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.



  1. Hi!
    I found your tour through Baconian ciphers interesting, with several nice examples. I have found things myself which might be of interest. Send me a mail if you want to know more.

  2. Hi Nate, and thanks. I've hardly even begun the tour. I'll plan on writing to you later though.

  3. Ok. Do you think "TWO A like" in the margin on page 2 in the First Folio also could refer to the two A's following next in the margin? They are two alike, and their value is 1 + 1 = 2. Since their combined value is the value of a B, I find it interesting that substituting the two A's for a B, we can read both ALBAN and BACON in the margin:


  4. Well, that does indeed look like it could be by design. Normally, I would consider something like this weak evidence. But it has several things in it's favor. Not only does it work as you describe, but the initial line begins with the capital letter 'I' so that it can read "I", then the two alike 'A's for 'B' and then the rest showing Alban and Bacon. But also this is integrated with the Bacon-Tobey acrostic. It seems a little weakend by the 'con' that is not connected to the 'A' preceeding it'. In any case, if it's by chance, it's a nice coincidence! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. The "con" is not connected to the "A" preceeding it, but on the other hand, this is found at the beginning of "A confidence" which according to the Oxford English Dictionary can mean: “The confiding of private or secret matters to another”. The first 16 letters in that line are "A confidence sans b" which means "A confidence without b". So if one can find some kind of indication that one should stop reading at that b, it would support the idea elaborated here.

    Notice also that in the "Bacon-Tobey acrostics" the beginning of Bacons name is found in the word "Begun", and the concluding letters are found in the word "Concluding":


  6. That's quite interesting too Nate. I think it's good practice to be aware of coincidences. We could speculate also that "A confidence sans bounds" may even suggest there's a great amount of cipher subject matter in the First Folio. Keep up the good work. You can also email me at if you want. That might even be better since you might anticipate some of my future posts which have contents I'd prefer to have come out in their due time. Thanks.