BACONIANA

 

VOL. LXVIII No. 18

No.185

Founded 1886

© Published Periodically by

THE FRANCIS BACON SOCIETY INCORPORATED

Canonbury Tower, Islington, London Nl 2NQ.  

DECEMBER, 1985

CONTENTS

 

Editorial

God’s Servant :

A Few Apt Quotations 7

Regal Favour 21

Shake-Speares Sonnets 33

Oak Island Synopsis 51

The Rosicrucian Tradition 65

The Daub 68

The Biliteral Cipher and “Shake-Speares Sonnets” 75

Bacon and Ireland:

Part II 88

Bacon Colossus of the Future 104

Another Clue to Shakespearean Authorship 112

Book Reviews 114

Press Correspondence 121

Correspondence 123

New Books and Publications 130

 

 

OAK ISLAND SYNOPSIS

 

by Betty McKaig

 

A mouldering ship’s block was hanging from a sawn-off limb of a venerable oak tree; below it was a circular depression in the soil. The three youths exploring the small wilderness island forty miles west of Halifax in 1795 supposed they had found buried pirate treasure; presumably the block, and tackle, suspended from the limb had been used to hoist soil and to lower heavy chests of gold into the hiding place. So began the saga of the mystery pit at Oak Island. Bringing picks and shovels the youths began excavations that continue to this day. Knee-deep in the soil a layer of flagstones was uncovered. At the ten-foot level a solid oak log platform was found securely notched into the tough clay walls of the pit. At the twenty and thirty foot levels, other log platforms were encountered. Thick layers of putty, cocoanut fiber and charcoal sealed the log barriers. Un-able to continue the arduous excavation, the treasure hunters marked the site with wooden stakes and abandoned the enterprise. Some years later upon hearing their tale a prosperous business man invested in the treasure hunt and digging resumed.

Log platforms similar to those originally unearthed by the youthful treasure hunters were struck at ten foot intervals down to the ninety foot level. Then a large rectangular stone, hard, red-purple porphyry, covered with cipher figures, was brought up from the pit. None could read what was ciphered there, but it was enduringly rumored that it promised millions in gold ten feet below.’1

Using the Porta cipher system, a device that figures in the New World maps of Capt. John Smith, Professor Wilhelm found the plain text of the cipher to be Spanish. In English, the message was, “At eighty, guide maize or millet into the estuary or stream.” What this cryptic message really means will be considered in a future article, once the grounds of the alchemical code language have been laid. Meanwhile, it is to be noted that the Spanish plain text of the cipher message is consistent with the recurring key word Spanish, that was noted in article I of this series.2

1.The stone, like virtually all other markers at Oak Island, was lost, but a copy of the cipher message somewhat “miraculously” was found in a long-deceascd schoolteacher’s trunk. The cipher was decoded by Professor Ross Wilhelm of the University of Michigan in the mid-seventies.

2. Bacon, Alchemist in Baconiana 184; page 84. Editor.

Probing at the end of the day below the place where the cipher stone had been found, the diggers struck what was thought to be a stout wooden treasure chest. Darkness sent them home to dream of tomorrow’s triumph, but when they returned, the morning light revealed that tiie.pit was filled with water. Bailing proved fruitless.

A second shaft was sunk near the first one with the hope of bypassing the water hazard, then reaching-the treasure by a lateral tunnel. That shaft too filled with water, as have some thirty-odd other pits subsequently sunk into the tough clay and marl that covers the deep Windsor Formation of limestone native to the area. The original treasure company went broke, as have many successors. Someone has been digging at Oak Island almost continuously ever since. Millions have been spent in excavations so that the tantalizing hole has come to be known as the Money Pit.

The only recompense for all of the expended money and effort has been a few links of gold chain found in the hole, and a dime-sized piece of parchment with the single letter “i” brought up on a drill bit. It was rumoured that long ago a foreman absconded with the evidence and was never heard from again.

Over the years, excavators leamed several intriguing facts about the mystery shrouded site: a great fan-shaped stone drain had been laid under the beach sand at the island‚ crescent-shaped eastern end. Take a flight to Cozumel to see a similar style beach, layered with tons of seaweed and coconut fiber, the drain constituted a giant sponge that soaked up water with each incoming tide and dumped it into a care-fully engineered stone-lined tunnel that connected with the pit.

