Category Archives: Parliament

Assassination Crime Gunpowder Plot London Monarchy Parliament Tower Of London

The true copie of the declaration of Guido Fawkes

 

The confession of Guy Fawkes, published in December 1605. This confession corresponds to the official government position on the Gunpowder Plot, and was probably extracted under torture which renders it unreliable as an historical text. But it certainly makes for interesting reading.

 

The true copie of the declaration of Guido Fawkes, taken in the presence of the Counsellors whose names are under written.

I confesse that a practise in general was first broken unto me against his Majestie for relief of the Catholique cause, and not invented or propounded by my self. And this was first propounded unto me about Easter last. I was twelve month beyond the Seas in the Lowe Countryes of the Archdukes obeisance. Thomas Winter came thereupon with mee into Engand, and there we imparted our purpose to three other Gentlemen, namely, Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, and John Wright, who all five [of us were] consulting together of the meanes how to execute the same, and taking a vow among our selves for secrecy. Catesbie propounded to have it performed with Gunpowder, and by making a Myne under the upper House of Parliament, which place we made choice of because Religion having been unjustly suppressed there, it was fittest that Justice and punishments should be executed there.

This being resolved amongst us, Thomas Percy hired a House at Westminster for that purpose, near adjoying to the Parliament House, and there we begun to make our Myne about 11th of December 1604. The five that first entered into the work were Thomas Piercy, Robert Catesby, Thomas Winter, John Wright, and my self. Soon after we took another unto us, Christopher Wright, having sworn him also, and taken the Sacrament for Secrecie. 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 tooke unto us another Gentleman, Robert Winter, in like manner with oath and Sacrament as aforesaid.

It was about Christmas when we brought our Myne unto the Wall, about Candlemass we had wrought the Wall halfe through. And whilst they were working, I stood as Sentinell to defer any man that came near, whereof I gave them warning, and so they ceased until I gave notice againe to proceede. And we seven lay in the House and had Shot and Powder, being resolved to die in that place before we should yeeld or be taken.

As they were working upon the Wall, they heard a rushing in a Cellar of removing of Coales, whereupon we feared we had beene discovered, and they sent me to go to the Cellar, who finding that the Coales were a-selling, and that the Cellar was to be let, viewing the commodity thereof for our own purpose, Percy went and hired the same for yeerly rent. We had this provided, and brought into the House twenty Barrels of Powder, which we remooved unto the Cellar, and covered the same with Billets and Faggots, which were provided for that purpose.

About Easter, the Parliament being prorogued until October next, we dispersed our selves, and I retired to the Lowe countries by advice and direction of the rest, as well to acquaint Owen with the particulars of the Plot, as also least by my longer stay I might have grown suspicious, and to have come into question. In the meantime Percy having the key of the Cellar, laid in more Powder and wood into it. I returned about the beginning of September next, and then receiving the key of Percy, we brought in more Powder and Billets to cover the same again, and so I went for a time into the Countrey until the 30. of October.

It was further resolved amongst us that the same day that this Act should have been performed, some other of our Confederates should have surprised the person of the Lady Elizabeth the Kings Daughter, who was kept in Warwickshire at the Lord Harington’s house, and presently have proclaimed her Queene, having a Project of Proclamation ready for that purpose; wherein we made no mention of altering of Religion, nor would have avowed the deed to be ours, untill we should have had power enough to make our partie good and then we would have avowed both. Concerning Duke Charles the Kings second son, we had sundry consultations how to seize on his person, but because we found no meanes how to compasse it, the Duke being kept near London, where wee had not forces enough, we resolved to serve our turne with the Lady Elizabeth.

The names of the principal persons that were made privy afterwards to this horrible conspiracy: Edward Digby, Knight. Francis Tresham. John Grant. Robert Keyes.

 

 

There are more posts on the Gunpowder Plot here

Execution Parliament

Woodcuts

This morning I stumbled upon these incredible woodcuts. One depicts the interior of Parliament in 1641, the other, the execution on Tower Hill of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, also in 1641. Clicking on an image should open a larger file to view.

Monarchy Parliament War

General Cromwell pursued with horse

These fragments come from an account of the battle of Naseby in 1645; a turning point in the English Civil Wars which effectively thwarted long-term Royalist hopes of victory.

Both Armies were drawne in Battle in a great field neere Knaseby by ten in the morning, each wing of both sides charged [the] other, with that eagernesse, that they had not patience to shoot of one peece of Ordnance. Our Dragoones begun the Battaile Flancking the right wing of the Enemies Horse as they charged our left wing. The Foot charged not each other till they were within twelve paces one of another, and could not charge above twice, but were at push of Pike.  The Enemies Foot gave a little backe, and so did some few of ours, and then the right wing of our Horse (wherein the Generall was in person) charged in the Flancke of the blue regiment of the enemies Foot, who stood to it, till the last man, abundance of them slaine, and all the rest surrounded, wounded, and taken. Being lost, Horse and Foot gave backe, we advanced on after them in order our Horse flancking our Foot, and after one charge more, became Masters of all their Infantry, and tooke about three thousand prisoners. The Enemies Horse ran a pace, but still our Horse, though one would have beaten ten, (such a feare was the Enemy possessed with all) would not pursue in heate but take the Foot to flancke them. The King cryed out, face about once and give one charge and recover the day. Our Men Horse and Foot came on with that courage, that before ever wee gave fire they faced about and ran clear away.

Happy was he that was best mounted, and Liuetenant Generall Cromwell pursued with the Horse after them about twelve or thirteen miles, within two or three miles of Leicester, and having taken eight peeces of Ordnance in the Field, whereof two were Demicannon, one whole Culverine, tooke all the rest of their Ordnance and their Carriages, Bag and Baggage· aboundance of Coaches, and rich Plunder, Carts with Boates and great store of Bisket and Cheese, (a seasonable refreshment for our souldiers that had marched so hard, and the night before had not a bit of Bread to a regiment for their refreshment).  The Foot and the Traine Marched this night to Harborough (foure miles) where our head quarter is. It becomes not me to say any thing of my Generalls, Major Generalls, or Livetenant Generall Cromwells carriage in this battaile, I leave it to all men on the place to relate it, who cannot but admire their valour, and thus hath the Lord gone along with this new moulded Army, so much contemned by many & left as sheepe to the slaughter by others, but from the beginning I was confident, a blessing from heaven did attend this Army, there were in it so many pious men, men of integrity, hating vice, fighting not out of ambitiousnesse or by ends, but ayming at Gods glory and the preservation of Religion, & Liberty, and the destruction of the Enemy which was never in so faire a way as now is, if peoples hearts would yet be moved to redeeme themselves from slavery and all ioyne as one man.

If this advantage be improved (as what a wearied out and tyred Army is able to doe, will be done) with the blessing of God, and an addition of some fresh horse, ours being worne off their legs, the Enemy in all probability will not this Summer get head againe, and I hope in the Lord, never more considerable in the field, some observations I had in the time of Battell in the carriage of things, that one great incouragement to the common Souldier to fall on, was the rich Plunder the enemy had (their purses also being full of Money, the Plunder of poore Leicestershire, God turned to be one meanes of their ruine, and indeed our souldiers got plenty, the Irish women brought on the field (wives of the bloody Rebels in Ireland) our souldiers would grant no quarter too, about 100 slain of them, and most of the rest of the whores that attended that wicked Army are marked in the face or nose, with a slash or cut. I viewed the dead bodies, from the Battell to Harborough, truly I estimate them not to be above 700, together with those slaine in the fields running away, but in pursuit between Harborough and Leicester, and by townes, conceived about 300 more slaine, and an abundance wounded.’

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