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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

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 ...

Article

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

Burgess, Guy Francis de Moncy (1911–1963), spy, was born on 16 April 1911 at 2 Albemarle Villas, Devonport, the elder son of Commander Malcolm Kingsford de Moncy Burgess RN and his wife, Evelyn Mary, daughter of William Gillman, gentleman. Burgess's father died in 1924 and his mother subsequently married ...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by R. V. Comerford

Carey, James (1837–1883), Fenian and informer, was the son of Francis Carey, a bricklayer, who migrated from Celbridge, co. Kildare, to Dublin. There his wife (whose name is not known) kept a lodging-house in James Street, where James was born to them. He had at least one brother. ...

Article

Maclean, Donald Duart (1913–1983), diplomatist and spy, was born in London on 25 May 1913, the third of four sons and five children of Sir Donald Maclean (1864–1932), Liberal politician and cabinet minister, and his wife, Gwendolen Margaret, eldest daughter of Andrew Devitt JP...

Article

Norwood [née Sirnis], Melita Stedman [Letty] (1912–2005), spy, was born on 25 March 1912 at 402 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, the elder daughter of (Peter) Alexander Sirnis (1881–1918), estate manager, and his wife, Gertrude Elizabeth Gurney, née Stedman (1878–1967), cobbler. An elder brother, ...

Article

Oates, Titus (1649–1705), informer, was born at Oakham, Rutland, a younger son of Samuel Oates (bap. 1614, d. 1683), Baptist preacher, and his wife, Lucy (d. in or after 1697), a midwife from Hastings. His father, son of a Church of England...

Article

Philby, Harold Adrian Russell [Kim] (1912–1988), spy, was born on 1 January 1912 at Ambala in the Punjab, the only son and eldest of four children of Harry St John Bridger Philby (1885–1960), civil servant in India, explorer, and orientalist, and his wife, ...