Prime universe
(Capcom's primary storyline)
Further notes
"I was to become a god! Creating a new world, with an advanced race of human beings...."
— Spencer to Albert Wesker, shortly before his death.

Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer (オズウェル・E・スペンサー Ozuweru Ī Supensā?) was a 20th-century British virologist and eugenicist. One of the founders of Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, Lord Spencer played a chief role in the development of the Umbrella Corporation, which dominated the pharmaceuticals and chemicals industry from the 1970s until its collapse in 2003.

A man of great wealth and power, Lord Spencer was also an aristocrat with a keen hobby in art collecting.[excerpt 1] He had a vision to remake the world and lead it into a new era, seeing the world's current state as self-destructive. He intended to use the research of Bio Organic Weapons to carry out his vision and mould a utopia for mankind with himself as its ruler.[1]


Early life


The Spencer coat of arms.

Spencer was born into the prestigious Spencer family, considered for generations to be among the European elite.[2] Growing up in the family castle, overlooking a cliff against a European coastline, the young heir to the Spencer fortune was given a wide-ranging education, studying the classics, Early Modern humanist treatise, and kept up to date with the 20th century eugenics movement. Among his personal interests was reading the Natural History Conspectus, a rare late Victorian encyclopaedia which comprised British explorer Henry Travis' thirty-four year trek through Africa.[3]

Reaching adulthood, Spencer entered a prestigious university where he became close friends with, among others, James Marcus and Edward Ashford, heir to the equally prestigious Ashford family.[2] The three studied the emerging field of virology, and formed a eugenics circle with at least two other ennobled virologists, Lord Beardsley and Henry, a French comte. Marcus and Ashford would frequently join Spencer at his family castle, which he would shortly inherit.

Spencer Labyrinth photograph

Lord Spencer, photographed in front of a statue in the Ndipaya Labyrinth.

At the start of 1966, Spencer became engrossed once more in the Natural History Conspectus, having recalled an account about the Ndipaya, a West African tribe of skilled engineers who's rituals surrounded a magical flower which granted great power to those who could survive its poison.[4] While Spencer was initially treated with appropriate scepticism due to allegations of yellow journalism on behalf of Travis, Marcus would hypothesis that a retrovirus could be naturally produced by the flower and mutate the consumer.[5] This virus would theoretically hold great promise in eugenics, interesting the circle. While Spencer's involvement is uncertain, Marcus did in fact travel to West Africa on a several month search for the Ndipaya, and returned by February 1967 with proof of the virus' existence.[5]

Founding of Umbrella

Despite their combined wealth, the level of research needed to investigate the virus could not be undertaken in private hands, and they were unwilling to reveal their findings to universities. Soon after Marcus' return to the United States with confirmation of the virus' existence - dubbed Progenitor - Spencer founded Umbrella Pharmaceuticals as a means of procuring investment.[5] Following the discovery that the Stairway of the Sun flowers would only produce the virus when exposed to certain environmental conditions, rare viral samples had to be shipped to the United States for research. Infection from the virus was almost certainly to cause a test-subject's death, requiring Umbrella to develop a modified Progenitor strain that would grant as many of the effects experienced by the ancient Ndipaya kings as possible.

Mansion front

A mansion mimicking his family home lay above Spencer's Arklay Laboratory.

In the first year of Umbrella's founding, Spencer saw the completion of his first private laboratory in the United States, hidden beneath a mansion high up in the Arklay Mountains. Located distant from human settlements, the paranoid Spencer was content in his new employees continuing the work. The mansion itself was designed by the famous New York architect, George Trevor, who was known for his elaborate and surreal designs. Rather than for show, this was all a means of deception on Spencer's part. To celebrate the completion of the mansion, in October 1967 Trevor, his wife Jessica and daughter Lisa were invited to the mansion as his guests. Jessica and Lisa were taken into custody and used for Progenitor research, with Jessica being murdered and Lisa mutating to develop physical strength beyond that of a fourteen year old girl. George Trevor himself was drugged and locked into the mansion; forced to escape through the very maze he designed, he fell into one of his own traps and died of starvation, silencing him forever.

