Francis Walsingham (1532-1590) was Queen Elizabeth I’s principal secretary and spymaster.

He attended King’s College in Cambridge and continued his studies in France and Italy. As a Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis, Dorset, Walsingham worked with William Cecil and Lord Burghley spying on suspicious foreigners in London. Christopher Marlowe may have worked with Walsingham as an intelligencer. After the St. Bartholemew Massacre, he became Secretary of England in 1573 and was knighted in 1577. He discovered the Throckmorton Plot and the Babington Plot. Walsingham died April 6, 1590 at Barn Elms in southwest London.

Author: Emily Briere; Editor: Jacqueline Davis

Walsingham, Sir Francis