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Spanish spies in Elizabethan England by Historian Jonathan Roche

3 Feb 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Online Event


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In the late sixteenth century, England and Spain were at war. At stake was England’s religious future: would the Protestant reformation, started in England by Henry VIII in the 1530s, continue, or would Catholicism be reestablished as England’s state religion through Spanish military might? The major battles of the Anglo-Spanish war are famous — most notably the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 — but these battles were just one aspect of this ideological struggle. In this talk, Jonathan Roche explores the shadowy world of spies, double agents, codebreakers, and agents provocateur to reveal the secret struggle for England’s religious and political future which also occurred. He shows how both England and Spain developed extensive espionage network and that the intelligence these networks gathered was integral in shaping the conflict.

This conference is hosted by the Instituto Cervantes London and the British Spanish Society and lectured by the British Society scholar and University of Nottingham’s Ph.D. researcher Jonathan Roche, where he evokes an era of surveillance, paranoia, plots, and the perpetual threat of invasion; an era when the right piece of intelligence could have changed England’s future forever.


3 Feb
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Online Event
see main text, United Kingdom