Rookewoods story continues on my blog on my website at
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.
King Charles I, who was executed this day in 1649 was not the only casualty of the Civil War, Pontefract Castle was another.
As a result of these wars this Yorkshire castle held out against three sieges. In the end though, this once mighty medieval building was, in the words of Marie Lloyd, one of the
"of the ruins that Cromwell knocked about a bit"
The heart of the funeral cortege included a coffin wagon covered with black velvet, as were the six horses pulling it; Heralds and fifty servants in black carrying torches; four banners in crimson taffeta and four golden standards. At the door of the abbey church the body was received by four bishops and six abbots and placed under a canopy lit by a thousand candles.
Katharine’s tomb of gilded black marble was vandalised by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in April 1643, the black marble being removed in the 1700s for lining the floor of the then Dean’s summerhouse! The current memorial slab was installed in 1895 after a national campaign for the ‘Katharines of England’ to all donate a penny to the cause, organised by the wife of one of the Cathedral canons, Katharine Clayton.
Today Katharine is remembered annually by a commemorative service and series of events at the Cathedral and elsewhere in the city around the anniversary of her burial, 29 January.
The above is an extract from Peterborough Cathedral's website, where you can read more about Catherine.
A visitor centre is set to be built into Clifford’s Tower, the last remaining part of York Castle, if English Heritage have their way.
The City of Lincoln got it right when they built their Magna Carta building inside the grounds of Lincoln Castle, it blends very well into its surroundings and can hardly be seen when viewing from the heights of the castles walls. There would have been uproar, and quite rightly so, if they had dug into the foundations of the magnificent Lucy Tower.
Why take a great chunk out of the Clifford Tower when it could be built next to it, as you can see has been done in my image of the Lucy Tower?
It is possible to build new buildings to educate and inform without knocking about existing buildings. English Heritage do a fine job looking after our old ruins that have seen better days, without such organisations they would be no more, however things are changing.
An article in today's Guardian states:
"In 1983, the Conservative government decided to transfer the entire collection to a new body called, after some tinkering, English Heritage. In April 2015 that organisation became a charitable trust and was handed an £80m lump sum, around a third of which is for capital investment. “It’s an opportunity to be more imaginative and a bit bolder,” said Ashbee.
Clifford’s Tower is the first site to benefit, or suffer, from that new investment, but others are soon to follow. Framlingham Castle in Suffolk is to get a £1.2m makeover while at Tintagel a £4m bridge is planned. Judging from the Merlin’s face furore, and now the judicial review on Clifford’s Tower, the change to a bolder style of heritage may yet end in ruins."
The face of Merlin in the rocks at Tintagel, a place close to my heart, a new roadway at Stonehenge and now Clifford Tower and Flamlingham Castle, what next I wonder?
Protecting our heritage and making a profit can run hand in hand, but not at the expense of glorified vandalism.
NB: Since writing this I have discovered that plans have been scrapped and York City Council are putting together a plan for the whole area.
An anonymous, rather unflattering engraving of Henry VIII possibly depicts the king aged fifty three, three years before his death on this day in January 1547.
Henry has been played numerous times in film and on television, whose portrayal got the closest to Henry in real character?
Take a look at my blog and let me know.
In 1482, one John Cowper, a 'master person, surveyor over stone masons' was working on Kirkby Muxloe Castle in Leicestershire (image one) on its new gatehouse.
Within the same time frame, Cowper was employed at Tattershall in Lincolnshire working on William Waynflete's Collegiate Church (image two) a stones throw from Tattershall's red bricked castle (image three)
It is thought, that based on Cowper's ideas, Tattershall's castle was used as a model for Kirkby Muxloe's gate house.
On the 25th of March 1625 at Westminster Abbey Charles I was crowned King of England, he spent most of this time in a power struggle for with Parliament. By 1629 Charles had had numerous arguments with his ministers which lead him to abolish Parliament.
Charles as king, could do this under what was known as Royal Prerogative, the divine right to rule, but by the middle of the century he was wading into trouble, many people regarding him as insensitive.
The West Country, the home of my maternal ancestors, were notable Royalist, suffered at this time, the town of Barnstaple for instance, changed from Royalist to Parliamentarians and back again no fewer that four times.
The year 1649 saw a great change in the governance of England, in the January of that year the trial of Charles I had begun. The country had seen the estimated deaths from the civil wars as 84,830 killed with another 100,000 dying from war related diseases, and therefore the king was held
"guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapes, burnings, spoils, desolations, damages and mischiefs to this nation”
Charles was declared guilty on Saturday 27 January 1649 and sentenced to death and was executed by beheading on the 30th January 1649.
27th January 1596
The death of Sir Francis Drake of dysentery while in the West Indies doing what he loved best, that is attacking the Spanish. Drakes body, all decked out in a suit of armour, was buried at sea in a lead coffin, just off the coast of Panama.
Sir Francis Drake, all cool, calm and collected, and handsome to boot, fits our romantic ideals as the perfect hero and what better story to demonstrate this is his famous game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe.
On being told that Spanish ships had been spotted he famously remarked that there was plenty of time for him to finish his game.
Now, that is cool, if he actually said it!
History is so interesting isn't it? Do you love the story of King Alfred's unsuccessful afternoon in the kitchen or King Cnut unsuccessful attempt not to get his feet wet? Maybe you're interested in when the Normans landing on our shores or the stories of an era closer to our time?