Joan Shakespeare – William Hart

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The Royal Janitor


John Presco

Copyright 2022

In thirty minutes Victoria and Miriam would be landing in Eugene Oregon. Our intelligence agents for BAD (the British Anglian Directive) were in shock and had been ever since the Librarian at Wormsley had shown Victoria the ancient genealogy of Shakespeare and the Bard’s Will that left everything to his grandson, Hart.

“There’s a Hart in my family tree!” The head of BAD exclaimed. I am kin to the Hart family of Connecticut, and possibly Sir Isaac Hull, a Captain of the U.S.S. Constitution.”

“Oh my!” the Librarian said, excitedly. “You are kin to Princess Diana Spencer, and all the Harts in America, via, Stephen Hart. And you are British, or course. This makes you a literary ambassador, a Hand Across the Water. You are kin to Senator Thomas Hart Benton, the first propirator of the Oregon Territory. How long have you been interested in Shakespeare?”

“Most of her life!” Starfish piped in. “And she’s really interested in American History! We are heading to Oregon where Tina Kotek just won the race for Governor.”

“How wonderful! You must look up John Presco who is kin to Alexander Webb, and thus the Arden family. He has used our reference library on several occasions. He is kin to all members of the Getty family via his second, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor.”

“That’s your middle name!” Starfish – screeched!

“Oh my! It appears you are American Royalty! Did you know the Gettys are kin to Ian Fleming?”

“Who’s that?”

“You never heard of James Bond? They made ten movies about him.”

“We don’t watch movies!”

“Only the movie PI.”

“Do you read books?”


“No books!”

“We spend allot of time on our smart phones.”

“Oh. Well…. perhaps you can look John up? He lives in Springfield. Did you know Sir Sam Mendes is directing a play about your kin, Hamnet? He already directed a play about your kin Liz Taylor. He made two James Bond movies. I can give him a call. He would be glad to meet a descendant of Shakespeare.”

“No. We are running late!”

“Got to go!”

“Stephen Hart was the progenitor of many descendants who now live in
all fifty of the United States, as well as Canada, South America,
Europe, and probably other parts of the world.

He was born about 1605 in England. By 1632, he had arrived in New
England on the Lyon. Four years later he was among the original
settlers of Hartford, Connecticut.”

To be continued

Royal Shakespeare Company reopens theatre with play about the bard’s family life

Charlotte McLaughlin – Yesterday 3:15 AM

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will reopen a theatre with a new play about the inner working of the famous playwright’s family life.

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020© PA Media

The best-selling Hamnet book by Maggie O’Farrell will be adapted to run at the newly refurbished Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The story pulls back the curtain in an imagined tale on the “neglected life” of William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne, daughters, Susanna and Judith, and son, Hamnet, who died at the age of 11.

O’Farrell won Waterstones Book of the Year and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2020 for the novel, which has sold over 1.5 million copies.

She said without Shakespeare’s grief at his son’s early death there would be no Hamlet or Twelfth Night.

O’Farrell added: “That Hamnet the boy will now be appearing in a play with his name, in the very town where he lived and died, is an incredibly moving thought.”

The novel has been adapted by Olivier award-winning playwright Lolita Chakrabarti and sees the RSC work with director Sam Mendes’ production company Neal Street Productions.

Sam Mendes to Direct Play About the Making of HAMLET With Richard Burton, John Gielgud & Elizabeth Taylor

The play is set for a Spring 2023 debut at the U.K. National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage.

by Michael Major Jul. 27, 2022  


Oscar and Tony-winning director Sam Mendes will direct a new play that follows how actors Richard Burton and John Gielgud brought a production of Hamlet to Broadway in 1964, with help from Elizabeth Taylor.

Open Letter To Sam Mendes

Posted on July 30, 2022 by Royal Rosamond Press



Sam Mendes, who directed the last two James Bond movies and won an Oscar for American Beauty, has wed again.

Prince of Kent and Gordon Getty

Posted on April 29, 2018 by Royal Rosamond Press

The Prince off Kent and Gordon Getty have been playing with the Russians

In film, he made his directorial debut with the drama American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director. He has since directed the crime film Road to Perdition (2002), Jarhead (2005), the drama Revolutionary Road (2008), and the James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). For the war film 1917 (2019), he received the BAFTA Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director, as well as his second Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.[6]

Dear Mr. Mendes…

I posted on my blog the story about you that came up on my newsfeed because I am kin to Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, and, I am her historian. I might be the Getty Family Historian because her son married Eileen Getty, and thus she and Michael Wilding are kin to Ian Fleming. Only when I reread my blog, did I see you directed two James Bond movies. I did not find a way to contact you personally, so I am authoring this open letter in order to avoid coming to loggerheads.

Four years ago I began my own Bond novel starring Victoria Rosemond Bond. I began a novel, that I considered would make a great Broadway play. ‘Arose Amongst The Woodwose stars Lady Mary Wilson Webb who sails to the New World with John Wilson, her relative. Mary is kin to Shakespeare.

to be conitinued

Joan Shakespeare, married to William Hart – biography, family tree (a little, so far)


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Jan 27, 2007, 9:45:24 AM

to(quote, excerpts)


William Hart (actor)

>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Hart was a Jacobean Actor who was the nephew of William

He was born in Warwickshire in 1600 and died probably in London in
1639. He was the son of hatter William Hart and Shakespeare’s sister

He started as a child actor and eventually joined the famous troupe
“The King’s Men” – his famous uncle’s troupe – in the 1630s. He never
married although he is thought to have had a by-blow child, Charles
Hart, who also became an actor.

[edit] Sonnets

It has been suggested that William Hart, who is mentioned in
Shakespeare’s will, was “the sole begetter, Mr W H”, to whom the
sonnets are dedicated. Since the sonnets are constantly urging the
begetter to marry and have children and even refers to him bearing the
looks of his mother; and, on the death of Shakespeare’s own son,
William Hart became Shakespeare’s male heir, it is tantalising to
think that the W.H. mystery is solved.

The only problem is that when the sonnets were published, Hart was
only nine years old. It is possible that the 1600 birth year is wrong
or that Shakespeare may have written the sonnets in anticipation of
Hart’s coming of age, and may have had to sell the sonnets to raise
money quickly.


Joan Shakespeare


In 1569, John and Mary Shakespeare gave birth to another girl, and
named her after her first born sister, Joan.

Joan Shakespeare accomplished the wondrous feat of living to be
seventy-seven years old — outliving William and all her other
siblings by decades.

Joan married William Hart the hatter and had four children but two of
them died in childhood. Her son William Hart (1600-1639) followed in
his famous uncle’s footsteps and became an actor, performing with the
King’s Men in the mid-1630s. His most noted role was that of

William Hart never married, but the leading actor of the restoration
period, Charles Hart, is believed to have been William Hart’s
illegitimate son and grandnephew to Shakespeare.

Due to the fact that Shakespeare’s children and his other siblings did
not carry on the line past the seventeenth century, the descendants of
Joan Shakespeare Hart possess the only genetic link to the great
playwright. Joan Shakespeare lost her husband William a week before
she lost her brother William in 1616, and she lived the rest of her
life in Shakespeare’s birthplace. Joan died in 1646, but her
descendants stayed in Stratford until 1806.



Birth: Place: < Stratford, Warwickshire, England>

Christening: 15 Apr 1569 Place:

Death: 1646 Place:


Mother: Mary ARDEN

m. William Henry HART



Christening: 15 Apr 1569 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford upon
Avon, Warwickshire, England

Death: Nov 1646 Place: Henley-Street, Stratford upon Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Burial: 4 Nov 1646 Place: Holy Trinity Stratford upon Avon,
Warwickshire, England


Mother: Mary ARDEN

m. William HART

Marriage: 1599 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England


William HART

Christening: 21 Sep 1569 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Burial: 17 Apr 1616 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Father: John or Johannis HART

Mother: Margaret


Marriage: 1599 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England


John or Johannis HART

Christening: 1534 Place: Stratford o Avon, Warwickshire,

Father: Richard HART


m. Margaret


Richard HART

Death: 27 Sep 1564 Place:



Christening: 1534 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Burial: 30 May 1564 Place: Stratford o Avon, Warwickshire,

m. John or Johannis HART


William HART

Christening: 28 Aug 1600 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Death: Place: Stratford o Avon, Warwickshire, England

Burial: 29 Mar 1639 Place: Holy Trinity, Stratford o Avon,
Warwickshire, England

Father: William HART




lyra's profile photo



Jan 27, 2007, 9:56:57 AM


Origin and Meaning of the name Hart

The name HART comes from the Old English name Heorta which means a
hart or stag as in a male deer.


an interesting look at some of the Harts…

(quote, excerpts)


Stephen Hart was the progenitor of one of the many Hart families in
North America.

His descendants number in the millions and include many notables,
including Humphrey Bogart,

Princess Diana and her sons,

Nathan Hale, and Julie Harris, among many others.


Quite a few 17th, 18th, and 19th century descendants are described in
Alfred Andrew’s book, “Stephen Hart and his Descendants,” which is
available here.

Stephen Hart

Stephen Hart was the progenitor of many descendants who now live in
all fifty of the United States, as well as Canada, South America,
Europe, and probably other parts of the world.

He was born about 1605 in England. By 1632, he had arrived in New
England on the Lyon. Four years later he was among the original
settlers of Hartford, Connecticut.

After less than 10 years in Hartford, he became one of the first
settlers of Farmington, Connecticut, where he lived the rest of his
life on one of the largest house lots in town. Harts have remained in
Farmington and Connecticut until the modern era. Many of Stephen
Hart’s descendants left Farmington to settle in other parts of
Connecticut, the United States, Canada, and the world.


Who Was Stephen Hart?

This is a summary of what is known about Stephen Hart, assembled from
information collected here and in other sources.

Origin: Somewhere in England, perhaps in or near Braintree, Essex Co.,
as stated in Andrews, or possibly in Ipswich, Suffolk Co., about 30
miles east of Braintree. Research by David Hart, available here,
presenting the current theories and evidence for Stephen Hart’s
English origins, points to an origin in Ipswich.

The book Farmington in Connecticut, suggests that Stephen Hart may
have been involved in the weaver’s trade as looms were listed in early
Hart inventories and he may have come from Essex county in England, a
center of cloth production. But, this has not been verified.

Parents: Unknown, although a number of theories have been examined and
reported. Research by David Hart available here presents much of what
is known of Stephen Hart’s English origins. Information giving names
for Stephen Hart’s father, found on the net and also in a few of the
family histories included here, has not been verified and should not
be considered definitive.

Migration: He arrival in Massachusetts on the ship The Lyon either on
November 2, 1631, or September 15, 1632. Research by David Hart
available here presents details and analysis.

Residence: Stephen Hart was among the original settlers of three
towns: (i) Newtowne, now called Cambridge, Massachusetts 1631 (or
1632) -1635.

(ii) Settled Hartford, CT, probably in 1635, as a member of an advance
party before the arrival of Thomas Hooker’s party in 1636. He remained
there until at least 1640.

(iii) Settled in Farmington, CT some time between June 1640, when
permission to settle the plantation of Tunxis was granted, and
December 1945 when the plantation of Tunxis became the town of
Farmington. He remained in Farmington until his death. An article by
Richard Hart describes Stephen Hart’s life as a settler of these three

Church Membership: Admission to Cambridge church prior to May 14th,
1634 is implied by his freemanship. He would have retained his
membership when the Cambridge church moved to Hartford. He was an
original member of the Farmington church, as he was appointed deacon
there when the church was created in 1652.

Education: He signed both his will and the copy of the Farmington land
agreement with the Tunxis Indians, providing evidence that he was able
to read and write. The inventory of his estate showed that he owned £5
worth of books, providing further evidences that he read.

Offices Held:

Deputy to Connecticut General Court for Farmington, 1647-1655, 1660.
War committee for Farmington, May 1653.
Jury Duty, 24 May 1647 20 February 1650/1, 7 December 1654, 3 March
1658/9, 5 September 1661, and 9 October 1661.
Served in Pequot War, 1637.
All from original written records.

Birth: Although Andrews gives a date of 1605, it was probably earlier
than that, based on work done by David Hart and others.

Death: in Farmington between March 16, 1682/3 (date of his will) and
March 31, 1683 (>date of the inventory of the estate). Note that these
two dates are only 15 days apart, as the old style new year began on
March 25th. There is no known marker for his grave and the location is

Marriages: Stephen Hart had at least two wives. Some think that the
gap of seven years between the second and third children suggests the
possibility that his children were with two wives, making a total of
three wives. Others suggest that the estimated birth dates of his
children may be to early and still others claim that he may have had
another son named Stephen, who died either on board the Lyon, or
shortly after arrival in America.

Only the name of his last wife is known. He married Margaret
( ) (Smith) Nash after 1678 (death of her second husband).
She was the widow of Arthur Smith and Joseph Nash, and then Stephen
Hart, as well. She died at Farmington between February 18, 1691/2
(date of will) and March 1, 1693/4 (probate of will).

Stephen Hart – Princess Diana

Posted on January 31, 2013 by Royal Rosamond Press

Jeanette Hart, a heart-breaker to be sure...

Since I can remember, I was told by my mother, Rosemary, that she descends from Commodore Isaac Hull the Captain of the Enterprise and U.S.S. Constitution. Six years ago my aunt Lillian confirmed this, she telling me she owned a book her father, Royal Rosamond, gave her with a handwritten inscription inside. Isaac married Ann Hart, who I discovered yesterday, is kin to Princess Diana ‘The Rose of England’.

Ann and her six sisters were considered the most beautiful women in America. Their kindred have been described as a “beautiful race” anyone who is of their blood, blessed with extraordinary good looks. Consider Christine Rosamond and the beautiful women she rendered, and our kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Now add Diana Spencer, her mother, and Kate Windsor, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is due to give birth to a child in July. This child will own Hart blood, and thus will be very beautiful.

The problem with being descended from Issac, is, it is alleged he had no children. But, this may not be true. There is a Nancy Ann Hart, that is entwined with Ann, and there is no original statement that says Isaac had no children. Perhaps Ann disowned her child (ren)?

What is really curious, is that Ann’s sister, Jennette, was the lover of Simon Bolivar, who thought she miscarried his child, and was furious that she brought the fetus home to be buried. It is said this was the child of another sister, but, there is a un-marked grave that allegedly contains Jeanette’s favorite slave names Sarah, but, there is another grave for another “Sarah”? Could Sarah be Isaac’s child by Jennette, or, Ann? The three lived together. Isaac took other Hart Beauties on cruises aboard the Constitution, and spend much time at the home of Elisha Hart surrounded by his seven daughters who adored Isaac who was a famous lover, or should be. Why he sired no children, is a mystery. Was Ann barren, and was Janette a surrogate wife and mother to one of America’s most famous men – who for sure is kin to the Rose of England?

What we might be looking at is an abortion performed by Jannett’s slave after Hart saw Bolivar in a parade with his mistress. They had talked about getting married. Consider all the intrigue that surrounds the death of Princess Di and her tragic mother, Frances Ruth Burke-Roche.

The Hart family settled in Cambridge. Is it possible Windsor genealogists know of the Hart connection, and thus made William and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? I am not able to find a link between the two Hart families in America, one being the Harts the Benton family is kin to.

This is a study still in the works, so there may be inaccuracies as I put it together.

Above are two portraits of Ann Hart Hull, and a black and white image of Jeanette. That is the home of Elisha Hart.

Jon Preco

Copyright 2012

NANCY MCCURDY HART, Saybrook, second daughter of Elisha Hart, of the same town, and his wife, Jannette (McCurdy), born, 1790; married, Commodore Isaac Hull, United States Navy. Hull died in Philadelphia, February 13th, 1843, aged 68 years. He was appointed lieutenant in the navy in 1798, and first distinguished himself in 1800, during the short war with France, by cutting out the French letter-of-marque Sandwich, then lying in the harbor of Port au Platts, in St. Domingo. He subsequently commanded the schooner Enterprise, twelve guns, attached to the squadron under Commodore Morris, off Tripoli. In this vessel he aided Captain Rogers, of the John Adams, in capturing a large cruiser of twenty-two guns. During the Tripolitan war he was promoted to the rank of master commandant, and in 1806 was made captain. In the war of 1812 he commanded the frigate Constitution, and distinguished himself by capturing the English frigate Guerriere.

[First, there is some confusion in Andrew’s book, about this person’s name. Although the name ‘Nancy’ is used here, her name is given as ‘Ann’ in her father, Elisha’s, entry on page 405-6. It appears that there were no children of this marriage, but I have not yet seen this explicitly stated anywhere. More research is needed to resolve these two questions. A biography of Commodore Hull probably exists somewhere with answers to these Hart family questions.

There is considerable information available about Commadore Isaac Hull and his defeat of HMS Guerriere abord the USS Constitution in August 1812. He was also the first Commandant of the Portsmouth, NH Naval shipyard. The following letter was written by Captain Hull, while abord the Constitution to report the defeat of the Guerriere.

After her death, some 40 years after meeting Bolivar, the contents of the old Hart house were auctioned by James Tread way of Saybrook. Among the items sold from her room was a miniature painting on ivory of General Simon Bolivar. Scratched onto the back were the words: “Mr. Bolivar liberator, S.A. 1824.” There being no bidders, Mr. Treadway purchased the item and later presented it to members of the Hart family. Its whereabouts today is unknown.

Although she had many suitors, Jeannette never married. She lived in Philadelphia with her sister Ann and Isaac Hull and spent many summers in Saybrook. She and her sister Sarah converted to Catholicism.Tragic life of Frances Shand KyddLast updated at 19:52 03 June 2004

A descendant of Stephen HART is
Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales.
Here is the way:
1.Stephen Hart 1602/3-1682/3
2.Mary Hart abt 1630-1710 +John Lee 1620-1690
3.Tabitha Lee 1677-1750 +Preserved Strong 1679/80-1765
4.Elizabeth Strong 1704-1792 +Joseph Strong Jr 1701-1773
5.Benajah Strong 1740-1809 +Lucy Bishop 1747-1783
6.Joseph Strong 1770-1812 +Rebecca Young 1779-1862
8.Ellen Wood 1831-1877 +Frank Work 1819-1911
9.Frances Ellen Work 1857-1947 +James Boothby Burke-Roche 1851-1920
10.Edmund Maurice Burke-Roche 1885-1955 +Ruth Sylvia Gill 1980-
11.Frances Ruth Burke-Roche 1936- +Edward John Spencer 1924-
12.Diana Spencer HRH The Princess of Wales 1961- + Charles HRH
The Prince of Wales 1948-
Source:Gen History of Deacon
Stephen Hart and his descendants – Andrews and a book by
Gary Boyd Roberts, through Nancy Bainter
on the net

The Benton-Lane Genealogy

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

Senator Harry Lane and Thomas Hart Benton

I am the historian of the Benton and Lane families.

