Historical Reprints History What Was the Gunpowder Plot?

What Was the Gunpowder Plot?

What Was the Gunpowder Plot?
Catalog # SKU3338
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name John Gerard
ISBN 10: 1610336852
ISBN 13: 9781610336857


What Was the
Gunpowder Plot?

The Traditional Story
Tested By
Original Evidence

John Gerard

THE following study of the Gunpowder Plot has grown out of the accidental circumstance that, having undertaken to read a paper before the Historical Research Society. I was asked to take the famous conspiracy for my subject. It was with much reluctance that I agreed to do so, believing, as I then did, that there was absolutely nothing fresh to say upon this topic, that no incident in our annals had been more thoroughly threshed out, and that in regard of none, so far, at least, as its broader outlines are concerned, was the truth more clearly established.

Large Print, 15 point font



ON the morning of Tuesday, the 5th of November, 1605, which day was appointed for the opening of a new Parliamentary session, London rang with the news that in the course of the night a diabolical plot had been discovered, by which the king and legislature were to have been destroyed at a blow. In a chamber beneath the House of Lords had been found a great quantity of gunpowder, and with it a man, calling himself John Johnson, who, finding that the game was up, fully acknowledged his intention to have fired the magazine while the royal speech was being delivered, according to custom, overhead, and so to have blown King, Lords, and Commons into the air. At the same time, he doggedly refused to say who were his accomplices, or whether he had any.

This is the earliest point at which the story of the Gunpowder Plot can be taken up with any certainty. Of what followed, at least as to the main outlines, we are sufficiently well informed. Johnson, whose true name was presently found to be Guy, or Guido, Faukes,3 proved, it is true, a most obstinate and unsatisfactory witness, and obstinately refused to give any evidence which might incriminate others. But the actions of his confederates quickly supplied the information which he withheld. It was known that the "cellar" in which the powder was found, as well as a house adjacent, had been hired in the name of one Thomas Percy, a Catholic gentleman, perhaps a kinsman, and certainly a dependent, of the Earl of Northumberland.

It was now discovered that he and others of his acquaintance had fled from London on the previous day, upon receipt of intelligence that the plot seemed at least to be suspected. Not many hours later the fugitives were heard of in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire, the native counties of several amongst them, attempting to rally others to their desperate fortunes, and to levy war against the crown. For this purpose they forcibly seized cavalry horses4 at Warwick, and arms at Whewell Grange, a seat of Lord Windsor's. These violent proceedings having raised the country behind them, they were pursued by the sheriffs with what forces could be got together, and finally brought to bay at Holbeche, in Staffordshire, the residence of one Stephen Littleton, a Catholic gentleman.

There proved to have been thirteen men in all who had undoubtedly been participators in the treason. Of these Faukes, as we have seen, was already in the hands of justice. Another, Francis Tresham, had not fled with his associates, but remained quietly, and without attempting concealment, in London, even going to the council and offering them his services; after a week he was taken into custody. The eleven who either betook themselves to the country, or were already there, awaiting the issue of the enterprise, and prepared to co-operate in the rising which was to be its sequel, were Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, Robert and Thomas Winter, John and Christopher Wright, John Grant, Robert Keyes, Ambrose Rokewood, Sir Everard Digby,and Thomas Bates. All were Catholics, and all, with the exception of Bates, Catesby's servant, were "gentlemen of blood and name," some of them, notably Robert Winter, Rokewood, Digby, and Tresham, being men of ample fortune.

236 pages - 8½ x 11softcover
ISBN-10: 1610336852
ISBN-13: 9781610336857

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