It’s always interesting to think about the origins of a magical manuscript and who might have owned it. We must be careful about this, though, as much of the information within might very well be lies.
I’ve been turning my attention to this particular passage in the Book of Oberon:
This Regall Regent made by me parsonn Clarcke in divinitie Thomas Drowre, with other, 4, or doctours & maisters of the hye sciens under god, ii of the hie scholes of Orlians & ii of the universities within the realme of England with the helpe & counsell of ffriar Bacon, these vi Consentinge in one that this experimente used after this manner followeinge in all degrees is as sure as the gospell, & a xi thimes by them proued haveinge a carrier at ther commaundemente to deliver or shew any manner of things that the[y] demaunded eyther of treasures Hidden, or any other things,
It’s hard to tell who any of these people are. For example, Friar Bacon cannot be Roger Bacon, as he’s too early, or Francis Bacon, as he wasn’t a friar. One figure in particular, Thomas Drowre or Drury, might be another story.
The most famous Thomas Drury from this period was an interesting character: Cambridge graduate, member of the Inner Temple, heraldry student, traveler to foreign destinations, spy, informant, and swindler. On the up side, he doesn’t seem to have been very good at any of these, as he tends to end up in jail as a result of one failed scheme or another. He did have powerful friends, at least for a while, who kept him around to do their dirty work. Most famously, Drury likely drafted the famous list of charges against the playwright Christopher Marlowe, brought against him by Richard Baines, that led to Marlowe’s arrest and (possibly) his death shortly thereafter.
Nonetheless, there’s another aspect of Drury that is directly relevant to this project. Here’s what Charles Nicholl says in his book The Reckoning about one of Drury’s escapades:
In the summer of 1585 he was involved with a certain John Meeres, another law-student at the Temple, a man described as ‘full of craft’. Meeres had been importuning a widow, Edetha Beast, using ‘sorceries and threats against her, threatening to trouble her with the sight of the devil unless she consented to his desires &c’. Mrs Beast had succeeded in gaining protection from Sir Francis Walsingham, and Meeres ended up in prison for acting ‘in contempt’ of this injunction. Drury was also imprisoned and examined: he dished the dirt on Meeres and was released shortly after.