Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -30- Lear-2


The early Baconian researchers that found this compared it to the earlier quarto and did not find the same pattern, as if this folio page was rearranged to produce the peculiar counts. The only speaking character in the play that is called “Knight” is in this column. This character has 5 speeches. The first two of the 5 speeches have the Italicized spelling of ‘Knigh’. Then for the last three times, it is spelled ‘Knight’, ‘Knigh’, and lastly ‘Knight’. This shows an inconsistency with two of the spellings using a last “t”. Perhaps this was to enable a line count of ‘33’ in those two lines?

Also, we now look at all the full lines (the ones that run to the margin) in the second column that  begin with an italicized character name. There are 13 of these lines prior to the ones containing the Bacon code syllables. The total number of Character name letters in these first 13 lines of the second column total 54 and the last 4 full lines (with the candidate coded name) total 21 letters, the difference being 33. Then also, the total letter count of the last words in the same first 13 full lines (that begin with a Italicized character name) totals 47 while the total for the last 4 lines totals 14, again with a difference of 33. Over all, these multiple counts of the significant number 33 (“Bacon” in Simple alphabet) along with the closeness of Bacon’s name as “Sir France is bee Con”, and the significant # 287, appears to be beyond coincidence.  

Here are the column two line tallies:
Line #  of Letters   Italicized Char. Ltrs.    Last Word Letters
  2            36                       4                                  3
  5            35                       4                                  4
  7            38                       4                                  5
 13           38                       4                                  2
 15           41                       4                                  1
 21           29                       4                                11
 26           40                       4                                  1
 31           32                       4                                  7
 34           39                       4                                  2
 40           34                       4                                  4
 43           36                       5                                  4
 44           35                       4                                  1
 46           39                       5                                  2
Totals    472                     54                                47

Second Column Section B
Line #  # of Letters   Italicized Char. Ltrs.    Last Word Letters Name Syllable
  49           33                      6                                  2                                 “is”
  56           33                      5                                  3                                 “bee”
  59           33                      4                                  3                                 “Con”
  65           33                      6                                  6                                 “ France”
Totals     132                    21                                14

Some of this analysis is taken from a researcher named (or going by the name of) Joel Dias-Porter.
He also mentions that although these 5 syllables can be rearranged to make up other words, they can’t seem to be arranged into another coherent sentence.

This signature candidate is another that was not reviewed by the Friedmans in their book, despite its appeal and popularity among Baconians. Maybe his interest was primarily with ciphers with which a probability could be assigned and not with codes or word puzzles where such a probability wasn’t accessible. Or maybe he just never came across it.

Next we’ll look at some more instances of the significant number of 33.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -29- King Lear


Fun with Baconian Ciphers

Part 6

3)  Our next candidate is from The Tragedie of King Lear. It’s discussed in Secret Shakespearean Seals mentioned earlier. You can follow along and check at this facsimile:

The first thing we’ll note is that this occurs on page 287 of the Tragedies. (Note: no cipher candidate has been noticed on page 287 of the Comedies. And there is no page 287 in the Histories).  What we see on this page is the apparent name Sir Francis Bacon represented as

Sir France is bee Con

 in a kind of anagram-acrostic made up of syllables. There is a pattern to each syllable making up this “name”. Not counting the last word on the page “Sir,” the other syllables are each in a line than begins with the Italicized name of a character and the remainder of each of these four lines goes all the way to the right margin. In addition, each of these four full lines has a total of 33 letters when excluding the “name syllables” of “France’, ‘is’, ‘bee’, and ‘Con’. No other of the 13 lines like these in this second column, or of the 5 lines like these in the first column, have 33 letters in them whether or not the last word is excluded in the letter count.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -28- Cipher Chart


Another possible reference to Wilkin’s ‘Rosiecross’ is in the play Cymbeline on a mispaged 389, actually page 379. Here there is what seems like a geometrical cipher on the symbolic name. I've recently learned that this was discovered by Petter Amundsen and also that he says its shape represents a perfect 3-4-5 triangle.

England’s Rosicrucians may have been absorbed into the Freemasons while those on the continent may have gone further underground. Shakespeare scholar Martin Lings in his The Secret of Shakespeare wrote on page 20 that the writings suggest that the author, like Dante, followed a spiritual path and that this implied an attachment to one of the esoteric orders.

Here now is the chart of ciphers the early Baconians developed.  I will be using all the cipher numbers except those shown for the simple count of “FRA BACONI” (42 and 66).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -27- Tomb plaques


Bacon also seems to have had access to the writings of Johann Valentin Andrea, the author of the German Rosicrucian manifestoes. See Christianopolis: An Ideal of the 17th Century by Johann Valentin AndreaeFelix Emil Held (Translator), 2007.

 Then, if so, a numerical cipher associated with a Rosicrucian symbolic name is plausible.

There is a stronger connection of the number 287 to Bacon. On his monument tomb at St. Michael’s Church in St. Albans are three plaques making up his epitaph in Latin. The letter counts for each line use only the large letters and the double letters, as a rule, count as one letter.

This plaque has a large letter count of 91.

The second plaque has a count of 135.

The third plaque has a count of 61. The count for all three plaques = 287.  The small superscripted letters seem to me to be arbitrarily sized which suggest the 287 count was not by chance.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -26- Rosicrucian


Whether or not there’s enough evidence to assert that either Bacon or Shakespeare were Masons, there does seem to be enough to suspect they could have been. And this would help to explain the authorship secrecy with which the Shakespeare works were published since such groups, like Bacon himself, were given to secrecy or privacy. In any case, the number 287 is here related to Francis Bacon.

Besides the link to Masonic history the researchers also believed, rightly or not, that Bacon seemed to be associated with the Rosicrucian activity of the time. And they connected the number 287 to Bacon in this association. They found that in the book Mathematical Magick by Bishop John Wilkins, a founder of the Royal Society, and who was at least associated with several Masons as well as those with Rosicrucian interests [see The Golden Builders, 2002 by Tobias Churton], that  on page 136 in the second part of the Wilkins’ book (so there are two page 136s) that after 150 roman words (not counting Italicized words) then the 151st word was the name Francis as part of the symbolic name of Francis Rosicrosse and Wilkins associated this name to the Rosicrucians of the “Confession of that Fraternity”.  So the name here being linked to the number 287 (the page number plus the word count), the early  Baconian authors experimented and found that a symbolic name of “Fra Rosicrosse” or “Fra Rosiecross” would equal 287 in the Kay count.  They had found several instances in letters with Bacon’s first name abbreviated as “Fra”, some signed by him. And as well there was this abbreviation of “Fra” used in one of the testimonials in Bacon’s 1640 Advancement of Learning. They then felt there was justification to hypothesize that this symbolic abbreviated name of “Fra Rosicrosse” represented Francis Bacon. It’s interesting also that both links to the # 287, here and in the First Folio, are found on a page of 136. Also, the word HONORIFICABILITUDINITATIBUS in the First Folio would also be the 151st word in Roman type on the page if the hyphenated word of “almes-basket” were in this case counted as two words. Keep in mind when counting that at one spot the word ‘debt’ is deliberately spelled out as ‘d e b t’ (with spaces) and so each letter is counted as a word as would be ‘a’ or ‘I’ or the first initial of someone’s name. This is because each letter is spoken separately in the play’s scene.

The Wilkins book can be found here:

There are other known connections between the Rosicrucian movement and the friends of both Bacon and Shakespeare. Another of Ron Heisler’s many articles in this area is Shakespeare and the Ethos of the Rosicrucians, found here:
And as far as the Shakespeare Authorship question is concerned he’s a traditionalist.

Bacon very likely met the Rosicrucian philosopher and inventor Cornelius Drebbel and may have been influenced by him in writing his New Atlantis.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -25- Benson; Freemasonry


There is also to consider a later printing of the Sonnets. They were reprinted in 1640 by John Benson:

“Printed at London by Tho. Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson dwelling in St. Dunstans Church-yard, 1640.”

In this text “Benson is notorious for rearranging the order of the sonnets into groups, which he presented as complete poems, for which he invented titles. He also changed the pronouns in several of the sonnets to create the impression that they were written to a woman.”

Its major curiosity seems to be that there are six sonnets missing from the 1609 Quarto. These are sonnets 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, and 76. And they happen to add up to 287.

However, an analysis shows that the publisher almost surely had the 1609 version at his side. True that there were a number of errors made in the reprinting, but leaving out six of the sonnets is quite an oversight, if it was one. There is currently no known reason why they were omitted. See the link below:

Cavalier Shakespeare: The 1640 Poems of John Benson, by David Baker

Benson’s printer for this work, Thomas Cotes, was an apprentice printer for Jaggard in 1597, and assisted in the printing of the First Folio. Cotes also printed Bacon’s Certaine considerations touching the better pacification, and edification of the Church of England:: dedicated to His most Excellent Majestie in 1640. John Benson published in 1651 A true and historical relation of the poysoning of Sir Thomas Overbury (collected out of the papers of Sir Francis Bacon).

And that the missing sonnets add to 287 fits what appears to be a pattern of the number 287 standing out in many places in the Shakespeare works. This number’s connection to Francis Bacon is strongly indicated by the reference in the Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia of 1877. In it is found the tradition that “The first Grand Master, A.D. 287, Saint Alban, etc.” Also, “Saint Alban, the proto-Martyr of England, born at Verulam, or Saint Albans…”
As is known, Francis Bacon was made Baron Verulam in 1618 and 1st Viscount Saint Albans in 1621.

