On William Shakespeare and his Last Will and Testament



中文 Baidu Microsoft Translate



The following is a citation from the Folger Shakespeare Library Online Archive:

"If the current consensus on the authorship of the plays and poems is ever overturned—no decisive evidence has been unearthed thus far proving that the plays were produced by anyone but the man from Stratford-upon-Avon—it will be because new and extraordinary evidence is discovered."

On this page you will encounter new and extraordinary evidence that begins to disparage the evidence currently supporting the man from Stratford-upon-Avon.


As we saw in On William Shakespeare and his Merlin delusions, Shakespeare suffered greatly from delusions and it seems that in his old age the situation got worse, a lot worse. Evidently, perhaps from drinking too much, he became largely incapacitated, mentally, and when writing his Last Will and finding himself unable to think clearly, he decided to borrow ideas from the Last Will of Michel Nostradamus, who died precisely fifty years earlier, in 1566. We'll explain what we are talking about.


At the time of his death, Nostradamus had three hundred prophecies that were never published, yet his Will makes no mention of any unpublished manuscripts.

At the time of his death, William of Stratford had eighteen plays that were never published, yet his Will makes no mention of any unpublished manuscripts.


In his Will, Nostradamus makes no mention of his being a seer or prophet, and he makes no mention of prophecies.

In his Will, Shakespeare makes no mention of his being a writer, and he makes no mention of poems or plays.


In his Will, Nostradamus makes just one reference to astrology and he does so by way of an afterthought, that is, by attaching a brief codicil in which he bequeaths his astrolabe.

In his Will, Shakespeare makes just one reference to the London theater and he does so by way of an afterthought, that is, by inserting an interlinear bequest to three actors.


In his Will, Nostradamus lists his belongings in minute detail and makes bequests to descendants not yet born.

In his Will, Shakespeare lists his belongings in minute detail and makes bequests to descendants not yet born.


In his Will, Nostradamus bequeaths six French coins to each of thirteen beggars.

In his Will, Shakespeare bequeaths ten pounds to the poor of Stratford, but in the same Item bequeaths "thirteene poundes, sixe shillinges, and eight pence" to a gentleman.


In his Will, Nostradamus bequeaths to his wife the bed located in the hallway of their home along with the nearby furniture. No mention is made of any other bed, such as the matrimonial bed. In effect, Nostradamus gave his wife (who was called "Anne") his second-best bed.

In his Will, Shakespeare bequeaths to his wife (who was called "Anne") his second-best bed along with the furniture.


Nostradamus signs his Will within a few weeks of his death, and this is witnessed by a named group of local gentry.

Shakespeare signs his Will within a few weeks of his death, and this is witnessed by a named group of local gentry.


Nostradamus' Will requested that a tomb or monument be erected for him against the wall of his local church (une tombe ou monument contre la muraille). Indeed, after his death, his tomb was inserted against the wall of his local church.

After the death of Shakespeare, a monument to him was erected against the wall of his local church.

Nostradamus tourism became a major industry of the town of Salon where Nostradamus lived, attracting pilgrims from around the world to visit the museum and church wall of Nostradamus.

Shakespeare tourism became a major industry of the town of Stratford where Shakespeare lived, attracting pilgrims from around the world to visit the museum and church wall of Shakespeare.


In his book La Première face du Janus françois, Lyon, 1594, the French scholar Jean Aimes de Chavigny published the first biography of Nostradamus confirming burial inside the local church (requested by Nostradamus in his Will), and he records a curse written on the gravestone:


This translates as:


By no means was Shakespeare going to allow Nostradamus to lay sole claim to the Curse of the Bones, so he arranged for the following words to be engraved on his tombstone:


And indeed, as far as anyone knows for sure, no one has ever dared to open Shakespeare's tomb!


At the time of his death, nearly seven hundred Nostradamus prophecies had already been printed, but in his Will, Nostradamus makes no mention of nor any arrangement for the conservation of the original manuscripts of his prophecies.

At the time of his death, more than a dozen Shakespearean plays had already been printed, but in his Will, Shakespeare makes no mention of nor any arrangement for the conservation of the original manuscripts of his plays.

