Elizabeth I, Queen of England - The "Rainbow" portrait



(Stevan Dedijer)



I propose here that the "Rainbow" portrait of Elisabeth I at Cecils' Hatfield House in England is a statement of an Elisabethan "grand scheme" probably conceived and commissioned around 1600 by cousins Francis Bacon and Robert Cecil with the knowledge and participation of the Queen herself. For her portraits were a state matter of political importance in which she had the final word. The scheme is a statement in the policy debate going on in England after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. As we shall see, it is also a part of the international debate on the role and policy of England and on the philosophy of the state.

The cypher key for the whole "Rainbow scheme" and each of its component parts is found in iconology, the language of symbols, and images.

From 1400 on, this now dead language of symbols was widely used by writers, poets, painters, architects, designers of processions and charades, kings, queens, ministers, officials in all courts and intellectual centers of Europe, including England, to communicate ideas, messages, to set up puzzles. Inventing and solving allegorical problems in the language of symbols, often with political content, was a popular pastime at European courts of the time. Queen Elisabeth herself, the most intellectual monarch of her time, was tops at this symbolic conundrum game. She knew the symbolic language, like she knew French, Italian, Latin, Spanish and Greek. William Cecil, her Secretary of State until 1572 and Treasurer until his death in 1598, wrote on December 7, 1593, at the age of 73 to his son Robert about an "Allegorical Letter" he challenged the 60 year old Elisabeth to decipher:

"Hir Majestie, [wrote William] discovered the Litterale Sence thereof before the mydsts of it seene ... I think never a Lady ... nor a Decipherer in the Courte would have dissolved the Figure as Hir Majestie hath done."

For Elisabeth, as she wrote in a letter to her favorite courtier, Christopher Hatton, "the Rainbow brought the good tidings". The Rainbow portrait is a policy proclamation bringing the good tidings "of a Golden Age Empire/ under Anglican England's world leadership/ to be based not on war/ but on strength, peace, compassion/ and a vigilant use of knowledge, science, intelligence, espionage and secrecy." For each of these themes some supporting historical evidence is presented making each plausible. It is shown, first, that each theme, and especially the one about knowledge, intelligence and espionage, has been an issue of concern for, and is based upon the experience, judgements, innovations of leading members of Elisabeth's government and of the English nation. Second, that it is most strongly related to the thoughts and writings of Bacon, the farsighted analyst of the relation of knowledge, power, and intelligence in the knowledge industry revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries.

I found a high concordance and no serious contradictions in the use of the symbols language by, first, the proposed authors of the Rainbow, second, dictionaries and authorities on symbols of that time, especially Cesare Ripa's Iconologia and, third, by Bacon in all of his creations - including a petticoat (!) for Queen Elisabeth. All evidence presented about the social context, intelligence culture, and their personalities makes it plausible that the two cousins together with Elisabeth produced the original idea and commissioned the painting, which was - probably - paid by Robert since Francis, as usual was broke at the time. The conjecture does not require changes in the previous hypotheses and evidence about the probable painter of the Rainbow.

In a brief concluding section I relate the Rainbow scheme for intelligent Intelligence from the l6th century to the current schemes to reform national intelligence doctrines and communities in today's much more complex, and world wide knowledge industry revolution.

An Ariadne's Thread for the "Rainbow"

The efforts to reform national intelligence policies and communities in the current knowledge revolution could gain from a study of the rise in a similar revolution in the l6th century of the first and most successful national intelligence service, that of England. Since that time, foreigners - both enemies and friends - have had an envious respect for the British Secret Service. This respect was based on the foreigners counter-intelligence operations, reinforced, perhaps, by the deception technique first proposed by Francis Bacon in 1594 in his Discourse touching Intelligence and the Safety of the Queen's person. Bacon urged the Privy Council of Elisabeth to "sow(n) an opinion abroad that her Majesty hath much secret intelligence and that all is full of spies and false brethren." The final result is shown by the opinions of two of England's most powerful opponents: the Vatican in the 16th and Germany in the 20th century. The Vatican nuncio [sic] in Flanders of the l580's believed that "The Queen of Edgland, I know not how, penetrates everything," the nuncio in Spain warned that she "keeps a bright lookout on all sides," their Paris colleague warned the Pope that many English religious exiles are spies. The Curia in Rome heard from Mary of Scotland in prison in England, whose letters were secretly read by Walsingham in London that Elisabeth had agents close to the Pope.

While among the 20th century Germans, Himmler envied British Intelligence's considerable "part in building and holding the British Empire," Hitler and Schellenberg "its tradition of 300 years," and general Gehlen described intelligence as Britain's "most important instrument for marshalling the raw materials of foreign policy." In the German Army Informationsheft [sic - forse Informationschaft] for the invasion of Britain in 1940, the German troops are warned that "Intelligence is a field in which the British, by virtue of their tradition, their experience, and certain facets of their national character - unscrupulousness, self-control, cool deliberateness and ruthless action - have achieved an unquestionable degree of mastery." For centuries such assessments had been deduced from and after the events, for the leaders of England until recently have kept silent about their intelligence doctrine as related to national policy. I conjecture, however, that some time before the death of Elisabeth in 1603, some of these leaders for their own use summed up creatively the intelligence experience during Elisabeth's reign and formulated the expansion strategy for the then second rate power that England was compared to Spain and France, which pursued by their successors, in the 19th century resulted in a "Pax Britannica" empire, "on which the sun never sets."

The idea for this secret and farsighted course arose from the intense debate in England of the 1580's and 90's on war as the instrument for national security and expansion. It was becoming clear to men like William Cecil, his son Robert, the mathematician and intelligencer John Dee, scholar Hakluyt, Francis Walsingham, and Francis Bacon that England's future lay in overseas trade, expansion, inventions and that, because of its naval superiority, insular England - in the words of Bacon - "is at liberty and may take as much and as little of the war as (it) will." The debate was a national one. Students and teachers at Oxford were debating in that decade among the usual "Questiones Philosophicae" such as "Is Woman a nature's mistake?," "Do many worlds exist?," also "Can war be just for both sides?," "Should one advocate war to promote national goals?," "Is it wiser for a king to invade or [wait] to be invaded?" The same issues - as we shall see - were discussed among lawyers and students of jurisprudence at Gray's Inn where Bacon worked in 1590's. In the intellectual atmosphere of the Elisabethan establishment these debates reflected and influenced the political struggle on the issue in the Court and the Privy Council between the "peace party" led by William and Robert Cecil and the "war party" led by Essex, Walter Raleigh and others. These argued as Essex did in May 1598 in his Apologia that "Peace will encourage the enemy," "A just war is our necessity," while the Cecils maintained what they always believed and acted upon, that "War is a curse." In that month at one fiery Privy Council meeting the elder Cecil shut up Essex by reading to him prophetically from his pocket Bible about the "men of blood" dying prematurily, which Essex did of the axe at 32 in 1601. By 1604 under James I who succeeded Elisabeth in 1603 the issue was settled. Raleigh was in the Tower and Robert Cecil had negotiated for England a peace after 30 years of strife and war with Spain, a peace that helped to open her global ernpire to British trade.

The Grandest Scheme

Previous decipherers of the Rainbow, Frances Yates, Roy Strong and Rene Graziani, approached it as an expression of "courtly eulogy," of a cult of Elisabeth or "religious sentiment." For Elisabeth herself, her Privy Council, Court and establishment, these were the sweets and trifles whereas power politics, policy, knowledge, intelligence were the daily bread. For the men of the new Elisabethan generation such as Essex, Raleigh, Francis Bacon and others in the decade after the 1588 Armada defeat, the language of art and religion, if used at all, was at best a means to communicate, embellish or hide more ambitious political schemes. Theirs were the updated concerns of the previous generation's explorers, sea dogs like Drake, Cavendish, Hawkins, promoters of commerce like William Cecil and Gresham, intelligencers like Walsingham, Richard Hakluyt and John Dee. Their exploits and designs are described in great detail in Richard Hakluyt's The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation, Made by Sea or Over-Land to the Remote and Farthest quarters of the Earth at any time within the compasse of these 1600 Years, published in London in 1589; in biographies of William Cecil, Thomas Gresham, Francis Walsingham, John Dee, Francis Drake and others. The "aspiring minds" of the new generation, as shown by R. Elser, saw the whole earth as England's imperial "Oyster" to be "opened" by Englishmen's intellectual, political, military, commercial and geographic "grand schemes," "mighty designs," "romantic models," as they called them. They dreamed, in Raleigh's words "to seek new worlds for gold, for praise, for glory." Such was Sherley's idea to close Suez to Spanish trade, Essex's plan to invade Spain, Robert Cecil's "Grand Contract" between King and Parliament. Such were Raleigh's colonial expeditions and searches for Eldorado, Bacon's goal for a "total reconstruction of science, arts and all human knowledge" to serve England and by it humanity. Most such ideas were, as a Venetian diplomat described Sherley's, "Grand Scheme, Impossible to accomplish." The Rainbow, I suggest was the grandest scheme of all. Some time around the year 1600 cousins Francis Bacon and Robert Cecil, most probably with the knowledge of Elisabeth, were involved in the production of a farsighted statement of Pax Britannica and imperial strategy based not on war but on England's intelligence, espionage, science, and other might.

The medium chosen to announce this scheme suited their temperaments, their purpose, the message and the times. Both cousins highly valued secrecy, Bacon even secrecy in science. But contrary to Francis, Robert abhorred talking in public about policy even in abstract terms. He was horrified by what he called "unsecrecy," and "unsecret men" telling his sovereign: "I hope your majesty sees my course would God no other did." The intelligence "mighty design" was, therefore, stated so that only English insiders would understand it: in the language of images and symbols with multiple meanings then widely used by European artists and intellectuals and, above all, by Francis Bacon in all of his writings. The channel for the "design" message was Elisabeth's Rainbow portrait.

Of the 110 known contemporary portraits of Elisabeth I, the Rainbow is the most popular today because it is the most mysterious. As we look upon it on the wall of the Great Hall of the Cecils' Hatfield House, the mysterious bits of the Rainbow that catch our eye are many. For example, Elisabeth has a strange helmet-like headdress with a crown and a half moon in it, an unfashionable dress covered with English flowers, an iron gauntlet hanging on her collar. She holds a rainbow, the symbol of peace, in its proper position relative to her sun-like face, with an inscription on the side "No Rainbow without the Sun." The rainbow rises from her golden cloak covered with eyes, ears, closed mouths. A knotted jewelled serpent is on her left sleeve, with a celestial sphere over its head, a "seeing" heart in its mouth, etc. Finally, unlike the realistic portraits of her at the time, the Rainbow represents the 67 year old Elisabeth as a young woman. Some of Elisabeth's portraits have one or two such strange features (the "Phoenix," the "Ermine," the "Sieve", the "Ditchley"'). The Rainbow has three dozens of them. Why these unusual features? Why so many? What do they mean? Up to now art historians who tried have not been able to answer these questions. The Rainbow remains a mystery. FrancesYates, one of the most productive and bestknown interpreters of Elisabethan and Rennaissance art symbolism, tried as many other art historians to solve the Rainbow mystery. In her last work in 1975 she concluded: "Every detail in this picture is significant ... We may wonder how the artist, or the designer of this picture could have supposed the beholder of it would understand its complicated allusions."

To answer these questions, to solve the Rainbow mystery one must reconsider the approach to art as expressed in the Rainbow in comparison to that of "pure art" historians of today. To start with, for Elisabeth herself, her Privy-Council led by such pragmatic politicians as William and Robert Cecil, for her court and the whole English establishment both before and after 1588, as for the kings, courts and governments of Europe including the Vatican, "courtly eulogy" (F. Yates), "religious sentiment" (R. Graziani), the "cult" of Elisabeth (R. Strong) - as they saw the essence of the Rainbow portrait - were the form, whereas power politics, policy formulation and implementation, knowledge and intelligence operations were the content of their daily work and concern. For all of them the language of artistic and religious symbolism was an ideological and political weapon extremely useful to mythologize, rationalize and disguise their political, economic, military goals, ambitions, designs and dreams.

With such a socio-political approach, the Rainbow emerges as the "grandest" - because the longest lasting - of Elisabethan schemes. Later the intelligence culture and ambitions for the world empire may have induced others in England to rediscover, apply and achieve the goals of the same policy with a minimum of war and effort. But the Rainbow was the first such "scheme" composed by means of symbols in the painting with their meanings derived from contemporary symbolic dictionaries.

Securitie Is the Bane of All Governments

To comprehend that proposing an intelligence policy in a painting is within the spirit of Elisabethan times, to explain and test the cypher (or the symbols of the Rainbow one needs what does not exist, a comprehensive, detailed social history of Elisabethan intelligence and knowledge as part of its political culture. In spite of abundant sources it is not an easy history to write. For, though feared by everyone, there was no formally organized secret service in Elisabethan England. In typical English fashion each of its top leaders did his own intelligence thing - developed sources and agent networks - while reacting to internal and external threats in the pursuit of more or less jointly defined national goals. It is the sharing of these goals and of daily experience that generated the Elisabethan intelligence culture, unwritten doctrine and tradition all secretly and silently transmitted to future generations. From the commented deeds, principles, judgements and writings of five key Elisabethan figures I shall proceed to extract the basic themes of the knowledge and intelligence doctrines guiding their daily practical work and relevant for the Rainbow. Four of them are, what Bacon called power "gamesters": Queen Elisabeth herself, ruling England as an absolute monarch for 45 years, William Cecil, Francis Walsingham and Robert Cecil for 64 years the Principal Secretaries of State of England. Their job was defined by R. Cecil at the end of this period to be "at liberty to deal ... with all matter of speech and intelligence" and for that purpose "to maintain men abroad ... from all parts of the world." The fifth is the very foremost analyst of the times, Francis Bacon, the ideologue of the knowledge revolution of l6th century, who forsightedly saw in intelligence "the light of the State," the link binding power with knowledge and said so in the "Rainbow scheme" in 1600 and in his writings right up to his posthumous New Atlantis in 1626.

