Yes, Marlowe did have the kinds of high-level connections to possibly stage his own death on May 30, 1593, in Deptford in order to escape torture and a possible death sentence. Marlowe, of course, had been arrested on May 20 on charges of heresy and was released on bail. There's also the Baines Note submitted to the Privy Council on May 27 that accused Marlowe of far more serious offenses.
Click here and check out this rather imposing letter Cambridge University authorities received in 1587 when they were set to deny Marlowe his Master's Degree. As Peter Farey writes, "Before the award of the M.A. in 1587, some rumours had apparently been circulating that he [Marlowe] intended ('was determined') to go to Rheims and, having gone, to remain there. This would normally mean training for priesthood at the Catholic College at Rheims, with the probable intention of eventually returning to England as a Catholic subversive."
We can reasonably conclude, from the Privy Council letter to Cambridge, that Marlowe was partaking in significant intelligence activity on behalf of Queen Elizabeth's secret service.
As Daryl Pinksen writes in Marlowe's Ghost, the letter "shows the regard in which the young intelligence agent was held by the most powerful men in the English government."Marlowe spy theory
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