Hello, readers. I am back, upright, and breathing relatively well. My lungs hopefully do not have permanent damage but they are definitely not what they once were. I’ve got a steroid inhaler, try not to do too much, and am slowly editing the book I was working on before the plague hit.
This topic is one that I found quite interesting. When you think of the Regency Era you don’t necessarily think of James Bond or spies, do you? But there were intelligent, sneaky and brave men and women spies in that time period.
A French spy that fought in the Seven Years War was Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont better known as Chevalier d’Éon. He was born into nobility in Burgundy in 1728 and in 1756 he joined the secret spy network of King Louis XV.
Did you know that Bram Stoker wrote an essay about Chevalier?
He was sent on a mission to Russia, and then to London often passing as a woman. But his wonderful time was at an end when the new French ambassador demoted him. He refused to return to France claiming the new ambassador tried to drug him and his money from the French government was cut off.
That was when he did something incredibly scandalous, publishing much of the secret diplomatic correspondence he had received. He received sympathy from the English public for this and lived in exiled in London.
A betting pool was on the London Stock Exchange regarding whether D’Eon was a man or woman.
The next spy is said to have caused the first shots to be fired in the American Revolution.
Margaret Kemble Gage, 1734-1824, was the wife of a General in the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. General Gage had planned a nighttime snatch of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. His wife informed the Sons of Liberty who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes to alert the colonists. The British Army was faced with thousands of armed colonists.
After the British Army’s defeat at Lexington and Concord, thanks to his secret plans not being a secret to the enemy, General Gage sent his wife away back to England.
Do you have any spies in your ancestry? My only attempts at spying were trying to figure out where the Christmas presents were hidden each year.