Also beginning in the 1960s, Spencer worked with a fellow eugenicist, Dr. Wesker, in the "Wesker Project". Having decided that creating a race of Ubermensch was counterproductive if they were of poor moral character, Spencer arranged for more than a hundred children of accomplished families abducted and raised by his whim. Given the finest education money could buy, Spencer hoped they would spread out into many industries, including Umbrella. In the future, upon Progenitor's completion, the best of these candidates were expected to be infected.

Securing of power

By 1968, Spencer was becoming ever more paranoid, including of his friends. To procure more funding for their eugenics project, Umbrella entered a secret agreement with the United States military to produce biological weaponry, and began further projects to create mutant virus strains for military use. The Umbrella founders each led research separately on what they dubbed the "t-Virus Project". Spencer ran the company, leaving research to underlings at the Arklay Laboratory and his friend Lord Beardsley, Marcus would perform research while serving as rector of the nearby executive training school, and Ashford and his son Alexander would self-finance their work at their European home.

The first victim of this paranoia was Lord Ashford himself, who would die from exposure to his primitive t-Virus strain. His son, Alexander, inherited his laboratory but his genetics doctorate proved useless. The second was Bailey. Though not killed, Spencer and Marcus mutually insisted he remain in Africa to send more Progenitor samples and, even after the means of artificial cultivation was achieved, remained there for years to come.[6] Having discovered Marcus' obsession with experimenting on children sent to his school as executive candidates, Spencer likely played a role in its shut-down in 1978 and movement of the surviving students to other facilities. In 1988, Marcus would be assassinated by the Umbrella Security Service, with two of his former students harvesting his research on behalf of the Arklay Laboratory.

Spencer at Sonido Tortuga Island

Spencer and his associates at Sonido de Tortuga Island.

Research continued at Umbrella in the 1990s, with the creation of a new laboratory on Sonido de Tortuga Island, which he personally attended the opening of.[7] This lab was used by Dr. Alex Wesker for her own research. In 1991, Dr. Birkin was given praise for his research into a newly-discovered mutant virus dubbed "Golgotha", which could induce beneficial mutation to infected humans to make them superior. Intrigued by his research, a new laboratory was commissioned beneath Raccoon City's industrial district to specialise in G-Virus research. Spencer's decision proved to be somewhat controversial, with other researchers having derided its usefulness.

Raccoon City Destruction Incident

In May 1998 the Arklay Laboratory was sabotaged by one of Dr. Marcus' creations, Queen Leech. Its entire staff either killed or infected, and escaped B.O.W.s drew national attention in their killings of out-of-state hikers. As part of the X-Day contingency, Albert Wesker sent out two elite law enforcement teams to the laboratory to assist in his recovery of important B.O.W. research data before destroying the lab and killing them; Spencer's right-hand man Colonel Sergei Vladimir was also sent in personally for the task of recovering an experimental Tyrant and Umbrella's U.M.F.-013 supercomputer. While Vladimir was successful, Wesker chose to fake his death and hand the data over to a rival company, and several S.T.A.R.S. members escaped intent on beginning a police investigation.

In the immediate fallout, an executive named Morpheus D. Duvall was scapegoated for the containment failure, and later began a bioterror plot to steal viral samples in vengeance. Publicly, the so-called "mansion incident" did not harm Umbrella thanks to its influence over the local Raccoon City media, police and local government. However, a combination of this incident; Wesker's departure, and Spencer's refusal to allow promotion to his tight circle of executives led to Dr. Birkin dumping the t-Virus around Raccoon City to neutralise other Umbrella facilities in preparation for handing over the G-Virus to the US military, who were intent on starting their own bioweapons project and end support for Umbrella. An ambush by the Umbrella Security Services, an organization under Spencer's command, accidentally led to the t-Virus being released into the water supply through infected rats. Over the next week the city collapsed into anarchy as thousands of infected took part in cannibalistic murders.

