Babington, Anthony (băbˈĭngtən) [key], 1561–86, English conspirator. A member of the Roman Catholic gentry, he served as a youth in the household of the earl of Shrewsbury at Sheffield Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. In 1586 he became involved in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I, to free Mary, and to make England a Catholic realm. The plot was discovered, Babington was executed, and the evidence against him was also used to convince Elizabeth that it was necessary to behead Mary.
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