Here is part two-------Nothing like the weather of November for a great
plot and chase through the soggy countryside....
Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot part two.....
In the last part of our tale we find Guy Fawkes the brave Yorkshire man
miner and sapper soldier being questioned by the King having been
interrupted in his
work of blowing up Parliament....The others are rushing north to the
Midlands and preparing to capture members of the royal family or rescue
Catholic friends and relatives from the explosion.
Fawkes under questioning :no more dismayed-nay,scarce any more
troubled-than if he were taken for a poor robbery on the highway-Cecil
One must imagine the meeting of James the king with Fawkes and the
remembrance of his own fathers assassination by gunpowder at Kirk o Field.
Christopher White was wandering about the Strand before 5 in the morning
of Nov. 5.
White heard the commotion and that the matter was discovered. He went and
found Winter at the Duck and Drake at about 5 A.M. John Lepton Groom of
the Privy Chamber was already on horseback riding in Search of Percy. But
he was riding north while Percy
slept at the Red Lion. Wright wakes Percy muttering I am undone he
climbs onto his
horse. Percy and Wright ride out of London toward Dunchurch and the
planned rising. Meanwhile Rookwood and Keys were warned as they stayed
at Mrs. Moores house near Temple Bar. The two rode on together. Winter
himself goes to the gates of Parliament and can not pass and is informed
that the plot has been discovered. Satisfied that all was known he too
rode into the country. On the road north the conspirators meet up with
one another. Catesbys horse throws a shoe and needs to have a new one
others are recognized
through their servants. They all met at Brickhill and rode on together.
Cloakes were thrown into the hedge to improve speed. Those in the
countryside already had formed the hunting party and were waiting for
word. On six OClock on a foul November evening the conspirators paused at
the estate of Ashby St. Ledgers. I servant was sent to the house
with the news for Robert Winter from the assembled group waiting outside
in the rain.
Winter joins the party on the way to the Inn at Dunchurch on Dunsmore
Heath. Digby and the hunting party waited following dinner with mulled
ale-when the six wet and bedraggled men arrived. Catesby tells Digby a
lie- that James and Cecil had been killed- the revolt
must go on. The Littletons will raise a thousand men . Digby tells
those in his party who had not yet learned of the true reason for the
hunt. He was met by disgust from his own
uncle- who stated that treason and murder of the king would set the
Catholic Cause back
forever. The others also doubted and deserted the plot. The band of
conspirators left Dunchurch with only about 50 horse a straggling group.
The servants merrymaking just before in the kitchen were shocked that
their masters were perpetrating treason. As the servants rode on with
their masters doubt entered and they slipped away from them into the
Meanwhile in London a mob was at the gates of the residence of the
Spanish Ambassador. Throughout the night and into the next day the
citizens were kept under arms. There were concerned about the newly
negotiated peace with Spain and the ambassador was given
special protection. A proclamation for the arrest of Thomas Percy from
the king was posted. Lepton continues his search but ends up in
Scotland. Fawkes was in the tower undergoing the first of six
examinations. No torture yet but it was to come. He revealed nothing. A
priest was found at Percys house- Father John Roberts. London was busy
looking in several places for Percy-not yet widening the search to locate
At midnight the conspirators-Digby,Catesby, Robert Winter, Rookwood and
the Writes were on their way to Warick. New horses were needed. At
Warick Castle a break in to
steal horses was contemplated. Robert Winter expresses doubt- Catesby
What! Hast thou any hope, Robin? I assure thee there is none that knoweth
of this action but shall perish. They were in trouble enough why not add
horse stealing to the list?
Winter remains but Rookwood with a fresh horse (having been
pre-positioned) rides to warn John Grant. Leaving servants and pack
horses outside the city gates Catesby and the others go to the stables of
Mr. Benock adjoining the castle. Ten horses were taken before alarm was
given. But two servants were captured and they were identified. From the
servants Conyers and Fowes the Sheriff of Warwickshire learned that the
horses were laden with trunks of arms and ammunition. Cecil is informed
by Benock. The guardians of the Princess Elizabeth at Combe Abbey were
alerted. Catesby and the others catch up with Rookwood at Norbrook the
home of John Grant. Grant had opened the secret cache of arms he had
stored for this day. The weapons were laid out on long tables in the hall.
Digby writes to Father Garnet to convey to him the news.
Bates was sent with the letter to Garnet. Lady Digby received Bates after
Mass in the secret chapel above the gate house at Coughton Court -a
building riddled with secret priests rooms. The letter asked Garnet to
take part and help with the rising in Wales. It was pointed out that: if
he refused to accompany them but let them now perish out of any scruples
and to free himself and his fellow Jesuits from blame, he too would soon
perish, as would all Catholics Tesimond was with Garnet-they both
realized that having the knowledge sub sigillo that they were both
undone. Garnet does not rush to their aid-he
asks that they surrender. Tesimond however left with Bates- Lady Mary
for the first time that her husbands was not an ordinary hunting party
and broke down
to be comforted by Garnet. Lady Digby sends horses to aid her husband.
