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Sir Francis Walsingham Facts

Sir Francis Walsingham

Facts about Sir Francis Walsingham

Biography Summary: Sir Francis Walsingham (1532 - 1590) was famous for Queen Elizabeth I’s principal secretary and spymaster.

From a wealthy family he was very well educated. A devote Christian during the reign of Catholic Queen Mary I of England he was forced to go into exile until she died when it was safe for him to return.

He would go on to serve Queen Elizabeth I until his own death but over the many many years of service to his Queen his efforts were exemplary.

He was such a master of his trade there was little he did not know and was perceptive enough to anticipate what was coming.

He married twice, his first wife Anne Barne, already a widow with a child, died after two years of marriage and left her son in Walsingham’s care, he then married Ursula St Barbe and together they had two daughters.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact Sheet: Who was Sir Francis Walsingham? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Sir Francis Walsingham.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact File Biography: Lifespan: *** Full Name: Sir Francis Walsingham *** Nickname: Moor and Spymaster *** Occupation: Queen Elizabeth I’s Principal Secretary and Spymaster *** Date of Birth: Sir Francis Walsingham was born in 1532, the exact date is unknown *** Place of Birth: Sir Francis Walsingham was born in Foots Cray in Kent, England *** Family background: His father was William Walsingham and his mother was Joyce. His father was a lawyer and wealthy, successful and well known but died when Francis was only two years old. His mother remarried Sir John Carey in 1538 *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his five sisters *** Education: Sir Francis Walsingham attended King’s College in Cambridge and prior to that would have received tuition at home ***

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 1: Sir Francis Walsingham was born in 1532 and during the 16th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 2: In 1552 he enrolled at Gray’s Inn to further study to become a lawyer.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 3: When Edward VI died and Mary I became Queen, as with many nobles of the protestant, faith he was forced to leave England and lived abroad in Italy.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 4: Upon her death Elizabeth the first was proclaimed queen and he was finally able to return home.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 5: Upon his return home and through support from fellow exiles returning home, he was given the opportunity to become a member of Elizabeth’s first parliament with the influence of the 2nd Earl of Bedford and was even elected for a second term.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 6: Through his support of the Huguenots, he would befriend and work very closely with Nicholas Throckmorton. By 1569 he was working with William Cecil and together they foiled many plots against Elizabeth I including the Ridolfi plot which would see Mary Queen of Scots on the English thrown.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 7: He was given the honor of a Knighthood on December 1st 1577.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 8: Over many years Walsingham worked tirelessly for Queen Elizabeth and earned himself the reputation and nickname as her Spymaster.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 9: He would become instrumental in convincing Elizabeth to imprison Mary Queen of Scots and eventually, when enough evidence was collected, Mary was put on trial under the act for the surety of the Queens person, she was found guilty.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 10: Reluctant to go ahead with Mary’s execution, Elizabeth signed her death warrant but did not give specific instructions for it to be executed.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 11: Ever being the manipulator and with his Queens best interests always in his heart, Walsingham made the arrangements for Mary’s execution.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 12: Unbeknownst to Elizabeth and with Walsingham at his home unwell, Mary’s warrant for execution was carried out.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 13: Walsingham had agents everywhere and in 1586 he was receiving intelligence from the merchant communities as well as foreign courts. He was particularly pleased with the information he received through his recruitment of Anthony Standen, a friend of the Tuscan ambassador to Madrid, and the information he provided regarding Spain's preparations for an invasion on English soil.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 14: He particularly concentrated his efforts on the defence of Dover Harbor.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 15: Walsingham was a great supporter of the raid on Cádiz conducted by Francis drake in 1587 and the mayhem it brought about.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 16: In July of 1588 the Spanish Armada had set sail for England and would be thwarted in their attempts invade England.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 17: Walsingham proved himself a master spy with an extremely extensive network not only across Europe but as far reaching as Algiers and Constantinople, with particularly attention to Catholic exiles.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 18: There is some suggestion that even the playwright Christopher Marlow, also a friend of Walsingham’s brother, Thomas, may have been one of his spies.

Sir Francis Walsingham Fact 19: Sir Francis Walsingham died at his family home on April 6th 1590. Often complaining of ill health over many years, Walsingham spent much time at his country estate recuperating from various maladies, including pains in his back, stomach and head. It has been suggested he suffered from kidney stones, diabetes and urinary infections. He was interred, quietly, in a private ceremony in the old Saint Paul’s cathedral.

Influence and Legacy: Walsingham’s style of spy craft was unlike anyone else of his time. His network of intelligence kept him so up to date with information he was probably aware of events even before people who were involved were even aware of such details. He was truly a craftsman in his field.

Facts about Sir Francis Walsingham for Kids:
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, Sir Francis Walsingham.

A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Sir Francis Walsingham with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career.

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