From the 1623 Shakespeare Folio. The word count is 287. This number appears as the total number of words in Ben Jonson's poem To The Reader and "The Names of the Principall Actors".
The Latin inscription under the Shakespeare monument was apparently engraved between 1616 and 1623, but this block represents the epitaph as re-cut in 1748.
It has always been a matter for conjecture how this inscription and Monument came to be erected. It need be no longer. The letter-count of 287 tells at once the "instructed researcher into the hidden mysteries of nature and science" that it was the work of the Rosicrosse Masons to perpetuate the name of the Founder of their Order.
The carving of the Ietter "T" and "H " have a Masonic and Rosicrucian significance as weII as being indicative of the "T.T." Sign to denote its secret origin. They are also to be found in
GOOD FREND FOR JESUS SAKE FORBEARE
The inscription shows the "T" and "H" joined together, H, which is the symbol for "TAU'" the "H" being simply two "T's" joined together and placed on their sides.... I--I