The Schwa e – When was the schwa /ə/ first used in English Texts?
he answer 1601

The schwa sound being by far the most common sound heard in the English language – its IPA symbol: ə

The schwa /e/ makes its earliest appearance in English language at the remarkably early date of 1601 in a publication called ‘Love’s Martyr’. This little-known fact is due to it appearing in such an exceedingly rare book, the ‘Folger Shakespeare Library’ W.D.C. have a complete copy (which I have made use of in my studies) and as I understand it the ‘Huntington Library’ CA. have a further copy.

Therefore, if you ask the question when was the schwa /ə/ was first used in English texts and the answer you receive is between 1890 and 1895 and that the symbol /ə/ was first used by Johann Andreas Schmeller – this information is completely and utterly incorrect, because (as I have said) the schwa /e/ is first found in English texts nearly three-hundred years earlier – in the year 1601 in line ‘7’ of a poem entitled “INVOCATIO”, first appearing in the word “vərt” located on page 167 ‘Quarto’ of Robert Chester’s book “Love’s Martyr”.

Amusingly, “Love’s Martyr” supposedly written by someone called ‘Robert Chester’ is a jest attributable to the person who actually wrote it – which I shall explain later, while the following is what ‘Wikipedia’ has to say about Robert Chester:

“Despite attempts to identify ‘Chester’ no information has ever emerged to indicate with any certainty who he was”.

Although – if you read on I will tell you precisely who Robert Chester was!

With the Breath thou Giv’st and Takst critically is line ‘XIX‘ of Shakespeare’s famous metaphysical poem ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle’, a poem that appears on page 170 of ‘Loves Martyr’ – a page number ultimately very significant in the major scheme of things, while as we proceed, you will notice a proliferation of the number ’17’. For instance, the poem “The Phoenix and the Turtle” appears in the very last section of the book composed by a group of poets known collectively as the ‘Poetical Essayist’s’ – where we find ‘14‘ poems encompassing ‘17‘ pages, with the very first use of the schwa /e/ in the English language appearing in the seventh line of the first of these poems, a work traditionally entitled “INVOCATIO to Apollo & the Muses” therefore answering an important question in respect of the English language: When was the schwa /e/ first used in English texts? 

The first use of the schwa /e/ in the English language is found in the word “Vərt” illustrated below – where you will recognise it as a lower case ‘e’ in-vert-ed. Counting capitalised letters from the beginning of the poem, you will find ‘B’ of “Bromius” is number ‘17‘ which is a very obvious allusion to our great author Edward de Vere 17th Earl of Oxford. While you will also notice he is “The eVer-youthful Bromius” (“eVer” of course an anagram of his surname Vere) and it is this youth who is inappropriately put-upon (sexually) by his more experienced Mother who with her “Crystal presence – in the height of Grace” abuses her son “Sprinkling his suit of Vərt with Pearl”. Not surprisingly he finds his cheeks “waxing red with shame” as he very wittily continues, “his senseless grapes” gathering spirit – before growing discoloured!


By kind permission of - the Folger Shakespeare Library Washington DC.

Detail from the poem “INVOCATIO” the word “Vərt” appearing in line seven is an allusion to Queen Elizabeth’s 7th September birthday.

By kind permission of – the Folger Shakespeare Library Washington DC.


The schwa /e/ comes down to us from the Hebrew language – so it is a reasonable assumption that this person masquerading as ‘Robert Chester’ in the year 1601, although deviously describing himself in ‘Love’s Martyr’ as “the least, and meanest in degree” was actually a highly educated individual tutored as a child by the eminent scholar, author, philosopher, lecturer, ambassador and former secretary of state for England – Sir Thomas Smith. In fact, we learn a little bit more about him in the 7th line of the very first poem found in ‘Love’s Martyr’ called “The Authors Request to the Phoenix” (removed by the censors at the first reprint) where he is described as:

“Some deepe-read scholler – fam’d for poetrie”.

Now, when I first read this, I couldn’t help but notice the words “deepe-read scholler” where composed of ‘17’ letters.

