Christopher Marlowe and Richard Baines: Journeys through the Elizabethan Underground

By Roy Kendall | Go to book overview

18

"And Shall I Die, and This Unconquerèd?”

EVEN THOUGH WE CATCH A TANTALIZING GLIMPSE OF RICHARD Baines in reflection in his note, there is no known documented or even hearsay sighting of Richard Baines in 1593. Drury's reference to him in his letter to Bacon of August 1 tells us that he was not entirely incommunicado (at least in May), but whether he was in London or elsewhere in England or in France or the Low Countries during this year (or whether he moved from place to place) is yet to be discovered. The logic of Constance Kuriyama's suggestion that Baines had been made the rector of the living at Waltham in Lincolnshire in the late 1580s would suggest in turn that he might have been holed up there. If Kuriyama is right, my statement above is incorrect, as I have discovered references to the Richard Baines of Waltham that relate to 1593. In the next chapter I shall discuss the merits and demerits of the Waltham theory, and leave the reader to decide whether the rectory at All Saints was or was not Baines's hiding place during this period.

Before discussing the final hours of the "Waltham” Baines and the "Tyburn” Baines, the two contenders for the dubious honor of having been the author of the famous note, I would like to take a moment to reappraise briefly conflicting theories regarding Christopher Marlowe's final hours. I hastily add that the purpose of this study is not to propose a new theory regarding Marlowe's sudden and violent death at Deptford. In my view both Samuel Tannenbaum 1 and Charles Nicholl negated much excellent research by forcing their ideas into single theories: in Tannenbaum's case that Raleigh was directly responsible for silencing Marlowe and in Nicholl's case that Essex's mind-prints were on the knife. Although I do believe that the likelihood is that Marlowe was murdered (for reasons I have already hinted at), I also believe (as I have also previously hinted) that the matter is far more complicated than previously suspected, and that it would take a number of chapters to argue a new case, which, in any event, could not be proven. I shall

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