3.2.4. Brazil, Angellic Science

28 Reasons to doubt and dismiss Angell's Trentham = “Dark Lady” Conjecture

by Robert Brazil (© R. Brazil, 2007)


The root of the Trentham-HW-Dark Lady theory is found in Pauline Angell's article, "Light on the Dark Lady: A study of some Elizabethan Libels," which appeared in PMLA (Papers of the Modern Language Society), Vol. 53, Sep. 1937, pages 652-674.

How did Ms. Angell come to the cracked conclusion that the essential point of Willoby was to libel and wound the Earl of Oxford and that the secret libel contained therein was the implication that Oxford's son and heir was a false bastard? Can we really be convinced to believe that the Seventeenth Earl of Oxford had been cuckolded yet again? ... and was raising yet another child who was not his? ... and that Elizabeth Trentham was made pregnant by randy young Harry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton? Fortunately, there's nothing to it.

We shall see that this conjecture fails the test of historical and documentary facts; it also fails the test of common sense and logic. It fails because it is based on heady supposition, peculiar misinterpretation, and unchecked speculation. Angell's conjecture is effectively useless: it causes more problems than it attempts to solve. It also fails because Angell, once she was challenged on her theory in 1940, made a few remarks in PMLA and then, apparently, wigged out! --- she never published her promised follow-ups and she never again published another article on anything!

I simply follow the sequence of errors in the article. I have not addressed every mistake! Too many! Twenty-eight errors make my point, I reckon.

1. Angell's first mistake is her uncritical acceptance, as a given fact, that the initials "WS" and "HW" as seen in the 1594 Willoby His Avisa (hereafter Willoby), refer to "William Shakespeare" and "Henry Wriothesley." She gives the reader no clue as to how these identifications came about, nor what other names various scholars have offered as alternates. WS is called, in 1594, the "old player." How does that jibe with a 30-year-old jack-of-naught who had no stage reputation whatsoever (in his own name) in 1594? Angell also offers no evidence that Willoby's HW=Hank Wriothesley. She just presents it as a given. Even if space her was limited, her omission means that several key legs of her conjectural argument are unexamined, and unproven. She also offers no citations for the prior work that provided her with these untested identifications of just two of the suitors.

2. Angell briefly presents (without any citation) the publication history of Willoby. It's complicated because we have surviving exemplars of four editions (1594, 1605, 1609, 1611). However, the 1605 title page calls itself the fourth corrected edition so it is widely assumed that two editions disappeared (one inferred from 1596). In 1599 all editions of Willoby were "called in" by the authorities. They missed a few copies. But Angell doesn't explain the bibliographical history as clearly as the above. She is really only interested in the following:

"The fifth edition appeared in 1609, the year in which Shakespeare's Sonnets were published in a pirated edition. This lends color to the theory that the libel concerned Shakespeare's Dark Lady."

Look what Angell is doing here. First, the very postulate that "Shakespeare had one and only one real-live Dark Lady in mind" is not an established fact, it is a broad-umbrella literary interpretive scheme, employed to dozens of mutually opposing uses. "Shakespeare" may have had several girlfriends or wives that drove him nuts enough to warrant a sonnet. It is unproven that the bad-girl lover poems refer to only one person. Now, in the hands of Angell, she adds non-sequitor to non-sequitor. Even though Willoby was popular enough to warrant five printings in 15 years, Angell thinks that the fifth edition, in the same year as the Sonnets, suggests a thematic unity with them! From what I have seen, when a book goes to four editions, the fifth is printed the moment the last copy of the fourth gets sold. It's purely economic.

3. Now Angell mentions Acheson's theory, which he developed in several books.[1] She ignores all of his findings and conclusions except one. Acheson thought that some of the action of Willoby takes place in the City of Oxford. Now Angell, in her special-screened vacuum-cleaner style, says that Acheson was picking up on the hidden meaning" City of Oxford codes the Earl of Oxford. If this were true we could never get anything done!

Angell glances by Acheson's theory that Roydon was the Willoby author. What Angell did not mention (and probably did not know) is that Roydon is a fascinating possible go-between between deVere and Raleigh. Roydon was one of the contributors to the Oxford-Watson Hekatompathia project[2], and Roydon is linked by similar dedications to Walter Raleigh. Roydon's possible involvement in Willoby -- and the fact that Roydon is also linked to the Sidney faction -- maintains my interest in this whole Willoby problem and serves as one possible guide out of the Willoby labyrinth. Plus we must always keep in mind the main reason that scholars have to deal with Willoby, regardless of the quicksand: Willoby has the first absolutely clear literary reference and critique of the author named "Shake-speare," with its comment on the newly printed Rape of Lucrece.

