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Sir Francis Walsingham

Sir Francis Walsingham (c. 1532 – 6 April 1590) is widely considered as the one of the fathers of modern Intelligence. An admirer of Machiavelli, Walsingham was one of the most proficient espionage-weavers in history, excelling in the use of intrigues and deception to secure the English Crown.

Walsingham died in 1590, probably of testicular cancer. He had suffered ill-health throughout his life, exacerbated by the pressures of a difficult job in a very dangerous era.

Alternate history

The stabilising effect of Elizabeth’s marriage and sons have made Walsingham’s career somewhat less stressful and his health has been a little better. Thus he is still alive in 1593, though increasingly frail.