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William Bedloe (1650–1680) by Robert White, pubd 1681 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bedloe, William (1650–1680), informer and adventurer, was the second son of Isaac Bedloe (d. 1656). William Bedloe was born in Chepstow on 20 May 1650 and spent his early life both there and in Bristol. Much of his early life was deliberately clouded in obscurity. His own published account of his parentage and ancestry remains dubious. He claimed that his father had been a gentleman soldier who had served the king in the civil wars and whose own father was ...

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Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit' (...

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Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680) by unknown artist The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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J. T. Gilbert

revised by S. J. Skedd

Bradstreet, Dudley (1711–1763), adventurer and spy, was born in Tipperary, where his father had obtained considerable land under the Cromwellian grants. His father's wealth was much reduced by debts, and Dudley, who was the youngest son, was looked after by a foster father in ...

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Childs, William John (c. 1869–1933), author and government official, was the son of William John Childs. The formative period of his life, most of which remains unclear, occurred from 1909 to 1913, when he lived and travelled widely in Anatolia and Thrace. Glimpses of his earlier life, and of travel in various parts of the world, the Ottoman empire especially, are provided by his later publications, as well as by official and private archival material. Nevertheless ...

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Ogilvy, John [known as Pourie Ogilvy] (fl. 1587–1601), adventurer, was the son of Gilbert Ogilvy of Pourie (d. 1601). His sister, Anne Ogilvy, married on 30 November 1587 Sir Thomas Erskine, a gentleman of the bedchamber of James VI and later ...

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Peyton, Sir John (1579–1635), soldier, spy, and administrator, was probably born at Beaupré Hall in Outwell, Norfolk, in 1579, the only son of Sir John Peyton (1544–1630), soldier and administrator, of Doddington, Cambridgeshire, and his wife, Dorothy, née Beaupré (d.1603), widow of ...

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Scott, John (1632?–1704), adventurer and spy, may have been born at Ashford, Kent, in 1632, the son of a royalist colonel, John Scott, but his origins and early life are uncertain. According to his own later account, having committed some misdemeanours against parliamentary soldiers ...

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Standen, Sir Anthony (d. in or after 1615), adventurer and spy, was the eldest of (at least) four sons and four daughters of Edmund Standen, esquire (d. 1571), of East Molesey, Surrey, which lies adjacent to the royal palace of Hampton Court...