|Died||11 August 1630 69) (aged|
|Resting place||St Nicholas's Church, Chislehurst, Kent|
Sir Thomas Walsingham (c. 1561 – 11 August 1630) 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.
Walsingham was the third son of Sir Thomas Walsingham (1526–1584), an important landowner in Kent, and grandson to Sir Edmund Walsingham, courtier to Henry VIII and later Lieutenant of the Tower of London.He was first cousin once removed to Sir Francis Walsingham, Ambassador to France and head of secret intelligence. In November 1589, on the death of his older brother, Edmund, Thomas Walsingham inherited the manor of Scadbury, Kent; the first-born brother, Guldeford, had predeceased their father and the estate had passed in turn to the second son, Edmund, before descending to Thomas. The inheritance came as Thomas's debts were mounting but it was not in time to prevent a short spell in the Fleet debtors' prison early in 1590, before he was able to take up residence at Scadbury. By 1593 he was settled in Scadbury and employing Ingram Frizer as his business agent, advancing money to needy heirs against the security of their inheritance. Frizer may have had a further role: he may have acted as a messenger between Walsingham and his former contacts in the intelligence world, entrusted with keeping them at arm's length from his employer's new life as landed gentleman and courtier. One of these agents was Robert Poley. Marlowe was killed in 1593 by Frizer, with Poley present, purportedly in a dispute over an unpaid debt. Poley later became an important, secret intermediary in clandestine arrangements for installing Elizabeth's putative successor, King James.
Francis Walsingham made use of his young relative as early as October 1580, when he appointed him as one of the trusted couriers between the English court and the queen's ambassador in France.In August 1581 Thomas accompanied Sir Francis to Paris on a delicate diplomatic mission connected with the proposed marriage between Elizabeth and the French king's brother, Francis, Duke of Anjou. In 1596 he was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Kent hundred of Rokesley and he organised the local defences against the Armada. He was knighted soon afterwards, on a royal progress to Scadbury, a visit probably resulting from family connections at Court of Audrey, his wife. Audrey became a favourite of the queen and the couple were thereafter regular attenders at Court. In the 1597, 1601 and 1604 he was elected Member of Parliament for Rochester. In 1614 he was returned to Parliament as knight of the shire for Kent.
The first poet to seek Walsingham's patronage was Thomas Watson, an old acquaintance from the time when both men had been engaged on Sir Francis's secret business in France.His timely dedication to Thomas Walsingham, newly come into money through his inheritance, prefaced A Lament for Meliboeus, an elegy on the death of Sir Francis. Watson's venture was based on the family relationship between the dedicatee and the dead statesman, but Thomas Walsingham proved to be a genuine patron of literary endeavour and other poets followed the example. It is probable that Watson introduced Marlowe, a friend from the London literary circle with whom he was arrested for brawling in September 1589, to Thomas Walsingham (although their paths may have crossed earlier, during Marlowe's own service to the late Sir Francis). Walsingham appreciated the dedication, and the introduction, with Marlowe becoming a frequent house-guest at Scadbury. Later dedications from other poets imply familiarity and affection, rather than the subservience and duty more common at the time. Walsingham was a mourner at Marlowe's funeral.
Walsingham had married Audrey Shelton, the daughter of Sir Ralph Shelton of Shelton, Norfolk. He had a son and a daughter (who predeceased him). Audrey also predeceased him, in 1624.
The Walsinghams continued in royal esteem when James succeeded Elizabeth. Indeed, Audrey, who may have been a more influential figure at court than her husband, was in part instrumental in securing James's succession, and they were appointed "keepers of the queen's wardrobe" when Queen Anne joined her husband in London.Wealth and royal honours rained on the family as a result of Anne's favour and, in defiance his unpromising beginnings as an impoverished third son.
When Walsingham died at Scadbury on 11 August 1630 he was a wealthy landowner.Walsingham left some money to the poor in Chislehurst and his servants, but most of the money went to his granddaughter Catherine. He was buried in the family chapel (Scadbury chapel) at St Nicholas's Church, Chislehurst.
His son Thomas succeeded him and also became the MP for Rochester as a Parliamentarian.
Christopher Marlowe, also known as Kit Marlowe, was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Modern scholars count Marlowe among the most famous of the Elizabethan playwrights and based upon the "many imitations" of his play Tamburlaine consider him to have been the foremost dramatist in London in the years just before his mysterious early death. Some scholars also believe that he greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was baptised in the same year as Marlowe and later became the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright. Marlowe's plays are the first to use blank verse, which became the standard for the era, and are distinguished by their overreaching protagonists. Themes found within Marlowe's literary works have been noted as humanistic with realistic emotions, which some scholars find difficult to reconcile with Marlowe's "anti-intellectualism" and his catering to the taste of his Elizabethan audiences for generous displays of extreme physical violence, cruelty, and bloodshed.
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".
Chislehurst is a suburban district in southeast London, England, within the London Borough of Bromley. It borders the London Boroughs of Bexley and Greenwich, and lies east of Bromley and southwest of Sidcup. It is 10.5 miles (16.9 km) southeast of Charing Cross. Chislehurst is in the historic county of Kent.
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.
Sir John Guildford, of Hemsted in Benenden, also written Guilford, was an English landowner, administrator and politician.
Ingram Frizer was an English gentleman and businessman of the late 16th and early 17th centuries who is notable for his reported killing of the playwright Christopher Marlowe in the home of Eleanor Bull on 30 May 1593. He has been described as "a property speculator, a commodity broker, a fixer for gentlemen of good worship" and a confidence trickster gulling "young fools" out of their money.
Events from the 1580s in England.
Eleanor Bull was an English woman who is known for owning the establishment in which Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan playwright and poet, was killed in 1593.
Nicholas Skeres was an Elizabethan con-man and government informer—i.e. a "professional deceiver"—and one of the three "gentlemen" who were with the poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe when he was killed in Deptford in May 1593. Together with another of the men there, Robert Poley, he had played a part in the discovery of the Babington plot against the life of the Queen in 1586, and at the time of Marlowe's death was engaged in a money-lending swindle with the third of them, Marlowe's reported killer Ingram Frizer.
The School of Night is a play by Peter Whelan. It was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon on 4 November 1992.
Scadbury Park is a Local Nature Reserve in Chislehurst in the London Borough of Bromley. It is also a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It is over 300 acres, and is part of an extensive wildlife corridor together with Petts Wood and the Jubilee Country Park.
Sir Edmund Walsingham of Scadbury Hall, Chislehurst in Kent, was a soldier, Member of Parliament, and Lieutenant of the Tower of London during the reign of King Henry VIII.
Robert Poley, or Pooley was an English double agent, government messenger and agent provocateur employed by members of the Privy Council during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; he was described as "the very genius of the Elizabethan underworld". Poley is particularly noted for his central role in uncovering the so-called Babington plot to assassinate the Queen in 1586, and for being a witness of, and even a possible party to, the reported killing in self-defence by Ingram Frizer of the famous poet/dramatist Christopher Marlowe in May 1593.
Richard Baines was an Elizabethan double agent, informer and ordained Catholic priest. He is best known for the so-called Baines Note, a list of accusations against the poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe, which has been described by Paul Kocher as the "master key to the mind of Marlowe" and that "for revolutionary impact and scope it stands alone, an extraordinary document in the history of free thought".
William Danby was a sixteenth-century lawyer and Coroner of the Queen's Household towards the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He is particularly noted for having presided over the inquest into the controversial death at Deptford in 1593 of the poet/dramatist Christopher Marlowe.
Thomas Saunders was an English politician.
Thomas Walsingham was an English politician.
Lady Audrey Walsingham was an English courtier. She served as Lady of the Bedchamber to queen Elizabeth I of England, and then as Mistress of the Robes to Anne of Denmark from 1603 until 1619.
Thomas Walsingham was a wealthy wine and cloth merchant in the City of London who served as a Member of Parliament for Wareham in 1410 and for Lyme Regis in 1413, both in Dorset.
Scadbury is a historic manor in the parish of Chislehurst in Kent, England. Much of the estate is preserved today as Scadbury Park, a 300-acre Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. The manorial chapel, known as the Scadbury Chapel, survives in the church of St Nicholas at Chislehurst, and served as a burial place for owners of the estate, including members of the Walsingham family.
...Frizer saved his master from any trouble in entertaining secret agents
|Parliament of England|
|Preceded by|| Member of Parliament for Rochester |
With: Sir Edward Hoby 1604–1611
Sir Edward Sandys 1614
Sir Thomas Walsingham
| Member of Parliament for Kent |
With: Peter Manwood
Sir George Fane