An essential task, when planting the shipwreck in the Tempest into the Oxfordian calendar or locating Prospero's island in Italy, is to explain what the 'still-vex'd Bermoothes' might be, while detaching them from the Bermoothes in the Atlantic, where the shipwrecked mariners from the Sea Venture were marooned.
Safely in harbour
Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once
Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew
From the still-vex'd Bermoothes, there she's hid:
This proved rather tricky until a reference to an area in London called 'the Bermoothes' crops up. Areas of London can quickly acquire nicknames and lose them just as quickly. I lived in Fulham in West London in the 80's and nearby Earl's Court was known as 'Kangaroo Valley' as it was then very popular with visiting Australians. The nickname disappeared in the 90's as individual houses in Earl's Court became more valuable than the entire State of Queensland. So, in an argument in which accurate dating is being fine tuned to order the chronology of a series of documents, it is rather slippery of Oxfordians to try to locate the Bermoothes to an area of London when reference is scant to say the least and the first does not occur until 1616*.
By Oxfordian standards, it is highly plausible that the 'Bermoothes' in London, given their 'vex'd' character, might have taken their name from the Tempest rather than the other way round.
John Donne, a brilliant Elizabethan poet, one of the few in Will's league, saw tempests first hand on the Essex expedition of 1597. As potential source material, this is nicely dated for Oxfordians with the bonus of a loud Essex connection. Yet it doesn't feature anywhere in the extensive arguments, perhaps because Donne is yet another Elizabethan from a poor background producing work of scintillating genius. The description of his near death experience in The Storm is one of the best narrative poems of the age, as anyone can see from the excerpt below. When he reaches for a qualitative description of his storm, he invites you to imagine Hell being 'lightsome' in comparison or those still vexed Bermudas looking 'calm'.
The Bermudas are a well-established Elizabethan byword for turbulence and mortal danger. Donne probably didn't get closer than the Azores but he (and almost certainly everybody else in Elizabethan England) knew what the Bermoothes were famous for.
If the reference in the play has anything to do with a nickname for Clerkenwell, it is a double entendre that Shakespeare intends. Not a direct namecheck.
Ben Jonson criticised Donne's verse for its lack of elevation, coming too near the speech of ordinary men. Sound familiar? Look at the last six lines and see if you can detect an aristocratic idiom in there. Or does this Elizabethan son of an ironmonger, who struggled up from modest beginnings, sound more like a man from the same middle class background, the son of a glovemaker, who started in Stratford?
Enjoy Donne's storm. And for all you extreme literalists out there, the Fiat in the third from last line is not a car.
Thou which art I, ('tis nothing to be soe)
"No man is an island, entire of himself;" Will was not the only poet who could turn an eternal phrase. Donne's monument in St Paul's Cathedral is the only piece of statuary to survive the Great Fire in 1666. There are scorch marks on the base. Donne was the incumbent Dean of St Paul's when he died. His monument, commissioned before he died, still took two years to appear. No one has ever called him a grain dealer or a plant pot trader.
*Shakespeare's Caliban, (Vaughan & Vaughan, CUP 1991)