A LETTER TO A LORD

A letter was to be written on this still evening to a catholic Lord and delivered by a messenger at the twilight hour.

The author of the letter would never be known but suspicion would later fall upon one to whom he was related by marriage.

The author of the letter was not the suspect but another.

The author had known about the plan to assassinate the English King for some time.

Because the plan was conceived by him and so he had known about the intentions of the thirteen conspirators from the very beginning.

Arguably, he, the author, was the fourteenth conspirator and he knew only too well that he would face the wrath of justice if his plan failed.

If it succeeded, he would be nationally acclaimed and endeared forevermore to the monarch whom he served.

He had many a night lay awake dreaming of such a night as this throughout his political life.

His Father had foretold that one day the destiny of the English nation would be in his hands.

And so it proved to be.

The man was a grand master at his craft.  Nobody would know.  Nobody could suspect.

The letter itself was thoughtfully penned and the handwriting ridiculously caressed to ensure anonymity.

The content and message of the letter was purposely obscure without specifying the event itself that had been planned for.

The author of the letter was aware and acquainted with all of the thirteen actual conspirators but they were not as acquainted with him or at all in relation to his involvement in the assassination plot.

There was never any need to give the game away.

One of the thirteen conspirators was the suspect supposed to have written the letter.

Why else warn the Lord to whom you write to stay away from the State opening of Parliament on 5th November if he did not want his life to be saved?

The suspect played his part in the plot only to be relieved of his conscienable indebtedness and to be promised reward in addition.

He knew by his very contact with the author that the author had no intention whatsoever of allowing the so called Gunpowder Plot to be carried out to its finality.

In such circumstances, the suspect would never have needed to write the letter because there was no inherent danger to the Lord.

The author had facilitated the renting of the small cellar below the Parliament building to one of the conspirators, Thomas Percy.

The author had also facilitated the fetch of the forty barrels of gunpowder and done his homework on the nightwatchman and explosives expert Guy Fawkes.

The author had also relayed reassurances to the ringleader Robert Catesby.

All that was now required to do was to write the letter and effect the muse.

The author despised catholics more than he could stand.  It was totally alien to him and unacceptable that anglicans should revere an entity, such as was the papacy of Rome and a foreign power, greater than that of English sovereignty.

The messenger was summoned to meet a stranger in the darkness of the forest.

He could or would never know with whom he met and was warned in no uncertain terms that his life and that of his family was in danger until the letter had been delivered.

The messenger was explicity instructed to hand the letter only to the Lord himself and that it should be read by the Lord in the presence of a servant.

The messenger would not stop long enough for the letter to be opened.

The author’s motive here was plain enough.  A third party, the servant, would know about a plan to attack the King but not know of any details.

In the days that followed when the servant tried to convince others of such a plot (and of course he did not know who any of the conspirators were), he would not be believed.

The Lord was, of course, perplexed to receive such a letter and at such an hour.

He was quick to take it to the one man who he thought would make sense of it.

Indeed he would because that man was the author of the letter.

With masterful trickery, the letter writer and now keeper told nobody about the letter until the eve of the planned attack as he feigned a process of investigation and built a platform for his own glorification.

When the time came at the midnight hour, Guy Fawkes was inevitably caught red-handed in the cellar while others, realizing they were rumbled, were chased across the English countryside and were either shot to death or captured and later executed.

All except one man, the suspect for writing the letter.  He did not run.  Nor was he tortured or threatened with execution.

There was no need.  The suspect was quietly detained at the Tower of London to await his reward.

The end was not quite what the suspect expected but nothing less thad been planned for by the author of the letter from the outset.

The suspect was poisoned and died.

King James rejoiced at the saviour of his kingdom from a bunch of catholic dissidents and paid glory to the hunchback little man who was his closest political adviser and who had, so to speak, hatched the plot.

That is why English people always say ‘Remember, remember the fifth of November’.

Famous words indeed.

Not so much for the burning of an effigy of an explosives expert on a bonfire but for a letter written to a Lord which cemented the foiling of a Gunpowder Plot that never was.

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