"No War My Lords!"

On November 17, 1558, when Elisabeth became Queen she appointed William Cecil to be her first minister. Most foreign observers of the state of England would have agreed with the evaluation made by Armagil Waad, the Clerk of Elisabeth's Privy Council who prepared a document on The Distresses of the Commonwealth, saying: "The Queen poor, the realm exhausted, the nobility poor and decayed. Want of good captains and soldiers. The people out of order. Justice not executed. All things dear. Excess in meat, drink and apparel. Divisions among ourselves. Wars with France and Scottland. The French king bestriding the realm, having one foot in Calais and the other in Scotland. Steadfast enemity but no steadfast friendship abroad." For the next forty years William Cecil was to be in Bacon's words "the Atlas of this Commonwealth," "the father of his country's peace" in Elisabeth's words. From the first both William Cecil and later his son Robert, until the latter's death in 1612, shared and strived to achieve Elisabeth's basic goals for England: "a peac[e]able, quiet, and well ordered state of kingdom," as she wrote in an intimate prayer to God on the back of an order for a mission by the sea-adventurer Frobisher. Her faithful servant and most famous intelligencer Francis Walsingham was continuously in trouble with Elisabeth for putting his aggressive, expansionist religious ideology first, thus: "I wish God's glory and next the Queen's safety". Elisabeth's shoe throwing and screaming at Walsingham in 1575 and many times before and after, "You Puritan, you will never be content till you drive me into a war on all sides and bring the king of Spain unto me," was accompanied by subtler criticisms of his policy. By means of a symbolic, iconographic message Elisabeth gave Walsingham the same lesson. She presented him with a symbolic painting - now in possession of Mrs Dent-Brocklehurst in England - showing herself leading peace by hand into England while her predecessor on the throne and sister, Queen Mary, and her husband, Phillip, King of Spain, are leading the God of War, thus identifying Walsingham's policy with that of Englands archenemy of the time. Elisabeth's injunction to her Privy Council, "No war, My Lords" were other restatements or her basic goals for England totally shared by the Cecils. For decades Cecil was known at home and abroad as the leader of the peace party in her Council and Court. Midst all threats, dangers, internal and external crises for England he worked assiduously for "the preservation of this realm in perpetual quietness." He stressed openly and confidentially in words, writings and actions "my disposition for continuance of peace and commerce," and that "a realm gaineth more by one year of peace than by ten years of wars." On his deathbed in 1598 he urged Robert to "tend in all thy actions in the state to shun foreign wars and seditions." Robert himself maintained to the end of his life that "Peace is the mother of all honour and State."

From Bacon's writings one concludes that he himself believed and advised at all time that peaceful means were preferable for welfare and expansion while violence and war could only be a last resort. All five, the "gamesters" and the analyst, each in her or his own way were in Walshingham's words, "encouragers of merchants," of scientists and of innovators, whom Bacon called "merchants of light' and "merchants of fruit."

England in the l560's was a second rate power, with less than half the population of her major rivals and enemies, France and Spain, with a less centralized government than either. Until the 1550's England lagged behind Spain, Portugal, France, and Holland in exploration of the world. In agriculture, finance, manufacture, industry, commerce. military might, including the size of her navy, England was much less powerful than her major ally, Holland, with less than half of England's population. More than 90% of England's trade was still with traditional continental markets. Yet shrewd observers among her enemies noted after England's defeat of the Spanish armada 1588, the growing strength and expansionist drive of the English during the past generation. The Jesuit political analyst, G. Botero, observed in bis Parvum Amphiteatrum of 1600 that "England on account of her location is superior to all other kingdoms." Her insular position, her coast with its tides, make her "difficult of access to enemies and ... a good base for launching expeditions against others." Botero then cites Drake's 25 ship raid on the Spanish colonies in 1585. Botero stresses repeatedly that "in matters of navigation the English people are admirably dexterous," with "an unprecedented flexibility." For example "two of her captains [Francis Drake, Thomas Cavendish] with courage not smaller than luck have circumnavigated the globe." Botero points to England's commercial expansion: "England merchants are already in Russia, China, Egypt, Constantinople, Poland, in North and Guinea Africa." Modern French historian Ferdinand Braudel in his La Méditerranée à l'Époque de Philippe II (1976), noted that "by the end of the l6th century the English were everywhere in the Mediterranean, in Moslem and Christian countries travelling along all the overland routes that led to it or away from it to Europe or the Indian Ocean." He cites a Genoese report on the "key points in an English intelligence network covering every sector of the Mediterranean sea:" In Genoa a man named Richard Hunt(o) is described as "an intelligencer, a most malicious and perverse enemy."

From 1570 to 1600 at least eight important merchant adventures and commercial share companies were founded (i.a., East India Company in December 1600) with the participation of top members of Elisabeth's government, all of whom were "encouragers of merchants."

With such ambitions and goals in view from William Cecil right from the start domestic and foreign intelligence was an essential tool of government. The demand for and the use of intelligence was continuously generated by five key factors. Four of them are those identified by H. Wilensky in 1967 in his Organizational Intelligence as generators of the intelligence effort of any social system: the belief prevalent in the power elite if not of the system that its problems can be rationally described and dealt with, its degree of conflict with the environment, the unity of its power elite if not of the system, the complexity of the system and of its problems. For William Cecil, Francis Walsingham and the whole Elisabethan establishment there was from the start a fifth factor: the danger of being certain, of feeling secure about your own, the intentions and capabilities of your allies and enemies, the need for continuous vigilance, and a continuous search for indications both of future perils and opportunities. Archives are full of evidence of the Elisabethan awareness of this fifth factor. It is first of all seen in the creative use of questions in government documents as tools to set in doubt the existing estimates, to detect new problems and alternatives. Furthermore, Walsingham stated in 1586 this basic English intelligence doctrine generating principle when he wrote to Cecil that the factions and disagreements within the government are not so dangerous, but that "there is nothing more dangerous than [the feeling of] securitie." In 1574 he warned Cecil that the new Spanish Ambassador has come "to lulle us a sleepe for a tyme." Twenty years later this basic demand for vigilance - symbolised by open eyes and ears - beeomes part of the insider tradition when R. Beale, the chief clerk of the Privy Council and brother in law of Walsingham writes in A Treatise of the Office of a Councellor and Principall Secretarie to her Ma(jes)tie: "It is a Secretarie's dutie before hande to consider of the Estate of the Realme and all ye rest of the Prince's Estates, with whom there have bine and are anie doinges, and what daungers may happen and how they may be remedied. Securitie hath bine alwais the bane of all Kingdomes and Estates," and that "securitie" is especially dangerous against "sudaine events," that is surprises and crises. Abundant documentary evidence shows that the specific internal and external threats and opportunities changed rapidly in time, but the Elisabethan establishment held throughout to its belief of the need for alertness and rationalization, thus continually generating new needs for intelligence. This was an intrinsic part of the intellectual inclination, scholarly competence, appreciation of the need for intelligence and knowledge mirrored in the symbols of the Rainbow and held above all by Elisabeth herself, William Cecil and later Walsingham, Robert Cecil and Francis Bacon.

Elisabeth, Knowledge and lntelligence

Writing after the death of Elisabeth on the effectiveness of intellectually endowed monarchs Bacon had this to say about her: "This lady was endued with learning in her sex singular and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learning of language or of science; modern or ancient; divinity or humanity. And unto the very last year of her life she accustomed to appoint set hours for reading scarcely any student in a university more daily or more duly. As for her government, I assure myself I shall not exceed if I affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times: and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regiment." For Elisabeth knowledge, learning, deception, dissimulation, intelligence and espionage were the essential sine qua non tools of power in pursuing her goals. One of the best way to please her was to talk In Praise of Knowledge, as the Earl of Essex did in 1592 by reading one such essay (probably written by Francis Bacon). She was vigilantly curious about her realm and the world as shown by her motoes "Video, Taceo" (I see, but say nothing), and the one in her "Sieve" portrait: "I see all and much is missing." According to William Cecil, "She knew all estates and dispositions of all Princes and parties," "was so expert in the knowledge of her realm and estates no councillor she had could tell her what she knew not before," "she had manie Eyes and Ears." The French ambassador wrote to Henry IV: "She knows everything." She read and praised Anthony Bacon's intelligence reports from France, Sir Robert Naunton's from Germany - and prevented Walsingham from reading those from Holland. Her correspondence contains many intelligence instructions like the following letters. In one to Lord Hunsdon in 1569 Elisabeth says: "And herein good regard should be had to lay diligent wait for the intercepting of all espials or any other seditious person that might privily or by any colourable means, resourt to your side to stir any mutinty amongst those that serve under you; of which sort of people, if any such may be come by you, you shall do well by the speedy execution of two or three of them to make an example of terror to others of their nature and quality." To Francis Walsingham her Ambassador in France in a letter of June 8 1571, she writes to inform the French king that she had arrested Mary Stuart's representative in London, the Bishop of Ross, because, "secretly by night ... he entered into such intelligences and practices with some of our nobility ... he hath now of new entered into practices by his letters and ministers to stir up secretly some new rebelion in our Realm, and hath for that purpose dealt by his ministers with certain other fugitives and rebels in the King of Spain's Low Countries and also with the Duke of Alba, and further prosecuted his intentions to that purpose by sending both to the Pope and to the King of Spain." In 1593, she personally commissioned the extremely successful intelligencer A. Standen to write the report of his 28 years experience as agent on the Continent then granted him a 100 pound sterling life pension. She definitely had intelligence sources of her own - some historians conjecture that she had her own network. Among several incidents supporting this, one can cite that when Lord Sussex summoned the Privy Council to a meeting for "Her Majesty has recieved [sic] intelligence from beyond the seas." She followed important intelligence operations closely: In August 1586 while unravelling the Babbington plot which cost Mary Stuart her head, Walsingham advised Elisabeth that her suggestion to trap Mary by sending her a false letter in code as coming from her agent Ballard in Paris would not work. She tested her young favorites on intelligence competence. On his first day as a member of the Privy Council in Februaty 1593, the 25 year old Earl of Essex wrote jubilantly to Francis's brother Anthony Bacon about the Queens praise for passing the test she gave him: to write "a draft of an instruction for a matter of intelligence" to a fictitious agent in France.

"Lord Treasurer's Great Intelligence: Foreign & Domestic"

There is a tendency among historians to ignore the essential fact that William Cecil was a scholarly, learned and intellectual Secretary of State and later Lord Treasurer. From 1560 to 1598 he was the chancellor of Cambridge university. He graduated from its St. John's college which in his generation produced many members of government, bishops, ambassadors and scholars. At Cambridge, as at Oxford, teachers and students, part of the ruling class of England, debated and wrote academic papers on the problems of the country and how to deal with them. It was a generally known fact in his time, confirmed by many documents in his own hand, that Cecil applied to government problems the methods and techniques of what we would call the social science methods of his time, learned at Cambridge. In her dedication to Cecil of the first 1570 edition of The Scholemaster, the treatise on the theory of education by Cecil's fellow student and protegé Roger Ascham, his widow Margaret wrote: "For well remembryng how much good learning oweth unto you ... and how happily you haue [sic] spent your time in such studies and carried the use thereof to the right ende, to the good servise of the Queenes Maiesties and your co[u]ntry to all our benefites." The intellectual atmosphere Cecil lived and worked in is well attested by the fact that Ascham got the idea for his Scholemaster at Cecil's dinner table, when the latter started the discussion with the members of the govennment present about the news that Eton boys had run away from school because of floggings. The earliest government document in Cecil's hand, a position paper in 1552 for Edward VI on the question whether England should help Charles V to invade France, is structured as a traditional university paper under the headings: "Question," followed by "Answer: He shall" or "Answer: he shall not," "Corollarium of a mean way," "Reasons for Common Conjunction," "Reasons against Conjunction," "Conclusion."

In archives one finds dozens of papers testifying that William Cecil at all times in a similarly rational, systematic, and scholarly fashion identified the questions to be asked in order to define the problems in the light of his goal for England's expansion based on security and peace. He made alternative plans for actions and derived from them what today are called national intelligence questions (NIQ), and specific intelligence production tasks. Such documents can be classified roughly into three main groups. The first are papers - Threats, "Troubles, ... that all may presently ensue and in time come to follow to Queene Majestie's safety and of this realme," or "the safety of the Queen's person" against plots. The second group of documents often overlapping the first, dealt with "means to remedy," "to divert" the above threats,"matters necessary to be done," "things necessary to be considered," "with speede," "with forebearing," "with foresight." All of them are what modern intelligence would call early warnings of coming (or management of identified) crises. They are reactions to raw or finished intelligence about such events as, for example the marriage of Queen Mary of Scotland to Robert Darnley, her flight to England, St. Bartholomew's massacre of the Huguenots in France, the many incipient or developed plots to assassinate the Queen, start rebellions, invade England etc. A contemporary poster describes 16 such "Popish Plots" including the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1588, all backed by the popes in Rome. The third category of documents are designs, proposals, plans and ideas to strengthen and expand England economically, militarily etc. One such idea of Cecil's was to make the English eat more fish so as to strengthen the Navy.

