Sir Francis Bacon
"Knowledge is power" - Sir Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626 (maybe)
He invented modern science, wrote an enormous volume of works including The New Atlantis (which the US is founded on) spoke at least 9 languages, graduated from Cambridge at the age of 15, and would seem to be the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth 1, aka the "Virgin Queen," and quite likely is the main author of most of the works of Shakespeare. Yeah, he's a genius! (more about Bacon below)
• 100% heavyweight cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
Sir Francis Bacon
Queen Elizabeth 1, aka Elizabeth Tudor, ascended to the throne at the age of 25 in 1558, just a few years after being released from the tower where her sister, Mary Tudor, the previous queen, had imprisoned her. You can't make this stuff up! With a lot at stake in her new post, Queen Elizabeth, very single and obviously ready for romance, quickly stated that she was only married to the state. However, this queen was an incredibly passionate soul, especially in regards to her lover, Robert Dudley. Then one day in January of 1561 it was quietly reported to a select few, that the Queen...was expecting.
Since Elizabeth was known to one and all (publicly at least) as the 'Virgin Queen,' then this birth had to be kept highly secretive and dealt with properly. And so it was. Queen Elizabeth's number one lady in waiting happened to be Lady Anne Bacon, married to the well to do barrister and very connected aristocrat, Sir Nicolas Bacon. Lady Anne had just lost a child in childbirth a few months before and so it was decided that Sir Nicolas and Lady Anne would be the perfect parents for the newborn royal. He was quickly adopted with open arms and named Francis. Francis Bacon. But his name, in reality, was, Francis Tudor, heir to the throne and the King in waiting.
Francis' youth was a mix of study with the Bacons, both very educated and worldly, who shared a love of knowledge and languages with their newest son. Equally important was Francis' main tutor, Dr. John Dee, perhaps the most trusted confidant of Queen Elizabeth. Dee was also a very advanced alchemist, scientist, and philosopher. And, he had a very impressive library of all the classics – Virgil, Plato, Socrates and many more. He also began the first spy agency at the behest of the crown. In fact, his secret code number was none other than...007. Now you know! Later, Francis would become a part of this organization. Between all this education which culminated with Francis graduating from Cambridge at the age of 14, he made many visits to the Queen's chambers. She apparently was extremely fond of him and enchanted by his amazing intellect and charm. He wrote special poems and short plays for her, which of course she embraced and loved.
Then sometime around the age of 16, Francis discovered that he was actually the next king – son to Elizabeth. This caused quite a lot of strain in the relationship between Elizabeth and Francis, and not sure what to do, the Queen sent Francis to Europe. Here he traveled widely to many countries and picked up even more languages. Sir Francis was said to be fluent in at least 9 languages, including Latin. It was during this time, which lasted about 3 years, that Francis along with his beloved brother Anthony (older biological son of the Bacons) became agents for Dr. John Dee and began spying on the royals and elites throughout Europe. It was here that Francis really got into ciphers or codes which would play an important part for the rest of his life.
By the time Francis was 20, he returned to London and at the request of the Queen, enrolled at Gray's Inn, the premier law school of the day. Heeqce joined the campus drama club and began writing plays. It was here that he met a poor freelance actor of about the same age as Francis named, William Shaksper. See the different spelling? That's how the actor always spelled his name. As time went by Francis and his cohorts like Ben Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, and other well educated aristocratic types began writing politically based dramas. They decided that to make things go a bit smoother and not ruffle the feathers of the Queen, they would need an alias. William Shaksper the actor was to be their front. They paid him much more than he would ever make as an actor and he was quite happy to oblige.
So what about this Shakespeare controversy? It's been going on for at least 150 years now and the leading candidates of who might have written the plays and sonnets if it wasn't the actor, are - Sir Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward Devere. All are decent candidates. But first, let's look at what we know about the actor William Shaksper. As it turns out, not much. And that right away should be a red flag if ever there was one. Shouldn't there be plenty written and documented about the greatest man of letters that ever lived? Yes, there should! Here's the little we know about this actor, turned literary genius.
The actor Shaksper was born into extreme poverty in a small village outside of London called, Stratford. Oddly, during this era, Stratford was known as 'the village of no books.' In any case, having been nearly illiterate most of his life, he went to London hoping to get some acting work and break out of the penury of which he was accustomed. He, in fact, did get some jobs and then fell in with the drama club at Gray's Inn. Around this time, it is supposed he started writing the great Shakespearean classics such as Julius Caesar and As You Like It. So this guy got real smart, real quick. Maybe, but during this period and for much of the rest of his life he was often drunk in the local pub and engaged in one brawl after the next. Does this sound like that guy that gave us Hamlet? Remember that the plays and to some extent the sonnets are riddled with references to Plato and Virgil and other classic writers. Remember also that at the time there really were no public libraries. Almost everything that existed in print was privately owned. And owned by only the wealthiest. At Shaksper's death, he left not a single book which would have been very valuable then, nor a single manuscript. Of anything. His works are also cluttered with ciphers or codes that point quite easily and directly to Bacon. And these ciphers were used by many in this era. Bacon likely learned this craft from his master tutor, John Dee. The works also contained real insider knowledge of the not only the British Royals but others as well such as France and Denmark. Shaksper the actor reportedly never left the greater London area for his entire life. Later, Shaksper's grown children, were reportedly, completely illiterate. How likely is that? I bet you're thinking it's really not. Me too. So, could he, the actor Shaksper, really have been the greatest writer in the history of the world? You decide. No one will likely ever be able to prove it, either way. But know that there is a ton of material documented about Sir Francis Bacon. I encourage you to explore it further and find out why such contemporary experts such as the great British Shakespearean actors, Sir Derek Jacobi and Mark Rylance are convinced, that Bacon was Shakespeare. Here are some great, non-mainstream media choices to further your education.