“Remember, Remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot…“
“Dismember, Dismember the 5th of November,
Gunpowder’d reason lost the plot,
I see no treason, just end of old season,
Yet Warmongers care not a jot.”
For those who may not know, in the UK, the 5th November marks the date of the infamous Gunpowder plot to blow up King James I of England and Parliament.Less people are aware that it may have been the Mother of all False Flag Operations, or if you prefer, Grandad Gladio.
In 1605, thirteen Catholic men plotted to blow up King James I and the Houses of Parliament. The justification was the persecution that the Catholics were enduring at the hands of the protestant king.
After the assassination, the plan was to foment an uprising among the Catholics and kidnap Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of the king, make her queen, and place a Catholic regent to govern for her.
A Jesuit historian, Francis Edwards, put forward the argument that the official account of the gunpowder plot was a very cynical but successful sting operation by Robert Cecil, Secretary of State and spymaster extraordinaire, to frame the opposing but powerful Catholic faction for an attempted “decapitation of the body politic” namely James 1st and his attendees at the House of Parliament. This led, according to Edwards, to justification for further and more extensive persecution of the hated Papists, division among the Catholics themselves, a discrediting of the English Catholic Regiment fighting for the Pope’s cause in Flanders and further consolidation of power for Cecil.It was also the justification for a continuation of hostile relations with Catholic Spain and the beating of the drums of war. A war which was to pave the way for the expansion of the nascent British Empire.
Edwards’s Alternative Gunpowder Plot Line
Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, chief minister of King James I of England, wants to finger the hated Roman Catholics and paint himself as the saviour, consolidating his power and taking out his rivals.
Cecil recruits Thomas Percy, a footloose adventurer with a total lack of remorse. Percy recruits Robert Catesby and five others into his gang. He pays them and convinces them that when the plot is discovered they will be safe from execution, either by royal pardon or by being allowed to escape. Catesby and Co. bring in others without telling them that this is a government run black-op. In their conceit, they think these others will be the scapegoats for execution. An infinite regression of suckers, that’s what keeps the pyramid intact.The dupes are told that there will be coup d’état after the explosion. The king’s daughter will be kidnapped and become a puppet queen with Catesby as regent.It is quite possible that these unfortunates, out of the loop, are unaware of the gunpowder aspect of the plot and are merely told about the coup d’état. Catesby and Percy assemble the band of eight conspirators, Thomas Winter, Bates, the Wright brothers, Keyes and Grant. The soldier, and poster child for evil, Guy Fawkes, also agrees to frame the Catholics.
The Inner circle
Those who know the plot behind the plot:
- Robert Catesby, ringleader.
- Christopher and John Wright, brothers, boyhood friends at York of Guy Fawkes—champion swordsmen.
- Thomas Percy, the most blatant decoy-duck of all time?
- Bates, Catesby’s servant.
- Thomas Winter who spoke several languages, and was described as the intellectual of the conspiracy.
- Francis Tresham, related to Catesby and the Winters, brother-in-law of Lord Monteagle. Was he a double agent? He was in the dupes group but could have been a spy for Cecil. He had been in debt but inherited a fortune shortly before the discovery of the plot.
Catesby and Winter have already been implicated in a rebellion, that of the Earl of Essex. Whilst others were executed, they were just fined. What conditions attended this uncommon leniency on the part of the Crown, one wonders?
Those out of the loop – scapegoats to be sacrificed:
- Guy Fawkes, a soldier of fortune with vast experience in explosives having fought for the Catholics in Flanders under the nickname Guido. The most famous “Fall Guy” of all time.
- Robert Winter, brother of Thomas Winter who had Jesuitical contacts and so brought in partly to implicate Jesuits.
- Rockwood, a very rich military man helping to organise English soldiers to fight on the Catholic side in the Flanders war.
- Robert Keyes, he may have been innocent altogether and just framed.
- John Grant
- Everard Digby
- Francis Tresham is the possible double agent, a Cecil spy posing as one of the dupes.