With Nostradamus being the most famous French writer of his epoch, subsequent investigators searched long and hard for original manuscripts of the famous prophecies and found nothing. There appears to be no historical record of anyone ever having possessed or even of having seen an original manuscript of the 942 prophecies nor any Nostradamus manuscript of unquestionable authenticity.

With Shakespeare being the most famous English writer of his epoch, subsequent investigators searched long and hard for original manuscripts of the famous plays and found nothing. There appears to be no historical record of anyone ever having possessed or even of having seen an original manuscript of any of the First Folio plays nor any Shakespeare manuscript of unquestionable authenticity.

The Last Will and Testament of Nostradamus was discovered by the French genealogist Pierre d'Hozier in 1659, reporting that it had been in the possession of a notary in the city of Salon, where Nostradamus died. Depending on which account you want to believe, the Last Will and Testament of Shakespeare was discovered in 1737 or 1747.

Since the Last Will and Testament of Nostradamus was discovered after the death of Shakespeare, it is theoretical possible for Nostradamus' Will to be a fake, written after having sight of Shakespeare's Will. So, who borrowed from whom? While it cannot be absolutely proven that Nostradamus' Last Will and Testament predates that of Shakespeare, it is virtually certain that his monument on the wall and his Curse of the Bones predates those of Shakespeare. With Nostradamus making no mention of prophecies and with Shakespeare making no mention of plays, it becomes probable that both Wills are fake, both written by the same master conspirators.

Lastly, let's note that the Last Will and Testament of Nostradamus was not the only Will from which Shakespeare borrowed ideas. Of special note is that bequest of "thirteene poundes, sixe shillinges, and eight pence." We find that exact same amount in the Will of Ferdinando Stanley, the 5th Earl of Derby and one of the richest men in England, who bequeathed it (thirteen pounds, six shillings, eight pence) to his brother, William Stanley, the 6th Earl of Derby and a high-ranking candidate for Shakespearean authorship.

A modern transcription of Ferdinando's Last Will and Testament can be found at:


The item in question is the following:

Item, unto William Stanley, gentleman-usher, the sum of thirteen pounds six shillings eight pence during his like service as the said John;

In the surrounding Items, Ferdinando's Will says "said John Golborne" but here it says just "said John," leaving us open to another John. See our follow-up article On William Shakespeare and the Fraternity of the Rose Cross for the link to John Florio.

Reaffirming a connection of Wills, note that in Shakespeare's Will, the thirteen pounds six shillings eight pence is likewise bequeathed to a "gentleman."

Likely, neither Will is real, neither Ferdinando's nor Shakespeare's, but it was quite an ingenious way of letting us know who's the real Shakespeare!




One must not underestimate the importance of Shakespeare's Last Will and Testament: it is a major and very rare piece of evidence connecting the man from Stratford with the London theater. As for the Stratford monument (another important piece of evidence), we have an eyewitness report claiming that it originally depicted Shakespeare holding a bag of grain (or wool) and not a quill (pen) in his hands.

There is one more important piece of evidence linking Shakespeare to the London theater. It's the book Palladis Tamia, dated 1598, which refers to Shakespeare and a dozen of his plays by name. This book displays vast knowledge of classical as well as English literature. In 1598, Francis Meres (the alleged author) was studying to become a Protestant vicar (1599). From where does this interest in literature arise (apparently he does not have a single poem to his credit) and how did he find the time to write such a book?

According to the historians, also in 1598, Meres made two translations, from Spanish into English, of the writings of a Spanish Roman Catholic priest. What? Where did Meres learn Spanish? Weren't England and Spain still at war in 1598? Didn't Spain already make three attempts to invade England in order to burn the English queen at the stake and install a Catholic despot on the English throne? Trust me, if Meres had really published such a book in 1598, he would have been promptly beheaded for crimes against the faith.

In 1904, the historian Charlotte Stopes wrote that Meres was the brother-in-law of an English linguist, something that has been deemed unlikely by other scholars. Evidently, Stopes had never heard of the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross whereupon members would refer to each other as "brother" or "my brother." With siblings being impossible, Stopes seems to have assumed brother via marriage. Meres, therefore, could have been involved in the authorship conspiracy, casting lots of doubt on the authenticity of the Palladis Tamis.

