Perhaps the first mention of his
intentions came when Robert Catesby
met with Thomas
Percy, (age 44) a prominent member of the Catholic sub-culture with
powers at court. Enraged by James'
betrayal of Catholics in around June 1603 at Ashby St. Ledgers Percy :
his mind to Mr. Catesby,
saying he would kill the king. But Mr. Catesby
having (as it seemeth) other greater projects in his head said, "No".,Tom,
thou shalt not adventure to small purpose, but if thou wilt be a traitour,
thou shalt be to some great advantage." (Garnet's
Declaration of 9 (8) March 1606, Hat. MSS., vol. 18 p. 73). At this early
made his first direct statement of is intententions: He told Percy:
Blowing up the king and Parliament was first discussed. It is significant that not only was the king to be killed but that to change the Parliament, the institution must now be attacked. Thomas Winter was concerned about logistics and about the way the plot would harm the reputation and safety of Catholics if it failed. Catesby obtained his support by saying: " the nature of the disease required so sharp a remedy". Thomas Winter joined- saying: "In that place(parliament) have they done us all the mischief and perchance God hath designed that place for their punishment". Catesby reassured him that the plan would only be carried out when all peaceful means had failed. Catesby proposed that Winter undertake a mission to the King Philip of Spain via the Constable of Castile who was in Belgium, in (Don Juan de Velasco) the process of negotiating peace with England from a position of considerable weakness.Thomas Winter agreed to this. He had been to the Court of Spain before in 1601. (at that time Catesby had asked him to determine the level of Spanish support for the Infanta's claim for English succession and to find out who English Catholics would be treated thereafter.) He was to convince the negotiators to include as part of the treaty a clause which would force James to revoke the penal laws and restore Catholic citizenship. Winter also was to locate Guy Fawkes, (age 34) known for his skills as a miner. (Catesby had probably learned of Fawkes via Fawke's schoolmate at York Grammar School, Christopher Wright)
With the help of Hugh Owen a prominent organizer of Catholics in exile Winter met the Constable of Castile at Bergen. English spies learned of the mission and the Spanish refused to help. They needed the peace agreement as war with England had depleted their resources. Winter's visit, however, would be proof positive of a political link between the plotters an the antagonistic foreign power. The line between religion and the politics of international affairs had been crossed. However well intended this peaceful move would not be so well received by the English Government. It was treason when viewed from the perspective of English nationalism. After his discouraging meeting with the Constable Winter asked Owen for help in locating Guy Fawkes. The next stop was a meeting with Sir William Stanley, leader of English Catholics in exile. Stanley expressed little hope that the Spaniards would put the treaty at risk on behalf of English Catholics.
Winter let both Stanley and Owen know that there was a
group of Catholics who were determined to fight before they gave in to
the rule of English law. Stanley also provided a good reference for
A meeting was arranged and Winter was impressed by Fawkes.
was told only that "certain friends" would like to meet with
him in England. It took two days for Fawkes
to decide-he would return to England with Winter and visit his mother while
he was at it (his mother needed money). Winter then told him more
of the plot. Guy was interested. On about April 25 1604 they
arrived in England via ship from Dunkirk.
While Winter was still away Catesby made some progress toward locating a house which was close to the Parliament. He found one Near Parliament stairs or Q ueens Bridge. The house was rented by Henry Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire. the owner of the house was keeper of theHis Majesty's wardrobe of the Beds- John Whinniard. The house was either south -west or south-east of the House of Lords but in any case it was directly adjacent to it. From the house a tunnel could be constructed under the House of Lords where powder could be planted. The only trouble was that the place was rented on a long lease.
There would be time following the opening of parliament James's first on the 19 of March 1604. Catesby would have until the opening of the next parliament which would not be until some time in the future-the next time Commons, King and Lords would all be in the building together. James however, could cut this time short by dissolving Parliament and calling a new one.
