house and park at Havering,[51] and on 2 August 1603 the King confirmed Oxford's annuity of £1000.[52] Less than a year later, Oxford died on 24 June 1604[53] of unknown causes at Brooke House in Hackney. He was buried on 6 July at St John-at-Hackney,[54] although his cousin, Percival Golding (son of Arthur Golding), reported a few years later that he was buried at Westminster Abbey.


Oxford was described as both a poet and a playwright in his own lifetime, but little of his poetry,[55] and none of his plays has survived, at least under his own name, calling to mind the testament of the anonymously published Arte of English Poesie (1589), in which the author, possibly George Puttenham, observed:
Further along in the book, the author continued:
"So as I know very many notable gentlemen in the Court that have written commendably and suppressed it agayne, or els sufred it to be publisht without their own names to it, as it were a discredit for a gentleman, to seeme learned, and to show himselfe amorous of any good Art."

Oxford's status as a dramatist is also based on the testimony of Francis Meres, in whose Palladis Tamia (1598) Oxford is listed among "the best for comedy."
"And in her Majesties time that now is are sprong up an other crew of Courtly makers Noble men and Gentlemen of her Majesties owne servauntes, who have written excellently well as it would appeare if their doings could be found out and made publicke with the rest, of which number is first that noble Gentleman Edward Earle of Oxford.”

He was apparently a prolific writer, and among the works that have been attributed to his pen are those published in 1589 under the sobriquet "Pasquill Cavaliero of England." Other scholars have suggested, although the theory has not gained popular acceptance, that Oxford was somehow involved in the 1573 collection of poetry attributed to soldier of fortune and poet George Gascoigne, Hundreth Sundrie Flowres.[56]

Only a small corpus of Oxford’s poems and songs are extant under his own name, the dates of which (and, in some cases, the authorship) are uncertain; most of these are signed "Earle of Oxenforde" or "E.O." [57] During his lifetime, Oxford was lauded by other English poets, both for his patronage and for his own literary, scholarly, and musical avocations(for example, see one of the epistolary sonnets to Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene).

Oxford’s surviving correspondence focuses mainly on business affairs such as the Cornish tin monopoly and his ongoing desire for several royal monopolies and stewardships.[58] Oxford maintained both adult and children's theatre companies, and a letter from the Privy Council in March 1602 shows his active involvement on behalf of a "third" acting company who liked to play at "the Bores head": [59]
Two of Oxford’s "literary" letters were published in 1571 (1572 (New style)) and 1573. The first of these was written in Latin as a dedicatory epistle to Bartholomew Clerke's Latin translation of Baldassare Castiglione’s Il Cortegiano (The Courtier), while the second, written in English with accompanying verses, was an epistle to Thomas Bedingfield's English translation of Cardanus' Comfort (from the Latin of De consolatione libri tres by the Italian mathematician and physician Girolamo Cardano). The latter book, published at Oxford’s command, has sometimes been cited by scholars as “Hamlet’s book” due to a number of close verbal and philosphical parallels between it and Shakespeare’s play, particularly a passage on the unsavoriness of old men’s company, to which Hamlet seems to refer in his satirical banter with Polonius (re: plum-tree gum, plentiful lack of wit, most weak hams, etc), as well a passage with remarkable similarities to Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy.[60]
"beinge joyned by agreement togeather in on Companie (to whom, upon noteice of her Maiesties pleasure at the suit of the Earl of Oxford, tolleracion hath ben thought meete to be graunted, notwithstandinge the restraint of our said former Orders), doe no tye them selfs to one certaine place and howse, but do chainge their place at there owne disposition, which is as disorderly and offensive as the former offence of many howses, and as the other Companies that are allowed . . . be appointed there certine howses and one and no more to each Company. Soe we do straighly require that this third Companie be likewise to one place and because we are informed the house called the Bores head is the place they have especially used and doe best like of, we doe pray and require yow that the said howse . . . may be assigned to them, and that they be very straightlie Charged to use and exercise there plays in no other but that howse, as they looke to have that tolleracion continued and avoid farther displeasure."

The Shakespearean authorship question

The Shakespeare authorship question is the debate, dating back to the 18th century, about whether the works attributed to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon were actually written by another writer, or a group of writers.[61] In 1920, J. Thomas Looney advanced the hypothesis that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of Shakespeare's plays due to: Oxford's advanced education including foreign languages; background in the theatre; the praise accorded Oxford's plays and poems; his knowledge of aristocratic life, history, the military, and the law; and the numerous similarities between Oxford's life and the plots of the plays themselves. According to this hypothesis, Oxford had no choice but to publish under a pseudonym, since it would have been considered disgraceful for an aristocrat to write openly for the public theatre, a claim considered by Renaissance scholar Steven W. May to be incongruous with Elizabethan print histories, but which has been defended by both orthodox scholars and anti-Stratfordians (those who doubt the standard theory of Shakespeare authorship).

Oxfordian researcher Diana Price states, "Many members on the top rungs of the Tudor aristocracy had outstanding reputations as poets. But none of them published their creative work. The earl of Surrey's attributed poems were published in miscellanies after his death. None of Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Edward Dyer, and Sir Fulke Greville, all of whom also earned reputations as writers, published his work either. Like those of their social betters, the relatively few poems that appeared in print turned up in miscellanies."[62]

Notable Oxfordians include Sigmund Freud, diplomat and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Paul Nitze, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun and John Paul Stevens, columnist Joseph Sobran, former British judge Christmas Humphreys, biographer and historian David McCullough, as well as actors Orson Welles, Sir John Gielgud, Michael York, Jeremy Irons, Mark Rylance (former Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre) and Sir Derek Jacobi, who supports the "group theory" with Oxford as the lead writer.[63]

As recently as November, 2009, German historian Kurt Kreiler has also maintained the idea that the Earl of Oxford did write the plays of William Shakespeare, and he was featured on DW TV maintaining his position.

Debate over the Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship remains contentious. Alleged evidentiary gaps within the Oxfordian hypothesis have prevented many academics from considering its viability. For example, Stratfordians argue that Oxford's 1604 death prevents him from witnessing certain events (for instance the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and the wreck of the Sea Venture in Bermuda in 1609) thought to be alluded to in Shakespearean dramas such as Macbeth and The Tempest, respectively. Stratfordians also believe that contemporary poetic tributes to Shakespeare from writers such as Ben Jonson and Leonard Digges (who refer to Shakespeare as "Sweet swan of Avon!" and mention his "Stratford Moniment" in the First Folio), and William Basse (who explicitly mentions Shakespeare dying in 1616),[64] provide some of the clearest evidence supporting Shakespeare of Stratford's status as the author of the Shakespearean canon.

Oxfordians respond that modern research shows that not one of Shakespeare's plays has a proven source published after 1604, the year of Oxford's death. Furthermore, Oxfordian biographers William Farina[65] and Mark Anderson[66] have provided research demonstrating that regular publication of new Shakespeare plays stopped in 1604. Also, Oxfordians have long cited printed examples which they think imply the author known as "Shake-speare" died prior to 1609, when SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS were published without the authors permission, with a preface referring to "our ever-living poet," "ever-living" being a phrase regularly used to describe someone who was already deceased.[67] In Henry V, for example, the dead king Henry is referred to as "that ever-living man of memory."

Other candidates who have been put forward as the actual author of the Shakespeare works include Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Oxford's son-in-law, the Earl of Derby. All of the primary candidates (except Shakespeare of Stratford) were known to each other and traveled in the same circles, and are also mentioned as members of a "group" that may have been responsible for the Shakespearean canon. All candidates and theories are predominantly rejected by the academic establishment, although interest by academics and theatre practitioners continues to increase.[68]

Sample poems by Oxford


Were I a king I might command content;
Were I obscure unknown should be my cares,
And were I dead no thoughts should me torment,
Nor words, nor wrongs, nor love, nor hate, nor fears
A doubtful choice for me of three things one to crave,
A kingdom or a cottage or a grave.