W. Peck, the compiler of William Cecil's sayings, illustrating his character, method of work and results, writes under the title "The Lord Treasurer's great Intelligence, Foreign and Domestic" that foreign observers and students of the government of England were fully aware of Cecil's intelligence activities. Thus the Italian Ammiani Sebastiano wrote in Venice in 1589 that William Cecil "had his explorers and agents in public places. Their work about many secret foreign designs that were necessary to know for the tranquillity and security of the state were made more certain."

The principal sectors in which William Cecil and his successors concentrated their intelligence effort were: internal security and counter-espionage, political and military intelligence in Europe including "kindling fires" in enemy camps, commercial and economic intelligence, and in time the "expansion intelligence" in all parts of the globe.

Walsingham: "A Diligent Searcher of Hidden Secrets"

This way of thinking - with rationalizations, suspicions, emphasis on "foresight" - generated demand for intelligence, for covert, diplomatic, paramilitary and other operations, counter-intelligence, police, judicial, diplomatic and political action. The best documentated example of such intelligence generation in the course of crisis management is the one related to the assassination of William of Orange in June 1584. Three documents in question were all written by Francis Walsingham, the man Cecil chose in 1572, when he became Lord Treasurer, to succeed him as the Secretary of State. Upon getting the news of the assassination of the leader in the fight against Spain for independence of the Low Countries, a struggle of strategic importance for England, Walsingham drew up at the instruction of Elisabeth a list of 23 questions on "Matters to be resolved in Council." It is a model of rational crises management and intelligence generation covering all the essential political, economic and military aspects of the problem. Here are three of the 23 questions: "Whether it be likely that the King of Spain, being possessed of these countries, will attempt somewhat against her Majesty," "By what means it is likely the King of Spain, if the war shall fall out, will attempt to annoy her Majesty, and how the same may be prevented," "What way there may be devised to annoy the King of Spain." Early in 1585, Walsingham drafted a detailed plan for political paramilitary naval operations: "A plot for the Annoying the King or Spain." By the Spring of 1587, when preliminary intelligence reports from all over Europe indicated Spain's intention to invade England, Walsingham drafted in his own hand the following:

"Plot for Intelligence out of Spain"

1. Sir Edward Stafford [English ambassador in France] to draw what he can from the Venetian ambassador.

2. To procure some correspondence with the French King's ambassador in Spain.

3. To take order with some at Rouen to have frequent advertisements from such as arrive out of Spain at Nantes, Newhaven [Havre] and Dieppe.

4. To make choice of two especial persons French, Flemings or Italians to go along the coast to see what preparations ore a making there. To furnish them with letters of credit.

5. To have two intelligencers at the Court of Spain, one of Finale, another of Genoa.

6. To have intelligence at Brussels, Leyden, Bar.

7. To employ the Lord of Dunsany.

One basic principle of English intelligence is thus formulated in the official history of British Intelligence in the Second World War (by F.H. Hinsley et alii, 1981): "The value and the justification of intelligence depend on the use that is made of its findings." Numerous examples show that this principle was established and used consistently under Elisabeth's reign. This is clearly shown by how from the "Matters to be resolved in Council," "A plot for the Annoying the King of Spain," the "Plot for Intelligence out of Spain" and the intelligence Walsingham and others gathered, a plan was devised for preventive action. Richard Hakluyt in Vol. VI of his The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and discoveries of the English Nation, whose first volume was dedicated to Walsingham in 1589, its second and third editions to Robert Cecil in 1597 and 1600, describes the famous Cadiz raid in 1587 by the English fleet under the command of Sir Francis Drake: A brief relation of the notable service performed by Sir Francis Drake upon the Spanish Fleete prepared in the Road of Cadiz; and of his destroying of 100 sails of barks, etc. The report starts with the relation of intelligence on which the operation is based: "Her Majestie being informed of a mighty preparation by Sea begunne in Spain for the invasion of England, by good advice of her grave and prudent Counsell thought it expedient to prevent the same." Thus, having in the words of Drake "singed the beard of the King of Spain" by this preventive action based on intelligence, Walsingham continued his intelligence effort, so that when in June 1588 the Spanish Armada approached England, the English - in the words of one observer - "knew more about the Armada than the king of Spain himself."

Whoever reads only a small sample of Elisabethan government documents will find that from his first day in office William Cecil - as well as Walsingham and Robert Cecil after him - began to identify the shifting intelligence objectives as the one just described, to invent intelligence software techniques necessary for the purpose, to find or manage men who "could penetrate everything" and "keep a bright lookout on all sides." The targets were many and the three Principal Secretaries of State neglected none: all ports, borders with Scotland, Catholic refugee groups and seminars training infiltrator priests in the Low Countries, France, Spain and Rome, recusants in prison in England, all embassies in London, dissatisfied nobility, Mary of Scotland, the Papal curia, England's chief resources, money and export markets, various factions contending for power in France, Dutch factions and court, Ireland, and numerous actual or potential agents or double agents etc. The activity this intelligence effort required of the Secretary of State - besides other duties than domestic and foreign intelligence - was enormous. We know that Robert Cecil in 80 days in 1610, according to one contemporary "directed and signed 2884 letters" besides "other continuous employment." About William Cecil's agent network there is little systematic knowledge but abundant evidence keeps repeating "His spies were everywhere," "Spies and secret agents paid by him were in every court and camp." For Walsingham and Robert Cecil we have some indications of the relatively small organisation and the cost of intelligence. According to Beale, Walsingham at one time received information from agents in 37 places, from 12 in France to 3 in the Turkish Empire. This was handled by a small number of clerks in London taking care of correspondence, archives and agents. Just to mention one instance: Nicholas Faunt corresponded for years with Anthony Bacon, welcomed him upon his return to England at the boat at Dover and helped him to settle in Francis Bacon's house. According to Walsingham's biography in the National Biographic Dictionary "at one time he had in his pay 53 private agents in foreign courts, besides 18 spies who performed functions that could not be officially defined." The first recorded secret service budget in July 1582 lists a yearly expenditure of 750 pounds sterling, which rose to 2000 in the year of the Armada, to drop to 1200 the year after.

Robert Cecil became de facto Secretary of State after Walsingham's death in 1590, in 1596 de jure. He held this post under Elisabeth and James I until his death in 1612. According to all accounts including that of Francis Bacon, Robert was neither a scholar, nor an innovator but a pragmatic, subtle, skillful and watchful politician. In the words of his biographer, he concentrated on "this simple policy ... to make England strong, secure and independent and he saw that the foundation for this lay in commercial enterprise." The experience of his father, Walsingham and the Court taught him that the key to political power lay "in the early possession of accurate international news, more than in any other single activity," as his biographer underlines. He concentrated vigilance and his intelligence network on England's most formidable opponent with whom he wanted to make peace, Spain, and by 1598 had thirteen agents providing intelligence about it. The most interesting if not important among them, perhaps, was Richard Hawkins who from his prison cell in Madrid was sending information to London on the Spanish navy. A few years later Cecil had more or less permanently employed 34 agents. His intelligence expenditure averaged about 1200 pounds a year. This can be compared with the costs of Elisabethan diplomacy of an average of 4000 pounds a year. According to his contemporary Robert Naunton, Cecil "could tell you throughout Spain every part, every port, every ship with their burdens, wither bound, what preparations, what impediments for diversion of enterprises, council and resolution." He was such a skillful intelligence estimator that he could predict correctly that the attempted Spanish invasion of Ireland would take place not in 1600, as other in government maintained, but in 1601.

Robert's skill was the result of learning from the intelligence experience and the innovations made by his father and above all by Walsingham. Walsingham was the unofficial chief intelligencer from 1572 to 1590. Together with the Queen, William Cecil helped England develop from a poor, besieged, internally divided kingdom surrounded by enemies into a united, prosperous state with ambition and hope for an empire. Walsingham's ideas, "plots," practices and sayings, as the one about the dangers of security, became the basic tenets of British Intelligence doctrine and tradition that Robert Cecil and men in later generations were to discuss and follow. Besides the one cited, other such principles can be found implemented as bases for intelligence operations as described in the works by F.H. Hinsley and R.V. Jones on British intelligence in World War Two. According to some historians Queen Elisabeth called Walsingham her "Moon" which sees intrigues and dangers in the darkness. In the eyes of his contemporaries - enemies and countrymen - and to all historians he is the British Secret Service personified. In the Madrid archives one reads that the Spanish ambassador in London, de Spes, caught plotting by Walsingham and subsequently deported from England, thus reported about him to Philip II: "By means of his vigilance and craftiness ... he outwits the ministers of others princes." Soon after his death - and he died so broke by spending his private fortune on intelligence that he was buried without ceremony at night - William Camden writes about Walsingham's intelligence doctrine almost in the same words as Cesare Ripa, as we shall see, described the ideal mode for State intelligence. "England's enemies," Camden says, "found fault with him as cunning and subtile [sic] in close carrying on his designs ... whilest he diligently studied to discover the secret practices against Religion, his Prince and Country."

Here one can cite three cases, relevant for the basic theme of the Rainbow, of Walsingham's inventiveness, that is, how intelligence operations can be used to achieve goals without war. The first example is from a letter of instructions which he wrote on October 5, 1585 to the English ambassador in Turkey regarding the policy toward Spain. He urges him to find ways to provoke a conflict between the two major, competing Mediterranean powers: Turkey and Spain. "The limbs of the devil," writes Walsingham," being thus set one against another, by means thereof the true Church ... may during their contention have leisure to grow to such strength as shall be requisite for suppression of them both." Many students of history claim that British secret service practiced this doctrine everywhere during the centuries of the Empire. Some of Walsingham's exploits along the same line, "intelligence is war carried by other means," have become legends hard to document, but nevertheless parts of the British intelligence lore. Two of them are to be found in Wellwood's Memoirs. The first tells that from an agent in the Pope's entourage Walsingham obtained the Spanish plans for the financing of the invasion of England: "upon this Intelligence, Walsingham found a way to retard the Spanish invasion for a whole Year, by getting the Spanish Bills protested at Genoa, which should have supplied them with Mony to carry on their Preparations." The other example is that - according to Wellwood "Walsingham also laid the Foundation of the Civil Wars in France and in the Low-Countries, which put a final stop to the vast Designs of the House of Austria" and told the Queen "that she had no reason to fear the Spaniard; for tho he had a strong Appetite, and a good Digestion, he had given him such a Bone to pick as would take him up twenty Years at least, and break his Teeth at last. So her Majesty had no more to do, but to throw into the Fire she had kindled, some English Fuel from time to time to keep it burning."

Already in 1559, in a number of documents relevant to England's policy in Scotland and France, William Cecil formulated this "kindle the fire" principle in the enemy camp. The Jesuit political writer Giovanni Botero in his classic book Ragione di Stato (State's Interest) printed in 1589, says "This mode, that we should use against the enemies of the faith, is used by Elisabeth, the so called Queen of England against the Catholic King of Spain in Holland, the most Christian king in France... in this way she has kept the fire away from her home, and set it in Scotland ... where she has become the master of that kingdom."

From Wellwood's Memoirs one finds also that Walsingham together with Venetian diplomats is the inventor of "the psychological profile" - the now standard intelligence product: "In order to fathom King James's [of Scotland] Intentions ... Sir F. Walsingham gives him [his agent Wigmore] ten Sheets of Paper of Instructions which I have read in the Cotton Library ... [in which] he instructs him how fo find out King James's natural Temper; his Morals; his Religion; his Opinion of Marriage; his Inclinations to Queen Elisabeth, to France, to Spain, to the Hollanders ... He likewise directs him how to behave himself towards the King at Table, when a Hunting, upon his receiving Good or Bad News, at his going to Bed and indeed in all the public and private Scenes of his Life." The "socio-psychological profile" of allied and enemy leaders, in my opinion invented by Walsingham, is now standard intelligence practice. The New York Times correspondent Cy Sulzberger presents in his memoirs the psychological profile of Charles de Gaulle he wrote for President John Kennedy, prior to his first meeting with the President of France. I have heard that Chou-En-Lai asked the French Ambassador in Peking in 1972 for a profile of Henry Kissinger. William Safire describes in the New York Herald Tribune of March 16, 1982 the modern form of Walsingham's invention: "The CIA has come up with an exciting modern method of briefing President Reagan about foreign leaders: the motion picture. Before a visit to the United States by Israel's Menachem Begin, the CIA produced a psychological profile in the form of a film documentary for the president's top secret viewing that was the pride of the agency's film division." Safire then says that a similar film has been made about the psychological state and change of Fidel Castro, President of Cuba.

Under William Cecil, Walsingham developed not only the rationale for the operational, but the foundations for the basic, open sources intelligence about the state, the capabilities and intentions of all opponents, allies and their empires. Very early, first William Cecil, and then Walsingham and Robert Cecil started utilizing a product of the knowledge revolution of their time to follow the trend of events by obtaining from Venice, Paris, Holland, the predecessors of newspapers called "gazettes," "letters of news," "advertisements," "weakly advices." The procurement, use and comment of these "advertisements" became a part of the daily work of the English power establishment.

Another social intelligence innovation during Cecil's life leading to the development of basic intelligence, to traditions of training and selection of young intelligencers are the instructions to young men making the grand tour of the continent. There is - as far as I know - no survey and analysis of such instructions as intelligence and scholarly documents. Most top Elisabethans travelled abroad in their youth - including Walsingham, the Bacon brothers, Robert Cecil and Walter Raleigh, the Earl of Essex. Some of them wrote "instructions, describing what special Observations are to be taken by travellers in all Nations, States and Countries." Examples of such instructions are William Cecil's to his son Thomas, Walsingham's to his nephew, the poet Sir Phillip Sydney's to an unknown, the letter from the Earl of Essex to his friend young Lord Ruthland (probably ghost written by Francis Bacon) and Secretary of State W. Davison to his son. Bacon himself has written several manuscripts and a number of published pieces on the use of travel for intelligence, culminating in his New Atlantis where he presents a whole elaborated scheme of economic, technological, scientific intelligence related to the respective policies and organisations. All of this became a part of the intellectual tradition of England's intelligence guiding the behaviour of the most unlikely individuals; one example is Sir Isaac Newton's industrial espionage instructions written in the form of a letter on May 18, 1669 to his young Cambridge colleague Francis Ashton before Ashton's journey abroad.

Most significant among such early instructions is the one by Secretary of State W. Davison. It is a design for a social science survey of basic intelligence information about any country. It starts as follows: "For your better information in the state of any Prince or country it shall be necessary for you to observe:

1. Country

2. People

3. Policy Government."

There follows a detailed series of instructions about geographic, demographic, educational, economic, political information ending with that on "Ambassadors, public ministers and intelligemo [intelligencers?] employed." Davison wrote this probably before Elisabeth sent him to prison in 1587 for transmitting her order for the execution of Mary of Scotland. We do have, however, the actual report on the "State of Christendom: Italy, Austrian Empire, Germany, France" written in 1582 from abroad by Anthony Bacon, 24 years old, and brother of Francis, Walsingham's agent, and after 1592 the chief of the Earl of Essex's foreign intelligence service, competing with that of the Cecils. In both of these documents one recognizes many of the instructions found in Beale's Treatise from 1592, describing the intelligence documentation, procedures and fundamental principles at the time of Walsingham's death. From the early Instructions we see that from their early years young men of the English establishment were exposed to basic intelligence requirements. They grew up in an intelligence atmosphere, absorbing the basic tenets of its tradition and came early to believe - no matter what profession they later followed - that intelligence activities gave high status, were intellectually challenging, patriotic and fun. Up till now no one has pointed out a single major intelligence failure of England during the 64 years of Secretaryship of William Cecil, Francis Walsingham and Robert Cecil. From all of this the knowledge to learn was that scientific intelligence in the broad meaning is the most economic and effective tool of government.

"Intelligence Is the Light of the State"

For Francis Bacon, the man who most probably produced the original idea together with his cousin Robert Cecil (who possibly commissioned the painting of the Rainbow), life was a long disappointment ending in personal tragedy. For close to 25 years he strove to become a power "gamester" to obtain hopefully with the help of his relatives the Cecils, a high government post. When, finally, and only after Robert was dead, Francis became Lord High Chancellor of England, he ended up being arrested, convicted for corruption and discharged. The reasons for this personal tragedy are many including those relevant to the problem of the Rainbow. One important but not crucial barrier to his career was the fact that both Francis and his brother Anthony were homosexuals. Letters from their mother and other documents in England and France here confirm the prevalent opinion of that time. Second, and this was important, William Cecil had from the first consistently refused to support the careers of his brilliant nephews. This stand was so consistent that Francis on at least two occasions was considering leaving his law profession and his seat in Parliament in order to retire to teach and write at Cambridge. One reason for this attitude of the Cecils is that prior to 1598 they and the Bacons belonged to rival political camps. In 1592 the Bacon brothers joined the Earl of Essex, Elisabeth's latest and last favorite, soon to become a member of the Privy Council, leader of the war party and political enemy of the peace inclined Cecils. Upon his return to England in 1592 after being for 12 years the best intelligencer England had in France, according to Elisabeth and Walsingham, Anthony started building in competition with the Cecils a private foreign and counter-intelligence network for the Earl of Essex. Contrary to Francis, Anthony remained faithful to Essex until his death and that of the Earl in 1601. Francis became his political and intelligence adviser. He wrote, it seems, not only his 1592 essay on knowledge and power, but also the 1594 one. Essex fought on many issues with Robert Cecil, nicknamed "Roberto il Diavolo" by Anthony's agent Perez, the defected secretary of Phillip II of Spain. In 1594 and 1598 Essex made the appointment of Francis to two important government posts the focus of his conflict with the Cecils - and lost again. Shortly thereafter Francis started stressing that he was not "a man of war," began to give Cecilian advice, graciously received by the Queen. In September 1598, the constant financial difficulties of Francis resulted in his being arrested for debt by a creditor. After an appeal from prison to Robert Cecil in the name of some unnamed previous support to "your blood" he was immediately released. Two years later Francis participated in the prosecution of Essex, the enemy of Robert Cecil. After Essex's execution Francis Bacon wrote government propaganda explaining Essex's crimes. In 1601 he was again thanking Robert Cecil for being "ever careful of my advancement," and once more in 1603 when he owed Robert several hundred pounds, Francis kept reminding himself in his diary to "ungratiate my self" with now all powerful cousin Robert. Thus around 1600 the cousins' personal relations would not have precluded the kind of intellectual cooperation required for the Rainbow scheme.

The third and most important reason for Francis Bacon's lack of advancement in his desired career and for posterity gaining the most profound and farseeing thinker on the relation of knowledge and power is that Bacon by prospects and ambition was a power "gamester" while by temperament and talent he was what he himself called a"looker on," a slightly detached and cynical analyst, developing further the political philosophy of Machiavelli by relating it to knowledge and intelligence. Consequently, Francis was not accepted as he hoped to be. What Bacon saw and said embarrassed the gamesters of genius around Elisabeth because his thoughts and writings were difficult to understand and hard to use for immediate political problems. Still, Francis had all the advantages to make a government career. His father and uncle were among the highest government officials. He grew up at Court. Elisabeth herself called him as a child "My Young Lord Keeper," and later "my good mistress was pleased to call me 'my watch candle.'" Francis lived all his life as an outsider right in the center of Elisabeth government and court activities including its intelligence endeavours and intelligence culture. He became involved with intelligence as actor, policy adviser, observer, formulator of doctrine. While he was Essex's adviser he lived and worked with his brother Anthony - helping him to build Essex's intelligence. He helped recruit for Anthony some top Walsingham agents like Anthony Standen, and the brilliant cryptographer, Thomas Phellippes, instrumental in finally catching Mary of Scotland. Francis evaluated foreign intelligence "gazettes," wrote on codes, and, aged 16, himself produced at least one of the best among about 200 known Elisabethan codes. He wrote on the necessity of the utmost secrecy of government toward the governed, but of the need of total openness in the opposite direction. To explain to the "gamesters" what the new scientific method just then being developed was about, he compared - for the first time in history - research work with that of "spials and intelligencers." It was on the basis of his own experience and that of people around him that he expressed his thoughts on the relation of knowledge and power which appeared in the script for a festival in 1594 at Gray's Inn. With Queen Elisabeth and her ministers in the audience, Francis had an adviser say to the Prince: "Have care that your intelligence, which is the light of your state, do not go out or burn dim or obscure." In 1596 this thought was repeated by Essex in a letter to a Doctor Hawkins as "Intelligence is the Light of the State" and a few years later it is the basis for the Rainbow Scheme. It was reformulated by Daniel Defoe in 1713 as "Intelligence is the soul of all public business" and in centuries to follow it continued to be a key principle of the British government.

The Knowledge Revolution

This thought on intelligence was part and parcel of what Bacon saw in the larger world around him. Many Europeans in the 16th century strived to understand their times in order to act upon them. From the advantage of the distance of three and a half centuries we know that in the area of today's European Community Bacon and other analysts were observing the rise of a series of interacting revolutions.

The knowledge industry revolution and a new method for discovering and using nature; the "discovery" of some eight tens of the rest of the world by Europeans; the invention and development of new weapons and methods of warfare; the invention and widespread use of printing and such other communication technologies as the compass, the watch, the telescope, post office, codes and weekly newspaper as communication and intelligence tools etc; the doubling in number of universities and the general expansion of education; the rise - at first in Italy - of learned scholarly societies. A new religion developed stressing enterprise and knowledge. A new economic system was born based on manufacture, the rise of a new class of men of "meaner" but larger wealth, contemptous of yet intermarrying with the old nobility, searching for profit in new technologies and raw materials; new commercial social inventions like commercial share companies and international banks, etc. All of this was accompanied by shifts in the world centers of power, by religious, civil and international wars leading to the rise in north-western Europe of new national states, ambitious of Empire, and the decline of the Mediterranean empires.

Francis Bacon was the most ambitious among these observers. In l592 at the age of 31 in a plea to his uncle William Cecil for support in his career he wrote "I have taken all knowledge to be my province," and as he said, "commenced a total reconstruction of science, arts and all human knowledge" ending up decades later with the claim to have made "a small globe of the intellectual world." Bacon was also the most successful of contemporary analysts, for in this same year he saw most clearly in the essay Praise of Knowledge read by the Earl or Essex in front of the Queen, some of the basic components of the knowledge revolution of his time including the need for the systematic applications of the scientific method to new inventions and the importance of education. He said: "Printing, a gross invention; artillery, a thing that lay not far out of the way; the needle, a thing partly known before; what a change have these three made in the world in these times: the one in the state of learning, the other in the state of war, the third in the state of treasure, commodities and navigation. And those, I say were but stumbled upon and lighted upon by chance.Therefore, no doubt the sovereignty of man lieth in knowledge; where in many things were reserved, which kings with their treasure cannot buy, nor with their force command; their spials and intelligencers can give no news to them, their seamen and discoverers cannot sail where they grow ..." and "... trust not your laws for correcting the times but give all strength to good education." For Bacon the goal of all his thoughts and writings to the end of his life was to make the knowledge industry in general, science and intelligence in particular, useful to the sovereign and government of England and to convince them to make this their policy. In 1592 and long afterwards, Francis Bacon in collaboration with the subtle, secretive politician and intelligencer Robert Cecil, also restated this theme in the "Rainbow scheme" as he was to elaborate this early insight in his writings to the end of his life.

Bacon: "His Sublime Imagery"

In the preface to the first volume of their Encylopedie in 1751 Denis Diderot and D'Alemhert, place "At the head of these illustrious Heroes'' who inspired their endeavour, "the greatest, most universal and most eloquent of all Philosophers," Francis Bacon, followed by Descartes, Newton and Locke. One of the four reasons cited for this estimate of Bacon is, "his sublime Imagery." The imagery used by Bacon was generally popular in his times. As Frances Yates and others have pointed out in relation to the Rainbow, "symbolism and allegory were widely used: textbooks [on images and symbols] ... were in libraries of the most educated people."

I have not found any study of Bacon's "sublime imagery" based on all of his writings. But even that by Caroline Spurgeon in 1935 of the imagery in only some of them and its comparison with the imagery of Shakespeare's is extremely revealing for the Rainbow. Spurgeon shows that the major difference between Bacon and Shakespeare is that the former much more frequently uses the imagery of light, of learning and knowledge. Now this - as one can see from Ripa's Iconologia and Ascham's Scholemaster - is also an expression of the contemporary awareness of witnessing an age of enlightenment caused by the knowledge industry revolution. But James Spedding goes on to stress - as one could have noticed from the previous citations from Bacon in this text - Bacon's "almost passionate association of light with intellect ... Light, indeed to Bacon very noticeabely represents all good things, enlightenement of every kind, both mental and spiritual: truth, virtue, knowledge, understanding, reason and even the essence of God himself 'the father of illumination, of Lights.'" In the first book of The Advancement of Learning Bacon writes that "in order from God ... the first place or degree is given to angels of love, which are termed seraphim; second to the angels of light, which are termed cherubim ... so as the angels of knowledge and illumination are placed before the angels of office and domination."

Many subtle students of Bacon's political philosophy, as for example Howard B. White in his Peace among the Willows, have missed a good part of the spectrum, while correctly pointing out that "the union of knowledge and power is conspicuous in the leading institutions of Bensalem, the scientific Academy, Salomon's House in the New Atlantis," which incidentally is called also "the lanthorn of this Kingdome," "the very Eye of the Kingdom." In New Atlantis Bacon elaborates with imagination and farsightedness his proposition from 1594 that "Intelligence is the Light of the State" so much so that it is the central theme of the whole book. For in numerous places in this, the last of his works in 1625, we hear almost as a refrain: "You see ... we maintein a trade not for gold, silver or jewels, nor for silks, nor for spices, nor for any commodity of matter, but only for God's first creature, which was LIGHT; to have light (I say) of the growth of all parts of the world ... These adventureres (he added) we call Merchants of Light." What all the political scientists and historians of science who have written on Bacon have missed or passed over is that these and a dozen other types of "merchants" listed in New Atlantis are plain and simple intelligencers, acting secretly abroad under a variety of covers and that the security of the New Atlantis against foreign intelligencers is extremely high. New Atlantis can be understood as a creative synthesis of the enormous commercial, exploratory, freebooter experience accumulated from 1560 to 1600 and described in books like Hakluyt's voyages. Historians, in my opinion, have not explored this as the source for the "New Atlantis scheme." This is exactly how succeeding generations of the English intellectual elite understood the New Atlantis. Foulke Glenvill, for example, says that with his New Atlantis Bacon produced a "mighty design" for the Royal Society. And in its earliest days the Royal Society did not act only as a center for research in the natural sciences but also for economic, technological, scientific intelligence, as anyone who has read the early Philosophical Transactions can testify. Spratt's history of the Royal Society in 1666 describes in detail the use of detailed "Queries" to program the"merchants of light" before they sailed from England and to "debrief" them, as one would say today, upon their return. Thus, thanks to Bacon the value not only of the political but also of economic, geographic, technological, scientific intelligence became an early component of the English intelligence culture - long before this was the fact in any other country.

