Tag Archives: Prince Tudor theory
In the Prince Tudor theory, Elizabeth I was only the Virgin Queen figuratively not literally.
It is rumored that during one of her royal progresses, particularly the one she took in August of 1572, she was intimately involved with the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. He was, after all, the Queen’s favorite courtier at that point in time. In a letter written at that time by Gilbert Talbot to his father the Earl of Shrewsbury, the queen “delighteth more in [Oxford’s] personage and his dancing and his valiantness than any other” (Brougham 171).
In a nutshell, the Prince Tudor/Tudor Rose theory suggests that Elizabeth and Oxford had a son. He was placed in the Southampton household as the “Changeling Boy,” Henry Wriothesley, who eventually became the 3rd Earl of Southampton (Whittemore xxxviii).
As previously stated, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, had been pressuring Wriothesley to marry his granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Vere. As you may remember, she was also Oxford’s daughter.
If those first 17 Sonnets I’ve been referring to were written by Oxford using the pseudonym “Shake-speare,” wouldn’t it be incestuous for Oxford to be encouraging his own children to marry each other?
But according to records, Oxford initially rejected Elizabeth Vere as his child; in fact, he separated from his wife Anne in 1576 on charges of her alleged infidelity, and refused to see his daughter until almost 6 years later when he accepted her as his own.
This insight conveniently clears up the incest factor, at least during the Wriothesley-Vere marital negotiations.
Now, let’s return to those 17 Procreation Sonnets, and view them through the Prince Tudor lens as per Hank Whittemore‘s The Monument: “Shake-Speares Sonnets” by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. The following is a brief excerpt from Whittemore’s 860+ page exposition on the entire collection of Shake-speare’s Sonnets.
Opening the Fair Youth series, Oxford uses the royal “we” to command “fairest creatures” (royal children) to beget “increase” (heirs) to ensure that “beauty’s Rose” (Elizabeth’s Tudor Rose dynasty) might not end upon her death (“Rose” is capitalized and italicized in Q):
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s Rose might never die
– Sonnet 1, lines 1-2
This translates as the announcement of a dynastic diary:
From royal children the Queen and I command heirs,
So Elizabeth’s Tudor Rose Dynasty might not perish
From here on, we can view Edward de Vere as consistently using “fair” for Southampton’s royalty and “beauty” for Elizabeth and the Tudor lineage he inherited from her.
The Queen was known as “Beauty,” while “Rose” could not fail to echo the Tudor Rose dynasty begun by her grandfather, Henry VII, in 1485.
The symbolic Tudor Rose represents the union between the waring English houses of Lancaster and York which came as a result of a marriage between Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth of York.
After this historical marriage in 1486, the War of the Roses came to an end and the Tudor Rose symbol, which combined the white and red roses of the two houses, was created.
And, yes, within that excerpt from Whittemore’s book lies another zinger which connects to a variant of the Prince Tudor theory. This is referred to as Prince Tudor Theory Part 2 (“PT 2”).
This extension of the theory posits Edward de Vere as yet another bastard son of the Queen with her “stepfather,” Thomas Seymour as the father. Elizabeth would have been merely 14 at the time of conception.
In the 2011 film Anonymous, Robert Cecil, played by Edward Hogg, relishes the moment as he reveals the identity of Oxford’s biological mother to the Earl. At this point in the film, the devastated de Vere has just witnessed the failure of Essex and Southampton in their revolt against Cecil’s factions. (See my earlier post “Guilty of Treason: Part 1” for some historical info on this event.)
In the DVD commentary on the film, writer John Orloff states that he did not want the PT 2 scene included but that director Roland Emmerich wanted it to remain.
Yes, this is the issue that divides otherwise like-minded Oxfordians into separate camps. So, you can choose to opt in or out! What are my feelings on the topic? While I am intrigued by the evidence that shows a correlation between Elizabeth, Oxford, and the Earl of Southampton, I am also hesitant to assume full-membership into the PT camp.
I am curious if there is any evidence that can prove a connection between Oxford and Mary Browne. I would like to study that possibility more in depth.
But I do highly recommend Hank Whittemore’s blog: http://hankwhittemore.wordpress.com/
or purchase a copy of either Shakespeare’s Son and His Sonnets or The Monument for a more comprehensive look into his interpretation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, as well as other matters regarding Oxford and the Shakespeare Authorship Question.
I’ve hesitated to write this blog post for quite some time now because just the mention of it can trigger a volatile debate. What I’m referring to is the Prince Tudor, or Tudor Rose theory.
Since I have hinted at it in several posts already, it’s time for me to elaborate for those who are new to the concept.
CAUTION: For those of you who feel strongly against this theory, this would be the time to change the channel!
There are a few variations to this theory, but I will focus primarily on excerpts from Charles Beauclerk’s book, Shakespeare’s Lost Kingdom and in The Monument by Hank Whittemore. Since this project’s main focus is on Southampton, I won’t get too involved in de Vere’s story right now.
To begin, I have chosen to discuss this theory because it provides a specific lens for interpreting the Sonnets and therefore relates to my independent study. In this blog project, however, I’ve only focused upon the 17 Procreation Sonnets and the interpretation that implies they were written by Shakespeare to a young man.
If this is true, and if Henry Wriothesley was the addressee of these poems, it appears as if the poet is encouraging the young earl to marry and start making “copies” of himself.
The language is intimate, indeed, but it can be viewed from a homosexual lover-to-lover perspective or even from that of a father-to-son relationship. Let’s assume the collection of Sonnets are of an autobiographical nature, and that the poet is addressing the young man as if he was his own son.
If you recall, in my previous post entitled “The Young Earl: ‘Harry’ Wriothesley,” I mentioned that the 2nd Earl of Southampton, Henry Wriothesley “Senior,” had been imprisoned for his involvement in the Ridolfi Plot.
When an earl spent time in the Tower, he did not necessarily live in squalor, and may have been allowed conjugal visits.
So, we cannot completely rule out “HW Sr.” as the biological father of “HW Jr.,” but, suspiciously, soon after the elder Wriothesley was released from prison, his relationship with his wife, Mary Browne, went downhill.
The Countess was moved to another estate and forbidden to see her young son.
To quote Beauclerk:
Mary Browne, the Countess of Southampton, had given birth to a son on October 6, 1573, but there is no record of a baptism for the baby, who may have died in infancy or been placed with another family in preparation for the adoption of the queen’s son. Either way, her child was probably illegitimate and not a Wriothesley at all, for the earl, her husband, was in the Tower when the child was conceived and she was rumored to be having an affair with “a common person” by the name of Donesame, pretext enough in those days for the removal of the baby. (106)
Stopes explains how young Harry was kept in his father’s custody and that the “Earl secluded himself more and more among his followers and estranged himself from his wife” (3).
Although the Countess attempted to make contact and explain herself to her husband, her attempts were hampered by the messengers, the Earl’s servants. One in particular, Thomas Dymock, seems to have been the most influential in keeping the couple separated and was even designated an executor of the Earl’s will.
As mentioned in my post, “The Young Earl: Harry Wriothesley,” Harry’s wardship was “sold” and as an underage “Queen’s Ward” (Stopes 17), William Cecil became Harry’s legal guardian.
Yes, I’m sure you caught those ominous words in Beauclerk’s quote: “the adoption of the queen’s son.”
More details to follow in “Southampton and the Tudor Rose Theory (Part 2 of 2)!”