J. Thomas Looney
John Thomas Looney (14 August 1870 – 17 January 1944) was an English school teacher who is best known for having originated the Oxfordian theory, which claims that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550–1604) was the true author of Shakespeare's plays.
Looney came from a Methodist religious background, but later converted to the rationalistic Religion of Humanity, becoming a leader of its church in Tyneside. After the failure of the local church, Looney turned to the Shakespeare authorship question, publishing in 1920 his theory that de Vere was the author of most of the poems and plays published in Shakespeare's name. He later argued that de Vere had also written works published under the names of other poets.
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