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Ridolfi plot, 1571. Organized by the Italian banker Roberto Ridolfi, this was one of many conspiracies to free Mary, queen of Scots, and promote the catholic cause. Ridolfi was questioned by English authorities in October 1569 but the following year began to plan Mary's escape, with Thomas, duke of Norfolk, Philip II of Spain, the Spanish ambassador, and the pope. The plot was uncovered by the agents of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and led to the execution of Norfolk for treason in 1572. Ridolfi escaped.