‘Signatures’ of Edward de Vere in Anonymous Plays
Arden of Feversham (1592)
This play has been noted by Richard Malim (The Earl of Oxford and the Making of ‘Shakespeare’ p. 34) as having followed Murderous Michael (1578) attributed to the Earl of Oxford among others. ‘Michael’ was one of the adherents on the side of Alice Arden in the plot to kill her husband Thomas Arden (15 February 1550-1) in Feversham, Kent. Malim (op. cit., pp. 33) has noted parallels of Arden of the Feversham play with the ‘Gad’s Hill Affair’ where Oxford’s men assaulted William Cecil’s servants on the road to Rochester May 1573 (noted in Feversham Act V, scene IV, p. 105)). Black Will says he robbed the constable at Gad’s Hill and he will leave England (after murdering Thomas Arden) and ‘go to Flushing’ (Flushing in the Netherlands was Edward de Vere’s original destination when he visited Bruges and Bruxelles in July 1574 soon after his own ‘Gad’s Hill’ incident in 1573).
One other reference in Feversham which indicates a de Vere authorship is the introduction of the character Franklin as Thomas Arden’s friend and counsellor throughout the play. Holinshed’s Chronicles in the section on King Edward VI (1577) in telling the story of the murder of Thomas Arden, does not mention Franklin at all.
William Frankelyn was chancellor Durham and also President of Queens’ College, Cambridge (1526-28) where Edward de Vere had been a scholar at age nine. This is evidently the same person as the Franklin in the play. The proof of this are some of the opening lines in Feversham where Franklin tells Thomas Arden:
“my gracious Lord, the Duke of Somerset hath freeely given to thee and thy heirs, by letters patent from his Majesty, all the lands of the Abbey of Feversham’
The historical William Frankelyn was a ‘salaried official as counsellor resident with Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset and illegitimate son of King Henry VIII and Bessie Blount (cf. Wikipedia under William Frankelyn). Wikipedia also notes that in 1536 Frankelyn was dean of Windsor and later was a prebend for the rectory of Chalford St. Giles, Bucks. He died there (1556) and was buried
‘but his will met with disapproval for a grant was made to one J. Glynne of so much as he could recover of goods, chattels and money, destined by Frankelyn for “superstitious purposes”’.
William Glynn was President of Queens’ College, Cambridge 1553-7 when he was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, and vice chancellor (just previous to Edward de Vere’s stay at Cambridge circa 1559). Thus both the Frankelyn and the Glynn family would certainly be known by Edwards de Vere, and William Frankelyn would certainly be identified with the dis-establishment of the monasteries by Henry VIII:
‘On Thomas Wolsey’s accession to the see of Durham he confirmed William Frankelyn in the chancellorship. The chancellor made himself useful to the bishop in devising plans for increasing the revenues of the diocese’
One other connection besides Queens’ College between de Vere and Franklyn would be this Chalfont St. Giles where William Franklyn died in 1556. It was next to Chesham in Burnham hundred where the de Veres held after their cousins the de Bolbec. It is also next Chesham Bois where a de Bois family held (cf. As You Like It). Some discussions in the de Vere household about their neighbor the Rev. Franklyn when Edward was small perhaps influenced his opinions about the dis-establishment of the monasteries.
The playwright chose the right character (Franklin) as a companion of Thomas Arden – he who had received such benefits from dis-established monastic lands (Feversham Abbey) and Edward de Vere thus enlarged the scope of the historical murder of Thomas Arden by introducing the personality of Wolsey’s close colleague who was a known supporter of Henry VIII’s policy vis à vis the monasteries.
Would another ’author’ of the play Arden of Feversham have included the President of Queens’ College as companion to Thomas Arden? If so, it would no doubt be another poet who had been at Queens’. No other such poets have appeared.
