Elizabethan England: Historical Overview


In the summer of 1588 Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne of England for 30 years, but her position, and the country itself, was far from safe. Across the channel, the Spanish had raised the biggest armada of sailing ships the world had ever seen. Within England itself, Catholics and other disaffected groups were plotting rebellion. And under cover of these activities, even more shadowy organisations were attempting to wrest control of the greatest prize of all: the collection of magical artefacts gathered by the Queen's astrologer, Doctor John Dee.


One man stood between England and certain destruction: Sir Francis Walsingham. Officially Principal Secretary to Her Majesty, Walsingham was also the Queen's spymaster, running a network of agents throughout the foreign courts of Europe—and in London itself. He had already been key in defeating at least one plot against the throne, and now news reached him of another. The timing couldn't have been worse. His spies had told him that an armada had left Spain, bound for England, and an attempt on the Queen's person, even an unsuccessful one, would prove fatal to English morale at this time.

Walsingham's resources were stretched to the limit, forcing him to rely on the services of a small group of barely-trustworthy part-time agents to foil the plot. The situation looked dire ...

The Story

On the evening of July 16th, a sizeable crowd has gathered to see the new play being performed in the great hall of Grey's Inn outside London. Under cover of the festivities, a courier is to pass on vital information to Walsingham's agents. Hot on his trail is a group of Spanish agents. The fate of England, possibly even the world, will be decided by who can reach him first ...