Love Thy Choice

Who taught thee first to sigh, alas, my heart ?
Who taught thy tongue the woeful words of plaint ?
Who filled your eyes with tears of bitter smart ?
Who gave thee grief and made thy joys to faint ?
Who first did paint with colours pale thy face ?
Who first did break thy sleeps of quiet rest ?
Above the rest in court who gave thee grace ?
Who made thee strive in honour to be best ?
In constant truth to bide so firm and sure,
To scorn the world regarding but thy friends ?
With patient mind each passion to endure,
In one desire to settle to the end ?
Love then thy choice wherein such choice thou bind,
As nought but death may ever change thy mind.

Woman's Changeableness

If women could be fair and yet not fond,
Or that their love were firm not fickle, still,
I would not marvel that they make men bond,
By service long to purchase their good will;
But when I see how frail those creatures are,
I muse that men forget themselves so far.
To mark the choice they make, and how they change,
How oft from Phoebus do they flee to Pan,
Unsettled still like haggards wild they range,
These gentle birds that fly from man to man;
Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist
And let them fly fair fools which way they list.
Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,
To pass the time when nothing else can please,
And train them to our lure with subtle oath,
Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease;
And then we say when we their fancy try,
To play with fools, O what a fool was I.[69]


1.^ "The Life of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (1550-1604)". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
2.^ "REED - Patrons and Performances". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
3.^ Green, Nina, "An Earl in Bondage", The Shakespeare Oxford Society Newsletter (Summer 2004), vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 1-17.
4.^ Gibson, H.N. (2005). The Shakespeare Claimants: A Critical Survey of the Four Principle Theories Concerning the Authorship of the Shakespearean Plays. Routledge. pp. 48, 72, 124. ISBN 0415352908. ; Kathman, David (2003). "The Question of Authorship". InShakespeare: An Oxford Guide. Wells, Stanley (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 620, 625–626. ISBN 0199245223.
• Love, Harold (2002). Attributing Authorship: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 194–209. ISBN 0521789486.
• Schoenbaum, Lives, 430–40.
• Holderness, Graham (1988). The Shakespeare Myth. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 137, 173. ISBN 0719026350.
6.^ Dewar, Mary. Sir Thomas Smith: A Tudor Intellectual in Office, p. 77
7.^ Hughes, Stephanie Hopkins. "Shakespeare's Tutor, Sir Thomas Smith (1513-1577): The Oxfordian, 3 (2000): 19-44
8.^ Strype, John. The Life of Sir Thomas Smith. (1698). New York: Franklin Burt, 1977. p 57
9.^ Nelson 24
10.^ The National Archives C 142/136/12.
11.^ The National Archives C 142/136/12, WARD 8/13; Green, Maria Giannina, "The Fall of the House of Oxford", Brief Chronicles: Volume 1 (2009), pp. 49-122. URL:; Paul, Christopher, "A Crisis of Scholarship: Misreading the Earl of Oxford", The Oxfordian, Vol. 9 (2006), pp. 91-112.
12.^ The National Archives PROB 11/46, ff. 174-6
13.^ Morant, Philip, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex (1748) ii, p. 328
14.^ The National Archives PROB 11/52, f. 105
15.^ The National Archives SP 12/26/50
16.^ Nelson p. 25
17.^ British Library MS Lansdowne 6/54, f. 135
18.^ Charlton Ogburn, The Mystery of William Shakespeare, 1984, pgs. 384-393
19.^ Bulbeck, Edward in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
20.^ Wood, Anthony, Athenae Oxonienses, ed. Philip Bliss (1813-20), iii, p. 178
21.^ Foster, Joseph (1889), Register of Gray's Inn: Admissions 1521-1669, col. 36
22.^ Nelson, pp. 43, 45
23.^ ref needed
