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TUDOR INTELLIGENCE
NETWORKS
Ruth Ahnert
Queen Mary University of London
'WE KILL PEOPLE BASED
ON METADATA'
WHY IS METADATA
USEFUL?In this context: to reconstruct the networks of some
Americans’ social connections, who they spoke to
and when how often, their locations at specific times,
their travel companions.
Once you have the network mapped, you can begin to
mathematically analyse it which is how important
insights can be gleaned even before wiretapping and
surveillance warrants have been issued.
Metadata thus allows a form of what DH scholars call
‘distant reading,’ telling us where we should be close
reading.
TUDOR SURVEILLANCE
• The State Papers (official government records) from
the accession of Henry VIII to the death of Elizabeth I.
• Accessed via State Papers online, which brings
together digital surrogates of these documents with
the ‘Calendars’.
• We focus on the correspondence: over 130,000 items
of correspondence connecting ~22,000 individuals.
• Many of these items connect people across Europe
and beyond.
• We completed 18 months of data cleaning (9 months
of which full time) in February and are now engaged
in the analysis stage.
WHAT IS A NETWORK?
Networks consist of
nodes
and edges.
This abstract framework allows us to examine a
wide range of networks with the same tools.
CONSTRUCTING A
NETWORK
Gather metadata:
• name of sender (requires disambiguation)
• name of recipient (requires disambiguation)
• date
• place of writing (requires disambiguation)
• unique document identifiers (e.g. Gale
Document Number, Calendar reference, and
manuscript reference)
• content description
EXPLORATORY TOOL
HUBS
• Hubs have an anomalously high number of edges (high
degree).
• They are influential because of this high number of
connections. In social networks they are the kind of
people make influential business deals, who establish
fashions.
• But this kinds of ‘significance’ is obvious. We can see it
to some extent simply by leafing through an archive.
• Network analysis, however, gives us more
sophisticated ways of measuring significance that goes
beyond counting connections.
The betweenness of a node or edge measures how many
shortest paths pass through that node or edge.
High betweenness nodes or edges often act as bridges in
the network.
Getting rid of high betweenness edges is therefore a good
way of fragmenting the network into separate parts.
BETWEENNESS
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
EDWARD COURTENAY, EARL OF DEVON
(C. 1527 – 18 SEPTEMBER 1556)
• The great-grandson of Edward IV.
• First imprisoned in 1538 (aged 12) following his father’s
involvement in the Exeter conspiracy against Henry VIII.
• His father was executed on 9 December 1538, but Courtenay
remained in prison because he was perceived as a serious
dynastic threat.
• Finally freed at Mary I’s accession (1553), and his fate looked
set to change: created Earl of Devon, made Knight of the Bath,
and mooted as possible spouse for the new monarch.
• But following her engagement to Philip II he was suspected of
involvement in the Wyatt rebellion (a plot to dethrone Mary),
imprisoned, and exiled (1555). He died on the continent one
year later.
Anomalies: unexpected
bursts in activity.
All bar one of his letters
sent during his exile: from
his 16 months on the
continent we have 137
letters.
Over 85% of those sent by
him are intercept copies,
made by English or
Imperial postmasters or
spies.
Most of the remainder
entered the archive when
they were taken by Mary’s
government after his death.
I perceive by a letter from Master [Anthony] Kempe
answering one of myne which I sent hym in a packet
for England and the same was oppened in Flaunders
whereof I somewhat mervaill. I pray you yf the packet
were opened by the master of the post you will do me
the pleasure to fynd the means that those inclosed
lettres may be conveied as they are directed for oon
of them being to my mother and others to certain of
the counsell and other my other frendes about the
queen the delivery of them now sholde do me
pleasure.
(TNA SP 11/9
f.30)
REPORTED INTERACTIONS
Courtenay’s letters narrate a number of meetings and
interactions with people suspected by the government of
dissidence. These are mentioned freely in letters to
people loyal to the queen.
For example, he refers to:
• a plan to meet Philip Hoby (who was suspected of
complicity in a new conspiracy against Queen Mary)
• communication with Sir Peter Carew (who had been
part of the Wyatt rebellion)
• 2 visits to the Duke of Ferrara (the leader of the anti-
Habsburg alliance in Italy)
stand I pray you work
with them to make as
least as catholick as you
are. But what should I
write to you in this matter
whose soule I fear is
spotted with like spottes.
For my lady
And if you will, work with
my lady in remembrans
to work with him day and
night. I would you were
suche one as I which
werke [...] to persuade
him to be perfectly
catholike but both of you
being stained with the
like spot. I will pray for
you bothe.
Courtenay to Hoby,
30 December 1555, SP 11/6 f.127r
COURTENAY’S
BETWEENNESS• The contents of the surviving letters are inconclusive
concerning Devon’s guilt
• However, the metadata - specifically his high betweenness -
suggests that he was potentially very dangerous to the Tudor
government.
• He corresponds with a range of individuals that were not only
from different, but actively opposed, communities.
• A government asset with that kind of social network would
make a valuable intelligencer or diplomat.
• The difference, however, is that Devon's true allegiances were
never resolved. In the absence of evidence to prove his
innocence, the only sensible response was to place him under
surveillance, and perhaps to take the ultimate step of having
him assassinated.
BETWEENNESS TOP 20
1. Mary I
2. William Paulet, Marquess
of Winchester
3. Sir Thomas Saunders
4. William Cecil
5. Privy Council
6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of
Devon
7. Sir William Petre
8. Philip II of Spain
9. Cardinal Reginald Pole
10. Bernard Fresneda,
Confessor Anheim to Philip
II
11. John Mason
12. Sir Thomas Gresham
13. Peter Vannes
14. Sir Francis Englefield
15. Sir Edward Waldegrave
16. Thomas Wharton, Lord
Wharton
17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop
of Winchester
18. Anthony Browne, Viscount
Montagu
19. William Howard, Baron
Howard of Effingham
20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich
Reign of Mary I
HUBS VERSUS BRIDGES
Hubs are:
• Nodes with anomalously
large number of edges
• Rare, but highly
influential
• Social hubs create trends
and fads
• Create short paths
between other nodes ➔
Bridges:
• May not have many
edges
• But those they do have
are infrastructurally
important (sometimes
called weak ties)
• Cross structural holes
• Create short paths
THE OTHER SNOWDEN
• John Snowden (alias of John Cecil) is a clear example of why
spies and conspirators have high betweenness:
• After being educated at Trinity College, Oxford, in 1583 he
and several other scholars attended the English Catholic
seminary at Rheims. He the worked in the service of William
Allen, and Robert Persons.
• He was sent as a spy to England, but his ship was intercepted
and he was imprisoned and interrogated by William Cecil,
Lord Burghley. As a priest, he stood to be tried for treason.
• However, to avoid this fate he provided Burghley with
information on the plans of Persons and Allen, and offered
himself as a secret agent for the crown. Thus, Snowden
became a Catholic double agent.
Snowden’s statement to Burghley, 23 May 1591
(SP 12/238 f.257r-v)
…hyt is not so impossible as it is comonly taken to be a
good subiecte and a good catholique…
…to persuade all men [I.e. Catholics] from favouring
foraine invasions, from practices of treason against her
Majestie from exasperatinge the superior authoritie or
such like violente proceadiges, but to suffer with humility
the crosse that God doth laye. To make hit evydente to
al Catholiques both at home and abrode that nether the
King of Spayne meaneth them any good by his invasions
pretendes[,] nor the Cardinal [Allen] or Par[sons] have
eny respecte or remorse of the poor Catholique
afflictions at home[.]