There is a fair amount of Baconian research going back over a century supporting a theory that   Bacon was involved with the Masons of his day and there is also some speculation that there are numerous Masonic references in the Shakespeare works, a sample of which can be viewed here:

See also historian Ron Heisler’s article The Impact of Freemasonry on Elizabethan Literature, 1990:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -24- Sonnet 154


The first thing we want to establish is that the word, for whatever reason, had some fascination to Bacon, who seems to have played with it to see if it could show an abbreviated anagram form of his name. This can be seen here though it’s not really what should interest us

So the long word is well connected to both Bacon and Shakespeare and in Shakespeare’s play it has a simple count of 287. The word in its previous forms did not have the same spelling so possibly it was modified for the play so that its numerical count would equal 287. This suspicion only takes on some meaning if the 287 count does appear to be significant to both Bacon and Shakespeare.

2)  The Secret Shakspearean Seals authors found this number in a few interesting ways in SHAKE-SPEARES SONNETS of 1609. On the page of the last Sonnet (#154) we have at the top of the page the word “SONNETS” which has a Kay alphabet value of 126, which together with the sonnet # of 154 and the seven large letters below the sonnet adds to 287. But maybe that seems like playing around with the possibilities too much. So in addition, the Kay value of the word “Finis” is equal to 133, which together with the Sonnet # 154 = 287. But why use the Kay alphabet? Perhaps this is hinted at with the two large letters beneath all else which are the letters ‘K’ and, separated from this, the letter ‘A’, possibly to suggest that K is in the place of A for this code. Letters are often used at the bottom of pages but these are extra large. This could, of course, just be all a coincidence, but it has the appearance of intention. Here is the page with the last sonnet:


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -23- number 287


Fun with Baconian Ciphers
Part 5

Most of the best Baconian cipher/code evidence is related to, and often dependent upon, certain significant numbers. Most of these have now been mentioned in those numbers representing the first, last, and full name of Francis Bacon. Another one, which at first I was going to ignore but found I could not is the number 287. This number was asserted to have been found in nearly every Shakespeare work and many others of the same time period but not all by the same author. But how the number was obtained in various counting methods in all these works is very much open to question. Still disregarding all, or nearly all, of the clearly ambiguous counts for this number, it still stands out from the rest of the numbers not directly associated with Bacon’s name. The Friedmans disparagingly called it a “magic number”. But the Baconian researchers never said there was anything “magic” about it. They merely found it as significant in that they kept encountering it. What we can fault them for is what appears to be an excessive eagerness to find it such that they didn’t seem to develop rigid rules for their counting methods that would stand up to scrutiny in each of their assertions.

So let’s look at this number. It may have been first found in the examination of the long word

H  O   N   O   R  I   F  I  C  A  B   I   L    I    T   U   D  I   N   I    T   A   T   I  B  U    S
8  14  13 14 17 9  6  9  3  1   2  9 11  9  19  20  4  9 13  9  19  1  19  9  2  20  18 = 287

This word is on page 136 of the First Folio in Love’s Labor’s Lost, Act V, scene 1.

An abridged version of it is also found on the Northumberland manuscript (which is shown later), the document that mainstream scholars seem to try to ignore, and which has the name of Francis Bacon on it along with the name William Shakespeare which is preceded twice by the word “your”. Several references to Shakespeare works are also listed on the document. Here again, the Friedmans, like many others, were quick to dismiss this extremely important document of the period despite the many connections between it and Francis Bacon. Without acknowledging any of the important connections to Bacon and Shakespeare in it, they just say  “a scrivener linked the names (both pretty well known to Londoners) of Bacon and Shakespeare on a page of rough notes,…” Too many of those in positions of authority have taken the easy out of dismissing a highly interesting finding when what should be done is to examine it carefully in great detail to learn all we can about how it came to be. This has been a problem with much of the evidence touching on the Shakespeare authorship question.

The form of the long word in the MS is abbreviated as honorificabilitudini. Now, neither Bacon nor Shakespeare invented this word. It’s been around in one form or another since at least 1187, though it seems that either Bacon or Shakespeare was the first to use it in the Elizabethan period. There were a few Baconian researchers that early on had a fascination with anagrams and would try making various phrases out of the word’s letters, the most infamous being:  Hi ludi F. Baconis nati tuiti orbi” meaning “These plays, the offspring of F. Bacon, are preserved for the world.” But other researchers showed little or no interest in such an anagram and focused on the word’s other properties.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -22-