24.^ The National Archives KB 9/619(part 1)/13
25.^ May, Stephen W."The Poems of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford and of Robert Devereux, Second Earl of Essex", Studies in Philology (Early Winter 1980), LXXVII, #5, 8.
26.^ May, Ibid, 9.
27.^ The dedications are reprinted in Katherine V. Chiljan, Book Dedications to the Earl of Oxford, 1994.
28.^ Huntington Library HAP o/s Box 3(19)
29.^ Essex Record Office D/DRg 2/24
30.^ Charlton Ogburn Jr. The Mysterious William Shakespeare: The Myth and the Reality Dodd, Mead & Co.,1984, p. 716
31.^ The National Archives C 66/1090, mm. 29-30
32.^ Talbot Papers, Vol. F, f. 79
33.^ Segar, William, The Book of Honor and Armes (New York: Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints, 1975) pp. 94-6, 99-100
34.^ The National Archives 31/3/27
35.^ Ogburn, pp. 571-575
36.^ Bibliotheque Nationale 15973, ff. 387v-392v
37.^ Archivo General de Simancas, Leg. 835, ff. 121-4; Paris Archives K.1447.130; Paris Archives K.1448.49
38.^ Archivo General de Simancas, Leg. 835, ff. 121-4
39.^ Ogburn,pp.638-641
40.^ Paris Archives K.1561
41.^ Paris Archives K.1563.122
42.^ Paris Archives K.1562, K.1563.72
43.^ HMC Rutland, i, p. 150
44.^ British Library MS Cotton App 47, f. 7
45.^ Lambeth Palace MS 647, f. 123
46.^ Cecil Papers 31/45
47.^ The National Archives E 403/2597, ff. 104v-105
48.^ Ward
49.^ "Oxford and Shakespeare". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
50.^ Folger Library MX X.d.30(42)
51.^ The National Archives SP 14/2/63, f. 160; The National Archives C 66/1612, mbs. 27-28
52.^ The National Archives E 403/2598, part I, f. 27v
53.^ The National Archives C 142/286/165
54.^ London Metropolitan Archive P79/JN1/21, f. 197v
55.^ "Poems of Edward de Vere". Elizabethan Authors. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
56.^ Specifically, B.M. Ward, in his 1928 edition of Hundredth Sundrie Flowres, attributed 24 of the poems to Oxford. See George Gascoigne for details.
57.^ The Poems of Edward de Vere[dead link]
58.^ "Oxford Letters (oxlets)". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
59.^ Chambers, Elizabethan Stage, Vol. 4, p. 334, cxxx.
60.^ This claim requires a citation
61.^ McMichael, George; Edgar M. Glenn (1962). Shakespeare and His Rivals, A Casebook on the Authorship Controversy. New York: Odyssey Press.
62.^ "Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography - New Evidence of an Authorship Problem by Diana Price". 2002-02-08. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
63.^ Honor Roll of Skeptics
64.^ "The Shakspere Allusion-Book: a collection of allusions to Shakspere from 1591-1700. / Originally compiled by C. M. Ingleby, Miss L. Toulmin Smith, and Dr. F. J. Furnivall, with the assistance of the New Shakspere Society: re-edited, rev., and re-arr., with an introd., by John Munro (1909), and now re-issued with a pref. by Sir Edmund Chambers" (1932), Vol. 1, p. 286.
65.^ "McFarland - Publisher of Reference and Scholarly Books". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
66.^ ""Shakespeare" By Another Name by Mark Anderson". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
67.^ Farina, "De Vere as Shakespeare, An Oxfordian Reading of the Canon" (2006), 280pp; Anderson, "Shakespeare by Another Name" (2005), pp. 397-403.
68.^ "Shakespeare Authorship Coalition". Retrieved 2009-07-30. Further debating points from the Stratfordian perspective may be viewed at Shakespeare Authorship website and from the Oxfordian perspective at The Shakespeare Fellowship website. "State of the Debate". Retrieved 2009-07-30.
69.^ Miscellanies of the Fuller Worthies' Library, Vol. IV, #19 (1872)


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Anderson, Verily. The De Veres of Castle Hedingham. Terence Dalton, 1993 . ISBN 978-0861380626
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