de Vere


Eight Proofs that Edward de Vere Wrote the Plays and Poems of William Shakespeare:
And the Reason Why He Was Forced to Transfer His Authorship


Proof One

A Scientifically Based Examination of a Major Mystery in English Literature: Thomas Thorpe's Preface to the Sonnets.

Proof Two

Ben Jonson's Avowal that Edward de Vere was Shakespeare, and he must be Tested to Verify This.

Proof Three

Ben Jonson affirms that E de Vere was Shakespeare in the opening lines of the First Folio

Proof Four

Edward de Vere's Personal Admission that he Wrote Sonnet 76.

Proof Five

The Testimony of Henry Peacham the elder, who saw a court performance of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus in 1574, when the alleged author was 10 years of age.

Proof Six

The Stratford Monument provides further proof that Edward de Vere was Shakespeare.

Proof Seven

Thomas Thorpe's Second Encryption, asserting that Edward de Vere wrote the Sonnets.

Proof Eight

The Rival Poet; his identity; his poetry, the rivalry, and the historical documents that confirm this.


A question mark presently hangs over the head of William Shakespeare like the Sword of Damocles. One day soon, it may take its effect. Whether it does so or not depends upon the answer to this
question. Did he, or did he not write the works attributed to him?

Those convinced there is no question to be answered have been misinformed. Incredible though it may sound, those with the greatest authority, and who give their willing support in public for Shakespeare's authorship, have never actually read a serious book governing the question to which they so positively respond. They know very little about the mass of evidence that has accumulated over the past years, which argues, point by point, against accepting this man's provenance as an author. It is also likely their university library does not even possess a serious book on the subject. How, then, can they offer an intelligent defence of the man?

In point of fact, very few do attempt to defend him by answering pertinent questions. Instead, their preferred method of defence is to deny any problem exists. But. this is a mistake. Expertise in the subject of literary criticism does not confer the same level of expertise in authorship studies. Because a scholar has achieved an acclaimed knowledge of the written works attributed to Shakespeare, does not automatically convey possession of an equivalent ability concerning the authorship question. Normally, this difference would not be noticeable when referring to other writers. But in the case of Shakespeare, much of what is normal is absent. And what is not normal, is very much in evidence. For any professor, biographer, or for that matter teacher of English literature to admit there is no problem concerning Shakespeare's authorship, is to indirectly admit their personal lack of knowledge concerning this matter, even though their scholarship concerning the poet's work may be exemplary.

It has been said that every biography of Shakespeare is "a fur coat with no knickers". That is to say, the reader is treated to the sublime art of Shakespeare's written word. But when one looks beneath the surface and discovers the man to whom these works have been attributed, there is nothing whatever of an evidential nature to lead one to suppose that he was, indeed, the author. This leaves biographers with no recourse but to invent the missing evidence themselves. This, of course, is an absolute taboo in logic, because it leads to circular reasoning. Nevertheless, it is the only recourse to action available. It works this way. The plays and poems of Shakespeare are a given fact. They can therefore be examined for their content, and their sources traced. These become elicited facts. These elicited facts are then used to construct a scholarly portrait of Shakespeare. This scholar's portrait of Shakespeare is then used as a substitute for what is missing from the countryman's biography, and to explain how he was able to write the plays attributed to him. But this is no more than circular reasoning. From 'A' we infer 'B', and from 'B' we infer 'A'. Let it be subsequently discovered that 'Shakespeare' was the pen name of another author, and the entire charade collapses, together with the reputations of those who supported it.

The doubts surrounding Shakespeare's authorship have emerged from an inherited paradigm: one which began during the most censorious period in English history. Whippings, imprisonment, torture, disfigurement, amputations, exile and even death were among the sentences given to those found guilty of writing or saying anything judged to be seditious. In the midst of this elitist rule, the 17th Earl of Oxford, in a bid to escape the disapproval of his class, which scorned publishing as something ungentlemanly, published two poems under the pen name William Shakespeare, having first obtained the youthful Earl of Southampton to act as 'Shakespeare's' patron, along with a certain William Shaxpere (as written on his marriage certificate application) to act as his allonym. It is likely that Oxford embellished the name Shaxpere before adopting it as Shakespeare.

