Uncovering the Shakespeare Conspiracy

Explore the fascinating world of Shakespearean authorship theories and the evidence that suggests Shakespeare may not have been the true writer behind the iconic plays and sonnets.

1/1/20251 min read

Did you know that Venus and Adonis was not the first poem dedicated to Henry Wriothesley. It was the second. The first one, Narcissus, was written in Latin by John Clapham. It was published in 1591, and not translated into English until around 1994 by Charles Martindale and Colin Burrow. (see link below).


Who was John Clapham? He was the secretary of Lord Burleigh, William Cecil whose granddaughter was spurned by Henry Wriothesley. So, here is the origin story of Shakespeare you never learned in high school.

In 1588, Edward de Vere’s wife died, and Edward gave up custody of his three daughters to William Cecil and his wife Mildred Cecil, whose sister was the wife of Sir Francis Bacon.

In 1589, William Cecil announced the marriage arrangement of 14-year-old Elizabeth Vere to 16-year-old Henry Wriothesley (whose grandfather was Viscount Montague). Henry turned it down. William Cecil gave him another year to think about it. One year later, Henry turned it down again.

In 1591, came the publishing of Narcissus. Written in Latin, it spoke of a young man who died of ‘self love’. It implied that the boy lacked honor and virility.

In April 1593, Venus and Adonis arrived, the answer to Narcissus, the word ‘honor’ is found seven times in the dedication by WS.

Two weeks after Venus and Adonis came out, Christopher Marlowe was arrested for treason. So was playwright Thomas Kyd. One month later Marlowe was dead and Kyd was punished for months on “the rack”. One year later, came the death of Christopher Marlowe’s patron.

So, why would someone NOT want to be known for writing Venus and Adonis? The person in head of torture and punishment for the Queen was William Cecil. Without his wife’s protection, Edward de Vere probably thought Cecil would have delighted in seeing him dead, so he gave the authorship to someone he prob met through Richard Field. Someone who safely lived 90 miles away.

Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare
Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare