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William Bedloe (1650–1680) by Robert White, pubd 1681 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680) by unknown artist The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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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...

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J. T. Gilbert

revised by S. J. Skedd

Bradstreet, Dudley (1711–1763), adventurer and spy, was born in Tipperary, where his father had obtained considerable land under the Cromwellian grants. His father's wealth was much reduced by debts, and Dudley, who was the youngest son, was looked after by a foster father in ...

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Ogilvy, John [known as Pourie Ogilvy] (fl. 1587–1601), adventurer, was the son of Gilbert Ogilvy of Pourie (d. 1601). His sister, Anne Ogilvy, married on 30 November 1587 Sir Thomas Erskine, a gentleman of the bedchamber of James VI and later ...

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Scott, John (1632?–1704), adventurer and spy, may have been born at Ashford, Kent, in 1632, the son of a royalist colonel, John Scott, but his origins and early life are uncertain. According to his own later account, having committed some misdemeanours against parliamentary soldiers ...

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Standen, Sir Anthony (d. in or after 1615), adventurer and spy, was the eldest of (at least) four sons and four daughters of Edmund Standen, esquire (d. 1571), of East Molesey, Surrey, which lies adjacent to the royal palace of Hampton Court...