King Edward III (1596)
This play has usually not been attributed to Shakespeare but one might try to attribute it to Edward de Vere. What might be used to do so? King Edward III follows Holinised’s Chronicles to a great extent but there are extra-Holinshed materials in Acts I-II, These concern the arrival of King Edward III at Wark castle, Northumberland, where his army releases the inhabitants of the castle from Scottish control. While there the king falls in love with the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ who is apparently the main personage in the castle saved by the king.
Moreover, the king’s secretary-Lodowic- tries to temper the ardour of the king and to become an intermediary between him and the Countess, whose father is named as the Earl of Warwick. Lodowic is German version of the French name Louis, and we suppose since Edward III’s mother Philip was a French princess, her choice of secretary for her son would be someone called ‘Louis’ (Lodowic).
But the facts of history seem to contradict the supposedly historical meeting of King Edward III with the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ at Wark castle. The Countess of Salisbury’ was not there at that time – it was her sister-in-law Alice Montague whose husband Edward Montague was ‘keeper of Wark’ - who was in residence when king Edward III arrived. Edward’s brother William Montague, Earl of Salisbury, was absent (fighting in France) as was his wife Kathryn (supposed daughter of the Earl of Warwick in literature but in reality daughter of William Grandison).
When in the play King Edward III consults with the ‘Countess of Salisbury’s father’ it is with the Earl of Warwick (Thomas de Beauchamp). But since the so-called ‘countess’ in the castle was not Kathryn but her sister-in-law, the discussion of King Edward with the Earl of Warwick about his love for the Earl’s daughter, is mythological.
In fact, Alice Montague, the main resident person at the time of the king’s visit, was daughter of the Earl of Norfolk (see King Edward III, edited by Giorgio Melchiori (The new Cambridge Shakespeare, Cambridge University Press 1998, p. 186 according to Michael Packe (King Edward III. ed. L.C.B. Seaman 1981, pp. 105-30, 170-8)). Alice was daughter of Thomas de Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk, brother of king Edward II. Her mother was Alice Halys, daughter of Roger de Halys, Kt. coroner of Norfolk. Since Thomas de Brotherton was uncle of king Edward III, Alice Montague was first cousin of king Edward III who rescued her from the Scots).
According to Giorgio Melchiori (cf. above) the inclusion of the Countess of Salisbury in the play King Edward III was based upon the French writer Jean le Bel whose Vrayes Chroniques covering the years 1326-1361. In chapter 50, le Bel speaks about
Coment le roy Edowart vint au chastel de Salebury…et comment il s’enamoura de la belle contesse de Salbry’ (Melchiori, op. cit. pp. 22-23)
Le Bel’s information was taken by Jean Froissart in his Cronycle translated by John Bourchier, Lord Berners into English 1523-5 (ibid., p. 22).
According to Melchiori, there was no mention of the Earl of Warwick in early versions of King Edward III (ibid. p. 24).
Thus, if Edward de Vere was author of King Edward III as it stands today, he was most certainly the author of a version which did not mention the Earl of Warwick as father of the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ whom king Edward III met at Wark castle. But he probably took Froissart’s account at its face value and believed it was the wife of William Montague, Earl of Salisbury, at the castle when the king arrived. In fact, it was Alice Montague., wife of the brother of William Montague.
On the other hand, I have located a possible historical connection between Edward de Vere and this Alice Montague, daughter of the Earl of Norfolk. Her mother was Alice Halys, daughter of Roger de Halys, kt. of Norfolk. The Helles family were close neighbours of the de Vere family at Ash, Wingham hundred Kent, as was Joan, ‘Infanta of Kent’ in the same parish. Joan was first cousin of both king Edward III and of Alice Montague. If the Helles knightly family of Ash in Kent is the same as the Halys knightly family of Norfolk it means that Edward de Vere (who knew Ash in Kent because he was the one who sold it to the Hammond family) knew his own family’s relation to a Montague lady with whom king Edward III was supposedly in love at Wark castle.
We have made the connection between Halys, knights of Norfolk and Helles, knights of Kent, and I believe it is the same family. The de Veres were with this family at Ash in Kent and presumably were acquainted with the story of king Edward III visiting Wark castle and wooing the ‘countess of Salisbury’ there.
