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The plotters recruit Guido Fawkes, an explosives expert.
The plot is hindered
Rent a house near to Houses of Parliament and start tunnelling.
Water leaks in from the River Thames
Walls of the House of Lords could not be penetrated.
A change of fortune
State Opening of Parliament postponed until 5 th November 1605
Cellar room becomes available for rent.
The plan takes shape
36 barrels of gunpowder moved to the cellar and hidden behind firewood.
Guy Fawkes left in charge of guarding it.
Who sent the warning?
Lord Monteagle, an MP – and cousin of Francis Tresham – receives a letter, warning him to not attend the State Opening of Parliament.
Monteagle shows letter to Robert Cecil who, in turn, shows it to the King.
4 th November 1605
King orders search of the cellars.
‘ John Johnson’ found with pile of wood.
2 nd search - gunpowder is found.
Johnson is arrested and taken to the Tower.
Torture in the Tower
Johnson confesses to being Guy Fawkes.
After four days of torture he confesses to the Plot.
The other plotters
Meanwhile, the other plotters had been hiding in a house in the Midlands.
Soldiers surround the house.
Catesby, Percy & Winter brothers are shot dead.
Remaining plotters taken to the Tower.
Tried, and found guilty of High Treason.
Plotters hanged, drawn and quartered for their crimes.
How do we test if a source can be trusted or not?
We use the TANK system.
T ime – When was it written?
A uthor – Who wrote it and why?
N ature – What kind of source is it?
K nowledge – Does it match up with what I already know about this?
The Picture of the Gunpowder Plotters: Ev idence for the Gunpowder Plot?
Is this image evidence of plotting?
What does this evidence tell us?
My Lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation. Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise some escape, to shift your attendance at this parliament. For God and man have concurred to punish the wickedness of this time and think not slightly of this advertisement but retire yourself into your country where you may espy of the event in safety. For though there be no appearance of any stir yet I say they shall receive a terrible blow this parliament and yet they shall not see who hurts them. This counsel is not to be continued because it may do you good and can do you no harm for the danger is passed as soon as you have burned the letter and I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it to whose holy protection I commend you. To the right honourable the Lord Monteagle
The plotters bought 36 barrels of gunpowder, yet the only place you could buy gunpowder was from the government, under Lord Cecil.
The records of the Tower of London, showing who bought gunpowder in 1604, were mysteriously destroyed. The only people who had access to the records were Cecil’s men.
The plotters stored the gunpowder in barrels in a house next to Parliament. The plotters were allowed to use the house by its owner, who happened to be a friend of Lord Cecil.
The Government had the plotters followed all the time and always knew where they were. Catesby had been in trouble before and Lord Cecil employed many spies and informers.
Lord Monteagle was tipped off by one of the plotters (Francis Tresham) on 27 th October. Yet the Government did not do anything about it until 4 th /5 th November.
One of the plotters, Francis Tresham, was not arrested straight after the plot was found out. Some people claim to have seen him with Cecil. Francis Tresham was the man who tipped off Lord Monteagle.
Much later on Tresham was imprisoned in the Tower of London where he died. No-one knows how he died.
? What might have happened?
Guy Fawkes followed Catesby’s order – he was guilty.
Guy Fawkes was framed by Cecil, who hated Catholics. He was really innocent.
Guy Fawkes was hired by Catesby. Cecil found out about the plot early on, but let it go on till the last minute for his own reasons. Fawkes was guilty, but he was trapped and used by Cecil.
What were the motives of key people in this story?
He wanted to make England Catholic again. He had been mixed up in plots (1601) before and had been a friend of one of Cecil’s old enemies, the Earl of Essex.
Once the king had been blown up, his young children, Elizabeth and Charles, who were staying in the Midlands at the time, would be taken hostage by the plotters. Rokewood and Digby, who lived nearby were to organise this kidnapping.
The plotters would now control the government and could make England Catholic again.