Although the ringleader of the gunpowder plot was Robert Catesby, the most notorious member was Guy Fawkes. The man who was to become the poster child for evil to anti-Catholics everywhere. The historical Guy Fawkes/Faux was a soldier of fortune, an explosives expert who fought for the Catholics in Flanders using the name “Guido”. He was recruited by Catesby. He was the one discovered leering over the barrels of gunpowder, lantern and match at the ready. In Britain on the 5th of November, children make their own effigy of the infamous Guy Fawkes, dragging it through the streets asking “a penny for the Guy” before burning it.
Guy Fawkes or Faux – the name today is synonymous with subversion, rebellion and anarchy. When I was a child the figure seemed to me almost indistinguishable from the devil with his goatee beard, dark clothing and mischievous grin as we set fire to him every 5th of November.
The archetypal scapegoat with the goatee, the “Fall Guy.”
This equation with the devil is no accident.
What most people today don’t know, however, is that at least back to the 13th Century, the word “Guy” was used to refer to a “dummy” or “effigy” – which was burned around the same time of year at Halloween. Bonfires and “Guys” at this time of year were a remnant of ancient religion. This is way before the Gunpowder plot of 1605 was even hatched. The word comes from “Guiser” which is someone who wore a mask, someone in disGUISE. The fire would purify the old year allowing the scapegoat for the “king”, the representative of the people, to be born anew.
Masquerade of the Plebs
In ancient Ireland, during Samhain, where our modern version of Halloween originates from, “lower class people might gather at night, put themselves under the protection of some proletarian goddess, and attack the king’s house”. Carried out by people wearing masks, this was usually a mock attack but if the masqueraiders were dissatisfied with their ruler, it became very real. Several kings died in the flames of their own homes. Rulers themselves adapted to this proto-democracy in action, by delegating mock-kings to die in their stead, scapegoats. “Cormac, foreseeing his death, dressed his court fool in his royal robes to die in his place.” Mock-kings seem to be the general rule today also…
Nom de guerre
The second name is of interest also, it can mean literally “Fake” or “Fox”, an animal associated with trickery. So, we have “Guy Fake” or “Guy Fox” or even “Disguised Fake” or “Disguised Fox”. In English, we have the word “guy” a generic term for man. We also have the word “fall guy”, the one who takes the rap, a scapegoat. He was the only member to use another false alias when he pretended to be the servant of Percy during the occupation of the house next to Parliament. He went under the name “John Johnson”. Such imagination! It took him two days under “torture” to reveal his “true” name – Guy Fawkes (Guido was a nickname he gave himself in Flanders). This was after a letter was discovered on his possession addressed to “Guy Fawkes.” When interrogated on this he claimed this was a false name he used as a nom de guerre. As we have seen, his “true name” could well have been another alias, or an amazing co-incidence. There does seem to have been a Fawkes family that he was descended from. Interestingly they were Protestant and Guy only converted to Catholicism later in life. He served as a munitions expert in Flanders, advising on defences and could easily have been a double-agent even during this period.
The conspirators obtained 36 barrels of gunpowder, each containing 90 kg (200 lbs), and stored them in a cellar, right under the House of Lords. It was left there for eight months. Later another consignment was said to have been procured, making 72 barrels in total.
They also began storing arms and gunpowder in their network of houses in the Midlands, ready for the rebellion.
You would think that, in the bustling city teeming with spies, someone would notice large suspicious barrels being rolled towards the centre of state, even at night. Did anyone? Not a soul. The cellar was not a cellar but the ground floor basement. Leaving aside the £500 cost, a princely sum in those days, how did the moderately well-off plotters come by such a huge amount of gunpowder? The quantity of 72 barrels, two consignments of 36 each was one month’s worth of the whole English national supply at the time. England was a police state, with spies spying on spies, and the manufacture of gunpowder was under Crown control, a monopoly, and stored in the Tower of London. Yet remarkably, the gunpowder records for 1605 are missing.
The Tunnel that Never Was
Thomas Percy, through his contacts, rented the house next door to the Houses of Parliament. A tunnel was dug from the cellar of the house into the foundations of the House of Lords.
