Shaker_coverRobert Cecil and Walter Raleigh lay a trap for Francis and his brother Robert Lord Essex

Shortly afterwards, Robert Cecil was paid a visit by a broad-smiling Walter Raleigh with a package under his arm, momentarily warming the cold heart of the powerful hunchback as he sat behind a large stack of papers on his cluttered desk.
“You appear to be a man with good news,” chirped Cecil.
“Indeed, indeed, Robert. Take a look at this.” He placed a quarto-sized pamphlet atop the other papers in front of Robert Cecil.
Cecil looked. “A booklet? About Henry IV? What is so interesting about that?”
“Read the dedication,” beamed Raleigh.
“To Lord Robert, Earl of Essex……….,” Cecil looked up with renewed interest. He glanced below at the name of the author. “John Hayward? Don’t know the name,” he said, slightly puzzled.
“This,” said Raleigh, tapping rapidly on the book with his finger, “is treasonable. This is about revolution, about inciting an uprising against the reigning monarch, a very one-sided piece written from the point of view of the noble Henry IV, who challenged the incompetent Richard II. Do you recall the story?”
Cecil was beginning to get it. “Of course!  Elizabeth is Richard II!”
“And Essex is Henry IV,” added Raleigh. “This is a call for a revolution — and dedicated to Essex, who probably financed the whole project. Treason, I say! Treason!” exclaimed Raleigh.
“Very interesting. I must show this to the Queen right away,” said Cecil with an evil glint in his eyes. “Hayward will go to the Tower for this.”
“There is more. Who else wrote a play about Richard II recently?” asked Raleigh.
Cecil scratched his head. He was not a theatregoer.
“I will tell you. In fact I have seen it. One William Shakespeare  — alias……?”
Cecil’s eyes lit up. He was, like Raleigh, knowledgeable about all the details of Francis’ works, having financed most of them together with the Queen. “I see where you are going. Francis Bacon of course. So we link Bacon to Hayward.”
“Right. Here is my idea. We appoint Bacon to accuse Essex in the hearing of plotting to overthrow the Queen by financing this obvious call for Elizabeth’s removal. Then we make sure the word gets out, if there is anyone out there who does not already know…”
“That Bacon wrote Richard II recently for the same reason.”
“Right. We hang Bacon on Essex’s cross.”
“Two birds with one stone.”
“Two Tudors with one stroke!”
“Ingenious! I will get on to this immediately,” concluded Cecil enthusiastically.