Except for the likeness of Elisabeth the symbols of light dominate all others in the Rainbow. Thus in order of "brilliance" one [c]an list these light symbols as the golden cloak with its eyes, the astronomical symbols: the sun - identified with England and Elisabeth, with her bright, sunny face, and its position relative fo the rainbow in her hand and the inscription in Latin above the hand; the moon - the image of Walsingham (?), Elisabeth's chief intelligencer who sees in the dark all plots and intrigues; of Cynthia of the Seas, and of the virgin goddess Diana Lucifera; the rainbow; the profusion of pearls, rubies, diamonds, throughout the painting. It is significant to note that in Advancement of Learning, Bacon compares the interactions of light with the noble stones to various kinds of truth, both those obvious and those of the more knotted, complex, tortured kind: "Truth as a naked and open daylight ... may perhaps come to the price of a pearl that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle that showeth in varied lights."

Out of a total of 37 identified symbols in the Rainbow, 14 are connected with light (and light as intellect). Finally, as the last and most important symbol of light in the Rainbow we have to examine closely the meanings of the knotted snake, made entirely of noble stones, representing for Bacon, among others, Lucifer, the bearer of light.

A Petticoat for Elisabeth on the New Year 1600

Francis Bacon used the serpent in most of his writings, but especially in the Advancement of Learning and New Atlantis, as a symbol for a great variety of meanings related among others to the moral issues of good and evil in the use both of power and knowledge and the active production of this last one. Francis, the son of the Puritan Anne Bacon, knew his Bible extremely well and used it much more than Shakespeare in all his writings. But he extended the symbolic use of the serpent in his writings to cover a much wider range of concepts, including that of basic science. For Bacon knowledge can have some connotations or relations to evil for, he says, it "hath in it somewhat of the serpent." But this, as he says in The Advancement of Learning is necessary: "For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdome with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility, his lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest: that is, all forms and natures of evil." In view of this note that in the Rainbow we do not have the symbol for the "columbine innocency" to balance the evil aspects of the serpent. We have instead the heart in the mouth of the serpent, which according to Ripa's multiple symbols means compassion, charity, good counsel. This meaning of the serpent should be compared with that in the image of intelligence both in the 1593 and 1603 editions of Ripa's Iconologia.

The most compelling of all bits of circumstantial evidence presented until now on the connection of Francis Bacon with the "Rainbow Scheme" is related to another way in which he uses the serpent as a symbol. It is to be found in, what is, without a doubt, the strangest form ever used to state a proposition in the social philosophy of science and the most unusual application for a job in human history: a woman's petticoat. In Nicholl's Progressions of Queen Elisabeth we find in a list of New Year's gifts presented to the Queen at Richmond in 1600 the following item:

"By Mr Frauncis [sic] Bacon, one petticoat of white satten, embrothered all over like feathers and billets (pens and sheets of paper are the symbols of a looker-on and writer - see also Ripa), with three brode bordes, faire embrothered with snakes and frutage." In The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon by James Spedding, from which this is taken, one finds printed right under this item three undated letters by Bacon to Elisabeth "Upon the Sending of a New Year's gift". I cite from the first - like the petticoat and the other two letters an application for position: "The only New-Year gift which I can give your majesty is that which God hath given to me: which is a mind in all humbleness to wait upon your commandements and business: where in I would to God that I were hooded, that I saw less, or that I could perform more: for now I am like a hawk, that bates, when I see occasion of service, but cannot fly because I am tied to another's fist." The serpent and the fruit in this petticoat is the first recorded use by Bacon of the concepts he so often used later in The Advancement of Learning, in The New Atlantis and elsewhere of "experimenta lucifera" for luciferous, light bearing experiment for basic research, and of "experimenta fructifera" for technological innovations not "stumbled upon by luck" but the product of applied science. To those who consider the "Rainbow Scheme" still as too far fetched, the obvious and simple question must have occured by now: if Bacon could state his view of science in 1600 in the embroidery of a petticoat, why could he not be the source of the "Rainbow scheme" about power, knowledge and secret intelligence in a painting in the very same year: 1600.

Ripa and the Rainbow

How was the "Rainbow" composed? Numerous documents of the time describe how specific iconographic images were designed - as examplified in F. Yates' Astrea (1975) and E. Panofsky's The Iconography of Correggio's Camera di San Paolo (1961). All of them start with a basic idea, a pattern of thought, called "the design," "the scheme," the impresa" (when the design, the scheme is joined with a motto, for example "No Rainbow without the Sun") or enterprise the composer of the image wants to convey to the public or the individual recipient. One then finds from various sources the appropriate symbols to express the themes and their details of the basic message. Here is one example from the Vatican library on how that was done. Alessandro Adimari in his book Quieta tells how the Grandduchess of Tuscany, Christina of Lorraine, asked him in 1619 to design her villa in Bolderone on the theme "quieta" - quiet, peace. Using 60 "concetti di pace" c[a]lled from the Old and New Testament, Adimari made up a "table of concepts," which he then translated into an image consisting of symbolic architectural details, statues, paintings, fountains, gardens for the villa all together proclaiming "PEACE."

The required standard for comprehension of such iconological images as the allegorical letter of Cecil's presented as a puzzle to Elisabeth in 1593 or the Rainbow portrait was thus defined in 1559 by the Bishop of Giovio in his Dialogue of Military and Amorous Enterprises: "The 'impresa' must not be so obscure that it represents a Sybilline mystery to the interpreter, nor so clear that every plebeian can understand it." The Rainbow portrait. as Frances Yates testifies, has remained a Sybilline mystery until now not only for the public ignorant of the now dead language of symbols, but also for professional art historians conversant with that language.

Up to now, in spite of searches of Elisabethan archives including the library at Hatfield House, where the portrait has been at least since 1713, no written "iconographic design" for the Rainbow was found. Consequently the inductive method I have used to arrive at the proposed decipherment of the Rainbow is the following:

Using the socio-political approach to art described previously, I list from the symbolic dictionaries of the times various meanings for each of the strange features of the Rainbow, using the results of previous Rainbow research by art historians:

SYMBOLS - Rainbow Detail


l. Archway in background

2. Elisabeth

3. as young woman

4. with loose hair

5. bared breast

6. Headdress-helm like

7. with aigrette

8. Moon-ruby

9. Imperial crown - of rubies

10. One earing

11. Rose Cross of circles

12. English flowers on dress

13. Veil with pearls

14. Bracelets of pearls

15. Everywhere profusion

16. of pearls

17. nibies

18. diamonds

19. Iron Gauntlet on collar

20. Elisabeth's Sunlike face

21. "No Rainbow without Sun"

22. Rainbow

23. in Englands right hand

24. arising from

25. Cloak

26. held in left hand

27. golden

28. lionate - reverse

29. with eyes and ears

30. with mouth closed

31. Serpent

32. knotted

33. made of pearls, rubies, diamonds

34. Armillary Sphere

35. Armillary Sphere + Serpent

36. Serpent with heart in mouth

37. Serpent with eye in heart

Range of Meanings from 1550-1600 Symbols Dictionaries

1. World, Eternity, Foundation

2. Elisabeth, England, "World Expresseed Imperial Virgin["]

3. Golden Age Virgin, Peace, Liberty

4. Golden Age Virgin, Peace, Liberty

5. Golden Age Virgin, Peace, Liberty

6. God's Favorite Church, "Child of Light", Security

7. Vigilance

8. Light, Walsingham (nickname), Empire, Cynthia of the Ocean, Diana


9. Empire, Enlightment, Knowledge

10. Related to Seamanship

11. Cosmos, England, God's Favorite

12. Golden Age, England, Peace, Intelligence

13. Concealment that sees, Sea, Virginity

14. Learning, Royalty

15. Golden Age Riches

16. Related to the Eye, Sea, World, Empire, Virginity

17. Light, Passion, Elegance

18. Light, Riches

19. Has Arms, Prepared, Not Laid aside

20. "Prince of Light", Sun, Power

21. No Peace without England

22. Light, Peace as Instrument

23. Power, Priority of Peace

24. Depending, founded upon

25. Concealment, Secrecy

26. Power instrument

27. Knowledge, Light, Intelligence, Golden

28. Vigilance, Power, Strength

29. Vigilance, Intelligence, Espionage

30. Sealed lips as the Goddess of Secrecy

31. Lucifer, "Child of Light', Down to Earth Knowledge, Intelligence,

"Experimenta Lucifera"

32. Knowledge of complex things, Secrecy

33. Light, Truth, Knowledge

34. World, Universal

35. Intelligence

36. Counsel, Compassion, Goodness

37. Seeing Heart, Understanding

Most of the 37 "strange details" of the Rainbow are found listed in the 1592 and 1603 editions of the Iconologia by Cesare Ripa, the most celebrated of such symbol dictionaries published in Rome. Here are some examples of the multiple meanings found for each in the 1603 edition, which, according to Erna Mandowsky's introduction to the 1970 facsimile reprint, became "the necessary handbook for most artists in l7th century Western Europe," and in a number of other similar dictionaries:

Eyes and Ears: image of jealousy (with green dress; page 181), philosophy (160): fame (with pens: 74); (with mouths): spies (427).

Colden cloak or dress: goodness (43, 143); golden age (136, 138); fame (142); justice (187, 188); glory (193); intellect (237); magnificence (300); magnanimity (301); virtue (501); victory (5(6); eternity (521).

Serpent: prudence (182, 209, 441, 442, 543); vigilance (31); "Animale vigilantissimo" (333, 334); intelligence (with heavenly sphere; both heavenly and down to earth 364).

Sun: "The sun is the symbol of light which in turn symbolises wisdom" (440).

Those most visible Rainbow symbols not explained in Iconologia are to be found in other dictionaries. Thus Rainbow: G. Ruscelli, Imprese Illustri (1580); Ottavio della Strada, Symbola Divina et Humana Pontificum, Imperatorum, Regum. (1600); and Claudio Paradini Symbola Heroica (1563) give the same explanation: "The Serenissima Catherine, Queen of France (contemporary of Elisabeth) took for her symbol the celestial rainbow, as the most telling sign for the splendid serenity and quietness of peace" with the Greek mo[t]to "Bring Light and Serenity." (Paradini).

Iron gauntlet on Elisabeth's Collar: E. Drouillers in his 1950 Dictionnaire des Attributes, Allégories, Emblèmes et Symboles points out that "one placed iron gauntlets near the images of saints who abandoned war as a tool of policy.["]

Pearls, Rubies, Diamonds found all over the Rainbow: numerous symbol dictionaries point out that jewels, precious stones were symbols for light, riches, abundance, elegance. Pearls in particular of which Elisabeth was especially fond all her life, denote virginity, the sea, purity, "the eye of the world."

Strange headdress: Rene Graziani approached the Rainbow as an expression of religious sentiment. He considered that its explanation is to be found "not in handbooks like Iconologia, but in the Bible." In J.J. Boissard's 1581 Habitus Variarum orbis Gentium (Costumes of the Various Peoples of the World) Graziani found an exact replica of Elisabeth's headdress (the crown and the moon omitted) to signify God's favorite church - in the case of the Rainbow Elisabeth's England, described in the words of Saint Paul: "For yee are our glory and joy. Yee are children of light, and children of the day ... Yee are not of the night, not of darkness." Furthermore, Elisabeth with a half moon on top of her head and the rainbow in her hand can represent the virgin goddess Diana bearer of light: Diana Lucifera.

Franc[e]s Yates, in her efforts to decipher the Rainbow, started with the assumption that it is a courtly eulogy. In this she used as her basic sources G. Ruscelli's Imprese Illustri dictionary from 1583, the many contemporary symbolic representations of Elisabeth in English art and literature and, above all, the 1593 edition of Ripa's Iconologia. She found that Ripa's 1593 image of intelligence fits precisely five Rainbow symbols. Ripa in 1593 represented "intelligence" as "A woman, adorned with flowers, dressed in gold, holding a Sphere in her right hand a Serpent in the left ... with the Sphere and the Serpent it is shown that to understand sublime and profound things it is necessary to walk on earth as the Serpent does ... Intelligence is that union which our mind makes with the thing it comprehends and is dressed in a dress of gold for it wants to be lucid, clear resplendent, not trivial, but noble and distinct from common knowledge and plebeyan persons - all this denoted by the specific qualities of gold." Here it should be noted that in the Italian language of Renaissance, although not of today, just as in modern English, "intelligence" meant both the capability to solve problems and the acquisition of (secret) information. Savonarola, rebel monk, burnt at the stake in 1498, in his Regimento degli Stati (Government of States) uses the term in this later sense when he says: "[The tyrant] has secret intelligence with other princes."

Besides that of "intelligence" some groups of symbols of other images in the 1593 edition or Ripa's Iconologia are found in the Rainbow.

According to Yates, the English flowers embroidered on her dress - together with other symbols of virginity in the portrait - represent Elisabeth as Astrea, the just virgin of the Golden Age Empire, as many contemporary poets sung of Elisabeth. The abundance of pearls starting with the crown in the Rainbow symbolise purity, virginity, sea sovereign[i]ty.

The rainbow is the symbol of peace, alluding to the dawn of a new golden age, where Elisabeth personifies both England and the sun, the creator of the peaceful rainbow.

Neither Yates, Strong nor Graziani proposed an integrating idea, a design, an enterprise of the Rainbow; they left the Rainbow without the message.

Following Adimari's method all "Rainbow" detailed symbols and proposals for their intempretation made previously can be summed up in a "table of concepts." To derive from it the pattern of thought, the design, and the scheme it is necessary to point out the most striking similarity between the Rainbow portrait of Elisabeth from 1600 and the image for "Reason of State" or State policy in the 1603 edition of Ripa's Iconologia not noticed by Yates, Graziani and other art historians who attempted to solve the Rainbow mystery. The image of the Queen or England in the Rainbow and of "Reason of State" in the 1603 Iconologia show strong similarities and polarly opposed differences. In looking on these two images one has a strong impression that two observers, one in England, and the other in Rome look at the same person, a "Prince," head of a state, and endow it with diametrically opposite traits. Both represent the head of a state as a woman with a helmet, loose hair, with a high spreading veil, dressed in a cloak covered with eyes and ears, vigilant and strong (the lionate coloured reverse of the cloak in the Rainbow denotes in numerous images in Iconologia the same thing as the lion in Ragione di Stato - strength and vigilance). These striking similarities between the two images cannot be accidental. There are too many identical details in the two images to make a chance coincidence of similarities probable.

The contrasts between the two images are equally remarkable. Ripa sees the woman "Prince" as imbued with singleminded advancement of the expansion of her dominion pursuing power politics, armed to the teeth (breastplate, helmet, sword, stick) totally amoral (tramples laws, destroys poppies). "She is represented, [says Ripa,] dressed in a green dress covered with eyes and ears to indicate the jealousy with which she guards her dominions, that she wants to have everywhere the eyes and ears of her spies in order to guide better her designs and counteract those of others." In Ragione di Stato image of the prince there is no mention of intelligence as capability to understand, of peace, or of religion. The Queen of England in the Rainbow on the other hand, proclaims devotion to peace (gauntlet, rainbow in her hand), religion (Graziani's God's favorite church, the English cross on Elisabeth's breast) goodness, golden age, enlightenment, knowledge, intelligence of a higher and a practical kind coupled with vigilance, prudence, strength.

What made Ripa change his image of effective government of a state from that of "Government of the State" in the 1593 edition, described in conventional symbols for wisdom, peace, justice, to the "Reason of State' image in the 1603 edition? Is it possible that the designer of the Rainbow in 1600 and Ripa in 1603 present the same subject, Elisabeth's England from two different political perspectives?

To answer the questions, to arrive to an effective and exhaustive decipherment of the Rainbow one must ask: Who was Ripa, why did he write the Iconologia at all, what did he want to say with his "Reason of State" or state policy image in 1603 which he could not say with his image of Government in the 1592 edition?

Cesare Ripa is the pseudonym of Giovanni Campani, for many years the Lord High Steward, or chief administrator of the court of the powerful Cardinal Antonio Salviati, one of the highest officials of the Vatican from 1567 until his death in 1602. Hence the author of Iconologia lived and worked daily in the Vatican. He shared the concerns of one of the highest officials in a crucial center of European politics, power and communication. Campani-Ripa's political concerns are shown, among others, by the frequency of explicitely political images among the 400 in the 1603 edition of Iconologia as for example: Security, Secrecy, Peace, War, Rebellion, True and False Religion, Reason of State, etc. The top dignitaries and officials of the Catholic Church starting with the popes, cardinals like Salviati, with whom Campani-Ripa was in daily contact, were then outlining the church and civil policies and their expressions in ideology as the basis for Counter-Reformation. The Iconologia hence, must be considered as one of the Vatican's ideological and political propaganda weapons by means of art in its Counter-Reformation effort. For, as Campani-Ripa says in the introduction of his 1603 edition, "Iconologia is the art of making images signify something different from what one sees at first in them" by means of signs for ideas, that is symbols, and as such Iconologia has to be "both useful and necessary in the works of poets, painters, sculptors and others[."]

England and the Vatican in 1558-1600 "Ius Mundi"

To understand the similarities in detail and the contrasting differences in approach between the Rainbow and Campani-Ripa's image of Ragione di Stato, one must understand not only the political relations between England and the Vatican from 1558 to 1600, but also their conflicting political philosophies. One must suppose that the Ragione di Stato image is based on the information Campani-Ripa had sometimes after 1600 about the Rainbow portrait details and its basic message. In the eyes of the Curia both were blasphemous and politically dangereus: England as favorite of God whose policy is based on peace and enlightenment. How this report of the image and the message came from Hatfield House or London to the Vatican, we can only conjecture, but the fact of identical details between the two are undeniable. The Ragione diStato as response to the Rainbow scheme can be understood as part of the political propaganda war for the minds of Europeans between protestant England and the Catholic Church in Rome, as a clash of the basic philosophies of the state and its relation to the Catholic Church, and as part of interactions between the two in international politics.

Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) defined international politics as "Ius mundi" (The World Game [sic]). Campani-Ripa's Iconologia was only one and not the most important tool in the Counter-Reformation "World game" that preoccupied the leadership of the Catholic Church in the l6th and 17th centuries, ever since Luther in 1517 challenged Rome with his 99 theses on Church reform. Under six popes during Elisabeth's reign, the Vatican reacted with energy and intelligence to strengthen the Catholic Church against the Reformation and Protestant movements. These movements arising in all the hitherto Catholic countries represented the gravest threat to the Church's existence in the some 1300 years that had passed since it was recognized as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine I. The crisis that the Catholic leadership faced in the 16th century was both wide and deep. The Venetian ambassador Mocenigo in 1559, the first year of Elisabeth's reign, reported home: "In many countries obedience to the pope has almost ceased - in Germany, Poland, France, Spain," characteristically not including England in the list.

Three great reforming popes Pius IV (1559-1565), Gregory XIII (1572-1585), Sixtus V (1585-1590) carried out changes in the internal structure and the internal and external functions of the Catholic Church aiming to strengthen it against the dangers of the Reformation. At that time, and today, four centuries later, as the Catholic Church historian Charles Pichon notes, "The Vatican is the most ancient establishment in the world." This ability to survive proved by the Catholic Church during two millennia is due to its inbuilt capability and experience to identify in time threats to its existence everywhere and to improve its existing "instruments" and to find new appropriate tools - including the changes in its own structure and functions - for dealing wilh these threats. This capability of a social system to identify early its survival problems, to procure the necessary information and to act upon it openly or secretly in time is nothing else but its intelligence capability.

In spite of a thorough search I have not found a single study of the Vatican's intelligence organisation and doctrines accumulated during centuries which has enabled it to survive all threats. This is not due to the well known secrecy of all Vatican internal achivities, noted - for example - by historians like Pichon, and by the students of the modern Vatican like Peter Nichols in his The Pope's Divisions (1981). My rather rapid and superficial search for information on the "eyes and ears" of the Catholic Church for the purpose of this essay, showed that one can find abundant materials from the official and unofficial Catholic and non-Catholic sources in the Vatican and elsewhere.

The reforming popes, especially Sixtus V undertook important steps to improve the intelligence "eyes and ears" of the Vatican in its l6th century crisis. From among important steps of this kind he undertook, I shall list only a few. First he established 15 congregations of cardinals in the Vatican to function as ministries governing the various sectors of the Church under the supervision of its head, the pope. Second, he formally established the key position of Secretaty of State, always occupied by a cardinal, heading the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastic affairs, to act as the key figure in the Vatican's "Ius Mundi." Prior to this, this task was usually fulfilled by a pope's relative, "Il cardinale-nepote." In a document, Sixtus V defined the duties of his nearest collaborator in the following words: "to know everything, to have read everything; to have heard everything, but not to say anything." Among other duties, the Secretary of State had under his supervision the office of codes and cyphers. The popes have used secret codes in their correspondence since the 15th century. Pope Pius IV established a special officer in charge of the codes in 1565. The papal Secretaty of State was in charge of special papal envoys - Apostolic legates - and nunzios, permanent ambassadors at all important courts. In the 16th century, the number of papal nunzios rose under Gregory XIII to 13. These papal ambassadors acquired at that time the function, thus described in the official code, as cited in the Encylopedia Cattolica published by the Vatican in 1950: "to be vigilant in order to inform the Holy See on the state of the churches, that is, the observation of the ecclesiastic discipline on the part of the church functionaries and the faithful, on the progress and regress of the Catholic life in the country, on the conditions that favour or hinder its development, on the means to be adopted to further the growth and remove the obstacles to that growth [of the Church]."

Sixtus V instituted another independent method to keep the Vatican curia, the Secretary of State and the pope informed about the internal and external events affecting the well being of the Church. As described in by L. Brady (in a doctoral thesis at the Catholic University of America in 1963), in 1585, the first year or his reign, Sixtus V established the practice of The Quinquen[n]ial Report of Religious Institutes to the Holy See, based on the decree that "patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops should make a report to the Holy See at regular intervals of time, to be determined by their distance from Rome." At the same time Sixtus V required that besides the written reports all bishops of the Catholic Church must come to Rome for more intimate discussions on the state of the Church and of its socio-political conditions in the area of their responsibility. Finally, the Vatican started using more systematically not only as its "eyes and ears" but as its education, propaganda and operation tools against all heretics and reform movements the religious orders, especially the "Society of Jesus," the Jesuits, founded in 1542.

When Elisabeth came on the throne in 1558, England was only one of many trouble spots - and not the most dangerous one - for the Catholic Church. The country was small, on the edge of the civilized world, weak, almost bankrupt. There were other claimants to the throne of England, who had equal, if not better legal dynastic rights to it than Elisabeth. Foremost among these claimants was the Catholic Queen Mary of Scotland, whose claims were supported by the most powerful European kings - those of France and Spain. As Elisabeth's government under William Cecil started to reorganize its finance and commerce and instituted moderate religious reforms, concluded a peace with Scotland and France, England gained in prosperity and internal strength. While basically supporting the national, reformed church against the foreign dominated Catholic one, Elisabeth developed an intense diplomatic activity using her considerable talents of dissimulation and deception. For a long while, to her opponents abroad, both temporal - like France and Spain - and religious like the Catholic Church Elisabeth's diplomatic skill based on dissimulation seemed to offer a chance of gaining an upper hand over England, ruled "by a mere woman." At the same time Elisabeth and her government under Cecil started its "kindling fires," "setting the limbs of the devil against each other" policies and operations in Scotland, France, Spain and Holland keeping a blind eye on activities of English "sea dogs," half pirates, half merchants. All this was closely followed by foreign ambassadors in London and the Vaticans supporters in England. The Spanish ambassador in London, de Quadra, wrote as early as 1562 to King Phillip II in Madrid: "This woman desires to make the use of religion in order to excite rebellion in the whole world ... If she had the power today she would sow heresy broadcast in all your Majestie's dominions and set them in a blaze without compunction."

England's "Ragione di Stato" versus Vatican's "Ragione di Chiesa"

By 1570 the leadership of the Catholic Church in Rome began to see in England what de Quadra saw: its principal enemy to be fought by all the means - and these were not few - at its disposal. As the examples that follow show, the means used by the Vatican, against England ranged from intelligence and counter-intelligence operations, propaganda, supports of assassination plots against Elisabeth and her closest associates, "kindling the fires" of dissensions between the Catholics and followers of the Church of England, support of attempts at invasion in England's areas of interest like Ireland, right to the support of the invasion of England itself. The Vatican used in this all the newly acquired and improved functions based on its century long experience.

Pope Pius V fired the first salve against England, by excommunicating Elisabeth in the Spring of 1570, proclaimed her "a heretic and an enemy of the Church of God." Gregory XIII in 1580 renewed the excommunication and issued a call to rebellion of the English catholics against Elisabeth and her Government. The Vatican was the supporter if not the initiator of numerous plots aiming to assassinate Elisabeth and cause rebellion such as the Ridolfi, Throckmorton, Parry and tens of other "Popish Plots" including those - and they were not few - initiated or supported by Queen Mary of Scotland from her prison (since 1567) in England, right up to the Babbington plot, whose detection in 1586 cost Mary her head. The Secretary of State of Sixtus V, the Cardinal of Como, in response to a letter by Dr. W. Parry proposing to kill Elisabeth, wrote a letter in reply on January 30, 1584 - now in the Vatican Archives [-] saying: "His Holiness [the pope] has seen your letter ... and both exhort you to persevere, and to bring to the effect that which you promise ... and he granteth unto you his blessing, plenary indulgence and remission of all your sins according to your request." In 1585 the English counter-intelligence under Walshingham had Dr. Parry executed*.

In the 1570's the Vatican supported the foundation by the English catholic emigrants especially under the leadership of Dr. William Allen, appointed cardinal in 1587 by Sixtus V, and the Jesuit Dr. Robert Persons, of English colleges in Rome, in Douai in Holland, in Rheims [sic] in France and in Spain. Dr. Allen was a fanatic enemy of Elisabeth, and her government. As Evelyn Waugh writes in his biography of Edmund Campion (1935), Dr. Allen developed with the close support by the papal Secretaries of State a "ius mundi" activity: "besides being a great university administrator, he was a man of affairs, the last of the English cardinal-politicians. There were unexplained absences when, after a cautionary address, the President would leave his college for three months or so at Rome: there was a voluminous correspondence, written in cypher, with the great men of the age, the Duke or Guise [the leader of the Catholics of France], the Cardinal of Como [Pope's Secretary of State], Don John of Austria [the commander of Spanish troups in Holland], with Philip II himself; there were secret visitors, of whom the students [of Rheims] knew nothing except the clatter of hooves and the appearance of strange liveries in the courtyard."

According to the Encyclopedia Cattolica of 1953, "by 1600 over 1000 young English priests were trained and sent to England" by Allen and Persons to support the Catholic, and hence the Spanish cause against Elisabeth and her government. The English government saw to it that the English colleges in Rome, Rheims, and Douai were as Bacon would say "full of spies and false brethren." In England itself, with the support of a considerable section of the population, these priests and their "recusant" Catholic supporters were tracked, hunted, imprisoned by government "searchers" in the ports, professional informers, agents and officials. According to the Encyclopedia "During her [Elisabeth's] reign the number of Catholics who suffered [death] was 189, of whom 128 were priests, 58 laymen, 3 women." The brutality and severity with which Elisabeth's government dealt with these priests was extreme. Edmund Campion, a brilliant Oxford scholar, who emigrated, became a Jesuit and was sent personally by Dr. Allen on his mission in 1580 and was finally, when caught, tortured on the rack, Waugh claims in front of Cecil and Walsingham. The Lord Chief Justice pronounced his sentence on Campion and his Jesuit companions as follows: "You must go to the place from whence you came, there to remain until ye shall be drawn through the open City of London upon hurdles to the place of execution, and there be hanged and let down alive, and your privy parts cut off, and your entrails taken out and burnt in your sight; then your heads are to be cut off and your bodies divided into four parts, to be disposed of at her Majestie's pleasure. And God have mercy on your souls."

