Famous British Spies

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 1 
Ian Fleming
(Author of James Bond Series)
Ian Fleming
8
Birthdate: May 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mayfair, London
Died: August 12, 1964

Ian Fleming was a British writer, naval intelligence officer, and journalist. Fleming is credited with creating one of the most popular characters of all time, James Bond. His James Bond series of novels have sold more than 100 million copies, making them one of the best-selling fictional book series in history. Jamaica’s Ian Fleming International Airport is named after him.

 2 
John André
(Head of the British Secret Service During the American Revolutionary War)
John André
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1751
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: October 2, 1780

John André was a British military leader who served as a major in the British Army. He played an important role during the American Revolutionary War, serving as the head of the British Army's Secret Service in America. He was executed by the Continental Army on 2 October 1780. John André's life inspired many artworks, including the 1798 play André.

 3 
Kim Philby
(Intelligence Agent)
Kim Philby
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ambala, Punjab, British India
Died: May 11, 1988

British intelligence officer Kim Philby was also a Soviet double agent. He was part of the spy group known as the Cambridge Five and leaked classified information to the Soviet Union during World War II and the Cold War. He later defected to Moscow and spent his final years there.

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 4 
Oleg Gordievsky
(Former Colonel of the KGB and Bureau Chief in London)
Oleg Gordievsky
3
Birthdate: October 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Former Soviet security agent Oleg Gordievsky’s 11-year stint as a secret agent with the British intelligence service MI6 resulted in him being labeled a traitor and sentenced to death by Russia. The author of KGB: The Inside Story now lives alone, in a high-security zone in a British suburb.
 5 
Violette Szabo
(British-French Special Operations Executive Agent During the Second World War)
Violette Szabo
3
Birthdate: June 26, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 5, 1945

Violette Szabo was a British-French spy who worked as a Special Operations Executive agent during World War II. During her second mission in occupied France, Violette Szabo was captured by the Germans. She was tortured, interrogated, and deported to Ravensbrück, where she was executed on 5 February 1945 at the age of 23.

 6 
Krystyna Skarbek
(Britain's First and Longest-Serving Female Secret Agent)
Krystyna Skarbek
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1908
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trzepnica, Poland
Died: June 15, 1952

The first and the longest-serving British female secret agent, Krystyna Skarbek was born in Poland. Her contribution to the Allies during World War II won her honors such as the OBE and the Croix de Guerre. She was 37 when she was stabbed to death in a London hotel.

 7 
John Cairncross
(British Civil Servant Who Was Accused of Being a Soviet Spy)
John Cairncross
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: October 8, 1995

British civil servant John Cairncross is remembered in history as one of the 5 men of the Cambridge spy ring who served as Soviet spies. He had to give up his civil service job amid accusations of him being a Soviet spy. He later began an academic career, teaching at Northwestern University.

 8 
Donald Maclean
(Diplomat)
Donald Maclean
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 6, 1983

While he was a member of the British Foreign Office, diplomat Donald Maclean was also simultaneously spying for the Soviet Union as part of the Cambridge Five, supplying them confidential information. He eventually vanished from England and reappeared as a Communist in the Soviet Union, years later.

 9 
Theodore Schurch
(The Only British Soldier to be Executed for Treachery During the World War II)
Theodore Schurch
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
Died: January 4, 1946

Theodore Schurch was a British soldier who was captured and executed under the Treachery Act 1940 after World War II. Theodore Schurch became the only British soldier to be executed for treachery during the war. He was also the last British person to be executed for an offence other than homicide.

 10 
Peter Wright
(The Longest-Serving Scientist of the MI5 Who Authored the Bestseller 'Spycatcher')
Peter Wright
2
Birthdate: August 9, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chesterfield, England
Died: April 27, 1995

Peter Wright was the longest-serving scientist associated with Britain’s counter-intelligence service, MI5. He soared to fame with his international bestseller, Spycatcher, co-written with author Paul Greengrass, which exposed some major flaws of the MI5. He spent his final years in Australia and also became an Australian citizen.

 11 
John Vassall
(British Civil Servant Who Spied for the Soviets)
John Vassall
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: England
Died: November 18, 1996

British civil servant John Vassall became a Soviet spy after facing blackmail from the KGB, which threatened to reveal his homosexuality. Initially a war photographer for the RAF, he later assisted the British naval attaché in Moscow. Released after a 10-year imprisonment for his crimes, he changed his surname and settled in London.

