Welcome to The de Vere Society

Hedingham Castle is
Shakespeare’s Birthplace:
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Hedingham Castle: Birthplace of Edward de Vere

Shakespeare Authorship Question

The SAQ attracts everyone from the casually curious to the passionately academic and many more on that compelling continuum to the greatest literary challenge of all time – understanding the author behind Shakespeare’s plays and poems. Courtier poet Edward de Vere was identified as a candidate in 1918 by J. Thomas Looney, an English writer and teacher who assembled a profile of the author based on the content of the work. Further investigation has only augmented and illuminated the case for Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, to the point where he has become the leading candidate for the man behind the pseudonym. Adherents to the theory, known as Oxfordians, are a large and ever-growing group who find the body of evidence persuasive for his claim to candidacy.  The De Vere Society, founded in 1986, supports and encourages this investigation and conversation in order to reach a better, deeper understanding of the Works and the world that supported their creation.

“I do not [ ] dismiss the serious examination of the Oxford question for a moment … I’ll say something else, which will doubtless bring more trouble on my head: serious Oxfordians do things rather well. You’ve a relish for historical investigation, an acceptance of biographical and topical relevance, an open-mindedness about inter-disciplinary studies, and a curiosity about documents, records, artefacts, cryptology, and all manifestations of Elizabethan culture and politics. Shakespeare’s tragedy is that some–by no means all, but too many–of his academic supporters disdain such matters as irrelevant, presumptuous, old-fashioned, grunt work or, worse, done and dusted, conclusively resolved many years ago.” Mark Griffiths, Ph.D., 24 May 2015,  author of The Fourth Man


Have you read his will?

Like Shakespeare’s sonnets, Shakespeare’s last will and testament is a reflection of his personal self.
Compare his writing about debt in, say, Hamlet: “… neither a borrower nor a lender be …” to how he dispenses his own debt issues in his own words, in his will: “household stuffe whatsoever, after my dettes and Legasies paied and my funeral expences dischardged, I give devise and bequeath …”

The actual will and some commentary on reading it.