In April Winter brought Fawkes to England as far as Greenwich by ship then via rowboat to Catesby's lodging. Wright said of the meeting: "I told him good words, but I feared the deeds would not answer" At this point Catesby knew that they were to be dedicated to the plot.
Two weeks later Thomas Percy joined the plot. Percy complained:"Shall we always, gentlemen, talk and never do anything?"Catesby only hinted at what was being planned. He needed to have all swear an oath of secrecy first.
The meeting of the oath occurred about May 13. The site was a house described by Fawkes (9 November, Gunpowder Plot Book, No. 57) as: A house in the fields behind St. Clement Inn". We know that this was the house of the Jesuit priest Father John Gerard who wrote a detailed account in 1606. The house was that belonging to a Mrs. Herbert in Bucher's Row behind St. Clement's Dane church. The room was probably a garret reached by a trap-door . Catesby,Thomas Winter, John Wright, Thomas Percy and Guy Fawkes were present.
Catesby got out a prayer book-"Primer" and each of the men took the following oath:
"You shall swear by the blessed Trinity, and by the Sacrament you now propose to receive, never to disclose directly or indirectly, by word or circumstance, the matter that shall be proposed to you to keep secret, nor desist from the execution thereof until the rest shall give you leave"
They then went to the next room to hear mass and receive
the Sacrament from a priest. (It was said that Gerard
was that priest Gerard
later denied this) After returning to the original room Catesby
told Percy while Winter and John
Wright told Guy Fawkes
of the purpose of the plot.
Guy Fawkes went with Percy to take possession of the house. Fawkes had taken the name of John Johnson, servant to Thomas Percy, Gentleman. (Fawkes was known by name to many who did not know of him personally).
The plotters were then given a break of 9 months.
Plenty of time to dig a tunnel-and better later rather than sooner for
fear of detection in the mean time.- The king adjourned Parliament until
February 7 1605.
There was a bit of hope as well - the Spanish peace mission
was to come to London in August for the final signing of the treaty- time
The conspirators split up into the countryside to meet again about Michalemas term (October 9) Just before this time they concluded that Percy's house in Lambeth was to be used for the first storage place for powder and tunnel timber supports.
Robert Keyes (age about 40) a distant relative of the Wrights then joined the plot, assigned to watch over the house at Lambeth.
On August 13,1604 an important day of reckoning came for
the plotters. The peace treaty between Spain and England was signed
in London. There was nothing in it for the Catholic cause. The choice
was theirs- to adapt to and build trust with the nation state or to commit
an act of treason which would destroy the state or would if it failed
destroy whatever little trust the nation state had in the political loyalties
of its Catholic subject. Despite the feelings of the plotters it
appears that there was a feeling building within the Catholic sub-culture
that perhaps the path of accommodation and trust building was better than
that of continued antagonism and political revolt. The writings of father
shed some light on this topic.
In early October of 1604 Thomas Winter met with Catesby and Guy Fawkes at Catesby's home Moorcrofts located near Uxbridge, Middlesex. This structure had long been a central location of the Catholic Jesuit underground administration headed by Father Henry Garnet until government searches prompted a re-location. The topic of the meeting was the construction and digging of the mine shaft. The deadline of February 7 was drawing dear. Acting as Mr. Percy's man Fawkes went to London to make plans.
Once in London Fawkes
soon discovered that the Winniard house was being used as a robing
room when Parliament was in session and that it was, in part, at
the time in, use by a delegation of Scottish peers as a conference center
for their discussions of the proposal for Scottish Union. Fawkes
Winter to come as soon as possible to investigate. It was determined
that they should wait for the Scots to finish business and leave.
In the mean time the plotters would obtain the powder, tools and timbers
which were needed. They stored their supplies in Catesby
Lambeth house under the watchful eyes of Keys. The commission occupying
the building finished their workd on 6 December 1604.
