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The Red Lion Inn


Now a private dwelling, and called inappropriately 'Guy Fawkes House', the Red Lion Inn in Dunchurch on the edge of Dunsmore Heath was the meeting place of the conspirators whose role was the raising of the rebellion in the north. Until the arrival from London on the 5th though of members of the failed plot, those who had gathered at the Red Lion were unaware of the true nature of the gathering.

Originally led to believe that the gathering was for a hunt, the plotters had a more sinister plan at the rendezvous. From here, once news of the death of James and the Lords reached them, they were to ride the eight miles to Coombe Abbey and seize the young Princess Elizabeth, proclaiming her monarch upon the deaths of her father and brother. The intention was to then arrainge for a marriage to a suitable Catholic peer in order to secure the monarchy. A central midlands location, Dunchurch was on the coach road from London to Wales, the final destination of the plotters, where they hoped to have amassed a small army, and return to England to proclaim England for the Catholics.

On Monday 4th November 1605 Sir Everard Digby and seven servants installed themselves at the Red Lion. Digby was later joined by his uncle Sir Robert Digby, and the two Littletons, Stephen and Humphrey. Word was sent to other fledgling conspirators and the party was in turn joined by John Wintour, John Grant, and his friend Henry Morgan.

On the morning of the 5th they said Mass, delivered by Father Hammond, before spending the day awaiting news and late arrivals for the hunt. In the cold, wet, late afternoon Catesby and five others who had ridden the 80 miles from London, arrived to announce the plot's failure. Most of those who had gathered now disbanded, declaring their grave concern at the damage the plotters had done to what little standing the Catholics presently had.

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