Saturday, April 7, 2018

Espionage in England

No, not the recent Salisbury spy troubles, but secrets kept in the 400 yeares ago: 

England’s greatest rival was Spain. England’s colonizing ventures in the New World were not for Spanish eyes. 

One of the bearers of secrets for the English was Captain Christopher Newport, who landed the first colonists at Jamestown in April 1607. He had made the crossing from England to Virginia twice more in 1608, each time bringing letters and reports—all of which the Virginia Company classified as top secret.  Places of settlement, numbers of colonists and natives, descriptions of the land, and locations of harbors and rivers were closely guarded. No wonder the Spanish were suspicious. Had the English found gold? Silver? Maps were kept under lock and key and none were to be made public without approval of the royal Privy Council or the Virginia Company Council.

But Spain had spies in London. . . .

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