William Basse

Basse eulogy

William Basse was a poet and a member of the servant class who first comes to the attention of historians and students of language in 1602, when Basse published his first literary work, a poem of 75 six-line stanzas entitled Sword and Buckler or The Serving-Mans Defence.

Once more we have that Oxfordian anathema, an artist of note with no educational records nor any aristocratic connection. Knowing that Basse constitutes one of the most dangerous holes in their argument, Oxfordians have worked like Trojans to connect Basse to Oxford and have finally, after years of desperate search, turned something up. More later.

Like many 16C poets Basse sought and found patronage and published some interesting work. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Basse's second published work, Three Pastoral Elegies of Anander, Anetor, and Muridella (1602), is a pleasant example of Spenserian pastoral love poetry, with a digression in the third elegy to pay tribute to Spenser as ‘Collin’.

What he is most famous for--though not on the Oxfordian side of the authorship argument--is a poem written before the publication of the First Folio which, like Digges' eulogies, is highly embarrassing if you are going to argue that Shakespeare is not the author of his work.