Ralph Sheldon & Shakespeare: What’s in a Name?

Ralph Sheldon & Shakespeare: What’s in a Name?


Not long ago we were contacted by a researcher who had a very intriguing new theory about who authored the works of SHAKESPEARE. What came as quite the surprise is that she had a previously unheard of candidate for the authorship of the works of SHAKESPEARE.  And let it be known that there are many candidates—87 to be precise on Wikipedia’s latest list.

But this individual is not on the Wikipedia list, but is very well known to us as Ralph SHELDON born about 1537, son of  William SHELDON and Mary WILLINGTON SHELDON.  He died at Skilts, Warwickshireand was buried at Beoley St Leonard’s, Worcestershire 30th March 1613.

Effigies of Ralph SHELDON IV (1537-1613) and his wife Anne THROCKMORTON at SHELDON Chapel, Beoley

There are deeply held beliefs on many sides as to the authorship of Shakespeare’s works and we offer up the theory of Ralph Sheldon as author in the spirit of exploring all things SHELDON. On this link you will find the full manuscript of Nancy Peters Maude’s alternative theory, “Was Shakepeare a ‘Hydden Man’“. Whether you end up finding her theory compelling or not, her research is rich in details of Ralph SHELDON’s life and SHAKESPEARE.

Portrait of William Shakespeare from the 1st portfolio

Although Nancy provides lots of material in her “Was Shakepeare a ‘Hydden Man'” one very important detail that can not be quibbled with— is the oldest and best preserved copy of the First Portfolio was owned by William SHELDON (1589-1659) of Weston, Warwickshire. William was the grandson of Ralph SHELDON (1537-1613) through his son Edward SHELDON (1558-1643).

It later was in the possession of Ralph SHELDON (1623-1684) of Weston House, he was later known as “The Great Sheldon.” He was the great grandson of Ralph Sheldon (1537-1613) the subject of this article ans sometimes known as the Tapestry SHELDON.  The copy of #10 of the First Folio is in the Folger Library in Washington DC and bears the SHELDON Coat of Arms on its cover.

First Folio No 10 Sheldon Courtesy of Folger Library.

We leave it up to the reader of Nancy Peters Maude’s Research to draw their own conclusions. Thank you Nancy for contacting us and sharing your research! And for giving us more details about Ralph’s incredible life.

Kelly Wheaton ©2023  All Rights Reserved by Sheldon Genealogy


By |2024-01-28T21:23:00-05:00October 16, 2023|Genealogy|0 Comments

About the Author:

50 years of Genealogical Research experience and 11 years with DNA & Genetic Genealogy. Author of Wheatonwood.com and the Beginner's Guide to Genetic Genealogy. Enjoys writing, genealogy related travel, research, "gophering" for genealogy, gardening, photography and being a grandma.

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