STUCLEY, or STUKELY, Thomas, English adventurer: b. about 1525• d. Alcazar, 4 Aug. 1578. He was sent to Eng land (1552) recommended by Henry II of France, to whose notice he had been brought through his military talents. Instead of obtain ing the secret information he was sent for that would assist the French to land on English shores after a projected capture of Calais, he disclosed the French royal plot. Instead of being rewarded for his information he was thrown into the "Towers and the Duke of Northumberland betrayed him in turn to the French king. Escaping from prison he entered service under Emperor Charles V and the Duke of Savoy. He was actively present at the vic tory of Saint Quentin (1557), after which he went on a privateering expedition, Queen Eliz abeth providing one of his fleet of six ships (1563). His voyage was a series of robbery from ships of every nationality. After two years of piracy the remonstrances of other na tions caused Elizabeth to arrest him. Upon being pardoned he went to Ireland where he is alleged to have started further plotting but the queen squelched his ambitious schemes. He had
been in correspondence with Philip II of Spain, accepting a pension from him. Suspicion of his treason came up in court and he fled to Spain (1570) where he again plotted against England. He visited Paris and the papal court, then joined in an expedition against Morocco backed by Portugal but was killed in the battle of Al cazar (1578). The story of Stukely's career was very popular in England as he was said to have been an illegitimate son of Henry VIII, king of England. A play entitled 'The Battle of Alcazar . . . with the Death of Captain Stukely' was printed by E. Allde in 1594. Later 'The famous History of the Life and Death of Captain Stukely was printed (1605), Simpson's 'School of Shakespeare' (1878, Vol. I) gives a detailed account of Stukely's career based on state papers.