The Earl of Oxford

By the way, that whole drama with the Earl of Oxford was an act so that he could get anti English conspirators to trust him. 

This was the official records on him which I rewrote. You can perhaps tell that I wrote them from the dramatic levels it encompasses such as:

Oxford also consorted with a sixteen-year-old Venetian choirboy named Orazio Cogno. Oxford brought Orazio back to London with him, where he remained with Oxford for approximately one year before returning to Venice. In 1580-81 Oxford was accused of pederasty with Orazio, with another Italian boy named Rocco, and with other boys as well.


The trophies he brought with him to England in Apr 1576 included a pair of silk gloves for the
Queen, the choirboy, and syphilis.

And also

In 1580-81, in letters directed to members of the Privy Council,
Henry Howard and Charles Arundell accused Oxford of numerous crimes: murder, necromancy, athiesm, lying, drunkenness, and sedition, and included multiple instances of pederasty. Having sodomized an Italian servant of his named Auratio or Horatio; they reported that the boy had left Oxford's employ without Oxford's permission, citing sexual abuse as his reason Here

The syphilis touch really got him upset and the homosexual stuff made him so furious he wanted to kill me but Queen Elizabeth enjoyed those little touches immensely  Although I invented most of the drama I can't believe that people take it for the truth. 'Buggery' was illegal and he would have spent years in prison if it had been true. That it was in the official court record which only deals with facts such as taxes paid, etc. and not opinions about who sleeps with who should have also tipped off everyone. It really had no place in the court records but the real problem was that those records carried the same weight as if the queen decreed that he was a syphilitic homosexual so it was a heavy onus to have put on Oxford. These additions should by all means be immediately removed from the records.

It does read like a scene right out of a 'Shakespeare play' doesn't it?

And no I don't want to tell you what he did to deserve that all out warfare but both he and the queen agreed that he deserved it. I'm still so upset at him that I won't put a picture of him on this page.

By the way if the queen heard me complain about my husband she would say, 'If you want a divorce then I can make it so in two minutes'. He would not have gotten a good settlement either. The queen might have allowed him to keep the clothes he was wearing at the time.  Wait a minute, I think that is exactly what happened.

As of yet unproven information related to the Earl of Oxford

Why would I do such a slanderous thing to the Earl of Oxford and how could I get away with it? One reason was this. I was his wife Anne Cecil (another alias). I just pretended to be the daughter of William Cecil who was
the father of Robert Cecil who became my real second husband (in the procession picture above).

You should always suspect that the imagined daughter of a spy master like William Cecil is not who you think she is.

(During that time period I did visit William Cecil often and I got to know my 'brother' Robert Cecil who I later married.)

My husband, Oxford, and I  were on the outs with each other and since I made certain that Anne Cecil died mysteriously in 1588 I made it so that the Earl could have actually murdered me. Any way he certainly wanted to kill me after what I said about his having sex with choir boys and contracting Syphilis.

Anne Cecil was me.

Oxford rejected his wife on trumped up charges and refused to live with her for a period of more than five years. He denied paternity of the nine-month-old daughter he earlier acknowledged. Abandoning his wife and daughter to Burghley's care, he set up household with his choirboy in Broadstreet. The marriage, although it produced three surviving daughters, was not happy; Anne died in 1588. Three of the remaining daughters, Elizabeth, Bridget and Susan, would marry into the nobility, the latter to the Earl of Montgomery, one of two noblemen to whom William Shakespeare's First Folio was dedicated.

I concede that I was too hasty by dying so permanently because I think we got back together for a short while. However, women do not really take back men who unfairly betray them but most people don't know this. By the way it didn't last.

The Earl of Oxford's job with the theater was as a talent agent. His credentials as Earl made it possible to enlist actors from Europe, otherwise agents were rarely trusted.

Many people question our use of boys to play the womens parts. They were castrati which I explain on this page.

The Earl found the best and brought them back to England. He had nothing to do with them sexually. I was the only one that knew that for sure though and I could have supported him but what did I do? I convicted him of homosexuality.

He also brought castrati to work for the state. Since they would not attack women they were used mainly to watch the women who were prisoners in the tower. Some were exceptional cooks.

We wanted to help them but they were a 'hot commodity' so we had to keep their existence low key. They were the main cause of England's split with the Catholic Church as I explain here.

Oh, and the other reason I gave the Earl a bio with a very high drama content is solid fact so you will have to go out of this box to read it.

All this high drama was needed to give a realistic reason for his treason and to make it look like he would be willing to betray England. He just waited and many ready made conspiracies arrived at his doorstep. He would often join their cause, find out who the conspirators were, then have a change of heart and denounce them all. (Alternately he would supply their names to the black guard who would silently take care of the rest.) 

