Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The mystery of the hypen on Shakespeare's name solved

There are several printed plays and of course the Sonnets, that on the title page use the name of Shakespeare but where the word of his name is split by a hyphen. Like this: Shake-speare.
Anti-Stratfordians have argued this was used to indicate that William Shakespeare did not write these pieces and that another writer did them using the name of Shakespeare as a cover. Each of the groups then proposes a candidate, or more then one, that did write the piece. However they never credit William Shakespeare of Stratford with the writing of them, even if he was working with someone else on them.
However I think we can now pin the origin of the use of the hyphen on Shakespeare's name to one man. That of Ben Jonson. 
We can do this because he had his own works printed before Shakespeare died. On January 20 1616, Ben had his book entered in the Stationers Register. 
It gives us massive clues about William, because Ben says when the plays were first performed and gives a list of the actors. But the actors names are not in the same order for each play.
For example Every Man In his Humor dated to 1598, Shakespeare is top of the list. Yet on another play he is fifth place. This to me implies that Shakespeare was the top actor or the main star of the piece and not on the other play.
Some of course don't carry Shakespeare's name at all.
But one play in question where he is not top billing called Sejanus His Fall, on the cast list splits Shakespeare's name with a hyphen.
However it is also known that Ben admits that he did not write this piece alone. As this taken from Wikipedia shows:
"Jonson's epistle "To the Readers" in the 1605 quarto states that an unnamed author had "good share" in the version of the play which was performed on the public stage:

Lastly I would inform you that this book, in all numbers, is not the same with that which was acted on the public stage, wherein a second pen had good share; in place of which, I have rather chosen to put weaker (and no doubt less pleasing) of mine own, than to defraud so happy a genius of his right by my loathed usurpation".
The fact that Jonson doesn't want to name the person leaves him with a problem. To find a way to name the person without doing so publicly. Since he does not use the hyphen on the previous play, it's clear to me that Jonson used it here on Sejanus to indicate that William Shakespeare was the joint writer with him.
The fact that Jonson used this publicly gives us a massive clue to the fact that it was his way of acknowledging a joint work by Shakespeare. Even if he was not the other writer. For as we have seen the Sonnets also carry this "Shake-speare". And we know Ben wasn't the joint writer on those. The above information gives me a massive clue that Jonson was the person that had the Sonnets published and the hyphen was his way of showing that Queen Elizabeth was the other writer of them. Though even though she was dead when they were published in 1609, he dare not use her name on them.
As for any other plays that use a hyphen on Shakespeare's name, it is very clear to me that Ben Jonson had these published, or was somehow connected with them. And that he knew they were joint works with William Shakespeare. Of course the problem is we do not know who the other writers were on these works. But they probably could be worked out.
We do not to look far as to why Ben Jonson wanted to publish these things by Shakespeare. As he tells us he worshiped the man. He wasn't going to let William Shakespeare's modesty, or principles stop the world from knowing about William Shakespeare. And I think thanks largely to him we do know about Shakespeare. But having said that he was also responsible for a great deal of the confusion about Shakespeare. However most of that was caused by William Shakespeare trying to hide from the world and protect himself and other people.
   

Monday, 4 April 2016

Shakespeare's Skull or Anne Hathaway's found?

Who's Skull is Missing?


If you watched the recent documentary on Channel Four entitled Shakespeare's Tomb, broadcast on the 26 March 2016. You will know that Kevin Colls of Staffordshire University and geophysicist Erica Utsi recently were granted permission from the Church of Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, to do a radar survey of all the graves of the Shakespeare family buried in the Chancel of the Church. They were not allowed to dig the ground, but the radar survey (shown below) did show some interesting things.
 




















Firstly we need to clear one thing up. The radar did not show the bones of the people themselves. Just the impression that a burial would make in the ground. So they couldn't see a skeleton of anybody. The first thing they proved that each of the seven people interred in the ground was that they were not in a family vault. What they found was the seven graves were of the type that would mean that they were wrapped in a cloth (called a winding sheet) and buried. No coffins, no lead box. All the graves were no more than 3 feet deep, around one metre. 
Shakespeare's stone, marked by the use of the "cursed" inscription is actually shorter than the rest. This had lead to rumors than he was buried standing up! However the radar showed that his grave extends right up to the plinth area of the alter. And so a blank slab on the top (head) end is still covering the burial of Shakespeare. 
Further investigation of the area around the plain slab at the head of Shakespeare's stone, revealed that a structure had been put in place to support it. Erica Utsi commented that in all here experience of doing these types of surveys she had not seen anything like it. 
The conclusion was that it would be done to repair the slab just to stop it sinking. But why would it be sinking in the first place. And why would Shakespeare's stone need a slab at the top end? 
Kevin Colls and Cambridge historian Dr Helen Castor think they have found the reason. It occurs in a magazine called the Argosy published in 1879 (link below to a PDF of it).   
On page 268 there is a story of how Shakespeare's skull was stolen! It relates to a story that was thought to be a work of fiction by most Shakespeare academics. 
The story told third hand to the person writing the piece, relates to one Frank Chambers who in 1787 was assigned to work with a doctor working in Alcester (the only doctor in the area).  Sometime around the 1790's Frank Chambers attend a dinner with many of the local gentry of the Stratford area. By that time the Stratford Jubliee's were on the go and one said (in connection with that event) if the face of William Shakespeare on the monument in the Church actually looked like the real William. 
One of the guests said that you had better dig him up to find out. Then another guest said the Horace Walpole was offering 300 guineas for Shakespeare's head! 
Now Chambers, who was a medical man, wasn't opposed to digging bodies up that were more recently buried, for medical research. He had employed some men in the past to do this. So with the prospect of a lot of money at stake he got in touch with the men. There names were Tom Dyer, Harry Cull and another man with the surname of Hawtin.  They agreed to help him dig up Shakespeare. 
Late at night with Hatwin watching outside, they eventually got into the church and went to the stone of Shakespeare. Tom Dyer was clearly a tradesman and worked in a smithy, so he could easily get the lock open of the church door. 
They lifted the slab up and started to dig. To their surprise the first thing the came across was a more recent burial. Complete with bones, the remains of an Oak coffin, with nails and a silver plaque, with the name Ashwin. Also found were burnt glass and a ring! The image below shows the details in the Argosy of what they found...
 
I should point out this bit of the story was NOT referred to in the Channel Four documentary, though in one bit you can see the piece of the Argosy where it's shown.
They then continued to dig down till it looked like the had found the grave soil. At which point Frank Chambers told them to work with just hands. 
The story then takes an unexpected twist for they state that the burial was 3 feet down!
Precisely the same depth as the radar survey showed!!
Colls and Castor clearly worked out that the tale would therefore appear to be true! Otherwise how would they know it was 3 feet down? Before the radar survey everyone also assumed they would be in a vault. But the Argosy makes no mention of that. Or at least in a coffin, but as the next part of the story relates that wasn't true either.
Tom Dyer eventually finds the skull and removes it. He hands it over to Chambers and he looks at comparing it with the image of Shakespeare nearby. He concludes that it is smaller than the bust.
The rest of the grave was filled in and the stone carefully placed back in place.  
 
Frank Chambers then tries to sell the skull, but his attempts turn out to be fruitless. It seems some of the people just wanted to see it, not purchase it. Chambers heard that the vicar of Hatton, Samuel Parr was a big Shakespeare collector and he approached him, saying he had something of great importance. So Samuel met him and tried to tell him about the skull, but Samuel kept butting in with statements, as he asked his questions. Parr was not to pleased with some of the historians, that were looking for stuff on Shakespeare. He then told Chambers that if any man violated the "sanctity of that grave" he would have that man whipt! So Chambers changed the subject.
It was clear that Chambers wasn't going to be able to sell the skull without revealing it had been pinched from the grave!! So he had a word with Tom Dyer and another man to put the skull back.
I think he convinced them if the skull was found and linked to them they would be publicly whipped as the vicar of Hatton suggested.  
But as the story reveals Tom was left to do it on his own. He claimed it was put back. But somebody went back to the Church to check on if the stone had been put back right, on the pretence of just going to the normal service. But what he saw was a large crack at the top end of the Shakespeare stone. 
When Dyer was pressed he said that while he was lifting the stone he cracked it. But he said he had put the skull back. I don't think they believed him.
But did he put the skull back and if he didn't what did he do with it? 
 
Colls and Castor answered that question too. It seems shortly after that publication a second book came out called Shakespeare's Skull Found.  PDF below.
At St Leonard’s, Beoley, in Worcestershire a strange skull was found in a family vault of the Sheldon family. All of the family skulls were accounted for. This skull was the odd one out! 
 
It seems Tom Dyer was working at that church carrying out repairs. According to the above book Tom couldn't lift the stone of Shakespeare on his own and so put the skull into the Sheldon vault at Beoley. Hoping no-one would notice. I can testify to the weight of any gravestone, they are extremely heavy. I tried to lift one myself, investigating a grave yard in a run down cemetery. I couldn't shift it an inch or fore that matter at all!
The author of the book above known only as  “A Warwickshire Man” was thought to have been the Revd C. J. Langston, Vicar of Beoley from 1881 to 1889. He had had found in the possessions of Frank Chambers a piece of bone wrapped up very carefully. Finding a connection to the Shakespeare's skull story he took the bone and went into the Sheldon vault and found the mystery skull. He was able to put the piece of bone back into the skull precisely.
He thus found Shakespeare's skull.
 
Only he hadn't...
 
In 2016 the present vicar of Beoley arranged with Kevin Colls to have the skull scanned and photographed, as long as they didn't touch the bones or skull in the vault. So they did scan it.
Caroline Wilkinson, very famous for her re-creation of faces on many archaeology TV shows as well as working with the police on unidentified skulls. Was brought in to recreate the face of the person from the evidence of the scans and the images. She could however tell straight away that it was a woman, plus an old one at that, round about 70 years old.  The reconstructed face is shown below.
 
So it wasn't William Shakespeare. But even so the head end of Shakespeare's grave had been disturbed and the stone was sinking because of it, needing repair. For if you take soil out, of any hole you dig, even if you manage to get it all back, it will sink later on, needing either more earth adding to fill the hole, or if a slab is on it, to be raised up again. I'm certain that you will have come across the faulty paving slabs in the street, up and down, so you trip over them. So Shakespeare's stone would need to be repaired.
However the Vicar of Stratford wasn't convinced that the grave had been broken into, especially as the skull turned out to be a woman. So wouldn't let Colls and his team investigate the head end further. So if Chambers and Tom Dyer had broken into the tomb and taken his skull, the question remains did he put it back, or is William Shakespeare skull out there in the world still.

The Tale of the missing head....

The story however does not stop with the TV show. For when the image of the woman face appeared on the screen, I got hairs standing up right down the back of my head as well as a few expletives! For the sake of protecting someone, I can't say why that happened, but all will become clear.
Supposing Chambers did indeed break into the tomb of William Shakespeare and Tom Dyer didn't put the skull back, but into the Sheldon Vault as the book's suggest. But it wasn't Shakespeare's skull they had taken, but somebody else! Who could that skull be at Beoley? A woman around 70 is all we know. But there was a woman around 70 in that set of graves. Anne Shakespeare (Hathaway) his wife was 67 years old when she died. So that could fit our mystery woman's skull age. But it is clear they dug up Shakespeare's grave, not Anne's which is next to the wall. But when Chambers looked at skull he said it was small. Was that because it was a woman's skull he was looking at? But Chambers was a medical man, surely he could spot the difference between a man and woman's skull. Well yes he could, but he wasn't thinking that under the tomb of William Shakespeare was buried a woman aged around 67. So he just assumed it was William's Skull!
Now before some of you go rushing off thinking that Anne Shakespeare wrote the Works of Shakespeare, hence why she is under the tomb of her husband, think back to the bit that wasn't mentioned on the TV show, that Frank Chambers dug to find a modern grave by the name of Ashwin first. Clearly somebody had lifted the stones up prior to Chambers. There are indeed Ashwin members being married at the Stratford church as these printed registers show.
 
 
 
I couldn't find the burials of the same people, due to the fact they haven't been published. The IGI records are also generally lacking burial records, so they don't crop up in that. But I am certain that these Ashwin's were buried in Stratford. It's likely that sometime prior to 1790 the Ashwin family gave the vicar of Stratford a great deal of money to be buried under the Shakespeare tombs. Completely on the side. With no record being kept. Chambers was unaware of this when he then dug up the tomb of what he thought was Shakespeare and was in fact the burial spot of Anne Shakespeare. 
So why is Anne under Shakespeare stone?
 
 
Well if you look at this plan of the graves you can see that the first four burials on the right are not in the order of the dates of their deaths.  
 
In order for them to do that the grave diggers would have to leave a space between the wall of the church and then dig Shakespeare's grave! And the same for the rest of the other two. But I can't see them doing that. I think that William, who died first, would have been put against the wall, then Anne next to him, Susanna Hall next to Anne and then John Hall and the rest as they are...
This plan shows the full church layout. 
 
You can see that the Charnel House (demolished) is next to the Shakespeare tombs. But it wasn't demolished when Chambers dug the tomb, so there was no need to move the stones for that. 
Shakespeare paid £440 pounds in 1605 for a share in the tax privileges, this gave him the right to be buried in the Chancel, since it was including in the rights of the tax. A considerable amount of money back then. 
So it seems that the first four stones of the Shakespeare's were all lifted up prior to 1790 and my betting is when they put them back down they didn't put them back in the same place. As I said tomb stones that size are really heavy brutes. And If the people that lifted them were like some of the workman that I have known in the past, they didn't give a monkeys what order they were in, even if they could read the inscriptions. Which at that date seems quite possible that they couldn't read. In fact some of the men Chambers employed couldn't read. He had to stop them digging up an outside grave because of it!
The vicar might have noticed it, but he would have got the reply from the men, "you put them back right then!"
So William Shakespeare skull is safely buried with him under Anne's tomb and the Shakespeare "cursed" stone currently has a headless skeleton of Anne Shakespeare. And the Beoley Skull is the wife of William Shakespeare - or Anne Hathaway.
 
If you compare the facial reconstruction with the miniature of  her I can see a facial resemblance, bearing in mind she was a lot younger. But for a 67 year old woman, Anne does indeed look a lot younger than her age. Which is what I said about her, long before the story of Anne's skull
          
   
     

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Shakespeare Scribbles Away in A Room Myth - addition to chapter four

Shakespeare Scribbles Away in A Room Myth



In the Shakespeare Guide to Italy, I came upon the details of the character of Shylock the Jew. Richard Paul Roe makes it clear that whoever wrote this play in which Shylock appears, knew a great deal of information about Jewish customs, far more I believe than could be got by experience of travelling to Italy. But I know of no candidate as the author of the Shakespeare's plays that would fit them having a Jewish background, including Shakespeare himself. Moreover the details relating to Shylock seem to be very specific about his Jewishness.
This leaves us with a problem. For while one could accept that Edward De Vere did travel in Italy, picking up enough knowledge to write the plays, he would have great difficult in being accurate about what it would be like to be Jewish person and a specific person of that race precisely. Like any none Jewish person he would slip up in his writing. Though it might be possible these days for a writer to hang around a Jewish person and get the details correct about them, it would seem unlikely for an Elizabethan Earl to do that!
My personal theory is that the person who played Shylock was a Jewish man from Italy. This would not surprise me, since I have said that Shakespeare wrote the plays around the people he had to work with. As I have covered earlier in this chapter, I know for certain he used two actress'. One was older than the other. I even know their names! One of them was even 14 in the Play Romeo and Juliet, as Juliet was 14 at the time. And yes she was of Italian descent. Then there is the black actor used in various plays.
Shakespeare doesn't cast the actors. There is no auditions like in Shakespeare in Love. He writes the parts with the starting point of a black actor in mind, for example.
Actors audition for parts in modern times
 

I don't think Shakespeare was sat in some back room scribbling texts, quill pen in hand writing on bits of parchment. I think that idea is a myth. Instead it was more interactive than that. Shakespeare
De Vere in the Film Anonymous even perpetuates the myth  
 
Shakespeare in a fancy study the Victorian view of the myth
 
had the ideas and then the actors said lines they way they did, making suggestions too. Shakespeare then copied it all down. They bounced ideas around each other too! If you think about it that would make more sense to have loads of different views and experience. So if one of the actors had studied law, his experience would come into it. And so on with all the professions in the Shakespearean plays which William couldn't have been involved with or have much knowledge of. I think it was highly likely the whole company were involved with the writing process. They might have even sat around a table or in a circle discussing they idea that William had come up with for the play, with each member saying something with a free hand to speak. Some of them might have contributed more than others, due to their cleverness or egos! But it was probably more of a co-operative effort than anything else. If you think about it this actually helps the company to be more successful, since the entire enterprise requires plays to come out on a regular basis. This way the members ensure that they are not reliant on one man to write a play. However we know that they do give somebody the credit for the plays. But this to me points to the person who had the original idea for the play being given the credit, it was as simple as that.
It seems to me also that most of the other writers who followed Shakespeare's way of writing used the same technique. Which is why people think they can see other hands in the works. But if Shakespeare was simply writing down the words as spoken by one of his fellows, then even though it was somebody else doing it, it was still written by Shakespeare.
I did come upon the background to the play Othello, or if you like the original idea for it. It was the result of the line in one of the Sonnets were Elizabeth talks about angels and the black one killing the good one. This is Elizabeth showing the two sides of herself. In the Sonnets she says "the worser spirit" and Shakespeare uses this as the lead character in Othello, which he makes black - another reference back to the Sonnets. Desdemona is of course the good spirit. And by getting Othello to kill her, it thus fulfills the prophecy of Sonnet 144, that the bad angel would fire the good one out. In order to make this happen Shakespeare employs a Devil's advocate in the form of Iago. Which I think was played by Shakespeare himself! For who better to play it.
I think that over the years and how the theatre world has developed, that we have become entangled with how things are done and how things were done. So now we see it as somebody going into a room and writes down the words for the actors to speak and emerges later with a fully worked up play. Then the actors are cast! Though it's like that today, it doesn't mean it has always been done like that!
As I have shown with the above, none of the modern ways ever applied to a Shakespeare play. Shakespeare would be like a duck out of water in the modern system. I actually believe the modern way was around at the time of Shakespeare, but it was considered boring, being about tales of how London Bridge was made etc.
With the Civil War and the closing of the theatres the Shakespeare technique was eventually lost, only the modern form of a single person writing the parts on their own has survived. Leaving us confused of how William Shakespeare fitted that role! Which of course he didn't. 

Copy of how it was performed

I have recently found a bit more to back up the fact a single person didn't write the plays, but they were done in a the way I describe above. Thanks to Ben Crystal. He is an actor and he discovered that the disjointed rhyme in certain sections of the play is meant to be like that, simply because it is meant to convey things like arguments, between the characters, including raised voices. Plus in Hamlet one of the characters is ignoring what the others are saying and just making his point over the other actors.
Ben found out that if the lines were presented in the normal way, that is letting each character finish speaking before the next one speaks, it doesn't mean anything. But allowing the actors to jump in before the other one has finished, the combined effort not only makes sense but rhymes too!
Ben did a video of it here:

 
Now I think that shows that the text was either copied down direct from watching the play. Or more likely the text was written as the play was being performed. Thus proving that one man did not write a Shakespeare play. It also rules out the lords and nearly all the rival candidates as they would need to be present when the play was being worked up. Highly unlikely that Oxford and the other Earls would mix with the scum of the earth actors on a play like that.    
 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

When Records Were Released In The UK

Dating 45 rpm Records

One of the big problems I have in sorting out the old Real Charts is knowing when a 45 record or single or EP, or for that matter a 78, was released in the UK. Often you can track them down to the month, but tracking them down to the week is another question.
Of course it's very easy to track down when a record made the official charts. As each chart is dated. But that doesn't mean that a record was released the week before the chart was published. In fact records might have been around for months or longer before they finally get a chart entry. So how do we find out what week a record was released?
Well there are two main ways. The first is the promotional record. These were sent out to Radio Stations and other places that could help sell the records when released. They were not for sale to the general public! Many of the carried a date or a sticker with the date on. CBS were very good at this. as this example shows. Note the different design to the normal single the public would buy.
The large "A" wasn't indicating the A side, but stands for "Advanced". This was common to all labels. But not all of these promo copies carried a date as this example shows:
And even if it does carry a date, it doesn't mean that the record company stuck to it. The release could be delayed by many weeks. Even sometimes being cancelled completely if feedback was negative or the record wasn't being played by Radio Stations or Club DJ's.  
The second method of dating records are new release sheets sent out to record stores. Again these are not always accurate as dates were changed again. An example from 1965 is shown below. The Trade Magazine's such as Music Week or it's former life as Record Retailer also carried new release information. But there is no On-Line source for these. And back issues are rare and expensive. You can view them, but only in the difficult to get to and "rule" restrictions of the British Library in London. I once asked them for the weekly Music Week new release pages for just 1976 and if they could be copied and sent to me. The quote back from them was several hundred pounds! 

The only other method is generally restricted to Label Catalogues issued on a commercial basis. However I have not seen any that date the release to the week, only to the month. They are not to dissimilar to the Record Labels of The 70's website - the link of which can be found on this blog. That also dates them to the month.   
One of the best on-line sites is the excellent 45 Cat. Many of their members have included the weekly dates of records, from the above methods. The one problem is that the information is not always easy to get. For you have to select the filter option, then select the date records were issued. So you need to which days records were issued on. Then select the UK from a long list of Countries. You can then press search. And it will come up with the results. Providing less than 100 records were released on that date, you should get the known release date for the day in question. However not all records are given the weekly dates on the site. So you might have to go for just the month, leaving the day blank. This will almost certainly give you more than the 100 records allowed, as it doesn't filter out the "dated" records. There is a way around this using the site options for display, earliest and latest options, but there is a lot of fiddling about to do it. Even when you have the results the format of the display isn't good for copying the text off the website, as names are links to the artists themselves. You have to click the record itself, to get to something you can extract text from. 
So what I've decided to do is extract the new release information from the 45 Cat website for you, and myself, with each week listed and the month ones also. The text is in the same format of what I do the charts with, with artist names then the title in italic. Also included is level of ownership by 45 Cat members, which is a good indication of how well a record might have sold! 
The first of the new release files is for 1970 and others will follow soon. However I should point there will be some records missing from this list. Mostly any records that only carry the year of release and no month or week. Due to the 100 limit it would be impossible to extract these. Also because a record was issued with a date of 1970 on it doesn't mean it was issued that year. Indeed many records were continuing to be released nearly halfway into the year of 1971 with that year on. And many records dated 1969 were issued in 1970 likewise. Also missing are records that were not issued or known to be withdrawn from sale early on and anything that wouldn't have made the charts anyway. Only A sides are listed with no record labels or numbers.
The second to be done is 1965 following on from the requests by users of 45 Cat as to which ones to do next. Featured are the Beatles singles, plus John Lennon's father!!! Plus of course John Barry's Thunderbirds Theme! 
I now have completed the releases for 1966. Since I started doing this 45 Cat have introduced an extra category(s) under the search procedure. One of which is the most "owned". On the 1966 list I was able thus to this on the weekly sections (but not the monthly one) so they are listed with most owns fist. As 45 Cat also states if the record entered the "Official" Top 50, I was able to make a note of all the owns to the top 50 positions. This information doesn't actually feature in the PDF file below, but it is interesting. For example records making number 50 varied between 11 and 21 owns. However one of the records that made 49 had 45 owns on it! Further up the chart the number 10 hits had between 46 to 90 owns on them. Ownership levels over 100 don't start till number 6, where one record had 112 owns, however another 6 hit had just 36 owns on it. Number 2 hits varied from 55 to 141.
Number one records clocked in at 68 to 151. The highest figure for a record for 1966 owns on 45 Cat. Belonging of course to the Beatles Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby.
Interestingly enough no records made the positions 35, 30 and 29 in the top 50 that year! 
There are again some real gems in the 1966 file, such as the weird group the Master Singers. Who perform odd things sung in the style of a church choir! They record the Highway Code first, then tried the Telephone Directory! But that record had to withdrawn when the Post Office objected to it for copyright reasons!! They didn't give up and sang the Weather Forecast instead!
The 1974 one also features the Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown calling himself Errol Flynn! And the big band Mud who released Tiger Feet, later in the year issuing a record calling themselves "Dum"!!!  The best thing about the 1974 one is that the "monthly list" is massively reduced and in some cases the month list has nearly all the records dated in some way. 
The latest to be added is 1967. The year of Flower Power and when Radio One started.     
 
      
If you know of any additions or correct dates for the above records, please comment below.

Early Record Dates
During sometime in the early 1960's new singles began to be issued on a weekly basis. The day set for this was a Friday, though it was not set in stone! I haven't been able to pin an precise date for when this happened, but it seems the new release sheets started being issued weekly around 1962. 
Prior to this it seems ALL records were issued in the first week (in some cases the second week) of each month for the entire month. 
This might cause a problem extracting the records from the 45 Cat website, with the 100 results limit.
I have asked by the way for the 100 limit to be increased. It was introduced to prevent website issues. But though it might have been fine when the site was small, but it has grown that much that it is a serious limit on the accessibility of the site now. I would say for certain that more than 100 records were released each month by 1959 if not earlier. So there would be little chance of getting an accurate list of any records from about 1955 to 1962 due to the 100 limit.
It seems that the closer to the present day release information days become harder to get hold of. I have done a test of the 1981 data. It's very confusing. For one thing the Friday date is joined by the new Monday release date. It seems both were operating at the same time! And the new release booklets seem less common, giving more "monthly" dates!   

Nevertheless these concerns aside I'm certain readers will be fascinated to see what could have made the charts and did or didn't!  

Friday, 28 November 2014

The First Ten Sonnets translated into modern English

I thought you might like to see how the obscure language of Shakespearian times has hidden the true meaning of the Sonnets. But you must prepare yourself for a shock! For once translated into something you can understand the language become somewhat colourful and even rude in the extreme at times. 
Contrary to what many believe these sonnets were not all written by William Shakespeare himself. However this isn't some story to take away the man's talent and credited it to some Nobleman or other writer. Just a conversation between him and his muse. Which in this case is Queen Elizabeth the First. Nevertheless when the muse answers the writer, it's not done in William's words, but her own words. 
What these few Sonnets show here is William's desire that the Queen should marry and have children. It shows the age gap between him and her and how the Queen constantly puts herself down, even her own sexuality. 
I have only shown the first ten Sonnets, to distinguish between Shakespeare and Elizabeth's written parts I have coloured Shakespeare's words RED and Elizabeth's BLUE. Additional words need for context or that are not translated (but needed) are shown as green.   

The texts of these Sonnets will be in the early stages of his work starting around 1580. Some of the other Sonnet's (not featured in the ten here) will date after that date to around about 1592.
The un-translated version, but showing who wrote what, is in this PDF file: Sonnets all 154  

 

THE SONNETS


by


William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Tudor (Queen Elizabeth I)




No 1


From beautified whores men desire sex,
That thereby beauty's Rose might never die,
But as the grim reaper should by time end,
His tender heir might carry his memory:
But you concerned by your own clear womb,
Feed’s your eternal flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
You are your own enemy, to your lushes self too cruel:
You are now the world's newest ornament,
And only announcements to the tasteless spring,
Within your own bud (inner-self) you hide your feelings,
And an affectionate ill-bred person wastes time in being mean:

Have Pity on this world, or else this useless person stay,
Have sex with the world now, or end in up dead.

 

No 2


When your forty, worn in face,
And time digs deep trenches in your beautiful complexion,
Your youth's good looks so gazed on now,
Your sex drive will be a tattered weed absolutely worthless :
Then when someone asks, where is your beauty,
Where has all the fertile juice of your sexy days gone;
Then you say within my own deep sunken arsehole,
Together with all my masturbation guilt, and my flattery,
How much more flattery can you take and be beautiful,
You could always say 'This beautiful child of mine
Shall sum me up, and even make up excuses for me'
Showing of his beauty by succession like mine.
The result is to be new made when you feel old,
And see your fertile juices warm when your ice-cold.


No 3


Look in your mirror and tell the face you see,
Now is the time that face should form another,
Whose fresh repair is the best to do soon before you can’t,
You annoy the world, un-consecrate some virgin.
For where is she so beautiful whose intact womb
Scorns the stick-ing (ploughing) of you sexual activity?
Or who is he, so fond will be the tomb,
Or his masturbation to stop changes?
You are your mother's Mary image and she sees in you
Recalling the lovely April day of her prime,
So you through windows of this age shall view,
Despite the wrinkles this is your golden time.

But if you carry on living like this,
Die (come) single and your imitation dies with you.

No 4


Poor loveliness why don’t you spend,
On yourself your beauty's legacy?
Nature's legacy gives nothing but doth lend,
And being honest she bends to those who are free:
Then beauteous mean why do you abuse,
That massive dick given you and fuck instead?
Profitless lender why don’t you use
So great a cunt of all cunts and still can not come?
For having a wank with yourself alone,
You doing it yourself you taste nothing,
Then how when nature ends your life,
What acceptable audit will you leave?

Your unused beauty must be in-tombed with you,
Which if used makes a profit to be.


No 5


Those hours that with no sexy work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell
Sexy people play the tyrants to the very same,
And the unbeautiful which is beautifully good at:
For never-resting time leads summer on (youth)
To hideous winter and confounds him there, (old age)
Sap checked with frost and sexy leaves quite gone, (ugly)
Beauty covered in snowed and bareness everywhere:
Then were is summer's distillation left! As
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty's effect without beauties benefits ,
And no longer with any idea of what it was.

But flowers distilled though they with winter meet,
Loose but their show, their perfume always lives sweet-tasting.


No 6


Then let not old age ragged dick deface,
In you your youth even though it has been:
Make sweet-tasting some vial; treasure you some place,
With beauty's fertile juice, even if it be self-destroyed:
That use is not forbidden lending,
Which pleases those that pay the willing loan;
That's the stuff for yourself to breed another you,
Or ten children, happier be it ten for one,
Ten times yourself were happier than you are,
If ten of you ten times remodelled yourself:
Then what could death do if you should depart,
Leaving you living in forever?

Be not self-willed for you are much too beautiful,
To be death's conquest and make worms your heir.


No 7


Look in the east when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning foreskin, each under eye
Do homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty,
And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty always,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage:
But when from high most pitch with weary bog,
Like feeble age he droops from the day,
Those arseholes (‘fore duteous) now converted are
From his low tract and look another way:

So you, yourself out-going in thy noon:
Unlooked on will shrivel unless you get a son.

No 8


Music to hear, why does music make you cry?
Sweet things with sweet things war not, joy delights in joy:
Why love loves you that which you receive and received not gladly,
Or else received it with pleasure that annoys you?
If the true agreement of well-tuned sounds,
Or unions married do offend your ear,
They do but sweetly argue with you, who confounds
In singleness the parts that you should really carry:
See how one string is sweet husband to another,
Striking each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling father and child and happy mother,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:

These speechless song being many, seeming the same,
Sings this to you, 'You single will amount to nothing'.

No 9


Is it for fear to wet a widow's cock,
That you indulge in the single life?
Alas, if you issueless should happen to die,
The world will cry for you like a it was your wife,
The world will be thy widow and always weep,
That there is no form of you left behind,
When every private widow womb may keep,
By children's eyes, her husband's genitals in mind:
See what a generous world this is and how it spends
Shifts but his place, for always the world enjoys it;
But beauty in the world has an end,
And kept unused the user so destroys it:

No love toward others in this bosom is
So that you waste time so killing guilty perpetrators.

No 10

 
Great guilty and a contradiction that you have no love for any
Who are you to say, you who are so irresponsible.
Except if you can, you are worshipped by many,
Of course it is clear to everybody that you do not love any:
For you are so obsessed with a killing hatered,
That against yourself you fight till fight fights itself,
Trying to win beauty and ruin it.
Although rebuilding it should be your foremost goal:
Woman change your thoughts, that I may change my mind,
Should hate be more beautifully lodged than sexiness?
Be as you appear, that is gracious and kind,
Or at least to yourself kind-hearted prove,

Make you another one of you, for love of me
That beauty always may live in your child or you.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Mary Queen of Scots and the Death of Lord Darnley

THE KING THAT KILLED HIMSELF


Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley’s, pushy mother, wanted Henry to marry Mary Stuart. It made his claim to the English throne stronger for he was also descended from Margaret Tudor, only from her second husband. Queen Elizabeth was not in favour, perhaps for the above reason, yet more likely to be that Henry was not popular in Scotland, as he along with many others had also rights to the Scottish throne. She discovered this unpopularity by pointing out Darnley to William Maitland, Mary Stuart's representative at court. Maitland disgust was apparent and he also spoke it. She did however agree to let Henry go to Scotland, after Robert Dudley intervened on his behalf.89
Henry Stuart Lord Darnley
The upshot of all this was that he married Mary in 1565. It looks as if they had a lot in common and may well have fallen in love. Mary’s heart and head were this time in total agreement. Her head thought ‘heir to the throne of England’. This didn’t matter to Elizabeth; indeed the English Queen may have been told this would happen by her astrologer!
90 Still she just couldn’t let Henry make the biggest mistake of his life.

William Throckmorton, who had returned from France in 1563, once again was needed in the role of ambassador to see if he could reason with them, to call the wedding off. So he left in April 1565 for Scotland. He almost certainly bragged that he could convince Mary not to do it. Though the Queen and Council were more likely convinced he couldn’t. He was quite correct, if any could, for he had a friendly attitude to Stuart, probably due to when she tried to help him once, while in France, over some trouble that resulted in him being detained by the authorities. The Queen/Council was more right and Mary was pushing for the marriage before he could get there. In the end he was locked out of Stirling Castle. When he did see the Scottish Queen it was too late. He wasn’t sure why she had done it and admitted it to Elizabeth. This didn’t stop Henry’s mother (the Countess of Lennox) being placed in the Tower of London, for arranging the marriage. The Scots were far from pleased. The English ambassador, in his report to Queen Elizabeth, said, “Darnley would have no long life amongst these people.” 91
Darnley didn’t, three years later he was dead. The question asked then and by historians since is “who killed him?”
There appear to be two schools of thought for the murderers, the Scots Queen with her associates and the Scotch Nobles. There are strong cases for both parties, in Mary’s situation, she had fully discovered what sex was, with Henry, which might in his case, have been rough, however there’s a slight problem, the way Henry died. It looks suspiciously like someone had arranged for the house at Kirk O’ Field to be blown up when this man was dead already. He was found, laid out (neatly), under a tree, in a garden some distance from the remains of the house. Dressed only in a nightshirt and his body was said to be unmarked, which might mean he had been poisoned?92 Also found was the unmarked body of his valet, some clothes, a chair and a dagger. Cecil was sent a drawing of the scene as evidence of the murder, which has survived.

Why would anyone go to all this trouble of laying him out, ceremonially like, and then blow up the house? If they were going to blow up Darnley, whilst he was inside and woke him
up, why did they not wake others? There was only one survivor, from the blast, who was injured, several others were killed outright and why did they not just stab or shoot him and the valet?
So what did happen?
We can only speculate. I believe he wasn’t murdered at all. Mary however makes herself look suspicious by her previous behaviour. For example when telling Henry of James’ birth, she places great emphasis on that it WAS his child.93
Maybe she was as surprised that it was indeed Henry’s child. If this is the case, obviously she was having sex with at least one other man. The speech does imply there were lots of rumours going around that James’ father wasn’t Darnley. From what I can gather this seems not to have been the case, later this is very true, not at or around conception time. Randolph, an English diplomat, did hear gossip that Mary was having an affair as early as 1565. Who? All he knew was it had been a ‘courtier’. Her speech also shows a great dislike for Henry, though it sounds a bit confused to me “his father has broken to me”.94 Maybe her English wasn’t good? If she was plotting his death, she saw her own as well, as again emphasis is placed on James ONLY uniting England & Scotland. Sir William Stanley asking why not, where then she gives the reply quoted previously, pulled this up. I thus think she was having sex with at least one man (if not more) and had stopped with her husband. Just to clear up one thing, James is Henry Stuart’s child, simply on the grounds that a portrait of Henry (aged 17) does match those (looks wise) of James as a child. Further to support that, James had no control of how the paintings were done at this age. On the run up to Henry’s death, we do know he was expecting Mary to come the very night he died, for she had been nursing him during an illness. This was so severe it kept him bed ridden for ages. She in spite of this was with the Earl of Bothwell, who she was in love with, for she married him after the death of her husband. Let us suppose that Henry was still in love with Mary and felt betrayed by her affair, which we can assume he knew about. He may have told her she would face the consequences if she did not come that night. Mary might have ignored his threats or passed them off as idle words from a jealous husband. Darnley’s threats were not against Mary, whom he loved, but against himself.
Suicide - poisoning himself - was not the thing a king should do. That valet may have thought that, when he found him dead in bed. He may have arranged an operation to cover the suicide up; with perhaps the sole survivors help, clearing his master’s name. These servants all slept around the room Darnley was in, some near the door. The loyal valet taking his own life too, unable to go on without his master.95 The view of suicide (for whatever reason) was not expressed at the time, because his
death was perfect for the overthrowing of Mary, by her own people, and that’s what they did.
The so-called murdered man may have been contemplating his own death (maybe his wife’s as well) for sometime, as the gunpowder had been stored at the house on his command. There is even stronger evidence, that means he could no-way have escaped from the house, even if a party of assassins had woke him. That drawing, which Cecil was sent, proves that Darnley was incapable of walking! The body did have something on it, yet wasn’t caused by a physical assault. Most pictures of this drawing make some marks on his legs appear like a stain, or a blot, perhaps even a censoring of the private parts, 96 at least that what I first thought. However on closer inspection, I recently discovered that on his upper right leg, on the inner side was a large ulcerated sore, about 30cm long and 15cm wide. There was evidence of strips of skin still present, though it first appeared to me as though tissue had been lost, as though an animal had bitten it, this not being the case. On the left leg are two smaller ulcers, one above the knee about 8cm long, 6cm wide, the other below the joint about 6cm long.97 We know he was suffering from syphilis and this disease does produce these sorts of ulcers. Still with these at this size and in those places, he must have been completely bed ridden still and in total agony if his calf muscles moved.98 The medicines must have been all about his room to treat it and most would be toxic! We also know what they treated him with. In one of the letters Mary wrote to Bothwell she says Darnley’s breath was that bad she couldn’t go near him. And it was that way because the Mercury treatment he was having made his teeth rotten. It would have been on his mind to take his life for ages, with these kinds of sores and the immense pain, nether mind what he felt about Mary. Mercury would have done the trick.
Everyone at that time jumped to the same conclusion of murder, for different reasons. There was no medical examination, though forensic medicine didn’t exist, that would have told them the truth. Elizabeth warned her cousin to find the murderers, for Mary’s enemies would accuse the Scots Queen.99 The English Queen also warned the Scottish Lords, ‘not to deprive their Sovereign Lady of her regal estate.100
William Cecil, putting his legal knowledge to work, also wrote that Mary did not have to by law answer her subjects, although she did deny having Darnley killed, which was true, if my theory is right. Mary probably made up a story that she had spoken to a French man as she left Darnley that night. So even she thought he had been murdered. The Scottish Lords did deprive Stuart, forcing her to abdicate. Nicholas Throckmorton (English ambassador) returning to Scotland again Said, “The Scottish Lords intention is to establish a regency and keep Mary a prisoner”.101
Nicholas made it clear as well, that the Scotch Queen was quite reckless, doing nothing about those accused. The angry crowds of women alone got him worried. “I find she is in very great danger”?
102
The English were outraged, a former English lord killed, the Scots Queen imprisoned. Many believed the Scots Nobles had killed her husband, though some may have believed it was she. Sir William Cecil on the other hand had to be persuaded by the Queen. She was partially in agreement with the Spanish ambassador, who thought it was preposterous to treat a Queen this way, demanding that she did something to save the life of her cousin. Despite this the English did not give Mary much support for she also asked for French support as well as English.
The England of Elizabeth I, were not on friendly terms with France. Several of the arguments went back to Henry the fifth, also they were not opposed to persecuting (and later massacring) Protestants and Mary Stuart, now an ex Queen of Scotland, did not mind who helped her. It clearly broke the Treaty of Edinburgh agreement as well. She doesn’t seem to have understood her own position, and why help was kept at a low level from all sides. Elizabeth, who probably helped the most, did not want war with Scotland and wouldn’t break any fragile treaties with anyone. The Pope in Rome (Pius V) was concerned about Mary’s marriage to the Earl of Bothwell.103 He was actually protestant and
Earl of Bothwell
Mary agreed to that religion’s style of ceremony. No wonder it upset the Pope! The story that she was forcefully taken by him and married off is totally ridiculous. Nicholas Throckmorton had spoken with her and said she was prepared to give up the crown and live as a “damsel” 104 with Bothwell. Mary invented the rape story so as not cast suspicion on her involvement with the so-called murder of her husband. Now widely seen as being Bothwell’s doing. Thus ipso-facto Mary’s doing as well. Besides that, he was also still married to several other women! In addition she was in love with him and became pregnant, which she admitted to Throckmorton, refusing a divorce on the grounds she was seven weeks gone!105 Mary explained the rape story personally, in a letter to the English Queen. Elizabeth was still disgusted by it! Throckmorton also told the new regime that they (the English) did not accept the abdication or the regency. The French, also treading carefully policy wise, did the same as the English, in other words, as little as possible. They had little time for the new regime in Scotland and even their ambassador was attacked, loosing his goods. In spite of this, they were not altogether convinced that Mary had been a good monarch, quite possibly gave some thought to her being a real problem, for them. For she was sent to make sure Scotland remained a loyal ally to France.

Mary escaped from her Scottish prison, much to the new Regent’s surprise106 (her half-brother James Stuart, the Earl of Moray).107 This she did by proposing marriage again! Her ‘loyal’ people (the Seton & Hamilton’s) joined up with her; she once again talked of marrying. This time a Hamilton! She quickly decided not to discus the issue in the Scottish Parliament, through legal and lawful means and they decided to do battle with Moray’s forces at Langside in Glasgow. At the battle, loyalty was not obvious. Mary’s general was Moray’s brother in law. The ramshackle army deserted or argued and despite having greater numbers and Mary riding down to urge them forward - they fled.
Mary, still not giving up, never excepting defeat, needed an army, so she escaped to England, setting off from what would become known as Port Mary, on a perilous journey across the Solway Firth which took 14 hours. She landed at Workington on the 16th of May 1568. She actually (formally by letter) requested to go to England, when safe in Scotland, seeking the protection of Elizabeth, which to all intent and purpose would make her appear as confined as the Scottish people had kept her. Her people tried to talk her into going to France instead. But Mary had other ideas.


References

89. This got Robert out of the marriage plan too.
90. Astrologers then had no opposition to them predicting things, even if they got things wrong. Simon Forman even made predictions about death and the age it would happen.
91. Marshall PP 90-91.
92. Some Historians suggest he was strangled, but the drawing Cecil is sent shows no sign of this, plus witness statements although not very clear, rule it out.
93. James was born 19th June 1566.

94. Steel P60.
95. This kind of loyalty still exists today in some royal servants.
96. These are indeed not present.
97. These measurements are based on guesswork, assuming Darnley was 6 feet tall.
98. We can dismiss the statement that he recovered enough to walk around.
99. Ridley P148.
100. Read P383 July 27th.
101. Read P383 Possibly Read’s own opinion on the papers. Cal S.P. Scottish 1563-69.
102. Rowse P48.
103. Ridley P148.
104. Throckmorton’s word not mine. Rowse P48.
105. Mackay P221. She lost the baby a few weeks later.
106. Her son was crowned King, at Stirling during this time.
107. He seems to have preferred the spelling of ‘Stewart’


This piece is taken from my book The Shy Queen. The PDF of it can be found elsewhere on this blog.

 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Beatles did stop The Rolling Stones hitting the top!

As part of the process of checking who has had the biggest climb to the top I came on something very odd concerning the established fact that the Beatles and Rolling Stones never put out at the same time singles that would compete with one another.
While I was looking at the charts for 1963, I came across the charts for the run up to Christmas. It clear shows a Rolling Stones record being held off the top by none other than the Beatles!
Of course at the time nobody would have been aware of this fact, simply because there was no official chart of the day. Instead several charts would show different records top. The most popular charts of the period were the New Musical Express top 30 and the Melody Maker which by 63 was a top 50. It also used the most record shops to complete it's survey, however this was only a fraction of the stores in the UK. Some of the major stores didn't supply sales data to any of the charts! The chart later adopted as "official" by the first chart books made by Guinness, was made by a record trade magazine called Record Retailer. It is still considered by most chart fans to be very unrepresentative of the time. For one thing it excluded Extended Players from the top 50, as it had it's own EP chart. Both the Melody Maker and New Musical Express allowed them into it's listings. However the NME chart did allow albums into it's listing, plus listed AA records as two separate chart entries, which both The Maker and Retailer didn't. 
The unfairness of these charts and the lack of coverage of the shops means that the 60's charts are very unrepresentative of what actually was selling in the country as a whole. Which means that The Real Chart can show for the first time how a record by the Rolling Stones was threating the Mersey group from the start. Whilst in the Record Retailer the Stones stopped short of the top ten at number 12. 
Of course we can't actually say what record buyers were buying in the missing major stores, because the chart isn't broken down that way.  But it doesn't need a genius to work out that Harry Secombe's  If I Ruled The World, was selling better there than in other record shops! It's much higher position, clearly better than in the other charts, points to this. Also amongst the teenage pop tunes it stands out like a sore thumb, the kind of record that Dad was buying rather than his kids! In the other countdowns it's best position was with the Retailer chart, but it wasn't top ten! It's worst was the NME chart were it was late entering the 30 and was lower down in it. You can quite imagine that NME editorial board wasn't too keen on having an interview with Harry spread in it's paper! Harry's not really 'new music' is he? Of course with the record in the other charts, NME had to let it enter their chart.
In the chart for the 15 of December we see Marvin Gaye heading up the chart to number 17. This record is one that would not appear in the countdowns of the other charts. Further down (not shown) is a record from Rolf Harris, all about a kid screaming his head off having lost his mum! Up from 42 to 34. Again it failed to make the charts.
Back to the Beatles and Stones battle. They had two different fan bases at that time. The Beatles appealed to the rockers somewhat, but the largest percentage of their fans were teenage girls. The Stones however, had the Mod movement backing them. It was clear with all the hype that the Beatles had the upper hand. It seems odd that Stones would record a Lennon & McCartney track given the rivalry between the two bands, where it not for the fact that the Band's manager had been working for Brian Epstein as a publicist promoting the Beatles! That said, even in the years to come in the story of the Rolling Stones you can't imagine them covering a Beatles track again!!   
    

Footnote: these charts are unsorted so they are missing data from them, hence the lack of weeks and sales symbols.