Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Sir Francis Walsingham

Picture of Sir Francis Walsingham

Picture of Sir Francis Walsingham

Short Biography of the life of Sir Francis Walsingham - Statesman, Politician and Spymaster

Sir Francis Walsingham was an important Elizabethan Statesman. A staunch Protestant who became Elizabeth's spymaster and feared member of the Star Chamber.

The following biography information provides basic facts about the life Sir Francis Walsingham:

  • Nationality - English
  • Lifespan - 15321590
  • Family - Wealthy family of vintners
  • Education - King's College, Cambridge
  • Career - Statesman, Politician and Spymaster
  • Famous as a zealous Protestant and the Spymaster for Queen Elizabeth I

Facts & History about the life of Sir Francis Walsingham - Statesman, Politician and Spymaster
The following are additional facts about the life and history of Sir Francis Walsingham:

  • Francis Walsingham was born in 1530 to a wealthy family at Chislehurst, Kent, England
  • Distant relative of Anne Boleyn the mother of Queen Elizabeth
  • He was a staunch Protestant
  • Attended Cambridge University
  • Travelled abroad after his education
  • Sir Francis Walsingham married twice. His first wife was Anne Barnes who he married in January 1562 and he married his second wife, Ursula St. Barbe, in 1567
  • Went into voluntary exile in Europe when the Catholic Queen Mary was on the throne where he met many important people and gained a good understanding of foreign politics and languages
  • He returned to England when Elizabeth became Queen working with Sir William Cecil ( who later became Lord Burghley)
  • 1570 - Appointed Ambassador to France
  • Sir Francis Walsingham was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I from 1573 to 1590
  • December 21, 1573 - Sir Francis Walsingham appointed Principal Secretary of State and becomes Elizabeth's chief spy master
  • Appointed a member to the Privy Council
  • Sir Francis Walsingham, working with Lord Burghley, devised an intricate spy network during the latter years of Elizabeth's reign that succeeded in uncovering the Babington Plot of 1586
  • Sir Francis Walsingham and Lord Burghley were instrumental in convincing Elizabeth to have Mary Queen of Scots executed in 1587
  • Sir Philip Sydney married Frances Walsingham, the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. Walsingham took responsibility for the huge debts of Sydney
  • Sir Francis Walsingham died 6 Apr 1590 in his London house in Seething Lane which was located near the southwest side of the Tower of London, England
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