Page 256. " Dic Penderyn had been executed in 1831 "

Richard Lewis, better known as Dic Penderyn (1808-1831), was a Welsh labourer and coal miner who was involved with the Merthyr Rising of June 3, 1831. In the course of the riot he was arrested and charged with stabbing a soldier with a bayonet.  The people of Merthyr Tydfil were certain he was innocent, and 11,000 signed a petition demanding his release.  He was nonetheless found guilty and hanged.  According to popular reports his wife was pregnant at the time, and had a miscarriage as a result. His last words were: "O Arglwydd, dyma gamwedd" or "Oh Lord, here is iniquity."

In 1874, Ianto Parker confessed on his death bed that it was in fact he who stabbed the soldier. 

Page 259. " My girlfriend was a militant Marlovian "

St. Nicholas' Church, Deptford Green
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSt. Nicholas' Church, Deptford Green - Credit: Mike Quinn
Marlovian theory holds that Elizabethan poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe did not die on 30 May 1593, as the historical records state, but that his death was faked, and that he was the main author of the poems and plays attributed to William Shakespeare. 

Marlovians base their argument on the apparent anomalies surrounding Marlowe's alleged death, and on what many scholars see as the obvious similarity between Marlowe's work and the works of Shakespeare.  Works identified as Shakespeare's began appearing only after the apparent death of Marlowe, despite their having been born only two months apart.

Page 260. " In April 1593 the Privy Council arrested one Thomas Kyd "
Thomas Kyd - The Spanish Tragedie, or, Hieronimo is mad againe
Public DomainThomas Kyd - The Spanish Tragedie, or, Hieronimo is mad againe - Credit: Thomas Kyd

Thomas Kyd (1558 –1594) was an English dramatist and a central figure in the development of Elizabethan drama.  He rose to prominence in the 1580s, although most of his work is lost.  His most famous work is The Spanish Tragedie. The play was generally known as Hieronimo, and was extremely popular. Kyd may also have authored a play called Hamlet, pre-dating Shakespeare’s and similar in content.

From 1587 to 1593 Kyd was in the service of an unidentified noble.  Possibilities include the Earl of Sussex, the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Strange, and the Earl of Oxford.  Christopher Marlowe served the same noble for a time, and he and Kyd shared lodgings during this period. 

On 11 May 1593 the Privy Council ordered the arrest of the authors of "divers lewd and mutinous libels" which had been posted around London. Kyd was among those arrested. His lodgings were searched and the authorities discovered a tract they described as "vile heretical conceits denying the eternal deity of Jesus Christ.”

Kyd was brutally tortured, and eventually confessed that the tract has been obtained from Marlowe.  The latter was summoned by the Privy Council, but while waiting for a decision on his case was killed in suspicious circumstances.  Kyd was eventually released, but his name was blackened.  He died in 1594, at the age of 35.