In the years following the uprising against James II, Britain's King William had an ace in his royal hole. Popular novelist and political commentator Daniel DeFoe (1660-1731) was a very busy man.
While he penned such classics as Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe, he was also busy doing a little intelligence work in the service of the Crown (for a fee, of course, as all spies did in those days). Defoe was so professional in his duties that he even wrote a treatise on the do's and don'ts of espionage.
(Up to this point, everything I've said is entirely true)
What is more likely than an expert such as DeFoe founding his own band of trained spies, using a democratic selection of men from all walks of life? Lords, thieves and yes, even a few assassins, all trained to perform at the demand of the Crown.
Defoe, novelist and spy, cynic and idealist, professional spinner of untruth, was the first and finest Liar of them all.
Years have passed and Defoe is long gone. The Liars have kept their place through times lean and times fat...but the newest enemy of the state is a certain upstart French general, by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte...