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The King's Book - VII. Fawkes' Confession

November 17, 1605

I confess that a practice in general was first broken unto me, against his Majesty, for relief of the Catholick cause, and not invented of propounded by myself. And this was the first propounded unto me by about Easter last was twelvemonth beyond the seas, in the low-countries, of the arch-duke's obeisance, by Thomas Wynter, who came thereupon with me into England, and there we imparted our purpose to three other gentlemen more, namely, Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, and John Wright, who, all five, consulting together, of the means how to execute the same; and taking a vow, among ourselves, for secrecy, Catesby propounded to have it performed by gunpowder, and by making a mine under the upper house of Parliament; which place we made choice of, the rather, because, religion have been unjustly suppressed there, it was fittest that justice and punishment should be executed there.

This being resolved amongst us, Thomas Percy hired an house at Westminter for that purpose, near adjoining to the Parliament house, and there we began to make our mind about December 11 1604. The five that first entered into the work were Thomas Percy, Robert Catesby, Thomas Winter, John Wright, and myself, and soon after we took another unto us, Christopher Wright, having sworn him also, and taken the Sacrament for secrecy. When we came to the very foundation of the wall of the house, which was about three yards thick, and found it a matter of great difficulty, we took unto us another gentleman, Robert Winter, in like manner, with the Oath and Sacrament as aforesaid. It was about Christmas, when we brought our mine unto the wall, and about Candlemas, we had wrought the wall half through; and, whilst they were in working I stood as a sentinel, to descry any men that came near, whereof I gave warning, and so they ceased, until I gave notice again to proceed. All we seven lay in the house, and had shot and powder, being resolved to die in that place, before we should yield or be taken. As they were working upon the wall, they heard a rushing in a cellar, of removing of coals; whereupon we feared we had been discovered, and they sent me to go to the cellar, who finding that the coles were a selling, and that the cellar was to let, viewing the commodity thereof for our purpose, Percy went and hired the same for yearly rent. We had before this provided and brought into the house twenty barrels of powder, which we removed into the cellar, and covered the same with billets and faggots, which we provided for that purpose.

About Easter, the Parliament being prorogued till October next, we dispersed ourselves, and I retired into the Low-Countries, by advice and direction of the rest, as well as to acquaint Owen with the particulars of the plot, as also lest by my longer stay I might have grown suspicious, and so have come in question. In the meantime, Percy, having the key of the cellar, laid in more powder and more wood into it. I returned about the beginning of September next, and, then, receiving the key again of Percy, we brought in more powder and billets to cover the same again, and so I went for a time into the country, till October 30.

It was further resolved amonst us that the same day that this action should have been performed, some other of our confederates should have surprised the person of the Lady Elizabeth, the King's eldest daughter, who was kept in Warwickshire, at the Lord Harrington's house, and presently have proclaimed her for the Queen, having a project of a proclamation ready for the purpose; wherein we made no mention of altering of religion, nor would have allowed the deed to be ours until we should have had power enough to make our party good, and then we would have avowed both.

Concerning Duke Charles, the King's second son, we had sundry consultations how to seize on his person, but because we found no means how to compass it, the Duke being kept near London, where we had not forces enough, we resolved to serve our turn with the Lady Elizabeth.

The names of other principal persons that were made privy afterward to this horrible conspiracy:

- Everard Digby Knight,
- Ambrose Rookewood,
- Francis Tresham,
- John Grant
- Robert Keyes

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