George Eliot (spy)

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George Eliot was an English spy in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Eliot is reported to have been an unsavoury character. He earned his living as a confidence trickster, but was well known as a rapist and suspected of being a murderer.[1] He entered the service of Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester as a spy to avoid a charge of the last crime and agreed to seek out recusant Catholics and hand them over to the authorities.[1]

At Lyford Grange in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), he tracked down the Jesuit priest, Edmund Campion.[1] After calling for a magistrate from Abingdon with re-inforcements, he arrested him and sent him to London for trial and execution.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ford, David Nash (2011). "The Arrest of St. Edmund Campion". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 22 January 2011.