Report Michele Deconet in The Auction Scroll Posted December 19, 2012 Bean_fidhlier's comments, I'm sorry to say, are rather beside the point. We have a grotesque fascination with the possibility that craftsmen of the past were less literate than us, but by his arguments I think even Shakespeare would have to be deemed illiterate. Sorry, Ben, but I really must contradict you: the incompetent look of the alleged Deconet writing is very much to the point. And Shakespeare was, at best, semi-literate judging from his alleged signatures. Signatures are generally the best-practiced significant words anyone writes. I have an indenture on parchment dating from 1674, not even 100 years after Shakespeare's time, and well before Deconet's. The signatures of the contracting and witnessing parties - John Hoyle, Tho: Hesletine Jno, Tho. Nisbett Jnr, Jos: Heslerton, Thomas Rayson, Richard Benson, Matthew Rayson, Samuell Smith, G. Frost, and John Herbet - are as smoothly written as anyone's signature today. They were obviously done by people completely comfortable with the pen and the written word. Just as obviously, Deconet (if that writing is his) was not.