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The Gunpowder Plot Deceit (Paperback)

P&S History > British History P&S History > Social History P&S History > True Crime World History > UK & Ireland > England > London World History > UK & Ireland > England > Yorkshire & Humberside

By Martyn R Beardsley
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 195
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526751423
Published: 5th June 2019



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Most people think they know the story of the Gunpowder Plot, and of how a bloody catastrophe was averted at the eleventh hour when Guy Fawkes was caught lurking in the shadows beneath the Houses of Parliament.

But what if it wasn’t like that at all? How was it that a group of prominent, disaffected Catholics were able to plot for months with apparent impunity? How could they openly rent a house next door to the House of Lords and use it as their base – right under the nose of the leading spymaster of the age, Robert Cecil? How could they have hacked a tunnel towards their target and dispose of tonnes of spoil without alerting anyone – and why is there no record of anyone ever having seen such a tunnel?

This book explores the idea that the government was not only aware of what the plotters were up to long before Fawkes’ arrest, but that agent-provocateurs may have given them a helping hand – or have even instigated the plot themselves.

There are quite a lot of books about the Gunpowder Plot, both fact and fiction, and Beardsley has done a good job of collecting the evidence and providing a rational assessment of it.

Ripperologist, October 2019 – reviewed by Paul Begg

As feature in.

The Bookseller 29/3/19

Like all good investigators, Martyn Beardsley asks the important questions. Such as how could Robert Cecil, one of history’s most notorious spymasters not have known of the plot? How did the plotters dig a big tunnel and remove tons of spoil without being noticed? Are there any records of anyone having seen such a tunnel?

Well-researched, and putting its ideas across well, this book would make the basis for a most interest documentary.

Read the full review here

Hellbound, Steve Earles

About Martyn R Beardsley

Martyn Beardsley writes for both children and adults, but history is his big passion. He is from Nottingham but visits the coast as often as possible, and has witnessed the Fowey lifeboat go into action on several occasions – on one of which he helped coax a troubled woman from the chilly waters of Polruan harbour. His other non-fiction works include Charles II and his Escape into Exile, and Waterloo Voices, a compilation of first-hand accounts of the famous battle.

Gunpowder Plot

5th November 1605

Catholic conspirator Guy Fawkes attempts to blow up King James I and the British Parliament. Plot discovered, Guy Fawkes caught, tortured and later executed along with seven others. Celebrated ever since as Guy Fawkes Day, where his effigy is traditionally burned on a bonfire, accompanied by fireworks.

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Perfect Partner

Power, Treason and Plot in Tudor England Margaret Clitherow, an Elizabethan Saint (Hardback)

The Tudor period was notable for religious turmoil. Under Queen Elizabeth I, the slowly reforming Protestant Church of England finally gained a level of stability, but many people, from paupers to Lords, clung to Catholicism. Most crossed their fingers and attended Protestant services. Others, the ‘recusants’, remained defiant and refused to conform. This book takes a fresh look into the life and death of one prominent Catholic recusant, Margaret Clitherow, and the wider events which shaped her story and that of many others. In 1970, Margaret was made a saint, one of the Forty Martyrs of England…

By Tony Morgan

Click here to buy both titles for £32.99
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