Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

5/1/2013

The Tudor Catholic-catcher and the Popish plot behind his portrait: How subversive artist painted Elizabeth I’s henchman over the Virgin Mary (… how he would have hated that!)

He was Queen Elizabeth’s I’s spymaster, protector and the deeply-Protestant man bent on crushing all those who supported the Pope in Rome.

But 500 years on it appears a cunning plot by a subversive Catholic artist may have been uncovered – because below a priceless portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham lies a secret image of the Virgin Mary holding a baby Christ.

The painting, which may also contain a sketch of Joseph or an angel, is from the 1580s and created at the height of Walsingham’s powers, while he served as the Tudor queen’s lord treasurer and secretary.

Hundreds were burned, hanged or beheaded at the fervent priest-hunter’s say-so, including Mary Queen of Scots when he uncovered the plot to place her on the English throne in 1587. for more click here

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