The question needs to be asked, why were known Catholic men, already under a cloud of suspicion, allowed to rent a building next door to the centre of state? To dig the tunnel, they would have had to go through a wall around 10 feet thick. Between 1800 and 1823 the buildings were knocked down but no evidence has ever been found of the Gunpowder Plot tunnel.
The Forged Letter
By the grace of God, one of the group members, it is not known who, sent an anonymous warning letter on October 26th to his friend, Lord Monteagle, a prominent Catholic, to stay away from Parliament on the 5th of November.Monteagle passed the letter onto Lord Cecil, and thence the king. The king’s forces made plans to stop the conspirators. No immediate search of the Parliament buildings was ordered until 4th November, the night before the opening. Cecil wanted to let the plot go ahead so that it could be exposed at the right moment.
On October 26, Lord Monteagle arrives in his house on the very day the warning letter is sent, having been absent for a year. What luck! The letter, most probably written by Cecil himself (little does he know of future scientific methods of detecting forgery), is delivered to Monteagle, who has a servant read it aloud before he himself has even looked at it. Monteagle takes the letter to Cecil who waits for 4 days before showing it to the king. Later Monteagle will receive a pension of £700 pound a year, with no official reason given. Of singular significance is the fact that the ringleaders through their spies in Monteagle’s household were aware of the warning letter yet still continued with their compromised plot. Not even the planned date was altered. In the 20th century, Joan Cambridge, a leading expert on handwriting was called in to examine the letter. She concluded that it was extremely unlikely to have been written by the usual suspects, Tresham or Father Garnett but she was 70% sure it was written by Robert Cecil, the Secretary of State, himself.
Guy Fawkes, who was in the cellar of the Parliament with the 36 barrels of gunpowder when the authorities raided it, was caught red-handed.
On November 4, in the afternoon, the house was searched. Nothing was found except for Guy Fawkes in his Oscar winning role of servant “John Johnson” looking unconcerned. He had obviously spent a lot time coming up with such a name and getting into his role. That evening the guards returned, and this time discovered the barrels of Gunpowder and apprehended Guy Fawkes, who had failed to make himself absent following the initial search. There were no witnesses that the powder was in the basement after the plot was exposed. The basement was actually cordoned off, so some who might have been witnesses were prevented from seeing the evidence.No one saw the powder being removed. Did that stop the courageous parliamentarians from meeting on schedule, the day after the plot was allegedly discovered? No, it didn`t, because we all know what such a fearless breed politicians are. It beggars belief that Cecil, having discovered the plot, would have risked the whole of the English establishment being blown to eternity by accident. Where was all this gunpowder stored when it was moved out? No records exist of where the supposed gunpowder was taken, though the Tower of London is the obvious place, where are those damn records of 1605?
The remaining plotters received news of the discovery by five o’clock on 5th November. Catesby persuaded them that all was not lost. The plan was to reach Wales to seek help from the Welsh Roman Catholics, collecting arms and support along the way.They received no help en route and their own numbers fell away. Exhausted, they eventually arrived at Holbeche House where they made preparations for a last ditch stand. Foolishly, Catesby, and two others attempted to dry their soaking wet gunpowder in front of the fire. There was a terrible explosion, horrifically burning the three friends. When the King`s soldiers arrived on the 8th November, they shot down the rebels as they came out. Catesby and Percy, standing back to back, were killed by the same bullet. The others were hunted down and captured. They were interrogated between November and the end of January 1606 but only Guy Fawkes was tortured.
Upon discovery of the “plot”, the leader, Catesby rode to the Midlands and travelled from Catholic house to Catholic house declaring that King James and Cecil had been killed and exhorted all Catholics to rise up. About 50 joined him. Why did he lie? It’s not as though he wouldn’t have noticed 36 barrels of gunpowder not going off! Was he an agent provocateur baiting a trap? As soon as they figured out what was going on, these former dupes would abandon the cause. On the journey their cart was overturned crossing a river and the gunpowder it was carrying was soaked. They tried to dry this gunpowder in front of a fire! Again were these convenient events in fact the actions, once again, of inside men? If so it literally backfired on them as three of them were burned. On the morning of November 8, those left arrived at Holbeche house. The sheriff’s men, 200 in number, surrounded it, then ignoring what could have been the prearranged surrender sign, they shot Catesby and Percy, wounded Winter, and took the others alive. Catesby and Percy were killed with one bullet as they emerged from the house back to back making the sign of the cross. Was this some kind of signal? The marksman who shot them was awarded with exceptional generosity.
After being tortured for 4 days and refusing to give his real name, Guy Fawkes finally admitted he was working under a false alias, his intention to light the fuse and the names of his 12 co-conspirators. He was a broken man, hardly able to sign his confession. His signature before torture and afterwards were significantly different as a mark of the severity of the interrogation methods.
When Fawkes made the following confession:“We plotters had a mass that was conducted by Father Garnet, but we never told Garnet about the details of our plot.”Justice Coke the chief interrogator and orchestrator of the show trial yet to come wrote after the words Father Garnet, “Huc usque”, “stop here”. He intended to incriminate Garnet.Fawkes’ signature may have been different because it was forged. Look at the difference between before and after:
Thomas Winter’s confession was also written in a different handwriting, and the official confession had his name spelled differently. And he wasn’t tortured.
All were found guilty and sentenced to death. On 30th and 31st January they were executed, except for Francis Tresham, who died of natural causes in the Tower of London.
Monday January 27th was the day of the trial. The conspirators looked remarkably unconcerned. They lived well in the tower with food, drink and tobacco in full supply. No one had been tortured except Fawkes. They made no attempt to defend themselves or plead mercy. Then they were found guilty of treason. They were probably not expecting that.Cecil having promised the conspirators they would be allowed to escape or pardoned, broke his promise. How did he persuade them in the first place? There had been other precedents of conspirators receiving royal pardons in the last minute. He would have assured his useful idiots that they would also be pardoned…
On December 23rd, the news was that Francis Tresham, had died in the Tower of London. Later rumours would suggest he had been seen in France. Was he the only spy that wasn’t double-crossed? The brutal executions, unusually, were carried out some distance from the crowds which, along with the drums, prevented people hearing the panicked disillusion of the plotters.
The plotters’ confessions incriminated three leading Jesuits. One of them was captured and executed the other two escaped, Father John Gerard to France and Father Tesimond to Rome, where he later recounted events from the Catholic point of view.Father Garnett, the Jesuit Provincial leader in England, was later arrested, convicted and executed. The evil plot of the satanic papists had been foiled and the life of Christ or the King (the distinction was blurred) had been saved. The official line was echoed up and down the country.Severe laws were passed and the already harsh treatment of Catholics was intensified. Twenty Catholic priests were to be executed between this time and 1625 when James I died. After his death, war was declared on Spain. From 1606 to 1859 an annual service of thanksgiving was held every 5th of November and up until 1959 it was illegal NOT to celebrate this day.
Cecil consolidated his power, the beginnings of the modern police state were put in place and the British Empire was born. Implausible? There were many plots before this, always centering around the Cecils and their agents. They reeled in dupes and entangled them in their webs along with key enemies of the state.
Now, however, we know ideas are not only bullet-proof but evidently flame-proof, axe-proof and whatever tool is used to remove entrails-proof.Today the masked avenger, the Guiser, lives on in Alan Moore’s “V for Vendetta” and, in a modern “masquerade of the plebs”, under the name “Anonymous”. He is legion.
Is he a double-agent though? A “Pied Piper” leading the unwary into a trap similar to the one devised in 1605? Or is he a global “I’m Spartacus”? It remains to be seen.
The Enigma of the Gunpowder Plot 1605: The Third Solution by Francis Edwards
“It was the fifth of November
when time it went back
Some say that’s impossible, but you and I never looked back
And wasn’t it incredible, so beautiful and above all
Just to see the fuse get lit this time
To light the real bonfire, for all time”
For a more in-depth analysis: