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Is Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland,

the TRUE writer of Shakespeare?

A surprising idea! but, there is NO reason why it may not be true...

I do not know if the idea has occurred to anyone before.

It first seemed to be a joke - in reply to the many other theories - but since then it has changed into a perfectly valid new theory.

If someone other than Will of Stratford on Avon is the writer,

the name of Henry Percy stands high above most others as a likelihood.

I am not the originator of the idea, but I hope to present on this page
a picture of Henry Percy which makes it clear that he has most of the necessary
or likely attributes of a writer of some, or all, of the Shakespeare plays.

Let us start with an article about Henry Percy.

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland

Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland (April 27, 1564—November 5, 1632), is known for the circles he moved in as well as for his own achievements.

He acquired the sobriquet The Wizard Earl, due to his scientific and alchemical experiments, his passion for cartography, and his large library.

His mild deafness and slight speech impediment did not prevent him from becoming an important intellectual and cultural figure of his generation.

He was born at Tynemouth Castle, the son of the 8th Earl of Northumberland, whom he succeeded in 1585.

Although his title was from the north of England, Percy's estates were in the south at Petworth House and at Syon House, a few miles north of Richmond-upon-Thames,

acquired by his marriage to Dorothy Devereux (sister of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex) in 1594. Their daughter, Dorothy, married Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester. The marriage was not successful, and the couple separated after a time.

Henry employed Thomas Percy (c 1560–1605) as a rent-collector at Syon House. Thomas, the great-grandson of the 4th Earl of Northumberland, was very unscrupulous. He had 34 charges of dishonesty brought against him. Henry was a Catholic sympathiser and suffered under the punitive laws passed by Elizabeth I in the 1580s.

When it became clear that the Protestant James VI of Scotland was likely to succeed Elizabeth, Henry sent Thomas on a secret mission to James' court three times in 1602. He said that English Catholics would accept James as king if he reduced the persecution of Catholics. In the event persecution increased. In desperation, Thomas Percy went on to become one of the five conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

When the plot was discovered Thomas Percy fled and was besieged at Holbeache House in Warwickshire. On November 8, 1605, a marksman shot dead both Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy with a single bullet.

As a result, the Earl of Northumberland was suspected of being part of the plot and spent the next 17 years as a prisoner in the Tower of London. He also paid a fine of £30,000.

Henry Percy met friends while in the Tower; these included Thomas Harriot and Sir Walter Raleigh. They discussed advanced scientific ideas and smoked tobacco.

Harriot had been a navigational tutor to Sir Walter Raleigh and his captains. From 1598 (or possibly from 1607) Harriot lived in Syon House, Henry's estate near Richmond. There he used a telescope to make a map of the moon several months before Galileo did the same. He may have been the first person to observe sunspots.

The School of Night

In William Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" (1594), there is a mention of the "School of Night".

It is now usually accepted that this refers of a circle of scientific investigators which met at Syon House. Thomas Harriot and Christopher Marlowe were members.

Because of his interest in scientific experiments and his library, Henry acquired the nickname "The Wizard Earl".

The astrologer John Dee was also a friend of Henry.

There is no evidence that William Shakespeare was involved, but it is possible he was.

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Henry Percy - pictures

Houses linked to the Percy family

Alnwick Castle

The Percy family

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