this an attempted '911' from the Stuart times?
the plotters terrorists? Were they set up by the forces of the State?
Click to enlarge an article
from The Guardian (2003)
showing how much of
London would have been
Click to enlarge this engraving of the plotters
Click to enlarge this painting of Robert Cecil
remember the Fifth of November - Gunpowder
The gruesome execution of Guy Fawkes is celebrated
year in Britain. He wasn't actually burned at the
- the punishment for heresy (a crime against
religion), he was given a traitor's death - hanging, drawing
James Stuart had been King of England for two years.
foreigner and came across as rude and ill-mannered
to the English. He was also following the hugely
popular Queen Elizabeth, in a time of
continued religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics.
James tried to please all sides. He stopped the
heavy fines which Catholics had to pay for not going to Protestant church.
However this was unpopular and he quickly began them again.
A group of Roman Catholics decided to assassinate
James and replace him with his daughter Elizabeth who they would convert to
Catholicism. The group was led by Robert Catesby, and a soldier called Guy
Fawkes was put in charge of the explosives.
What is? Crime, Punishment, Protest|
How have these changed? Crime, Protest,
Punishment and Policing.
Rebellion, Pilgrimage of Grace, Gunpowder Plot, Vagabonds, Poaching, Smuggling,
Highwaymen, Witchcraft, Corporal Punishment, Bloody Code........more
robbery, Poverty, Police, Transportation, Prisons, Luddites, Swing Riots,
Chartism, Prison Reformers, Dock Strike........more
Movement, Conscientious Objectors, General Strike, Hanging, Youth Detention,
Fingerprinting, DNA, Surveillance, Drug Crime, Hooliganism, Community Service,
Aske, Matthew Hopkins, Jonathan Wild, Dick Turpin, John Howard, Elizabeth Fry,
The Official Story
Robert Cecil was the king's chief minister. He was
in charge of the security of the state, and had spies everywhere. When Fawkes
was captured he was tortured on the rack and confessed to the plot.
Cecil said that the plotters had planned to blow up
the king at the state opening of Parliament. They tried to tunnel underneath the
building, but then rented a cellar directly below the House of Lords. 36 barrels
of gunpowder were put in place and primed to explode.
A letter arrived, according to Cecil, at the home of
Lord Mounteagle, the brother-in-law of Francis Tresham, one of the plotters,
warning him of a 'terrible blow' that will happen. Mounteagle rushed with the
letter to Cecil. The cellars were searched and Fawkes, under the false name John
Johnson, was found and arrested. The remaining plotters were found, four were
shot and the rest brought to London for trial.
Cecil's story does raise questions:
- No-one saw the tunnel being dug, nor was the
tunnel ever found!
- Who would rent a cellar underneath Parliament
to a group of Catholics? A friend of Cecil - who died on 5 November!
- Gunpowder was strictly controlled by the State
- how was so much able to fall into the plotters' hands so easily?
- There are doubts as to the authenticity of the
Mounteagle letter. It was supposed to have been written by Francis Tresham.
- Tresham was not arrested and tried, but died
in the Tower, mysteriously.