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Anderson, Sir Robert (1841–1918), spymaster, detective chief, and author, was born on 29 May 1841 in Mountjoy Square, Dublin, the son of Matthew Anderson (1804–1888), crown solicitor, Dublin, and his wife, Mary. He himself described his more distant forebears as 'among the Scotch colonists who made ...

Article

Richard Garnett

revised by Troy O. Bickham

André, John (1750–1780), army officer and spy, was born in London on 2 May 1750, the eldest son of Anthony André (1717–1769), a Genevese merchant settled in the city, and Marie Louise Girardot (1721?–1813). He had at least one brother and sister. He was educated at home and possibly at ...

Article

Atkins [formerly Rosenberg], Vera May (1908–2000), intelligence officer, was born in Galatz, Romania, on 15 June 1908, the only daughter and second of the three children of Max Rosenberg (d. 1932), businessman, and his wife, Hilda, née Atkins (d. 1945)...

Article

Bancroft, Edward (1744–1821), chemist and spy, was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, on 9 January 1744. His tutor was Silas Deane, later a member of the American congress. After a brief apprenticeship to a physician in Connecticut, Bancroft went to sea at the age of eighteen. In 1763 he was in ...

Article

Beach, Thomas Billis [alias Henri Le Caron] (1841–1894), spy, was born on 26 September 1841 at Colchester, Essex, the second son of the family of thirteen children of John Joseph Billis Beach (d. 1888/9), a Methodist cooper, and his wife, Maria Beach, ...

Article

Bedloe, William (1650–1680), informer and adventurer, was the second son of Isaac Bedloe (d. 1656). William Bedloe was born in Chepstow on 20 May 1650 and spent his early life both there and in Bristol. Much of his early life was deliberately clouded in obscurity. His own published account of his parentage and ancestry remains dubious. He claimed that his father had been a gentleman soldier who had served the king in the civil wars and whose own father was ...

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Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit' (...

Article

Michael Kitson

revised by Miranda Carter

Blunt, Anthony Frederick (1907–1983), art historian and spy, was born at Holy Trinity vicarage, Bournemouth, Hampshire, on 26 September 1907, the third and youngest son (there were no daughters) of the Revd (Arthur) Stanley Vaughan Blunt (1870–1929) and his wife, Hilda Violet (1880–1969)...

Article

Brooks, Anthony Morris [Tony] (1922–2007), special operations and intelligence officer, was born on 4 April 1922 at The Cottage, Orsett, Essex, the son of Douglas Charles Morris Brooks, construction engineer and businessman, and his wife, Beryl, née Anderson. His father had undertaken secret missions during the First World War, though ...

Article

Buckmaster, Maurice James (1902–1992), intelligence officer and businessman, was born on 11 January 1902 at Ravenhill, Brereton, Staffordshire, the son of Henry James Buckmaster (c.1857–1943), brewer, and his wife, Eva Matilda, née Nason (b. c.1868). He was educated at ...