Thomas Phelippes (1556–1625) was a forger and intelligence gatherer. He served mainly under Sir Francis Walsingham, in the time of Elizabeth I, deciphering the codes of those plotting against her.
Read more about Thomas Phelippes: Babington Plot
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... the letter proving Mary, Queen of Scots complicity in the plot Phelippes had drawn a gallows on the envelope ... Duff as Elizabeth I, and Vincent Franklin as Phelippes ... an excellent linguist, and, above all, a person with a positive genius for deciphering letters.’ Phelippes was kept busy with a backlog of correspondence requested by Her Majesty whose letters contained day to day ...
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“Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away.”
—Eighteenth-century English proverb, collected in Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732)