His elder sister, Princess Elizabeth, would make a more malleable puppet queen, better suited to their purposes. Then a new opportunity unexpectedly arose. The chamber was part of the warren of medieval kitchen buildings of the original palace of Westminster, abandoned as a royal residence after a fire in Renting the chamber, they could stack the gunpowder directly under the House of Lords.
They broke off for the summer but Catesby, the paymaster for the whole venture, was running short of cash. Three wealthy catholic gentlemen — Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby, and Francis Tresham — were indicted into the inner circle, although Tresham was agitated on hearing what was planned. On 3 October Parliament was prorogued again until 5 November. The Plot Foiled By late October the plotters were back in London and everything seemed to be in place. However, on 26 October , just as four of the leading lords of the privy council — the earls of Salisbury, Suffolk, Northampton and Worcester — were sitting down to supper at Whitehall, a letter was brought in to them by Lord Monteagle.
A former catholic and follower of Essex, Monteagle had been helped out of trouble in by Robert Cecil, later earl of Salisbury.
In public, Monteagle emphasised his new-found protestantism, but he was still intimately linked to catholic circles by marriage. By summer Lord Salisbury was already receiving disturbing rumours of a possible catholic conspiracy, but as yet he had little specific information.
Once again, the information was hardly specific. The privy councillors agreed that no immediate action should be taken until the king returned from his hunting: he would be safer in the country, away from Westminster.
On Friday 1 November, Salisbury showed the king the Monteagle letter. They decided that Lord Chamberlain Suffolk, whose task was to prepare the palace of Westminster for the parliament, should search the areas near the meeting places of the Lords and the Commons. Meanwhile Catesby learned of the letter delivered to Salisbury. Fearing they were betrayed, he sent Fawkes to check the rented chamber, but he reported that nothing had been touched. Both Catesby and Tom Wintour suspected Francis Tresham of betraying them, but he swore his innocence.
Thomas Percy agreed with Catesby that they should see their plan through. He did not warn his kinsman to stay away from the state opening. Later the same day, Fawkes went to the vault with a slow match and a watch given him by Percy to check the time. Astonishingly, Lord Chamberlain Suffolk, making his rounds of the palace accompanied by Monteagle among others, encountered Fawkes, whom he took to be some sort of servant.
On their return to court, Monteagle expressed surprise that Thomas Percy should be renting a vault in Westminster when he had his own house in London. He commented that Percy was a catholic, perhaps even the author of the anonymous warning letter, since he and Monteagle had been friends.
The king then ordered a further search of the cellars and undercrofts of the old palace, this time undertaken by Sir Thomas Knyvet. To avoid raising any alert, it was given out that they were looking for hangings missing from the stores.
About midnight on 4 November they reached Fawkes in the vault, booted and fully clothed. Knyvet had him arrested, and his men found the gunpowder, packed in 36 barrels, under the wood pile.
Fawkes gave his name as John Johnson, a servant of Thomas Percy. The plan was that on the morning of Tuesday 5 November, Fawkes would light the length of slow match as soon as the king came into the Lords presumably on hearing the noise overhead and get away across the Thames before the explosion. Meanwhile Sir Everard Digby and his servants waited at the Red Lion inn in Dunchurch, under the guise of a hunting party.
But little of this had been fully worked out. The other huntsmen melted away, refusing to involve themselves in the conspiracy. The ringleaders were not ready to give in. No new supporters joined them and other recusants had refused them assistance. On 7 November they reached Holbeach House in Staffordshire. Worn out by strain, fear and their hours of riding, they carelessly spread out before the fire some damp gunpowder taken from one of the houses in which they had sheltered.
It exploded, burning Catesby and Rookwood and blinding John Grant. They already knew that they were being followed by government forces, and the explosion convinced them that they had lost their great gamble — even that God had abandoned them, turning their own gunpowder plot against them. Jack Wright suggested to Catesby that they should blow themselves up with the remaining gunpowder. Tom Wintour, who had been out of the house trying in vain to raise some catholic help, asked on his return what they would do.
