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Jan Huss, Much Ado and 6th July

Has anyone made the rather the obvious connection for 6th July in Much Ado?

 Act 1, Scene 1

Benedick  “That…is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me: I will
die in it at the stake.”

Don Pedro   Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic…

Approx 50 lines later

Don Pedro   The sixth of July: Your loving friend Benedick.

Jan Huss burnt at the stake for heresy 6th July 1415,   I suspect there are a few more Hussite allusions like Pedro’s “I will not fail him at supper; for indeed he hath made great preparation.” connected with Huss’s views on the sacraments. This may be relevant to debates on Shakespeare’s attitude to religion.

This appears in conversation with Claudio who visits the supposed tomb of Hero. To my knowledge this is the only play in which Shakespeare gives a day of a month and I can’t think of another play in which there is a tomb of someone who is not actually dead.  So isn’t it a bit strange that Edward de Vere was buried on 6th July 1604? (I suspect some Oxfordian has noticed this latter fact)

All’s Well that Ends Well and 24th June 1604

The major difficulty with Oxfordian theory for many people is the dating of the plays and the apparent date of de Vere’s death. Christopher Paul Has suggested from external evidence that de Vere may have faked his death in 1604, Here is some prima facie evidence from All’s Well that Ends Well to support this claim.

Farina has identified Parolles with Henry Howard. Howard like Parolles was born under retrograde Mars, Howard on 25th February 1539/40. There is a less that 1 in 10 chance of Mars being retrograde at any given time which should make us take this claim seriously.

Two days prior to his ceremonial entry into London on 15th March 1604 James the First created Howard first Earl of Northampton. This was on the 13th a Tuesday, Mars day, and Mars was again retrograde.  The clown Lavatch helpfully gives us the first and last Tuesdays of Mars retrograde period, as they might have appeared in an almanac of the time, in 1603/4.

“As a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as a nail to his hole,”

Nails are made of iron, the metal of Mars.  Mars is retrograde every two years. Here we have the first and last Tuesdays of a retrogradation period and a significant event on a Tuesday within that period.

This dates the play to 1604.

Much of the action of the play takes place in Florence, whose patron saint is John the Baptist, and whose feast day is 24th June. The Moon came to conjunction with Mars and the star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo on 24th June, appropriate for the character of Diana and discussions of virginity. The action involves someone in Florence, Helena, pretending to be dead, and disguising herself as Diana the Moon.  Oxford is indeed a different general although it may have been easier to relate her to Oxford in a time when female roles were played by men and boys.

One reason for de Vere disappearing himself may lie in the rise to power of his arch-enemy Henry Howard. \Dying’ on 24th June would give him the opportunity to stage or record a burial on 6th July, referencing Much Ado (see separate post)



Checking data

The following give actual retrogradation periods for Mars.  Subtract ten days for the 1604 data as the Julian calendar was used in Britain.

This gives weekdays and religious feast.

The data available in 1604 would differ slightly. You can check this using the astromodels application here

I have found these consistent with the printed tables

Ephemeridum novum atque insigne opus ab anno Dominus 1556 usque in 1606 by Cyprian Leowitz

I supplied evidence evidence that Shakespeare used the Alphonsine Tables

(I was never a Marlovian, this was just a correction of a talk I had given a few years back by invitation of A. D. Wraight)

Edward de Vere’s Fibonacci Diamond

The letters in the dedication of Shakespeare’s Sonnets may be arranged in diamond form and slightly rearranged to suggest that Edward de Vere is the principal author of the sonnets.

144 is the only square Fibonacci Number. 55 is the largest triangular Fibonacci number. Draw a line above the 10th row from the bottom dividing the diamond into two parts of Fibonacci ratio. The tenth row from the bottom reads LIVINGPOET and is the fourteenth from the top, appropriate for someone writing poems with fourteen lines and ten syllables per line. Centrally placed in the line above LIVINGPOET is OUR. Oxfordians often read the four letters to the right of OUR, namely EVER as an anagram of VERE. It occurred to me to rearrange the four letters to the left of OUR, namely EDBY which give BY DE. This gives two groups of words, one from rearranged letters and others from non-rearranged letters. Retaining the order of words within each group I separated them to give BY DE VERE OUR LIVING POET. The two groups are in an 8 : 13 Fibonacci ratio.  The first known publication of the relationship between the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden ratio is from 1611 but there are at least two records of it being known prior to 1609.


I did not try many arrangements of the dedication, only this one, as it seemed to me a natural one which nobody else had tried. I searched it for possible information on Mr W. H. not on authorship.  I was content to read the line below LIVINGPOET, namely WISHETHTH as standing for WI lliam SH akespeare and TH omas TH orpe, with Shakespeare as author, particularly as Thorpe gave his initials as Th Th on a subsequent publication. I couldn’t take the Oxford theory very seriously as I believe, as I still do, that the late plays were written when most people think, however as a test for this reading I just asked how this might look to an Oxfordian as I knew that EVER was often read as E VER  and VERE.  When I read this I was converted, in a moment, to that the view that de VERE was, at very least, the main author of the Sonnets. (Noting the Fibonacci Relationship came a bit later). Probably many people will think I spent years trying out all sorts of arrangements of the dedication and all sorts of anagrams, I didn’t: the authorship isn’t that important to me.  The two key steps, the diamond and the rearrangement of EDBY just occurred to me.

To get this arangement it is necessary that there should be a well-defined unit of text with 144 letters and that the sequence ED.BY.OUR.EVER-LIVING.POET. should be present beginning at the 79th letter. I rather suspect that if there was another instance of the phrase ‘our ever-living poet’ in Elizabethan or Jacobean literature we would know about it.

It is possible that ‘mine eye may be deceived’ and I would welcome any comments on how we might determine whether this arrangement arises by chance or design.

Update 7th November.

Since I posted this I have come to understand that Shakespeare’s favourite poet Ovid uses the name Dione, originally the mother of Venus, to stand for Venus herself. e.g. Amores 14.33. DIONE appears on a diagonal with O coinciding with O in OUR and N with N in LIVING, the line which divides the diamond into two parts of 89 and 55 letters also divides DIONE according to the Fibonacci Sequence into two parts of 3 and 2 letters. I have found more in this diamond than shown here and am also aware of other arrangements of letters giving potentially significant words and have to ask the question ‘how did anyone create this?’ I am considering the hypothesis that whoever created this started from the diamond and the two rows highlighted here.

Update Thanksgiving Day

The second hyphen divides the 16th line of 8 letters into two Fibonacci-numbered sections of 5 and 3 letters.

Thanks to a colleague, whom I’m happy to name, for pointing that THE and ONLIE are in Fibonacci/Phi relationship.  In fact the first four words TO.THE.ONLIE.BEGETTER give four consecutive Fibonacci numbers 2, 3, 5, 8

The same colleague also reminded me of the arrangement of words in the dedication in three triangles of 6, 2 and 4 lines corresponding to the letters in the name Edward de Vere