Nick Skeres
Historical Figure
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 1563
Date of Death: 1601?
Cause of Death: Unknown
Occupation: Criminal, Servant, possible Spy
Fictional Appearances:
Ruled Britannia
POD: July-August, 1588
Type of Appearance: Direct

Nicholas "Nick" Skeres (March 1563-1601?) was a petty criminal in London, England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He was involved in criminal endeavors along with Ingram Frizer. Skeres was present when Frizer stabbed playwright Christopher Marlowe to death on 30 May 1593.

Aside from these details, Skeres is an elusive figure historically. He was once in the service of the Earl of Essex. He was arrested along with others involved in Essex' rebellion in 1601, and nothing is known of him beyond that date.

Nick Skeres in Ruled Britannia[]

Nick Skeres served Sir William Cecil[1] and took part in Cecil's plot to expel the Spanish-backed Queen Isabella and King Albert from England. Skeres, who was at home in London's seedy underworld, contacted William Shakespeare in 1597 and let him know that Cecil wished to contract him to write Boudicca.[2]

Skeres became Shakespeare's point man for contact with other conspirators, and Shakespeare often considered Skeres an unwelcome visitor.[3] Skeres put Shakespeare in contact with Ingram Frizer, who murdered several people Shakespeare considered security risks.[4]

Skeres lived to see the plot come to fruition under Cecil's son Robert and took part in the popular uprising which expelled the Spaniards and restored Queen Elizabeth to the throne. In gratitude, Elizabeth knighted Skeres.[5]


  1. Ruled Britannia, pg. 44, pb.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 50-59.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 197-204.
  4. Ibid, e.g., pg. 188.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 434-438.