In May 1604 Robert Catesby rented rooms adjacent to the House of Lords and, along with over a dozen conspirators, instigated a plot to kill James I and replace him on the throne with Elizabeth, James’ nine year old daughter. One of the conspirators was Guido Fawkes, an explosives expert.
The conspirators learned that the lease on a cellar under the House of Lords was up and they duly acquired it. By March 1605 gunpowder stored in barrels had been placed in the cellar and the conspirators dispersed, arranging to meet up again when parliament reopened in November.
Unfortunately for the conspirators one of their number, Sir Francis Tresham, wrote to his brother-in-law warning him not to attend the opening of parliament. That letter was passed on to Robert Cecil, Secretary of State, and at midnight on Tuesday the 5th November 1605 a party of armed men found Guido Fawkes guarding twenty barrels of gunpowder.
Robert Catesby was shot while evading capture. The other conspirators were arrested and, on the 30 and 31 January 1606, were hanged, drawn and quartered. However, Guido Fawkes escaped being drawn and quartered alive because he jumped from the gallows, breaking his neck.
Mansel Jones has been researching and writing about medieval history for the past forty years. He is an acknowledged expert in his field and academics and universities seek his views. He is the author of A History of Kenfig, Pendragon and Tangwstyl. You can discover more about Mansel here: www.amazon.co.uk/Mansel-Jones/e/B0044RKLZO
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