Another stone-lined tunnel was later found angling from the south shore of the island, connecting with the pit at a deeper level; the remnants of a coffer dam were found offshore, and a number of stone engineer’s markers have been located. Several marked stones, and stones of curious shapes, have been found on the island, including a pair of round disc stones with holes drilled in their centers. Some of the stones found on the island have had symbols cut into them, some of which are alchemical symbols. Recently, a stone bearing the suspiciously masonic capital letter “G” was unearthed.

Francis Bacon is on the list of suspects as architect of the strange earthworks. A small book privately printed several decades ago by an Omaha lawyer named Penn Leary, pointed out the similarity between the features of the pit and its tunnels and drains and Bacon’s formula for building a perpetual spring detailed in his Sylva Sylvarum. Indeed, that work begins with the instruction, "Dig a pit up on the seashore..."3

3. Effodeputeum,paulo supra quam extremus marisfiuctus excurrit, eaprofundi-tate quae respondeat ultimo reflut mans decre~nento; i.e. dig out the pit 1648 Edition, printed in Amsterdam. See Editorial on Mr. Leary Editor.

Since 1970, the excavations at Oak Island have been carried on by a group that calls itself Triton Alliance. Coincidentally, a triton is a sea salamander; the salamander is the alchemists’ fabled creature that lives in fire. For some time, visitors were welcomed to the mystery site, but the decade of the 1980's has seen the operations become secretive.

All theories as to the identity of the genius of “sapient wit” who designed and caused execution of the Oak Island earthworks to the contrary, the Triton group staunchly adheres to the myth that the pit contains the treasure of the notorious pirate William Kidd. This is patent “hogwash”, since the distinguished Boston historian Edward Rowe Snow has traced the pirate’s movements on virtually a day to day basis, proving that he never sailed nearer to Nova Scotia than Boston.

It is perhaps well to re-state the fact that Kidd or Kydd was one of the masques under which Bacon wrote.

It is also noted that the “discoverers” of Oak Island were named Vaughn, Smith and McGinnis. Thomas Vaughn, writing under the pseudonym of Eugenius Philalethes and a cohort of Bacon’s. The trail of clues strewn through the writings of Capt. John Smith, and sprinkled over his maps, speak boldly of the significance of the names of the Oak Island pit’s “discoverers."

It is to be noted that the original name of Oak Island was Gloucester Isle; the Duke of Gloucester was the first English patron of masonry. It is further to be noted that the Bay of Fundy, famed for the world’s highest tides, which bounds the Nova Scotian peninsula at its western extremity. was on the earliest maps called Bay Francoise. Further, that great tide races past “The Boar’s Head,” and past Digby, which stands sentinel at Nova Scotia’s western-most boundary. Digby was a close associate of Bacon’s having served as head of the Rosicrucian Society in England after Bacon’s premature “demise”.

A prefatory poem in Digby’s major work, Of Bodies and Souls, whis-pers of “the dawning of the Pig Plot”.

The easternmost boundary of Nova Scotia is Sydney for Sir Philip Sydney, another Bacon friend, whose celebrated work The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia gave Nova Scotia its name Acadia.(4) (A rule of Bacon’s key word cipher is that a word or name may be changed by a single letter).

The easternmost and westemmost boundaries of Nova Scotia are further emphasized by Sable Island and Cape Sable. But the most indelible evidence of Bacon’s subtle plan for marking out the boundaries of his New Atlantis lies in the veiled use of the masque name Burton. Cape Breton lies at the eastern end of the Nova Scotia land mass. Breton is an archaic spell-ing for Burton: the block and tackle found hanging from the ancient oak testifies again; a block is, again in archaic terms, a Burton. In very old Masonic handbooks, a man is depicted being lowered into a pit by way of a Burton-block and tackle towards an ark or chest.

Fig. 1. The Block and tackle type of rope windings lowers a man into apit to retrieve an ark-like chest. From A Ritual of Freemasonry (undated).

4. Named Nova Scotia in 1621 by Sir William Alexander who received a grant of the whole peninsular from James I. cf Everyman’s Encyclopaedia, Volume 9, 1931/2 edition. Editor.

Figure 2. A veiled representation of the pit with nine stone layers representing the nine log platforms . From The True Masonic Chart or Hieroglyphic Monitor, 1819.

The Sable Cape, by the way, refers to the sable stole or cape worn by members of the noble Order of the Garter, in whose foundation and symbolism root connections with alchemy have been traced.
From these and countless fragments of information obtained through several years' investigation (whose full exposition must await the presentation of the comprehensive fabric woven and properly sequenced from symbols, emblems, words, and pictures), it is concluded that a Masonic disclosure will be forthcoming from Bacon's New Atlantis before the close of the present decade.

