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Walsingham, Francis, Sir, 1532-1590

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1532-1590

Sir Francis Walsingham (1532-1590) was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster".

Born to a well-connected family of gentry, Walsingham attended Cambridge University and travelled in continental Europe before embarking on a career in law at the age of twenty. He served as English ambassador to France in the early 1570s and witnessed the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. As principal secretary to Elizabeth I, he supported exploration, colonization, the use of England's maritime strength and the plantation of Ireland. He worked to bring Scotland and England together. He oversaw operations that penetrated Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, disrupted a range of plots against Elizabeth and secured the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Sir Francis Walsingham died on 6 April 1590, at his house in Seething Lane. He was buried privately in a simple ceremony in Old St Paul's Cathedral. The grave and monument were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. His name appears on a modern monument in the crypt listing the important graves lost.

Citation

His Journal of Sir Francis Walsingham, 1870.

DNB (Walsingham, Sir Francis, 1530?-1590)

LC data base, 4/29/85 (hdg.: Walsingham, Francis, Sir, 1530?-1590; variant: Mr. Secretary Walsingham)

Wikipedia, via WWW, Dec. 15, 2020 (Sir Francis Walsingham, c. 1532 – 6 April 1590. He was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Born to a well-connected family of gentry, Walsingham attended Cambridge University and travelled in continental Europe before embarking on a career in law at the age of twenty. He served as English ambassador to France in the early 1570s and witnessed the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. As principal secretary to Elizabeth I, he supported exploration, colonization, the use of England's maritime strength and the plantation of Ireland. He worked to bring Scotland and England together. He oversaw operations that penetrated Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, disrupted a range of plots against Elizabeth and secured the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Francis Walsingham died on 6 April 1590, at his house in Seething Lane. He was buried privately in a simple ceremony in Old St Paul's Cathedral. The grave and monument were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. His name appears on a modern monument in the crypt listing the important graves lost.)

The Queen's agent, 2012: page 5 (Francis Walsingham born probably 22nd year of King Henry's reign (1531 or 1532), probably in Foot's Cray or London) page 40 (one of 19 Marian exiles elected to Parliament in 1559) page 86 (seat on the privy council as principal secretary to the queen, sworn in on 21 December 1573)

Her Majesty's spymaster, 2005: page xiv (Sir Francis Walsingham, ambassador to France, 1570-1573, Principal Secretary, 1573-1590) page 213 (died April 6 1590) page 217 (Francis Walsingham born 1532, attends King's College, Cambridge 1548-50(?), enrolled as law student at Gray's Inn 1552, student of Roman civil law in Padua 1555-56) page 218 (August 1568 employed in secret work by Mr. Secretary Cecil) page 219 (August 1570 sent on diplomatic mission to France, December 1570 appointed ambassador to France, April 1572 witnesses Saint Bartholomew's massacres, December 1573 named Principal Secretary and Privy Councilor, January 1575 uncovers Mary Stuart's secret contacts via London bookseller Henry Cockyn, July 1577 receives deciphered letters revealing Don John's invasion plot) page 220 (December 1577 knighthood conferred, 1578 diplomatic mission to Low Countries, 1579 dismissed from Court, 1580 returns to Court, 1581 diplomatic mission to France) page 221 (September 1582 receives reports of secret contacts between Mary and French embassy, April 1583 approached by Henry Fagot spy in French embassy, summer 1583 mole in French embassy leaked copies of Mary's letters, August-October 1583 diplomatic mission to Scotland) page 222 (December 1585 arranges sham system to convey Mary's letters, June 1586 receives spy's report on treason of Stafford, ambassador to France, July 1586 receives decipher of Mary's incriminating letter to Babington, August 1586 arrests Babington plotters, February 1587 Mary executed, April 1587 writes plan for intelligence from Spain, June 1587 receives intelligence that Armada will not sail on England in 1587, April 1590 dies)

Sir Francis Walsingham, 2007: page 8 (Francis Walsingham born 1532)

Found in 55 Collections and/or Records:

Bartholomew Clerke letter to Sir Francis Walsingham

 Digital Record
Identifier: VMSS457_I32_O1
Dates: 1587 April 12

Robert Beale collection of letters

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Vault MSS 457
Scope and Contents Official correspondence of the Kingdom of England and Wales in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, found among the personal papers of Robert Beale. Most letters are either by him or to him. They deal with the earliest years of the Dutch Republic and the part played by England in the Dutch revolt. Many of the letters were also originally addressed to Sir Francis Walsingham (1530-1590), Beale's brother-in-law, and Elizabeth's Secretary of State. Four letters are addressed to Robert Dudley, Earl of...
Dates: 1569-1592

Francesco Giraldi letter to Sir Francis Walsingham

 Digital Record
Identifier: VMSS457_I11_O1
Dates: 1576 June 2

Francois de Baudrimont letter to Sir Francis Walsingham

 Digital Record
Identifier: VMSS457_I50_O1
Dates: 1590 May 7

Robert Beale letter to Burleigh and Sir Francis Walsingham

 Digital Record
Identifier: VMSS457_I46_O1
Dates: [between 1569 and 1592?]

Robert Beale letter to Sir Francis Walsingham

 Digital Record
Identifier: VMSS457_I5_O1
Dates: 1576 May 2