"Sir Francis Walsingham, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State and chief intelligencer."

Francis Walsingham
Public DomainFrancis Walsingham - Credit: John De Critz the Elder
 Sir Francis Walsingham was the Principal Secretary of State for Queen Elizabeth I, and as her head intelligencer he is often referred to as her ‘spymaster.’ He gathered information from all across Europe, even from the heart of Spanish intelligence, and uncovered several secret plots against Elizabeth. He was one of the earliest historical figures to practise modern espionage methods. He encouraged exploration and colonisation, and worked to keep England a strong, Protestant power.