In 1590, as a harmless piece of Christmas mischief the players of the Lord Chamberlain's Men penned a collaborative piece of works called Richard III under the pseudonym "William Shakespeer".
All the World's a Stage By Ed & Jackie SpeelTo their great surprise, its a tour de force and they continued the project by penning Henry VI Parts 1-3.
The first tetralogy is a huge, but hidden success; soon members of the Tudor court are secretly involved in the creative writing process. Before her death in 1603, even Good Queen Bess joined the merriment.
But the fun stopped abruptly when King James ascended the throne and became the company's patron. Renamed to "The King's Men", the company held exclusive rights to perform the plays. Just to avoid any disputes, the new house playwright John Fletcher invented a cock and bull story about Shakespeer meeting his death after an uproarious night out drinking with Ben Johnson.