Sends 17 letters to 5 people:
• Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley [30478] (8)
• Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury [29809] (6)
• Robert Parsons [26791] (1)
• Doctor William Allen [6215] (1)
• Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex [26529] (1)
Receives 1 letters from 1 people:
• Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury [29809] (1)
PREDICTION
QUESTIONS
• Is there a specific kind of network profile for spies,
conspirators and double agents?
• If so why is there an overlap between these types of
people?
• Why do they look similar?
CONCLUSIONS• By co-opting the surveillance methods of one
government body (the NSA), we are able to uncover
the surveillance methods of another government.
• The methods allows is to find overarching patterns and
trends, and also to identify anomalies that require
closer analysis.
• We are able to discover that there are network
properties of intelligencers and conspirators, and
therefore to make predictions about about people who
might also fill these roles.
• As such it can lead to new discoveries, and the
reframing of known histories.

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Tudor Intelligence Networks - Ruth Ahnert

  • 2. 'WE KILL PEOPLE BASED ON METADATA'
  • 3. WHY IS METADATA USEFUL?In this context: to reconstruct the networks of some Americans’ social connections, who they spoke to and when how often, their locations at specific times, their travel companions. Once you have the network mapped, you can begin to mathematically analyse it which is how important insights can be gleaned even before wiretapping and surveillance warrants have been issued. Metadata thus allows a form of what DH scholars call ‘distant reading,’ telling us where we should be close reading.
  • 4. TUDOR SURVEILLANCE • The State Papers (official government records) from the accession of Henry VIII to the death of Elizabeth I. • Accessed via State Papers online, which brings together digital surrogates of these documents with the ‘Calendars’. • We focus on the correspondence: over 130,000 items of correspondence connecting ~22,000 individuals. • Many of these items connect people across Europe and beyond. • We completed 18 months of data cleaning (9 months of which full time) in February and are now engaged in the analysis stage.
  • 5. WHAT IS A NETWORK? Networks consist of nodes and edges. This abstract framework allows us to examine a wide range of networks with the same tools.
  • 6. CONSTRUCTING A NETWORK Gather metadata: • name of sender (requires disambiguation) • name of recipient (requires disambiguation) • date • place of writing (requires disambiguation) • unique document identifiers (e.g. Gale Document Number, Calendar reference, and manuscript reference) • content description
  • 8.
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  • 10. HUBS • Hubs have an anomalously high number of edges (high degree). • They are influential because of this high number of connections. In social networks they are the kind of people make influential business deals, who establish fashions. • But this kinds of ‘significance’ is obvious. We can see it to some extent simply by leafing through an archive. • Network analysis, however, gives us more sophisticated ways of measuring significance that goes beyond counting connections.
  • 11. The betweenness of a node or edge measures how many shortest paths pass through that node or edge. High betweenness nodes or edges often act as bridges in the network. Getting rid of high betweenness edges is therefore a good way of fragmenting the network into separate parts. BETWEENNESS
  • 12. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 13. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 14. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 15. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 16. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 17. EDWARD COURTENAY, EARL OF DEVON (C. 1527 – 18 SEPTEMBER 1556) • The great-grandson of Edward IV. • First imprisoned in 1538 (aged 12) following his father’s involvement in the Exeter conspiracy against Henry VIII. • His father was executed on 9 December 1538, but Courtenay remained in prison because he was perceived as a serious dynastic threat. • Finally freed at Mary I’s accession (1553), and his fate looked set to change: created Earl of Devon, made Knight of the Bath, and mooted as possible spouse for the new monarch. • But following her engagement to Philip II he was suspected of involvement in the Wyatt rebellion (a plot to dethrone Mary), imprisoned, and exiled (1555). He died on the continent one year later.
  • 18. Anomalies: unexpected bursts in activity. All bar one of his letters sent during his exile: from his 16 months on the continent we have 137 letters. Over 85% of those sent by him are intercept copies, made by English or Imperial postmasters or spies. Most of the remainder entered the archive when they were taken by Mary’s government after his death.
