Vere Letter: Tempest Prosperous Gale

“Edward de Vere died too early to have written The Tempest?”
Even some Stratfordian scholars date The Tempest much earlier to 1603.

In any event, the research of Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky confirms the earlier dating.

And the Play’s lone, obscure reference to the Bermudas is more likely to the Mediterranean, or even a suburb of London, not the New World.

Below is Edward de Vere’s 27 April 1603 letter to Robert Cecil (son of Burghley and now Secretary of State). As we get into the second half of the letter we see that he is deeply affected by the recent death of Queen Elizabeth, and now feels like he is in the tempest shipwreck that England now is,  looking for a “prosperous gale” (in contrast, there are no letters in existence for Will Shaksper, Elizabeth Trentham’s “my dombe man”, because he was clearly illiterate):

Sir Robert Cecil: I have always found myself beholding to you for many kindnesses and courtesies, wherefore I am bold at this present, which giveth occasion of many considerations, to desire you as my very good friend and kind brother-in-law to impart to me what course is devised by you of the Council & the rest of the Lords concerning our duties to the King’s Majesty, whether you do expect any messenger before his coming [to King’s Place] to let us understand his pleasure, or else his personal arrival to be presently or very shortly. And, if it be so, what order is resolved on amongst you, either for the attending or meeting of his Majesty for, by reason of mine infirmity, I cannot come among you so often as I wish, and by reason my house is not so near that at every occasion I can be present, as were fit, either I do not hear at all from you or, at least, with the latest, as this other day it happened to me, receiving a letter at nine of the clock not to fail at eight of the same morning to be at Whitehall, which, being impossible, yet I hasted so much as I came to follow you into Ludgate, though through press of people and horses I could not reach your company as I desired, but followed as I might.
I cannot but find a great grief in myself to remember the mistress which we have lost, under whom both you and myself from our greenest years have been in a manner brought up and, although it hath pleased God after an earthly kingdom to take her up into a more permanent and heavenly state wherein I do not doubt but she is crowned with glory, and to give us a prince wise, learned and enriched with all virtues, yet the long time which we spent in her service we cannot look for so much left of our days as to bestow upon another, neither the long acquaintance and kind familiarities wherewith she did use us we are not ever to expect from another prince, as denied by the infirmity of age and common course of reason.

In this common shipwreck, mine is above all the rest who, least regarded though often comforted of all her followers, she hath left to try my fortune among the alterations of time and chance, either without sail whereby to take the advantage of any prosperous gale or with anchor to ride till the storm be overpassed.

There is nothing therefore left to my comfort but the excellent virtues and deep wisdom wherewith God hath endued our new master and sovereign Lord, who doth not come amongst us as a stranger but as a natural prince, succeeding by right of blood and inheritance, not as a conqueror but as the true shepherd of Christ’s flock to cherish and comfort them.
Wherefore I most earnestly desire you of this favour, as I have written before, that I may be informed from you concerning these points and thus, recommending myself unto you, I take my leave.
Your assured friend and unfortunate brother-in-law,
E. Oxenford

*To the right honourable my very good brother-in-law Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary.
Cecil Papers 99/150: Oxford to Cecil, 25, 27 April 1603 Nina Green

Apart from an ailing Vere himself, just before he died, many scholars also believe that the Prospero character was, as usual, a composite – partly based on Dr John Dee (1527 – 1609), and we know that they knew each other.

“On his return from Italy, de Vere boasted to friends that he would have been made the Duke of Milan for his valiance on the battlefield were it not for one of Queen Elizabeth’s agents. One of de Vere’s colleagues in 1575 was a nobleman – Prospero Fattinanti”, the new duke in Genoa during its struggles with Milan.

See also Mark Anderson p92, researched from Prospero Fattinanti: Claudio Costantini La Repubblica di Genova, Noemi Magri translation.
And on Anderson’s website:
Shake-speareAtlas.kmz – An Atlas of Edward de Vere’s Life
File Format: KML Document – View on Google Maps
“One of the top Genoese officers was a man about to be created Duke of Genoa, named Prospero Fattinanti. The Tempest’s protagonist is an exiled Duke of Milan …”

(There is no record of Shaksper travelling outside of England.)

Even orthodox scholars (like Gary Schmidgall) agree a major source for The Tempest was Primaleon of Greece – these 3 books were written by Vere’s secretary Anthony Munday (not to mention their hand in giving the Robin Hood story a revamp). Munday dedicated 2 of the books to Oxford, and one to his son Henry de Vere. William Hall, Mr W.H. of the Sonnets was also tied up with this particular circle.
Also note Munday’s later relationship with ‘The Daughter’, Susan de Vere.


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