The origin of the family at the time of Domesday Book (1086) - one of the last landowner’s names mentioned as important in the Norfolk Domesday Book. This was, namely, that of Godwin Haldeen. He held at four places: Hellesden a few kilometers west of Norwich, and at Oxnead, Gnatingden and Barham Broom. There is no information (and much of the information we have is open to question) until Walter de Hales of Norfolk temps. King John (1199-1216) and his two sons: Roger de Hales living 34 King Henry III (c. 1241) and Ralph de Hales b. 1248. Ralph married Demeta le Clauer (b. 1251).
Contemporaneous with Roger and Ralph de Halers is Bertram de Helles, Kt., lieutenant of Dover castle temps. Henry III. He was resident at Ash, Wingham hundred, Kent. We shall see below how he seems to be the same family as the Hales family of Norfolk.
The son of Ralph de Hales and Demeta le Clauer (confirmed because of numerous citations in Wikipedia etc.) was Sir Roger de Hales, Kt. coroner of Norfolk born in Norfolk (one records shows his birth c. 1262 at Woodchurch. Kent, the other c. 1275 at Harwich, Essex). He married Alice Skogan (fairly well confirmed).
The son of Roger de Hales b. 1248 seems to have been a John de Hales of Norfolk living 22 Edward I (1294). He was followed by Sir John de Hales living 43 Edward III (1370). The earlier John de Hales held Hales Hall in Loddon, Clavering hundred, Norfolk and before him it had been held by the above-mentioned Sir Roger de Hales, Kt.
Roger de Hales, Kt., coroner, married Alice Skogan (Alice Halys) and their daughter Alice ( in one document she was born 1301 in Harwich, Essex) married Thomas de Brotherton, brother of king Edward II. Alice’s siblings were Joan, Matilda, Edmund and Sir John (same as Sir John above?).
At least two sources in the internet note that Sir Roger de Hales (of Loddon, Norfolk) had son Nicholas de Hales (‘of Hales Place’, Norfolk, and of High Halden, Kent). He was father of Nicholas de Hales, Kt. of High Halden Kent, born 1327 and who in turn was father of Thomas de Hales and Robert de Hales of High Halden. Robert was Lord High Treasurer of England. This High Halden may be a throwback to the name of the Domesday Book holder in Norfolk namely Godwin Haldeen.
Above we noted a Bertram de Helles, Kt. at Dover castle temps. Henry III. Information about him comes from the entry for Ash village, Wingham hundred, Kent found in Edward Hasted, History of Kent, vol. IX, pp. 203-4 (cf. above). A Henry de Helles. Kt. of the shire held in Hells’ Court manor Ash, Kent temps.
1 Edward 20 (1292) and a Gilbert de Helles held there and in Darent / St. Margaret’s, Kent. He was sheriff of Kent 30 Edward III (1357). Gilbert died 1264 and his will noted as executors his wife Mary, the local clergyman, and William of Halden. The inclusion of this last name seems to indicate a connection between Gilbert of Helles, Ash, Kent and his relative William in the village of High Halden, Kent - home of Nicholas de Hales, Kt. supposed descendant of Sir Roger de Hales of Loddon, Norfolk).
Thus there appears to be a connection between the Hales/Halys knightly family of Norfolk and the Helles knightly family of Ash, Kent. Since Edward de Vere’s ancestors also lived at Ash, as well as ‘Joan, Fair maid of Kent’, ‘Infanta of Kent’ first cousin of Alice Montague it appears the de Vere family was acquainted with the Hales/Halys/Helles family first hand.
