This chapter shows that by the close of Oxford's twenty–third year in 1573, several vectors of his trended in a decidedly negative direction. Oxford was now well established as courtier, royal favourite, poet, patron, egotist, and thug. His associates included the Queen, peers, courtiers, poets, and protégés, but also the Westminster tailor Edward Baynam, the murderous George Brown, and the violent threesome Danny Wylkyns, John Hannam, and Maurice Dennis alias Denny the Frenchman. Reports circulated that Oxford had deserted his young wife, first in a fit of pique, then out of lewd adventurism. He yearned for foreign travel, solo. He treated the most respectable statesmen of England with contempt, and quarrelled with his father–in–law.
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