On December 17, 1583 after Campion and his companions were executed, the English Government published in London William Cecil's pamphlet The Execution of Iustice in England for maintenaunce [sic] of publique and Christian peace. In it Cecil declares that "the Bishoppe of Rome, commonly called the Pope" had inspired, supported and sent numerous priests of various sorts to stir rebellion in England against Elisabeth, among them Edmund Campion and Robert Persons. Cecil repeatedly states that in England the authorities persecute no one for their religious beliefs, but for treason and sedition fomented by the "Bishoppe of Rome." The pamphlet publishes a document seized by the English authorities on an assistant of Campion entitled Faculties Graunted to the two fathers - Robert Persons and Edmond Campion by the Pope. In the Latin document the Catholics in England are reminded that the excommunication of Elisabeth is still valid, that it must be enforced by support of Persons and Campion. The document concludes: "The highest Pontiffe graunted forsaid graces to father Robert Persons and Edmonde Campion, who are now take their Iourneys into England, the 14th day of April, in the yere of our Lorde, 1580."

As the English expansion drive gained momentum and English merchants, explorers, free booters undertook missions, often with more or less open financial, military and political support of Elisabeth, Walsingham and others in her government and court against Spanish commerce, colonies, naval convoys, Phillip II decided that diplomacy, subversion, assassination plots were not enough to stop the success of Elisabeth's policy. He took to military invasion as the only means to get rid of the English incubus. The popes were informed and participated with advice and other support in all plots and attempts, especially by Spain to invade Ireland and England itself. W. Cecil, Walsingham and Robert Cecil made certain to have sources within the Vatican itself about the invasion plans and the pope's role in it. Pope Sixtus V was closely informed of the preparations of Phillips' Armada attack against England. Being a cautious man, Sixtus V promised Phillip II one million ducates to be delivered the moment the Spanish troops landed in England. When this did not happen, when the Armada was ignominously defeated**, he is alleged to have said about Elisabeth: "What a woman, what a princess. Ruler of half of one small island, she snaps her fingers at the two greatest kings in Christendom ... If she were only a Catholic."

The defeat of the Armada by England surprised and amazed Englands friends and enemies. First, because Spain was considered the most powerful military might on land and the sea. Second, because it made evident that the Vaticans Counter-Reformation policy had utterly failed with respect to England. The defeat of Spain and the Catholic Church by this hitherto second rate power that was England set the courts and the intellectual, scholarly circles in Europe buzzing with questions like these: How did England do it? What is the nature, what are the intentions and capabilities of England in "Ius Mundi?" Is heretical Elisabeth, the enemy of the Church of God, really God's favorite?

As we saw, the Catholic writers and students like the Jesuit Botero started a process or reevaluation of England, of her intentions, capabilities, her expansion, her political, military, economic thinking on which Elisabeth's government acted. The evaluation of Elisabeth's reign made by the Vatican in 1600 is still valid today in Vatican thinking. In the Encyclopedia Cattolica (1950) the article on Elisabeth I, attributes her policy to her education and "Ragione di Stato" and concludes: "When the queen died in 1603, the material conditions of the country were among the best recorded in English history..."

The term "Ragione di Stato," first used by the Italian l6th century politician and writer Guicciardini, came into general use after Giovani [sic] Botero published his Della Ragione di Stato in 1589 Venice. In its article on "Ragione di Stato" the Vatican Encyclopedia says - as if Campani-Ripa has written it - that this term "serves in politics and diplomacy to cover with a mantle of dignity the selfish interests of a nation or of a dominant caste." The "Reason of State" philosophy or politics is completely contrary to that of the Catholic Church, because it places national interests above those of the church, as Elisabeth did. For the Vatican, after the defeat of the Armada, and the failure of the Vatican policy to undermine and overthrow the heretic, Elisabeth became the symbol of the "Reason of State" political philosophy. Hence, Campani-Ripa in the Vatican had to react to the news of the Rainbow portrait of Elisabeth, as godly, peaceful, favourite of God, by representing it as it "really was" in his image of the Reason of State: aggressive, immoral, based on espionage. And Campani-Ripa's contribution to enlarge the Machiavellian philosophy of the Princely state, was to show - as the Rainbow did - that intelligence and espionage is a basic function for fulfilling the goals of the kingdom based on "reason of state" policy.

On two crucial points, Campani-Ripa misunderstood the Rainbow completely. He completely ignored that the Rainbow proclamation of the importance of knowledge, of science for the"Golden Age" is an essential tool of English policy as described by Francis Bacon. Second, and equally important, he did not understand that avoidance of war by good preventive intelligence and the expansion of England by "intelligence" was the basis of Cecil's and Elisabeth's policy, and not hypocrisy.

What Campani-Ripa failed to understand, was understood by expert political observers. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, sent home on October 21, 1602 the following message in cipher in which, among other, he reports: "The Queen's [Elisabeth I] inducement to peace is not so much to free herself from the expenses of the war, which are partially covered by the prizes she makes, but in order to secure a free commerce, and to allow her subjects to increase their capital. It was these considerations which always induced the Lord Treasurer father of Cecil to favour a peace policy; and it seems that his son will follow in his footsteps. Some say, however, that he has a certain affection for Spain. This is put about to rouse the Queen's suspicions against him."

The Missing Third Man

It is most strange, although somewhat understandable, that the historians of art have paid no attention whatsoever to questions such as: What plausible guesses can one make about who commissioned the Rainbow painting? But even stranger than this is the fact that little systematic study has been made, and what there is with rather primitive techniques, on the question, which when asked within the framework of my "Robert-Francis" hypothesis about who commissioned and paid for it, is as follows: Who is the Third Man, the painter of the Rainbow?

Frances Yates, has this to say in 1952 about the date: "Since it looks as though the artist, or the adviser, has used Ripa's book, the first edition of which was in 1593, this would seem to indicate that the picture was probably painted after that date." Yates does not suggest who did it. C. Kingsley Adams in his study 1973 of paintings at Hatfield House says: "scholars are inclined, on account of more research into the stylistic features of late Elisabethan portraiture by general consent to ascribe this portrait [the Rainbow] to an Anglo-Flemish artist of c. 1600." Thus, Roy Strong, on grounds of style, suggests that Marcus Gheerhaerts II painted the Rainbow around 1600.

D. Piper started a new tack in the game of guessing who painted the Rainbow by combining the evidence of style with the evidence of bills paid by Robert Cecil for painting - bills found in the archives of Hatfield House. He discovered that one bill from 1607 is due to the artist John de Critz, for "Work done for the hono earl of Salisburie," reading "Item for altering of a pictor of Queen Elisabeth ... 1 p." Since it seems, though not proved, that the inscription "Non Sine Iris" has been put in at a later date, Piper suggests that de Critz did both the painting and the alteration. Adams suggests the Anglo-Flemish artist Isaac Oliver, married to Sara Gheerhaerts, for two reasons: first, the Rainbow has some traits of style and colour of a miniature, and Oliver was at one time a miniaturist. The other reason is that it can be proved that Oliver and Robert Cecil did much business - though not specifically about paintings. Adam found that Cecil owed the painter Oliver "the considerable sum of 200 pounds," which by Cecil's death in 1612 with interest amounted to 210 pounds and was soon after paid. So Adams asks, "Would it be too much to assume that the 200 pounds was due to him for work he had done for the 1st Earl of Salisbury?" This much from and to the historians of art on who the Third Man is.

"The Lion Is Recognized From His Print"

In 1697 the great mathematician Bernouilli [sic] challenged his European colleagues to solve a difficult problem. Among the answers received there was an anonymous one, which Bernouilli proclaimed to be from Isaac Newton. Asked how did he know it, Bernouilli replied: "The Lion Is Recognised from his Print." I believe that I have presented sufficient circumstantial evidence to show that the Rainbow as a whole and in detail bears the unmistakable print of the intellectual "lion" of 16-17th century Europe, Francis Bacon. The uniqueness of the mystery of the Rainbow among the paintings of Elisabeth, its rich imagery, the predominance of the symbols of light, the "luciferous" serpent, the stress on government intelligence, and the policy statement that empire is to be based not on war but on peace based on intelligence and enlightenment - all of this bears the specific imprint of the genius of Bacon.

The circumstantial evidence for Robert Cecil's participation in the composition of the Rainbow is based on two major factors: that the painting is in Hatfield House which Cecil built, and it is an expression of the policy for England he has pursued all his life, as his father before him, based on Queen Elisabeth's thoughts on expansion and prosperity of England.

I am aware that by proposing Francis Bacon and Robert Cecil as the inventors and commissioners of the Rainbow I am starting another "Bacon wrote Shakespeare" myth, finally laid to rest by the famous USA cryptographer William Freeman. In publishing the "Rainbow Scheme" I hope to encourage some 1980's Freeman to try to prove my proposed Ariadne's thread for the Rainbow and for its originators to be a false one. After all my research in various libraries, I have a strong feeling that one may still find documents which a young researcher can uso to negate in Popper fashion my "Rainbow Scheme" hypotheses or to confirm it.

Prolegomena for a "Rainbow Scheme" for the Year 1990?

I cannot resist the urge - and who could - to ask what this account of the social genesis of the Rainbow scheme in the 16th centuty tells us that may be relevant for national intelligence concerns today? This question has to be asked in the light of the recent national intelligence reform efforts in countries like the United States, Sweden, France, West Germany, Australia and Italy. All these efforts have certain traits in common. First, except for countries like the United States, Sweden and Italy, these processes are as removed from the public eye as was the formulation of the Rainbow scheme. Second, unlike the farsightedness of the Rainbow scheme these are at best feeble efforts at patchwork reform, for hardly any of them are the products of independent minds, academic or otherwise, but of intelligence and power gamesters or brains hired or seduced by them to see things the way they do. Third, and most important, none of these efforts up to now have systematically taken into account the central fact of our time, as Francis Bacon did of his: the current knowledge industry revolution. This new, much more complex and all embracing revolution is demanding radical changes of the intelligence doctrine not only of this or that country, as for example of England that has just finished the process of giving up Pax Britannica, but of all countries and of humanity as a whole.

Because time is in much greater hurry now than in the 16th century, so much so that today Heraclitus would say "Panta rei tahiteron" (everything changes quicker), it will not be possible - because of the law of the limitations of social sciences still to be formulated - to produce in the future as long lasting an intelligence doctrine as in the times of Queen Elisabeth. But all future intelligence doctrines and reform efforts must take into account, as none of them presently do, at least the following facts of our knowledge industry revolution:

First, the trend to a world wide sharing of power, of knowledge, of values, of goals and of problems calls not only for the development of global intelligence technology, but requires the elaboration of a globally diffused and accepted intelligence doctrine, based on international law.

Second, the basic goals of government intelligence are now shifting from serving national security in the narrow military sense to serving national goals for development within the framework of categorical imperatives of internal stability, interdependence and world peace.

Third, all social systems are in the process of discovering that they exist and function in a new "social intelligence" world. Everyone is beginning to realize that information and secrecy are equally fundamental resources in the national survival and growth effort.

Fourth, in the process of global democratization of power, of knowledge, and intelligence, made necessary and possible by the knowledge revolution, all governments and management systems are not only becoming transparent to each other, but quite contrary to Bacon's times and thoughts, democracy is becoming a productive force, with the result that all "governments" of all social systems have to be relatively more open toward the governed, than the governed toward "governments." Those who ignore this are discovering that the rest of the world is moving ahead while their "locomotive of history" is standing still.

Fifth, all are becoming "gamesters" and "lookers on" and claims by some intelligence "gamesters" for privilege of power, of knowledge, of position, of responsibility, and of effort to reform themselves are damaging to the social intelligence and other interest of all, themselves included.

Sixth and finally, if social intelligence is a new phase in the evolution of humanity, as I believe, the study of the history of intelligence and especially of intelligence of those social systems which have shown an ability to survive can enrich our understanding of contemporary intelligence. The English Empire and the Catholic Church are the two social systems that have shown this intelligence capability to the greatest degree in human history. It is therefore my hope that my Rainbow scheme may become an encouragement to a study of the history of intelligence.

Dedicated to

the following intelligencers I have known and admired:

Mme Mabel Dean-Gruich, Virginian, dame of the Royal Yugoslav court, who made my education in ltaly and USA possible, and whom I was surprised to discover from the Zuckerman Telegram by Barbara Tuchman as working in 1917 for the British Naval Intelligence.

Muyaga Golubich, participant in the "Young Bosnia" assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 in Sarayevo, whom I helped escape from FBI in 1938 USA, tortured to death by Nazis when caught running the USSR-GRU radio station in occupied Belgrade in 1942.

Veljko Michunovich, who as partisan on a frozen Montenegro mountain in 1942 killed a wolf with a knife to take its food, became chief foreign intelligencer of Yugoslavia, later its ambassador to Washington and Moscow, author of Moscow Diaries.

William Colby, former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, conversations with whom over pecan pie in Cosmos Club have enriched my understandingo of the evolution of social intelligence and its threats and contributions to world peace.