The wait was over on the evening of December 11. The plotters
brought cold baked meats and supplies were brought in so that those working
on the tunnel would not have to leave the house. Guns and powder
and shot were provided should they have to shoot themselves out if detected.
They were determined not to be taken alive. Work was undertaken in
shifts with a guard posted in the house above. It is amzaing that
others utililizing the same structures or those in the conjested neighborhood
did not hear the work in progress. Fawkes
could well have set up sound baffles to keep the noise down. Materials
were moved across the river from Robert Catesby's
house in Lambeth under cover of darkness. The acquisition of gunpowder
and supplies is a point of interest in Fawkesian
studies as the substance was produced and tightly controlled by the state.
At the end of March, 1605, the excavators of the tunnel hear a strange sound: men removing barrels from a cellar. It turned out that this cellar was located right under Parliament. While called a cellar it was actually the ground floor of parliament beneath the chamber of the House of Lords. Its size was 77 feet long, 24 feet 4 inches wide and 10 feet high. It was originally the a kitchen for the palace. In 1605 it was a cellar rented out for coal storage. It was an out of the way place open but not often visited. A coal merchant's widow, named Ellen Bright, was using it for his wares- she was however, going out of business and was moving out. She had leased the celar from a man called Skinner.
Thomas Percy then rents the cellar (for the stated purpose of storing fuel for the winter ) from Whinniard from March 25, 1605 and the gunpowder is moved there. Fawkes completely covered the casks with fuel: billets=3,000s and 500 faggots in bundles. Eventually the cellar would come to contain about 200 pounds worth of gunpowder totalling two hogsheads and 32 small barrels a weight estimated to be around 2,5000 kg. of gunpowder or about 5 times the amount required to blow up the building. More time was granted the plotters as the king prorogued Parliament until 3 October.
returned to Flanders, Percy and Catesby
went to Bath to take the waters.
In addition to finances Catesby became concerned about his needs after the explosion. Hugh Owen and Sir William Stanley both important figures of the Catholic sub-culture in exile were to be contacted by Fawkes and asked to join the plot. Fawkes went to the Netherlands around Easter time, March 31, 1605 to contact them. Fawkes did not contact Sir Wiliam Stanley and returns in August.
Catesby becomes involved with the English effort to recruit a English Catholic force to fight with Archduke Albert in the Netherlands. Catesby along with Thomas Percy's cousin Sir Charles Percy is then able to visit Catholic households without penalty. Resources for the rising in the Midlands were arranged via this opportunity for political networking within the Catholic sub-culture. This was done without revealing the true mission of the plot.
At a meeting in January 1605 at the Catherine Wheel inn in Oxford.Catesby recruits John Grant. (30 years old) for financial assistance and discusses the plot with Robert Winter. Robert Winter joins - but later-only because his brother and others were involved and needed his investment. The houses of these two new additions Huddington and Norbrook were also well located to help with the rising in the Midlands. Neither Grant nor Robert Winter moved south to assist with the digging at this time.
Soon the only non gentleman Catesby servant, Thomas Bates, is recruited as a loyal follower, as the comings and goings of his master were beginning to alarm him. When quizzed by the plotters for admission Bates revealed that he knew a bit too much already. Bates was a reluctant member and only was relieved of his sistress when Catesby sent him to confess to Father Greenway (Tesimond) the Jesuit told Bates of the merits of the plot and won Bates over.
Ambrose Rookwood (Age 26) was admitted to the plot around Easter- March 31, 1605. (if you a re counting he would be the 11th member of the plot) Rookwood had one of the finest stables in all of England. Plenty of horses would be needed for a hasty escape. He was also the wealthiest conspirator. Rookwood was related to the Winters, the Wrights and to Keyes. He was at first very concerned about the killing- especially the killing of innocents. Catesby was able to convince Rookwood that certain people would be diverted from attendance of Parliament "by a trick". He also utilized the pronouncements of Father Garnet to justify the accidental killing of innocents. Because Rookwood's home- Coldham Hall located near Bury St. Edmonds was far away f rom the proposed battle site in the Midlands Catesby convinced Rookwood to rent Clopton Hall located in the area of Stratford. Clopton Hall was owned by Lord Carew who was a close f riend of Cecil. Now most of the conspirators lived within 15 miles of each other and near by the proposed site of the battle/rising.
