ANNE BOLEN and “A Sonnet upon the Pitiful Burning of the Globe Playhouse in London (July 3, 1613)

The Globe, July, 2013Fig. 1    (Ferris © July, 2013, taken from atop St. Paul’s Cathedral)

   Elizabethan spelling and rules of grammar were relatively non-existant. The standardization of written English was a gradual process, and was still being formalized well into the 18th century. This accounts for the remarkable variation in spellings of words, but is most remarkable (although consistent and predictable) for the variations of the way surnames were spelled, especially when a person’s surname was spelled by others when referring to her/him.

   Edward de Vere’s surname was no exception, and was printed and signed by members of the House of Vere variously as: Ver, de Ver, Veer, Veere, Vere, de Vere and so forth. In fact, Edward’s father spelled his name Veer, and Edward’s birth announcement cited Veer as the surname spelling of choice.

   Not surprising, then, is the spelling variation one encounters when reading about the life of Anne Boleyn. The website  lists some of the surname spellings as: Boleyn, Buleyn, Bolen, Bulleyne, Boleyne, Bolleyne, Boyleyn, Bowleyne, Bulloigne, and the modern form, Bullen.

   The Bolen spelling is especially important to me as this form of the surname supports the same spelling found in Array 73 of the William Parrat poem (A Sonnet upon the Pitiful Burning of the Globe Playhouse in London). Again citing the textual footnoting on, the following sentence is quoted from its source: “Preparations for the coronation of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon 1509 – references to “Sir Thomas Boleyne” and “Dame Elizabeth Bolen. Since the play being performed when the Globe was leveled and destroyed by fire, and Parrat’s ballad was written the next day, and further noting All is True (ten years later renamed Henry VIII in the 1623 First Folio), we know the play itself ends with the coronation of Anne Boleyn. No mention is made of Anne’s life as queen, the birth of her infant daughter Elizabeth, and her subseqent beheading on orders from her husband, King Henry VIII.

   This is important as the ciphertext of the Parrat poem (letter-strings and supporting clusters) contain what appears as comments not contained in the poem’s plaintext or in the play, thus giving more credibility to the conclusion that the codes in the poem’s plaintext are not the result of random occurrence, but strongly suggest they are there by intelligent design. That is, that Parrat or whoever the author the “Sonnet” is (was) was in the know, both about Edward de Vere (that he might still have been alive at the time of the play’s performance), and was aware of the notice of “Dame Elizabeth Bolen” and her husband being invited to Henry’s coronation, and therefore of the particular variation of the Boleyn surname spelling as “Bolen”; and decided to encode this spelling as ciphertext within the poem’s plaintext, a spelling validating purposeful and deliberate placement as a letter-string in Array 73; in short, a “signature”, again stating, in so many words, “this letter-string is here by design”.

   In sum, then, the spelling of “Boleyn” as Bolen, being placed in a vertical letter-string, underlines that: codes as letter-strings and cluster were routinely used by “those-in-the-know”, not only just by Edward de Vere, but by those initiating their use (following this practice by Edward de Vere as a means of ‘signing’ his work), such as we find in much prose and verse, used by such authors as Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere, and Thomas Nashe, to name a few.

The text of the poem, A Sonnet upon the Pitiful Burning of the Globe Playhouse in London:

Henry 8, Sonnet, the burning of the Globe ballad, 1613, plaintextFig. 2

Henry 8, VERE, Ed, living now

Fig. 3

Henry 8, poem written a day after the Globe fire, 1613, #1Fig. 4Henry 8, Ed VERE, ANNE BULLEN'S visageFig. 5Henry 8, A Sonnet (Globe fire), TUDOR, #2Fig. 6Henry 8, TUDOR, Henry, the foole and reprobate, #3Fig. 7Henry 8, A. BOLEN, #4Fig. 8Henry 8, ANNE WED death, #5Fig. 9  “Melpomene”, the Muse of Tragedy.  Anne truly wed herself to Death in the form of Henry VIII.

V. XIII. MMXIV         


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