THE LATIN POEM OF EDWARD DE VERE (1605): “Double, double, toile and trouble”

Oxford's possible last poemFig. 1A

And with modernized print:

Plaintext, Latin poem

Note to Latin poemFig. 1B:   The Shakespeare Oxford Newsletter, Vol. 33, No.1, Winter 1997.  Article by James Fitzgerald entitled:  Shakespeare, Oxford and Du Bartas.  The little-known story of Edward de Vere’s revelatory last poem. ]

   In 1605, a translation of a work by a French poet and writer by the name of Guillaume de Salluste, Sieur du Bartas (1544 – 1590), appeared in England.  The translator was Joshua Sylvester (1563 – 1618), an English merchant and poet.  His translation of Du Bartas’ Semaines (Weeks) went through many editions.  The translation enjoyed immense popularity, as did the works of Du Bartas.  However, following the death of Sylvester, the translated works fell into relative obscurity, where it is virtually unknown today, except by scholars of the period.

   At the time of the 1605 publication of Sylvester’s translation, there were ten commendatory poems written by various admirers of the translator. One of the poems (the third in the sequence), is written entirely in Latin and is entitled Ioshua Siluester Anagr:  Vere Os Salustij, and is signed:  “E.L. Oxon.”.[1]  The word play on Oxford’s surname of “Vere” in the Latin , together with the attribution “E.L. Oxon.” has led many to assume the “E.L.” likely means “E.[dward], L.[ord] Oxon.[ford]”.  The “E.” could also represent the word “Earl”, and still work as an assumption that de Vere is the writer of the Latin poem.  However, the accuracy of the gestalt that “Edward/Earl” (or for that matter interpreting the “L.” as “Lord”) is in question, as to date there is no certainty as to the validity of any of the latter interpretations.  “Oxon.” as “Oxonford” makes less sense than interpreting the “Oxon.” as an abbreviation for the Latin “Oxon.[iensis]” (“friend from”), an abbreviation often used by Edward de Vere when signing legal documents in Latin as:  “E.C.O.”, i.e., “Edwardus Comes Oxoniensis” (“Edward, our friend from Oxford/Oxenforde).


[ See a detailed account of the Latin poem, and it’s attribution HERE. ]


   My interest in the Latin poem is in whether or not there are clues to possible encryptions in the three-part plaintext.  In short, are there plausible answers to the following questions?:

   (1)  Does the title to the commendatory poem suggest word play, and how?  (2)  Is the signature in the last line of the poem an example of the “Anagr:” (anagram), or is it just a signature?  (3)  Assuming that Edward de Vere is the author of the poem, and from a cryptological point of view, are there any examples of codes (letter-strings and/or clusters) in the plaintext?  (4)  If so, do these letter-strings and clusters reflect accurate and identifying information pertaining to the personal and/or private life of Edward de Vere, the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford?  (5)  If so, are these letter-strings similar to those found in works attributed to Edward de Vere (personal letters and other correspondence; the sonnets and plays of Shakespeare as well as other writers)?  (6)  Do any of the letter-strings in the arrays of the Latin poem state de Vere’s name directly?  (7)  Do the letter-strings state in a present tense context he is the author of the poem, and that the codes are deliberately placed in the plaintext; i.e., that these codes are not the result of multiple coincidences, and suggest they were placed by and attributable to intelligent design?  (8)  Are the codes a combination of Latin and English, as suggested by the Latin word “bilingue”, Latin for “double tongue”?  (9)  In consideration of what is found within the plaintext (found as ciphertext/codes/letter-strings) is there subsequently reasonable evidence to strongly support Edward de Vere as being both the author of the Latin poem, as well as being a master cryptographer whose encrypted plaintexts can be found throughout the works of William Shakespeare (and the works of others)?

   On page 10 of the article referred to above (see link), the author of the article, James Fitzgerald, states the poem by E.L. Oxon. is:

Oxford's last poem, in LatinFig. 3

Is Edward de Vere the hidden author of the Latin poem?  (see Fig. 1):

   The title of the poem announces that at least part of the cryptological evidence is in the form of an anagram(s).  Both “Iosua Sylvester” and “Verè” Os Salustij” are anagrams of each other.  The anagram further takes into account the interchangeability of the “I” and “J” in Elizabethan orthography to account for the more modern spelling of “Iosua” as “Joshua”.  The word “Verè” without the accent is the obvious spelling of Edward de Vere’s surname.  Thus, the design and construction of the title is deliberate, and in-your-face.

   Another anagrammatic clue to de Vere as author (for me) is the  signature:  “E.L. Oxon.”  An anagram that makes more sense to me is:  “Lo, Oxen.”  In short:  “Lo, (“Behold”) Oxen.[forde]”.  And even more dramatically:  “LO! Oxen[forde]”; i.e., “behold”, “look”, “see”.

  In the first section (as well as it’s identical presentation in the arrayed full poem), the initial word I looked for was de Vere’s surname:

Latin poem, Vere, O., Vero, O. LoFig. 4

Latin poem, Vere, O. rimeFig. 5

Latin poem, I, E.O. pen RIME hydFig. 6  

Latin PoemFig. 7

Latin Poem, CODE, I'm MUTEFig. 8

Latin poem, POESIE, pen, newFig. 9

Latin Poem, E. Vere, bilingualFig. 10

Latin poem, Author HID, E. VEREFig. 11



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