Heraldry (and other) Observations
Within the Play "Hamlet"
and the 1623 FF of plays

By Francis Bacon
West Seattle, Washington

May 24, 2001
Updated December 14, 2011

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in it." – Hamlet

There has been much 'throwing about of brains' as to who wrote the Shakespeare plays and, in particular, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

I have often pondered the following information on the symbolism of heraldry used in Act II, scene ii of Hamlet and contemplated the heraldry of Bacon and the heraldry of Shaksper. I offer this as my own observations and have otherwise seen nothing of it.

See if you can draw these various pieces together. Perhaps you will see other symbolism within the text that alludes to the author's true identity.

Maybe it's much ado about nothing.

Shakspere Blazon and Coat of Arms:

 "Or, on a bend sable, a tilting spear of the field headed argent."
        — SHAKSPERE, Warwick. Granted by Dethick to the father of the dramatist, 1546 [? Grant date in question.]
  Contemporary translation: Gold, on a diagonal black, a tilting spear, color of the field [gold] tipped white. ['milky'].



A speare's purpose is to shed blood.

Note: Hyrcanian beast = Bengal Tiger: sable diagonals on an or fur (Black stripes on golden fur)

Bacon Blazon and Coat of Arms:

"...that he and they may bear two several coates of arms quarterly as followeth:--- The first for Bacon, gules on a chief silver, two mullets sables. The second for Quapladde Barrey of six pieces, gold and azure, a bend gules."
  — Grant made to Sir Nicholas Bacon "Feb. 22, 1568, by G. Dethick, Garter Principall King of Armes"


The Coat of Arms above left appears in the frontispiece of  Sir Francis Bacon's Instauratio Magna of 1620.

Bacon: "gules on a chief argent 2 mullets pierced sable."
   gules = red; chief = top; argent = white; sable = black.

         — (English origins of the name "Bacon")

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Act II, Scene ii (cont.)

Is't possible?

O, there has been much throwing about of brains.

Do the boys carry it away?

Ay, that they do, my lord; Hercules and his load too.

It is not very strange; for my uncle is king of Denmark, and those that would make mouths at him while my father lived, give twenty, forty, fifty, a hundred ducats a-piece for his picture in little.
'Sblood, there is something in this more than natural, if philosophy could find it out.

    [Flourish of trumpets within.]

There are the players.

Gentlemen, you are welcome to Elsinore. Your hands, come: the appurtenance of welcome is fashion and  ceremony: let me comply with you in this garb; lest my extent to the players, which I tell you must show fairly outward, should more appear like entertainment than yours. You are welcome: but my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived.

In what, my dear lord?

I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is outherly I know a hawk from a handsaw.

    [Enter Polonius.]

Well be with you, gentlemen!

Hark you, Guildenstern;--and you too;--at each ear a hearer: that great baby you see there is not yet out of his swaddling clouts.

Happily he's the second time come to them; for they say an old man is twice a child.

I will prophesy he comes to tell me of the players; mark it.—You say right, sir: o' Monday morning; 'twas so indeed.

My lord, I have news to tell you.

My lord, I have news to tell you. When Roscius was an actor in Rome,--

The actors are come hither, my lord.

Buzz, buzz!

Upon my honour,--

Then came each actor on his ass,--

The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy,history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral,tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited: Seneca cannot be too heavy nor Plautus too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men.

O Jephthah, judge of Israel, what a treasure hadst thou!

What treasure had he, my lord?

Why--   'One fair daughter, and no more,   The which he loved passing well.'

[Aside.] Still on my daughter.

Am I not i' the right, old Jephthah?

If you call me Jephthah, my lord, I have a daughter that I love passing well.

Nay, that follows not.

What follows, then, my lord?

Why--   'As by lot, God wot,' and then, you know,    'It came to pass, as most like it was--' The first row of the pious chanson will show you more; for look where my  abridgment comes.

    [Enter four or five Players.]

