Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Bond 'based on Elizabethan spy'

Daniel Craig as James Bond
Daniel Craig is the latest incarnation of Fleming's famed character

Author Ian Fleming was partly inspired to create James Bond by the exploits of a 16th century spy called John Bond, it is claimed.

Descendants of John Bond say a newly-unearthed diary reveals he went on missions for Queen Elizabeth I.

Fleming went to Durnford School on the Isle of Purbeck, in Dorset, which was next to the estate of the Bond family whose motto is The World Is Not Enough.

Historian Rodney Legg said John Bond was an inspiration for Fleming.

The author based Bond on characters he knew, Mr Legg added.

"His Bond is as much a reflection of himself and the colourful characters around him. John Bond is part of the inspiration for it all," he said.

'Man of action'

Will Bond, the current head of the family, whose base is Tyneham in the Isle of Purbeck, says there is "every reason" to believe that Fleming took the motto "non sufficit orbis" - the world is not enough - and gave it to 007.

He claims that John Bond picked up the tag from a Spanish palace while on his travels.

Ian Fleming
007 creator Ian Fleming went to school close to the Bond estate

Fleming first used the motto in his 1963 book On Her Majesty's Secret Service and it became the name of the 1999 Bond film outing.

Mr Bond added that the diary was written retrospectively by John's son Denis, and painted him as a "man of action".

"He appeared in the wrong place at the wrong time too regularly to be mere coincidence.

"It is highly likely that Ian Fleming would have been aware of the Bond family - it is possible he also knew that there was a colourful past," he added.

John Bond's adventures were at times controversial, according to the diary.

In 1573, he took a woman and child hostage so he could escape the St Bartholomew's Day massacre in France.

Daniel Craig is the latest actor to take on the big screen role of James Bond.

Quantum of Solace premiered in London earlier this week.

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