As the conspirators move toward Huddington Digbys own uncle is assisting
with the rounding up
of prisionrs. The Sherif of Warwickshire estimates the size of the band
to be about 100-
with a bit of exaggeration. Robert Winter refuses Catesbys request to
ask Jon Talbot for the promised thousand men.
Bates and Father Tesimond and Thomas Winter join the band. Tresham stayed
When the Band reached Hindlip Manor near Huddington it found no help
from Thomas Abingdon.After staying the night there Robert Winters priest
Father Nicholas Hart hears the confession of the conspirators and
distributed communion. This was Thursday the 7th of November. The band
rode off toward Wales and Lancashire following Tesimond-a band of less
than forty looking for reinforcements. The nest stop was Hewell Grange
which they plundered for arms and ammunition. The country folk met along
the way in response to Catesbys request replied: we are for King James as
well as for God and country. On Thursday Nov. 7 after a long journey
mored in rainy Novembers cold and mud and without recruits the band ended
up at Holbeach House- they had been trailed by Sherif Walsh High Sheriff
of Worcestershire. They arrived at ten that night.
Meanwhile.....Fawkes was facing more questions....the King requests that:
the gentler tortours are to be first used unto him and by degrees towards
the uttermost and so God speede youre goode worke- of the interrogator
William Wade Lieutenant of the Tower.
Probably after being suspended by his thumbs Fawkes was beginning to
crack but only was just revealing his oath not to tell. More torture
would come on the 7th. But still no information other than his true name
At Holbeach House the conspirators had two suicidal choices. To run and
be immediately captured or to fight it out. Sheriff Walsh had raised a
significant posse of several hundred.
Grasping at straws Thomas Winter trys other friends but none come.
Preparations to defend the house get under way. Damp gunpowder wet from
the ride is spread out in the
great hall to dry---but a little close to the fire.....The powder was
spread on a tray....
near another great bag of powder....a spark from the coal fire ignited
the powder and
-John Grant had his eyes burnt out and face disfigured--the big bag of
powder is not ignited but is blown through the roof to land in the
courtyard (a bit of an exaggeration)
Catesby and Rookwood were injured. Winter and Littleton were met with
this news on their way back. Winter thought Catesby to be dead and
went on to bury the body of his friend- . Thomas Winter- surprised finds
Catesby alive when he returns to the house.
All are in prayer- we mean here to die they said. Christopher Wright
tosses money out a window to Bates who is to take it to his wife. Robert
Winter shaken has a wild dream of.....steeples awry ,and within those
churches strange and unknown faces... He leaves with Littleton-these two
are the last to be captured. John Winter left and was captured the next
day. To seek help Digby leaves-only to be surrounded and captured in a
It was now the 8th of November a Friday. At 11:00 or around noon the
house was stormed. Thomas Winter was hit and lost the use of one arm.
Next the elder Wright was shot dead then the younger Wright and then
Rokewood. Percy was shot together with Catesby with one bullet and
Winter beaten and captured. Accounts vary but there was considerable
chaos after the shoot out with locals tearing off the clothing of the
victims and arguments over horses. The event has evoked significant
drama:Mr Catesby being fallen onto the ground as they say, went upon his
knees into the house and there got a picture of f our Blessed Lady in his
arms and so embracing and kissing the same he died-Gerard.
Catesby also is said to dramatically have taken a gold cross from his
neck and raised it up
to swear that it all was for the honor of the cross. But then the
marksmen shot both men dead with the same bullet. There is also
significant doubt that all who eventually died as
a result of the incident died as a result of wounds received during the
At the same time as the shoot out Fawkes was being described as most
stubborn and perverse humor as dogged as if he were possessed-Coke.
After exposure though to Wades less gentler toys perhaps the rack Fawkes
cracked on November the 8th in the torture chamber deep under the tower.
With the exception of Percy he still gave no names but revealed only the
events of the plot. On the 9th names were revealed including those of the
Jesuits.Again on the 10th after more torture he finally provided all the
information the state required. It was not until the 16th that he could
be examined again due to injuries inflicted.
On Nov. 16 the Sheriff of Staffordshire is ordered to exhume the bodies
of Catesby,Percy, the Two Wrights and others and that the bodies be
bowlled and quarters set up in principal towns where they most led their
lives and the heads of Percy and Catesby also to be sent up to London. At
the cost of 23s 6d for ironwork the heads of Catesby and Percy were
exhibited on the ramparts of Parliament House.
Keys was captured on November 9. Bates never carried out his mission and
was captured on Nov. 12. The plot provided the government with reason
to arrest many. Anne Vaux remained free until the government had caught
up with Garnet. Tresham was also not arrested until the 12th although his
connection with the plot was well known from the start
and he had lived openly in London.
Winter and Lyttleton remained at large until Thursday Jan 9 1606 when
after hiding in
the hay in a barn they were discovered and captured-after a chase.
On the 27th of January 1606 the first prisoners were hanged at Worcester
jail- John Perckes and Thomas Burford. Others were to follow- None survived.
That is another story as is the dramatic smoking out of the priests from
their holes at Hindlip house and the trial of those accused......
For Details See:
Paul Durst,Intended Treason., W.Allen, London 1970.
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