The de Vere family representatives at Fleet manor, Ash, Wingham hundred, Kent were as follows (cf. Edward Hasted, op. cit., pp. 209-210): Robert de Vere, 5th Earl of Oxford (who married Alice de Saundford); his son Robert de Vere 6th Earl of Oxford) who married Margaret daughter of ‘Roger Mortimer, Earl of March’; his son Thomas de Vere d. 1282 (married Agnes de Ros of Hamlake) who was succeeded by his nephew John de Vere 7th Earl of Oxford born 1311 who fought against the Scots and against the French at Crécy and Poitiers, who was married to Maud, daughter of Lord Badlesmere. This John de Vere fought alongside Edward III and the Black Prince and was a contemporary of Joan, ‘Infanta of Kent’ his neighbor at Ash. The ‘Infanta’s’ first cousin was Alice Montague, supposed object of the amours of King Edward III at Wark castle.
In comment upon the above, Burke’s Peerage was wrong claiming that Margaret, wife of the 6th Earl of Oxford, was daughter of the Earl of March. She was daughter of the Earl of March’s grandfather, Roger de Mortimer, first baron Mortemer (1231-1282). Margaret died in 1297 when Roger de Mortimer, First Earl of March, was only c. 10 years old. Margaret’s father was not Earl of March – a title which commenced in the Mortimer family with the Roger de Mortimer, lover of Queen Philippa, who was beheaded by orders of King Edward III in 1330.
John de Vere, 7th Earl of Oxford in 1331, was a soldier highly implicated in Edward III’s wars in France. According to Wikipedia he was in the vanguard with the Earl of Warwick when, under the Black Prince, the English were victorious at Poitiers. Hence this resident of Ash, Wingham hundred, Kent was associated with the Earl of Warwick (Thomas de Beauchamp) whose daughter supposedly received the love of King Edward III at Wark castle (a myth). Moreover 7th Earl John de Vere was related to the wife of the Earl of Warwick – Katherine Mortimer (1314-1369):
Thus John de Vere 7th Earl was connected to the Warwick Earls because of a common connection through the Mortimer lines. Whether he knew that the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ wooed by Edward III was not a Beauchamp but rather a Grandison family member, is not known. Or whether he knew that it was Alice Montague, daughter of Thomas de Brotherton Earl of Norfolk, who was at Wark castle when King Edward III arrived there circa 1341, is also not known. But if Edward de Vere did research on his family’s records at Ash, Kent, he would have found records of his family’s close connections with both the de Beauchamp Earls of Warwick and the Halys / Helles family of Alice Montague, wife of the keeper of Wark castle. Apparently the text of King Edward III was modified as it went through various printings, with the material on the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ being the ‘daughter of Warwick’ introduced late (see above, comment of Melchiori). Probably Edward de Vere knew that the wife (not daughter) of Thomas de Beauchamp –i.e. Katherine Mortimer second cousin of John de Vere 7th Earl of Oxford – was the important personality at the court of Edward III and that somehow her title was mixed up with that of the Countess of Salisbury – Katherine Grandison wife of William Montague (lord of Wark castle).
Did Edward de Vere, who later sold his family’s Fleet manor at Ash to the Hammond family, research the Halys/Helles family of Ash parish as he was penning King Edward III? Did he stumble upon the genealogical connection of the Ash, Kent family called Helles with Alice Halys, wife of Roger de Hales, coroner of Norfolk and mother of Alice Montague of Wark castle?
For the author of King Edward III the inclusion of the two first acts concerning the passion of the king for the ‘Countess of Salisbury’ (supposed daughter of Warwick) was certainly more appealing to the general public than the story of the execution of the king’s mother and her lover the Earl of March, or about Edward’s early warfare on the Continent. The popular story, promoted by le Bel and Froissard about the king and the Countess was introduced to make the later Acts concerning wars in France more palatable. And that the Countess kept her morality would be pleasing to Queen Elizabeth who had commissioned the Earl of Oxford to write the history plays glorifying the Plantagenets and Tudors. In the play King Edward III also emerges rather better than expected, as he leaves the Countess to her morality and goes off to war. Although insertion of the king’s affairs of the Countess at Wark castle intrigued the public, it ended well and the public might be more ready to hear about the wars in France and the exploits of the Black Prince.