Yet Tarquyne pluckt his glistering grape,
And Shake-speare paints poore Lucrece rape.

So we have to deal with Willoby, sooner or later.

4. We know (from her footnote) that Angell had in front of her BM Ward's 17th Earl of Oxford, 1928, and perhaps J. Thomas Looney's book, too. Though she doesn't mention J.T.Looney, she must have known of his book as it is described in Ward's annotated bibliography. Now she begins her three points to show that Oxford was the target of the Willoby libel.

A) Angell describes the ornamental stag's head at the top of the title page as "the central figure" and "the symbol of a cuckold." She thinks it's a donkey with horns and writes:

"upon the forehead of the ass reposes a crescent. The crescent is the distinguishing mark of the Oxford Crest, which is a boar set apart from all other armorial boars by the fact that a crescent is emblazoned upon it."

I have already demonstrated that a boar (furred ermine) with a lunar crescent was Francis Bacon's crest, and that J.T.Looney was simply in total error when he claimed Bacon's boar was Oxford's. The only examples noted of a crescent associated with a boar on Vere arms are rare, not regular. Horatio Vere used a blue boar crest with crescent. And a battle standard from the Wars of Roses, almost certainly of John the 13th Earl of Oxford, shows crescents as charges along with stars. Seeing this battle flag in a book and jumping to a mistaken conclusion, Angell next claims that these little moons on the standard of 13th Earl of Oxford explain even more: "these crescents were so thoroughly identified with Oxford that the Queen called him her Turk." She footnotes this Ward, p. 34. This again demonstrates Angell's extraordinarily naive and lazy methods of faux-scholarship. Ward himself was in error to state plainly, without sourcing, that Queen Elizabeth called Oxford "Turk." I researched this thoroughly beginning about about ten years ago. The sole source for the Turk legend lies in a letter of Christopher Hatton. He does not mention Oxford. The reader is left to fill in the blank that Oxford was the Turk. Ward did that for Oxford and everyone else followed suit. I have no objection to Oxford being the "Turk" but it has nothing to do with Turkey or crescents or being a turn-coat. As I demonstrated in my article several years ago, the Welsh legendary boar is the Twrk Trwth, the Lord Boar, which sounds to English ears like "turk truth" -- the true boar. My theory actually does some useful work as Ted Hughes had argued, in Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being, that Shakespeare, above all, was obsessed with the image and metaphor of the Celtic Twrk Trwth!

Now, continuing with the Willoby title page analysis, not too many folks know that there were negative responses to Angell's piece in PMLA in 1940. Criticism from T.W. Baldwin is followed by no less than three of Angell's ineffectual replies.

Baldwin points out that Angell misreads the title page. The compartment at the bottom shows Actaeon, already a man half-transformed --- with a stag's head and horns --- approaching Diana at her bathing pool. Angell argues that the horns are the sign of cuckoldry, but that reading doesn't fit in those instances of mythology when horns mean something else!

In my view, Actaeon wasn't cuckolded, he was impudent and horny and grew horns, culminating in his death-by-his-own-hounds. The figure at the top of Willoby title page is engraved identically to the image of Actaeon below.

In heraldry a front-facing stag head devoid of body is called "stag's head caboshed." Only one famous Elizabethan that I know of used a crest that showed a stag's head caboshed: Sir Walter Raleigh. It can be seen conspicuously atop his 1588 arms of the Sir Walter Raleigh (Virginia) Company.[3]

Baldwin also noticed that the two large figures (l. and r.) on the title page are Minerva (l.) and Diana (r.). If you have really good eyesight you can see an owl next to Minerva's leg and a quiver on Diana's back.

Angell reminds me a bit of a certain modern "never-wrong" lady, whose name rhymes with Tina Breen. In Angell's furious replies to Baldwin's sober observations she makes an interesting admission. She admits that her notion that the crescent identifies "the house of Oxford" ... "is not mentioned in the standard authority." Oh thanks! But there is more than one standard authoritative book in Heraldry. Nevertheless, she wouldn't find validation in any heraldry text, if she looked at a thousand! Next, she complains that this crescent ID was only her first point, not the most important point. She claims (summarized in my words) that one can remove any number of cars from her train (including the engine?) and it will still proceed along the track to the Trentham destination, because she has found the truth! Hmmmmm. I've encountered this kind of certainly before. "Oh, I'm wrong on the main point? No matter, look at all these other cute points....."

5. Angell's second reason for 'determining' that Oxford was libeled in Willoby is the statement on the title page that the story of a chaste and honest wife will be told within in Hexameter verses. Angell is upset that not all of Willoby is in Hexameters. What does this alleged discrepancy signify? Remember, the year in question is 1594. Here's Angell's "awesome smoking-gun" evidence: "The most talked of hexameters in England at this time were hexameters written by Gabriel Harvey libeling the Earl of Oxford."

Are you as astonished as I am? Speculum Tuscanismi was published in 1580 -- fourteen years earlier. How were these still the most-talked-about hexameters in England 14 years later? Frankly, I don't know what I am even bothering to refute this crappy logic, but apparently it is necessary as people still believe it.

6. Angell's third reason for 'determining' that the Earl of Oxford was libeled by Willoby is that Acheson argued that the venue for the pretend story involves the City of Oxford. But Acheson also argued that the target of the libel was Walter Raleigh, and that the real nexus involves the single year, coincident with Willoby, that Raleigh spent in Dorset. Now, I think Acheson was probably wrong, too, and obviously, so did Angell -- but that didn't stop her from cherry picking from all and sundry --- isolated tidbits to stir into her amazing cherry-lemonade. I should also mention that Angell never suggests that Oxford wrote Shakespeare. Moreover, she imagines that Willoby implies that Henry Southampton stole Elizabeth Trentham from Willie Shakespeare of Stratford. How can one wrap a mind around something like that? Yet now the only two published followers of Angell (who are both Oxfordians, Hamill and Anderson), are simply forced to repeat Ms. Angell's cherry-picking method (at least in this case) in an effort to transform her dross into some new kind of Oxfordian gold -- albeit a gold that doesn't shine, and no one will trade for.

That's it in terms of Angell's argument that Oxford is the target of the book. Next she switches focus (if one can call this focus -- it seems more like a blur to me) to E.Trentham and HW. Because Earl-of-Oxford-17 is the target, then "Avisa" must be a libel on his second wife, who had been a Queen's maid, just like Avisa! (And just like dozens, if not hundreds, of other women.) Does anyone know how many Maids of Honor Queen Eliz. had in Court on a year-to-year basis, and how often they had to be changed out? If Angell is willing to reach back to 1580 for a hexameter, I would like to determine how many maids of honor Queen Elizabeth had, in total, from 1580 to 1594. We know that quite a few of them got in trouble and any might have been models for Avisa. Including, perhaps, Anne Vavasour (Avasour sounds like Avisa, too!) and A-nne C-eci-l Vere! (A v eci) And HW's wife, El-iza-beth Vernon! (though she comes along after Willoby was already published)--- unless it is possible that Harry knew of her as early as 1594? My point is not to actually advocate these other candidates, but to show that Angell's little Jedi-mind-trick can be repeated, more convincingly, with other famous ladies!

7. Now the E.Trentham theory. Angell first zooms in on a verse in Willoby that suggests that AVISA is a fictitious name that rhymes with the lady's real name. Therefore, according to Angell, only Eliza rhymes with Avisa, and therefore Avisa is Eliza Trentham! What about the thousands of other women named Elizabeth, who were so named because it was very popular to name a daughter after the reigning Queen? What of other "rhymes" as above? De Luna argues in The Queen Declined that Avisa masks Elizabeth Tudor.[4] That theory is much more credible, but it does have some problems too. But I'm sticking to the matter at hand. Angell is a fool to think Elizabeth Trentham was the only Dizzy Lizzie in England! And if Willoby is a libel, why believe and trust that Avisa rhymes with the real woman's name? A visa means "not seen." There are many, many approaches to Willoby, and Angell's puffery is in denial of all other approaches.

8. Angell takes the line that Avisa was "Dian's nymph" as proof that Avisa masks a real Queen's Maid. Again, a casual interpretation is lathered with frosting and called "cake." [Angell cake]

9. Angell tries to identify the place of Avisa's conception or birth "where Austine pitcht his monkish tent" with the Trentham's Rochester area in Staffordshire. She notes the Austin priory in Staffs associated with Trentham. This is basically her only possibly cogent argument. Yet it fails to prove anything, especially as every other item of Angell's algorithm fails to hit her named targets.. There are other Austin priories in England, in other counties. And De Luna has a much better interpretation. Saint Augustine the Less, who brought the gospel to England (to stay), was sent by the pope to evangelize and also to get info to help set the date of Easter.