 12 
John Gardner
(English Spy and Novelist, Best Known for His 'James Bond' Continuation Novels)
John Gardner
2
Birthdate: November 20, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Northumberland, England
Died: August 3, 2007

John Gardner was an English spy and author. He is best remembered for his thriller novels, including the continuation novels containing Ian Fleming's iconic character James Bond and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's villain Professor James Moriarty. John Gardner wrote over 50 works of fiction, including 14 original James Bond novels.

 13 
Duncan Scott-Ford
(British Merchant Seaman Who was Executed for Passing Vital Information to Enemy During World War II)
Duncan Scott-Ford
0
Birthdate: September 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plymouth, Devon, England
Died: November 3, 1942

Duncan Scott-Ford was a British merchant seaman. He was accused of passing vital information to an enemy agent during World War II, for which he was executed on 3 November 1942 at the age of 21. Duncan Scott-Ford was part of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy prior to his execution.

 14 
Alan Nunn May
(British Physicist and the Person Convicted for Supplying Atomic-Bomb Secrets to the Soviet Union)
Alan Nunn May
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1911
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bedruthan, Park Hill, Moseley, Birmingham, England
Died: January 12, 2003

British physicist Alan Nunn May went down in history as a traitor who betrayed Britain and the U.S. by passing on confidential information about the Manhattan Project, or the development of the atom bomb, to the Soviet Union, as a spy. Sentenced to 10 years of hard labor, he served 6.

 15 
Eileen Nearne
('Special Operations Executive' Agent During the Second Worlld War)
Eileen Nearne
0
Birthdate: March 15, 1921
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 2, 2010

Eileen Nearne was a Special Operations Executive agent during the Second World War. She served as a radio operator in occupied France, for which she was honored by the French government with the Croix de Guerre after the war.

 16 
Laurence Oliphant
(South African-Born British Traveller and Author Who is Remembered for his Satirical Novel, 'Piccadilly')
Laurence Oliphant
1
Birthdate: August 3, 1829
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
Died: December 23, 1888

Laurence Oliphant was a South African-born British traveller, author, diplomat, Christian Zionist, Christian mystic, and British intelligence agent. He is best remembered for his satirical novel, Piccadilly. Laurence Oliphant is also remembered for his work of esoteric Christianity along with his wife Alice. The work was published as Sympneumata, or Evolutionary Forces Now Active in Man in 1885.

 17 
Edward Bancroft
(Double Agent Who Worked for Both Great Britain and America During the American Revolution)
Edward Bancroft
3
Birthdate: January 20, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 7, 1821

Edward Bancroft was a Massachusetts-born chemist and physician. He played an important role during the American Revolution, working as a double agent for both Great Britain and the United States. Edward Bancroft's activity as a double agent wasn't disclosed until 1891, when diplomatic papers were made public knowledge by Great Britain.

 18 
John Honeyman
(British Informant and American Spy for George Washington)
John Honeyman
0
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Birthplace: Armagh, Ireland
Died: August 18, 1822

John Honeyman was a British informant and American spy for George Washington, the first president of the United States. His primarily duty was to spread disinformation. John Honeyman also gathered the intelligence that facilitated George Washington's triumph in the Battle of Trenton.

 19 
Basil Thomson
(British Colonial Administrator Who Served as the Chief of Metropolitan Police CID During the First World War)
Basil Thomson
0
Birthdate: April 21, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: March 26, 1939

Basil Thomson was a British colonial administrator who served as the chief of Metropolitan Police CID during the First World War. Also a prison governor, Thomson played the key role of arresting wartime spies. Basil Thomson was involved in the arrest of Sir Roger Casement, Mata Hari, and many Indian and Irish nationalists. Basil Thomson was also a well-known novelist.

 20 
George Reginald Starr
(British 'Special Operations Executive' Agent in World War II)
George Reginald Starr
0
Birthdate: April 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: September 2, 1980

George Reginald Starr was a British Special Operations Executive agent and mining engineer. He is credited with carrying out many sabotage operations in the days leading up to the famous Normandy invasion in June 1944. George Reginald Starr rescued nearly 50 prominent resistance leaders and played an important role in the emancipation of southwestern France from German occupation.

 21 
Thomas Dangerfield
(English Conspirator and One of the Main Informers in the Popish Plot)
Thomas Dangerfield
4
Birthdate: 1650 AD
Birthplace: Waltham Abbey, England
Died: June 22, 1685

Thomas Dangerfield was an English conspirator and one of the main informers in the Popish Plot. Dangerfield is the subject of a well-known literary novel titled Don Tomazo, or The Juvenile Rambles of Thomas Dangerfield, which presents Thomas Dangerfield as a resourceful and clever rogue. It is widely believed that Dangerfield himself authored the novel.