So the early Baconian cipher hunters were challenged with these inconsistencies in cases when they were quite sure that the larger context indicated a cipher. Since ciphers and numerical signatures were common, as will be shown, they hypothesized that, if invariable rules had been adopted in the ciphers, that then “numerical signatures could not have escaped observation”. In their research paragraph word counts worked primarily when counting words that were in the kind of type that was used for the majority of the printed matter. Normally this would be Roman type. There are other instances though when only Italicized words are counted or only capitalized words or letters. Letter counts in a line of text seem to always use both Roman and Italic type, and double letters (those not clearly separated) would count as one letter. Unusually sized letters may be treated differently than the surrounding text. So, superscripts may not be counted at all, and extra large letters present opportunities for additional enciphering. The letter ‘W’ was often written with two ‘V’s and in these cases each separated ‘V’ is counted in letter counts. They also did not think that there was an absolute rule about hyphenated words, and concluded that it may have been left up to the ingenuity of the decipherer to count them as 1 or 2 (or sometimes more) words. The numbers in years are invariably added separately to arrive at a reduced figure. The same appears to be true for an age. All this ambiguity makes it more difficult for the decipherer to determine if a cipher is indeed present. Most of the time the above ambiguities will not be an issue for the examples in this paper. And a couple times when it might be will be discussed at that time.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -21- Criticism Responses


Anthony Bacon, in his time in France, had met the King of Navarre in 1584 and lived with him for a time. And it’s said that the three names of these historical persons, along with the name of ‘Boyet’ (another character name in the same play) are all found in the passport of Anthony Bacon.

But let’s return to the Friedman’s criticisms and some responses to them:

The problems with his analysis and conclusions are these:

1) They collected and combined a variety of Baconian alphabet ciphers or codes along with their various systems and considered them as a coherent body of Baconian evidence. But to be fair, each separate system should have been examined on its own. The best analogy to explain this is with the case of Baconian evidence of text parallels. Several thousand language and idea parallels had been found by various Baconian researchers showing a vast similarity between the works of the two writers Bacon and ‘Shakespeare’. But then many of the parallels were shown to be commonplace among many writers of the period, and so not unique to Bacon and Shakespeare. From there it was extrapolated that “all” the parallels were very probably ‘commonplaces’. But many decades later Baconian researcher Nigel Cockburn painstakingly went through the parallels and separated the ones most likely to be unique to Bacon and Shakespeare. These were published and have never been refuted as to their uniqueness. Cockburn showed that many of the parallels could not possibly have been borrowed from the other author. Similarly, amongst the host of invalid numerical signature codes offered there could be a group of them that are valid and unlikely to be considered as pure coincidences.

2) A second problem with the Friedman’s analysis, related to the first, is with their failure to separate the most valid names to have numerological signatures from the additional versions added to them. Or we should probably say that this was a big fault with the early Baconian cipher researchers. Bacon may have used other signature forms but their admission overly complicates the investigation and can very easily lead, as the Friedmans rightly showed, to a high probability of a hit, whereas the search should be for low probability findings. So for this analysis, as far as numerical signatures go, only the full first and last names will be used: “Francis”, “Bacon”, or “Francis Bacon”, along with a few instances of his published Latin name. In addition there will be a couple symbolic names (one being “Shake-speare”) that seem to have merit.

3) Similarly with methodology, the Friedmans were right to fault the numerous ways a significant number could be found. To be fair though they didn’t ‘always’ freely juggle their methods at will until they found a recognizable number they liked. In reading the Secret Shakespearean Seals the authors many times wrote of their hesitation of their methods and the overreaching of their conclusions. But remember this was in the early 1900s and the sciences of cryptology and probability were still some time away from becoming developed and explained. So perhaps sifting through the mass of candidate signatures, which the Friedmans admit they didn’t do, would reveal some that stand up better to scrutiny.  A major difficulty involves the natural ambiguity with language at the time. Spelling, punctuation, pronunciation, and capitalization were all inconsistent in usage. On top of this those using ciphers needed to make them undetectable and as much indecipherable as possible. Their lives could depend upon it. Any open action or even suggestive talk of sedition could lead to imprisonment or death. Even discussion or commentary on Queen Elizabeth’s succession was outlawed. And the threat of a successful Spanish invasion along with a return to Catholic control was of great concern. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -20- Unton


Their argument would have been better if they had known and stated that Queen Elizabeth herself (or the equivalent ‘England’) had actually been assigned a numerical code of ‘100’ in state correspondence to Sir Henry Unton who was acting as an English ambassador to Henry IV of France. (see The Life and Death of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex by G. B. Harrison, 1937, pg. 93).  It appears that Essex had sent Unton a cipher system and codes besides those that the Queen’s council sent. Sir Unton’s correspondence shows a complete cipher along with other codes. This can be seen on page 14 of Correspondence of Sir Henry Unton, Knt.

