The final number was 102.
There are many more than 100 reasons to dismiss Oxford's candidacy.
This site lists 102 Oxfordian arguments and explains why they are misguided.


Hidebound academia

The authorative work on Oxford and his contemporaries at the court of Elizabeth is The Elizabethan Courtier Poets by Professor Steven May, one of the very few people qualified to call himself an expert in the field. His verdict underlines… go to article


Hardly ever sick at sea

What never? Hardly Ever? On such a full sea are we now afloat;  And we must take the current when it serves,  Or lose our ventures Shakespeare's seamanship provides a classic example of Oxfordians both having their cake and… go to article


Canopies and litters

Sonnet 125, reproduced in its entirety below, begins 'Were 't aught to me I bore the canopy,'. Naturally, Oxfordians claim that Oxford, as an aristocrat, bore the canopy and therefore this sonnet identifies him as the author.  My… go to article


The Writer Who Wasn't There

 Nobody Claimed Oxford Wrote The Canon (until about the 20th century at least). This is probably the single most important piece of evidence against the Oxfordian view. Oxfordians attack the orthodox view of Shakespeare of Stratford… go to article


Ministering propaganda

Some Oxfordian enthusiasts, after discovering that he wrote Shakespeare's work, are not content to leave it at that. Tying Oxford to Shakespeare using Oxford's own, undisputed work is an impossible task. Crediting him with other work by… go to article


Signature moves

MacShakespeare and his fellow playwrights all had different styles. Their verse, vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, imagery, phrasing and ideas can be analysed and specific features counted in order to identify their contributions to… go to article


Greene with envy

Robert Greene was one of the first professional writers in England. A grammar school boy, of course, (no enrolment records, of course), six years Shakespeare's senior but with many more years professional experience. His ambition was to be… go to article


The stigma of anonymity

There would have to be a reason, and a good one, for not putting your name on the world's finest body of artistic work. And there isn't. Those who believe Marlowe wrote the plays have a much easier task here. They argue that Marlowe simply… go to article


The Golding Variations

The myth of Oxford as a child prodigy and polymath is utterly unfounded. The film has him writing A Midsummer Night's Dream at about age ten, at a time when the real Lord Bolbec (as he then was) was probably still wetting his bed… go to article


Dealing with bereavement

For people to do things, in the real world, they have to be alive to do them. That may seem like too simple a platitude for a complex argument but Oxfordians can't be counselled out of their grief for a few inconvenient deaths. Some of… go to article


Biblical revelation

This short article was written in 2013, one of our first. A response to Roger Stritmatter's idea that the marks in the Folger Library's Geneva Bible were made by the canon author, this turned out to be our most commented article that year… go to article


Speak the speech . . .

Speak the speech, I pray you..." Shakespeare wrote for performance. After four hundred years, his tragedies, comedies, and histories still hold the stage: they play well. And they act well. Shakespeare's terrific stagecraft… go to article


The great Globe itself...

Shakespeare wrote not only for the theatre, but for different theatres. In 1609, the King's Men began playing at the Blackfriars—indoors and upscale—in the winter months, and Shakespeare's latest plays are written for that space. There is… go to article


Je n'accuse pas

No-one said he wrote plays. De Vere, in his long and colourful life, made many enemies and was involved in numerous lawsuits. Yet neither any of his friends, nor any of his enemies made any mention of his authorship of any of the plays.… go to article


Elite knowledge

Despite the inability of Oxfordians to come up with examples of things in the plays which require the elite knowledge of aristocrats, there is, nevertheless some exclusive knowledge in the plays since whoever wrote them knew the… go to article


The best among us??

Despite the oft-quoted extracts from Francis Meres and George Puttenham, no one has ever actually claimed that Oxford was a playwright outside the heated confines of the authorship debate. Francis Meres made one mention of Oxford in… go to article


Drawing a blank

Although there are a few hundred lines of verse indisputably attributable to De Vere, none are in the characteristic Shakespearean blank verse or indeed, if one is being exact, any of the metrical forms used regularly by Shakespeare. There… go to article


Court out

Oxford was an aristocrat - a proper, belted Earl. Not the highest rank in society, as some claim, but close. Oxfordians cite this as one of the main reasons that he should be preferred to Shakespeare, given the plays have so much court… go to article


Royal sendoff

In 1603 Oxford, having dissipated his own large fortune, was unable to live on the money he had from two marriages into wealthy families and the pensions he had from the state. He was driven to writing begging letters to his acquaintance… go to article


Call yourself a playwright

Oxfordians make much of the fact that there are no letters written by Shakespeare as if the fact that the 70 letters of Oxford's which survive give him precedence, Yet in 70 letters, there is not a single mention of poetry, plays, players… go to article


Court poet, didn't know it

A bit of sleight of hand in the film Anonymous moves the publication of Venus and Adonis from 1593 to 1599. I rather enjoyed the scenes in the printing house but the redating is significant, not accidental. Because the progression in… go to article


Verona again!

It is highly unlikely that whoever wrote The Merchant of Venice and Two Gentlemen of Verona had spent any time in Venice, a city with a number of unique features. It’s pretty clear that Shakespeare doesn't realise that one of Venice’s… go to article


What's the leklywhode?

Oxford's spelling was idiosyncratic, even for an Elizabethan. He almost always wrote "lek" for like, in all its forms: "misleke," "leklywhodes," and "lekwise," among many others. Another quirk of his is "wowld" for would. Alan Nelson… go to article


Tin Ear

Fully a third of Oxford's surviving letters are taken up with his campaign to hold the Crown's monopoly on Cornish tin-mines. You might call it an obsession. The letters come to over 10,000 words; the pursuit to five years, 1594-1599. In… go to article


Rhyme and reason

Oxford's spoken and written English, rather than similar, was very different from Shakespeare's. Oxford rhymes “was” with “case” and “face” with “glass”. Shakespeare rhymed 'face' with 'place'. Oxford rhymes “shows” with “lose”.… go to article


I am not a lawyer

Another key assumption found in all Oxfordian argument is that the plays contain detailed knowledge of the law, which could only have been gained by study and practice. Once again, however, the evidence weighs equally against both… go to article


The talk of the town

Another inconsistent claim made by Oxfordians is that the Earl of Oxford was highly rated as a playwright and author by his contemporaries. Yet once again, the evidence for this significant claim is effectively non-existent.Despite the oft… go to article


Take a letter

Oxfordians make much of the fact that there are no surviving letters written by Shakespeare as if the fact that the 70 letters of Oxford's which survive give him precedence, Yet in 70 letters, there is not a single mention of poetry, plays… go to article


BA or no BA?

Oxfordians are wont to insist that the plays show evidence of a first rate university education. They were even once inclined to argue that the plays were written in 'the idiom of Cambridge University'. When someone (a Cambridge graduate,… go to article


What's in a name?

Two 'E's, Or Not Two 'E's That is the question Oxfordians make much of the different spelling of Will’s name though the significance of different forms has to be viewed in the light of the non standardised spelling of the… go to article