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George Eliot (spy)

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George Eliot was an English spy during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I.

George Eliot is reported to have been a very bad person. He earned his living as a con artist (someone who gains the trust of another and then tricks them out of their money). He was well known as a rapist and suspected of being a murderer.[1] Eliot became a spy for Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester. This was to avoid a charge from the last crime he committed. Eliot agreed to seek out Catholics who were not conforming to the rules of the state because the Church of England was the official state religion. He would then hand them over to the authorities for punishment.[1]

At Lyford Grange in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), he tracked down the Jesuit priest, Edmund Campion.[2] Eliot called for a magistrate from Abingdon. He arrested Campion and had him sent to London for trial and execution.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ford, David Nash (2011). "The Arrest of St. Edmund Campion". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  2. Ted Byfield, A Century of Giants, A.D. 1500 to 1600: In an Age of Spiritual Genius, Western Christendom Shatters. (Edmonton: Christian History Project, an activity of SEARCH, the Society to Explore and Record Christian History, 2010), p. 325