Of course any poet of the day could have introduced the Countess into the affair of the King Edward III as was done in the play, but the finesse by which it was done certainly shows a noble hand in writing. Edward de Vere’s family was intimately associated with the Mortimers, the Earls of Warwick and even with the knightly families in Norfolk and Kent. He would chose a popular theme (e.g. that of Froissard whom he had probably read in English translation by Lord Berners) and let the public have the theme attached to his own particular de Vere family love for the nobility and the monarchy.
In general it appears that writing such a play as King Edward III would certainly fit the contract Edward de Vere had with the Queen – to write the histories of the Plantagenets and the Wars of the Roses. It fills the gap between the plays King John and that of Richard II.
The Troublesome reign of John, King of England (1591)
The full title is: Troublesome Raigne of John King of England, with the discoverie of King Richard Cordelions Base Sonne (vulgarly named the Bastard Fawconbridge): also the death of King John at Swinstead Abbey
As it was (sundry times) publikely acted by the Queenes Majesties Players, in the honourable Citie of London
(Our copy is from the “Tudor Facsimile Texts” under the supervision of John S. Farmer. Issued for the Subscribers by the Editor 1911). We shall call it, for short, Troublesome.
We take for granted at the outset that Fawconbridge in the text refers to the family of de Fauconberg in the following sense from the book by F.M. Powicke Loss of Normandy 1189-1204 (1960 ) pp. 32-3: Richard I (the ‘Lion-Heart’) had an illegitimate son, Philip the Bastard (de Fauconberg). He was lord of Cognac and Merpens jure uxorus (his wife was heiress of Cognac). Philip deserted his father and did homage to his grandfather Henry II in the inter-family struggle. The question was whether Cognac belonged to Poitiers or to Angoulême, and, from Cognac, the whole county of Angoulême could be overrun. After King John’s marriage to Isabel of Angoulême, the men of Angoulême were placed under the direction of the seneschal of Poitou, and a special seneschal was appointed for Angoulême (Bartholomew ‘de Podio’ – later mayor of Angoulême). Then ‘Philip the bastard’ was ‘brought out’ in Cognac, Merpens and Jarnac (i.e. he was taken into John’s side).
H.G. Richardson and G.O. Sayles in Governance of Medieval England from the Conquest to Magna Carta (1963) p. 329 say that Philip the Bastard killed the viscount of Limoges, Aymar, because Aymar had contested Richard I’s claim to some gold at Chalus. Philip then went to England under John’s protection. This aspect of Philip is reproduced in Troublesome.
De Fauconberg was an East Yorkshire (‘Holderness’) family at Ryse registered at the time of Domesday Book (1086) as Franco de Fauconberg being vassal of Drogo de Beuvrere. The early de Fauconberg family history is noted fully in Charles Graves, Families of the Domesday Book, vol. III, pp. 79-82). Franco’s great-great grandson Walter de Falconberg was living at Pontefract in Yorks. and married Agnes Fitzsimon, daughter of Simon Fitzsimon of Brixworth, Northamptonshire. (cf. Victoria County History for Northants. - Orlingbury Hundred p. 149). Simon Fitzsimon of Brixworth had married Maud de Ryse. He held 2 ½ fees at Brixworth in 1262. His son Simon died 1280. His daughter Agnes married Walter de Falconberg of Pontefract. The Fitzsimons also held in nearby Scaldwell , Orlingbury Hundred where ‘later the Trussel family held’ i.e.the family of Edward de Vere’s paternal grandmother Elizabeth Trussel. These villages are 5 miles north of Northampton.
Meanwhile, at Eston Mauduit, 7 miles east of Northampton, John Mauduit (of the family of royal chamberlains) held. His three daughters – heirs – were Agnes, Flandrina and Amice. Agnes Mauduit married Peter de Goldington whose mother was the elder sister of Robert de Saucy (de Salceto)(died 1223) of the Plumpton Pury manor of Paulerspury (Cleyley Hundred, Northants.). The Trussel family (family of Edward de Vere’s grandmother Elizabeth) had also held lands in Eston Mauduit since 1402 (cf. Charles Graves 27 Essays in Edward de Vere and William Shakespeare (2015) p. 280). Agnes Mauduit Goldington’s daughter Isabel married William de Nowers.
