Here’s a post from a year and a bit ago that I later realised really ought to have been timed for Guy Fawkes Night, that is (Remember, remember) 5th November in Britain.
On 26 October 1605 William Parker Lord Monteagle (sometimes rendered Mounteagle) was sitting eating dinner with guests at his home in Hoxton, London, when a servant handed him a letter that a tall, mysterious stranger had just delivered to his door. Lord Monteagle broke the seal and then handed the letter back to the servant to read it out. The letter was anonymous, but supposedly from one of the gunpowder plotters, and started as so:
My lord, out of the love I beare to some of youere frends, I have a care of youre preservacion, therefore I would aduyse you as you tender your life to devise some excuse to shift youer attendance at this parliament, for God and man hath concurred to punishe the wickedness of this tyme.
Monteagle was a Catholic member of the House of Lords, a man of divided loyalties – on the one hand to the…
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