3.8. List of contemporary witnesses


Author Works Year Earl of Oxford William Shakespeare, the Author
Gabriel Harvey Gratulationes Valdinenses 1578 Your British metres have been widely sung, while your Epistle testifies how much you excel in letters…. I have seen your many Latin things, and more English are extant… Minerva is in your right hand, Bellona reigns in your body… your glance shoots arrows
Gilbert Talbot Letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury 1579 a device presented by ... the Earl of Oxford
Edmund Spenser
The Speheardes Calendar 1579
Cuddie, the perfect pattern of a Poet How I could rear the Muse on stately stage And teach her tread aloft in buskin fine / With quaint Bellona in her order ...

quaint) strange Bellona; the goddess of battle, that is Pallas, which … shaked her speare at him [Vulcan]

Gabriel Harvey
Speculum Tuscanismi
1580 Every one A per se A, his terms, and braveries in Print, / Delicate in speech, quaint in array: conceited in all points
William Webbe A Discourse of English Poetry 1586 honourable and noble Lords and Gentlemen in Her Majesty's Court, which, in the rare devices of poetry, have been and yet are most skilful; among whom the right honourable Earl of Oxford may challenge to himself the title of most excellent among the rest
Robert Greene Menaphon 1589 Melicertus
George Puttenham Arte of English Poesie 1589 Noble men and Gentlemen of her Maiesties owne servantes, who have written excellently well… of which number is first that noble Gentleman Edward Earle of Oxford
Thomas Nashe Strange Newes 1593 Master William / M. Apis lapis / Will.Monox Gentle M. William, that learned writer Rhenish wine & Sugar
Gabriel Harvey Pierces Supererogation 1593 Excellent Gentlewoman Excellent Gentlewoman; Idle Hours
Thomas Edwards Cephalus and Procris 1593 Adon
Henry Willobie Willobies his Avisa 1594 And Shake-speare paints poore Lucrece rape
Sir William Har... Epicedium, a Funerall Song 1594 You that to shew your wits, have taken toyle In regist'ring the deeds of noble men; And sought for matter in a forraine soyle, As worthie subjects of your silver pen, Whom you have rais'd from darke oblivion's den. You that have writ of chaste Lucretia, Whose death was witnesse of her spotlesse life:
Edmund Spenser Colin Clouts Come Home Againe 1595 Aetion ... Whose Muse full of high thoughts invention, Doth like himselfe Heroically sound
W[illiam].C[ovell]. Polimanteia 1595 Lucrecia [of] Sweet Shakespeare.
John Trussell The first rape of faire Hellen 1595 (our friendship and our amity) Phœbus’ Laurel will eternize (thy Poesie)
Thomas Nashe Have with You 1595 Orpheus
Joseph Hall Virgidemiarum 1597 Labeo ... Who list complain of wronged faith or fame,
When he may shift it to another's name?
Francis Meres Palladis Tamia 1598 Oxford mellifluous & honey-tongued Shakespeare
John Marston The Scourge of Villanie 1598 whose silent name / One letter bounds
John Marston The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image 1598 So Labeo did complain his love was stone,         Obdurate, flinty, so relentless none
Richard Barnfield Poems in diverse Humours 1598 Shakespeare thou, whose honey-flowing Vein
Gabriel Harvey Marginalia 1598/99 Shakespeares Venus and Adonis ...  his Lucrece and his tragedy of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke
John Marston Histriomastix 1599 when he shakes his furious Speare
John Weever Epigrammes 1599 Honey-tongued Shakespeare
Anonymous The Return from Parnassus c.1599 bovem ex unguibus Shakespeare
Henry Chettle England's Mourning Garment 1603 Melicertus Melicertus
Anthony Scoloker Epistle to Daiphantus 1604   Friendly Shake-speares Tragedies
M. L. Envies Scourge 1604 ? verses live supported by a speare
Thomas Smithe Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia 1605 the late English quick-spirited, cleare-sighted Ovid (+)    (Hamlet; "it is to be feared dreaming")
William Barksted Mirrha the Mother of Adonis 1607 His Song was worthie merrit (Shakespeare hee) (+) sung the faire blossoms
Anon. = Ben Jonson Preface to Troilus and Cressida 1609 Shakespeare
Thomas Thorpe Dedication of the Sonnets 1609 Shake-speare (+)
George Chapman The Revenge of Bussy d'Ambois 1609 c Oxford
John Davies of H. The Scourge of Folly 1611 Shake-speare (+) (To our English Terence [=Labeo], Mr. Will. Shake-speare.)
John Webster The White Devil 1612   Shake-speare
Christopher Brooke The Ghost of Richard III 1614 that writ my story (+)
Thomas Freeman Runne and a great Cast 1614 Shakespeare, that nimble Mercury
John Davies of H. Speculum Proditori 1616 I knew a Man
Thomas Vicars Manuductio 1621 qui a quassatione et hasta nomen habet
Henry Peacham The Compleat Gentleman 1622 Oxford
Ben Jonson W. S.  First Folio 1623 my beloved, The Author Mr. William Shakespeare ...

In his well toned and true-filed lines,
In each of which he seems to shake a Lance