Bearing in mind this “deepe-read scholler” masquerading as ‘Robert Chester’ was taught Hebrew as a child by Sir Thomas Smith, we find a polymath teaching a future polyglot, a man who would become one of the most educated in renaissance England, while we find in ‘Love’s Martyr’ in lines 6 & 7 of his “INVOCATION” three allusions to him – with the words: “Ever-youthful, Bromius & Vert”, although the actual biographical & biological meaning of this language is bawdy beyond belief.

(6)    The ever-youthful Bromius to delights,
(7)    Sprinkling his suit of Vərt with Pearle.

The first of these allusions is represented by the words “ever-youthful” and to explain this we need to look at Shake-speare’s (S.53) while also bearing in mind that the word ‘One’ was the most important in our great author’s lexicon, the very most important word he used to describe “The faire youth” (Henry Wriothesley).

Rather tellingly the word “One” is the Hebrew word for God, while it is of some considerable significance – this very definition of God appearing in the old testament of the Bible is found in chapter ‘14‘ verse ‘9‘, two numbers representing immortals (Oxford & Christ) spiritually affiliated to one another. Oxford’s TRUE date-of-creation the 14th July 1548 – ‘IX‘ being the number most associated with Christ. 

The Lord will be King over all the land,
In that day the Lord will be one and his name One.                                                                                                                                       (Zechariah 14: 9)

In (S.33) which describes ‘Henry Wriothesley’ as a God “with sovereign eye” and “golden face” who “gilds pale streams with heavenly alchemy” we find in line ‘IX‘ our author playing on the words “my Sunne one”, while it is not too difficult to see that the word ‘ever’ is an anagram of the name ‘Vere’, consequently by adding the word ‘every’ together with the word ‘one’ we find a union formed between father & son.

In (S.53) the father/son nexus is obvious in a sonnet most probably composed at a time ‘Wriothesley’ was banged up in the ‘shadowy’ tower of London following his conviction for treason, here are its first six lines:

What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend,
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you.

So, in Shakespeare’s mind ‘Wriothesley’ is Godlier than Adonis, while it must be said that he also liked to think of himself as ‘Adonis’ & Queen Elizabeth as ‘Venus’, while in “The Phoenix and the Turtle” he soars between Heaven and Earth in the guise of a faithful ‘Turtle-Dove’, while Elizabeth is the long-lived ‘Phoenix’.  Importantly though, I would like to convey to you – that I do not state these facts in any idle way – because shortly I will prove-absolutely these facts mathematically.

As already stated, a further allusion to our great author we find in line six of his “INVOCATIO” in the name “Bromius” – we reach this conclusion by counting the number of words beginning with capitals – such as – Fate, Eies, Mirrour & Morne – because for what other useful purpose are all these words capitalised? This proliferation of capitals would seem rather loopy behaviour by our author if they had no significant purpose!

They have in fact only been capitalised by him so we may count them – and when we do (as I have said) we find the 17th capitalised word is “Bromius” – therefore “Bromius” is an allusion to our great author Edward de Vere because he was the 17th Earl of Oxford.

At this juncture I would just like to include a short quote from our author’s favourite poet ‘Ovid’ from ‘Metamorphoses’, remembering Bacchus (Bromius) was the God of wine & madness and the plays comedy & tragedy.

“Bacchus himself, grape-bunches garlanding his brow, brandishing a spear that vine-leaves twined, and at his feet fierce spotted panthers lay, tigers and lynxes too, in phantom forms”.

There is also a third allusion to our author in line 7 of the “INVOCATIO” where we find “The first ever schwa /e/ in the English language” – in the word “Vərt”.

In French the following words are fundamentally pronounced the same way:

Vert/vers/verre/ver/vers – meaning – green/direction/glass/worm/verse.

So, those people who fail to see an allusion between Vert & Vere only wish to believe in Shakespeare not know him.

While I feel obliged to mention the fact that in Shake-speare’s play “Anthony & Cleopatra” our great author fails to describe the Asp or viper or serpent that history likes to speak of – only slyly referring to it using the word “worm” (ver in French) a word which appears mindbogglingly in thirty or more of his plays! While in ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ in a space of only 36 lines it appears a Godly ‘IX’ times!