The wife of Joseph Lane, and grandmother of Harry Lane, married Nathanial Hart who is kin to Thomas Hart who is kin to Senator Thomas Hart Benton, the father of Jessie Benton, who married, John Fremont ‘The Pathfinder’ who was the first Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. These folks are in my Family Tree via my niece, Drew Benton. The Hart and Lane families are related. This is why John Breckenridge chose Joseph Lane as his running mate. The Hart family of Kentucky were partners of Daniel Boone. They owned over a million acres. If the Confederacy had won the Civil War, the Oregon Territory would belong to this family. Now I understand why Senator Benton played both sides of the street. His genetics couldn’t lose. This is America’s foremost family. Slavery was trying to take hold in Oregon.

John Presco

13. Nathaniel HART. Died About 1820 in Henderson, Henderson Co. KY. He married Mary “Polly” PIERCE. Died 10 Aug 1870 in Douglas, Oregon. Buried in OR. They had the following children:

  1. Nathaniel HART

Saturday, August 20, 1870 Oregon State Journal (Eugene, OR) Volume: 7 Issue: 27 Page: 3

We hear that Mrs. Gen. Lane died at her home in Douglas county, near Roseburg this week. She has been in feeble health for a number of years. Contributed by Jeanie Sawyer* ———————

When Polly was young she witnessed her family killed in an Indian Massacre, this was about 1810-1812 along the Ohio River most likely in Kentucky. She jumped into a canoe and floated down the river to John Hart and Patience Lanes cabin. She was about 10-12 years of age. The Harts raised her, after they found Polly’s family had been killed. Which included her mother, step father by the name of Pierre, two younger siblings. Her older brother was never found.

Polly first married Nathaniel Hart in 1820 in Henderson Co, KY. He died in 1820 along with his father John Hart. John is buried at the Book Cemetery in Henderson Co, KY. Polly and Nathaniel had one child named Nathaniel Hart JR. The Hart’s raised him.

In 1821 Polly married Joseph Lane, son of John Lane and Elizabeth Street. Polly and Joseph went on to have 8 children. They lived in Vanderburgh Co, Indiana and then later moved to Douglas Co, Or where they both died and our buried.

Bio by Heather W Bowers

  1. John B. HART. Born About 1763/1764 in NC. Died After Oct 1821 in Henderson, KY. Buried in Book Cemetery, Henderson Co., Henderson, KY. He married Patience LANE, 1785 in Johnson, NC. Born 28 Mar 1765 in Wake, NC. Died in Henderson, KY. Buried in Book Cemetery Henderson KY. They had the following children:
  1. Nathaniel HART
  2. Thomas HART
  3. John Jackson HART
  4. Ann or Nancy Morgan HART
  5. Kezia HART
  6. Rebecca HART
  7. Susannah or Susan HART
  8. Rhoda HART
  9. Mary HART
  10. Benjamin Franklin HART
  11. Amelia HART

Descendants of Jesse Lane – Family Card

Benjamin HART

Jesse LANE(Jul 3, 1733 – Oct 28, 1806)


When Capt. Elisha Hart (1758-1844), the wealthy Saybrook merchant and trader, married Janet McCurdy (1765-1815), of the well-known and well-off Lyme family, he looked forward to having sons to carry on his thriving businesses but fate, and “x” chromosomes, provided one daughter after another:

First there was Sarah born in 1787, then Ann in 1790, then Mary Ann in 1792, then Jeanette in 1794, Elizabeth in 1796, Amelia in 1799, and finally Harriet Augusta in 1804 – the seven beautiful Hart sisters.

The girls enjoyed the pleasant and pampered life of their prominent family. They were sent to “finishing schools,” including the highly respected Miss Pierce’s School in Litchfield, and their exposure to the ways of the world expanded beyond small town Saybrook. Lively, attractive, charming and sophisticated, they attracted many suitors.

When Ann attended school in Philadelphia she and her classmates visited the ship commanded by Isaac Hull. He showed them about and Ann had many questions and displayed an unusual knowledge in seafaring life which she gained from her father.
She commented on the neatly coiled rolls of tarred ropes and how she enjoyed the odor of tar. A few days later she received a delicate chain made from tarred rope that was sent by Hull. She wrote thanking him for the gift and so began a correspondence that led to their marriage in 1813.

Hull was born in Derby, the second of seven sons, and grew up along the shores of the Housatonic River. He developed a flair for the sea and signed on to a coastal schooner when he was 14. He studied navigation and by 20 was a master in the merchant service. In 1798 he entered the U.S. Navy.

When the War of 1812 began, 39-year-old Hull was placed in command of the frigate U.S. Constitution. Receiving orders to seek and destroy British warships between Nantucket and Halifax, he set sail. Spotting the English frigate Guerriere, he ordered all hands to prepare for action. When he was almost alongside the Guerriere, Hull gave the order: “Now boys! Pour it into them.”

Legend has it that, in the mid-1800’s, Cypress’ beautiful wrought iron fence along the sidewalk of College Street was “donated” by Jeanette Hart to the Association in return for the burial of Hart’s beloved slave, Sarah, in the Hart family plot. At that time, the Assoication was likely incensed at the idea of a “mixed” cemetery plot. But, in return for the fence, the Assoication acquiesced as long as Sarah’s plot was unmarked. The unmarked grave still exists today.

That isn’t the end of the story, however. Not far from the unmarked stone in the Hart plot is another stone inscribed with the name “Sarah”. The question remains, if Jeanette Hart defied the wishes of the Association, then why is there an unmarked stone in the Hart plot?

One explanation has Jeanette and her two sisters travelling to South America in 1824. Jeanette, unmarried, was said to have enjoyed a full and much publicized romance with Chile’s “liberator”, Simon Bolivar. While in South America, Jeanette’s sister Elizabeth was said to have given birth to a still-born child. Upon bringing the baby home for burial for her sister (reportedly encased in a wine basket for the purpose of preservation), Jeanette buried the child in the Hart plot. The question of which stone – the unmarked stone or the one inscribed “Sarah” – still lingers. In bringing the baby back to Connecticut, Jeanette was said to have enraged her “latino lover” and, as a result, didn’t end up marrying him as he originally proposed.

When the newly appointed commander of the U.S. Pacific Squadron, Commodore Isaac Hull departed New York in 1824 for his new assignment in the Pacific, he took his wife Ann Hart Hull of Old Saybrook as he usually did. Also on board was Ann’s sister Elizabeth and her new husband Heman Allen, the U.S. Minister to Chile, a favorite slave Leah, and another sister Jeannette (1794-1861).

Before they returned, they would face dilemmas and decisions involving a romantic adventure, a marriage proposal, a mistress, a miscarriage, and transporting a dead body while a continent-wide revolution raged.

Today, it would be on afternoon television and might be called “Hart Ache South of the Border.”

Arriving in Lima, Peru, Commodore Hull and his wife hosted several elaborate receptions and dances and invited Simon Bolivar (1783 – 1830) who was at the height of his glory and known by his admirers throughout the continent as the Liberator of South America.
At one of these receptions Bolivar’s dark eyes met Jeannette Hart’s, a graceful, stately young lady. Their affection for each other quickly blossomed into something more passionate. Rumors had it that Bolivar fell in love with Jeannette, proposed marriage and she returned his love and accepted his proposal.

The Sept. 4, 1826 Hartford Courant reported that Bolivar lingered in Lima because “the illustrious Liberator was detained by the silken cords of love, and actually employed in exchanging vows of enduring affection, and forming a marriage covenant with one of our republican beauties of Connecticut.”

Jeannette discussed her decision to marry with her family who were uniformly opposed. Her brother-in-law Isaac Hall was shocked by the idea and noted that Bolivar was a Catholic. Further, he was known to have a reputation not only as a leader of men, but a lover of women.

Her sister Ann pointed out that Bolivar had a longstanding relationship with a mistress, Manuela Sáenz.

Jeannette was torn between her feelings and her family. She traveled to Chile to be with her sister Elizabeth and her husband Heman Allen. While there, a premature baby was born to Elizabeth and Heman. The birth seriously endangered Elizabeth’s health. Local physicians refused to treat the foreigner and she was saved only by the care and skill provided by her beloved slave, Leah.

Strong anti-American feelings were also expressed by destroying the graves of foreigners. Fearful of burying her baby there Elizabeth wanted to send the body back to Connecticut. To do this she placed the fetus in a cask of brandy to preserve it.

Jeannette took the cask back to Peru where she planned to put it aboard Commodore Hull’s ship and have it returned home for proper interment.

When the story reached Bolivar he believed that it was a baby born to Jeannette and he accused her of being immoral and unfit to be his wife.

He later found out what happened. “I know too much to expect forgiveness,” he wrote to Jeannette. “But I do plead with you to try to understand that the depth of my rage and bitterness was the measure of my passion for you. Had I loved you less madly, I had not been so insane with jealousy, so blinded by it was to believe for a moment what seemed at the time incontrovertible evidence of clay feet on the idol I had set up in my heart.…”

Eventually, the baby was sent to Saybrook and buried in the Hart family plot at Cypress Cemetery. Leah is also buried there in the Hart family plot, against the wishes of many local residents.

Eventually, Jeannette left Chile to return to the American Consulate in Lima, Peru. Soon after arriving, Bolivar and his army rode through the streets in triumph. Bells rang out, people threw flowers and kneeled before them. Following the Liberator was an attractive young woman in white trousers with thick black hair, pulled back in a bun. It was Bolivar’s mistress, Manuela Saenz.

Jeannette supposedly followed Bolivar to his quarters and confronted him. She would not, could not, marry him and left.

Manuela Saenz (1797-1856), Bolivar’s lover, does not get very favorable treatment in this part of the world but is a national hero in her home country of Ecuador. She actively participated with Bolivar, 15 years her senior, in planning and fighting to overthrow the Spanish rulers, rising on her merits to become a general in the rebel army.

She once saved Bolivar from assassination and was nicknamed by him as “the liberator of the liberator.”

She has inspired historians, artists and writers since before her death and her life has been the subject of numerous books and films.

Bolívar drove the Spanish out of South America and gained independence for the nations of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama. It was his dream to unite them all into one unified nation

When he was at the height of his power he convened a congress of Latin American republics in Panama in 1826. He envisioned a league of Central and South American nations, but he was far ahead of his time.

Soon thereafter, fighting between the nations, personality conflicts, and resentment of his governing ways caused his influence to fade.

After an assassination attempt and with failing health, Bolivar resigned all his positions and died soon thereafter of tuberculosis on Dec. 17, 1830.

But to Latin Americans, Bolivar remains immortal, one of the greatest military leaders in the history of the world. Most scholars consider the most important figure in Latin American history. His stature today is greater than ever.

After Bolivar’s death, Manuela settled in a small town on the Peruvian coast, poor and neglected. She died of diphtheria in 1856.

In 1842, his remains were moved from Santa Marta, Columbia to the National Pantheon of Venezuela in Caracas. In 2010, symbolic remains of Manuela Sáenz were interred by his side during a national ceremony reuniting them and honoring her role in the liberations.

After her death, some 40 years after meeting Bolivar, the contents of the old Hart house were auctioned by James Tread way of Saybrook. Among the items sold from her room was a miniature painting on ivory of General Simon Bolivar. Scratched onto the back were the words: “Mr. Bolivar liberator, S.A. 1824.” There being no bidders, Mr. Treadway purchased the item and later presented it to members of the Hart family. Its whereabouts today is unknown.

Although she had many suitors, Jeannette never married. She lived in Philadelphia with her sister Ann and Isaac Hull and spent many summers in Saybrook. She and her sister Sarah converted to Catholicism.

She paid to have Lady Fenwick’s brownstone marker carved, incorrectly recording the date of her death as 1648, when it was 1645 or 1646. She also had a Roman Catholic cross carved on the marker which was upsetting to some townspeople since Puritan Lady Fenwick was oppose to the Catholic church.

She also paid to have the wrought iron fence placed at Cypress Cemetery and Leah, an African-American slave, was able to be peacefully buried in the family plot.
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Elisha HART, fifth son of Rev. William HART, born in 1758, married Jeannet te MCCURDY, of Lyme, and had seven daughters but no sons. They were distin guished for their beauty and accomplishments, and moved in the highest cir cles of wealth and honor. The eldest daughter, Sarah MCCURDY, married Re v. Dr. Samuel F. JARVIS, of Middletown, from whom she was divorced. Her re mains lie in the burial ground on Saybrook Point. The second daughter, A nn MCCURDY, married Commodore Isaac HULL, U. S. N., who distinguished hims elf in the war of 1812 while in command of the frigate Constitution by cap turing the British frigate Guerriere. After the war Commodore HULL was a f requent visitor at Saybrook, and with his wife spent a few weeks at the o ld mansion nearly every summer for several years till his death in Philade lphia, in 1843. Elizabeth, the fifth daughter, married Hon. Heman ALLEN, f ormerly member of Congress from Vermont, and minister plenipotentiary to C olumbia, South America. He died in 1844, at Burlington, Vermont, where h is wife also died. Amelia, sixth daughter, married Captain, afterward Comm odore Joseph HULL, U. S. N., a nephew of Commodore Isaac HULL. Three of t he daughters died unmarried. One of them, Jeannette M. McCurdy HART, in 18 60, gave a handsome iron fence for the front of the ancient cemetery on Sa ybrook Point.* (*It is said that in the latter part of her life she embrac ed the Catholic faith. It was by her direction, and at her expense, that o ne of the inscriptions on the tomb of Lady Fenwick was cut. A simple inscr iption was well enough, but when she added a huge cross, an offense again st good taste was committed, which the descendants of the Saybrook Purita ns are not likely to forget or forgive.) Capt. Elisha HART died in May 28 th 1842, aged 84.
We have several collections in our archives pertaining to the prominent Hart family of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. This poster may be found in the papers of Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, Jr (Ms 68815). Rev. Jarvis was the son of Sarah McCurdy Hart and Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, Sr.; grandson of Capt. Elisha Hart; and nephew of Ann McCurdy Hart Hull, Mrs. Commodore Isaac Hull.
I’ve written an article on your Hull line and it was published in one of our Hull Family Association Journals. Complete references are cited. I’ve also written a book about Hulls in the American Revolution and Samuel Hull is in my book with info on all of his children.

