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Armorer, Sir Nicholas (c. 1620–1686), royalist army officer, conspirator, and courtier, was born at Belford, Northumberland, a younger son of Thomas Armorer (d. 1642), of Belford, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Robert Clavering of Callaly in the same county. Like his brother ...

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Bacon, Anthony (1558–1601), spy, was the fourth of five sons of Sir Nicholas Bacon (1510–1579), administrator, of Gorhambury, Hertfordshire, and the first with his second wife, Anne, née Cooke (c.1528–1610) [see Bacon], daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke of Gidea Hall, Essex...

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Bolron, Robert (fl. 1665–1682), informer and perjurer, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. Apprenticed to a jeweller in London, he left after a year to become a foot soldier at Tynemouth Castle. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665–7) he served on a frigate. In 1674 ...

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Dangerfield, Thomas (1654–1685), informer, was born in the parish of Holy Cross, Waltham, Essex, on 7 July 1654, the son of Thomas Dangerfield (d. 1680) and his wife, Apollina. His father was apparently an honest gentleman of Cromwellian sympathies but, according to a hostile account of his early years, ...

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Deane, John (bap. 1685, d. 1761), naval officer in the Russian service and spy, was baptized at St Wilfrid's Church, Wilford, Nottinghamshire, on 21 March 1685, the third of four sons of Jasper Deane, a prosperous farmer, and his first wife (of four), ...

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See Dorislaus, Isaac

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Dugdale, Stephen (d. 1683), informer, may have come from a minor gentry family of Staffordshire, but his parentage is unknown. He later claimed that as a young man he was converted to Roman Catholicism by a priest named Knight, and was in his care until ...

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Everard, Edmund (fl. 1673–1711), informer, is of obscure origins, but may have been of Irish descent. He was apparently employed as an agent to the French court, and was also employed for a time as an assistant secretary to the duke of Monmouth...

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Timothy Venning

Fitzjames, John (d. 1654), spy, was probably related to the extensive Fitzjames family of Somerset and Dorset; he is not to be confused with his namesake Colonel Sir John Fitzjames of Leweston, Dorset (d. 1670), sheriff of Dorset in 1646 and a regimental commander under ...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by D. G. Halliday

Grant, John (1782?–1842), army officer and spy, was born at Elgin, Moray. He began his military career as an ensign on 2 November 1797 (lieutenant, 31 May 1798) in the Royal Glamorgan militia, with which he served in Ireland in 1799. In the same year he volunteered to the line from the ...

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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, ...

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See Hilton, John

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Hilton, John (fl. 1679–1688), informer, was of unknown parents. Little is known of him prior to his notoriety in the 1680s as an informer against nonconformists. The Quakers tried to discover his origins in order to expose his misdeeds. Apparently his roots were among the Roman Catholic minor gentry of ...

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Ivie, Edward (d. 1698), informer and coiner, was the youngest son of Thomas Ivie of Wincanton, Somerset, where his father and elder brother served as parish officers. His uncle was the puritan activist and civic reformer John Ivie of Salisbury, who made his view of ...

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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...

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Jenison, Robert (b. 1648/9), informer, was the second of four sons of John Jenison (1622/3–1680), of High Walworth, Durham, and his first wife, Catherine Ironmonger (bap. 1615, d. in or before 1666). He is said to have been aged seventeen in 1666. Like his brothers he was educated at ...

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Marsh, Walter (bap. 1560, d. 1595), spy and protestant martyr, was baptized on 17 October 1560 at St Stephen, Coleman Street, London, the third or fourth of the four children of John Marsh (b. before 1516, d. 1579), MP, mercer, and governor of the ...

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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...

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Titus Oates (1649–1705) by Robert White, 1679 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Owen, Lewis (1571/2–1633?), religious controversialist and spy, born in Merioneth, was probably the eldest son of Gruffydd Owen, the fourth son of Lewis Owen (1522?–1555) of Caernarfon, a baron of the exchequer. On 4 December 1590 he matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, at the age of eighteen, but later left the university without graduating. ...