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By astonishing perseverance they made considerable progress in their diabolical work: they foon pierced the wall, though three yards in thickness; but on approaching the other side, they were somewhat startled at hearing a noise, which they knew not how to account for. A discovery was now apprehended, and the confpirators prepared to defend themselves to the last extremity. Upon enquiry, they found that it came from the vault below the house of lords, that a magazine of coals had been kept there, and that as the coals were selling off, the vault would be let to the highest bidder. The opportunity was immediately seized, the place was hired by Piercy, 36 barrels of gunpowder lodged in it, the whole covered up with faggots and billets, the doors of the cellar boldly flung open, and every body admitted, as if it contained nothing dangerous.

The house where the conspirators used to meet at was behind St. Clement's Church, without Temple-Bar, lately pulled down in order to make way for the new improvement on that spot. Here the oath was first administered by Catelby, Piercy, and John Wright; who, like Thomas Winter, had also allured his brother, Christopher Wright. The oath was as follows: “ You shall swear by the blessed Trinity, and by the facrament you now purpose to receive, never to disclose, directly or indirectly, by word or circumstance, the matter that fall be proposed to you to keep secret, nor delitt from the execution thereof until the rest shall give you leave.”-Catesby having remarked that his servant, Thomas Bates, particularly noticed him, as if he suspected something of what he was about, called him to him, at his lodging in Puddle-Wharf, and in the presence of Thomas Winter, interrogated him with repeat to what he thought they were about. Bates answered that he supposed it was some very dangerous business. Hereupon it was deemed neceffary to admit Bates into their party, and insure his secrecy by an oath. The whole train of mischief was now completely laid ; for the parliament having been prorogued to the sth of November, the conspirators had sufficient time to perfect their diabolical plan. James, his queen, and Prince Henry, were all expected to be present at the opening of Parliament. The Duke of York, on account of his tender age, they knew would be absent, and it was agreed that Piercy should seize or assassinate him. The Princess Elizabeth, also a child, was at Lord Harrington's, in Warwickshire ; but Sir Everard Digby, Rookwood, and Grant, engaged to assemble their friends, under the pretence of a hunting match, and after seizing that princess, to proclaim her queen.


The long wished-for time now drew near for carrying this infamous scheme into execution, and the vile agents waited with impatience for its arrival; but under the providence of God, the royal family, lords, commons, kingdom, were saved from destruction.

About ten days before the meeting of parliament, Lord Monteagle, son of Lord Morley, a catholic peer, received the following letter, delivered to his servant by an unknown hand :



My Lord,

« Out of the love I bear to some of your “ friends, I have a care of your preservation. Therefore ! " would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise fome “ excuse to shift off your attendance at this parliament. “ For God and man have concurred to punish the wicked« ness of this time. And think not slightly of this adver“ tisement; but retire yourself into your country, where “ you may expc&t the event in safety. For, though there “ be no appearance of any ftir, yet I say, they will receive “ a terrible blow this parliament; and yet they shall not


337 ki see who hurtš them. This counsel is not to be contem

ned, because it may do you good, and can do you no " harm: for the danger is past, as soon as you have burned & the letter. And I hope God will give you the grace to “ make good use of it; unto whose holy protection I com

i mend you."

Monteagle, alarmed at this ambiguouś letter, and yet inclined to think it some foolish scheme to frighten and ridicule; carried it at midnight to Lord Salisbury, secretary of ftate: his Lordship having consulted with the Earl of Suffolk, the contents were afterwards communicated to the king, the Earls of Northampton, Worcester, and Nottingham. A terrible blow and yet the authors concealed; a danger so sudden and yet so great, these intimations seemed all to denote some contrivance by gunpowder, and it was thought adviseable to inspect all the vaults below the houses of parliament. Accordingly, on the 4th of November, the Lord Chamberlain visited all the adjoining places. He observed, though seemingly with a slight inspection, the great piles of wood and faggots in the vault under the upper house, and cast his eye upon Fawkes, who stood in a dark corner, and said he was one of Piercy's servants. The Lord Chamberlain was struck with the appearance of a man in whose countenance all the signs of ferocious courage were strongly marked. It appeared a little extraordinary, that Piercy, who seldom refided in town, should have here such a quantity of fuel, and, upon comparing all cirá cumstances, it was resolved to make a more thorough search. This resolution being taken, about midnight Sir Thomas Knevet; a justice of the peace, was sent with proper attendants to examine the cellar, under the pretext of fearching for stolen goods. Fawkes had just put the finishing stroke to his preparations, and was coming out of the vault, when Knevet arrived on the spot. The daring conspirator VOL. ). No. 8. Xx


was instantly secured, and the faggots being removed, the barrels of gunpowder were laid open to view. Fawkes had a dark lantern in his hand, and the matches with every thing necessary for setting fire to the powder, were found in his pockets. The guilt of this determined villain was now apparent, who knowing that all denial would be in vain, avowed the dreadful design, at the same time expressing the utmost regret that he had lost the opportunity of firing the powder, and at once destroying both his enemies and himself. When examined before the council, he shewed not the least concern, but for the failure of his enterprize, and refused to discover his accomplices. He was then conveyed to the Tower, where though thewed and threatened with the rack, he still displayed the fame intrepid firmness, and it was on account of the following circumstance, that he made any confeffion.

One Mr. Gilbert Pickering, a protestant of TichmarshGrove, in Northamptonshire, and who was in great esteem with King James, had a horse remarkable for swiftness, on which he used to hunt with the king. A little before the blow was to be given, Robert Keies, one of the confpirators, and brother-in-law to Pickering, borrowed this horse, and conveyed him to London upon the following bloody design. Fawkes, upon the day of the fatal blow, was appointed to retire to St. George's Fields, where this horse was to attend him to further his escape, as they made him believe; but it was otherwise contrived that Mr. Pickering, who was a noted puritan, should be murdered in his bed, and secretly conveyed away, and also that Fawkes, as soon as he came into St. George's Fields, should be there murdered, and so mangled, that he could not be known; whereupon, it was to be reported that the puritans had blown up the parliament-house, and as a corroboration, there was to have been Pickering's body near his own horse. Fawkes, on understanding this underhand scheme, freely


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