The Tudor Society
  • Sir Anthony Standen – Elizabethan Spy

    I first encountered Sir Anthony Standen while reading George Malcolm Thompson’s biography of Sir Francis Drake. “The time had come when Walsingham was no longer satisfied with news that came to him at second-hand, whether from Santa Cruz’s kitchen or from the Governor of Guernsey’s reports of the gossip on Breton ships or in Rouen taverns. He needed an accurate and detailed stream of information about the number of Philip’s ships, their tonnage, the sailors who would man them and the soldiers they would carry. Thanks above all to Standen, he got what he wanted.” Because my mother’s maiden name was Standen, I was immediately intrigued. Who was this man? Why hadn’t I heard of him before? Might he be an ancestor of mine?

    [Read More...]