Their argument would have been better if they had known and stated that Queen Elizabeth herself (or the equivalent ‘England’) had actually been assigned a numerical code of ‘100’ in state correspondence to Sir Henry Unton who was acting as an English ambassador to Henry IV of France. (see The Life and Death of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex by G. B. Harrison, 1937, pg. 93). It appears that Essex had sent Unton a cipher system and codes besides those that the Queen’s council sent. Sir Unton’s correspondence shows a complete cipher along with other codes. This can be seen on page 14 of Correspondence of Sir Henry Unton, Knt.
It also shows several character strings that can be used as null values. Interestingly, on the next page of this book is a listing of key players in the English supported war to get Henry IV of Navarre to secure his succession as King of France after the assassination of Henry III. The Earl of Essex had been sent with a force to France to battle those supporting a rival to the crown. In Unton’s correspondence (and so also very likely in other correspondence from Essex to his supporters and close associates back in England, including the Bacon brothers), there are listed the key players in the conflict. What is extra interesting is the three French names that are principle characters in the play Love’s Labour’s Lost.