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See Women agents on active service in France

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Alexander, (Conel) Hugh O'Donel (1909–1974), chess player and cryptanalyst, was born in Cork on 19 April 1909, the eldest of four children of Conel William Long Alexander (1879–1920), professor of engineering at University College, Cork, and his wife, Hilda Barbara Bennett (1881–1964), of ...

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Alkin, Elizabeth [nicknamed Parliament Joan] (c. 1600–1655?), nurse and spy, was the wife of Francis Alkin, who was hanged as a spy in Oxford by royalist forces during the civil war. Alkin's activities are known largely from her surviving petitions for payment and relief (many of them undated or misattributed in ...

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Allbeury, Theodore Edward Le Bouthillier [Ted] (1917–2005), intelligence officer and novelist, was born on 24 October 1917 at 478 Manchester Road, Stockport, Lancashire, the son of Theodore Allbeury, cotton goods buyer, and his wife, Florence, née Bailey. He had one sister. His father died when ...

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Sir Robert Anderson (1841–1918) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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 ...

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Richard Garnett

revised by Troy O. Bickham

André, John (1750–1780), army officer and spy, was born in London on 2 May 1750, the eldest son of Anthony André (1717–1769), a Genevese merchant settled in the city, and Marie Louise Girardot (1721?–1813). He had at least one brother and sister. He was educated at home and possibly at ...

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John André (1750–1780) by John Keyse Sherwin, 1781 (after self-portrait, 1780) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Vera May Atkins (1908–2000) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Atkins [formerly Rosenberg], Vera May (1908–2000), intelligence officer, was born in Galatz, Romania, on 15 June 1908, the only daughter and second of the three children of Max Rosenberg (d. 1932), businessman, and his wife, Hilda, née Atkins (d. 1945)...

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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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Bagot, Milicent Jessie Eleanor (1907–2006), intelligence officer, was born on 28 March 1907 at 68 York Mansions, Battersea, London, the younger daughter and second of three children of Cecil Villiers Bagot (1865–1940), a London solicitor, and his wife, Ethel (d. 1944), younger daughter of ...

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Baillie [Bailly], Charles (c. 1541–1625), conspirator and informer, was probably born in the Low Countries of Scottish descent. He was a good linguist, and from about 1564 found employment in the household of Mary, queen of Scots. By 1571 he was in the service of ...

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Ball, Sir (George) Joseph (1885–1961), intelligence officer and political administrator, was born at 24 Inkerman Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, on 21 September 1885, the son of George Ball, bookstall clerk, of Salisbury, and his wife, Sarah Ann Headey. He was educated at King's College School, Strand...

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Bampfield, Joseph (1622–1685), army officer and spy, was probably born in Devon, one of a family long established in the west country, but his parentage and early life are obscure. There is no validity for the earl of Clarendon's later statement that he was an Irishman, although he may have been educated at ...

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Edward Bancroft (1744–1821) by Nathan Branwhite, pubd 1801 (after Samuel Medley, 1800) [Institutors of the Medical Society of London; standing, far left] © Copyright The British Museum

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Bancroft, Edward (1744–1821), chemist and spy, was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, on 9 January 1744. His tutor was Silas Deane, later a member of the American congress. After a brief apprenticeship to a physician in Connecticut, Bancroft went to sea at the age of eighteen. In 1763 he was in ...

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Barry, Sir (Philip) Stuart Milner- (1906–1995), code-breaker and chess player, was born on 20 September 1906 in Hendon, London, the second youngest of six children (five sons and one daughter) of Edward Leopold Milner-Barry, a schoolteacher (later professor of modern languages at the ...

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Batey [née Lever], Mavis Lilian (1921–2013), code-breaker and garden historian, was born on 5 May 1921 at 20 Crebor Street, Dulwich, London, the only daughter and younger child of Frederick (formerly Fred, later Stanley Frederick) Lever (1887/8–1971) and his wife, Lily Elizabeth, ...