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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, ...