Aware Raccoon City was doomed and the company no longer capable of lobbying against a Senate committee influenced by Derek C. Simmons, Spencer ordered Colonel Sergei Vladimir to recover the U.M.F.-013 from Raccoon City and take it to a safe location. On October 1, 1998, Spencer awoke to news of the US President's ordering of a bombing on the city. Soon after this, the US Congress voted in an act to liquidate Umbrella USA, and the actual corporation suffered a ban of business in the country. Expecting Umbrella to fail, Spencer assembled expert lawyers; fake witnesses, and bribes during the Raccoon Trials to divert all responsibility for deaths towards the US government. Unwilling to acknowledge their breaching of international law to obtain bioweaponry or even acknowledge B.O.W.s in general, the US government remained in a stalemate with Umbrella. This stalemate ended in early 2003, when Albert Wesker leaked excerpts of the recovered U.M.F.-013 data to the court. Umbrella was found liable for damages and was made bankrupt. An international arrest warrant was filed by both the United States and Russian Federation on Spencer, who quickly went into hiding.

Life as an outlaw

"When one buries a treasure, one should not leave behind a map..."
— Excerpt from a journal entry regarding Spencer's plan to eliminate executives.
"Alex has disappeared! I would be less concerned if that were the only regrettable report from the island.... And most importantly, all the research materials including the final virus that was to make me a god cannot be located! I have been betrayed!... I should have learned from my mistakes with Albert!"
Spencer's Memoirs 4
Spencer estate painting

Spencer Estate, the spot that served as Oswell's hideout after the fall of Umbrella.

Intent on establishing a future successor to Umbrella, Spencer became obsessive in maintaining what little order he had left. Right after the Raccoon City bombing, he had already ordered a purge of the senior executive staff to prevent the United States from learning of Progenitor. For the next three years he remained in his European castle, seen only by his loyalist bodyguards and his butler, Patrick. Intent on surviving long enough to see the rebirth of his organization, Spencer ordered Alex Wesker to begin research into a mutagenic virus capable of restoring his youth.[8] However, Alex betrayed him and disappeared after the project's success, taking the results, her researchers, subordinates, and the virus itself to Sushestovanie Island in the Baltic Sea.


"I was to become a god! Creating a new world with an advanced race of human beings. However, all was lost with Raccoon City. Despite that setback... your creation still holds great significance. Now, my candle burns dimly. Ironic isn't it? For someone who has the right to be a god... to face his own mortality?"
— Spencer's final words to Wesker
20160803151319 2

Spencer tells Wesker of his origins.

By 2006, Spencer was close to death, spending most of his days sat in his study and lacking the strength to eat solid foods.[2] Sensing that his death was inevitable, Spencer had Patrick send for Albert Wesker through an associate. Patrick paid Ricardo Irving handsomely to guarantee that Wesker would know where to meet Spencer. Following this, Patrick was dismissed from his services.[9] In August 2006, Wesker entered the castle and brutally murdered Spencer's guards before heading into Spencer's private office. In their meeting, Spencer detailed the information on the Wesker Project and Albert's intentional infection with a variation of the Progenitor Virus in 1998 to become one of his supermen.

Spencer dead

Spencer's death.

Wesker was disinterested in Spencer's vision of being a god over mankind with his race of supermen. While not expecting Spencer to be much competition to his own goals, Wesker nevertheless decided to tie Spencer up as a loose end. To that end, he brutally killed Spencer by knife-handing him through the chest. He proclaimed that Spencer was not capable of being a god and as such did not have the right to aspire to such a goal.


  1. Excerpt from BIOHAZARD CODE: Veronica Kanzenban Kaitai Shinsho, page 222:
    貴族仲間であるエドワード・アシュフォードらとともに始祖ウイルスを発見し、 その研究を擬装するため製薬会社アンブレラを設立した。
    世界的な富豪で、 美術品収集を趣味とする。"
  1. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Albert Wesker".
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Patrick's Memoirs 1".
  3. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Tricell".
  4. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "Ndipaya Tribe".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 1".
  6. Resident Evil 5 (2009), file: "From Chief Researcher Brandon's Journal - No. 2".
  7. BIOHAZARD heavenly island, "Episode 8: Tatakai".
  8. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Spencer's Memoirs 1".
  9. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010), file: "Patrick's Memoirs 3".
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