Augustine (Austine) is credited with designing or laying the foundations of Canterbury, which, 900 years later, is where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn passed through at about the right time to have conceived baby Elizabeth Tudor. [De Luna's argument.]

10. Next Angell takes Willoby's line about Avisa being "Turtle-bred" and argues that a turtle was always a dove, and there was a Dove river in Rochester. She's digging. She's reaching. This is as good as she ever gets. Are You Convinced?

11. The stanza containing the line about the Turtle also mentions an eagle's eye. Angell is quite convinced that the eagle's eye refers to the Trentham Griffin crest. (Hmmm, the griffin is a mythological animal, bird-headed indeed, but not the first thing one would think of with eagle-eye). It's perhaps a good thing she didn't know the Veres sometimes used an eagle crest! Next, in this very same bird verse in Willoby a falcon is mentioned. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that this is the falcon seen on Southampton's arms. (Look on the Southie-in-the-tower-with-his-kitty picture, and on his booke). I'd rather not go into it in detail, but it is mostly in modern heraldry books that the Southampton birds are called falcons. They don't look like falcons. The coat was originally designed for himself by John Wriothe, who rose to the head of Heraldic College during the reign of Henry VIII. His charter does not name the type of bird. Experts have suggested that Wriothe (who was Southie's great-great-etc. grandfather or the equivalent) took the design from the arms of Thomas Mowbray which shows five little birds, often described as martlets or doves, surrounding a cross. In Wriothe and Wriothesley it is the same, except with four birds.

12. Avisa's dad is said to have been the "Mayor of the town". For De Luna, this relates slyly to Elizabeth Tudor and her ancestors. For Angell, it is Elizabeth Trentham's dad who was a sheriff.

13. Next she introduces similar arguments for the age of Avisa. Then, based on the single line that Avisa and her husband live in the public eye, Angell concludes that this means owner-operators of theatres, like Mr. and Mrs. Oxford. All evidence suggests that when Oxford married E. Trentham, his days of lewd friends and debauch were behind him. Angell argues that because Oxford was too old to keep up his previous activities with the rabble, that now his young wife was doing the job --- and since a Lady can't meet rough trade alone, she had young Southampton to guard her. Thus she fell in love with her guard, like Patty Hearst did ---twice!

14. Now Angell stops introducing new factoids or allusionoids or hemorrhoids and switches to pure fantasy narrative, explaining how Southampton fell for Sharon Stone --- I mean Elizabeth Trentham. This extended fantasy carries the reader across pages 655-660. I simply can't be bothered.

15. Angell actually proposes that E. Trentham and HW were fond of walking from the Theatre at Finsbury fields, across the fields north, avoiding the roads all the way to Stoke Newington. Given the way E.Trentham would have been dressed for the theatre I find it hard to believe that she could walk from Stoke Newington alone to "downtown" and then walk back all or part way with Southie. It's not credible.

16. The matter of George's Inn. DeLuna relates this to St. George and Windsor Castle. Angell imagines that Lady Oxford regularly hung around without her husband at the George Inn in Shoreditch. Angell asks herself how this would be possible. Her amazing answer, "In the absence of more definite knowledge concerning the Oxfords at this period, one is forced to speculate."

NOOOOOO! One is NOT forced to speculate! That's your choice, Angell baby! You might have chosen, in the absence of real information, to just shut the &^%#$ up! I still can't figure out how and why PMLA gave her so much space in 1937 and 1940. Perhaps real scholars were starving to death and hocked their typewriters and the rest were gearing up for war ... and this nonsense slipped through.