It also shows several character strings that can be used as null values. Interestingly, on the next page of this book is a listing of key players in the English supported war to get Henry IV of Navarre to secure his succession as King of France after the assassination of Henry III. The Earl of Essex had been sent with a force to France to battle those supporting a rival to the crown. In Unton’s correspondence (and so also very likely in other correspondence from Essex to his supporters and close associates back in England, including the Bacon brothers), there are listed the key players in the conflict. What is extra interesting is the three French names that are principle characters in the play Love’s Labour’s Lost.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -19- Friedman criticisms


Again, the importance of this is that there’s enough evidence to warrant that this Kay alphabet was used as a secret key cipher and had some known connection to Francis Bacon.  And with the apparent disclosure of this secret cipher alphabet in the two works published after Bacon’s death, it suggests that this cipher was meant to be discovered. If so, it follows that it was also meant to be tested and applied to reveal some information that it publicly hid. If it then proved useful in finding apparent signatures of Bacon in the Shakespeare works then it would bolster the probability, at least, that he was their author. To the Friedmans it didn’t really matter anyway whether or not there was such a genuine cipher key based on the letter ‘K’. The only thing that mattered was whether or not it was a system that Shakespeare seemed to use and could be tied to Bacon.

Now with this Kay alphabet we have some more cipher candidates for Bacon’s signature. In this system “Francis” is 171, “Bacon” is 111, and “Francis Bacon” = 282.  

Now we will review the Friedman’s faults of the numerical codes evidence.

The Friedmans reviewed many of the claimed findings of supposed significant numbers in various works of the period. It seems that much of the time they didn’t so much evaluate them but instead aimed to illustrate the variety of claims. Their main complaints are that 1) there was “no system at all, and the manipulations are so easy that one can without difficulty devise “at least two different forms” of any name and proceed to find them on the same page, and scattered liberally through any collection of works;” 2) they point out that “any chosen number can stand for a whole host of different names.” They give an example how what they call the magic number 287 can be found in several names besides the “Fra Rosicrosse” (Kay Cipher count), such as “Bacon Society Incorporated” or “Queen Eliza”.  3) a third complaint was that so many variations on Bacon’s name were being used that it multiplied the chances of either their Simple or Kay counts being found. Besides his first, last, and complete name already mentioned, the early Baconians also searched for the Simple and Kay numerical equivalents of “F. Bacon”, “Fr Bacon”, “Francis Bacon Knight”, “Fr. Bacon Kt.”, “Francis Bacon Kt.”, “Sir Francis Bacon Knight”, “Fr. St Alban”, and “Francis St Alban”.  And 4) finally, once they had all these options it then appeared to the Friedmans that “In addition to this ambiguity we have noticed that any amount of unsystematic manipulation (addition, subtraction, reversal of digits, addition of digits, factorization, and indiscriminate separation of totals into sums of two or more numbers is allowed, and that there is a generous range of different counting systems (simple, reversed, Kay, and short count alphabets), so that any number inconvenient in one system may well yield a promising result in another.”  The Friedman’s final ‘proof’ of the fatuity of this system was that he created a version of William’s  own name “Wm. Friedman” that was equal to the count of ‘100’, and also “Wm & E. Friedman” to equal the Kay cipher count of 287,  thereby proving without doubt that he and his wife wrote the Shakespeare works.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -18- Repertorie


 Here is this reference from The Repertorie of Records.

This is absolutely NOT an endorsement of all their claims. As far as I know most of their findings may be unsupportable. They claim to have found a great many significant letter and word counts in many books besides the many Shakespeare works. Many of their counts depend on a method of counting where ambiguity is present. It may still turn out that many of their claims, as far as the counts go, are accurate, which might be interesting in itself. My intent was not to assess their book but to look for good ideas. In any case there actually seems to be a reasonable justification for a “Kay” alphabet since there are reasonable clues to its existence. This is important because a discovered cipher alphabet, predicted to exist, is likely to be far more credible than a somewhat arbitrary one found by modern day decoders but without any reasonable basis to use it, other than finding that it provided reasonable solutions.

This Kay alphabet then would be:

A   B  C   D   E  F   G   H  I-J    K  L       N  O    P   Q    R   S    T  U-V  W    X   Y    Z   
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34  35  10 11 12  13 14  15  16  17  18  19  20    21  22  23  24

(The ‘&’ and ‘et’ would be considered as ‘null’ values in the system.)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -17- Seals and Thomas Powell


Actually, the authors stated very clearly why they assigned ‘A’ to 27 and gave explanations for the ‘&’ and ‘E’. They describe their discoveries in Secret Shakespearean Seals, 1916, on page 28, and with Plate XXXIII. 

The following link leads to a scan of the book which it now seems must be downloaded before you can see the whole pages.

