Sir Francis Walsingham: spy-master extraordinaire and Elizabeth I’s security chief

Employing a range of dark arts and an extensive spy network, Elizabeth I's security chief Sir Francis Walsingham (c1532–1590) did his utmost to protect the Tudor queen from danger. Here, John Cooper examines his career, from his studies at King’s College Cambridge and Gray’s Inn during the radical years of Edward VI’s Reformation to recruiting secret agents from deep within Elizabethan England's Catholic community...

A portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I’s ‘spymaster’. (Photo by Photo 12/UIG via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the October 2011 issue of BBC History Magazine 

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