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Sir Francis Throckmorton (1554 –July 1584) was a conspirator against Queen Elizabeth I of England in the Throckmorton Plot.
He was the son of Sir John Throckmorton, the seventh out of eight sons of Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton Court. He was a nephew of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, one of Elizabeth's diplomats, who had held the post of Chief Justice of Chester but was removed in 1579, a year before his death. His paternal grandmother, Hon. Katherine Vaux, daughter of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux of Harrowden, was the paternal aunt of the Protestant queen consort of King Henry VIII, Catherine Parr.
Francis Throckmorton was educated in Oxford and entered the Inner Temple in London as a pupil in 1576. In 1580, he travelled to the European continent and met leading Catholic malcontents from England abroad (in Spain and France). It was in Paris that Throckmorton met Charles Paget and Thomas Morgan, agents of Mary, Queen of Scots. Following his return to England in 1583, he served as an intermediary for communications between supporters of the Catholic cause on the continent, the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Spanish ambassador Bernardino de Mendoza.
His activities raised the suspicions of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth I's spymaster. A search of his house produced incriminating evidence and, after torture on the rack, Throckmorton confessed his involvement in a plot to overthrow the Queen and restore the Catholic Church in England. An invasion led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, would have been coupled with an orchestrated uprising of Catholics within the country.
Although Throckmorton later retracted his confession, he was convicted of high treason and executed in 1584.
Sir Francis Throckmorton is featured in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age , where he is played by Steven Robertson. In the film, he is shown asking for help from his cousin, Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of Queen Elizabeth's ladies-in-waiting and later the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Throckmorton's recruitment to act as a courier to Queen Mary and the way he was discovered by Walsingham's agents are depicted in Ken Follet's historical novel "A Column of Fire". As depicted in the book, Throckmorton was a minor member of the conspiracy, the main organiser who recruited him managing to escape undetected.
Sir Francis Walsingham was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster".
The Babington Plot was a plan in 1586 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, a Protestant, and put Mary, Queen of Scots, her Roman Catholic cousin, on the English throne. It led to the Queen of Scots' execution, a result of a letter sent by Mary in which she consented to the assassination of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 biographical period drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role and is a fairly fictionalised portrayal of events during the later part of the reign of Elizabeth I, following up on Kapur's 1998 film Elizabeth, also starring Blanchett. The film co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Jordi Mollà, Abbie Cornish, and Samantha Morton. The screenplay was written by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst, and the music score was composed by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong. Guy Hendrix Dyas was the film's production designer and co-visual effects supervisor, and the costumes were created by Alexandra Byrne. The film was shot at Shepperton Studios and various locations around the United Kingdom.
Sir Anthony Babington was an English gentleman convicted of plotting the assassination of Elizabeth I of England and conspiring with the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots. The "Babington Plot" and Mary's involvement in it were the basis of the treason charges against her which led to her execution. He was a member of the Babington family.
William Davison was secretary to Queen Elizabeth I. He played a key and diplomatic role in the 1587 execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was made the scapegoat for this event in British history. As a Secretary of some influence, he was active in forging alliances with England's Protestant friends in Holland and Scotland to prevent war with France.
Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was an English diplomat and politician, who was an ambassador to France and later Scotland, and played a key role in the relationship between Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Thomas Vaux, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden KB, English poet, was the eldest son of Nicholas Vaux, 1st Baron Vaux and his second wife, Anne Green, daughter of Sir Thomas Green, Lord of Nortons Green, and Joan Fogge. He was educated at Cambridge University. His mother was the maternal aunt of queen consort Catherine Parr, while his wife, Elizabeth Cheney, was a first cousin of the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII.
Sir William FitzWilliam (1526–1599) was an English Lord Justice of Ireland and afterwards Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1587, as Governor of Fotheringhay Castle, he supervised the execution of the death sentence on Mary, Queen of Scots. He was the Member of Parliament for Peterborough and represented County Carlow in the Irish House of Commons. He lived at Gainspark, Essex, and Milton Hall.
Sir John Throckmorton was a lawyer and member of the English Parliament during the reign of Queen Mary I. He was also a witness to Queen Mary's will.
The 1583 Throckmorton Plot was one of a series of attempts by English Roman Catholics to depose Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, then held under house arrest in England.
Charles Paget was a Roman Catholic conspirator, involved in the Babington Plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Events from the 1580s in England.
Sir Thomas Heneage PC was an English politician and courtier at the court of Elizabeth I.
Thomas Morgan of Llantarnam (1546–1606), of the Welsh Morgan of Monmouthshire, was a confidant and spy for Mary, Queen of Scots, and was involved in the Babington plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I of England. In his youth, Thomas, a staunch Catholic, worked as Secretary of the Archbishop of York until 1568, and then for Lord Shrewsbury who had Mary under his care at this time. Morgan's Catholic leanings soon brought him into the confidence of the Scottish queen and Mary enlisted Morgan as her secretary and go-between for the period extending between 1569 -1572 which coincided with a series of important conspiracies against Elizabeth. Morgan was imprisoned for 3 years in the Tower of London before exiling himself to France.
Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton Court in Warwickshire, England, was a Member of Parliament during the reign of King Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas Walsingham was a courtier to Queen Elizabeth I and literary patron to such poets as Thomas Watson, Thomas Nashe, George Chapman and Christopher Marlowe. He was related to Elizabeth's spymaster Francis Walsingham and the employer of Marlowe's murderer Ingram Frizer. This connection is one of the reasons offered for suggesting that Marlowe's death may have been linked with intelligence work, and not a dispute over a bill for food and accommodation, as in the coroner's verdict.
Sir Robert Throckmorton, KG, of Coughton Court in Warwickshire, was a Member of Parliament and a distinguished English courtier. His public career was impeded by remaining a Roman Catholic.
Thomas Paget, 3rd Baron Paget was an English peer, the second son of William Paget, 1st Baron Paget. He succeeded to the barony in 1568 at the death of his elder brother, Henry Paget, 2nd Baron Paget.
Henry Vaux was an English recusant, priest smuggler, and poet during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was born the eldest child of William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux of Harrowden, and his first wife, Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of John Beaumont of Grace Dieu, Leicester. Both Henry Vaux's parents came from traditionally Catholic families.
Sir Charles Arundell, was an English gentleman, lord of the manor of South Petherton, Somerset, notable as an early Roman Catholic recusant and later as a leader of the English exiles in France. He has been suggested as the author of Leicester's Commonwealth, an anonymous work which attacked Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Leicester.