Literary scholars and historians are generally incapable of asking questions like the ones that I asked. Indeed, under normal circumstances, it is best not to ask such questions, otherwise we wind up with more chaos than historical stability. But these are not normal circumstances. Hundreds of books and thousands of articles have been written claiming that Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of the famous plays. Thus, combining that with doubts about Meres himself, it is up to the supporters of the man from Stratford to validate Meres' book, not the other way around. Will carbon-dating of the Palladis Tamia and of the page of its listing in the Stationers Register (possibly recorded on parchment that can be accurately dated) land closer to 1598 or to 1623?

One more thing: we see that one of the Shakespearean plays mentioned in Meres' Palladis Tamia (1598) is the Merchant of Venice. Prof. William Corbett in an essay on Lewkenor observes that:

"The Count Palatine of the Rhine was entertained to a play at Whitehall Palace on 26th December 1599, in the presence Chamber. This visit is the subject of the conversation between Nerissa and Portia in The Merchant of Venice when it was printed the following year [1600]."

Yes, in theory, Meres could have seen an early manuscript of the Merchant of Venice but, more likely, when backdating the Palladis Tamia to 1598 they failed to realize that the play could be dated by its internal references to historical events.




Scholars generally accept the First Folio of 1623 as the definitive work of Shakespearean plays. Nine years later, in 1632, a Second Folio was printed. It provided hundreds of textual revisions including a modernization of the spelling (for example, "haue" became "have"). Despite obvious improvements, the Second Folio was rejected outright by academia. Why? Scholars erroneously believe that the author of the First Folio died in 1616, hence it would have been impossible for him to have revised the printing of 1623. If, however, the real author did not in 1616, but lived on to do the Second Folio revisions, we would be left with a tragic situation where the final statement of Shakespeare is being universally ignored.

A similar situation arises with respect to the Nostradamus prophecies which, in the 1590s, rapidly went through numerous printings, all backdated to 1568. What if the first printer had made a manuscript-reading error? How do you fix it? Yes, you have to print the correction, but consider this: Nostradamus died in 1566, so how could he have made corrections to the printing of 1568? All subsequent printers, seeking the most authentic, would simply revert back to the version dated 1568. Making matters even worse, in the early days, the Nostradamus prophecies were considered sacrosanct: even gross spelling errors were left intact in the belief that the author had misspelled it on purpose, for some hidden prophetic meaning (which was really sometimes the case!).

Consequently, the solution for rectifying textual errors was to utilize an external source. For Nostradamus, that external source was Shakespeare's First Folio. We will here illustrate with Merlin's Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics:

Incantation 1590s

This is the version that was repeated throughout the 1590s. It translates as:

Let those who read these verses, consider them maturely,
May the profane, the vulgar, and the ignorant be not attracted,
That all Astrologers, Retards, Barbarians stay far away,
He who does otherwise, be he sacred by rite.

Incantation 1600s

And this version comes from what is believed to have been the printing of a backup manuscript, dated 1627 but likely a copy of an earlier edition that has been lost. The translation is the same except for the last line where now we get the following:

He who does otherwise, in vain be he sacred.

Thus, which version is correct: “is ritè" meaning by rite, rightly, justly, or "irrite" meaning in vain?

The Latin "cantio", besides incantation, can also mean song. Essentially, therefore, in the First Folio, we are looking for an Incantation or Song with title, and with rightly sacred or in vain sacred in the last line:


Take, O, take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn;
But my kisses bring again, bring again;
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain, seal'd in vain.

The Song, a one word title, displays as such in the First Folio. Note that Shakespeare substitutes "seal’d" for "sacred", both words having six characters beginning with "s" and ending with "d". As you can see, "in vain" is emphasized by being repeated twice in the last line. So that has to be the answer: "irrite", in vain, is surely correct. Note that each verse of the Incantation now contains exactly six words. Likely, the original Latin of Merlin's prophecies had six words in each of its four verses. As for the six words per line, Shakespeare doubtless noticed as he gives his Song six verses.

Everything remained just fine until the following appeared in the early 1600s:

Precaution 1600s

Note that "cantio", a word meaning Incantation or Song, has been changed to "cautio", a word meaning Caution or Precaution. Which is correct: Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics, or Precaution of the Law Against Inept Critics? Both seem to make sense.

Once again we must turn to the First Folio for help. Our task is easier this time: Shakespeare was big on Song in a play (which we just cited) dated 1605 by the Gutenberg Project, so the solution here can only come in a play written after 1605. The Gutenberg Project dates the following play 1611:

Whether our daughter were legitimate,
Respecting this our marriage with the dowager,
Sometimes our brother's wife. This respite shook
The bosom of my conscience, enter'd me,
Yea, with a splitting power, and made to tremble
The region of my breast, which forc'd such way
That many maz'd considerings did throng
And press'd in with this caution.

Note that it is quite easy to extract Legis cautio from this dialogue.

Curiously, in the same year (1611), per reports, Shakespeare's (alleged) German manuscript was circulating on the continent. Could he have also used that manuscript for clarifying "cantio" versus "cautio"? His manuscript was published a few years later and here's a citation:

Legis Fama

As you can see, the first word of item #2 is "Legis", the exact first word of the title line. Note that this word is preceded by "Vacuum and followed by Iugum, both words containing two u's and no n's. Vacuum begins with a capital V just like the V in "CAVTIO". "Nequaquam vacuum" means no empty space and "Iugum" means yoke or pair. LEGIS CAVTIO would be a pair of words.

A great curiosity arises: anyone familiar with "Legis cantio", upon seeing those passages from the First Folio and the Fama, would never dream of changing the word "cantio" to "cautio". Only someone who had seen both versions in print ("cantio" and "CAVTIO" would take those passages as an indication that "CAVTIO" is correct. It is also implied here that Shakespeare anticipated that someone in the distant future would be so intrigued by the prophecies that he or she would track down all publications of them!

For my part, I must confess that I feel somewhat discredited as a Nostradamus expert. I entitled my book on Nostradamus Incantation of the Law Against Inept Critics. Evidently, I couldn't even get the title right!

Most of the clarifications found in the First Folio concern the Latin to French translation. However, that cannot apply here: the Precaution was left in the original Latin of Merlin. It is probably significant that the revision gives us "CAVTIO" rather than "cautio". That means the confusion was likely between an "N" and a "V", not between an "n" and a "u".

One possible solution to how such confusion could have arisen would be the following:

SSM Sigillum Dei

This is an excerpt of the Sigillum Dei (note that item #4 in our Fama citation begins with "Dei") from a manuscript believed written in 1346 as a copy of earlier writings. On the right side of this image, you see an arrowhead pointing to the space between eleon (E) and lauazyryn (L). Is it pointing to the E or to the L?

From there, moving from right to left, we go through rabur ((R)), alla (A), gofgamel (G), vagalnarytyn (V), and narach (N). Now imagine if the arrowhead pointed to the space between narach (N) and vagalnarytyn (V)? Would it be a N or a V?

Evidently, divine name decryption served to rearrange the order of letters after conversion from symbols. Notes hand-written into a 15th-century manuscript, regardless of whether written by Shakespeare (alleged) or by someone else, leave little doubt that the encryption of Merlin's prophecies utilized the divine names of Solomonic Magic.




Wikipedia and all books about Nostradamus tell us that Michel de Nostredame (Latinized to Nostradamus) was born in southern France in 1503 and died there in 1566. They say that he published a partial editions of his prophecies in 1555 and 1557 (two editions) and that a complete edition was published posthumously in 1568. The partial editions, however, reflect the orthography of a later period, and one even displays the orthography of the 18th century but that has stopped no one from doubting its authenticity. Between 1568 and 1588, there is no historical record of any publication of the prophecies anywhere in the world.

Wikipedia comments as follows on the prophecies of Nostradamus: "A range of quite different views are expressed in printed literature and on the Internet. At one end of the spectrum, there are extreme academic views such as those of Jacques Halbronn, suggesting at great length and with great complexity that Nostradamus's Prophecies are antedated forgeries written by later hands with a political axe to grind."

Specifically, Halbronn believes that the prophecies were written in 1588/89 because of lines like "Garde toy Tours de ta proche ruine" found in prophecy IV-46. At that time, King Henry III of France joined forces with Henry of Navarre (the future King Henry IV) near Tours.

The first prophecy in the second part of Nostradamus' book also looks retroactive:

Nostradamus Quatrain VIII-1 per the Benoist Rigaud Edition

Here, in prophecy VIII-1, we find "Pau" (the place of birth of Henry of Navarre) and "Pamplon" (Pamplona, capital of Navarre), and in prophecy VIII-44 we encounter "Pau" and "Navarre," reflecting, in both cases, awareness of the rise of Henry of Bourbon, then King of Navarre, to the throne of France, which occurred in 1589.

Similar to how the first prophecy of the second part of Nostradamus reflects knowledge of recent events (1589), the last prophecy of the second part also reflects knowledge of recent events:

Nostradamus Quatrain X-100 per the Benoist Rigaud Edition

Prophecy X-100 predicts a great empire for England based on its domination of the seas (the "pempotam"), something that could not be imagined until after the miraculous defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The point is that the Spanish Armada did not depart from Spain. It departed from Lisbon, capital of Lusitania (the "Lusitains"). Moreover, prophecy X-48 puts the Spanish at the ends of Europe, i.e. sailing around the British Isles, and this too alludes to the Spanish Armada.

Between the Rigaud edition dated 1568 (which corrects blatant errors of the Rousseau edition dated 1590) and the edition of 1590, there is no historical record of the publication of the three hundred prophecies numbered VIII-1 through to X-100 anywhere in the world, and this in itself is sufficient to cast serious doubt on the authenticity of the edition of 1568. A partial edition (prophecies numbered I-1 through VI-71) was rushed to print in 1588 awaiting completion of the final three hundred.

In summary, like Shakespeare the playwright, Nostradamus the prophet was a backdated creation. Instead of the backdating of one book and a bunch of booklets called quartos, they gave us a few backdated editions of the prophecies and a bunch of backdated booklets called almanacs. Shakespeare got a biography in 1709. Nostradamus got a few biographical words in 1594 and then a full biography in 1712. Of course, the story of Nostradamus being a great medical doctor who cured the plague throughout France is no more true than the story of Shakespeare poaching a deer or something like that.

Unlike William Shakespeare (1564-1616) *, Michel de Nostredame (1503-1566) was a real person though hardly an astrologer. He appears to have been supported by his brothers and the local Jewish community as the guardian and teacher of their ancient beliefs and traditions. Rosicrucian and Lurianic writings lead us to believe that he spent the final years of his life teaching a famous cabalist though the latter's alleged death in Israel in 1572 (at the grand old age of 38) casts doubt on the possibility that he could have participated in the creation of a secret society in London, 1585.

* With membership including the monarch and his council, Rosicrucian power in England was far greater than it was in France. In England they were able to rewrite the Stationers Register to say anything they wish, to rewrite the birth, marriage and death records of the Stratford church (the monarch was also head of the Church of England), to gather up dozens of real estate and other legal documents and change the name of one the parties to William Shakespeare (diverse spellings). Thus today we have documentary evidence for Shakespeare the real estate magnate, Shakespeare the owner and manager of a farm, Shakespeare the wool dealer, Shakespeare the grain dealer, Shakespeare the moneylender, et cetera. Meanwhile, in London, we find Shakespeare the playwright, Shakespeare the actor, Shakespeare the shareholder, Shakespeare the theater manager, even Shakespeare the petty litigant.

Back in those days acting by itself was a full-time occupation and scholars estimate that it should have taken roughly six months of hard work to write a Shakespearean play thereby requiring eighteen complete years to write the thirty-six plays of the First Folio. Where do you fit in the time for the other occupations not to mention the numerous trips between London and Stratford lasting three or four days each? I am convinced that literary scholars who believe this stuff must rank among the most gullible people of Earth.

The name SHAKE-SPEAR was likely conceptualized by the real author to serve as his pen name because it has mythical significance in regard to a writer. Thus, the critical question is not whether William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the plays, but rather: Did William Shakespeare of Stratford ever live at all?








QQ China