I haven't come across any discussion of Robert Southwell's admonishment of "W.S." in any of my anti-Stratford books. This is surprising considering that the Catholic/Jesuit priest Southwell not only calls "W.S." his cousin but also addresses him as Mister (Master). The William Shakespeare (W.S.) from Stratford did not become a Mister (Master) until after the death of Southwell!
Some have concluded that W.S. stood for William Stanley brother of Ferdinando ("Lord Strange") Earl of Darby, both of which were intimately involved with the English theater at that time. However, wouldn't William Stanley have been referred to as Sir W.S.? Or would this have made the royal obsession with popular playwriting a little too obvious.
A better explanation is that William Shakespeare was only the penname of William Stanley and/or others of the Elizabethan court. William Shakespeare of Stratford was only a willing vessel, a "cozen", a Falstaff ("Faux Staff") used by the court, and one that could just as easily be banished if the court so desired.
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