He of course wasn't William Shakespeare, but they were born in the same year. Marlowe attended the King’s school in Canterbury after which he went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. His frequent and lengthy absences from university and a letter that remarked on his “good service” to Elizabeth I on “matters touching the benefit of his country” play their part in the theory he was spying for Francis Walsingham.
The theory that Marlowe wrote parts of Shakespeare plays seems to be true though. Henry VI, Parts One, Two and Three are among as many as 17 plays that are thought to contain the works of other playwrights including Marlowe.
So what of the rumours of Marlow's death? These say that he was stabbed to death, he was killed in a drunken fight, and the reasons for his death has been speculated upon too - he was murdered by a rival in love, Elizabeth put out a contract on him.
All fascinating stuff !