Significantly, in “Love’s Martyr” on the previous page to “The Phoenix and the Turtle” we find a short poem entitled “The first” its title alluding to the fact that ‘Edward de Vere’ was the first-born son of ‘Queen Elizabeth I’

Let me now proceed, bit by bit to show you how mathematically I can prove that William Shakespeare’s famous metaphysical poem “The Phoenix and the Turtle” was actually written by ‘Edward de Vere the 17th Earl of Oxford’ who acted in an official capacity not only as ‘court poet’ to Elizabeth, but also provided ‘intelligence’ to the Tudor state – where he was identifiable by the secret code number ‘40’, but, before I go any further, I would like to illustrate to those of you who are not aware of the fact, it is ‘Edward de Vere’ buried in ‘Westminster Abbey’ not the Stratford man.

Quite incredibly, Shakespeare’s tomb in the Abbey was consecrated in the year ‘1740’ a date inscribed upon it in Roman numerals, and this same number we find duplicated when reading the script written upon the scroll that the Shakespearean hand below points to.


Image showing statue of William Shakespeare


This famous passage is from the Tempest – which in its original incarnation appeared like this:

The cloud capped towers. (20 letters)
The gorgeous palaces
The solemn temples
The great globe itself. 

But below we see that the first four words of the text inscribed on Shakespeare’s tomb have been reduced from the original number of 20 letters – to a more pertinent 17 letters – so the words appear like this:

The cloud capt tow’rs  (17 letters)
The gorgeous palaces
The solemn temples
The great globe itself

We therefore have a first line of 17 letters followed by 4T’s = 1740

While to make my analysis even easier to follow I am now going to colour code these numbers so they appear like this 1740.

‘Alexander Waugh’ with his absolutely brilliant deciphering of ‘Shakespeare’s sonnet’s dedication’ first published in 2017 touched upon the important fact that to endorse his meaning our great author would repeat himself three times by means of a way of validating his meaning, a system we find repeated in his great metaphysical masterpiece “The Phoenix and the Turtle”.

In simple terms then, by way of eradicating all confusion, unless something is repeated three times it cannot be confirmed as his genuine meaning.

I have a special name for this system ‘Sacred 3’.

The simplest expression of this found in “The Phoenix and the Turtle” is the word ‘One’ appearing three times only in the poem in lines 26, 40 & 46.

It is of course our author’s preferential covert appellation for his Godly son ‘Henry Wriothesley’ who he believes (like all princes) divinely ordained in Heaven.

How 1740 is Endemic within “The Phoenix and the Turtle”

Firstly, let me show you an illustration of the quarto first stanza of the poem from ‘Love’s Martyr’ a work entirely structured around the eventuality that this first page of ‘three’ would importantly appear on page ‘170’.


This illustration - by kind permission of the Folger Shakspearian Library - Washington D.C.

This illustration – by kind permission of the Folger Shakespearean Library – Washington D.C.


What follows are the 18 Stanzas/Verses of “The Phoenix and the Turtle” (colour-coded) using the original language, thereby illustrating ‘Sacred 3’  having said that, in ‘Love’s Martyr’ they importantly cover ‘3’ pages 170–171–172.

While it is worth remembering, that Elizabeth is the ‘Phoenix’ and our author the ‘Turtle’, consequently ‘T’ stands for ‘Turtle’, while 4 ‘T’s equal 40. The red numbers (on the right) represent the total amount of ‘T’s in that particular stanza.



Let the bird of lowdest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herauld sad and trumpet be:
To whose sound chaste wings obey.


But thou shrieking harbinger
Foule precurrer of the fiend,
Augour of the fevers end,
To this troupe come thou not neere.


From this Session interdict
Every foule of tyrant wing,
Save the Eagle feath’red king,
Keepe the obsequie so strict.


Let the Priest in Surples white,
That defunctive Musicke can,
Be the death-devining Swan,
Lest the Requiem lacke his right.


And thou treble dated Crow,
That thy sable gender mak’st.
With the breath thou giv’st and tak’st,
Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.


Here the Antheme doth commence,
Love and Constancie is dead,
Phoenix and the Turtle fled,
In a mutuall flame from hence.


So they loved as love in twaine,
Had the essence but in one,
Two distincts, division none,
Number there in love was slaine.


Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance and no space was seene,
Twixt this Turtle and his Queene;
But in them it were a wonder.


