Above is the famous Droeshout portrait of Shakespeare. I got to thinking about this and came up with this idea: Ever think about what might be missing from the famous portrait? Answer: Shakespeare’s coat of arms. Would not his famous coat of arms not safely secure his name forever as the ‘real’ author?
Why is his coat of arms missing? After all, he had paid a pretty penny for them and even fought bitterly over them. They could have been put in a tiny square behind to the right or left.
Also, we DO know that the man from Stratford was a commoner. That fact has been drilled into our heads since we were children. But did you know that a commoner could not wear “royal” clothes and colors? It’s true. In fact, a commoner could not wear the color purple without being arrested and thrown in jail.
In this case, William Shakespeare a commoner, is wearing a “doublet”. Here is a website that explains it: http://www.sixwives.info/doublet.htm.
A doublet was a tight-fitting buttoned jacket. In the Droeshout portrait, it appears that Shakespeare is wearing it backwards. So, here we see a commoner wearing a royal’s clothes on backward, right? Could not he or his family be arrested for this portrait? Yes. Shakespeare might have been dead, but not his wife or daughters – and they were never put in jail.
But interestingly, the son of Edward de Vere, Henry de Vere, WAS jailed in the tower of London. When he was freed, he was sent to fight at the front lines in the Netherlands where he died one week after his release from captivity.