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RIDOLFI, or RIDOLFO, ROBERTO DI (1531-1612), Italian conspirator, belonged to a famous family of Florence, where he was born on the 18th of November 1531. As a banker he had business connexions with England, and about 1555 he settled in London, where he soon became a person of some importance and consorted with William Cecil and other prominent men During the early years of Elizabeth's reign he began to take a more active part in politics, associating with the discontented Roman Catholics in England and communicating with their friends abroad. In 1570 he set to work on the plot against the queen which is usually associated with his name. His intention was to marry Mary, queen of Scots, to the duke of Norfolk and to place her on the English throne. With the aid of John Lesley, bishop of Ross, he gained the consent of these high personages to the conspiracy, and then in 1571 he visited the duke of Alva at Brussels, Pius V. at Rome, and Philip II. at Madrid to explain to them his scheme and to gain their active assistance thereto. His messenger, by name Charles Baillie (1542-1625), was, however, seized at Dover, and in other ways the English government heard of the intended rising. Consequently, Norfolk and Lesley were arrested, the former being condemned to death in January 1572. Ridolfi, who was then in Paris, could do nothing when he heard this news, and his scheme collapsed. Afterwards he served the pope, but much of his later life was spent in Florence, where he became a senator and where he died on the 18th of February 1612 RIEGER, PHILIPP FRIEDRICK VON (1818-1903), Bohemian politician and publicist, was born on the 18th of December 1818 at Semil in the circle of JiCin, Bohemia. He first came into prominence as one of the Czech leaders in the revolution of 1848. He was returned by seven constituencies to the ReiMstag at Vienna, where he was the leader of the Czech party. In 1853 he married a daughter of the historian Palacky. In 1858 he started the Slomik nautny, the Czech national encyclopaedia, the first volume of which was published in 1859, the nth and last in 1874. He was also instrumental in founding the first Czech political daily newspaper published in Prague, which appeared on the 1st of January 1861, and of which he was for awhile the editor. After the issue of the " October diploma" of 1860, Rieger, with his father-in-law, Palacky, undertook the leadership of the reconstituted Czech party, and after the decision of this party in 1863 no longer to attend the Austrian Reichsrath, he led the agitation in favour of the restoration of the Bohemian kingdom. In 1871 he conducted the negotiations with the Hohenenwarth ministry for a federal constitution of the empire, which broke down owing to his extreme attitude in the matter of Bohemian independence. On the reappearance of the Czechs in the Bohemian diet (1878) and the Austrian Reichsrath (1879) Rieger was one of the leaders of the federalist majority supporting Count Taaffe's government and the chief of the so-called " Old Czechs." On his seventieth nrthday (December 10, 1888) he received a national gift of 100,000 gulden; but, in spite of this evidence of his popularity, his conservatism, his close connexion with the Bohemian nobility and his clerical tendencies brought him into conflict with the growing influence of the radicaf " Young Czech " party, and in 1891, together with the other " Old Czechs," he was defeated at the poll. In March 1897 he was created a baron (Freiherr) ind given a seat in the Upper House. He continued occasionally o interfere in politics; but his influence was now at an end, hough when he died, on the 3rd of March 1903, his funeral at Prague was made the occasion of a magnificent demonstraion of respect.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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