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The Conspirators

The story of the Gunpowder Plot and of those at its very heart, is as much a story of a group of individuals banded together by blood under a common banner, as it is a contemporary comment on the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. It is a story of the willingness of men to lay down their lives for the principles by which they stood, and the dedication to a cause, the very revelation of which was a horrific death for them all.

Four hundred years later, their act is perhaps more pertinent now than ever as we all begin to revisit the tenets of Terrorists versus Freedom Fighters. Despite the angle from which you approach them, these biographies represent the lives of some extremely interesting and complex people, people bonded by blood, by religious persuasion, by a common goal. These were not men of little substance, but members of a landed gentry class, some of whom would perhaps later have been elevated to the peerage. They were not young and foolish, nor were they seeking their own fame or notoriety.

The common misconception that this was Guy Fawkes' plot is something that has unfortunately become slowly engrained within us. The image of the sinister, lamp-wielding, hooded figure crouching precariously amongst barrels of gunpowder, discovered at the very last minute, is certainly a powerful image, and something that is more provocative and identifiable with the story than is perhaps true.

The biographies within this section represent the lives of those who were confederates of Robert Catesby, the ringleader, and include not only the thirteen conspirators who were the primary instigators of the plot, but their allies who also suffered, either death at the hands of the executioner, fines or imprisonment.

[1] Robert Catesby [10] Robert Keyes
[2] Guy Fawkes [11] Ambrose Rookwood
[3] Thomas Wintour [12] Sir Everard Digby
[4] Thomas Percy [13] Francis Tresham
[5] Thomas Bates  
[6] Christopher Wright  
[7] Robert Wintour  
[8] John Grant  
[9] John Wright  

[1] John Wintour [4] Thomas Habington
[2] Humphrey Littleton  
[3] Stephen Littleton  

In addition to those named above, a great many others were questioned over the uprising. Most were servents to the plotters, but the list also included those who were known associates, and were thought to be in league with them.

[1] Allies and Confederates arrested and questioned over the Gunpowder Plot.

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