Richard Baines

Richard Baines, much like Kit Marlowe, was an Elizabethan intelligencer. Despite scarce information surrounding Baines’ early life, he graduated from Cambridge University in 1576 and became an Elizabethan intelligencer. Based on his known profession, he most likely frequented the Tower of London reporting to Sir Francis Walsingham. Starting in 1579, he spent four years of his life at the English College at Rheims in France. While at the seminary he became a deacon, and eventually a priest. After plotting to poison the seminaries well, he was imprisoned for one year. Evidence supports that Marlowe was also in Rheims at this time doing similar work as an intelligencer, which is where the lives of Marlowe and Baines overlap. Although regarded as an interesting intelligencer, Baines is most well-known for his memorandum regarding Kit Marlowe. Baines scornfully described the playwright, specifically attacking Marlowe’s religious beliefs as atheistic. This caused intrigue, as his note was delivered to the police right before Marlowe’s death in 1593. Thus, there are many questions regarding whether or not Baines’ himself played a role in Kit’s demise.  

Author: Demeule, Alexander 

Editor: Gillis, Lauren; Massey, Jessica  

Baines, Richard
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