John2 McCurdy (John1) was born in Ireland 1724. John died November 10, 1785 at age 61.
He married Anne Lord January 16, 1751/2. Anne was born 1729. Anne was the daughter of Richard Lord and Elizabeth Lynde. Anne died September 3, 1802 at age 73. When Anne was age unknown and John McCurdy was age unknown they became the parents of daughter McCurdy Hart date unknown. When Anne was age 25 and John McCurdy was age 30 they became the parents of Lynde McCurdy April 4, 1755. When Anne was age 37 and John McCurdy was age 42 they became the parents of John McCurdy March 2, 1767. When Anne was age 39 and John McCurdy was age 44 they became the parents of Richard McCurdy March 2, 1769.
When John was age unknown and Anne Lord was age unknown they became the parents of daughter McCurdy Hart date unknown. When John was age 30 and Anne Lord was age 25 they became the parents of Lynde McCurdy April 4, 1755. When John was age 42 and Anne Lord was age 37 they became the parents of John McCurdy March 2, 1767. When John was age 44 and Anne Lord was age 39 they became the parents of Richard McCurdy March 2, 1769.
John McCurdy and Anne Lord had the following children:
5 i. daughter3 McCurdy Hart (living status unknown).
+ 6 ii. Lynde McCurdy was born April 4, 1755.
7 iii. John McCurdy was born March 2, 1767. John died December 27, 1790 in Lyme, CT, at age 23.
+ 8 iv. Richard McCurdy was born March 2, 1769.
• ID: I22999
• Name: William HART
• Sex: M
• Birth: in Of Saybrook, Middlesex, Connecticut
• Note:
The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
Pages 573-579
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
As the HART family has for many years been prominent in the town, a noti ce of some members of the family, other than Rev. William HART, may n ot be out of place. The first who came to this county was Stephen HAR T, of Braintree, Essex county, England, born about 1605. He came with t he company that settled Braintree, Mass., that afterward removed to Cambri dge, and that constituted the church of which Rev. Thomas HOOKER was after ward pastor. Mr. HART came to Hartford with Mr. HOOKER’s company in 163 5, and was one of the orig prop.s of that place. There is a tradition th at the town was named from the ford he discovered and used in crossing t he Connecticut River at a low stage of the water, and so from HART’s Fo rd it soon became Hartford, from a natural and easy transition.
His grandson, William, was pastor of the church in Saybrook, and has alrea dy been noticed in the proper place. Rev. William HART’s oldest son, Willi am, was born at Saybrook, and married Esther Buckingham, daughter of Jose ph and his wife, Sarah TULLY, in 1745. He was a merchant, and was an offic er in the State militia during the Revolutionary war, and was in the engag ement of Danbury. He was afterward a major general, and was for several ye ars a candidate for governor of the State. In 1795, the West Reserve (so c alled), belonging to the State of Connecticut, was purchased by subscripti on by a company of wealthy citizens of the State, for $1,200,000. Willi am HART was one of the company, and his subscription was $30,462. In 178 5, he was engaged in the mercantile business with his brother Joseph in Ha rtford, and was much engaged in the West India trade. He was also a mercha nt at Saybrook. Owing to the destruction of a number of his vessels, whi le engaged in the West India trade, he and his heirs since have been amo ng the claimants under the French Spoliation Bill, with little probabilit y, however, of realizing anything from it, although years ago France pa id these claims to our government. The investment in the Western Reserve l ands proved a profitable one to him and his heirs, some of the land sti ll yielding an income to the family, though most of it has been sold. Gene ral HART is described as a man of commanding person and presence, with a h andsome, manly face, a rich complexion, and fine, clear, dark eyes and hai r. He was an accomplished horseman, and often made the journey between Say brook and Hartford on his favorite saddle horse. An old resident of Hartfo rd, dead years ago, used to tell her great-grandchildren, with much enthus iasm, what an imposing appearance he presented as he rode up to her doo r, and how it was ever her delight to set before him the very best enterta inment the inn afforded.
Major Richard William HART, the only child of Gen. William and Esther BUCK INGHAM, was born at Saybrook, January 15th 1768, and married Miss Elizabe th BULL, of Newport, Rhode Island. Major HART inherited from his fath er a large fortune, which increased by the rise in value of the land purch ased by Gen. HART in the Western Reserve, so that at his death he le ft an estate valued at half a million dollars, which was divided between h is widow and two daughters. He was much esteemed and respected in his nati ve State, and used his means liberally for the good of those about hi m. He built a large house on the west side of Main street, near the corn er of the road leading to New Haven, where he resided till his death. He w as for many years a merchant, his store standing for a long time on the co rner near his house, but he afterward moved it across Main street, near ly opposite, where it still stands. Major HART died of apoplexy in 183 7. He was a man of unusually fine personal appearance and handsome feature s. His only son died in early youth, but he left two daughters, the olde st of whom, Elizabeth M., married at Saybrook, in 1825, the Rev. William J ARVIS, son of Hezekiah JARVIS, of Norwalk, and for a time resided in Saybr ook. The second daughter of Major HART, Miss Hetty B. HART, died in Hartfo rd unmarried, aged 76.
Elisha HART, fifth son of Rev. William HART, born in 1758, married Jeannet te MCCURDY, of Lyme, and had seven daughters but no sons. They were distin guished for their beauty and accomplishments, and moved in the highest cir cles of wealth and honor. The eldest daughter, Sarah MCCURDY, married Re v. Dr. Samuel F. JARVIS, of Middletown, from whom she was divorced. Her re mains lie in the burial ground on Saybrook Point. The second daughter, A nn MCCURDY, married Commodore Isaac HULL, U. S. N., who distinguished hims elf in the war of 1812 while in command of the frigate Constitution by cap turing the British frigate Guerriere. After the war Commodore HULL was a f requent visitor at Saybrook, and with his wife spent a few weeks at the o ld mansion nearly every summer for several years till his death in Philade lphia, in 1843. Elizabeth, the fifth daughter, married Hon. Heman ALLEN, f ormerly member of Congress from Vermont, and minister plenipotentiary to C olumbia, South America. He died in 1844, at Burlington, Vermont, where h is wife also died. Amelia, sixth daughter, married Captain, afterward Comm odore Joseph HULL, U. S. N., a nephew of Commodore Isaac HULL. Three of t he daughters died unmarried. One of them, Jeannette M. McCurdy HART, in 18 60, gave a handsome iron fence for the front of the ancient cemetery on Sa ybrook Point.* (*It is said that in the latter part of her life she embrac ed the Catholic faith. It was by her direction, and at her expense, that o ne of the inscriptions on the tomb of Lady Fenwick was cut. A simple inscr iption was well enough, but when she added a huge cross, an offense again st good taste was committed, which the descendants of the Saybrook Purita ns are not likely to forget or forgive.) Capt. Elisha HART died in May 28 th 1842, aged 84. He was also a merchant in Saybrook. His store is still s tanding on the east side of Main street, and is owned and occupi ed by T. C. ACTON jr., as a grocery. The post office is also kept in it. C aptain HART lived in a large old-fashioned mansion, on the west side of Ma in street, a little north of his store, which is still standing, thou gh it has recently passed out of the possession of the family. It is surro unded by large shade trees, and is one of the finest locations on the stre et. After Captain HART’s remains were carried out of the front door of t he house, the door and blind were closed and a bar nailed across it, whi ch was not removed, nor the door opened till after it passed out of posses sion of the family-a period of about 40 years. Rev. William HART’s house s tood very near the spot where this was built, and was moved to the corn er opposite the ACTON Library, on what are now the grounds of Mr. T. C. AC TON, and was used for many years by Captain William CLARK as a paint sho p. The house of Rev. William HART’s son-in-law, Rev. F. W. HOTCHKISS, is s till standing, and is nearly opposite Captain Elisha HART’s, and is own ed and occupied by Mr. Charles W. MORSE, a son of Prof. S. F. B. MORSE, t he inventor of the telegraph. Gen William HART built and lived in the hou se north of the present Congregational church, now owned and occupied by M isses Hetty B. and Nancy WOOD. Captain John HART, another of Rev. Willi am HART’s sons, resided in Massachusetts for several years, and then retur ned to Saybrook, where he lived in the Captain Samuel SHIPMAN house whi ch stood a few rods south of the Congregational parsonage. He died in 182 8, aged 78.
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‘Warm and intelligent’: Frances Shand Kydd
Frances Shand Kydd, the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales, cut an intriguing figure.
Living alone on a remote Scottish island, the reclusive grandmother to Princes William and Harry faced tragedy and difficulty throughout her life.
She endured the death of not just one, but two of her children – famously, Diana in a car crash in Paris, but also a baby son who died hours after he was born.
Just a few weeks ago, her stepson Adam Shand Kydd, who was 49, died of an apparent overdose in Cambodia.
The woman who, after Diana’s marriage to the Prince of Wales looked set to be the mother of Britain’s next Queen, was also twice divorced – first leaving her husband for a married man and then being deserted herself.
She was dubbed an unfit mother and “the bolter”, lost custody of her children, was convicted of drink-driving, and was known to have a fraught relationship with Diana.
In the months leading up to the Princess’s death, the pair were tragically not on speaking terms.
When Diana died, the staunch catholic turned to her faith for solace when forced to grieve in the glare of a media frenzy as millions mourned the Princess.
‘Warm, intelligent and energetic’
Biographer Max Riddington described her as a “certainly complicated” woman, but also “funny, warm, intelligent” and “energetic”.
Sheltered away in the sanctuary of a modest bungalow on Seil near Oban, her life in later years seemed a world away from the royal circles she moved in as a child.
Frances Ruth Burke Roche, daughter of the Fourth Baron Fermoy, was born, the second of three children, on the day George V died.
She came into the aristocratic world of the royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk in Park House, in the same room where Diana was also born.
Her mother Lady Ruth Fermoy was a confidante and lady in waiting to the Queen Mother, and was later said to have had a hand in sowing the seeds of Prince Charles’s marriage to Diana.
Her father Maurice was, as a close friend of George VI, also a member of the royals’ inner circle, as well as being the Conservative MP for King’s Lynn.
Like Diana, Shand Kydd’s own wedding in Westminster Abbey to a man 12 years her senior was the society sensation of the year.
Life riddled with tragedy
Yet both mother and daughter saw their relationships flounder amid a blaze of publicity.
“There have been similarities, right down to our engagement rings,” Shand Kydd once said.
As a beautiful debutante, she married heir to the Althorp Estate Edward John “Johnnie” Spencer in 1954 – the eligible bachelor who was later to become the eighth Earl Spencer.
Their spectacular nuptials at the Abbey were attended by numerous royals including the Queen, and more than 1,500 guests.
A first baby, Sarah, arrived nine months later, followed by a second daughter Jane in 1957 – who were later to become Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes.
A son John was born in 1960 but the long awaited heir died just 10 hours later after what were said to be complications with his lungs.
When she found herself pregnant again, Shand Kydd kept it a secret, but tragically miscarried alone, not telling a soul until years later after her first husband’s death.
The birth of a healthy baby Diana in July 1961 was marked with relief, but concern that there was still no heir for Althorp.
Troubled marriage
Three years later with her marriage under strain at her apparent inability to produce a healthy son, Shand Kydd did her duty and gave birth to a boy – Charles.
Following the completion of her task, her relationship with Johnnie Spencer further deteriorated, with reports of furious rows.
The marriage ended spectacularly in 1967 when Shand Kydd sent high society into a spin after scandalously falling in love with the married wallpaper heir Peter Shand Kydd.
She ditched her husband, divorcing in 1969, and swiftly wed her “so much more exciting” tycoon lover, the father of Adam Shand Kydd.
The former Viscountess, now Hon Mrs Shand Kydd, was condemned and nicknamed “the Bolter” by Johnnie and others for abandoning her children.
Her own formidable mother sided against her with Johnnie in a bitter custody battle – a betrayal which Shand Kydd never forgave.
Shand Kydd did always insist that she did not leave her children.
Initially, Charles and Diana lived with their mother in London, while the two other children were away at school.
But after two unsuccessful courtroom contests, the children returned to their father, then Viscount Althorp, while the defeated Shand Kydds moved to Scotland.
In the years that followed she lived a discreet life, especially after Diana’s high profile wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
While the new Princess was propelled into the limelight, Shand Kydd spent her time running a gift shop on Seil.
Protected life
In 1984, tragedy struck when Shand Kydd’s troubled younger brother Edmund committed suicide and then, shortly after, her former brother-in-law the Conservative MP Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the IRA bombing in Brighton.
In 1988, she was left heart-broken when Peter Shand Kydd left her after nearly 20 years for a younger woman.
Following their divorce, she became an increasingly private figure – although she always remained on good terms with her former husband.
She closed her gift shop and was said to have begun to drink, although friends have insisted she was not an alcoholic.
She faced public shame in 1996 when she was convicted of drink driving and was banned from the roads for a year.
Shand Kydd even endured her own stalker, who showered her with presents and cards until he was eventually prosecuted for breach of the peace.
Her own divorce was followed by the bitter breakdown of Diana’s marriage to the Prince of Wales.
In the years after, Shand Kydd gave a rare interview to Hello! magazine in May 1997.
But her discussion of Diana’s divorce, relationship and bulimia incensed the Princess.
Shand Kydd had declared it was “absolutely wonderful” that Diana had been stripped of her HRH title – something the Princess found deeply humiliating.
Mother and daughter never spoke again, with Diana dying four months later in August 1997.
As the news broke at first that her youngest daughter had been injured in a car crash in Paris and her lover Dodi Fayed killed, Shand Kydd, alerted by a friend, watched the events unfold on television at home.
Later, when finally Diana’s death was confirmed to her over the phone, she was forced to remain in the background as royal protocol took over.
Much to her distress, she was not permitted to tell anyone Diana had died for an hour, nor invited to collect her body from Paris, nor asked to identify her daughter.
She resolved to grieve in private and found it difficult to cope with what she saw as the commercial exploitation of her daughter’s death.
Born a Protestant, she had converted to Catholicism in 1994 and her faith offered her comfort.
“I remember thinking the night Diana died, ‘Thy will be done on earth’ and that seemed fair,” she later said.
After Diana’s death, Shand Kydd returned to her protected life alone on Seil.
She continuing her charity work which included supporting the Mallaig and Northwest Fishermen’s Association, comforting families of fishermen lost at sea.
When finally a French investigation declared the crash was a tragic accident, a dignified Shand Kydd accepted the ruling “without reservation”.
Throughout she refused to acknowledge Dodi’s outspoken father Mohamed al Fayed, infuriating him by ignoring him and his pleas that Diana had been murdered.

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Wilson and Webb

Posted on March 5, 2019 by Royal Rosamond Press

My kindred, William Wilson, and his brother-in-law, Erasmus Webb may have known William Shakespeare – intimately! Anne (Webb) Wilson lived at Windsor Castle. Her brother, Erasmus, was the Archdeacon of Buckingham Palace. Are we looking at the authors of Shakespeare’s plays? Why has this family lineage been buried, and all but forgotten? These are extremely educated men, whose wives would be at court. They would know all the intrigues, and, hear confessions. They would know the merry wives of Windsor. People would bring them all the gossip that is the bane of the church, aimed at bringing other down as they vie for royal favors.

This bloodline flows from Bohemia and has seeded several major religions. This is the ‘Hidden Seed’. The Webb family came to America. In the chart below we see that Sir Alexander Webb married Mary Wilson, the daughter of Thomas Wilson MP, the grandfather (or Great Uncle?) of Reverend John Wilson of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, that the Webb family played a large role in. Shakespeare’s line, died out, and thus, this is his American Seed.

Statesman, Thomas Wilson MP, was a stellar scholar and author who could have prepared the way for the writing of Shakespeare. Why not put Alexander Webb is the race? Surely the Webb-Wilson family saw themselves as the family-power behind the Church and Throne, and in need of new forum.

“Wilson belongs to the second rank of Elizabethan statesmen. An able linguist, he had numerous acquaintances among Spanish and Flemish officials in the Netherlands, and, in a wider context, his range of friends included Leicester, Burghley, Hatton, Davison, Sir Francis Knollys, Paulet, Walsingham, William of Orange, Jewel, Parker, Parkhurst, Gresham, Ludovico Guiccardini and Arias Montano.”

John Presco

Copyright 2019

Erasmus Webb B.D. (d. 24 March 1614) was a Canon of Windsor, England from 1590 to 1614[1]


He was educated at Gloucester Hall, Oxford where he graduated BA in 1568, MA in 1572 and BD in 1585.

He was appointed:

He was appointed to the ninth stall in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in 1590, a position he held until 1614.

He was buried in the chapel. His inscription read:

“Hic jacet Erasmus Webb, Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus, cujus Regiae Capallae quondam Canonicus, qui obit 24 die Martii, Anno Domini 1613. Aetatis suae 63”[2]

The Early Webb Families
Sir John Alexander Webb

William Shakespeare and his wife Anne had three children. The eldest, Susanna, was baptised on 26 May 1583. They also had twins, Judith and Hamnet, baptised on 2 February 1585.

Shakespeare had four grandchildren who all died without heirs, so there are no direct descendants of his line today.

Susanna married John Hall in 1607, and had one child, Elizabeth, in 1608. Elizabeth was married twice, to Thomas Nash in 1626, and to John Barnard in 1649. She had no children by either husband.

Hamnet died at the age of 11 and was buried in Stratford-upon-Avon on 11 August 1596. The cause of his death is unknown.

Judith married Thomas Quiney in 1616, and the couple had three sons: Shakespeare Quiney, who died in infancy, and Richard and Thomas, who both died in 1639 within a month of each other. Neither of them married or had children before they died.

It is possible to claim a relationship to Shakespeare through his sister, Joan. There are many descendants of Joan and William Hart alive today, in both the male and female lines.

Sir Henry Alexander Webb, I MP 

Birth:May 11, 1510
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Death:circa 1544 (29-37)
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
Immediate Family:Son of Sir John Alexander Webb, Jr. and Margaret Webb
Husband of Grace Webb
Father of Humphrey WebbSir Alexander Webb, IAgnes O’Dell / Hill / ArdenHenry Webb, Jr.Ann Wilson and 9 othersMary Arden WebbGeoffry WebbErasmus Webb, Archdeacon of BuckinghamStephen WebbElizabeth HathwattAnthony WebbGeorge WebbRobert Webb and Phillipa Webb « less
Brother of William WebbMary Agnes ArdenAbigail Shakespeare and Agnes Webb
Added by:Paula Denice Webb on February 19, 2007
Managed by:Jason Peter Herbert and 63 others 
Curated by:Jenna, Volunteer Curator




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Date of birth has also been erroneously reported to be December 24, 1534.

Date of death has also been erroneously reported to be 1573.

NOTA BIEN: It has been alleged that this Sir Henry was a baronet, but the Baronetage of England was not formed until May 22, 1611.

It was said that Sir Henry Alexander Webb (1510-1544) established the family for all future time, since to him “for valiant deeds of his father”, Sir John Alexander Webb, of Oldstock, “who was an officer under Kings Henry VII and VIII”, the present generally accepted emblem, or coat of arms, was granted. This heraldic ensigna of rank in the New Nobility, that of the thegus, owe their origin in personal service to the prince then reigning. The New Nobility was accordingly one of office due to meritorious service. The device of hereditary coat of armour, a growth of the twelfth century, did much to define and mark out the noble class throughout Europe. When once acquired by grant of the Sovereign, it went on from generation to generation. They who possessed the right of coat of armour formed the class of nobility or gentry.

Sir Henry Alexander Webb married Grace Arden, sister of Robert Arden. Mary Webb (Shakespeare’s grandmother) married Robert Arden, brother of Grace.


Sir Henry Alexander Webb

Though commonly thought to have been the 4th Baronet of Odstock, that distinction would have fallen to his brother William. Presumably the title would come to him if William died without male issue, and I haven’t yet found a reference to wife or child for William. I also haven’t found any reliable reference to Sir Henry as a Peer of the Realm, which means he was most likely not a Baronet.

Undoubtedly named after Henry VIII–due to the close family association with the royal family–Henry Alexander Webb was born on May 11, 1510. Henry married Grace Arden, daughter of Thomas Arden, of Aston Cantlow parish of Warwick county. The continued close association of the Webb family and royalty are documented in a letter sent by the Queen, Katherine Parr, requesting that grants and privileges due Henry Alexander Webb be fulfilled as promised. Sir Henry and wife Grace had three children: First-born Alexander, Agnes and Robert. Little is known of Agnes and Robert.

‘Sir Henry Alexander permanently secured nobility for the family when, on June 17, 1577, he was granted a coat of arms.’ Although I have found this statement all over the internet, it is doubtful and a bit dubious. Firstly, I would point out that the grant of arms listed is for 1577, Henry would have been 67 if he had lived that long (notice the date of death…). Secondly, and more importantly, Sir John was not only Henry’s father but was also the 3rd Baronet of Odstock. This means that the family was already considered Noble. And third, Henry was known to wear his Arms at tournament and on the field of battle. Hard to do if they are not granted to you until after your death. In this common misconception even the heralds at the UK College of Arms were unable to help clear up the debacle. The Arms appear on numerous ‘rolls of Arms’ from the time and always list the bearer as Sir Henry Alexander Webb.

The Heraldric blazon or description of these arms is “Gules a cross between 4 falcons Or” and the crest is “Gules demi eagle rising upon a Ducal coronet”

Some sources say ‘eaglets’ instead of ‘falcons’. According to the United Kingdom College of Arms heralds eaglets adorn Sir John’s arms, Henry’s father. The falcons were a mark of personal distinction between the two men.

A copy of the letter which Katherine Parr sent her council (Cabinet Members) asking them to grant her beloved friend, Sir Henry Webb, the lands and estates that had been mentioned for him, is still in existence.

These lands had been confiscated by the King at the suppression of the monasteries and were located in Dorsetshire, England.

Sir Henry Alexander Webb was usher to the Privy Council of Katherine Parr, Queen Regent of Britian in the 16th century, 6th Queen of Henry VIII of England; to whose influence the future sovereigns Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I owed a great deal.

Among the few exsisting documents connected with the regency of Katherine Parr was one while Henry VIII was conducting the seige of Boulogne in 1544 AD. There is in the Crotonain Collections, a letter to her council, headed: “Katherine, Queen Regent, K.P.; In favor of her trusty and well beloved servant, Henry Alexander Webb, gentlemen, usher of her Privy Chamber”. The letter is in regard to some grants and privileges to Henry Alexander Webb, but which had not been fulfilled and it concludes, “we most heartly desire and pray you to be favorable to him at this our earnest request. Given under my Hand and Signet at my Lord, the King’s Majesty’s Honor of Hampton court, the 23rd of July and the 36th year of his Highness most noble Reign”.

Sir Henry Alexander Webb was an usher to Catherine Parr, Queen of England.

11. Sir Henry Alexander WEBB (John Alexander , John Alexander , William , John , Geofrey , Henry ) was born on 11 May 1510 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England. He died about 1544 in England.

   It was said that Sir Henry Alexander Webb (1510-1544) established the family for all future time, since to him the coat of arms, was granted. This heraldic ensigna of rank in the New Nobility, that of the thegus, owe their origin in personal service to the prince then reigning. The New Nobility was accordingly one of office due to meritorious service. The device of hereditary coat of armour, a growth of the twelfth century, did much to define and mark out the noble class throughout Europe. When once acquired by grant of the Sovereign, it went on from generation to generation. They who possessed the right of coat of armour formed the class of nobility or gentry. Sir Henry Alexander Webb married Grace Arden, sister of Robert Arden. Mary Webb (Shakespeare's grandmother) married Robert Arden, brother of Grace.

Henry married Grace ARDEN, daughter of Thomas ARDEN, about 1533 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England. Grace was born about 1512 in Wilnecote, Warwickshire, England. She died on 3 Dec 1539 in Windsor, Hertsfordshire, England.

