New friends, old alliances
Venus and Adonis frontispieceWith the long-term closure of the theatres, Shakespeare's company, the Pembroke's Men, go bust and are forced to pawn their costumes and props. By now William has learned much, and actively seeks patronage from the Earl of Southampton, the survivor of a Catholic dynasty, with his poem "Venus and Adonis."
There are other connections between the Southamptons and William's kinsmen the Ardens. In 1583, members of the Arden household had been found sheltering in properties belonging to the then Earl of Southampton.