After the ruse was discovered, neither Oxford nor 'Shakespeare' ever published again, and the abandoned patronage of Southampton for 'Shakespeare' was a direct consequence; although it remains a profound mystery to those believing in Shaxpere's ability to have written Oxford's masterpieces.

But the relationship between Oxford and young Southampton did not end. The youth held a fascination for the poet, and this became expressed in many terms of endearment within the sonnets he wrote. These embarrassing expressions of love were not helped by the youth's effeminate display. An improper affair was suspected between the two: a crime for which the Queen had decreed the death sentence. Fear of the scandal that would erupt if the sonnets became public was the cause of preventing their publication while Oxford lived.

It was also while Oxford still lived that the confusion obscuring the truth about Shakespeare came into being. Censorship of the sonnets could only last for a limited time. However, a perpetual censorship would exist to protect each family's name into the future, if Oxford transferred his authorship to a man from the lower classes. For such a person could never be associated intimately with the nobility. It was the perfect solution.The boundaries between the classes were strictly adhered to in that age, and infringements were punishable by law. Moreover, this fear of a scandal stretched all the way to Queen Elizabeth, for Lord Burghley was the orphaned Southampton's royal guardian, and responsible for his upbringing and moral welfare; he was also grandfather to Oxford's three daughters. Burghley was therefore implicated by his association with the poet and the youth. He also had political enemies who would not hesitate to exploit this connection, if given the opportunity. It was for this reason that Oxford was pressured by his shameful admissions into distancing himself from the sonnets, and by extension his plays, by transferring them to William Shaxpere: the man who, once before had acted as Oxford's allonym, and who was still identified by some as the author named on the two poems by William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis and Lucrece.
In the aftermath of this transfer of authorship, all incriminating evidence was erased from the records; a task made easier for Burghley, since he was the head of censorship, and had both power and motive to accomplish this. Also, it was not in the interests of the nobility to make known what had happened. As for the circle of writers and scholars who did know, they were aware of the penalty for disclosing what had happened. Their knowledge would die with them. It would take no more than a generation and a civil war to pass, at which time the theatres were shut down, for William Shakespeare to emerge anew: reborn as the idol of Elizabethan theatre, and the epitome of genius that he has now become.

But when just men are pressured by a nation's censorship into maintaining silence, there is always the secret outlet offered by code. Oxford had himself resorted to this by encrypting his name into Sonnet 76. He also exposed his true feelings at having to surrender his authorship to Shaxpere by writing a prophecy in Sonnet 81. In today's world, it is regularly fulfilled. But he was not alone. Thomas Thorpe encrypted the secret between Oxford and Southampton in his asyntactic preface to the Sonnets. Ben Jonson used the Stratford monument as a giant cryptogram to explain that the man he loved this side of idolatry was Edward de Vere. To this, he added by encryption a similar declaration in the opening words of his poem at the front of the First Folio. Leonard Digges, Henry Peacham and John Benson were three others that adopted the same strategy, by enciphering the name of Edward de Vere as Shakespeare into a major part of their work. Are we to believe that today's professorship know more about who Shakespeare was than these well-known contemporaries of the great man? Hardly likely, is it? To believe otherwise is to accept the myriad of shoehorned facts that are forced into the vacant and undeserving life of a man, about whom every single connection to a literary life has been either imagined, or accepted on faith. There are no exceptions.

The eight proofs given on this website are only part of the full story behind this nobleman's secret identity. For the full story, including answers to all the objections made against Oxford, which have been given in the past, these can be found in Proving Shakespeare (second edition) Orvid Editions 2011.

"Roper has provided in this book primary evidence relevant to an enigma of over 400 years standing: the actual identity of 'William Shakespeare'."
                                        Journal for Scientific Exploration

"This is a closely written book with fresh ideas and sharp arguments; it's demanding and knee deep in detail, and it's a fitting opponent to 'Monstrous Adversary'."
                                       De Vere Society News (Review).