So betweene them Love did shine,
That the Turtle saw his right,
Flaming in the Phoenix sight;
Either was the others mine.


Propertie was thus appalled,
That the self was not the same :
Single natures double name,
Neither two nor one was called.


Reason in itselfe confounded,
Saw division grow together,
To themselves yet either neither,
Simple were so well compounded.


That it cried, how true a twaine,
Seemeth this concordant one,
Love hath reason, Reason none,
If what parts, can so remaine.


Whereupon it made this Threne,
To the Phoenix and the Dove,
Co-supremes and starres of Love,
As Chorus to their Tragique scene.




Beautie, Truth, and Raritie,
Grace in all simplicitie,
Here enclosed, in cinders lie.


Death is now the Phoenix nest,
And the Turtle loyall brest, 
To eternitie doth rest.

= 1740

Leaving no posteritie,
Twas not their infermitie,
It was married Chastitie.


Truth may seeme, but cannot be,
Beautie bragge, but tis not she,
Truth and beautie buried be.


To this urne let those repaire,
That are either true or faire,
For these dead Birds, sigh a prayer.


William Shake-speare.


We therefore see a representation of ‘Sacred 3’ in the sense that a mathematical portrayal of our author has been presented to us three-times in the poem. While I should mention, that on every occasion the words Envie or Envious appear in ‘Love’s Martyr’ they are allusions to ‘Essex’ (Robert Devereux), while the words he uses as allusions to his son ‘Henry Wriothesley’ in ‘Love’s Martyr’ are – Eagle, One, rare & rarity, therefore any combination of these words may also represent ‘Sacred 3’.

Looking more closely at ‘Love’s Martyr’ we find three consecutive poems all alluding to ‘Wriothesley’, “The first”, “The burning” and “The Phoenix and the Turtle” – and while we have already seen the Godly appellation ‘One’ in the third poem of these three, it also appears in “The first”.


This illustration - by kind permission of the Folger Shakspearian Library - Washington D.C.

This illustration – by kind permission of the Folger Shakespearean Library – Washington D.C.


We see the words one, one, one presented in the last three lines, while in the following poem “The burning” in the last two lines we find a further representation of ‘Sacred 3’ in the words ‘rare’ used twice in the penultimate line and the word ‘one’ in the final line.

The word ‘sil-ver’ obviously has a special meaning for our author as it is both ‘Lis’ backwards and ‘Ver’ united together. While Elizabeth’s association to the ‘Moon Goddess’ Diana shouldn’t be forgotten. In the first line of the verse we find a slightly isolated capital ‘V’ which stands for ‘Vere’, followed by a capital ‘E’ which stands for ‘Edward’. While the purpose of this slightly contrived verse is our authors determination to reveal to the world the fact that he was “The first” born son of princess Elizabeth – who gave birth to him approximately eight weeks before her 15th birthday – on the 14th July 1548.

In fact, these introductory words “The silver V ault of heaven” represent what was formerly a ‘Virgin Womb’ until the fertile, lusty and saucy ‘Thomas Seymour’ saw-more than he should have – and decided to seed it. In mitigation, he was living in a household jam-packed with femininity at every corner, sharing his living-space with three royals – who all at one time or another became Queens, the Dowager Queen Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey & Princess Elizabeth. While it is my personal opinion, that Princess Elizabeth was not entirely innocent in regard of the Admiral’s intentions, as it was said, that at the mere mention of his name – she blushed and her pulse grew quicker. While in her defence, he was a married man of dissembling nature who persistently pursued her at all hours of the day, shamelessly flirting with her, playfully tickling her, while on other occasions receiving pleasure from the sound his hand made when slapping her derriere.

Oh! And I meant to mention “The first” born son of the princess signed the above poem (right in the middle) with a triangulated-anagrammatic-signature ‘E De Vere’.

To close, I would very briefly like to reflect upon our authors great wit, by telling part of a story he was famous for reciting himself on many an occasion.