Thus, Trussel held in Scaldwell where the Fitzsimons held and Walter de Fauconberg, and they held in Eston Mauduit where they knew de Nowers.
At Lowick, Northants. (12 miles n.e. of Brixworth and Scaldwell) the de Nowers held at least since Robert de Nowers in 1217, a John de Nowers in 1316 and 1/8 fee held in Lowick by John de Nowers later (cf. De Nowers family in Charles Graves, Families of the Domesday Book, vol. IV, pp. 71-74 where their holdings in Daventry, Northants are noted). Drayton House in Lowick was held by the de Vere family since Robert de Vere, son of Alberic II de Vere (grand chamberlain of Empress Matilda of England) and brother of Aubrey de Vere, first Earl of Oxford. And Drayton House continued in the hands of his descendants who took the name ‘de Drayton’ and later the Greene family held there. Therefore de Vere was well acquainted with the de Nowers family – both living in Lowick.
Besides this, Agnes Mauduit Goldington’s daughter – Isabel de Nowers from Eston Mauduit - gave some inherited land there (10 acres of woods and a share in the advowson) to a William de Fauconberg. His is evidently the same family as that of Walter de Fauconberg of Brixworth, Northants and of Ryse, Holderness, Yorks. (cf. above). These 10 acres etc. eventually went to Agnes Mauduit Goldington’s son Ralph (brother of Isabel). William de Fauconberg (cf. above) was the son of Agnes Mauduit’s sister Olive – this means that Olive Mauduit had no doubt married a de Fauconberg (father of William de Fauconberg). Since Agnes’ father John Mauduit was active at Eston Mauduit c. 1206 we infer that Isabel and her husband William de Nowers must have occupied land at Eston circa 70-80 years later. The Trussels (family of Edward de Vere’s grandmother, originally from Kibblestone, Staffs and Billesley, Warwicks., had been at Eston Mauduit since 1402 (cf. Charles Graves, 27 Essays on Edward de Vere and William Shakespeare, 2015, pp. 273 ff.)
Thus the de Nowers of Lowick knew the Trussels at Eston Mauduit and they knew the de Veres at Lowick. Through these connections the de Vere were aware of the de Fauconberg family of Eston Mauduit (holding the 10 acres and the advowson) and of Brixworth (where Trussels also held together with de Fauconberg). These connections show how the grandfather of Edward de Vere - John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford - became acquainted with the Trussels and why Edward’s paternal grandmother was a Trussel, and how through the de Nowers and Trussels families the de Vere’s would learn about the de Fauconberg family. The Trussel family was at Eston Mauduit six generations up to Elizabeth Trussel, Edward’s grandmother, so there is a slight possibility that at one generation or other through the various wives of these Trussels there is some genealogical connection with de Fauconberg. If so, certainly Elizabeth Trussel de Vere would have transmitted it down to her descendants the de Veres of Headingham castle, Essex. In particular since the story of Philip the bastard’s connection with de Fauconberg was a widespread historical tradition information about the de Fauconbergs of Northamptonshire would attract some attention.
