In 1611, on this day forty-six year old William Shakespeare was dismissed from the employment of the Committee known as the First Cambridge Company following the discovery that hidden messages had been introduced into the translation of the Authorized King James Version.
To let future generations know that he had helped with translation, Shakespeare had devised a Secret Bible Code, noting in his diary that "If you count 46 words from the beginning, you will find the word shake. Now count the same 46 words from the end of Psalm 46, there is the word spear". Unfortunately for Shakespeare, his colleague Marlowe betrayed his confidence, immediately alerting the Committee's editors who discovered the following mis-translation:
The Bard gets FiredPsalms 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah". And Psalms 46:9-11 "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah".
Following his dismissal, Shakespeare purchased a gatehouse in the former Blackfriars priory where he resided for five unremarkable years until his death in 1616 aged just fifty-two.