Reginald V. Jones, physicist, one of the founders of modern scientific intelligence, according to the official history of British World War II intelligence a major contributor to its success, worthy descendant of Francis Bacon as the "philosopher of intelligence," author of The Theory of the Practical Joke.

Basil Davidson, for forty years an idealist left Labouri[s]te who as head or the Balkan section of British intelligence in 1941-44 used the English mathematicians' Ultra decipherments to give a scientific proof to Churchill from German sources on who was actually fighting the Axis powers in Yugoslavia.

R. Marriott, a worthy descendant of Walsingham, whose proposal to me "on behalf of Her Majesty's Intelligence Service" in 1955 did not prevent me from respecting and admiring him in later contacts.

X.Y., "merchant of light," "merchant of fruit," who by his work is showing that social intelligence and not only government intelligence is the main resource of the small and the weak in todays knowledge revolution as in that of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Some Works Used and/or Consulted

I recognize my debt to art historians who deciphered single iconological "words," "meaningful sentences" and "themes" of the Rainbow and apologize that this short manuscript does not ascribe all credits where due. This is especially true of the late Dame Frances Yates, the art historian who deciphered the major theme of "Golden Age Empire" in the Rainbow and other Elisabethan works. From behind her shoulders it was relatively easy to see the whole Rainbow scheme.

My tender thanks to Elisabeth Jenkins - is she still alive? - two lines of whose Elisabeth the Great, read in 1958, first set my nose on the trail of the Rainbow Scheme.

My respectful gratitude to the scholar or Elisabethan history and language at Lund, who, wisely and modestly, prefers to be thanked anonymously.

My hat respectfully off to 11 years old Miki Dedijer who in 1976 insisted he saw two things in the Rainbow his father preferred not to see.

In a somewhat mixed chronological and priority orders I wish to thank the following for rendering help always required in big lumps and in a hurry:

R.H. Harcourt Williams, Librarian and Archivist to the Marquess of Salisbury, Hatfield House, England; Ms H. Roberts, Folger Institute, Harvard University and Hanover, N.H., USA; Docent Bo Johnson, Faculty of Theology, Lund University; and to the personnel of the following libraries: British Museum Library and Manuscript Room. London; Dana Art Library of Dartmouth College, USA; University Library Lund, Sweden (A box of thanks, Margareth, for that last puzzle bit asked for by telephone at closing time); Princeton University Library, Princeton, N.J., USA; La Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Rome, Italy.

I remember with guilt and sympathy all those all over the world, who in - as far as I recollect - university halls, Cosmos club dining room in Washington, institute corridors in Jamaica, an 18th century Virginia kitchen, library coffee-lounge in Edinburgh, bars of boats, train compartments, front seats of cars, Sarajevo kafana, economy class in planes, and in front of the fire place of my dear Tegelhagen at Wittskövle castle listened always patiently and at times comprehendingly while I groped my way in various languages looking for a common Ariadne's thread in the four entwined labyrinths of Elisabethan intelligence and espionage, politics and sociology of art, the Rainbow, and the new world of social intelligence.

E. Auerbach & C.K. Adams, Portraits of Queen Elisabeth at Hatfield House (London: Constable & Co. 1973)

J.J. Boissard, Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium (1581)

Eng. Drouillers, Dictionnaire des Attributes, Allégories, Emblèmes et Symboles (Tournhout, Belgique 1950)

Jean Duvignaud, The Sociology of Art (London: Paladin, 1972)

Rene Graziani, "The Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elisabeth I and its Religious Symbolism" (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 35, 1972)

James Hall, Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art (London: John Murray, 1974)

F.H. Hinsley, British Intelligence in the Second World War (London: HMSO, 1981)

R.V. Jones, Most Secret War (London: H & H, 1978)

F.M. Kelley, "Queen Elisabeth and her Dresses" (Connoisseur, CXIII, June 1944)

Erwin Panofsky, "Studies in Iconology' (Dartmouth Library Catalogue 748 q P 194s)

M.C. Paradini, Heroica (Antwerp 1562)

Cesare Ripa, Iconologia (Roma, Editions: 1593 and 1603)

G. Ruscelli, Imprese Illustri (Rome 1580)

Roy C. Strong, Portraits of Queen Elisabeth I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962)

Roy C. Strong, Tudor & Jacobean Portraits, (1969)

Guy de Tervarent, Attributes et Symbole dans l'art Profane 1450-1660, Dictionnaire d'un Language Perdu (Geneve: Droz 1958)

L. de Vries, Dictionary of Symbols and Imagery (North Holland 1974)

Frances A. Yates, "Queen Elisabeth as Astraea" (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume X, 1947)

Frances A. Yates, "Allegorical Portraits of Queen Elisabeth I at HatfieId House" (Hatfield House Booklet no 1, 1952)

Frances A. Yates, Astraea - The Imperial Theme in the 16th century (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975)

Frances A: Yates, "Boissard's Costume Book and two portraits" (Journal, 22, 1959)

Calendary of State Papers, Foreign and Domestic Series, British Museum Library

State Papers, Domestic Series 1581-1590, British Museum Library

State Papers, Foreign Series: Spain 1581-1590 British Museum Library

Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques & Discoveries of the English Nation (London 1589, Reprinted Glasgow 1905)

Encyclopedia Cattolica, (Vatican 1950)

Catolic [sic] Encyclopedia, (Washington 1953)

- - - - -


[This essay was published for the first time in: Clio goes spying: Eight essays on the History of Intelligence, Edited by Wilhelm Agrell and Bo Huldt, Lund Studies in International History, Scandinavian University Books, 1983]

Editor's notes:

* It is perhaps useful to quote in the present context the very interesting book by John Bossy, Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair (1991; Italian edition 1992, Garzanti Ed., Milano), which studies the role in discovering some of these plots by one of the many Walsingham's secret agents, who worked under the name of "Henry Fagot", and that the author relates directly to the person of Giordano Bruno, the famous heretical monk, burnt in Rome in 1600. Bruno was in London, in Salisbury Court, the house of the catholic France's ambassador Michel de Castelnau, from the spring of 1583 until 1585 (Thomas Throckmorton was executed in November, 1583; William Parry in March, 1585). The very likely explicit fighting of Bruno from the Elisabeth's side against the Catholic Church would confirm the natural hypothesis that in favour of England acted not only agents motivated by gold, but even by "ideals", and makes it worth of attention the possible role of international "early Masonic lodges" (according to a definition of Margaret C. Jacob, The Newtonians and the English revolution 1689-1720, Cornell University Press, 1976; Gordon and Breach, New York, 1990, p. 207).

** Robert Boucard, in Les dessous de l'espionnage anglais (published in Italy in 1936, by Ed. La Prora, Milano) acknowledges, as well ad Dedijer does, the fundamental role of English Intelligence - and of men like William Cecil (Lord Burghley), his successor Sir Francis Walsingham, and further on of Thomas Cromwell - in England's expansion policy; he notices, between the most important elements of this great victory of England against Spain, the poisoning of the chief commander of the Spanish Armada, Marquis de Santa Cruz, by one of Walsingham's secret agents, some Nicholas Housley.

- - - - -


Stefan Dedijer, classe 1911, tuttora studioso e lavoratore instancabile dal fisico imponente e asciutto, alterna il suo tempo tra Lund, in Svezia, dove è professore emerito al Business Intelligence Institute della locale università, e l'isola di Dubrovnik, dove è cofondatore del Centro Internazionale Universitario delle Nazioni Unite.

Proviene da una famiglia di pastori serbi di Bosnia, suo padre è stato il primo geografo jugoslavo. Trascorsa l'infanzia a Belgrado, lascia la famiglia a 14 anni (rivedrà la madre soltanto nel '45) per compiere gli studi superiori a Roma. Da qui passa negli USA, dove nel '36 si laurea a Princeton in Fisica nucleare (svolge il lavoro di tesi con Niels Bohr, ed è stato allievo diretto di Albert Einstein).

Contemporaneamente agli studi e una miriade di occupazioni saltuarie, contribuisce a creare la rete delle cellule comuniste, sostenuta dall'URSS, tra i lavoratori e gli studenti statunitensi.

Allo scoppio della II guerra mondiale gli USA si ritrovano senza un servizio segreto per affrontare il pericolo nazifascista, e chiedono aiuto a Stalin. Il "piccolo padre" è ben contento di aiutare l'amico capitalista, e mette a disposizione attiva gli elementi più validi delle cellule universitarie. I migliori diventeranno il nerbo dell'OSS del colonnello Donovan. Nel dopoguerra, nonostante le epurazioni maccartiste e lo scioglimento del servizio, alcuni di loro formeranno la CIA e, mai scoperti, arriveranno fino ai massimi vertici.

Durante la II guerra mondiale, Stefan Dedijer entra come ufficiale paracadutista nella 101° divisione aviotrasportata, addetto alla sicurezza del suo comandante, il generale Maxwell Taylor. Tra le operazioni più significative cui prende parte, la battaglia di Bastogne è senz'altro uno degli eventi che non dimenticherà mai, per la durezza e la spietatezza.

Alla fine delle ostilità, dalla Germania ritorna nel suo paese d'origine, dove si unisce al movimento di liberazione. Prima viene nominato da Tito direttore dell'agenzia di stampa Tanjug, poi direttore del Centro Ricerche di Fisica Nucleare Boris Kidric di Zagabria, naturalmente sempre membro del Comitato Centrale della Lega dei Comunisti di Yugoslavia.

Gli entusiasmi dei primi tempi per costruire il mondo nuovo si assopiscono, il paese distrutto dalla guerra naviga in enormi difficoltà, tra i burocrati del partito nasce la "nuova classe", la nomenklatura. Ma i Dedijer, Stefan e Vladimir (il fratello, storico insigne), non si associano, e vanno incontro a grossi problemi, rafforzati anche dal fatto che Tito chiede a Stefan di costruire la bomba atomica jugoslava, ma si sente rispondere che è una pazzia, e che costerebbe come 10 anni dell'intero bilancio del paese. Vladimir viene gettato in prigione, accusato di essere filostalinista, e per la vergogna il suo bambino di 11 anni s'impicca a scuola. Stefan viene privato di qualsiasi incarico professionale e di partito, gli tolgono la casa, lo buttano sulla strada, la moglie divorzia e se ne va con le due figlie, gli amici lo ignorano.

Riesce fortunosamente a riparare in Svezia, dove nei primi tempi sopravvive traducendo testi di fisica dal russo in inglese e svedese. Poi, riflettendo anche sulle esperienze che ha vissuto sulla sua pelle, comincia a maturare in lui il problema dell'intelligence, strumento delicatissimo, che dovrebbe essere per un paese come è il cervello per gli uomini: capace cioè di raccogliere le informazioni provenienti dagli organi di senso, analizzarli, elaborarli e renderli utili alla propria sopravvivenza e sviluppo. Ciò nonostante, la maggior parte dei paesi e delle comunità delegano i compiti di intelligence ai militari e a poliziotti, caste chiuse e ignoranti, sempre al servizio di gruppi di potere, e mai della comunità; così, invece di essere formati da persone capaci e brillanti, moralmente ed eticamente cristalline, ossia i migliori rappresentanti di una società, i servizi sono gestiti dagli elementi peggiori.

Riesce a convincere l'Università di Lund a fondare un istituto per questo delicato soggetto presso la facoltà di Economia. A metà degli anni '60 iniziano i primi corsi, dapprima dedicati al Social Intelligence, in seguito al Business Intelligence. Essi sono frequentati da funzionari dello stato, ufficiali dei servizi, assistenti sociali, uomini d'affari, economisti e pianificatori, provenienti da paesi industrializzati e da quelli in via di sviluppo, tutte persone che si rendono conto come l'intelligence, per poter davvero servire, debba essere aperta, trasversale, coinvolgere le persone che a qualsiasi livello possono contribuire al benessere della comunità.

Vengono invitati a tenere lezioni e raccontare le loro esperienze e malefatte anche i più alti funzionari di CIA, KGB, MI5, così come i managers di grandi aziende internazionali, banchieri ecc. All'Università di Lund sorge anche man mano una biblioteca specializzata, con una quantità imponente di libri e documenti, che Stefan Dedijer ha raccolto nel corso della sua vita sull'argomento, dall'antica Cina, all'impero persiano, al Vaticano, la Repubblica di Venezia, l'Inghilterra, ecc.

Le idee di Stefan Dedijer cominciano a diffondersi, e al giorno d'oggi sono numerose le strutture governative, universitarie e private che studiano come riconvertire il secondo mestiere più antico del mondo. Anche nel mondo dei servizi segreti si è infatti mosso qualcosa, sono nate associazioni di agenti per la democratizzazione, contro le strutture deviate, per una selezione seria di elementi con un alto profilo etico, per la rotazione degli incarichi. Molte strutture hanno subito modifiche, e, soprattutto dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, hanno sostituito le loro squadre di patetici e inutili barbe finte in unità di giovani brillantemente laureati che lavorano sull'analisi delle fonti aperte (giornali, libri, Internet, ecc.), con risultati più affidabili e utili.

Abbiamo conferme che quest'evoluzione sia in atto in molti e diversi paesi, ma non un solo segnale che qualcosa di analogo stia avvenendo da noi. Dall'unità d'Italia i nostri servizi si sono circondati di una fama sinistra per l'inefficienza, il nepotismo, le deviazioni, le stragi, gli intrecci e i legami con gruppi oscuri nazionali ed esteri, che di certo non fanno gli interessi della nostra comunità. E' nostro dovere, in quanto cittadini colonne portanti del paese in cui viviamo, pretendere che queste delicate e importantissime funzioni vengano assegnate ai migliori.

(Giorgio Iacuzzo - g.iac@usa.net)