January 27, 1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31.
The name of Guy Faukes has, by reason of the all-important part assigned to him in the conspiracy, become so closely identified with its formation and its direction, that we are apt nowadays to look upon him as the principal plotter, whereas he was really subordinate to another, whose name is not quite so familiar to the man in the street. This, the principal plotter, was Robert Catesby. It was, ab initio, Catesby's Conspiracy. It was from his restless brain that the idea of blowing up the House of Peers with gunpowder first emanated.
Having laid his plans, Catesby looked round for confederates, upon whom he could implicitly rely, to help him; and, on his solicitation, they one after another promised to assist and obey him. He was from beginning to end the captain of the band. He hesitated at nothing to gain his own ends.
Promises that he could not fulfil, statements about others that could not be true, I cannot agree with the theory that it was Thomas Winter who put the idea into Catesby's head. All the original evidence tends to prove th it Catesby was the founder of the plot he made from time to time with the utmost assurance. A lie was not a lie, if told in the interests of the plot. 'Master Catesby,' complained Garnet, 'did me much wrong, and hath confessed that he told them he asked me a question in Queen Elizabeth's time of the powder action, and that I said it was lawful.
All which is most untrue. He did it to draw in others.' A man of great courage and resolution, he possessed a wonderful power of making his friends both like and serve him. Utterly unscrupulous, he never repented. He never lost heart, and was always sanguine of success. Even when all was up, and his atrocious plans had utterly failed, he died game, falling in a desperate fight with the officers of the Crown, being determined that he should never be taken alive. He expired from his severe wounds, with his arms clasped round the feet of an image of the Virgin, to whose protection he had commended his sinful soul.
The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators, 1605. by Crispijn de Passe the Elder, engraving, circa 1605.
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This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris in this case Crispijn de Passe the Elder (1637) and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year. +sookie tex
TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: A history of the Gunpowder Plot: the conspiracy and its agents. Author: Philip Sidney. Edition 2. Publisher: Religious Tract Society., 1905. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Aug 14, 2007. Length: 313 pages. Subjects: Great Britain, Gunpowder Plot, 1605.