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  • Katja Anderson

    'Spymaster' to Queen Elizabeth I: Sir Francis Walsingham (possibly after John De Critz the Elder), c. 1587. National Portrait Gallery, London.

  • Alain Truong

    Sir Francis Walsingham, Unknown artist, late 16th century © National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Queen Elizabeth I surrounded herself with highly intelligent and loyal advisors, such as Sir William Cecil, Sir Francis Walsingham, and Sir Robert Cecil, who gave her sound political advice. A major accomplishment of the Elizabethan government was the defeat of the Spanish Armada of 132 ships by the English fleet of just 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels, under the command of the Queen's cousin, Lord Howard of Effingham, and Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins.

Sir Francis Walsingham-Born: 1530, Scadbury Park, Chislehurst, Kent, England-Died: 6 Apr 1590, Seething Lane, London, Middlesex, England Principal Secretary to Elizabeth I of England from 1573 until 1590, and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Elizabeth I. nicknamed him her 'Moor'.