Catholic peers and the Gunpowder Plot

The History of Parliament

Remember, remember the fifth of November… Today we hear from Dr Ben Coates of the House of Lords 1604-29 Section about the warning of Catholic Peers before the Gunpowder Plot…

William Parker, Lord Monteagle Lord Monteagle by John De Critz

On 26 October 1605 the Catholic nobleman William Parker, 5th Lord Monteagle, received an anonymous letter urging him to absent himself from the forthcoming session of Parliament, due to open on 5th November. This missive, the first significant hint of the Gunpowder Plot, warned mysteriously that those attending ‘shall receive a terrible blow … and yet they shall not see who hurts them’. Monteagle took the letter to Court, where he showed it to the secretary of state, Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury. The earl was initially sceptical of the letter, in part because he thought it ‘very improbable that only one nobleman should be warned and no more’ (Winwood’s Memorials ed…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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