You are welcome, masters; welcome, all:--I am glad to see thee well.--welcome, good friends.--O, my old friend! Thy face is valanc'd since I saw thee last; comest thou to beard me in Denmark?--What, my young lady and mistress! By'r lady, your ladyship is nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.--Masters, you are all welcome. We'll e'en to't like French falconers, fly at anything we see: we'll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste of your quality: come, a passionate speech.

I Play.
What speech, my lord?

I heard thee speak me a speech once,--but it was never acted; or if it was, not above once; for the play, I remember, pleased not the million, 'twas caviare to the general; but it was,--as I received it, and others, whose judgments in such matters cried in the top of mine
,--an excellent play, well digested in the scenes, set down with as much modesty as cunning. I remember, one said there were no sallets in the lines to make the matter savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might indite the author of affectation; but called it an honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I chiefly loved: 'twas AEneas' tale to Dido, and thereabout of it especially where he speaks of Priam's slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin at this line;--let me see, let me see:--

    The rugged Pyrrhus, like th' Hyrcanian beast ,--
    it is not so:-- it begins with Pyrrhus:--

   'The rugged Pyrrhus,--he whose
sable arms,
   Black as his purpose,did the night resemble
   When he lay couched in the ominous horse,--
Hath now this dread and black complexion smear'd
   With heraldry more dismal
; head to foot
Now is be total gules; horridly trick'd
   With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
   Bak'd and impasted with the parching streets,
   That lend a tyrannous and a damned light
   To their vile murders: roasted in wrath and fire,
   And thus o'ersized with coagulate gore,

   With eyes like Carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
   Old grandsire Priam seeks.'

[So, proceed you.] This line is not in the 1623 FF of Works.

      I've inserted the "trick'd"
[adorned or painted] Bacon Coat of Arms here to show how an inversion greatly mimics the text itself. "Gules" [red] lies between "head to foot" and "horridly trick'd"
   — thus, the 180-degree inversion.

Pierced mullets [In heraldry: usually a 5- or 6-pointed pierced star] appear to be carbuncles which normally grow on the bottom of hulls. Also, it refers to a red, precious stone. [FB: "Of Truth".]

[The quoted speech is 12-16 lines long.]

Image from First Folio, 1623
(Right column of image)
"quoted speech" is 13 lines long in original folio.

Note that the "VV" that appears conspicouously close to "Carbuncles" in the 12th line of the speech is the only VV on the page. All the rest (more than 20 of 'em) are ordinary uppercase "W's."
In that single half-line appears: VV i C.
In Roman Numerals V+V+I+C=111. Wow! Chance, indeed.

'Fore God, my lord, well spoken, with good accent and good discretion.


I Play.
   Anon he finds him,
   Striking too short at Greeks: his antique sword,
   Rebellious to his arm, lies where it falls,
   Repugnant to command: unequal match'd,
   Pyrrhus at Priam drives; in rage strikes wide;
   But with the whiff and wind of his fell sword
   The unnerved father falls. Then senseless Ilium,
   Seeming to feel this blow,
with flaming top
   Stoops to his base;
and with a hideous crash
   Takes prisoner Pyrrhus' ear:
for lo! his sword,
   Which was declining on the milky head
   Of reverend Priam, seem'd i' the air to stick :
   So, as a painted tyrant, Pyrrhus stood;
   And, like a neutral to his will and matter,
   Did nothing.
   But as we often see, against some storm,
   A silence in the heavens, the rack stand still,
   The bold winds speechless, and the orb below
   As hush as death, anon the dreadful thunder
   Doth rend the region; so, after Pyrrhus' pause,
   A roused vengeance sets him new a-work;
   And never did the Cyclops' hammers fall
   On Mars's armour, forg'd for proof eterne,
   With less remorse than Pyrrhus' bleeding sword
   Now falls on Priam.--
   Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods,
   In general synod, take away her power;
   Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel,
   And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven,
   As low as to the fiends!

This is too long.

It shall to the barber's, with your beard.--Pr'ythee say on.--
He's for a jig or a tale of bawdry, or he sleeps:--say on; come to Hecuba.

I Play.
But who, O who, had seen the mobled queen,--

'The mobled queen'?

That's good! 'Mobled queen' is good.

I Play.
   Run barefoot up and down, threatening the flames
   With bisson rheum; a clout upon that head
   Where late the diadem stood, and for a robe,
   About her lank and all o'erteemed loins,
   A blanket, in the alarm of fear caught up;--
   Who this had seen, with tongue in venom steep'd,
   'Gainst Fortune's state would treason have pronounc'd:
   But if the gods themselves did see her then,
   When she saw Pyrrhus make malicious sport
   In mincing with his sword her husband's limbs,
   The instant burst of clamour that she made,--
   Unless things mortal move them not at all,--
   Would have made milch the burning eyes of heaven,
   And passion in the gods.

Look, whether he has not turn'd his colour, and has tears in's eyes.--Pray you, no more!

'Tis well. I'll have thee speak out the rest of this soon.--
Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear? Let them be well used; for they are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time; after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

My lord, I will use them according to their desert.

Odd's bodikin, man, better: use every man after his desert, and who should scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty. Take them in.

Come, sirs.

Follow him, friends. we'll hear a play to-morrow.

    [Exeunt Polonius with all the Players but the First.]

Dost thou hear me, old friend? Can you play 'The Murder of Gonzago'?

I Play.
Ay, my lord.

We'll ha't to-morrow night. You could, for a need, study a speech of some dozen or sixteen lines which I would set down and insert in't? could you not?

I Play.
Ay, my lord.

Very well.--Follow that lord; and look you mock him not.

    [Exit First Player.]

--My good friends [to Ros. and Guild.], I'll leave you till night: you are welcome to Elsinore.

Good my lord!

    [Exeunt Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.]

Ay, so, God b' wi' ye! Now I am alone.
O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!
Is it not monstrous that this player here, But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wan'd;
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect, A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? And all for nothing!

For Hecuba?
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Make mad the guilty, and appal the free;
Confound the ignorant, and amaze, indeed, The very faculties of eyes and ears.
Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward? Who calls me villain? breaks my pate across?
Plucks off my beard and blows it in my face? Tweaks me by the nose? gives me the lie i' the throat
As deep as to the lungs? who does me this, ha?
'Swounds, I should take it: for it cannot be But I am pigeon-liver'd, and lack gall
To make oppression bitter; or ere this I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal: bloody, bawdy villain! Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!

O, vengeance!
Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave, That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words
And fall a-cursing like a very drab,

A scullion!

Fie upon't! foh!--About, my brain! I have heard That guilty creatures, sitting at a play,
Have by the very cunning of the scene Been struck so to the soul that presently
They have proclaim'd their malefactions; For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ, I'll have these players Play something like the murder of my father
Before mine uncle: I'll observe his looks; I'll tent him to the quick: if he but blench,
I know my course. The spirit that I have seen May be the devil: and the devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape; yea, and perhaps Out of my weakness and my melancholy,--
As he is very potent with such spirits,--
Abuses me to damn me: I'll have grounds More relative than this.--
the play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king .


William is madder than hell about this!! Copyright ©2001 Francis Bacon • All Rights Reserved

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More on Sir Francis Bacon can be found at the SirBacon.org | Homepage | Links | Bibliographies |

October, 2002
Updated February 12, 2005
Fellow Baconians....

Recently, I have been playing around with
Psalm 46, Authorized King James Version...
You recall that Francis Bacon was, most likely, the final editor of the KJV project authorized by King James himself in 1604 soon after Queen Elizebeth's death and James' ascension (not Francis') to the throne...
         – ( Re: Francis Bacon and the James 1st Bible ) –

And also recall the familiar -- but mysterious -- placement of "shake" and "spear" within the KJV text of Psalm 46 in the final 1611 edit.

Not only are they the 46th words up-'n-down, but there are 111 words inclusively betwixt them, (with the special note that the word "Selah" doesn't count.)

1611 "Authorized Version"
King James Bible

Click Here for Alfred Dodd's Numerological Cypher Chart.

So, You decide —
   Francis Bacon's artful cryptographic design? – or random numerological cooincidence?

I love this game....
Francis Bacon of Tupelo Mississippi.

William is madder than hell about this!! Copyright ©2002 Francis Bacon • All Rights Reserved

October 23-25, 2002

Shakespeare, First Folio (1623)

This is so remarkably simple, I’m amazed that it hasn’t been seen before.
     — But then maybe, that was the author’s intent.

First, verso folio, instructions are given:

    To the Reader.     To the Reader.
This Figure, that thou here feeft put, This Figure, that thou here seeist put,
   It vvas for gentle Shakefpeare cut;    It was for gentle Shakespeare cut;
VVherein the Grauer had a ftrife Wherein the Graver had a strife
   vvith Nature, to out-doo the life :    with Nature, to outdo the life :
O, could he but haue dravvne his vvit Oh, could he but have drawn his wit
   As vvell in braffe, as he hath hit    As well in brass, as he hath hit
His face ; the Print vvould then furpaffe His face, the Print would then surpass
   All,that vvas euer vvrit in braffe.    All,that was ever writ in brass.
But, fince he cannot, Reader, looke But, since he cannot, Reader, look
   Noton his Picture, but his booke.    Not on his Picture, but his book.
                                             B. I.                                              B. I.
(Which begs the question: is there a
pattern to the comma's and the double-v's?)

The very next words at the top of the next recto folio...
  …and 14 pages later at the top of the Principal Actors list. (above)
     b.) The VVorkes of VVilliam Shakespeare,

  (Clearer image: Use 4x)

     Note that in both cases, William Shakespeare’s name, as typeset in the first folio of 1623 used the double-“V” ligature for the letter “W” Note too, that other words in the text used a standard ‘W’ – so it was available for proper use. It seems, as if by choice -- that it wasn’t.

     Further, if you examine more closely the list of Principal Actors, “VVilliam Shakespeare” is on the page twice – both with “VV”. But notice too, that there are four other “Williams” listed therein (see image at bottom) and all use a standard “W.”
Hmm-m-m. Strange 'coincidence,' indeed.

So, here we go…
—"Oh look, Roman Numerals!"

Sum the Roman Numerals thus: V+V+I+L+L = 111 = Kaye Cypher for “Bacon”   


Becomes (verily, all too easily) –
     Bacon I am Shakespeare

Now what, in the Queen’s English, is the big mystery to that?
Just another coincidence, right?   — As "Shakespeare" mused, 'Modest doubt is the beacon of the wise.'

(Also, take note of the above cited page from Hamlet in the 1623 folio. Cooincidence?)
My illumined version of the same image.

  (Clearer Image: Use 4x)

Here's another oddity.
Note that on Folio A3, "To the great Variety of Readers." that the Initial Cap "F" is followed by an upper-case "R". ["Hmm-m-m," he said, scratching his chin.]

Then, the first full sentance of that page reads:
   "FRom the moft able,to him that can but fpell: There you are number'd."
   (From the most able, to him that can but spell, There you are numbered.)

Doesn't that phrase possibly carry a bit more meaning in light of the above discovery?

And – oddly enough – it fits the alleged profiles of both men's literary capabilities.

Dedicatory by Ben Jonson   (
Clearer Image: Use 4x)
  See Ben Ionson's Commas.    Ben Ionson Bibliography

XLS Chart showing mathmatical design
Be sure to read the two pages under "Simple Arithmatic in Elizabethan Literature" by Alfred Dodd at the Cypher Chart link.

And this one is pretty much a stretch – but I thought I'd include it anyway.
      FRANCIS BACON in Simple Cypher =100.
As noted in red above, there are nine double-v's and ten over-sized commas in the original copy.
      (9 x 10) + 10 = 100

                                                                 -- FB

William is madder than hell about this!! Copyright ©2002 Francis Bacon
All Rights Reserved

And last, but not least, isn't this interesting:
   — Bard: A covering of fat bacon to render more flavor.

         2B V ¬2B = ?    — Francis Bacon