1 December 1577

Francis Walsingham gets a knighthood.



Sir Francis Walsingham was a government administrator in the reign of Elizabeth I. Walsingham is principally remembered for his part in the trial and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1562, aged about 30, Walsingham became a Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis. William Cecil, Lord Burghley, quickly recognised his talent and in 1568 Walsingham started to work for the most powerful non-royal in England. Walsingham was a talented linguist courtesy of the years he had spent in Europe. Cecil wanted Walsingham to use this ability to spy on foreigners in London who might present a threat to Elizabeth. Walsingham developed his own resources for this task and quickly had men working for him throughout the kingdom and in many of the major cities in Europe.

Between 1570 and 1573 he served in the French Court as ambassador. Walsingham’s main task in France was to arrange the marriage between Elizabeth and the Duke of Anjou the brother of the French king. His work was rewarded when he was appointed Secretary in 1573 and was knighted in December 01, 1577. As a Member of Parliament he was also in an excellent position to keep his political master informed as to what was going on in the Commons. As Cecil was in the Lords, this ensured both Houses in Parliament were covered.