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The Tudor Society

17 October – A spy and a famous poet

On this day in history, 17th October 1560, spy and Protestant martyr, Walter Marsh was baptised at St Stephen's Church in London.

Marsh came to a sticky end, being burned to death in Rome's Campo dei Fiori after having his tongue cut out, his hand cut off and being tortured with burning torches. He had been accused of being paid by Queen Elizabeth I to spy on Catholics and of showing contempt for the Eucharist.

Find out more about Walter Marsh, how he'd come to be in Rome and what he'd done to upset the authorities...

Also on this day in Tudor history, 17th October 1586, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the famous poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney, died as a result of an injury inflicted in a battle with Spanish forces in the Netherlands.

Find out more about Sidney, his works and what happened to him...

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17 October – A spy and a famous poet