A 16th Century playwright, William Shakespeare, is a famous and common house-hold name. A conspiracy theory suggests that his work was written by someone else.

He was born the son of a glovemaker in 1564, he married and had three children. He went to London after 1585, he was the co-founder of the Globe Theatre and retired to Stratford, where he died rich and successful in 1616.

Francis Bacon was put forward as his real identity. In the 1920’s it was suggested that it might be Bacon by Edward Vere (Earl of Oxford) and in the 1950’s by William Stromley (Earl of Derby), another suggestion for his true identity was Christopher Marlowe.

The suggestion for the hidden writer was that due to his background he may have lacked the education and experience to portray the intricacies of the plays he wrote.

In 1976, London’s star actor, John Kemble presented a ‘new’ play by Shakespeare. It was titled ‘Vortigern and Rowena’ but was written by a 17 year-old faker, William Henry Ireland. Kemble suspected it’s authenticity, it closed on its opening night. It seems that Ireland was undeterred by the revelation and wrote under both his own name and that of Shakespeare’s anyway.

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