On July 28 1605 King James prorogued parliament again. The meeting of the 3rd of October was canceled. The new date was now set. Parliament would now assemble on:
In the first part of July Fr. Claudio Aquaviva (General
of the Jesuits and superior of Father Garnet)
sent a letter on behalf of the pope, to Garnet
requesting English Catholics to "suffer in silence" and for Garnet
to: "continue, by all means possible, to hinder any insurrection or
undutiful proceedings against His Majesty or the State" News
of the discontent of English Catholics and possibly of the rising had reached
Aquaviva in Rome. Father Garnet
set out immediately to find Catesby
at Fremlands in Sussex. At the same time Lord Mounteagleand
were staying there.
Catesby also goes in late March ( or 8 June 1605?) to visit Father Garnet (chief Jesuit Administrator) at his hide out in Thames street, London,and talks with him about his conscience. Catesby asked: "whether for the good and promotion of the Cathiolic Cause, (in wartime)the neccessity of time and occasion so requireing, it be lawful or not, amongst many Nocents, to destroy and take away some Iocents also"Garnet replies that:"That if the advantages were greater on the side of the Catholics by the desctuction of the Innocents with the Nocents, than by the preservation of both it was doubtless lawful.".
Garnet further responded: " That if , at the taking of a town possessed by the enemy ther happened to be some friends, tey must undergo the fortunes of war, and the general and common destruction of the enemy." For Garnet killing was justified if the intention was not to destroy the innocent but to help others. This was all Catesby needed to justify his lawful war. (later after hearing more of the plot Garnet would suggest that Catesby refrain from rushing "headlong into mischief".) Garnet's advice would be helpful in convincing those who were concerned about the unlawful carnage proposed by the plot to "get off the fence" so to speak, and join the plotters. As is often the case a few pronouncements by the religious and trusted will often underwrite the execution of violent and unlawful acts.
We know that Garnet had concerns following this meeting as he stated:that he " began to muse what this should mean and fearing he should intend he death of some grat person...I would admonish him. This I did after at the house in Essex..."
That meeting occured at Fremland in July. Catesby
, Lord Monteagle and, Francis Tresham
were present. In the long gallery Garnet
said privbately to Catesby:
that "I wished him to look what he did if he intended anything.
That he must first look to the lawfulness of the act itself, and then he
must not have so little regard of Inocents that he spare not friends and
necessary persons for the Commonwealth"
Later in the day Father Greenway (Tesimond) - Catesby's confessor and probably the confessor to Winter and the seven first plotters reached Fremland. He met Garnet in a secret room and asked to be heard: "not in confession" but as confession. Garnet probably knew what Greenway was about to say. Greenway said he could not keep the secrets to himself. Eventually Garnet was worn down and agreed to hear the confession. Garnet however was distressed saying: the Pope will send me to the galleys". The priests agreed that the Pope should be consulted and that Garnet did not approve of the plot.
Later Garnet met again with Greenway at Fremland. They agreed that Greenway would agree to again talk with Catesby and convince him to give up the plot. Around July 24 1605 the two priests both Garnet and Greenway met with Catesby at White Webbs- a favorite priest hide and unerground center in Enfield-operated by Anne Vaux this was to be Garnet's third meeting with Catesby. Garnet gave Catesby a letter from Father Robert Persons which further explained papal policy. Catesby was told that the pope would not agree with whatever he was planning. Catesby then rejected this third party approach buit Garnet citing Persons demanded that Catesby tell the Pope about his plans.
In summary then-around July 23 Catesby
reveals the plot to Tesimond
via the confessional, who in turn reveals it with Catesby's
permission to Garnet
while he was staying at his Thames St. London hide out.
Here again priests took it upon themselves to circumvent the laws of the land . They would have the Pope, a political leader of another state, decide an issue of public safety and treason in England. ( it is of interest to note that Garnet acting with Father George Blackwell uncovered and informed the Government of the Bye Plot undertaken by another Catholic- Father William Watson to kidnap the king and obtain assistance for Catholics. The only difference in this case was the involvement of the confessional.) If Cecil had indeed used the plot as a test of the loyalties of the Catholic sub culture he had succeeded in confirming and reinforcing the worst fears of the English people and State.
Further suspicions were aroused in Anne Vaux- a very important member of the Catholic Underground and patroness of Garnet. Vaux was concerned about the comings and goings of Grant, the Wrights and Catesby from her home the important hide out: White Webbs. Vaux"and seeing their fine horses in the stable she told Mr. Garnet that she feared these wild heads had something in hand, and prayed him for God's sake to talk with Mr. Catesby and to hinder anything that possibly he might"(Confession March 11, 1606 The Gunpowder Book folio 200) Here again a Catholic citizen of the nation state of England chose the judgment of clergy of the Papal State over that of the state in an issue of public safety and treason.
It took the pope until September to respond via letter from Father Persons Rector of the English College of Jesuits in Rome with a request for further details, details which Garnet could not provide due to the seal of the confessional.
At this point there was only a glimmer of hope that Parliament would act to extend toleration for Catholics- but that Parliament would have been prevented from meeting by the plot. Garnet did not however, know the exact date of the intended action.
eventually broke the seal the day after the plot was discovered by writing
openly of the plot to Garnet
at Coughton on November 6 This would allow Father Garnet
to testify. By which time, Cates)by was dead.
soon enlisted Edward Digby
(age 24-5) a wealthy Catholic swordsman and horseman. Catesby
arranged to meet Digby
while he was on the way to meet the returning pilgrims. Catesby
into the plot using his poignard holding it up like a cross. Digby
was at first outraged but Catesby
convinced his good friend to listen further. It is of great importance
to note that Catesby
assured him that the Jesuits were aware of the Plot and approved.
"If I had thought there had been the least sin in the Plot, I would not have been in it for all the world: and no other cause drew me to hazard my Fortune and Life, but Zeal to God's religion..More reasons I had to persuade me to this belief than I dare utter..."-Barlow, Gunpowder Treason, 1679, "Digby's Letters for the Tower"
Thus another member of the Catholic aristocracy was convinced that the plot was an legal action of the church in direct conflict with the interests of public safety and of the nation state.
pursued the argument further with Digby
after returning to Gothurst using references to a book by Father
Martin Delrius: Disquisitiones Magiacae. This book discusses the
relationship of the seal of the confessional to blowing up the sovereign.
It parallels the plot and is certainly where Catesby
arrived at his plan. Digby
in another letter from the tower mentions it in this way:
Delrius argues thusly about the seal of the confessional:
"Can a priest in any circumstances make use of the knowledge which he has obtained by means of confession to avert imminent mischief to the state? For instance, a criminal confesses that he or some other person has placed gunpowder or other combustible matter under a certain house; and that unless this is removed, the house will inevitably be blown up, the sovereign killed and as many as go into or out of the city be destroyed or brought into great danger, --in such a case, almost all the learned doctors, with few exceptions, assert that the confessor may reveal it, if he take due care that, neither directly or indirectly he draws into suspicion the particular offense of the person confessing..."
"...to disclose them for the purpose of prevention...is
a dangerous doctrine, and deters men from confession"... "But the
contrary opinion (that is not to disclose) is the safer and
better doctrine, and more consistent with religion and with the reverence
due to the holy rite of confession."-Jardine, Narrative, pp. 284-5,
Quoting from Disquistiones Magicae, Venetian Edition, 1615, lib.
letter of July 24, 1605 prior to the scheduled opening of parliament of
October 3 read as follows:
donates 1,500 pounds to the plot and agrees to lead the rising in the Midlands.