A Catholic ruler - the King of France or the King of Spain - could easily invade England during the confusion that would follow the king’s death. This could also lead to England being Catholic again.
Guy Fawkes was a Catholic from Yorkshire who had gained his knowledge of explosives as a soldier. He had fought for the Spanish army in Holland against the Protestant Dutch.
He was brought into the plot as an explosives expert, but was glad to do it as he also hoped it would make England a Catholic country again.
Even after he was tortured, he was still proud to have been involved in the plot to kill the king.
James disliked anyone with extreme religious views. He preferred to let people follow their own religious beliefs as long as they did not threaten him as king.
When he became king (1603) he did not want to treat the Catholics in England as harshly as Queen Elizabeth I had.
He was certain that he always knew best. He insisted that he was king by ‘divine right’ – God had chosen him to be the King of England and Scotland. He considered kings to be very special people. No one should dare to challenge their power. It was like challenging God himself.
He was horrified that Guy Fawkes did not regret trying to kill his own king.
Lord Robert Cecil
Cecil had been Queen Elizabeth’s chief minister in the last 10 years of her reign. England was at war with Catholic Spain at the same time, so Cecil had become very suspicious of all Catholics in England. As a result, he used his many spies and informers to watch known troublemakers.
He had made sure that two of his old enemies, the Earl of Essex (a friend of Catesby) and Sir Walter Raleigh, had been arrested (in 1601 and 1603) when they were suspected of treason.
He was worried that King James was not suspicious enough of the Catholics in England. He thought that the king did not see them as a danger to England. Cecil was sure that they were – he believed they were loyal to the Pope, not the King.
Set the scene - What was the Gunpowder Plot?
Paragraph 1 - What evidence is there that the plotters were guilty?
Paragraph 2 – What evidence is there that the plotters were framed by
Cecil, who hated Catholics, even though they might have been innocent?
Paragraph 3 – What evidence is there that the plotters were guilty, but that the plotters were used by Cecil for his own reasons?
Answer the question – Were the plotters framed? Explain why you have reached your conclusion.
More about Catesby, Fawkes, Cecil and the Reign of James I England had been at war with Catholic Spain from 1585 to 1604. The Spanish Armada had tried to invade England in 1588. The Spanish had also tried to help Catholic rebels in Ireland in the 1590s. When James became king he made peace with Spain immediately (1604). King James was certain that he always knew best. He constantly reminded those around him that he was king by ‘divine right’ – God had chosen him to be King of England and Scotland. He considered kings to be very special people. Guy Fawkes had gained his knowledge of explosives as a soldier. He had fought for the Spanish army in Holland against the Protestant Dutch. Robert Catesby had been involved in a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. It had been led by the Earl of Essex in 1601. Essex had been Cecil’s main rival at the Queen’s court. He was executed for treason after his rebellion. James I had already faced another plot against him in 1603. Sir Walter Raleigh, a former friend of the Earl of Essex and a rival of Cecil’s had been accused of plotting against the king. There was very little evidence against him, but he had been imprisoned in the Tower of London anyway. James wanted to be on good terms with powerful Catholic countries like Spain & France. He even tried to arrange a marriage with a Spanish princess for his son, Charles (1623). Cecil had been Queen Elizabeth’s chief minister in the last 10 years of her reign. Persecution of Catholics was at its height at that point. It was thanks to Cecil that James took over the throne of England without any difficulty when Elizabeth died. Cecil was then chief minister to James I from 1603 to 1612. James disliked anyone with extreme religious views. Extreme Protestants (Puritans) upset him as much as Catholics. In 1620, to escape persecution in England some Puritans even made the dangerous journey to America, to make a new life there. James wrote several books. One was called Demonology (1597). He explained how people should be on their guard at all times against secret evil schemes, especially those of witches. James was quite a vain man. After 1607 he tended to reward his ‘favourites’ at court generously. These included Robert Carr and the Duke of Buckingham. As a result Cecil’s advice was often ignored by the king in the years up to Cecil’s death in 1612.