Having received ‘intelligence’ from her majesty that a party working for the Lord Chancellor ‘William Cecil’ would via ‘Gads Hill’ Rochester be delivering a cache of funds to the city of Canterbury. Our author overwhelmed by the explosivity of this knowledge organised some musket fire at the foot of Gads Hill for the arrival of Cecil’s men who were duly robbed, an event giving him the opportunity to indulge in the mischievous pseudonym “Ro. Chester” (ROCHESTER) which is precisely how he signed the dedication to Sir John Salisbury in ‘Love’s Martyr’ and just in case there are any doubters amongst you – here by kind permission of – The Folger Shakespeare Library – it is reproduced:




Of Particular note on page (1) allusions to the three leading protagonists of ‘The Essex Faction’ “envie, every one” being ‘Essex, de Vere and VVriothesley’.

While looking at the words ”TO THE HONORA-ble and” finishing with the word “nobile.” we find a further 1740 allusion.


The dedication to ‘Love’s Martyr’ (conclusion).

The dedication to ‘Love’s Martyr’ (conclusion).


VVriothesley is the Child alluded to above, while it is interesting that this favourite “Gads Hill” story of our author gets a further outing in ‘Henry IV pt.1’ where the thieves are indicted: “for robbing a poor carrier the 20th May last past, in the fourteenth year of the reign of our sovereign lord King Henry the Fourth”.

Now, as our illustrious friend ‘Richard Malim’ pertinently points out in his book “The EARL of OXFORD and the MAKING of SHAKESPEARE” there was in fact no 20th May in the fourteenth year of the reign of Henry IV because he died prior to that – on the 20th March 1413.

Therefore, while bearing in mind that all illegitimate male Elizabethan princes had official and unofficial birthdays – it is worth noting that Wriothesley’s TRUE birthday was Thursday 20th May 1574 – interestingly the day of a new-moon (The dedication to Venus and Adonis attests to this reality) a date the Tudor State tried to pretend did not exist, and why precisely our great author alluded to it in such an ironic manner in his play ‘Henry IV pt.1’. While Wriothesley’s official birthday was 6th October 1573.

Before I conclude, I should mention in respect of his sonnets (perhaps biographically his most important work) that this considerable announcement of their publication in the stationer’s office came forth on the 20th May 1613 in celebration of Wriothesley’s TRUE birthday – an announcement coming five years after our great author’s death which was the 24th June 1604.

Nietzsche said, humanity disliked truth because people didn’t want their illusions destroyed – then maybe we should re-evaluate the third line of Shake-speare’s most famous (S.18).

“Rough windes do shake the darling buds of Maie.” (Quarto original spelling).

Asking, when was the schwa /ə/ first used in English texts, by examining the word “Vert” we discover our great author saw words mathematically (gematrically). The Hebrew word “Schwa” (with its various spellings) means ’emptiness’, then taking this negative meaning literally, if we devoid the word (empty it) of the schwa /e/ consequently, we are left with the letters ‘VRT‘. Then in terms of gematria – in conjunction with the Elizabethan alphabet, where A = 1, B = 2, & C = 3 etc. We discover, ‘V‘ converts to ‘20‘ Wriothesley’s TRUE date-of-creation, ‘R‘ converts to ‘17‘ Oxford’s Earldom, and ‘T’ converts to ‘19‘ an allusion to ‘Essex’, who you may recall rather sadly is referenced in line ‘XIX‘ of “The Phoenix and the Turtle” poem with the words:

“With the breath thou Giv’st and Tak’st”.

The meaning of these words simplicity itself:

Elizabeth the Virgin Queen gave breath to Essex when she gave birth to him,                                                                                                And when she signed his death warrant and he was executed she took his breath away.

They appear in line ‘XIX’ of the poem – an allusion to Jesus Christ – the reason:

Both ‘Essex’ & ‘Jesus Christ’ were born of virgins and both put to death for their beliefs.

What I have just described is known as “The Essex/Christ Allusion”. 

“Tau” is letter ‘XIX’ of the Greek alphabet (a symbol of Christs Crucifixion) while our great author predicated “The Essex/Christ Allusion” upon his gut wrenching observation – when his son Henry VVriothesley and his half brother ‘Essex’ were sentenced to death in February 1601 on day ‘XIX‘. 

William Shakespeare’s sonnet ‘XIX‘ venerates Essex – where he is described as a Lion & fierce Tiger, before uncharacteristically slating his mother Elizabeth:

“And burn the long-lived Phoenix in her blood”.


Philip Cooper fecit: This very day the 22nd February 2022.