He would lead a hunting party on Dunsmore Heath then with word of the explosion
he would swoop down on Combe abbey and take Princess Elizabeth to be proclaimed
queen. Unless Percy could make off with the prince. Digby
was a hunter and would not arouse suspicion. Digby
would move from Gothurst to Coughton Court to be closer to the action
in Warwickshire. Coughton Court (home of Sir Thomas Throckmorton-a relative
of both Catesby
upon viewing the exodus of Digby's
household from Harrowden on the way to Coughton was concerned that something
unusual was occurring. Digby
wrote back twice to re assure him that he was only going to hunt on Dunsmore
The King's Book describes the event"
The Message was addressed on the outside:
The Message was:
Mhy lord out of the love i beare (the word yowe inked out) to some of youere frends i have a care of youer preservacion therefor i would advyse yowe as yowe tender youer lyf to devys some exscuse to shift of youer attendance at this parleament for god and man hath concurred to punishe the wickednes of this type and thinke not slightlye of this advertisement but retyere youre self into youre contri wheare yowe maye expect the event in safti for thowghe theare be no apparance of anni stir yet i saye they shall receyve a terrible blowe this parleament and yet they shall not sei who hurts them this councel is not to be contemned because it maye do youwe good and can do yowe no harme for the dangere is passed as soon as yowe have burnt the letter and i hope god will give yowe the grace to mak good use of it to whose holy proteccion i comend yowe."
rides right off to London with the letter, although the message was far
from exact or clear. A conference was called to discuss the letter and
it was agreed to wait and watch. Thomas
Winter said he learned of the delivery of the letter the next day on
the 27th. The next morning he informed Fawkes
at White Webs believes that the letter was too vague and the government
would be slow to act.
"At which time it was determined, that the said Lord
Chamberlain should according to his custom and office, view all the Parliament-houses,
both above and below, and consider what likelihood or appearance of any
such danger might possibly be gathered by the sight of them. But,
yet as well for staying of idle rumours, as for being the more able to
discern the mystery the nearer that things were in readiness, his journey
thither was ordained to be deferred till the afternoon before the sitting
down of the Parliament, which was upon the Monday following."
orders a search of the Parliament building to be conducted on the day before
Parliament was to meet on Nov. 4.
was to go to Dunchurch on Monday while Percy was to go to Sion house at
Isleworth on that night- November 4 or early the next morning. This
meeting would allow Percy to consult with the Duke of Northumberland-
his patron- for whom he had been collecting taxes. The true purpose
of the meeting may have been to determine what had occurred at court following
the discovery of the letter. Some would use this meeting to link Northumberland
to the plot. Following this meeting Percy probably visited Richmond Palace-
it was November 4. At the same time Catesby
met with Rookwood
to calm his fears and tell him that all was well.
The The king's Book reports:
At which time (Monday) he (Thomas Howard, Lord Chamberlain)
went to the Parliament-house, accompanied with my Lord Mounteagle,
being in zeal to the King's service ernest and curious to see the event
of that accident, whereof he had the fortune to be the first discoverer;
where, having viewed all the lower rooms, he found in the vault under the
upper-house, great store and provision of billets, faggots, and coals;
and , inquiring of Whyneard, keeper of the wardrobe, to what use he had
put those lower rooms and cellars? He (Whinniard) told him, that Thomas
Percy had hired both the house, and part of the cellar, or vault, under
the same; and that the wood and coal therein were the said gentleman's
own provision. Whereuopon, the Lord Chamberlain, casting his eye
aside, perceived a fellow standing in a corner there, calling himself the
said Percy's man, and keeper of the house for him, but indeed was Guido
Faukes, the owner of that hand which should have acted that monstrous tragedy.
