55) Shake and Speare and ‘BAKn’
We saw in example # 18 that ‘BAKN’ seems to have been used for a hiding of Bacon’s name. In that instance it was coupled with the capital letter ‘F’ as part of a short anagram. There seems to be another instance of this spelling of ‘Bakn’ though the secret authorship hint is hidden differently. On page 141 of the Histories (2 Henry VI) in the bottom half of the first column is a speech by Judge Say that looks like one of the most biographical references in Shakespeare that has been associated with Lord Bacon.
Edwin Reed, in his Francis Bacon, Our Shakespeare (1902), on pages 36-38, explained the correspondences:
1. The judge denies that he has been guilty of bribery, though not accused of it in the play, nor historically, in the administration of justice in his court. Bacon fell from power in the spring of 1621, under charges of bribery, which he also declared to be false and of which we now know he was innocent.
2. The judge had sent a book of which he was author to the king and been “preferred” on account of it. Bacon sent a copy of his Novum Organum in 1620 to King James, who immediately created him Viscount St. Alban.
3. The judge had bestowed large gifts on persons of subordinate rank. Bacon’s generosity to the same class of people was a distinguishing trait in his character. He frequently gave gratuities to messengers, who came to him with presents, of £5 10s., or (in money of the Edwin Reed’s time-1902) £66 or $300 (or in 2013 about £6800 or $8900). On one occasion the gratuity (1902 value) was £300, (or $1500 in 1902) (or in 2013 about £31,250 or $40,500). In three months (June 24 to Sept. 29, 1618) he disbursed in this way the sum of £302 7s., equal now to £3600, or $18,000 (1902 dollars), (or about £375,000 or $486, 500 in 2013 dollars). [Based on Reed’s 1902 calculations and my 2014 online inflation converters].
4. The judge had conversed on public affairs with foreign potentates. Bacon had been attaché of a British embassy abroad, and on intimate terms with kings and queens. The above addition to Judge Say’s speech was thus made not only after 1619, at which time the reputed poet had been three years in his grave at Stratford, but even after May 3, 1621, the date of Bacon’s degradation from the bench on charges of bribery.
Still, this spelling for ‘Bacon’, valid as it is according to the Friedmans, along with the fitting biographical speech, by themselves may not together appear to be very strong evidence. But there’s more. A very interesting thing is that the string ‘BAKn’ straddles the 14th line from the bottom of the page. And on the previous page the 14th line from the bottom of the page contains the word ‘Speare’.
And, further, the 14th line from the top of the following page begins with the word ‘Shake’.
Altogether, these four parts of the hidden name candidate, corresponding as they do, would seem to be beyond the likelihood of pure coincidence.