Francis Throckmorton

Francis Throckmorton

Ask a question about 'Francis Throckmorton'
Start a new discussion about 'Francis Throckmorton'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Sir Francis Throckmorton (1554 – July 1584) was a conspirator against Queen Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...


He was the son of Sir John Throckmorton
John Throckmorton
Sir John Throckmorton was a lawyer and member of the English Parliament during the reign of Queen Mary I. He was also a witness to Queen Mary's will.-Biography:...

 and a nephew of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton
Nicholas Throckmorton
Sir Nicholas Throckmorton was an English diplomat and politician, who was an ambassador to France and played a key role in the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.-Early years:...

, one of Elizabeth's diplomats. Sir John had held the post of Chief Justice of Chester but was removed in 1579, a year before his death. The reasons for Sir John's removal from the bench are unclear; he may have been guilty of abuses in the administration of justice, but he may also have been singled out for punishment for his pro-Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...


Throckmorton was educated in Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 and entered the Inner Temple
Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns...

 in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 as a pupil in 1576. In 1580, he traveled to the Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an continent and met leading Catholic malcontents from England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. After his return to England in 1583, he served as an intermediary for communications between supporters of the Catholic cause on the continent, the imprisoned Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Spanish ambassador Bernardino de Mendoza
Bernardino de Mendoza
Bernardino de Mendoza was a Spanish military commander, a diplomat and a writer on military history and politics.- Life and works :Bernardino de Mendoza was born in Guadalajara, Spain around 1540...


Throckmorton's activities raised the suspicions of Sir Francis Walsingham
Francis Walsingham
Sir Francis Walsingham was Principal Secretary to Elizabeth I of England from 1573 until 1590, and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Walsingham is frequently cited as one of the earliest practitioners of modern intelligence methods both for espionage and for domestic security...

, Elizabeth I's spymaster
A spymaster is a ring leader of a spy ring, run by a secret service.-Historical spymasters:*Dai Li *Francis Walsingham *James Jesus Angleton *Joseph Peters...

. A search of his house produced incriminating evidence and, after torture on the rack
Rack (torture)
The rack is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one, or both, ends, having at one end a fixed bar to which the legs were fastened, and at the other a movable bar to which the hands were tied...

, Throckmorton confessed his involvement in a plot
Throckmorton Plot
The Throckmorton Plot was an attempt by English Roman Catholics in 1583 to murder Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with her second cousin Mary, Queen of Scots...

 to overthrow the Queen and restore the Catholic Church in England. An invasion led by Henry I, Duke of Guise
Henry I, Duke of Guise
Henry I, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Count of Eu , sometimes called Le Balafré, "the scarred", was the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este...

 would have been coupled with an orchestrated uprising of Catholics within the country.

Although Throckmorton later retracted his confession, he was convicted of high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

 and executed in 1584.

In film

Francis is featured in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, where he is played by Steven Robertson. In the movie, he is shown asking for help from Queen Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

's favorite lady-in-waiting and his cousin, Elizabeth Throckmorton
Elizabeth Raleigh
Elizabeth, Lady Raleigh , née Throckmorton, was Sir Walter Raleigh's wife, and a Lady of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Their secret marriage precipitated a long period of royal disfavour for Raleigh....