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Robert Beale letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, 1579 January 29

 Item — oversize: 1
Identifier: Vault MSS 457 Item 9
Image of Robert Beale letter to Sir Francis Walsingham
Image of Robert Beale letter to Sir Francis Walsingham


  • 1579 January 29


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Originals condition restricted. Microfilm copy available for public use.

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Biographical / Historical

Robert Beale (1541-1601) served as ambassador to France starting in 1570, special envoy of queen Elizabeth to the German Lutheran princes 1576, Secretary of State 1578 and 1581-1583, and was in parliament from Dorchester in 1586 and 1588. In addition, he served under Leicester in 1588 in the Netherlands probably with the transport department. As a scholar he is known for two books which maintain the principle of toleration and for works glorifying marriage and women.

Biographical / Historical

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.

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.


1 folded sheet (3 pages) ; 30 x 42 cm folded to 30 x 21 cm



Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.


Autograph letter signed by Beale, with address to Walsingham on verso of leaf 2. Written in English from Middelburgh, Netherlands, 29 January [1579]. Detailed information on the progress of the Dutch rebellion, on land and sea. Beale thinks that some reverses suffered by William the Silent will make him more amenable to English complaints.


Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States