Sir Francis Walsingham

Also found in: Dictionary.

Walsingham, Sir Francis

(wôl`sĭng-əm), 1532?–1590, English statesman. A zealous Protestant, he went abroad during the reign of Queen Mary I but returned on the accession (1558) of Elizabeth I. He entered Parliament (1559) and soon was employed by William Cecil, Baron BurghleyBurghley or Burleigh, William Cecil, 1st Baron
, 1520–98, English statesman.
..... Click the link for more information.
, in obtaining intelligence from abroad. Joint secretary of state after 1573, he built up an elaborate and effective spy system, which later implicated the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots in a conspiracy against Elizabeth (1586) and led to her execution. His system in 1587 also provided England with minute details of the impending attack of the Spanish Armada. Walsingham, as a Protestant, favored an alliance of England, France, and the Netherlands against Spain. But, although he was employed on numerous missions and knighted in 1577, he was never able to persuade Elizabeth to adopt his policies of militant Protestantism. The responsibility for the debts he assumed (1586) at the death of his son-in-law, Sir Philip Sidney, put him in financial difficulties, and he died in debt.


See C. Read, Mr. Secretary Walsingham and the Policy of Queen Elizabeth (3 vol., 1925, repr. 1967).

References in periodicals archive ?
The remains of Tutbury Castle today and, right, Sir Francis Walsingham - Elizabeth's spy-master general Tutbury Castle near Burton-upon-Trent, where Mary was kept under house arrest for 16 years Mary Queen of Scots was a Catholic who threatened the rule of her cousin Elizabeth I
Budiansky describes the intelligence successes of Sir Francis Walsingham, first as ambassador to France and later as Principal Secretary to the Privy Council of Queen Elizabeth I.
Then there's the war of the spies behind the Iron Curtain - and how Elizabeth I's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, kept tabs on Mary Queen of Scots as she wrote coded letters to her fellow conspirators.
In the film, after Mary (Fanny Ardent) sends Elizabeth a poisoned gown that fatedly takes the life of an all-too-curious servant instead of the queen's, Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush) visits Mary and convinces her that he will betray Elizabeth.
The Secret History of History" chronicles the earliest days of espionage, including the exploits of Sir Francis Walsingham, the founder of Britain's first secret service under Queen Elizabeth, Cardinal Richelieu, the spymaster of France's King Louis XIII, and George Washington's efforts to collect secret information for the benefit of the emergent United States.
Stove's chronicle commences with Sir Francis Walsingham, secretary of state and gatherer of intelligence for Elizabeth I, who engineered the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587.
Writing to Sir Francis Walsingham from the Nonpareil on 29 July 1588, reporting on the Battle of Gravelines, Thomas Fenner declared that "God hath mightily protected her majesties forces with the least losses that ever hath been heard of, being within the compass of so great volleys of shot, both small and great.
Aided by Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush) she manages to kill all her enemies and win public admiration as the "Virgin Queen".
The Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Walsingham were the key
Aided by a master spy, Sir Francis Walsingham (Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, who received an Oscar nomination for ``Shakespeare''), Elizabeth realizes that her only chance of survival is to assert herself and not subjugate herself to any man.
50) Sir Thomas Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham, 9 February 1586, CSP Foreign, XX, 363.
It was probably on the recommendation of the Queen's Principal Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham.