On this day in history, 31st January 1606, Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes were executed for treason at the Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
Two of them cheated the executioner and crowd by leaping at the gallows, but they still had awful ends. Hear a contemporary account of their executions, including what they did and said, in today's talk.
Also on this day in history, 31st January 1510, Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a still-born daughter. Here is last year's video on that sad event.
Also on this day in history:
- 1547 – Thomas Wriothesley announced the death of Henry VIII to Parliament and Edward VI was proclaimed King.
- 1597 – Burial of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, soldier, member of Parliament and Vice-President of the Council in the Marches of Wales, at Malpas Parish Church.
On this day in history, 31st January 1606, Gunpowder Plot conspirators Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes were executed at the Old Palace Yard, Westminster. They’d been found guilty of high treason on 27th January following the failure of their plot to blow up Parliament and assassinate the king in November 1605.
Here is a contemporary account of the end of these plotters:
“The same day, being Friday, were drawn from the Tower to the Old Palace in Westminster, Thomas Winter, Rockwood, Keyes, and Fawkes, where Winter, first being brought to the scaffold, made little speech, but seeming, after a sort, as it were sorry for his offence, and yet crossing himself, as though those were wards to put by the devil's stoccadoes, having already made a wound in his soul, of which he had not yet a full feeling, protesting to die a true Catholick, as he said, with a very pale and dead colour, went up the ladder, and, after a swing or two with a halter, to the quartering block was drawn, and there quickly dispatched.
Next him came Rockwood, who made a speech of some longer time, confessing his offence to God, in seeking to shed blood, and asking therefore mercy of his Divine Marjesty ; his offence to the king, of whose majesty he likewise humbly asked forgiveness; his offence to the whole state, of whom in general he asked forgiveness, beseeching God to bless the king, the queen, and all his royal progeny, and that they might long live to reign in peace and happiness over this kingdom. But last of all, to mar all the pottage with one filthy weed, to mar this good prayer with an ill conclusion, he prayed God to make the king a Catholick, otherwise a Papist, which God for his mercy ever forbid ; and so, beseeching the king to be good to his wife and children, protesting to
die in his idolatry, a Romish Catholick, he went up the ladder, and, hanging till he was almost dead, was drawn to the block, where he gave his last gasp.
After him came Keyes, who, like a desperate villain, using little speech, with small or no shew of repentance, went stoutly up the ladder ; where, not staying the hangman's turn, he turned himself off with such a leap, that with the swing he brake the halter, but, after his fall, was quickly drawn to the block, and there was quickly divided into four parts.
Last of all came, the great devil of all, Fawkes, alias Johnson, who should have put fire to the powder. His body being weak with torture and sickness, he was scarce able to go up the ladder, but yet with much ado, by the help of the hangman, went high enough to break his neck with the fall : who made no long speech, but, after a sort, seeming to be sorry for his offence, asked a kind of forgiveness of the king and the state for his bloody intent; and, with his crosses and his idle ceremonies, made his end upon the gallows and the block, to the great joy of the beholders, that the land was ended of so wicked a villainy.”
That was the end of the Gunpowder plotters.
Also on this day in history, 31st January 1510, Queen Catherine of Aragon gave birth to a still-born daughter. I’ll give you a link to last year’s video on that sad event. https://youtu.be/wFggNqmRtNc