The following morning the sheriff of Worcestershire with at least men arrived outside Holbeach. In the shootout, the Wright brothers were killed. Thomas Percy and Robert Catesby were brought down by one shot which passed through both of them. From beginning to end, the plot was all the work of Catesby. Courageous, affluent and ruthless, he had brought the others in and exercised a compelling hold over them.
Although Catesby paid occasional lip-service to the idea that they should save as many as possible of the crypto-catholic noblemen who would attend the fatal state opening, he despised the men who had offered so little leadership to their beleaguered co-religionists, and never showed the slightest remorse for what he planned to do. Tom Wintour was captured, shot in his right arm and unable to defend himself. Also captured were the injured Ambrose Rookwood and the severely burned John Grant.
They were taken back to London, where others including Digby and Tresham later joined them in the Tower. By 9 November Fawkes had been tortured and given six statements on the conspiracy, each fuller than the last. He reiterated his intense dislike of the Scots, evident on his visit to Spain. James leaped to the conclusion that anti-Scots hatred was at the heart of the plot, rather than his own slipperiness in raising and then dashing catholic hopes.
However, Fawkes and Wintour were the only survivors of the original plotters and their testimony would be vital. The fight at Holbeach saved the government most of the task of hunting down survivors, as well as demonstrating beyond doubt that these were the guilty men. By 9 November the privy council could feel that they were back in control. He also exonerated catholic monarchs abroad. Northumberland was unable to clear himself of suspicion, since the privy council suspected that the plotters intended to use him as Protector, to guide Princess Elizabeth through her minority.
The earl was imprisoned for years in the Tower, although in comfortable quarters. The government was also keen to implicate the catholic priests on the periphery of the plot, and here the confession of Bates proved invaluable. In July , Catesby had suffered a rare spasm of moral unease, revealing something of his plans to Tesimond.
This may have been a government fabrication, as no evidence for the existence of a tunnel was presented by the prosecution, and no trace of one has ever been found. The account of a tunnel comes directly from Thomas Wintour's confession,  and Guy Fawkes did not admit the existence of such a scheme until his fifth interrogation. Logistically, digging a tunnel would have proved extremely difficult, especially as none of the conspirators had any experience of mining.
They ceased their efforts when, during tunnelling, they heard a noise from above. The noise turned out to be the then-tenant's widow, who was clearing out the undercroft directly beneath the House of Lords—the room where the plotters eventually stored the gunpowder.
The additions of Wintour and Wright were obvious choices. Along with a small fortune, Robert Wintour inherited Huddington Court a known refuge for priests near Worcester , and was reputedly a generous and well-liked man. A devout Catholic, he married Gertrude, the daughter of John Talbot of Grafton , a prominent Worcestershire family of recusants. Reputed to be an intelligent, thoughtful man, he sheltered Catholics at his home at Snitterfield , and was another who had been involved in the Essex revolt of The Palace of Westminster in the early 17th century was a warren of buildings clustered around the medieval chambers, chapels, and halls of the former royal palace that housed both Parliament and the various royal law courts.
The old palace was easily accessible; merchants, lawyers, and others lived and worked in the lodgings, shops and taverns within its precincts. Whynniard's building was along a right-angle to the House of Lords, alongside a passageway called Parliament Place, which itself led to Parliament Stairs and the River Thames.
Undercrofts were common features at the time, used to house a variety of materials including food and firewood. Whynniard's undercroft, on the ground floor, was directly beneath the first-floor House of Lords, and may once have been part of the palace's medieval kitchen.
Unused and filthy, its location was ideal for what the group planned to do. The undercroft beneath the House of Lords, as illustrated in Garnet answered that such actions could often be excused, but according to his own account later admonished Catesby during a second meeting in July in Essex, showing him a letter from the pope which forbade rebellion. Soon after, the Jesuit priest Oswald Tesimond told Garnet he had taken Catesby's confession, [i] in the course of which he had learnt of the plot.
