Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
  playwright game the show for educators
dossier players locations evidence glossary works In Search of Shakespeare - Home
« back     Full Timeline     Fribbling Reports


Fribbling report part 6

John Fribbling is a fictional character. Despite his non-existence, the characters and events that he describes are, to the best of our knowledge, true and accurate...

1589, London

To Sir Francis Walsingham,

It seems I won my bet that Henry would win in France, so I shall, as you so rightly and forthrightly suggested, pay for my new sword from my own pocket.

I am still in London, and feel I may be making some small progress in my hunt for young William Shakespeare.

It seems that the Queen's Men, amongst whom I believe young Will to be sheltering, have disbanded after seeing their star turn Tarlton leave, and one of their patrons most fatally and irrevocably die. It is my belief that young Will has now joined Lord Strange's company, which is doubly interesting, as the aforementioned Lord is none other than Ferdinando Stanley, with whom it was rumored young Will had taken refuge back in 1585.

If it is true, then it seems I may have made an error. Perhaps William Shakeshaft and William Shakespeare were one and the same! He's a cunning stoat if it proves to be true! Fancy being dishonest about who you are! May I be as bold to suggest that lying about your identity in such a way might be a right handy device for someone who works in the intelligence services?

That said, I notice from numerous documents that he has been legally obliged to sign prior to his disappearance, that he's a fair writer but a bugger of a speller. Seems he can't even remember how to spell his own name, so he might have been trying to write Shakespeare and just put Shakeshaft as a mistake like. I suppose being a bad speller puts paid to any ambition he might have had as a playwright.

Anyway must go as I've a busy day ahead. One cousin is getting married and another hanged. Should be a rum old party.

Yours in secrecy

John Fribbling

PS: No seditious activity observed.

Fribbling Reports

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10


portrait not availableJohn Fribbling

Sir Francis Walsingham portraitSir Francis Walsingham


The River Thames, LondonShakespeare's London

©MayaVision International, 2003 (site credits) (site feedback)