Francis Throckmorton, 1554–84, English conspirator; nephew of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. A Roman Catholic, he began (1580) a tour of Europe, spent largely in discussing cooperative measures between French and English Catholics. In 1583 he returned to England and organized means of communication between the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots and the French and Spanish courts. His activities aroused suspicion, and he was arrested (1583). A search of his house revealed a list of English Catholics willing to assist a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I and other incriminating documents. Throckmorton was tortured and confessed. Although he later retracted his confession, he was convicted and executed.