Top 10: Spies in history |

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Top 10: Spies in history

As James Bond returns to the silver screen, we reveal the stories behind ten incredible real-life 007s



Nationality: English

Allegiance: Elizabeth I

Infiltrated: England’s Catholic network

THE TUDOR SPYMASTER Elizabeth I and Francis Walsingham discuss Mary, Queen of Scots’ conspiracy

As secretary of state near the end of the Tudor dynasty, Francis Walsingham became Elizabeth I’s ‘spymaster’, with a self-defined brief to identify and destroy any Catholic conspiracies against the Protestant Queen. His tactics ranged from intercepting letters to authorising torture, in the process employing a network of informers and experts.

Walsingham’s most notable manoeuvre was the entrapment of Mary, Queen of Scots, having successfully implicated her in a plot to remove Elizabeth from the throne. To Mary’s complaints of his underhand modus operandi, Walsingham replied: “I have done nothing unworthy of an honest man, and as secretary of state, nothing unbefitting my duty.”



Nationality: Dutch

Allegiance: The Germans

Infiltrated: France

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