Garnet and Catesby met for a third time on 24 July , at the house of the wealthy catholic Anne Vaux in Enfield Chase. He also told Acquaviva that "there is a risk that some private endeavour may commit treason or use force against the King", and urged the pope to issue a public brief against the use of force.
The supply of gunpowder was theoretically controlled by the government, but it was easily obtained from illicit sources. Fawkes left the country for a short time. The King, meanwhile, spent much of the summer away from the city, hunting.
He stayed wherever was convenient, including on occasion at the houses of prominent Catholics. Garnet, convinced that the threat of an uprising had receded, travelled the country on a pilgrimage. More gunpowder was brought into the room, along with firewood to conceal it.
Rookwood was a young man with recusant connections, whose stable of horses at Coldham Hall in Stanningfield , Suffolk was an important factor in his enlistment.
His parents, Robert Rookwood and Dorothea Drury , were wealthy landowners, and had educated their son at a Jesuit school near Calais. Everard Digby was a young man who was generally well liked, and lived at Gayhurst House in Buckinghamshire. He had been knighted by the King in April , and was converted to Catholicism by Gerard. Digby and his wife, Mary Mulshaw , had accompanied the priest on his pilgrimage, and the two men were reportedly close friends.
Digby was asked by Catesby to rent Coughton Court near Alcester. In his confession, Tresham claimed that he had asked Catesby if the plot would damn their souls, to which Catesby had replied it would not, and that the plight of England's Catholics required that it be done.
Its author's identity has never been reliably established, although Francis Tresham has long been a suspect. Monteagle himself has been considered responsible,  as has Salisbury. Fawkes would leave for the continent, to explain events in England to the European Catholic powers. Keyes suggested warning Lord Mordaunt, his wife's employer, to derision from Catesby.
Suddenly a servant appears saying he's been handed a letter for Lord Monteagle from a stranger in the road. Monteagle orders it to be read aloud to the company. 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 excuse to shift your attendance at this parliament; for God and man hath concurred to punish the wickedness of this time. And think not slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your country where you may expect 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 condemned because it may do you good and can do you no harm; for the danger is passed as soon as you have burnt the letter.
And I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it, to whose holy protection I commend you. Monteagle's servant, Thomas Ward, had family connections with the Wright brothers, and sent a message to Catesby about the betrayal.
Catesby, who had been due to go hunting with the King, suspected that Tresham was responsible for the letter, and with Thomas Wintour confronted the recently recruited conspirator. Tresham managed to convince the pair that he had not written the letter, but urged them to abandon the plot.
He therefore elected to wait, to see how events unfolded. Upon reading it, James immediately seized upon the word "blow" and felt that it hinted at "some strategem of fire and powder",  perhaps an explosion exceeding in violence the one that killed his father, Lord Darnley , at Kirk o' Field in On Sunday 3 November Percy, Catesby and Wintour had a final meeting, where Percy told his colleagues that they should "abide the uttermost triall", and reminded them of their ship waiting at anchor on the Thames.
Percy returned to London and assured Wintour, John Wright, and Robert Keyes that they had nothing to be concerned about, and returned to his lodgings on Gray's Inn Road.
Fawkes visited Keyes, and was given a pocket watch left by Percy, to time the fuse, and an hour later Rookwood received several engraved swords from a local cutler. The lantern which Guy Fawkes used during the plot.
Although two accounts of the number of searches and their timing exist, according to the King's version, the first search of the buildings in and around Parliament was made on Monday 4 November—as the plotters were busy making their final preparations—by Suffolk, Monteagle, and John Whynniard. They found a large pile of firewood in the undercroft beneath the House of Lords, accompanied by what they presumed to be a serving man Fawkes , who told them that the firewood belonged to his master, Thomas Percy.
They left to report their findings, at which time Fawkes also left the building. The mention of Percy's name aroused further suspicion as he was already known to the authorities as a Catholic agitator.