  • 19. I perceive by a letter from Master [Anthony] Kempe answering one of myne which I sent hym in a packet for England and the same was oppened in Flaunders whereof I somewhat mervaill. I pray you yf the packet were opened by the master of the post you will do me the pleasure to fynd the means that those inclosed lettres may be conveied as they are directed for oon of them being to my mother and others to certain of the counsell and other my other frendes about the queen the delivery of them now sholde do me pleasure. (TNA SP 11/9 f.30)
  • 20. REPORTED INTERACTIONS Courtenay’s letters narrate a number of meetings and interactions with people suspected by the government of dissidence. These are mentioned freely in letters to people loyal to the queen. For example, he refers to: • a plan to meet Philip Hoby (who was suspected of complicity in a new conspiracy against Queen Mary) • communication with Sir Peter Carew (who had been part of the Wyatt rebellion) • 2 visits to the Duke of Ferrara (the leader of the anti- Habsburg alliance in Italy)
  • 21. stand I pray you work with them to make as least as catholick as you are. But what should I write to you in this matter whose soule I fear is spotted with like spottes. For my lady And if you will, work with my lady in remembrans to work with him day and night. I would you were suche one as I which werke [...] to persuade him to be perfectly catholike but both of you being stained with the like spot. I will pray for you bothe. Courtenay to Hoby, 30 December 1555, SP 11/6 f.127r
  • 22. COURTENAY’S BETWEENNESS• The contents of the surviving letters are inconclusive concerning Devon’s guilt • However, the metadata - specifically his high betweenness - suggests that he was potentially very dangerous to the Tudor government. • He corresponds with a range of individuals that were not only from different, but actively opposed, communities. • A government asset with that kind of social network would make a valuable intelligencer or diplomat. • The difference, however, is that Devon's true allegiances were never resolved. In the absence of evidence to prove his innocence, the only sensible response was to place him under surveillance, and perhaps to take the ultimate step of having him assassinated.
  • 23. BETWEENNESS TOP 20 1. Mary I 2. William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester 3. Sir Thomas Saunders 4. William Cecil 5. Privy Council 6. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devon 7. Sir William Petre 8. Philip II of Spain 9. Cardinal Reginald Pole 10. Bernard Fresneda, Confessor Anheim to Philip II 11. John Mason 12. Sir Thomas Gresham 13. Peter Vannes 14. Sir Francis Englefield 15. Sir Edward Waldegrave 16. Thomas Wharton, Lord Wharton 17. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 18. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu 19. William Howard, Baron Howard of Effingham 20. Richard Rich, Baron Rich Reign of Mary I
  • 24. HUBS VERSUS BRIDGES Hubs are: • Nodes with anomalously large number of edges • Rare, but highly influential • Social hubs create trends and fads • Create short paths between other nodes ➔ Bridges: • May not have many edges • But those they do have are infrastructurally important (sometimes called weak ties) • Cross structural holes • Create short paths
  • 25.
  • 26.
  • 27.
  • 28. THE OTHER SNOWDEN • John Snowden (alias of John Cecil) is a clear example of why spies and conspirators have high betweenness: • After being educated at Trinity College, Oxford, in 1583 he and several other scholars attended the English Catholic seminary at Rheims. He the worked in the service of William Allen, and Robert Persons. • He was sent as a spy to England, but his ship was intercepted and he was imprisoned and interrogated by William Cecil, Lord Burghley. As a priest, he stood to be tried for treason. • However, to avoid this fate he provided Burghley with information on the plans of Persons and Allen, and offered himself as a secret agent for the crown. Thus, Snowden became a Catholic double agent.
  • 29. Snowden’s statement to Burghley, 23 May 1591 (SP 12/238 f.257r-v) …hyt is not so impossible as it is comonly taken to be a good subiecte and a good catholique… …to persuade all men [I.e. Catholics] from favouring foraine invasions, from practices of treason against her Majestie from exasperatinge the superior authoritie or such like violente proceadiges, but to suffer with humility the crosse that God doth laye. To make hit evydente to al Catholiques both at home and abrode that nether the King of Spayne meaneth them any good by his invasions pretendes[,] nor the Cardinal [Allen] or Par[sons] have eny respecte or remorse of the poor Catholique afflictions at home[.]
  • 30. Sends 17 letters to 5 people: • Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley [30478] (8) • Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury [29809] (6) • Robert Parsons [26791] (1) • Doctor William Allen [6215] (1) • Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex [26529] (1) Receives 1 letters from 1 people: • Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury [29809] (1)
  • 31.
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35. QUESTIONS • Is there a specific kind of network profile for spies, conspirators and double agents? • If so why is there an overlap between these types of people? • Why do they look similar?
  • 36.
  • 37. CONCLUSIONS• By co-opting the surveillance methods of one government body (the NSA), we are able to uncover the surveillance methods of another government. • The methods allows is to find overarching patterns and trends, and also to identify anomalies that require closer analysis. • We are able to discover that there are network properties of intelligencers and conspirators, and therefore to make predictions about about people who might also fill these roles. • As such it can lead to new discoveries, and the reframing of known histories.

Editor's Notes

  1. Project funded by AHRC and SHC.
  2. These words - General Michael Hayden, former director - were the shocking revelation of 2013. On 5 June the Guardian newspaper published an exclusive article (info leaked by Edward Snowden) about the NSA collection of domestic email and telephone metadata from Verizon. PRESS SPACE BAR — In the following days it would emerge that this was part of a more widespread and systematic program, named Prism. The NSA defended itself against allegations that its activities contravened the 4th Amendment by arguing the difference between data and metadata: that the contents of the phone calls, emails and other communications remained private. Citing a Supreme Court ruling from 1979, they maintained that Americans had no reasonable expectation that the metadata should remain private.
  3. You may be wondering why am I telling you about the NSA when I work on Tudor history…
  4. My collaborator (Sebastian) and I are like the NSA of the tudor period. Our work brings network analysis (his area) to humanities data (mine).
  5. *Any complex system composed of entities - nodes - and connections - edges. * power grids, neural networks, online social networking platforms… … ….To analyse a letter network the original documents must first be turned into the kind of metadata that has been collected by the NSA.
  6. From this data we can begin doing the kind of analysis we did on our Protestant letter dataset. Disambiguation - William Cecil Once we have all this data cleaned we can begin to analyse it. To explore our network we made a private interface for exploration [there will be a public website but it will be much prettier than this!].
  7. Talk through what it does - talk them through degree and strength (NOT Betw/eigen)… ranking, click through… and find details about those letters (including synopsis and click to letter scans)
  8. FIRST THING WE DID: SORT BY DEGREE Similar kind of distribution for each reign. Mary I reign top 3 = Mary, PC, Philip Only 16 /609 correspond with 10+ unique people (2.6 %), and 411 correspond with only 1 (67.5 %). Numbers way bigger for Henry and Elizabeth’s reign but the proportions are pretty much the same. Scale free degree distribution….
  9. The picture of these reigns is dominated by a few hubs. (not just metaphor/network terminology)… BEFORE LAST POINT. However. We are trying to move to a model of history that stops privileging the obviously influential figures - the hubs. How we might find people who have a surprisingly high bridging function
  10. People in this top 20 fall into 4 main groups: leaders…
  11. Leaders
  12. CHECK …Leading statesmen, and church leaders in England
  13. CHECK Diplomats and royal agents (military leaders)
  14. Anomalies: William Cecil. Despite having been one of then principal secretaries EdVI, he stepped back from government in Mary’s reign due to Protestanism; but we have many of his letters from this time because his entire correspondence as swelled by SP archive. Edward Courtenay ranked highly for all other measures too… in top 6 for all. but his appearance is very surprising.
