THROCKMORTON (or THROGMORTON), FRANCIS (1554-1584), English conspirator, was the son of Sir John Throck morton of Feckenham in Warwickshire, and his wife Margery Puttenham. Sir John had been concerned in Wyat's rebellion against Queen Mary Tudor, but was afterwards known as a sym pathizer with the Roman Catholic party in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and in 158o was removed from his office of chief justice of Chester for irregularities in his office, but probably because he was suspected of disloyalty by the government. Francis entered Hart Hall, Oxford in 1572, and in 1576 he was enrolled in the Inner Temple. At Oxford he came under the influence of the Roman Catholics, and when Campion (q.v.) and Parsons came to England in 158o to conduct the Jesuit propa ganda against Queen Elizabeth, Francis Throckmorton was one of a society of members of the Inner Temple who united to hide and help them. In that year he went abroad where he consorted with exiled papists, and engaged in treasonable intrigues. In 1583 he returned to act as the confidential agent of a conspiracy which had for its object the invasion of England by a French force for the purpose of releasing Mary Queen of Scots and restoring the papal authority.
Throckmorton occupied a house on Paul's wharf, London, which served as a meeting-place for the conspirators. The suspicions of the government being aroused, Throckmorton was arrested in October 1583. He was ciphering a letter to Queen Mary when the constables came upon him, but he found time to send a casket of compromising papers to Mendoza, and a card in cipher in which he promised to reveal nothing. On being threatened with a second application of the torture, however, his strength and courage failed and he made a full confession. His trial, took place on May 21, 1584, and he was executed at Tyburn on the loth of July. The arrest and confession of Throck morton eventually led to the expulsion of the Spanish ambassador and so to war with Spain.