Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Government Gunpowder Plot





Many historians believe that:

1. James I's Protestant spymaster, Robert Cecil, was the brains behind the Gunpowder Plot.

2. Some of the Gunpowder plotters were working for Cecil.

The story goes that Cecil manufactured the plot in an attempt to discredit the Catholic cause.

In the climate of fear following the Gunpowder Plot, Cecil and his supporters were able to pass more anti-Catholic laws and to make more money from fines on Catholics.

Cecil was in a position to destroy Catholic rivals, such as the Earl of Northumberland, and had an opportunity to seize Catholic lands.

The official story of the gunpowder plot does not make sense.

The 'confessions' were obtained under torture.

Why would the Catholic plotters have wanted to blow up parliament when it housed not only Protestants but also all the country's leading Catholics?

Elizabeth, James' protestant daughter, was was due to take over, if the plotters succeeded. Why would the Catholic plotters want Elizabeth on the throne?

The government had a monopoly on gunpowder and it was stored in places like the Tower of London. How did the conspirators get hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder without drawing attention to themselves?

How was the gunpowder moved across London from the Tower of London to Westminster (at least two miles distant) without anyone seeing it? The River Thames would not have been used as it could have lead to the gunpowder becoming damp and useless. Thirty six barrels would have been a sizeable quantity to move without causing suspicion.

Why were men who were known to be Catholics allowed to rent out a house so near to the Houses of Parliament?

How did they move 36 barrels from that house to the cellar of the Houses of Parliament without anyone noticing?

Why, for the first time in history, was there a search of Parliament's cellars that conveniently found Guy Fawkes.

Why was the soldier who killed Catesby and Percy at Holbeech House in the Midlands, given such a large pension for life (10p a day for life) when their arrest and torture was more desirable so that the names of any other conspirators might be found out?

http://www.kcs.cambs.sch.uk/depts/history/detailed/gunpowderalt.htm

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