Elizabeth would forgive the Earl, accept him back into her good graces, chop the heads off of the conspirators and in a few years he would do it all over again. Three times Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, did this and her enemies never caught on.  You must read between the lines to realize that there was much more that went on but here are a few of those times with explanations where needed.

At one point in 1574, Oxford, without permission, bolted to the continent. Instead of finding himself in serious trouble for acting as if he were joining forces with the Catholics, he was summoned back by Elizabeth through a couple gentlemen pensioners she sent to retrieve him. All the quotes about the Earl of Oxford were taken from this one account.

and again:

Late in 1580 he denounced a group of Catholic friends to the Queen, accusing them of treasonous activities and asking her mercy for his own, now repudiated, Catholicism. He was retained under house arrest for a short time, but Elizabeth characteristically prevaricated in the matter.

As you already know about this part.

In 1581, the Queen learned of Oxford's affair with a Gentlewoman of the Bedchamber when the woman, Anne Vavasour (whose portrait suggests that she is the Dark Lady of the Sonnets) gave birth to a son (later Sir Edward Vere). Elizabeth sent de Vere, Vavasour, and the bastard infant to the Tower for a while. Afterwards, Thomas Knyvet, a Groom of the Privy Chamber and uncle of Anne Vavasour, fought Oxford; both men were wounded, Oxford more severely and in the leg, like Cassio in Othello, explaining the complaint of lameness in the Sonnets. Additional street fighting between Oxford's and Knyvet's servants, including some deaths, resemble the Montague / Capulet dynamics in Romeo and Juliet.

That fight was because of his inclusion in a assassination attempt without his knowledge. The Earl thought he was going to just meet some assassins for a later attempt and then found himself with three assassins sneaking into the garden courtyard under the queen's chamber. He had been disarmed, kidnapped and was going to be forced to guide them to her majesty's bedchamber in the dark. Thinking fast he excused himself to urinate on some roses, tested several wooden stakes, then pulled up the three newest and largest. One he enlisted as a club to cave in the lead conspirators skull and the other two found employment as lances with varying degrees of success. In the final tally he killed two of the men and wounded a third. This was an action which had not been seen since the start of the stone age. 50 people knew of the fight within ten minutes so it was changed from an assassination attempt to the above brawl and moved to a new location away from the queen.

In the 1590's he pretended to start open warfare with Queen Elizabeth using attempts to destroy her previous business agreements and land deals. This was to find out who was willing to attack her and who would wish to profit from her business losses.

In the 1590s he sought additional monopolies and lands from Elizabeth, usually to no avail.

History does not mention that these ventures always failed or that only the other conspirators got caught, punished or disappeared.
This complex series of monopoly and land schemes had it's inception four years before when Elizabeth gave him the seed money for these betrayals. 

In 1586, the notoriously stingy Queen granted Oxford a £1000 annuity (= several hundred thousand dollars now). No explanation was given and the wording on the document was identical to the formula for the granting of secret service money. Courtiers typically were granted lands and monopolies.

The ventures/traps are why no reason was ever given for the 1,000 pounds a year.

What did you think of the Earl's performances? The history books gave them all great reviews. 

Why was I involved in the 1581 counter spy operation? Why do you think?
There were three others in Elizabeth's court that also played this role and yours truly was one of them. While playing the part of a wronged Anne Vavasour I managed to get away with playing the part of the treasonous Lady of the Bedchamber four times. 

When I got the opportunity to act in the Queens plays, which is what we did in real life, I pulled out all the stops and played it to the hilt. I played the part of the innocent virgin raped and made pregnant by the powerful and despicable Earl of Oxford, then I and my infant child were victimized again the very next day when we were imprisoned in the infernal Tower of London by the vindictively jealous Queen Elizabeth. That made everyone feel that anything I did to the queen was justified. Even treason. By the way, the guards left the back door of the Tower of London open so we could come and go whenever we pleased. The quarters were resplendent. It was after all our honeymoon.

And who would they allow to play the most dramatic and delicious role ever created on the real life stage of intrigue and international politics of Queen Elizabeth's court?

Nobody but myself, the Bard. Do you have any idea how much fun it was acting that that part? Why should I bother acting on stage when I had better parts in real life?

The only role that came close to this one was the role I got to play as the girlfriend of Guy Hawkes who was a secret agent in the  Gunpowder Plot. Who could ever have thought up such a role as this?

Previous Page
All rights reserved. © J Pinil, Inc. 2006