Excerpt from Shakespeare Thy Name is Marlowe
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and enabling them to see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. Max Planck
ABOUT DAVID RHYS WILLIAMS (1890 - 1970)
As the author of Shakespeare Thy Name Is Marlowe, published almost fifty years ago, Williams contributed, along with Calvin Hoffman, A.D. (Dorothy) Wraight, and other pioneer Marlovians, to developing some of the key planks in the case for Marlowe's survival at Deptford the 30th of May, 1593. The son of Unitarian minister David Thomas Williams, David Rhys Williams was a Congregational as well as a Unitarian minister. He served the First Unitarian Church of Rochester for 30 years. He retired in 1958, but served as Minister Emeritus until his death in 1970. David Williams's career spanned three tumultuous decades of American history—economic depression, world war, and cold war.
From the Unitarian Register, January 1960
Minister Prays For Doomed Church
Williams sits alone in meditation as demolition of the Rochester church begins. Dr. Williams remained in the church from 11 A.M. until midnight to protest the destruction of the place where Frederick Douglass, the great American social reformer, spoke, and where Susan B. Anthony worshiped, lectured, conducted classes, and went forth to preach the gospel of women's suffrage.
In a last-minute attempt to prevent its demolition, Dr. David Rhys Williams, minister emeritus of the First Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York, spent a day in solitary meditation in the deserted building.
The congregation in September voted to sell the church and vacate immediately. It considered the structure, on the lip of a new shopping plaza excavation, a noisy, unsafe meeting place. Under the original agreement with the firm building the plaza, the church was to vacate in 1961.
As reported in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Dr. Williams stated his "prayer strike" was "an eleventh hour move to try to gain support for a project to save the building. I thought I had two years of grace; it turned out that I didn't."
Dr. Williams emphasized that his protest was a personal one: "I have only moral force today; I am no longer minister of the church. It is not my function as minister emeritus to intervene in the internal affairs of the church. But in good conscience I cannot let this matter go by.... This is generally regarded by experts as one of the finest specimens of early English Parish Gothic architecture in the United States. It is also the place where Frederick Douglass, the great Negro leader, spoke. It is one of the few remaining early shrines of the women's suffrage movement. Here Susan B. Anthony worshiped, lectured, conducted classes, and went forth to preach the gospel of women's suffrage."
"We must hold the line against cultural deterioration," he said. "I believe, in view of the protests raised against demolition of this building, its razing is a cultural crime of the first degree."
This controversial book summarizes the evidence and arguments that have led many contemporary scholars of the Elizabethan period to the conclusion that the man known as William Shakespeare was none other than Christopher Marlowe. 100 pages