Shakespeare's Skull Mystery Nearly Resolved
Shakespeare-'s tomb reveals strange alteration evidences on the side where his head was supposed to be found, thereby adding weight to the allegation...
Shakespeare's tomb reveals strange alteration evidences on the side where his head was supposed to be found, thereby adding weight to the allegation that at a moment of history someone took over Shakespeare's skull.' That's the conclusion reached by archaeologist Kevin Colls.
A team of archeologists at the University of Stratford have concluded that Shakespeare's skull was most likely stolen. The findings of the investigation were announced this weekend, after ground-penetrating radar of the grave appeared to confirm the longstanding rumor of the Bard's missing head.
It wasn't until last week that archeological analysis showed Shakespeare and his three family members were buried in a shallow grave, seemingly in shrouds of clothes and without a coffin. How, then, did "A Warwickshire Man" know all this back in 1879?
"It is of course possible that the skull was removed before the burial, and what our research has done is open a whole can of worms," admits Colls. "But the fact is that our findings correlate so well with the documented theft in 1879 — particularly the reference to the grave being shallow. If it was going to be made up, the story would be entirely different."
Amazingly, this flippant magazine article, dismissed by so many as farce, managed to get the story right in 1879. But what actually happened to the invaluable skull?
According to the Argosy piece, the gentleman who'd promised a bounty for the skull reneged on the offer, and Chambers' attempts to pass it off on others were refused. One of his potential buyers made Chambers promise that he'd return the prized braincase to its rightful body, which the amateur grave robber agreed to do. But on the day Chambers was supposed to restore the grave, a work-related emergency forced him to delegate the task to a neighbor named Tom, who was apparently quite the drunk.
Though we've finally confirmed that the skull is not interred with the rest of the body, the mystery of its present location endures. As for Frank Chambers, his name has long been lost to history, though — if we're to believe Shakespeare's tombstone — his spirit has been doomed for eternity.
The unmarked grave bears this eerily prophetic rhyme:
"Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones."