Bard Was a Catholic: Claims New book

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In a newly published book, American scholar Joseph Pearce concludes that William Shakespeare was a Catholic. reports that academics have increasingly noted links between Shakespeare and the persecuted Catholics of his times.

A new book by Joseph Pearce, The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome lays out the case that Shakespeare was indeed a believing Catholic who, for the sake of his career and his neck, kept that a secret.

Shakespeare came from Stratford in Warwickshire, a hotbed of Catholic non-conformity. His father John Shakespeare was identified in 1592 as a recusant, meaning a Catholic who refused to attend Protestant church services.

William himself appears on no records attending Protestant services or registering with the Church of England — something he was required by law to do. His mother Mary Arden came from a family of fiercely loyal Catholics. His school teachers included at least two Catholics.

William and Anne Hathaway’s wedding took place not in Stratford but four miles away, at a church presided over by a man identified in 1586 as a Catholic priest.

A bricklayer working on the Shakespeare home in 1757 found a document hidden in the rafters, its wording copied from a pamphlet distributed by Edward Campion, a Catholic priest who was tortured and executed under Queen Elizabeth in 1581. The document seemed to be a promise by John Shakespeare to die in the faith, even if he was unable to obtain last rites from a priest...

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