The NY Times had an article "Shakespeare: Actor. Playwright. Social Climber" by JENNIFER SCHUESSLER.
- William Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, came from a local gentry family
- 1564 - William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare, is an alderman
- 1568 - John Shakespeare, is the high bailiff (the present-day equivalent of mayor)
- 1569 - John Shakespeare had applied for a coat of arms
- autumn 1569 - Revolt of the Northern Catholic Earls
the head of the Catholic Arden family was Edward Arden, who had become
involved with the conspiracy linked to Mary Stuart; later he was hanged,
drawn and quartered in December 1583
- from 1570 for decades John Shakespeare could not achieve success
- John Shakespeare lost his position; he probably didn't dare to appear in public places (for fear of being arrested)
- Oct 1596 - John Shakespeare renewed his application for a coat of arms
- Sep 1599 - Essex's 5 hour interrogation
- Nov 1599 - the supplication for a noble title was granted
- 1599 - the 68 year old John Shakespeare again became a member of the council
- Sept 1601 - the 70 year old John Shakespeare died
A quote from my book:
"On 29 September the council interrogated Essex for five hours.
was on the day of Essex's interrogation or thereabouts (perhaps in
November) that the supplication Shakespeare's father had submitted for a
noble title three years before and which had seemingly been lost
forever in the labyrinth of official administration suddenly re-emerged.
John Shakespeare was allowed to use the symbol of his wife's family,
i.e. the Ardens, in his coat-of-arms in addition to what he first
proposed. Since the noble title was hereditary, his father being raised
to the rank of a noble also made Shakespeare a noble. Now, many years
after his disappearance from the Stratford offices John Shakespeare
again became a member of the council for the next two years until his
death at the age of 70.
The rehabilitation of
Shakespeare's father followed Essex's interrogation. This might indicate
that the queen was fully aware of Shakespeare's role as a supporter of
Essex, as well as with the ambiguous nature of it too; she might have
understood the fairly mixed picture Shakespeare had formed of Essex. (It
is entirely possible that the delay in granting the noble title to John
Shakespeare was the doing of Essex's followers, since Essex was able to
keep Shakespeare at bay this way.)"
If these are true, the following part of THE WINTER'S TALE are about Will Shakespeare's taught:
('Autolycus' is Essex, 'Shepherd' is John Shakespeare and his son, 'Clown' is Will Shakespeare.
Excerpt is from shakespeare.mit.edu )
Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me,
would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old
man and his son aboard the prince: told him I heard
them talk of a fardel and I know not what: but he
at that time, overfond of the shepherd's daughter,
so he then took her to be, who began to be much
sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of
weather continuing, this mystery remained
undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me; for had I
been the finder out of this secret, it would not
have relished among my other discredits.
Enter Shepherd and Clown
Here come those I have done good to against my will,
and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.
Come, boy; I am past moe children, but thy sons and
daughters will be all gentlemen born.
You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me
this other day, because I was no gentleman born.
See you these clothes? say you see them not and
think me still no gentleman born: you were best say
these robes are not gentlemen born: give me the
lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.
I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.
Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.
And so have I, boy.
So you have: but I was a gentleman born before my
father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and
called me brother; and then the two kings called my
father brother; and then the prince my brother and
the princess my sister called my father father; and
so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like
tears that ever we shed.
We may live, son, to shed many more.
Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so
preposterous estate as we are.
I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the
faults I have committed to your worship and to give
me your good report to the prince my master.
Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are
Thou wilt amend thy life?
Ay, an it like your good worship.
Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince thou
art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.
You may say it, but not swear it.
Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and
franklins say it, I'll swear it.
How if it be false, son?
If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear
it in the behalf of his friend: and I'll swear to
the prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands and
that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no
tall fellow of thy hands and that thou wilt be
drunk: but I'll swear it, and I would thou wouldst
be a tall fellow of thy hands.
I will prove so, sir, to my power.
Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: if I do not
wonder how thou darest venture to be drunk, not
being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark! the kings
and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the
queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy