Stratford upon Avon Blog

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Gadzooks, who holdeth the quill?

There was a story in one of the free papers last week which caught my eye. It was about calls for the exhumation of a tomb in Warwick, which is purported to contain manuscripts that can prove a link between William Shakespeare and the resident of the tomb, Fulke Greville, his 17th century contemporary – and that the Bard didn’t write all of the works which have been attributed to him!

William Shakespeare

Apparently there has been speculation for years that ancient manuscripts were buried with Greville, and recently scholars have been calling for the grave to be opened to answer the question once and for all. Claims have been made that the evidence could show that Greville wrote some of the work or parts of the work currently attributed to our town’s most famous son.

However, the tomb won’t be opened any time soon, as the Diocesan Advisory Committee has stated that there isn’t enough evidence to warrant disturbing Greville’s final resting place.

Of course, if the tomb was exhumed and these documents were discovered, it could raise the profile of the Church, which would benefit financially. But Canon Roberts from St Mary’s commented that they didn’t need to “resort to Da Vinci Code practices to bump up visitor numbers”, a reference to the recent film starring Tom Hanks which was based on Tom Brown’s best-selling novel.

Fulkes Greville was a well-known figure in the 17th century. He represented Warwickshire in parliament for four years and enjoyed a distinguished career under both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. Knighted in 1597, he served as Treasurer of the Navy and was also Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1621 he was created Baron Brooke, by King James and was bestowed with Knowle Park and Warwick Castle. His glittering life has a sad ending though, as in 1628 he was murdered by a servant who stabbed him and then turned the knife on himself.

What do you think? If Greville really did write some of Shakespeare’s work, would he really want to take all the evidence to his grave?


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