Thomas Phelippes

Thomas phelippes

Thomas Phelippes (1556–1625) was a forger and intelligence gatherer. He served mainly under Sir Francis Walsingham, in the time of Elizabeth I, deciphering the codes of those plotting against her. He is most remembered for his adding of a postscript to the "bloody letter" sent by Mary, Queen of Scots, to Anthony Babington regarding the Babington plot. This scene is recreated in the 2006 TV miniseries The Virgin Queen, starring Anne-Marie Duff as Elizabeth I, and Vincent Franklin as Phelippes. According to historian Neville Williams, the notes were smuggled to Mary via empty barrels from a brewer in Burton upon Trent who supplied her house at Chartley Manor. Phelippes was kept busy with a backlog of correspondence requested by Her Majesty whose letters contained day to day matters as well as those of a more sensitive type. Walshingham had to wait a whole seven months before he got what he wanted. This postscript asked Babington for the names of the plotters involved in the planned assassination of Queen Elizabeth I, and hence Francis Walsingham was able to prove Mary's direct involvement in the plot, and have her executed.

Personal details

Date of birth
Date of death
1625 at age of 69


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