Henry Neville
Sir Henry Neville was an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together...

, politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

. In 2005, he was put forward as a candidate for the authorship of Shakespeare's works
Shakespeare authorship question
Image:ShakespeareCandidates1.jpg|thumb|alt=Portraits of Shakespeare and four proposed alternative authors.|Oxford, Bacon, Derby, and Marlowe have each been proposed as the true author...


Early life

Neville was the first born child of Sir Henry Neville
Henry Neville (Gentleman of the Privy Chamber)
Sir Henry Neville was Gentleman of the Privy chamber to King Edward VI.-Family background:Sir Henry Neville's father was Sir Edward Neville Sir Henry Neville (ca. 1520 – 1593) was Gentleman of the Privy chamber to King Edward VI.-Family background:Sir Henry Neville's father was Sir Edward...

 Senior (d. 1593) and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of John Gresham of Fulham
Fulham is an area of southwest London in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, SW6 located south west of Charing Cross. It lies on the left bank of the Thames, between Putney and Chelsea. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London...

 in Middlesex
Middlesex is one of the historic counties of England and the second smallest by area. The low-lying county contained the wealthy and politically independent City of London on its southern boundary and was dominated by it from a very early time...

. His father was the great-great-grandson of Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland
Sir Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, 4th Baron Neville de Raby, Lord of Richmond, Earl Marshal, KG, PC , was an English nobleman of the House of Neville...

 and Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmoreland. Joan was daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster , KG was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault...

 and Katherine Swynford
Katherine Swynford
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster , née Roet , was the daughter of Sir Payne Roet , originally a Flemish herald from County of Hainaut, later...

. John of Gaunt was in turn a son of Edward III of England
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 and Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault, or, Philippe de Hainaut was the Queen consort of King Edward III of England. Edward, Duke of Guyenne, her future husband, promised in 1326 to marry her within the following two years...


Henry grew up at Billingbear House
Billingbear House
Billingbear House was situated in the parish of Waltham St. Lawrence in Berkshire, England, about six miles from Windsor.Originally owned by the Bishop of Winchester, the land was given to Sir Henry Neville in 1549 by King Edward VI...

 at Waltham St Lawrence in Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, was educated at Merton College, Oxford
Merton College, Oxford
Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to...

 and sat in Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 as the member for New Windsor
Windsor (UK Parliament constituency)
Windsor is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In its modern form, it elects one Member of Parliament by the first-past-the-post system of election.-Boundaries:...

 (1584, 1586 and 1593), Sussex
Sussex (UK Parliament constituency)
Sussex was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832...

 (1589), Liskeard
Liskeard (UK Parliament constituency)
Liskeard was a parliamentary borough in Cornwall, which elected two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons from 1295 until 1832, and then one member from 1832 until 1885, when the borough was abolished.- History :...

 (1597) and Berkshire
Berkshire (UK Parliament constituency)
Berkshire was a parliamentary constituency in England, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of England until 1707, then of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1885...

 (1604, 1614). He served as High Sheriff of Berkshire
High Sheriff of Berkshire
The High Sheriff of Berkshire, in common with other counties, was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon times. The word Sheriff evolved from 'shire-reeve'....

 in 1595. Before his father's death, he lived at the old Archbishop's Palace
St Leonards-Mayfield School
St Leonards-Mayfield School is an independent Roman Catholic boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18. It is situated in the village of Mayfield in East Sussex. The current headmistress is Miss Antonia Beary...

 at Mayfield
Mayfield and Five Ashes
Mayfield and Five Ashes is a civil parish in the High Weald of East Sussex, England. The two villages making up the principal part of the parish lie on the A267 road between Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne: Mayfield, the larger of the two villages is ten miles south of Tunbridge Wells; with Five...

 in Sussex
East Sussex
East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent, Surrey and West Sussex, and to the south by the English Channel.-History:...

 where he ran a highly successful cannon manufactury. He was apppointed Deputy Lieutenant
Deputy Lieutenant
In the United Kingdom, a Deputy Lieutenant is one of several deputies to the Lord Lieutenant of a lieutenancy area; an English ceremonial county, Welsh preserved county, Scottish lieutenancy area, or Northern Irish county borough or county....

 of Berkshire in 1596 and moved to Billingbear the next year. He was knighted in 1597.

Later life

In 1599, Neville was appointed Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and attended the Court of Henri IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

. Although knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed for his services in France, he was unhappy with the way he was treated by the French and in 1600, complaining of deafness
Hearing impairment
-Definition:Deafness is the inability for the ear to interpret certain or all frequencies of sound.-Environmental Situations:Deafness can be caused by environmental situations such as noise, trauma, or other ear defections...

, he asked to be recalled to the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...


After his return he became involved with the plot of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex
Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, KG was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599...

 and imprisoned in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. He was stripped of his position and fined £5,000, which he agreed to pay in annual instalments of £1,000. After the death of Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 and the accession of James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 a Royal Warrant
Royal Warrant
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

 was issued for his release.

After his release, he played a greater role in the political life of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 and earned the antagonism of King James by advocating the King surrender to the demands of the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

. It was this action that, on the death of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC was an English administrator and politician.-Life:He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke...

, lost him the possibility of becoming the Secretary of State
Secretary of State (England)
In the Kingdom of England, the title of Secretary of State came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I , the usual title before that having been King's Clerk, King's Secretary, or Principal Secretary....

. Although offered the position of Treasurer of the Chamber
Treasurer of the Chamber
The Treasurer of the Chamber was a position in the British royal household, separated in 1485 from that of the Master of the Jewel Office, situated within the Privy Chamber department of the Lord Steward...

 he turned it down.

Neville died in 1615 and was buried at the church of St Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
Lawrence of Rome was one of the seven deacons of ancient Rome who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258.- Holy Chalice :...

 in Waltham St Lawrence.

Neville as Shakespeare

Neville (nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

d Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff is a fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare. In the two Henry IV plays, he is a companion to Prince Hal, the future King Henry V. A fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight, Falstaff leads the apparently wayward Prince Hal into trouble, and is...

) is a candidate for being the true writer of Shakespeare's works. Mainstream Shakespearean scholarship does not accept that anyone but William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 of Stratford-upon-Avon was the author; however, there exist a number of theories
Shakespeare authorship question
Image:ShakespeareCandidates1.jpg|thumb|alt=Portraits of Shakespeare and four proposed alternative authors.|Oxford, Bacon, Derby, and Marlowe have each been proposed as the true author...

 that the works were penned by someone else.

In James & Rubinstein}}, published in 2005, authors Brenda James, a part-time lecturer at the University of Portsmouth
University of Portsmouth
The University of Portsmouth is a university in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The University was ranked 60th out of 122 in The Sunday Times University Guide...

, and Professor William Rubinstein, professor of history at Aberystwyth University, propose that Henry Neville, a contemporary Elizabethan English politician who was a distant relative by marriage of Shakespeare's mother, is the true author. According to James and Rubinstein, Neville's career placed him in the locations of many of the plays about the time they were written, and his life contains parallels with the events in the plays.

The book outlines the case for Neville as the true author, proposing that otherwise inexplicable features of Shakespeare's works thus make sense. For example, many of Shakespeare's plays are histories that revolve around the Plantagenets
House of Plantagenet
The House of Plantagenet , a branch of the Angevins, was a royal house founded by Geoffrey V of Anjou, father of Henry II of England. Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their paternal ancestors originated in the French province of Gâtinais and gained the...

 — the long-ago-defeated enemies of the (then) current (Tudor
Tudor dynasty
The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry Tudor, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised...

) regime in England. According to James, the choice of subject makes little sense with Shakespeare the author, but perfect sense if the author was Sir Henry Neville, a descendant of John of Gaunt and member of the Plantagenet family. Also, Neville had access to private documents that he is said to have used in his works and he has the most reasons to have written the plays and sonnets.

The book contends that, in many respects, Neville is a match for authorship. He had traveled extensively to places described in the plays, in particular Italy; was fluent in Italian, French, Latin, and most other current European languages; had a detailed knowledge of both court protocol and law; and in many other respects matches the educational knowledge and societal norms exhibited by the author of the plays.

The Truth Will Out cites circumstantial documentary evidence that Neville was the author, notably the "Tower Notebook", a collection of writings by a prisoner in the Tower of London, presumably Neville. The notebook contains writings similar to the stage directions for the coronation of Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn ;c.1501/1507 – 19 May 1536) was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of Henry VIII of England and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the...

 in the play King Henry VIII
Henry VIII (play)
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight is a history play by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication...



Neville married Anne Killigrew (daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew
Henry Killigrew (diplomat)
Sir Henry Killigrew was an English diplomat and ambassador in the sixteenth century. He was several times employed by Elizabeth I in Scottish affairs and served as a member of the Council of States in the United Provinces in 1586 and 1587-1589....

 and Catherine Cooke
Catherine Cooke
Catherine Anne Chichester Cooke was a British architect and a Russian scholar of international renown. She was Lecturer in Design at the Open University at the time of her death in a car accident in 2004...

) and they had five sons and six daughters:
  • Sir Henry Neville (II), 1588–29 June 1629, married Elizabeth Smyth, issue including Richard
    Richard Neville (soldier)
    Richard Neville served in the English Civil War as a Royalist. He came to prominence as commander at the First Battle of Newbury in 1643 when he commanded the Royalist troops.-Biography:...

     in 1615.
  • Catherine Neville, c. 1590–1650, married Sir Richard Brooks, issue.
  • Frances Neville, 1592–1659, married Sir Richard Worsley then Jerome Brett, issue.
  • William Neville, 1596–1640, married Catherine Billingley, issue unknown.
  • Edward Neville, 1602–1632, married Alice Pryor, issue.
  • Dorothy Neville, 1605–1673, married Richard Catlyn, issue unknown.
  • Charles Neville, 1607–1626, probably unmarried.
  • Richard Neville, 1608–1644, married unknown, issue.
  • Elizabeth Neville, 1610 – 4 January 1657, married William Glover, then Sir Henry Berkeley
    Henry Berkeley (MP for Ilchester)
    Sir Henry Berkeley was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1626 and 1640. He supported the Royalist side in the English Civil War...

    , then Thomas Duke, issue.
  • Anne Neville, 1610-NK, married the theologian, Thomas Vicars
    Thomas Vicars
    Thomas Vicars was a 17th-century English theologian and religious writer.He was born in Carlisle in Cumberland , the son of William and Eve Vicars. He entered Queen's College, Oxford in 1607 as a poor serving child. He then became a tabarder, chaplain and fellow within nine years. In 1622, he was...

    , Vicar of Cuckfield
    Cuckfield is a large village and civil parish in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, England, on the southern slopes of the Weald. It lies south of London, north of Brighton, and east northeast of the county town of Chichester. Nearby towns include Haywards Heath to the southeast and Burgess...

     in West Sussex
    West Sussex
    West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

  • Mary Neville, 1613–28 October 1642, married Edward Lewknor, issue.

External links

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