If it is unlikely that the “Man from Stratford” authored the Canon, then the obvious question becomes: who did?

Since almost everyone agrees that the work reflects the greatest mind of its time, many candidates have been put forth as possible authors. Below is a partial list in the rough order of popularity. We have included profiles of a few of the most well-known candidates. As one looks closer, we have found that one’s knowledge of the Elizabethan theater and the Elizabethan social and political life unfolds like a pageant of discovery.


William Shakespeare; Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford; Francis Bacon, Viscount St. Alban; William Stanley, Earl of Derby; Roger Manners, Earl of Rutland; Fulke Greville, Baron Brook; Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke; Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, Earl of Dorset; Sir Walter Ralegh; Anthony Bacon; Michael Angelo Florio; Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; William Butts, Sir Anthony Shirley, Henry Wriothesley, Earl of

Southhampton; Cardinal Wolsey, Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury; Robert Burton, Sir John Barnard, Sir Edward dyer, Charles Blunt, Queen Elizabeth.

William Shakespeare
Sir Francis Bacon
Christopher Marlowe
Edward de Vere
William Stanley
Roger Manners
Fulke Greville
Mary Sidney Herbert
Queen Elizabeth I
Thomas Sackville


The idea that a group of individuals worked together to create the Canon has been growing in popularity. Since it is common knowledge that during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century different artists collaborated in the writing of plays, it’s not surprising that a “group theory” has arisen regarding those attributed to Shakespere. Many individuals from the aristocracy, professional playwrights and even actors and producers such as Richard Burbage have been proposed as possible co-authors of the plays.

For more on the Group Theory, click HERE