In 1741, poet Alexander Pope and three
others were mainly responsible for designing this monument.
The passage from The Tempest was altered from the 1623
folio, and there were several spelling changes made,
including putting an apostrophe instead of an "e" in towers
though there was ample space for the "e".
The Quotation from The Tempest as it appears in the 1623 First Folio (Act iv, Scene 1):
*And like the baselesse fabricke of this
The Clowd-capt Towres, the gorgeous Pallaces,
The solemne Temples, the great Globe it selfe
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolue
And like this insubstantiall Pagent faded
Leave not a racke behinde.
On the marble scroll of the monument:
The Cloud cupt Tow'rs,
The Gorgeous Palaces
The Solemn Temples,
The Great Globe itself
Yea all which it Inherit,
*And like the baseless Fnbrick of a Vision
Leave not a wreck behind.
The first line from the First Folio quotation (marked with an asterisk) became line seven of the scroll quotation (also marked with an asterisk). This peculiarity and the mistaken spelling of Fabrick with an "n" instead of an "a" suggests a cipher. The discovery of a cipher, necessitating the moving of a sentence (a peculiarity) and "n." in place of the "a" (a mistake), becomes evidence of intent.
T.D. Bokenham noticed that the word too easily read as "Fabrick" was actually "Fnbrick". Beginning with the "S" in Shall, the thirty-third** letter following is the "n" in Fnbrick. This "n" separates "F" from "b,". Bacon's initials. These two facts encouraged the suggestion that the inset of "Shall Dissolve" was a starting point. The line with the two words "Shall Dissolve" has a total of 13 letters. Beginning with Shall Dissolve, Bokenham squared the epitaph in lines of thirteen letters each:
** In simple cipher(A=1, B=2,etc.) the number 33 is Bacon's name.
The incorrect N is the central letter of two names in the shape of an arch: FRANCIS and BACON with an H, which can be treated as a silent letter or a null in ciphers.
The two names FRANCIS and BACON are contained on lines 3-8, which numbers add to 33, Bacon's name in simple cipher (8+7+6+5+4+3=33).
The word "Tow'rs." with five letters was used in the marble scroll rather than the correct "Towers" with six letters. This enables the first six lines on the marble scroll of the monument to consist of 103 letters, which is the simple cipher count for Shakespeare.
From the 1623 First Folio the last "e" is dropped from baselesse, fabricke, and behinde and "this vision" becomes "a Vision" in the marble scroll. As a result, the count of letters in the last three lines of the marble scroll total 67. This is the count of "Francis" in the simple cipher.
Bokenham suggested that Pope had received sub rosa secret information about the Baconian tradition and for the sake of posterity encoded the information in the cryptic manner hallowed by the tradition.
The outline arch of the monument matches the arch formed by the cypher.
Alfred Dodd a Freemason, suggests that :
"....the Abbey authorities knew the secret when they allowed the monument to be erected, for the stockings are graced with the head of Francis Bacon, the stockings are engraved with Tudor Roses and a crown, and the lace work on the ruffs of the sleeves is an exact representation of the ruff worn by Queen Elizabeth. Between his feet are the Sonnet initials T.T., referring to Masonry (Thirty-Third Degree) The place of honour in front is given to a beautiful youth, a crowned Prince, young Francis Bacon of the Hilyard Miniature. On the left is the figure of the Queen's second son, the Earl of Essex, or the Queen's husband, the Earl of Leicester. The Hilyard Miniature of Francis Bacon as a youth of eighteen appears in the Queen's own prayer book.
Think that the Abbey authorities would have allowed all this apparently meaningless foolery if they had not known to whom the Shakespeare Monument was actually being erected--Lord St. Alban, a Prince of the House of Tudor? Not likely.....The High Dignitaries knew the truth as the State Secret. And it is known today in the Highest Quarters. The time is now ripe when the inscription on Francis Bacon's tombstone must be made manifest...."Let compounds dissolve."