The Resuscitatio was published by Bacon’s Chaplain, Secretary and Confident William Rawley.   Actually, the strip of paper said “twenty-seventh Folio.” They noted that there was no known “Dr. A” or anything about a “27th folio” but these fit well the concept of a Kay cipher that they were trying to unravel. It made sense that the letter ‘K’ was the numeral 10 but then why wasn’t the letter ‘A’ equal to 25 since ‘Z’ was 24? Testing with ‘A’ as ‘27’ yielded some promising signature candidates. Here is the passage that they found:

And finally, in the same book on “Shakespearean Seals”, pgs. 63-65, the authors describe how they found an old book “The Repertorie of Records” from 1631. It was published anonymously but the authors say that it has been assigned to Thomas Powell, who wrote the Attourneys Academy.  There are some references to places connected to Francis Bacon (such as Yorke-house and Saint Albans), along with a trail of significant numbers (like the number 33 which is the Simple count for ‘Bacon’) which led them to a page describing the “27th chest” as ‘a’ and the 28th as ‘b’, while the 25th was listed as ‘&’ and the 26th as ‘E’ (probably for our ‘et’).  This along with the Resuscitatio discovery led them to revise and test the Kay Cipher alphabet they were working on.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -16- Kay Cipher


A question that might be asked is why would a hidden author use such a simple cipher if he didn’t want to his authorship to be easily detected? The answer is that a simple cipher makes it relatively easy for one to figure out what kind of cipher may have been used. And it could still be difficult to detect by using it in creative ways that blend in with a normal looking text. This was actually practiced in Elizabethan espionage. On page 287 of The Watchers by Stephen Alford, 2012, we find, regarding a letter by an agent of Thomas Phelippes “But woven into the letters were passages of cipher.” Then on page 290 of this book is a quote by Bacon writing to Phelippes of how he [Bacon] could learn from him, “And indeed I would be the wiser by you in many things, for that I call to confer with a man of your fullness”.

The other alphabet that early Baconians found is what they call the ‘Kay’ cipher. This is a more complex cipher and may have been used for some purpose beyond that of the simple cipher. The early researchers looked for it based on Bacon’s mention of a “Kay-Cyphar” which he didn’t describe. The Baconian cipher hunters had reason to believe that this cipher was based on the letter ‘K’ in the alphabet, as the first letter in this cipher. The Friedmans faulted this analysis, saying that the ‘Kay’ that Bacon mentioned didn’t refer to the letter ‘K’ but was just an alternate spelling of the word ‘Key’. They said this is clear because Bacon used an ‘a’ for an ‘e’ five times in the same passage. In the page long passage that Bacon wrote, he spelled ‘Cipher’ (with an ‘e’) and ‘Ciphar’ (with an ‘a’) each about a half-dozen times. But the ‘pher’/’phar’ syllable doesn’t seem comparable to the ‘kay’/’key’ syllable.

In the 1640 edition of the Advancement of Learning (interpreted by Wats) we find on page 264 the phrase “Kay-Cyphars”, as well as the spelling “Cyphers”. In the 1623 Latin edition of the book Bacon did use “Ciphrae Claves” where ‘clavis’ is Latin for ‘key’. And even the early Baconian (Mr. W. E. Clifton) who ‘discovered’ what is now called the Kay cipher, and who had seen the 1623 edition, himself thought for a time that this may be the case and said that “…the words “Ciphrae Clavis” probably meant “Key” Cipher rather than “K” Cipher.

Personally, the “Kay”=”K” (and not “Key”) interpretation looks more right to me, or maybe he meant the “Kay” alphabet as one type of “Key” cipher. Bacon knew the difference between “Kay” and “Key”. He used the word “Key” in a letter to King James saying “And again, for that my Book of Advancement of Learning may be some preparative, or Key, for the better opening of the Instauration,….” And since Bacon didn’t go on to describe the “Kay-Cyphar” that he mentioned, he may have wanted to keep it secret. Also, there are rational reasons for a cipher or code alphabet to begin with the letter ‘K’. It’s the first letter in the straight alphabet with two digits and so has the advantage of using all letters represented by two digits and avoids the confusion of whether something like the number 21 represents the letter W or the letters BA. 

One other of the Friedman’s criticisms of the Kay Cipher was that Woodward (one of its users or discoverers) does not explain why the letter ‘A’ does not have the value 25, following ‘Z’ as 24, as one might expect. The only explanation that he said has so far been offered is that the value 25 is assigned to ‘&’, and 26 to another letter ‘E’.” The Friedmans called this an “eccentricity”.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -15- Lopez - Essex


Francis, though primarily used in interrogations, was to use his learned cipher skills in what has been called the Lopez affair – an assassination plot. A Jewish-Portuguese doctor, Rodrigo Lopez, had become the Queen’s physician. He was accused by the Earl of Essex in this plot.

