Horace Vere, 1629Fig. 1 Horace VEERFig. 2

GENESIS:  To the Reader

   For the past several years, I have been working with Equidistant Letter Sequencing (ELS), although in an entirely different body of work. While doing research in cryptography (codes, ciphers, steganography), I came across an article renewing my interest in Edward de Vere’s involvement in the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, the Babington Plot, and to the infamous cipher successfully manipulated by Sir Francis Walsingham, implicating Mary, resulting in her beheading.

   Edward de Vere (1550 – 1604) and Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593) were at one time in the employ of the spymaster Walsingham (arguably the most powerful man in England). My search continued until I began to read more about Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Edward de Vere, and is considered, next to Shakespeare, the greatest playwright and poet of the time.

   Ben Jonson was a friend of Sir Francis Bacon, renowned for his cryptographical expertise.

  The question then became: Was Jonson skilled with codes and ciphers? And, if so, where, how, and what might he have encrypted, or (more likely) had others encrypt Vere’s identity into many of the plaintexts attributed to the William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon Avon as testimony to Edward de Vere’s status as master poet amongst a group of writers collectively known as “Shakespeare”?

  The present work is one result of my search. The journey has yielded many discoveries, and has been extraordinarily productive and personally rewarding.

   I wish to share many discoveries I have made that have remained hidden and buried in plain sight for over 420 years (from the first mention of “William Shakespeare” in print in 1593 to the present). Letter-strings revealed from skips-of-one equidistant letter sequences (ELSs) strongly suggest that Edward de Vere, the 17th. Earl of Oxford, wrote predominately under the pseudonym of William Shakespeare as well as others, as will be shown.

   Why a pseudonym? Why the use of codes and ciphers to disguise his identity? Did Edward de Vere really die in 1604 as Elizabethan documentation states? Who were the major players in one of the greatest mysteries in all of literature? Is what I call The Horatio Codes a staggering coincidence? Or, as I believe, are the codes the most elegantly designed set of encryptions ever written? And who designed them?  And why ?

These are merely some of the questions raised and answered in this text.

Why clickest thou by so fast?

The Truth Will Out

(Veritas temporis filia)

   What is frequently if not consistently called “The Authorship Question” is just that: a question. It is time to recognize that this “question” will always be thus: simply a question. It is unlikely that research, any time soon, will uncover a smoking gun that proves, in the scientific sense or in the experimental sense, that Christopher Marlowe, Sir Francis Bacon, Edward de Vere, or any of a number of candidates, wrote what is commonly referred to as the works of Shakespeare. It is unlikely, though probable, someday time travel may be discovered, allowing a host of historical mysteries to be solved. In this even, a hand-held camcorder, an inexpensive tape recorder, and several unbiased witnesses (this alone borders on science fiction) may “prove” once and for all with documentary and celluloid evidence that one person or another is the true author of the Shakespeare canon. Perhaps someday DNA techniques will evolve such that they are virtually infallible, and that Edward de Vere’s remains will be discovered at Hedingham Castle, or Hackney, of beneath the floors of Westminster Abbey, that will assert and prove once and for all that this discovered body is that of Edward de Vere. Perhaps, then, his mother’s body will be exhumed, the matriarchal DNA path linked to de Vere, adding another piece of evidence of Shakespeare’s identity, if doubt still remains at this distant time. In the latter unlikely scenario, we still could not be sure that de Vere was Shakespeare. Even if he was found to be buried with the originals of his entire opus clutched in both hands, and placed squarely upon his chest, we still could not have certainty. Even if on his body we found a document written in de Vere’s own hand, saying under penalty of damnation he is Shakespeare, we still would not have final evidence. Even if we found any number of documents from the writers of the time, asserting that they swear that Edward de Vere, the 17th. Earl of Oxford, was Shakespeare, we still would not have certainty. “And why not? What more do you want?” you may ask.

   The response to this question can take many permutations. The Authorship Question is not unlike a legal case, where there are no witnesses to a given crime, where DNA evidence could have been planted to incriminate someone. Or the police could have manipulated the crime scene to implicate who they strongly felt to be the perpetrator. And, in de Vere’s case, the Elizabethan period was a virtual petri dish, a culture that grew and produced continually more sophisticated ways of lying. By this I mean, the Elizabethan equivalent of modern intelligence gathering was stunningly adept at encryption. The use of encryption in spy work is to encode a true message by disguising it so that only an intended person or persons can detect the encryption. This is to say that State secrets are not in the public domain, that lies are involved to protect secrets.

   The Authorship Question is similar. We do not know who or what (in the case of documentation) is telling the truth. In the intelligence gathering analogy, then, even if we decipher or decrypt a message, we still do not know with certainty the truth of the message. In short, we may arrive at certain truths about some aspects in our quest to find “The” answer, but this truth or truths remain without a capital “t”. We may or may not ever be able to arrive at “The Truth” with both “t”s capitalized.

   However, as in research not available to modern scientific experimental design, and like many, if not most, cases argued in law, we are at best dependent on logic and reason. We point the way to our points of view with assertions and conclusions drawn from our often biased premises; in de Vere’s case, that he was Shakespeare, an assertion not unlike that of a prosecutor or defense attorney arguing a case before the bar. At best, we can only rely on our methods, how we answer to the conclusions we draw, and in so doing, try as mightily as we can to remove ourselves from our designed methods, to (as I was taught in experimental design) make efforts to disprove our hypotheses, even though we may cross our fingers behind our backs, hoping we cannot disprove our pet theories. And to offer as best we can evidence that is nevertheless just one more piece of information backing up this claim or that. And to accept the results of our research when it is reasonable to do so. Even though the results may contradict strongly held beliefs.

   There are many kinds of research. Yet the basic reason for all research is to answer questions of “Why?” In this case, why is there an Authorship Question in the first place? And why do many believe this question has already been persuasively answered?   

   I have made four assumptions in my writing: (1) that you, as the Reader, have some familiarity with the Authorship Question (or Controversy, if you wish); (2) have a reasonable knowledge of Elizabethan history; (3) have read several of Shakespeare’s plays, and, hopefully, (4) have read some of the arguments for and against other contenders scholars and commentators have made for the true identity of Shakespeare, namely: Shakespeare (Stratford-upon-Avon); Edward de Vere, the 17th. Earl of Oxford; Christopher Marlowe; and Sir Francis Bacon.  

  Consider as well:  Why was it a life and death matter for Edward de Vere to write with a pseudonym when he was the first and foremost peer of the realm? After all, he published poetry under his own name, so why not plays?  What was de Vere’s relationship to Queen Elizabeth I?  Who were the major players in this drama?  What was de Vere’s involvement with codes, ciphers, and espionage?  What does Hamlet have to do with Edward de Vere?  Was there a real life Horatio in de Vere’s life?  Was the character Horatio in Hamlet (a play considered by many to be a virtual autobiography of Edward de Vere) the namesake of his first cousin, Horace Vere (also known as Horatio Vere or Horatio Veer) just one person, or a collective testifying to Oxford as being the true author of the Shakespeare canon?  

   Or, if you need a refresher, or choose to read in some depth the issues making up the Authorship Question so as to better appreciate my argument in the context of this controversy, an internet search is particularly helpful. The web-pages of the Shakespeare Oxford Society (American) in addition to the De Vere Society (United Kingdom) (as well as many other sources) will direct you to their wonderful libraries, rich in points of view, and can be understood and appreciated by both lay and scholar alike.

   A brief review of codes and ciphers (Steganography), Equidistant Letter Sequencing (ELS), as well as the differences between “proof”, “mathematical proof” and “a mathematical proof” is critical for an appreciation of what I call The Horatio Codes.  

   Edward de Vere, Sonnet 76:  the White Crow is the beginning of a journey through one of the most stunningly successful conspiracies in the literature of any culture.

Hamlet:  The HORATIO Codes

Hamlet (1604), HORATIO CODEFig. 3

“I, E. O. am the VOYCE of the CODE.”  “HORATIO is the VOYCE of the ENCODER

Hamlet (1623), VEER ENCODE, dying wordsFig. 4A Hamlet (1623) ENCODE Raw P.Fig. 4B Hamlet, I, E.O. CODE voyceFig. 3 Hamlet (1623) HORATIO CODER voyceFig. 5  

[ Note:  Sir Horace Vere , 1st Baron of Tilbury (1565 – 1635), was the son of Geoffrey Vere, a brother of John de Vere, the Sixteenth Earl of Oxford, making him the first cousin of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford.  He was the greatest military leader under Elizabeth I, and was considered the greatest professional soldier of his time.  He was variously known as:  Horace Vere; Horatio Vere; Horatio de Vere; or Horace Veer.  Edward’s father was predominantly known as John de Veer.  The only documentary evidence of the birth of Edward de Vere is an announcement stating Edward was born to John “Veer” a few days after Edward’s birth.  Thus, Edward’s birth announcement cites his birth surname as “Veer”, not “Vere”.

   The two portraits above (Figures 1 and 2) provide information indicating the portraits are of the same person.  In Fig. 1, there is no surname identifier, but the House of Vere motto (“Vero Nihil Verius”, latin for “Nothing Truer than Truth”) confirms his lineage.  The second figure gives his military rank (‘coronel’–a variant spelling of ‘colonel’) as well as the surname “Veer”.

   Although I have come across dozens, if not hundreds, of letter-strings (and clusters) with the spelling “VEER”, I have chosen not to report them (except in a few warranted cases) as the more recognizable “VERE” lends a greater degree of validity to the letter-strings as perceived by the modern reader being introduced to the ‘Vere’ codes for the first time. ]

   From the Oxfordian perspective, the play Hamlet is considered to be a thinly veiled autobiography of Edward de Vere.  The characters Francisco and Horatio are consequently considered Oxford’s two real-life cousins, Horace (Horatio) and Francis (Francisco) Vere.  Both brothers are buried in the chapel of St. John the Evangelist in Westminster Abbey.  There has also been speculation that Horatio Vere and Ben Jonson took control of the sonnets shortly after the alleged death of Edward de Vere in 1604, and are responsible for their first publication , entitled SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS (Quarto 1, 1609).




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