They had the following children:

   + 	14 	M 	i 	Sir Alexander WEBB Sr
   + 	15 	F 	ii 	Agnes WEBB
     	16 	M 	iii 	Henry WEBB was born on 15 May 1537 in Stratford, Warwickshire, England.

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Immediate Family

I found a John Wilson in Scotland who is antiquarian. He collected everything in his town, and, it is all archived! I am blessed! My poetic grail cup runneth over. The phrase…”No chicken wire for you!” is a poetic device that takes the writer out of THE BOX! I was reminded of the fish weir that caught the salmon who swallowed a ring. This is the chicken wire that holds the hen that lays the eggs. Casey and I are Lost Thought Antiquarians. We grieve over information that we caught in the weir – but it got away! Who cares? Robert Graves, the Master Antiquarian! Casey bid me to read the White Goddess. He had taught a course on TWG at the UofO.

Here’s the story of the Gleeman, Irish Circuit Poets that roamed from place to place. The Irish Milesians would put down their spades and rakes, and go sit in a mud-floor thatched hut, to listen to a long poem they heard fifty times before. They would recite along with the poem. They got upset if the Gleeman missed – ONE WORD! When Rena told me she can recall a million poems, I knew I had met the White Goddess, who turned out to be my Muse!

When I saw these names in Ainsworth’s ‘The Witches of Lancashire’ I grieved for I though Casey was dead. I awakened him. To hear his rap on the RED&WHITE is otherworldly. One could get arrested – for being a witch!


I spent three hours today trying to recall the name of the man who helped William Ralston move gold about the Bank of America to cover a overdraft. I said it would come to me. When it did I was going to ask Casey of he could google this guy. I blogged on him ten years ago on my lost blog. The name did come to me four hours ago. When I chose a pic for this post, there it is, on the boiler I have Starfish stare at for days. DILLON. I suspect the witches in Salem and Scotland were doing word-conjuring. Words – are out of this world!

Jon ‘The Gleeman’

The English word ‘weir’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon wer, one meaning of which is a device to trap fish.[3] A line of stones dating to the Acheulean in Kenya may have been a stone tidal weir in a prehistoric lake, which if true would make this technology older than modern humans.[4] In Ireland, fish traps in association with weirs have been found that date from 8,000 years ago.[3] Stone tidal weirs were used across the world and by 1707, 160 such structures, some of which reached 360 metres in length, were in use along the coast of the Shimabara Peninsula of Japan.[5]

Ogmios and The U.S. Constitution

Posted on April 1, 2019by Royal Rosamond Press

The Rose Among The Woodwose


John Presco

Copyright 2019

At the University of Oregon Library I found an Illustrated Coronation Book of a Habsburg Royal. I made a copy of several pages, which I lost. My favorite was of Ogmios in the center of a podium encircled by royal Habsburg Ladies holding their cote of arms upon which is attached a golden chain that travels to the tongue of Ogmios, the Celtic Hermes. Why would this Celtic God be allowed on a stage with Catholic Dames, whose husbands are Protectors of the Papacy, and are The Kings of the Romans? Most of this book depicts Greek Ideas, that the Great Erasmus ‘The Humanist’ dispersed after discovering lost manuscripts. Thomas Wilson mentions Erasmus, and may have known him. Did he know Gottschalk Rosemondt, the ‘Master of Louvain’ who defended Erasmus during the height of the Renaissance?

Thomas Wilson spent a couple of years in Belgium. He was put in charge of the transition of the Royal Rule of Mary Queen of Scots who was considering marrying into the House of Habsburg. She was also considering marrying Robert Dudley, whom Wilson knew intimately. Indeed, Lord Dudley founded the The Earl of Leicester’s Men, an acting group that Wilson was a member of. Wilson was a Tutor in this house where John Dee dwelt, thus Wilson and Dee knew each other, and, Wilson knew of the Rosenberg brothers of Bohemia, of which Wilson descends – if his (our) genealogy is correct.

John Dee is credited with planting the Seed of Math in Robert, who had shown great talent as a Student of Literature and Languages. Was he destined to be the Ogmios of England? Did Wilson steer his pupil in this direction, he wanting him to be a Master in the Art of Rhetoric? Did Wilson write plays for the Dudley family to perform, that were meant to be personal lessons? Whose idea was it to go public with these plays?

When the Elizabethan Poor Laws were amended, traveling troupes of actors were – defunded! (Hmm!) Funding was given these Artists of Rhetoric! I suspect this funding put some of the worst actors, ever, ON THE ROAD, they seen as Vagabonds and Gypsies – disguised as Actors! Being a member of the Temple, Wilson was steeped in English Law. Is he the author of this amendment? Did he set up these Art Groups to spread the Protestant Teaching at the instruction of the Protestant Queen? If so, we are looking at Religious and Political Propaganda, that would be put forth by the family members that surrounded Mary Wilson Webb, who were Puritans – who founded Harvard College! Am I suggesting Harvard was founded by Bums and Vagabonds disguised as Puritans – who had been to the Rose Theatre to see a (alleged) Shakespeare play? Did Shakespeare have a role in the founding of our Democracy? Who funded the Puritans? Let me know – if you know!

Harvard is THE ROSE amongst the Woodwose in the American Wilderness. Hands across the water spreading the Protestant hegemony in the New World, where the Habsburgs were, looting Incan gold in order to pay for another Spanish Armada that would lock up Queen Elizabeth, and, chop off her head! Traveling Professors, and Spies on the Mayflower! Sub-rosa!

Robert Wilson joined  the troupe ‘Queen Elizabeth’s Men’ that was a stage for spies. I believe putting an end to the public funding was aimed at cutting down on the growth of acting groups who believed they had a chance at a monetary reward on merit alone. The Queen’s Men more than likely were funded under the table.

Consider the rhetoric war between Fox News and CNN – that the Trumpmaster declares “Fake News!”. Bill Graham got his start with the political Mime Troupe. Ken Kesey was a Rhetoric Artist. His band of Merry Men, are escaped Loons and Clowns from the Coo-Coo Factory. The Conservative-right has spent a trillion dollars trying to destroy the EFFECTIVE Hippie Théâtre. I began Royal Rosamond Press in order to preserve the history of the Bohemians. I now realize I am steeped in rhetoric, that may have come to me via my genes.  Putin got wise, and is the New Prankster King!

Consider the eloquent, James Bond, who has a way with words – and women. Ian Fleming understood the Art of Rhetoric, and is in my family tree via Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor. Did Winston Churchill study Rhetoric at Eton? Bond and Winston = Ogmios! If the enemy will not listen to reason, shoot them with an arrow, and club them to the ground!

“Do you get my message – now?”

Two of my best friends went to Harvard. But, when Barack Obama, a Harvard graduate, got elected, I noted a change in them. They were threatened. I wondered why. The three of us loved Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar who knew all about rhetoric. But compared to Obama, this Democratic Redneck, pales. My Harvard friends began to lean toward the Christian-right. I was furious. More than once I accused them of racism. However, in the discovery of Robert Wilson’s book, I see what truly bothered them. There is a usurpation here, that our White President ‘King Bobo’ will not let us ignore. Bobo is very interested in seeing Bill and Barak – locked up! Bobo wants to be ‘King of the Rhetoric Artists’ after destroying all the competition. Pope Bobo!

This morning I read Pope Bobo is ridiculing the Democrats for abandoning Robert Mueller – at the same time his Top Lawyer withholds Mueller’s Legal Report! How Papal of him! We the people were enjoying all this rhetoric, and are now CUT-OFF and treated to very bad rhetoric, that had to be REISSUED (as a Papal Bull) because Barr says he was misunderstood, and thus his Lordship is misunderstood! Outrageous! Let us see how, and how much Barr was misunderstood! What color is the smokescreen coming out of the White House chimney?

Pea, Baby-poop, Green!

Robert Wilson roles over in his grave! This is the Rhetoric Sin of Sins! What is worse, if that report is turned over to the public, and it is heavily redacted, it will spell the end of Rhetoric Propaganda – for everyone! It will also spell DOOM for our Democracy, because in Wilson’s lessons, you can read the Preamble to our Constitution, the Greatest Rhetoric Work ever written.

Because WE are in real danger of losing The Rose In The Woods’ I will publish my theories and findings in Newspaper Form – as they unfold. Blogging is a big part of the Computer Revolution that  Meg and Apple are fighting over, and – not for! If they were honest, they would establish Funding For Poor Writers and Bloggers – and Free Acting Groups – who will present their rhetoric on Guibi and Apple TV. Just because the Grand Illusion Makers of Hollywood can not make a profit on The Merry Actors and Rhetoric Pranksters, does not mean they deserve to be CENSORED, economically! John Wilson understood this. He ran Free Colleges. His audience were young people who were exposed to The Art of Rhetoric. My DNA was right there – in the center of all the action! Robert Wilson, in my opinion, is the eloquent masked Phantom of the Rhetoric Ball. Ogmios!

If our College and Universities can not teach young people the Art of Rhetoric, and, instead, turn them over to Ranting Petty-ass Dictators, then, they should be abolished! The idea of  FREE universities, will eliminate the Dumbing Down Money Scam where degrees are handed to young men who do not know how to dialogue a young woman. They don’t even look at women, or hold a woman’s hand. They will, however, turn in book reports after watching three minute movies on Apple TV. Oh, and they will notice those Russian quickie cartoons made by Fuzzy Bear depicting the Democrat as the Anti-Christ.

Fast food! Fast fools!