The King insisted that a more thorough search be undertaken. Late that night, the search party, headed by Thomas Knyvet , returned to the undercroft. They again found Fawkes, dressed in a cloak and hat, and wearing boots and spurs. He was arrested, whereupon he gave his name as John Johnson. He was carrying a lantern now held in the Ashmolean Museum , Oxford ,  and a search of his person revealed a pocket watch, several slow matches and touchwood. Christopher Wright and Thomas Percy left together.
Reunited, the group continued northwest to Dunchurch , using horses provided by Digby. Keyes went to Mordaunt's house at Drayton. Meanwhile, Thomas Wintour stayed in London, and even went to Westminster to see what was happening. When he realised the plot had been uncovered, he took his horse and made for his sister's house at Norbrook , before continuing to Huddington Court. The plot was to have blown up the King at such time as he should have been set on his Royal Throne, accompanied with all his Children, Nobility and Commoners and assisted with all Bishops, Judges and Doctors; at one instant and blast to have ruin'd the whole State and Kingdom of England.
They then continued on to Dunchurch, and met with Digby. Catesby convinced him that despite the plot's failure, an armed struggle was still a real possibility. He announced to Digby's "hunting party" that the King and Salisbury were dead, before the fugitives moved west to Warwick.
An arrest warrant was issued against Thomas Percy, and his patron, the Earl of Northumberland, was placed under house arrest. A letter to Guy Fawkes was discovered on his person, but he claimed that name was one of his aliases. Far from denying his intentions, "Johnson" stated that it had been his purpose to destroy the King and Parliament.
His unwillingness to yield so impressed the King that he described him as possessing "a Roman resolution". By the evening he had learned the names of several of those involved in the conspiracy: Catesby, Rookwood, Keyes, Wynter [ sic ], John and Christopher Wright, and Grant. On 7 November his resolve was broken; he confessed late that day, and again over the following two days.They decided that Lord Chamberlain Suffolk, whose task was to prepare the palace of Westminster for the parliament, should search the areas near the meeting places of the Lords and the Commons. The chamber was part of the warren of medieval kitchen buildings of the original palace of Westminster, abandoned as a royal residence after a fire in Guy Fawkes also travelled to Spain and in July wrote a memorandum, still in the Spanish archives, which insisted that James was intent on driving all catholics out of England.
Renting the chamber, they could stack the gunpowder directly under the House of Lords. Thomas Wintour — was chosen as the emissary, but the Spanish king, although sympathetic to the plight of Catholics in England, was intent on making peace with James. Writing to Cecil, he expounded his view that blood should never be shed over differences of religious opinion. She was childless and had never proclaimed her heir.
He also told Acquaviva that "there is a risk that some private endeavour may commit treason or use force against the King", and urged the pope to issue a public brief against the use of force.
Housed at Coombe Abbey near Coventry , she lived only ten miles north of Warwick—convenient for the plotters, most of whom lived in the Midlands. He was arrested, whereupon he gave his name as John Johnson. Keyes's family had notable connections; his wife's employer was the Catholic Lord Mordaunt. Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise some excuse to shift your attendance at this parliament; for God and man hath concurred to punish the wickedness of this time. In July , Catesby had suffered a rare spasm of moral unease, revealing something of his plans to Tesimond. Garnet and Catesby met for a third time on 24 July , at the house of the wealthy catholic Anne Vaux in Enfield Chase.
Digby and his wife, Mary Mulshaw , had accompanied the priest on his pilgrimage, and the two men were reportedly close friends. Tasks 1.
Once the King and his Parliament were dead, the plotters intended to install Elizabeth on the English throne as a titular Queen.
They began work again in February , when they also began to discuss how they could get hold of the young Prince Charles and his sister Elizabeth. Once again, the information was hardly specific. Elizabeth gave James an annual pension in and promised that she would not undercut any right or title that he possessed, but she would not go further.