The Lord Chamgberlain, lookinguupon all things with a heedful , yet
in outful appearance, with but a careless and rackless eye,. as became
so wise and diligent a Minister, he presently addressed himself to the
King in the said privy gallery; where, in the presence of the Lord Treawsurer,
the Lord Admiral, the Earls of Worcester, Northampton, and Salisbutry,
he made his report what he had seen and obsereved there; noting that Monteagle
had told him, that he no sooner heard Thomas
Percy named to be the possessor of that house, but considering both
his backwardness in religion, and the old dearness of friendship
between him and the said Percy, he did greatly suspect the
matter, and that the letter should com from him. The said Lord Chamberlain
also told, that he did not wonder a little at the extradordinary great
provision of wood and coal in that house., where Thomas
Percy had so seldom occasion to remain; as likewise it gave him in
his mind, that this man (Fawkes)
looked a very tall and desperate fellow. This could not but increase the
King's former apprehension and jealously (suspicion); whereupon he insisted
as before, that the house was narrowly to be searched, and that those billets
and coals should be searched to the bottom, it being most suspicious that
they were laid there on ly for covering of the powder. Of this same
mind also were all the counsellors then present; but upon the fashion of
making of the search was it long debated; For, upon the one side, they
were all so jealous of the King's safety, that they all agreed that there
could not be too much caution used for preventing his danger; and yet,
upon the other part, they were all extreme loth and dainty, that in case
this letter should pprove to be nothing but the evaporation of an idle
brain, then a curious search being made, and nothing found , should
not only turn to the general scandal of the King and the state ,as being
so suspicious of e very light and frivolous toy, but likewise lay an ill-favoured
imputation upon the Earl of Northumberland,
one of his Magesty's greatest subjects and counsellors, this Thomas
Percy being his kinsman and most confident familiar.And the rather
were they curious upon this point, knowing how far the King detested to
be thought suspicious or jealous of any of his good subjects though of
the meanest degree; and therefore, though they all agreed upon the main
ground which was to provide for the security of the King's person, yet
did they much differ in the circumstances, by which this action might be
best carried with least din and occasion of slander. But, the King
himself still persisting, that there were divers shrewd appearances, and
that a narrow search of those places could prejudge no man that was innocent,
he at last plainly resolved them, that either must all the parts of those
rooms be narrowly searched, and no possibility of danger left unexamined,
or else he and they all must resolve not to meddle in it at all, but plainly
to go the next day to the Parliament, and leave the success to fortune;
which he believed they would be loth to take upon their conscience; for
in such a case as this, an half-doing was worse than no doing at
all. Whereupoon it was at last concluded that nothing should be left
unsearched in those houses; and yet for the better colour and stay of rumour,
in case nothing were found, it was thought meet, that upon a pretence of
Whyneard's missing some of the King's stuff, or hangings, which he had
in keeping, all thouse rooms should be narrowly ripped for them."
At 3 o'clock Monday afternoon November 4 the Privy Council
appointed Sir Thomas Knyvet to search that night.
Also on November 4, Sir Everard Digby, unaware of difficulties in London, rides out for the hunting party on the 5th. At the inn in Dunchjurch gathered a large hunting party. Relatives and friends of Digby, amongst them: Sir Robert Digby of Coleshill, his uncle, the Littleton cousins, Stephen Littleton of Holbeach House and Humphrey Littleton of Hagley Hall. Some were interested in hearing from Catesby about the English Troop. The group included about 100. Only Digby knew of the plot.
That night, Fawkes
was on guard at ten o' clock when Robert Keyes
brings him the Watch given by to him by Percy. The watch was probably a
symbolic gesture as fuses would have been timed in advance and the king
would not be on a strict timetable. Fawkes
also was probably not preparing to leave by ship but perhaps to go somewhere
to wait out the events ( point of contention to Fawkensian scholars.)
"To blow the Scottish beggars back to their native mountains!"
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