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Tudor Intelligence Networks - Ruth Ahnert

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Ruth
Digital History seminar
Tuesday 6 December 2016
http://ihrdighist.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2016/07/20/tuesday-6-december-2016-ruth-ahnert-tudor-intelligence-networks/

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Tudor Intelligence Networks - Ruth Ahnert

  1. 1. TUDOR INTELLIGENCE NETWORKS Ruth Ahnert Queen Mary University of London
  2. 2. 'WE KILL PEOPLE BASED ON METADATA'
  3. 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. 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. 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. 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
  7. 7. EXPLORATORY TOOL
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 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. 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. 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. 15. 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.
  16. 16. 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.
  17. 17. 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)
  18. 18. 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)
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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.
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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.
  24. 24. 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[.]
  25. 25. 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)
  26. 26. PREDICTION
  27. 27. 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?
  28. 28. 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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