The Gunpowder Plot Profiles of 1605

houses_of_parliament cellars
In 1605, a group of 13 plotters Tried to blow up the House of parliaments, With 36 barrels of gunpowder. Learn the reason why we call Bonfire Night Gunpowder, Treason & Plot.

The plotters placed the barrels in the basement, They tried to kill King James VI and I and his leaders. The house of parliament was the perfect target for the plotters, this was the main area where all the lords and royals held their sessions to pass laws and bills.

The Queen and King

Queen Elizabeth 1st throne of England (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) Queen Elizabeth 1st throne of England. She put many laws into effect against the Roman Catholics, At this point the Catholics found these laws unfair, They hoped that King James 1st would revert these placed laws.
James VI and I King of Scotland (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) King James the 1st got the throne, he passed more laws against the Catholics than any other of his predecessors, It was a bad time for the Catholics to practise their religion, they were forced into secret. There were even fines in place for people who did not attend the Christian church on Sunday Or on holy days.

Guy Fawkes Day
Crispin van de Passe, The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators (c.1606) Below is the profile for each original plotters and the recruits.

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot

Original Plotters


(1572 – 8 November 1605)
Robert Catesby the group leader of provincial English Catholics and who elaborated the failed attempt to assassinate king James the 1st.


(1571 or 1572 – 31 January 1606)
, Thomas Wintour also spelled Winter, He was the cousin to (Robert Catesby), Thomas recoiled on the plan to an assassination of the king, but he grew on the idea and offered a warning of the price of failure to the group.

(13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), Guy Fawkes Also known as Guido Fawkes, He famously adopted while fighting for the Spanish, Guy was a recruited and a key member of the plotters group of provincial English Catholics. Guido Fawkes

(January 1568 – 8 November 1605), John Wright was among the first men in the conspiracy to assassinate King James Ist, He attended much of the meetings and elaborated with (Roberts Catesby).


(1560 – 8 November 1605)
, On Sunday 20 May 1604 Thomas Percy became the 5th plotter to join the group, He first complained about the king not fulfilling his expectations and promoted to Mr Casby to kill him with his own sword, (Roberts Catesby) educated Percy on the plan to kill king James the 1st.

Plotters Recruits


(1565 – 31 January 1606)
, Robert Keyes had the trusted job Guarding the explosives in latter’s lodgings in London, He become the 6th man to join the plotters.


(1567 – 30 January 1606)
, Thomas Bates become the 7th Gunpowder plotter after he accidentally became aware of the conspiracy, He was (Roberts Catesby) retainer and elaborated with the group many times.


(1570 – 8 November 1605)
, Christopher Wright was the brother to john wright and became the 8th individual to join the group, He did have a solid role with the conspiracy but elaborated with the group many times.


(1570 – 30 January 1606)
, John Grant keyhole was the uprising, he was to help supplies for the Midlands uprising and was enlisted by (Robert Catesby) himself.


(1568 – 30 January 1606)
, Robert Wintour was the brother to (Thomas Wintour) also spelled Winter, Robert did not have a key role like most of the plotters, but he helped in any way he could with the conspiracy.

(1578 – 31 January 1606)
, Ambrose Rookwood with (John grant) Ambrose joined the conspiracy being asked by (Robert Catesby) to help incite an uprising in the Midlands.


(1567 – 23 December 1605)
, Francis Tresham eldest son of Sir Thomas Tresham, He joined the conspiracy on October 1605 and was kindly asked for a large sum of money, to fund the plot.


(1578 – 30 January 1606)
, Sir Everard Digby role was to help with the uprising, But there is little known to what exactly his detailed purpose was within the role and his conviction.

Further information


Are you working through Bonfire Night Beginners guide, return back to it here for Lesson 2:. Or, if you prefer Use the exploring links below or browse the menu above.

Exploring Bonfire Night? Come read What is Bonfire Night, learn why we still celebrate over 400 years later, with regulated fireworks and huge community bonfires. We have explored Guy Fawkes night evolving from 1605 to present day.

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