II

Figure A. Star geometry produces a giant spear or arrow (dark lines) whose tip pinpoints Oak Island via the principles of celestial navigation; lighter lines show overlapping triangles that give the overall figure the appearance of a sailing ship. Star chart from The Stars, H.A. Rey, Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

STAR MAP
Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury:
What face of brass holds longer out?
-Love's Labour's Lost, Act 5, Scene 2, 394/5.

Did Francis Bacon use the stars to mark the locus of his new Atlantis for posterity? His distrust of earthly monuments defaced by "cormorant devouring time" was clearly expressed. The notion that he may have used the purely practical art of celestial navigation to mark an X on "the old globe" was an intriguing speculation for a long time, before the means to test the idea presented itself.

In the tests of the 17th century alchemist styling himself Eirenaeus Philalethes (i.e.the peaceful lover of the truth), there were a number of discontinuous sequences couched in a mythological matrix featuring those classical deities so dear to Bacon's heart. These suggested a star map to be constructed by joining certain celestial bodies in a kind of game to connect the dots.

The starting point was indicated as "an occult pole, hidden in the belly of the Dragon." (5) A point in the constellation Draco, unmarked by any star (and therefore hidden) did indeed turn out to be an occult or hidden pole, the pole of the ecliptic of Zodiacal circle, 23 1/2 degrees from the central pole marked by Polaris.
The occult pole was arbitrarily named "Mercury", (6) a code name for Bacon.
Mercury in Draco was to be connected with "a torrid vulcan fire." In celestial terms, this must surely be the sun; but if the sun and the roving planets were to be markers, a fixed point in time must be determined. A number of clues, including Michaelmas (Autumn term) and discolored leaves, indicated Autumn; specifically, the Autumn equinox (September 21-23rd) was pinpointed by way of an enigmatic clause planted in a sentence of unrelated subject matter :

The (Mercury) sophical, namely is the Bird of Hermes, which is sometimes called a Goose, sometimes a pheasant; one while this another while, that;

5. See eulogy 4, Manes Verulamiani : "dislocated pole."
6. Mercury is synonymous with Cadmus and Hermes and the three are interchangeably used for maximum confusion and cover.

In the mythical lore of the Goose (7), that bird was traditionally sacrificed to Odin at the autumnal equinox (Goose, among key words is Major Arcanum, being a linkage point from which clues fan out or radiate to all parts of the riddle. This will be discussed more fully later.)

7. In the literature of alchemy the name of any large bird may be subsituted in reference to this celestial bird; in Spanish, Gallena or Hen is used.

The specific hour of the autumnal equinox was midnight, expressed as "the noon of night," Shakespeare's "very hour of witching." (cf Hamlet III, 2, 405 Editor)
For the positions of the celestial bodies, the U. S. Nautical Almanac was consulted (for the year 1975, the year in which the star map decipherment was worked out).
At midnight of the equinox, the position of the sun, as well as of the moon which was with it in conjunction, was the hinge of the equinox roughly halfway between the constellations of Virgo and Leo.
A connective line between the sun/moon and Mercury in Draco was drawn on the star chart.
A highly confused and confusing sequence which need not be detailed instructed the extension of the original line, or more specifically, the addition of a second segment of the same line, by which the line's two segments constituted an "Hermaphrodite,"....an important distinction for later developments. Extension of the line was to Deneb in Cygnus, or the Swan.
The next move was clearly specified :

 Behold the SECOND FIGURE which is plac't in the Philosopher's true rosary, The King and Queen with robes most Royall, holding between them our true lunary....betwixt them a bird, and underfoot the sun and moon, one flower holds the King, the Queen the other, and the third (in beak) the bird doth hold, the bird a starre dothe bring upon her tail, which doth our secret speak, the winged bird denoteth Mercury, joined with the starry Earth til both do fly.

Clearly, Leo and Virgo, flanking the vertical line of the "Hermaphrodite," were the King and Queen, and robes most Royall indicated the brightest stars in the two constellations, namely Regulus in the foot of Leo, and Spica in the Virgin's hip. Both were first magnitude stars.
Sun and moon were underfoot at the hinge of the ecliptic, at the foot of the hermaphrodite line, and at the other end of it, between King and Queen was the great celestial bird, Swan-Goose-Pheasant; the bright tail star, Deneb, evidently being the secret-speaking part of the Bird of Hermes/Cadmus/Mercury.

