Sir Francis Walsingham (c. 1532 – 6 April 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 travelled in continental Europe after leaving university before embarking at the age of twenty on a career in the law. A committed Protestant, during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I of England he joined other expatriates in exile in Switzerland and northern Italy until Mary's death and the accession of her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth.
Walsingham rose from relative obscurity to become one of the small coterie who directed the Elizabethan state, overseeing foreign, domestic and religious policy. He served as English ambassador to France in the early 1570s and witnessed the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. As principal secretary, he was a supporter of exploration, colonization, the use of England's maritime power, and the plantation of Ireland. He worked to bring Scotland and England together. Overall, his foreign policy demonstrated a new understanding of the role of England as a maritime, Protestant power in an increasingly global economy. He oversaw operations that penetrated the heart of Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, disrupted a range of plots against Elizabeth, and secured the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Other articles related to "francis walsingham, walsingham, francis":
... Fictional portrayals of Walsingham tend to follow Jesuit interpretations, depicting him as sinister and Machiavellian ... The 1998 film Elizabeth gives considerable, although historically inaccurate, prominence to Walsingham (portrayed by Geoffrey Rush) ...
... Henri's brother Francis was Mary of Guise's daughter Mary Stuart's first husband ... In the film, Mary of Guise is poisoned by Francis Walsingham after Elizabeth rejects Henri's suit in reality, Mary died of edema in 1560, nine years before Henri's suit ... Similarly, Francis Walsingham was in his mid-twenties when Elizabeth was crowned, not a middle-aged man as he was portrayed by Geoffrey Rush ...
... rousing opposition in the country (which her zealously anti-catholic councillor Sir Francis Walsingham secretly approves of), Elizabeth seems taken with the witty ... way Elizabeth will remain on the throne? Sir Francis Walsingham definitely thinks so, and will use any means to convince Elizabeth to eliminate Mary ... hawks (privateers) in her council (both Walsingham and Sir Francis Drake), with hopes of peace (encouraged by Cecil, who is now Lord Burghley), the Spanish Armada appears on the horizons of England ...
Famous quotes containing the words walsingham and/or francis:
“thou Prince of Walsingham,
Graunt me to frame
Bitter plaints to rue thy wrong,
Bitter woe for thy name.”
—Unknown. A Lament for the Priory of Walsingham (l. 58)
“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.”
—Mario Puzo, U.S. author, screenwriter, and Francis Ford Coppola, U.S. director, screenwriter. Michael Corleone (Al Pacino)