17. Angell claims the reason E.Trentham was hanging out in Shoreditch bars to was to interview playwrights and poets. This is totally insane. The University wits were complaining in the 1590s that they had lost their patrons, and in one interpretation of Nashe's Strange News, Oxford is accused of wasting his money on the dirt of the alchemists and not using coin to support satirists. Also, from the "Tin Mine letters" we know that Oxford was deadly serious about obtaining an office or monopoly that would provide income for his family. For him to stoop to practically begging for a new commission, do we really think he had extra money lying around to sponsor yet more rival poets? His greatest works were unprinted in 1594. Would he really care about seeking to patronize more young authors? The evidence suggests that when Oxford sold Fisher's Folly, that phase of his life was over. With his new elegant wife they were staying home, he was writing, they entertained other friends, relatives and VIPS. They stayed away from Court life and Shoreditch taverns. Angell's scenario is patently absurd. Because she doesn't realize that Oxford was a great writer she thinks he needed to send his wife out to get him somebody who could write something worth reading. It's really a very bizarre theory. I read it years ago and laughed. Imagine my shock when this long-dead dog was revived in the last few years, and by Oxfordians!

Her fantasy continues for the next several pages.

18. Now, under the spell of a dangerous number (page 666), perhaps, Angell admits that "HW" also seems to indicate "the real Henry Willoby," a person she only half-believes in. She plays the double meaning card.

19. Angell argues that her unique Willoby postulate, that both Willie Shakespeare and Harry Wriothesley successfully bedded Liz Trentham, proves that Southampton is the lovely boy of The Sonnets and E.Trentham is the Dark Lady. Circles within Circles. Isn't that precisely what you see when you are speeding down the drain hole?

20. Angell (page 668) claims that little hints in Willoby about physical touching prove that HW's courtship was not chaste and he did "score" with Eliz Trentham in 1592, knocking her up, and cuckolding the Earl of Oxford. Was Southie even in the neighborhood in 1592 at the right time? I haven't cross checked the chronologies yet, but even if there's a window it doesn't mean anyone went through it.

After Oxford's prior experience [5] wouldn't he be alert to such possible shenanigans?
Would he really raise his long-sought legal male heir as his own if there was any doubt about paternity?

21. Angell claims that in EO17's time that EO17 had the longest pedigree of any noble in England and therefore had top precedence over all other earls. This is ignorant, false, and untrue. The Earls of Arundel had a longer line. Perhaps some others did as well. And Oxford wasn't anywhere near the top of ceremonial or governmental precedence.

22. For the remainder of the article Angell discusses Penelope's Complaint. She avoids those aspects of Penelope's that conflict with her interpretation. She uses the same invincible argument that the Prince-Tudorites do... ~~These are important matters~~one can't expect any surviving historical record and documents to reflect the real truth, which was covered up and hidden!~~

23. Angell (page 672) borrows Acheson's point that the Horsey family links up to Raleigh. So Angell says that the Willoby libel must have been designed by Raleigh's gang to hurt Oxford. She repeats the myth that they were enemies. Yet, because she has already invested herself in the notion that the Stag's head identifies Oxford, she can't very well make the point that the caboshed Stag head was from Raleigh's 1588 Virginia Company. Plus, she didn't know. Oxford and Raleigh were once friends, then rivals. I've not seen proof they were enemies. But I'm open to see any evidence.

24. Angell claims that Elizabeth Trentham was "base born." I would call that an exaggeration. The Trenthams had property, offices, and heraldic arms. They were mid-to-upper gentry at least. I suspect they were no less noble than anyone else of their set. In any case, base-born for E.Trentham is a stretch by Angell to match some unnecessary aspect claimed for Avisa.

We are dealing with an extended piece of literary humor --- of satire. Why do so many readers assume that every single iota of any Elizabethan farce must code something real and important?

This is the same kind of arbitrary inside-out demands we see from the Sonneteers. The poet didn't care that he did or didn't carry a canopy. Therefore only candidates who might have legitimately carried a canopy, even if they didn't actually do it, can be considered as authors of ALL of Shakespeare! Arbitrary thresholds are created -- starting with a favored dogma --- then chosen literary interpretations (opinions) are established and entrenched --- then the Sonneteers demand that all of history and chronology must answer the call to conformity to their chosen doctrine. And not the other way around!

25. Angell shifts her soft blur back to Oxford, whom she claims was an Innkeeper in 1594, open to all comers. Evidence? No evidence, just working backwards from Penelope's Complaint with her magic glasses on. Joseph Smith did the same trick and founded a major religion. What can YOU do with YOUR magic glasses?

In any case, Angell isn't saying that Oxford was an infinite host with the infinite most, she was saying that he sent out his wife on missions to troll for vagabonds!

26. Elsewhere, Angell has wiggled out of naming or identifying the other important initialed suitors to Avisa that populate Willoby --She makes no move to even mention them, let alone work them into her grand bizarre context. She doesn't do it because she can't. The ID of the foreign suitors is De Luna's strong suit because the Willoby foreigners aptly describe Elizabeth Tudor's famous overseas 'suitors'. The remaining detail for Angell would be to also explain the motive means and opportunity--- the who what, where, when, and why.

27. Angell's final footnote declares that all that remains to settle the argument is for her to name the perpetrators."The identity of the men who were guilty of this libellous attack, their motive and the immediate provocation will be considered in a subsequent paper."

As I mentioned before, Angell never wrote this promised follow-up. After just the slightest critique following her article in 1937, she unloaded some more in the PMLA in 1940 to answer one critic and then disappeared from the face of the earth (or something like that). Let that be a warning to us all! Or an invitation to the undiscovered country! Don't forget your magic glasses!

I think I have identified this modern Dark Lady as Pauline Knickerbocker Angell, born 1886, who also wrote a book on mountaineering, unless that is her doppelganger. In any case, she is so obscure I have not yet been able to find out when she died or whether she ever wrote anything again.

The moral in this is that there is tremendous danger in believing what you read at face value just because it was printed in the PMLA.

28. The second moral is to never forget common sense. In the quote above, and in the title to her article, Angell confidently calls Willoby a Libel. A libel, by definition, is an untrue, demeaning and damaging statement in print. If you are taken to court by an aggravated party and can prove that what you wrote was true, then there is no libel. This question comes up constantly today when American celebs go to London to sue international newspapers for libel. (The laws in England are more favorable to the celebs than in the USA).

Add it up. Angell says this is a libel, but then proceeds to treat it as gospel truth -- at least in those cherry instances when her glasses give her the "go sign."

Is this a satire or a libel? Was Oxford involved in any way? Is Avisa masking Queen Elizabeth? Isn't the very essence of the book, even from the title page onwards, the comedic message that Avisa was a chaste maid who was tempted on every side, but she never gave in? It's a grand conceit, with clear jokes at the Queen's expense. But she had a sense of humor. Perhaps she liked the book because it validated her virginity. We can be sure that if the intended real-life Avisa saw this book and was outraged and wanted every copy scrapped and the book never reprinted, then that would have happened. Instead, Willoby apparently went to six editions.

In the Prince Tudor camp, Willoby has been treated like a sacred totem object dropped in from a distant tribe --dropped from a cargo plane. They suspect it might have proof that Queen Lizzie slept around and that one of those sleepers was named Eddie. But they read and puzzle and it looks more complicated than that. Which is why you have never seen a cogent coherent PT interpretation of Willoby. If there's been an attempt I'm forgetting I'd like to see it. Willoby is one of these difficult, enigmatic things that we will have to explain sooner or later. But please don't look to me for that yet. I just felt the need to clear the rubbish out of the driveway before I can start sorting out the garage.


Robert Brazil



[1] Arthur Acheson, Shakespeare and the Rival Poet, 1903;  Mistress Davenant, the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's Sonnets, 1913.

[2] Mathew Roydon wrote a Commendatory Poem to Thomas Watson’s Hekatompathia (1581)

It's seldom seen that Merit hath his due,
Or else Desert to find his just desire:
For now Reproof with his defacing crew
Treads underfoot that rightly should aspire:
  Mild Industry discourag'd hides his face,
  And shuns the light, in fear to meet Disgrace.

Seld seen said I (yet always seen with some)
That Merit gains good will, a golden hire,
With whom Reproof is cast aside for scum;
That grows apace that virtue helps t' aspire;
  And Industry well cherish'd to his face
  In sunshine walks, in spite of sour Disgrace.

This favor hath put life into the pen,
That here presents his first fruit in this kind;
He hopes acceptance, friendly grant it then;
Perchance some better work doth stay behind.
  My censure is, which reading you shall see,
  A Pithy, sweet, and cunning poesy.

[3] Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry, 1909: “The stag's head is very frequently met with, but it will be almost more frequently found as a stag's head caboshed. In these cases the head is represented affronté and removed close behind the ears, so that no part of the neck is visible. The stag's head caboshed occurs in the arms of Cavendish and Stanley, and also in the arms of Legge, Earl of Dartmouth.”

[4] B[arbara] N. de Luna, The Queen Declined, Oxford 1970.

[5] Robert Brazil (1955-2010) presumed that Oxford was duped by Anne Cecil, his young wife.