Reference to the stars as Flowers was a subtle link with compass positons, featuring the compass Rose.
When connective lines between Leo and Spica were drawn to mercury in the belly of the Dragon, and then from the same points to Deneb in the Swan, a very good approximation of the compasses, prime symbol of Masonry, stood out, and that figure also formed a great celestial arrow or spear point.
The means to verify the correctness of the decipherment was contained in other code sequences. For example, "the Red man and the White woman must be wed in the West." These figures are Mars and Venus, and the two planets were in conjunction (a marriage) with Spica in Virgo , and they were West.
Further development of the star geometry instructed triangualtions between points in the original configuration and Saturn, Jupiter, and the first point of Aries, which is the celestial meridian, partner to the terrestial Greenwhich Meridian.
The results of these triangulations were three overlapping triangles resembling the sails of a ship. With the original hermaphrodite line serving as mast, and the curved line of the ecliptic below serving as hull, the resemblance to a ship in full sail was striking; the star geometer apparently had thought so too:

And this great ship, sailing to both the Indies....

Indies, another highly repetitive key word, referred to a longitudinal line or "girdle" about the earth passing over the poles and through both East and West Indies. The clue is a verifer for the longitude of Bacon's Atlantis, as will be seen.

Subsequent investigations have shown that the great celestial ship is the counterpart of the ship in full sail that graces the frontispiece in Bacon's Novum Organum (1645), and of similar ships in Captain John Smith's New World maps (which properly are not maps but navigational charts). Other ships subsequently join the fleet as the allegorical riddle unfurls (the "{columns of Hercules" framing the ship in the Novum Organum have their counterpart in Jachin and Boaz, the emblematic columns in Masonry). This is one and the same ship as the "lost" one that found its way into the Bay at Bensalem in New Atlantis; the "column of light topped with a cross of light," that shone on the pilgrims there, referred to the cross of light that is the Swan, which for the most germane of reasons is also known as The Northern Cross.
Countless other linkages were eventually traced out from this center of the web,but for the moment the focus is on the tip of the celestial coordinate when heaven and earth have been joined?
If an imaginary line is drawn between the position of a star to the center of the earth, the point at which the line touche the earth's surface is the terrestial coordinate. A simple mathematical formula furnishes the equation for calculating the precise latitude and longitude indicated by the pointer star. When the formula was applied to the position of Deneb at the appointed time, with appropriate corrections for precession of the equinoxes (from 1606) (8) and with a troublesome 7 degree correction for which sanction was eventually found elsewhere in the riddle's matrix literature, the target proved to be miniscule speck of land on the south coast of Nova Scotia called Oak Island (for those unacquainted with the history of this mystery shrouded place, known since 1795, a brief additional synopsis will be found at the end of the article).
Are we on target? A great stone arrow, laid out in ancient beach boulders, was found near Oak Island pit about the turn of the the 20th century. Its features duplicated the celestial arrow, including a 7 degree westward slant in the vertical "hermaphrodite" line!
Many lines from Shakespeare and other masque works by and for Bacon were found to link in the most teasing way with the Star Map development, via key words belonging to the alchemical texts.

1. My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's tail ( Lear; Act 1, Scene 2/ 140).
2. Night's swift Dragon's cut the night full fast (Midsummer Night's Dream; Act 2, Scene 2/279.)
3.Who, being as I am, littered under Mercury. (Winter's Tale; Act 41, Scene 8/25.)
4......and Mercury lose all the serpentine craft of thy Caduceus (Trolius and Cressida; Act 2, Scene 2/13.)
5. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once....(Midsummer Night's Dream; Act 4, Scene 1/11)


(8.)
The date of 1606 was chosen for calculating precession of the equinoxes from an ancient masonic cipher stone found at Annapolis Royal, in 1827, by Judge Chandler Haliburton. The name means Holy Burton, as Halifax (the Nova Scotia capital) means Holy Torch. The relevance will be discussed in the Oak Island synopsis.

6. They are all couched in a pit hard by Herne's Oak (9) (Merry Wives of Windsor; Act 54, Scene 3/115).(the change of a word by one letter is permitted in the rules of the Key-word and symbol cipher, as in the conversion of Hermes to Herne's)

7.Remember Jove, thou wast a Bull for thy Europa.... You were also (Jupiter) a Swan for the love of Leda:

...How near the god drew to the complexion of a Goose; a fault done first in the form of a beast, ( O, Jove, a beastly fault:) and then another fault in the semblance of a Fowle, think on't (Jove) a fowle, Fowle fault. (Merry Wives of Windsor; Act 5, Scene 5/3)

(9.) the sentence continues...with obsred lights....-Editor

Such a constellation of key words, the repetitive use of the colon, parenthesis "used ad libidum," and the repetitive fault, fault, fault, fowle, Fault, is a louder than usual signal to "look for things hidden from other eyes."
That the swan equals the goose is one part of the message: a fault, says the Oxford English Dictionary, is a clue or a scent, as in "the dogs have lost the fault." Elsewhere, in a scene featuring a Bastard Son, is the question, " Do you smell a fault?"

One finds many "faults" seeded into every frame of the riddle that hint at the great starry arrow, although none offers a conclusion. The Baconian detective may take comfort in finding direct hits, but these are hits only for scholars studying this great work, as the following :-

What needs our Shakespeare....
to lie hid under a star-ry pointing pyramid? Milton

.....the gold tipt arrow wrought to so fine a point, that shiny spearhead is surnamed a star. Gallup, Biliteral Cipher.

.....if Atlantis be found . Ibid

But the completion of the star's geometry is not quite the end of the star geometer's labors; the square to go with the Masonic compasses remains to be found (among other things).
The final of the star map involved the construction of a great square, that was, like a baseball diamond, a square and a great triangle whose baseline linked Sirius, brightest star in the heavens, with the balance scale of Libra, sharing a common apex with the square. Hear the plaintive voice of Spenser in The Faerie Queene :

The frame thereof seemed partly circulare,
and part triangulare; O work divine?
These two the first and last proportions are;
.....and 'twixt them both a quadrate was the base.....
-Book II, canto 9, stanza 22

Linking up the scattered parts of the riddle with Oak Island's famous Money Pit started out as an execise in frustration, but gradually yielded to patient sleuthing; at least some few encouraging nuggets were mined that spurred the flagging detective on. Oak Island certainly appeared to be a Masonic stronghold. The late Mel Chappel who owned the pit site at Oak Island told me in a 1978 interview," I am the highest Mason in Nova Scotia." Other Grand Masters of the Nova Scotia Lodge have played key roles in the past, and members of the Triton Alliance, the group who have controlled excavations on the island since 1970, are predominantly high masons.

One of the past Grand Masters, Reginald V. Harris, wrote the first history of Oak Island. He also wrote a monograph for the Lodge on the Port Royal Stone, although any mention of that historic marker, claimed by the Lodge as the first Masonic monument in North America (Mackey's Encyclopedia of Masonry), is carefully omitted from the history of Oak Island. The Port Royal Stone, along with two other similar ones found at Yarmouth, quite certainly link with an immense double rectangle outlined in stone markers that is laid along the eastern seaboard of North America, whose baseline runs from Petersburg, Virginia, to the Port Royal Stone in Nova Scotia; the stone markers will be the subject of the next article.
The trail at this point led elsewhere, but not before the humour-loving architect of this riddle and his followers had contrived to coax a broad smile from the frowning detective. Among trivia salted inthe many books read, was the charming news that Judge Chandler Haliburton, discoverer of the Port Royal Stone, was a cousin to Mrs. Constance Pott of London, founder of the Francis Bacon Society.

If as claimed Thomas Vaughn was Eugenius Philalethes, then it must be concluded that he thought with one mind with Eireanaeus Philalethes, for the clues for decoding the purely chemical parts of the Philalehtes' tracts wander through both "authors" work. The fact that Vaughn's name appears as author on the Fama Fraternitas of the Rosicrucians and that Fame in its title is the first word on the list of key words provided in Bacon's Biliteral Cipher, serves as linkage. A number of intruiging links are to be found in various parts of the Fama, but attention is here riveted to a singular passage from Cygnus, the enigmatic Swan.

Yea, the Lord God hath already sent before certain
messengers which should testify his will, to wit,
some new stars which do appear and are seen in
the firmament in Serpentario and Cyngo, which
signify and give themselves known to every one,
that thay are powerful Signacula of great weighty
matters.


Figure B. Stone arrow (inset) found near the mystery pit at Oak Island that matchers the celestial arrow contstructed from clues encoded in the 17th century alchemical texts of Eirenaeus Philalethes. From the Mystery of Oak Island by R.V. Harris, The Ryerson Press, Toronto

XXXII
SUBLIME PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET
[Master of Royal Secret]

Figure C. The frame therof....partly circulature....triangulare, with a quadrate base, from Spenser's Faerie Queene, is reflected on the globe in this emblem picture from Pike's Morals and Dogma of Masonry.
******
For more on Oak Island see Penn Leary's Book on the subject 

The Oak Island Enigma: A History and Inquiry into the Money Pit. Published by the author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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