  15. Knowledge of Devon’s background, therefore, shows him to be an anomaly within the top ranking figures in the network. Why then does he look so important?
  16. But why did the Marian government think that Devon was worth watching? And what did they discover from the process. Ironically, perhaps, when we first look at the content of surviving correspondence of Devon, they are disappointing: there is no definitive evidence of his involvement in any plots against Mary and Philip, perhaps (as discussed below) due to targeted destruction of part of the archive.
  17. One of the reasons that there is no smoking gun is that Courtenay was probably aware of his surveillance:
  18. Nevertheless - when we turn to the letters, they reveal a complex picture of his social standing during his exile, and allows us to see that his network profile makes him at once a very valuable to enemy of the state, and a figure that deserved close surveillance What’s strange is that despite knowing he was being observed he readily conveyed information to contacts within the English court that he was in contact with known Protestant and anti-Habsburg conspirators.
  19. He also send a letter to Hoby. Interestingly in this letter he crosses through a long postscript about Hoby’s faith. He asks Hoby he send his commendations to their mutual friend Peter Carew and his wife, and then adds the following words (crossed through). Posturing his own Catholicism? But why then cross it through? thinks better of so explicitly accusing Hoby of Protestantism, perhaps. But a simple line through his words cannot prevent the recipient, or any other imagined readers, of discerning his original words. There is also the possibility that the excessive use of deletion was designed to signal something we cannot now recover. Perhaps the point of asking a known Protestant to make Carew ‘as least as catholick as you are’ is that he did not wish his conversion at all…
  20. What are we to conclude about Courtenay? … He died in perhaps suspicious circumstances. The Venetian records also reveal that before his archives were collected by the English ambassador Peter Vannes that his casket was opened and certain letters destroyed. We wil never know what was lost, but the implication is that the government may have been right to be cautious.
  21. Courtenay’s betweenness, then, is suggestive of his central position between the Tudor government, and the enemies of that government. More usually, however, betweenness seems to be highlighting the hubs at the centre of government administration - those receiving the majority of paperwork - monarch, their principal secretary (here Petre) and key statesman like Pole. OR they are those figures who were funnelling information from different administrative bodies, different parts of England, or from abroad - like the diplomats Vannes and Mason. The problem we have here again, though, is volume is clouding the picture. We are mostly finding hubs and not bridges…
  22. That is people with a LOT of edges, versus people with a small number of edges that are very important at crossing communities. This is the different between London (as a transport hub), and Ashgate Kent (channel Tunnel). Different kinds of significance. Our Q was: How do you filter out the hubs (the big numbers) so that you can find these bridges more easily? … The first thing we tried…
  23. MAKING A GRAPH This = decade 8. Interpret (roughly) Explain graph - betweenness rank means closer to bottom, higher your significance by that measure. Looking for people ranking highly for betweenness (say in top 30 or so) but with nowhere near the 1100ish edges of Walsingham in this decade POINT). People with a significant bridging function.
  24. RA: We begin to see an interesting pattern emerging: Anthony Standen = adventurer and spy Thomas Morgan= Catholic conspirator Gilbert Gifford = double agent, working for both Spymaster Secretary Walsingham and Catholic Conspirators on the continent. Charles Paget = Catholic conspirator Bernardino de Mendoza = Philip II’s ambassador, and conspirator Francis Englefield =Catholic conspirator Andrea de Loo =Flemish merchant and spy
  25. RA: 1590s, similar: Charles Paget again, Thomas Phelippes - famous cryptographer and intelligence gatherer. John Snowden - a Catholic double agent William Allen - a Catholic conspirator Christoper Parkins - a Catholic spy turned English diplomat Crichton - was also Catholic and associated with leading conspirators. William Douglas, Scottish Catholic and plotter. Henry St Main (alias William Sterrell) WHY are we seeing this pattern?
  26. End of slide The way he proposes this role to the government is revealing…
  27. In the letter where he proposes his service to Burghley … Snowden expresses a position of ideological betweenness. Asserts opposition to acts of treason + concerns about the motivations of Philip II, Allen and Persons. Redefines what it means to be a good Catholic: he must not raise arms, but rather suffer his ‘crosse’. Snowden proposes that by granting religious freedom Burghley could win over current opponents to the English cause. In exchange for liberty of conscience he believes they would readily to take oath neither to hear nor suffer any practice of treason, or deal in matters of State.
  28. Moral betweenness also structural. Double agents must, necessarily, be able to move between two communities. In this case Snowden must seem like a loyal member of the Catholic exile community whilst gathering intelligence for the English crown. Such activity creates high betweenness. Despite corresponding with relatively few individual people, the record of Snowden’s correspondence in the State Papers archive places him between key leaders in these respective communities In one direction… In the other… Snowden’s story is a compelling one (not time…). What I’m interested in is the ability of the network profile to predict people who were likely to be spies or conspirators. TAKE ANOTHER LOOK —>
  29. RA: 1590s, similar: Charles Paget again, Thomas Phelippes - famous cryptographer and intelligence gatherer. John Snowden - a Catholic double agent William Allen - a Catholic conspirator Christoper Parkins - a Catholic spy turned English diplomat Crichton - was also Catholic and associated with leading conspirators. William Douglas, Scottish Catholic and plotter. Henry St Main (alias William Sterrell) WHY are we seeing this pattern?
  30. Prediction algorithms common these days. Amazon… Wanted to see if the intelligencer had a specific network profile, and if so, whether we could use it to predict other likely intelligencers — to help me narrow down my search in this vast archive of 132,000 letters.
  31. 2) involved in the Spanish blanks plot, an alleged pro-Spanish Catholic conspiracy in Scotland; 3) catholic leader on continent; 4) Philip II’s ambassador and complicit in Ridolfi plot; 5) involved in the Essex rebellion; 6) intriguer in the pay of Philip II, 7) the man after whom the Babington plot is named, 10) soldier who won several victories over the English for Philip II of Spain; 11) Catholic conspirator, 12) Ditto; 14) Secretary to Mary Queen of Scots; 15) Leader of the Catholic Alliance in Europe. 12/15 accuracy!!! Is this jus a fluke? No..
  32. Tried for a range of conspirators and spies - William Sterrell alias Henry Saint Main (compared for whole Eliz period). Often assumed to be spy for English government. 10 of top 15 conspirators, and 19 of top 30 (c. 75%). Conspirator Francis Englefield (1580s only), who was involved in the Babington Plot against Eliz, amongst others. Compared for 1580s only at least 7/10 conspirators. Gilbert Gifford, a double agent (a Catholic captured and turned like Snowden), at least 10/15.
  33. Seemingly yes. Not especially high degree or strength, but v high betweenness and low prestige (eigenvector centrality) - which shows they are moving in circles removed from central government - a kind of dark web. Spy or conspirator is a question of perspective - doing similar things, one for the government one against. Also often pulled from same group of people, with people changing sides (and leaving us to question where their allegiances ultimately lay). It also may be attributable to homophily… because interestingly many of the conspirators and spies highlighted with this tool knew each other, or shared correspondents
  34. This a diagram of people within the top 20 similar to Englefield who were identified as conspirators or spies, (pink), in grey are people if two of more of this community wrote to them. What this shows is that all people are only two degrees of separation apart in the epistolary network. The theory of homophily would argue that these conspirators became associates because they are similar; the other argument is that they became like each other because of their association - or an iterative combination of the two. The answer is a mixture of the two. And I can go into this further in the questions. What this shows, however, is how we can build a picture of a conspiratorial community simply from one node, and a set of algorithms - just like the NSA. We can also see how these communities were detected at the time too. At the centre we find Walsingham, the spymaster… receiving information from duplicitous people playing both sides.