8 Nov: Mastermind of the Gunpowder Plot

Guy Fawkes has gone down in history as the most-remembered figure from the thwarted 17th century plot to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I. But the ringleader of this attempted terror attack was actually Warwickshireman Robert Catesby, who was shot and killed in Staffordshire on 8th November, 1605.

This Catholic extremist, who had seen his father imprisoned for practicing his religion and sheltering priests, supposedly died clutching a portrait of the Virgin Mary. He was then decapitated; his head brought back to London to be placed on the side of Parliament House. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly dabble in a bit of recusancy; explore the considerable repression that English Catholics were living with during this period; and consider how Catesby used his class and charm to coalesce his group of co-conspirators into the gunpowder plot that very nearly exploded the government… 

Further Reading:

‘Robert Catesby, by Marilee Hanson’ (English History, 2022): https://englishhistory.net/stuarts/robert-catesby/

• ‘A History of Treason: The bloody history of Britain through the stories of its most notorious traitors’ (The National Archives / John Blake Publishing, 2022): https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=p9SUEAAAQBAJ&newbks=0&printsec=frontcover&pg=PT168&dq=8th+november+catesby&hl=en&source=newbks_fb&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

• ‘Gunpowder Plot – Stories from Parliament’ (UK Parliament, 2013):

#1600s #Catholic #UK #Crime #Politics