I expect many of you are watching the BBC's new series Gunpowder.
I've watched all three episodes, but many of you will still be waiting to watch the final show this weekend so I will refrain from writing about it in full until this episode has been aired. However, I will say that I thought that it has brought a breath of fresh air to historical dramas - and about time too. No sex, no sanitized sets and no distorting of the facts - only the merging of related events during the terrible persecution of Catholics as an aid help us understand how and why Robert Catesby acted as he did.
Because Catesby story and that of John Gerard and Henry Garnet is not just related to the Gunpowder Plot it would have proved difficult to include it in the story, likewise it would prove difficult to include the stories of the other members of the plot, however I do not think this adaption of such a sad tale lost any of its impact because of it.
Apart from the escape scene from the Tower of London, I thought Gunpowder was a job well done.
What's your opinion on the show so far?
Ambrose Rookwoode, one of the eight gunpowder plotters whose face was burned and who was injured in the shootout at Holbeche House, story was not told has links to my home county of Lincolnshire - here's a little bit about him.
On the 31st January in 1606 Gunpowder plotters, Thomas Wintour and Robert Keyes were drawn from the Tower to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster, Guy Fawkes was brought to the scaffold too, but he was made to watch as his fellow plotters were hanged and quartered.
Twenty-eight year old Ambrose Rookwood was another of the Gunpowder Plotters who also went to the gallows that day.
Rookewoods story continues on my blog on my website at
Following the their trial on the 27th January, Guy Fawkes, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood and Robert Keyes were drawn from the Tower to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster where Fawkes watched as his fellow plotters as they were hanged and quartered.
Despite what is usually thought Guy Fawkes did not receive the same fate, before they were able to tie the noose around his neck, Fawkes managed to jump from the gallows breaking his neck in the fall. His body was then quartered and distributed to 'the four corners of the kingdom' to be placed on display.
What would have happened if their plan to rid the country of King James and his Parliament had come to fruition? Would there have been, as we have seen in times past, an under aged king on the throne and a protector appointed or would there have been a civil war with the followers of the Protestant and Catholic religions fighting it out on the battle field.
The trial of eight men who had attempted to blow up Parliament had taken place on the 27th January 1606. It was today, that the first of the executions of these Gunpowder Plotters took place.
Robert Winter, Thomas Bates, Everard Digby and John Grant all met their deaths on a scaffold at Tyburn.
The following day, Guy Fawkes, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood and Robert Keyes were also drawn from the Tower to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster to their gruesome death.
By the end of the sixteenth century many followers of the Catholic faith had faced persecution, but had looked forward to a brighter future when King James I took the throne of England.
James had promised that there would be a greater tolerance and true to his word, after his coronation in 1603, he kept his promise and restrictions on Catholicism were lifted. Almost immediately after the changes took place the king had pressure placed on him by many of the Protestant faith and he soon performed a u-turn.
Angered by this, a group of men, headed by Robert Catesby, a descendant of Sir William Catesby, royal councillor and loyal friend of Richard III, plotted to blow up parliament and the king. These eight men rented a cellar below the Palace of Westminster and filled it with gunpowder, ready for the state opening of parliament on the fifth. They had previously approached Guy Fawkes who was "a man highly skilled in matters of war" and therefore an 'expert' with explosives.' The plotters plan ran smoothly, but they knew nothing of what has come to be known as the Monteagle Letter, it was this small note that was their undoing.
Fawkes was arrested and through torture gave the names of his fellow conspirators These men whereabouts were discovered, two of the men had fled, one gave himself up but the rest, including Catesby stood their ground against the kings forces at Holbeche House in Staffordshire.
The trial of eight of the plotters began this day the 27th January 1606.
It is thought that today in 1570 Guido Fawkes was born in Stonegate, York. His date of birth is unknown but he was baptised in the church of St Michael le Belfrey on the 16th April.
By the end of the sixteenth century many followers of the Catholic faith had faced persecution but had looked forward to a brighter future when King James I took the throne of England. James had promised that there would be a greater tolerance and true to his work, after his coronation in 1603, he kept his promise and restrictions on Catholicism were lifted. Almost immediately after the changes took place the king had pressure placed on him by many of the Protestant faith and he soon performed a u-turn.
Twelve men were angry and they hired Fawkes.
Guido Fawkes was a mercenary, a hit man , brought in to do a job, today his name has come to represent anarchy and is a byword for the other throw of government.