This week, we have been learning why the Gunpowder Plot failed.
Lord Monteagle received an anonymous letter warning him not to attend the opening of Parliament on 5th November. The lord was brother-in-law to Francis Tresham, one of the plotters. It seems most likely that Tresham sent the letter, as he didn’t want his wife’s brother to be killed.
Even though Lord Monteagle was a Catholic, he was still loyal to King James I. He showed the letter to the King’s chief minister, Robert Cecil and guards were sent to search the House’s of Parliament. Guy Fawkes was discovered in the cellar with the barrels of gunpowder and the plot was foiled.
Transcript of Letter to Lord Monteagle – 26 October 1605
My lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation, therefore I would advise you as you tender your life to devise some excuse to shift your attendance at this parliament, for God and man have concurred to punish the wickedness of this time, and think not slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your country, where you may expect the event in safety, for though there be no appearance of any stir, yet I say they shall receive a terrible blow this parliament and yet they shall not see who hurts them, this counsel is not to be condemned because it may do you good and can do you no harm, for the danger is past as soon as you have burnt the letter and I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it, to whose holy protection I commend you.
We have created our own fantastic versions of this letter!