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

It has been proposed that Elizabeth had a specific political motive behind the formation of the company. Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford were using their companies of players to compete for attention and prestige at each year’s Christmas festivities at Court; Elizabeth and her councillors apparently judged the competition, and the noblemen’s egos, to be getting out of hand. By culling the best players in their troupes to form her own, she slapped down ambitious aristocrats and asserted her own priority.[4]

Mary turned her attention to finding a new husband from the royalty of Europe. But when her uncle, the Cardinal of Lorraine, began negotiations with Archduke Charles of Austria without her consent, she angrily objected and the negotiations foundered.[73] Her own attempt to negotiate a marriage to Don Carlos, the mentally unstable heir apparent of King Philip II of Spain, was rebuffed by Philip.[74] Elizabeth attempted to neutralise Mary by suggesting that she marry English Protestant Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester (Sir Henry Sidney’s brother-in-law and the English queen’s own favourite), whom Elizabeth trusted and thought she could control.[75] She sent an ambassador, Thomas Randolph, to tell Mary that if she married an English nobleman, Elizabeth would “proceed to the inquisition of her right and title to be our next cousin and heir”.[76] The proposal came to nothing, not least because the intended bridegroom was unwilling.[77

Education and marriage[edit]

Robert Dudley was the fifth son of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Jane, daughter of Sir Edward Guildford.[4] John and Jane Dudley had 13 children in all and were known for their happy family life.[5] Among the siblings’ tutors figured John Dee,[6] Thomas Wilson, and Roger Ascham.[7] Roger Ascham believed that Robert Dudley possessed a rare talent for languages and writing, regretting that his pupil had done himself harm by preferring mathematics.[8] Robert learned the craft of the courtier at the courts of Henry VIII, and especially Edward VI, among whose companions he served.[9]

Robert Dudley was 12 when he lost his eldest brother, Henry, during the siege of Boulogne, in the late summer of 1544. The brother to succeed the 19-year-old Henry as the family heir was John, the third son of his parents, John Dudley and Jane Guildford. John the Younger was then 13 years old; when his father became Earl of Warwick in early 1547 he was styled Viscount Lisle, and later, when John Dudley senior became the Duke of Northumberland, John Dudley junior became the Earl of Warwick.

John’s birth in, most probably, late autumn of 15301 had been followed by that of his brothers Ambrose and Robert, and, not far apart in age, the three were educated together, it seems. The Cambridge scholar Thomas Wilson explained to Robert Dudley in 1572 that

I am to deal thus with your honour before others, because I have known you, and that noble race your brethren, even from their young years. And with your honour, and that famous Earl of Warwick deceased, and your noble brother now Earl of Warwick living [i.e. Ambrose Dudley], I have had more familiar conference than with the rest.2

The brothers’ tutors included Michelangelo Florio for Italian, and Thomas Wilson and Roger Ascham for “the new learning”. As heir to his powerful father, John was the dedicatee of two important works of English Protestant Humanism, Walter Haddon’s Cantabrigienses (1552) and Thomas Wilson’s Arte of Rhetoricke (1553). Wilson had passed an agreeable summer vacation at Sir Edward Dymock’s house, which gave him the leisure to write his Ciceronian work:

I therefore commend to your Lordship’s tuition and patronage this treatise of rhetoric to the end that ye may get some furtherance by the same & I also be discharged of my faithful promise this last year made unto you. For whereas it pleased you among other talk of learning earnestly to wish that ye might one day see the precepts of rhetoric set forth by me in English as I had erst[while] done the rules of logic.

The Dudley children, but also their parents, seem to have been fascinated by mathematics and cosmography, a field that originally came to their attention through the elder John Dudley’s career as vice-admiral and Lord Admiral in the 1530s and 1540s. The young mathematician and astrologer John Dee resided in the Dudley household as an intellectual companion for a time, where he was commissioned to write two treatises for the Duchess of Northumberland. As late as 1570 he remembered in the dedication of his masterwork, The Mathematicall Preface, how the younger John Dudley used to wear round his neck a little book – “his … counsellor most trusty”, with “rules and descriptions arithmetical”.

Leicester’s Men

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The Earl of Leicester’s Men was a playing company or troupe of actors in English Renaissance theatre, active mainly in the 1570s and 1580s in the reign of Elizabeth I. In many respects, it was the major company in Elizabethan drama of its time, and established the pattern for the companies that would follow: it was the first to be awarded a royal patent, and the first to occupy one of the new public theatres on a permanent basis.



Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester had kept players as early as 1559; they can be traced through the 1560s and into the 1570s by the records of their performances in various English cities as they toured the country. When the Elizabethan Poor Laws were amended by the Act of 1572, the status of travelling players was affected: those who did not possess sponsorship from a nobleman could be classed as vagabonds and subjected to a range of penalties. Conversely, however, those who enjoyed such sponsorship were legally more secure than they had previously been. A surviving letter to Leicester from his actors, dated 3 January 1572 and written by James Burbage for the company, requests that the actors be appointed not merely the Earl’s liveried retainers but also his “household servants”—a distinction that enabled them to come and go in London without restriction. The letter also specifies that the actors would not expect any direct financial support, “any further stipend or benefit,” from the Earl; they wanted to enjoy his legal protection while operating as an independent commercial entity, a model that subsequent companies would follow.

The 1572 letter was signed by Burbage, John Perkin, John Laneham, William Johnson, Robert Wilson, and Thomas Clarke. The first five men are also listed on the royal patent of 10 May 1574, the first royal patent granted to any company of players after the Act of 1572. The Queen’s warrant authorized the company “to use, exercise, and occupy the art and faculty of playing comedies, tragedies, interludes, stage plays and other such like…as well within our city of London and liberties of the same, as also within the liberties and freedoms of any our cities, towns, boroughs etc. whatsoever…throughout our Realm of England.”[1]

The warrant granted to Leicester’s Men had one other crucial aspect: it cancelled earlier policies that allowed local officials to censure or disallow plays. Under the new policy, this power was vested only in the royal bureaucracy, through the Lord Chamberlain and his Master of the Revels. Once the players had the Master’s approval for their plays, they could act them anywhere in England without local censorship. The warrant in effect gave the company, and those that would follow later, the freedom to create English Renaissance drama.


Leicester’s Men performed at Court over the Christmas holidays in both 1574 and 1575. As Leicester’s servants, the company also had a central role in Dudley’s entertainments of Queen Elizabeth at his castle at Kenilworth in Warwickshire in 1566, 1572, and 1575. The last of these was especially noteworthy: it lasted from July 9 through July 27; its main device was The Delivery of the Lady of the Lake. Since Kenilworth lies only twelve miles northeast of Stratford-upon-Avon, it is possible that an eleven-year-old William Shakespeare was among the crowds that witnessed the event; he may later have referred to its image of “Arion on the dolphin’s back” in Twelfth Night, I,ii,15.[2]

When James Burbage and his brother-in-law John Brayne built The Theatre, the first successful commercial public theatre in England, in 1576, Leicester’s was the company that occupied its stage when performances began in the autumn of that year. The period from 1576 to 1583 was the apex of the company’s fortunes.


In 1583, the foundation of a new company, Queen Elizabeth’s Men, stripped Leicester’s Men of its three most talented and prominent members, Robert Wilson, John Laneham, and Richard Tarlton. (William Johnson may also have joined the Queen’s Men at this time or soon after.) It is thought that Leicester’s company was rifled of its best men deliberately, to tamp down the rivalry between Leicester and the Earl of Oxford as they expressed it through their competing companies of actors.[3] Leicester’s Men never fully recovered their former prominence and prestige after 1583.

Still, the company persevered: it was on tour in 1584 and ’85. In the latter year the Earl of Leicester was appointed commander of the English troops in The Netherlands; his progress through UtrechtLeyden and The Hague was noted for the lavish pageants that were enacted in his honor. At least one member of Leicester’s Men, William Kempe, accompanied the Earl to Holland; others also may have made the journey. The company was touring again through the 1586–88 period, and performed at Court in December 1586.

With the Earl’s death in 1588 Leicester’s Men passed out of existence. Kempe and some other members went on to work with other companies.

Robert was brought up, so far as was consistent the law, as an early Protestant.

Robert’s birthplace is unknown but was probably in London as the Dudleys were attached to the court and Robert became one of the young men and boys who surrounded Prince Edward (born 1537), as was Sir Henry Sidney, later the husband of Robert’s sister, Mary. As a member of Edward’s household, Robert would have become acquainted with the prince’s sister, the Lady Elizabeth, who was of a similar age.

Prince Edward, like his elder sisters, was highly educated, and Robert shared some of his tutors, although, as he was four or five years the elder, not the actual lessons. Roger Ascham, later tutor to Elizabeth, referred to his skill in reading and writing in Latin. Dr Thomas Wilson, Master of the Court of Requests, said of Robert that he had a ‘careful mind even in reading not only of the Latin but also of the Italian, good and sound writers to know, and understand the best used government and the chief laws that have been made in all ages.’ Wilson further noted that Robert had a mind ‘thus godly inclined to know’ and to put his knowledge into practice.

Ogmios, Celtic god of Gaul identified with the Roman Hercules. He was portrayed as an old man with swarthy skin and armed with a bow and club. He was also a god of eloquence, and in that aspect he was represented as drawing along a company of men whose ears were chained to his tongue.

Ogmios’ Irish equivalent was Ogma, whose Herculean, warlike aspect was also stressed. In Irish tradition he was portrayed as a swarthy man whose battle ardour was so great that he had to be controlled by chains held by other warriors until the right moment. Ogham script, an Irish writing system dating from the 4th century ad, seems to have been named for him, a fitting association for a god of eloquence.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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