The de Fauconberg who married Olive Mauduit was probably brother of –or the same person as – Walter, first Baron Fauconberg who died 1304 (cf. Burke’s Peerage (1963) p. 2633 on the Barony of de Fauconberg). The son of Olive was the William de Fauconberg who received the 10 acres and part advowson of Eston Mauduit from Isabel de Nowers. Walter, Fourth Baron de Fauconberg born 1319, married Maud de Pattishull of Bletsoe, Beds. and Patishull, Northants. Eston Mauduit is between Patishull (10 miles west of Eston Mauduit) and Bletsoe (5 miles east of Eston Mauduit
The Robert de Fauconberg family
Wikipedia article on Aimar V de Limoges notes the historian Roger of Hovedon who provided inside information about Philip of Cognac (Philip the bastard) and the death of Aimar who was the ’Lymoges, Duke of Austria’ in Troublesome. Roger of Hovedon / Howden was from Yorkshire East Riding not far from the de Fauconberg English root at Ryse. Roger was perhaps a cleric in orders and was an admirer of king Henry II and his works on English constitutional laws. He went on the Third Crusade with king Richard I, joining him in Marseilles in 1190. Upon his return in 1192 he began his Chronica (history of England 732-1192). It was built upon his earlier works Gesta Henrie II and Gesta Regis Ricardi. If some of the source of Troublesome was Roger of Hoveden’s work Gesta Regis Ricardi with its detailed story of king Richard I , then the inclusion in Troublesome of the story about Robert de Falconbridge’s ambassadorship in Austria and the conception of Philip the bastard by Dame de Fauconberg at the embassy house may be factual. The Wikipedia article on Roger of Hovedon notes that from 1192 the Cronica is ‘an independent and copious authority’.
There was no historical Limoges Duke of Austria but one explanation about the reason why Aimar V de Limoges was identified as ‘duke of Austria’ in Troublesome was that Leopold of Austria captured king Richard I in his domains and the emperor Henry V exacted a ransom for Richard’s release and Viscount Aimar of Limoges was being besieged by Richard I when Richard I was killed. These were conflated into ‘Duke of Austria’ vis à vis Aimar of Limoges in the play Troublesome.
When the author of Troublesome wrote its Part I a sequel was planned. It would have covered events in France and England following the aborted death of Prince Arthur. The author in this first Part gave Philip the Bastard, son of Dame de Fauconbridge, an essential role equaling that of King John of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, King John of France or the dauphin. He appears almost on every other page of the printed tale and expresses himself most energetically. It appears that the author enjoyed penning his lines, and certainly Philip became one of the dominant personnages in Troublesome. All of King John’s plunder of the monasteries at Canterbury was given over to Philip whereas Holinshed’s Chronicle does not mention Philip in such a role. In fact it does not mention Philip at all which indicates that the author of Troublesome probably had read Roger of Hoveden’s accounts about King Richard and the birth of Philip the Bastard.
The Queen’s Men (players) was supposed to be anti-Catholic (cf. Mark Anderson ‘Shakespeare’ by Another Name’ (2005) pp. 207-8) its productions supporting the philosophy of the Queen’s main anti-Catholic bureaucrat Francis Walsingham. Was Edward de Vere anti-Catholic in Troublesome? The play was making fun of friars and nuns but this was being done by Philip the bastard and Holinshed’s mention of anti-Catholicism as a state policy was moderated in the play. In general the Roman Catholicism presented in Troublesome was balanced and the religious preferences of the author or authors was not extreme in any way. One of the main concerns of the play was how the authors dealt with King John’s conscience and the play seems to have treated this factor successfully.
The author fills Troublesome with Philip the Bastard’s opinions on all the relevant topics of King John’s era. This may reflect a considerable interest of the author in promoting Philip the Bastard. It may reflect a desire to bring into the light a personage related to the de Fauconberg family of Northamptonshire with whom the de Vere and Trussel ancestors lived in close proximity. And de Vere and Trussel may even have had a de Fauconberg ancestor in that county. Combined with the fact that Edward de Vere himself descended from King John the author may have presented two sides of his own descent. And we should be aware that the origin of the de Fauconberg family is probably the Fauquembergue located between Hesdin (Somme) and St. Omer (Pas de Calais) the precise areas where the early ancestors of Edward (Alphonse de Vere, Alberic I de Vere) inhabited before the Conquest (1066). A de Vere interest in the de Fauconbergs seems quite normal.
ADENDA TO 27 ESSAYS
Photograph: Hedingham Castle, Essex, by Derek Voller