Anthony Babington was born in 1561, in Dethick, Derbyshire, son of Sir Henry Babington, a wealthy Derbyshire Landowner, and Mary d'Arcy, daughter of George, 1st Lord d'Arcy of Aston in Yorks.
Babington served as a page to Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment at Sheffield. In 1580 he went to London, attented the court of Elizabeth Ist, and joined a secret society supporting Jesuit missionaries.
In 1586 he was induced by John Ballard and other catholic emissaries to lead a conspiracy aiming to murder Elizabeth and release Mary. Philip of Spain promised immediate assistance with an expedition after the assination of the Queen had been affected. Coded messages in which Mary approved the plot were intercepted by the Queen's secretary, Francis Waisingham and were later used against her. It became known as the Babington Plot.
Babington fled but was captured at Harrow and executed with the other conspirators.
The family, owned a large town house in Derby and the coat of arms is still visible above Waterstone's bookshop in Babington Lane.