Lopez was said to have sent “obscurely worded” letters to Spanish agents. Though Phelippes was the primary decipherer for spy chief Sir Walsingham, in Hostage to Fortune [p. 158] we learn that “Francis Bacon was among those brought in to use the skills he had acquired in diplomatic service with Sir Amias Paulet to crack the codes.”

“Some historians and literary critics consider Lopez and his trial to have been an influence on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. " “Many Shakespearean scholars believe Dr. Lopez was the prototype for Shylock,"

Besides the close connection to Thomas Phelippes, Francis’ older brother Anthony was another cipher expert who “was an experienced intelligencer with links to the networks of both Walsingham and Lord Burghley….He remained in constant correspondence with his brother Francis….Anthony kept up a correspondence with spies in various places on the continent after his return to England in 1592.”  
Sovereignty and intelligence: spying and court culture in the English Renaissance by John Michael Archer, 1993, [p. 124].

Or see a preview at this link:

From the same book [p. 121] above we find that “With the help of his brother Anthony, Bacon (Francis) became Essex’s principal strategist and decoder in the earl’s competition with Robert Cecil for the queen’s attention and gratitude.”

The point of the above is to again show Francis Bacon’s familiarity with ciphers and codes from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. And that it would have been well within his capability to make them fairly well-hidden in a sophisticated manner while still leaving them detectible to alert and diligent readers.

Returning to the Friedmans, they describe the most basic Baconian cipher using the Elizabethan 24-letter alphabet as:

A  B C D E  F G H I-J K  L   M    N   O    P   Q    R    S   T  U-V   W   X    Y    Z
1  2  3 4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20   21  22  23  24

In this system we are interested in the cipher numbers for ‘Francis’ which is 67, “Bacon” which is 33, and “Francis Bacon” which is 100.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -14- Phelippes


Fun with Baconian Ciphers
Part 4

We now begin with those signature candidates that involve numbers. These have often been ridiculed but only by people who don’t understand them. We’ll look at what cryptology experts William and Elizabeth Friedman had to say about them and what they didn’t say or realize.This will take several pages so it will be a while before we get to the next cipher candidates.

First, to quote from the Friedman’s The Shakespeare Ciphers Examined, [p. 15] “In code systems, the units or symbols to be translated can be of different lengths: a letter, a syllable, a word, a sentence, or just a string of letters or numbers is agreed to stand for a particular word or a whole phrase in the message.”

The Friedmans deal with this topic in their chapter called “Odd Numbers”. Remember that the Elizabethan alphabet had 24 letters to it. In the Elizabethan alphabet the letters "u" and "v" represented the same letter as did the letters "i" and "j". Use the link below for more particulars.

Francis Bacon showed his familiarity with various cipher systems in his De Augmentia Scientiarum where he wrote (keeping original spelling intact):

“Wherefore let us come to Cyphars. Their kinds are many, as Cyphars simple; Cyphars intermixt with Nulloes, or non-significant Characters; Cyphers of double Letters under one Character; Wheele-Cyphars; Kay-Cyphars; Cyphars of Words; Others. But the virtues of them whereby they are to be preferr’d are Three; That they be ready, and not laborious to write; That they be sure, and lie not open to Deciphering; And lastly, if it be possible, that they be managed without suspition.”

I emphasized some key lines to keep in mind. As should be apparent, he would know that a normal rule-bound acrostic could easily be noticed and so would not be “without suspicion”. He wrote a little more on this topic and gave examples of his famous bi-literal cipher which many Baconians wrote about thinking that it was used in the Shakespeare works, as well as in works under Bacon’s own name, to hide his history. The Friedmans spent much of their book on that topic.

It’s also known that Bacon was in the company of cipher experts from his early years and then continued this interest the rest of his life. In the book Hostage to Fortune, Jardine and Stewart, 1998, pgs 55-56, the authors write “It was in France that Francis [at the age of 15 thru 17] had his first experience of ciphers and cryptography”. They wrote that “In this field, he was lucky to strike up an early relationship with the grand master of intelligence ciphers, Thomas Phelippes, a servant of Sir Francis Walsingham, who had been placed with the embassy to give it the benefit of his skills in languages and ciphering. Bacon and Phelippes also remained close over the following years: Francis was a friend of Thomas’ father, employed his younger brother as secretary and close companion during the early 1580s, and recommended Thomas himself to the attention of the Earl of Essex in 1591. He [Phelippes] was also credited with having the ability ‘to write any man’s hand if he had once seen it as the man himself that writ it’.” “As a decipherer, Phelippes specialized in breaking difficult codes. What Francis learned under Thomas Phelippes remained with him for the rest of his life.”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -13- Bacon-Tobie-5


And lastly, 6) there was a curious volume published anonymously in 1620 that connects the epithet ‘bandito’ to Tobie Matthew. In this translation it was titled A Relation of the Death of the Most Illustrious Lord Signor Troilo Savelli, a Baron of Rome / [translated from Italian] by Sir T.M. Knight.  This was ascribed to Sir Tobie Matthew by Henry Peacham in Truth of our Time (p. 102). A 1663 edition was titled The Penitent Bandito, or the Historie of the conversion and Death of the most illustrious Lord Signior Troilo Saavelli, a Baron of Rome. This edition is said to have Tobie Matthew’s name in Anthony a Wood’s handwriting. Wood was an antiquarian and ‘professed Rosicrucian’—a topic to be addressed later. But why the book was renamed ‘The Penitent Bandito’ isn’t known. Bacon would likely have known and read any book by his closest friend, and perhaps there is something in the book related to banishment which later came to mind in the preparation of The Tempest in the First Folio.

In any case, all of these apparent acrostics, associated by their clear parallel locations in successive columns, and with names and phrases perfectly suited to each other, must be extremely unlikely to be a coincidence. Mather Walker calculated the probability at 181,606,990,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1, using the Friedman’s table of first-line letter occurrences in the Folio. The Friedman’s own test of authorship through acrostic or cipher put the odds necessary for validation at “1 chance in a thousand million” [p. 21] or 1,000,000,000 to 1.  If the probability of the Bacon-Tobey acrostic can be professionally calculated to be at or beyond this number then that by itself, according to the Friedmans, would prove Bacon’s authorship. But if the acrostic does not actually reach that probability, or if the ‘impure’ acrostic pattern is still a little questionable, then other possible ‘hidden bard’ signatures may be enough to settle any doubt.

And here is Mather Walker’s full article:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -12- Bacon-Tobie-4


Or it can be read “BANITTO”. This seeming word is again directly across from the “Two alike” phrase (beginning a few lines higher). It stands out because of this relationship and just because it looks like a word. Upon further inspection it is very close to the Italian word ‘Bandito” which can translate to ‘Banished’.  The weak spot here would be the missing letter ‘d’. However, there are several points of argument that supports the supposition that it can convey the meaning of ‘Bandito’. 1) the sounding is nearly the same; 2) Shakespeare used a very similar spelling of the word as “Bandetto” in The Second Part of Henry VI on page 138 (25th line) of the First Folio and this is known to come from Italian ‘bandito’ which derived from earlier roots of bannire or old French ‘banir’ and we know Bacon was familiar with old French (and Italian) since some Law works were in that language.  3) the similar sounds seem perfectly acceptable to the Friedmans who wrote: “since the Folio does not (and could not without arousing suspicion) contain the name of the author’s distinguished contemporaries, it would be reasonable to expect some such phonetic approximation. We do not therefore question certain strikingly odd spellings.” [p. 44]; 4) the scene’s context of ‘Banito’ is about Prospero discussing his own ‘banishment’ from Milan;  5) the idea of being banished fits perfectly BOTH Francis Bacon and his alter ego friend Tobie Matthew.  Bacon, after his impeachment for taking bribes in office was convicted and banished from London, the law courts, and Parliament.



Tobie Matthew was banished twice during the reign of King James I for declining to take the Oath of Allegiance. The first time in 1607-8. About these events Matthew used the term ‘banished’, but didn’t want to think of it as such: “Some nine years since, I was not banished, but absented only, with this clause, that I was not to returne, till his (Majestie’s) pleasure were first knowne.” The second time was a little after he returned to England in 1617 and is again referred to with the word ‘banished’. In December of 1618 the Rev. Thomas Larkin, in a letter to Sir Thomas Pickering, says "Toby Matthew was yesterday, now a second time, banished the land,..”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bacon's Signature Ciphers in Shakespeare -11- Bacon-Tobey-3


This is simpler that the first part, but it stands out because 1) it’s a readable phrase “two alike”, 2) it’s directly next to and parallel in the next column to the first part, and 3) it perfectly represents the relationship of Francis Bacon and his friend Tobie Matthew. Bacon, in a letter to  Conde Condomar, who was the Spanish ambassador to England from 1613 to 1622, wrote, in Latin, “Prefectio domini Tobiae Matthaei, qui mihi est tanquam alter ego, ..” the second part translating as “who to me is like a second I”. And this is why a biography on Matthews was titled The Life of Sir Tobie Matthew, Bacon’s Alter Ego.

So the phrase “two alike” fits the two contiguous names “F Bacon Tobey” perfectly. The possibility that this has occurred by chance in a Shakespeare play where Bacon is a leading possible hidden author would seem to be extraordinary. And still, the acrostic message doesn’t even appear to end there. On the following column, beginning just a few lines up from the start of the other two acrostic passages in the previous columns, was found another meaningful sequence, which is the following:
PROSPERO      Well demanded, wench.
      My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,
      So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
      A mark so bloody on the business, but
      With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
      In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepared
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us, to sigh
To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
        Did us but loving wrong.