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Higgins, Francis [called the Sham Squire] (1746–1802), newspaper proprietor and spy, was born in Dublin, the son of Patrick Higgins, an attorney's clerk, and his wife, Mary; his parents had moved there from Downpatrick, co. Down. Higgins passed his early years in menial employments, became an attorney's clerk, by report converted to protestantism, though his name is not found in the official list of converts (and his later reconversion to Roman Catholicism is alluded to), and, through deception, married an heiress, ...

Article

Jackson, William [pseud. Scrutineer] (1737?–1795), journalist and spy, was born in Dublin, the son of an officer in the prerogative court. After studying at Oxford he was ordained and he moved to London, where he acted as a curate at St Mary-le-Strand...

Article

Macky, John (d. 1726), writer and spy, was a Scot of obscure birth, parentage, and education. He fled from France to London in the summer of 1692 with the first news of the intended French and Jacobite invasion from La Hogue. Although he was initially disbelieved, he was vindicated, informed on several Scottish Jacobites, and was rewarded with an appointment as a coastal inspector between ...

Article

J. M. Rigg

revised by Mihail Dafydd Evans

Macnally, Leonard (1752–1820), playwright and political informer, was born in Dublin, the only son of William Macnally, merchant of Dublin. According to biographies published in his lifetime, and probably on the basis of information provided by himself, Macnally was related to 'many of the principal Roman Catholic families in ...

Article

Théveneau de Morande, Charles-Claude (1741–1805), writer and spy, was born on 9 November 1741 in Arnay-le-Duc in Burgundy, probably at 22 rue St Honoré, the eldest child of Louis Théveneau (bap. 1715, d. 1772), a notary, and his wife, Philiberte Belin (...

Article

Woodward, Rowland (bap. 1573, d. 1636), poet, secretary, and scribe, was baptized on 23 August 1573 presumably in London, though the precise location remains unknown. He was the son of John Woodward (b. c.1553), a vintner of St Mary-le-Bow, London, and ...