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 Robert Catesby

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Robert Catesby

  • Birth 1573 England
  • Death 8 Nov 1605 Staffordshire, England
  • Burial Body lost or destroyed
  • Memorial ID 43688666

Gunpowder Plot conspirator. The Gunpowder Plot was hatched by disillusioned Catholics, upset with the new King James who had pledged, but failed, to ease restrictions and punishments for practising Catholics. After assassinating the King by blowing up Parliament during its opening session, the conspirators planned to kidnap the child Princess Elizabeth and install her on the throne as a Catholic Queen. The plot was foiled a few days before it was due to be carried out when authorities received an anonymous letter informing them of the plot. Catesby was the leader of the conspiracy. He was from a strongly and vocally Catholic family and had seen several family members and friends, including his own father, arrested many times for their beliefs. At one point, his father owed over a fifth of the value of his entire estate in recusant fines. He was educated at Oxford but never matriculated as he refused to take the Protestant Oath of Supremacy required to receive his degree. He was a popular and well connected member of society, and considered dangerous enough in his zeal and influence that he was once arrested as a precautionary measure when Queen Elizabeth fell ill as authorities felt he could possibly muster enough support to overthrow the throne while the Queen was weak. He was released on her recovery. Three of the men imprisoned with him later became co-conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. He was also involved in several other uprisings intended to bring about religious freedom for Catholics, including the Essex Rebellion of 1601 and the Spanish Treason. Even after the Parliament aspect of the Gunpowder Plot was foiled, he still held out hope that the abduction of Princess Elizabeth would take place, and when it became obvious that, too, was doomed to failure, Catesby led the few remaining conspirators who had not fled or been arrested into the Midland countryside to try to effect an uprising among the general public. He was shot and killed by authorities while attempting once again to escape, along with Thomas Percy - the two were apparently killed by the same bullet. He has no grave; his body disappeared after his impromptu execution and it is believed authorities destroyed his remains, as was the general custom with executed traitors. Even at his death he protested that his actions were not intended to benefit or serve himself or any other worldly being, but for the Church and the salvation of mens' souls.

Bio by: Mount Hope NY


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mount Hope NY
  • Added: 29 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43688666
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Catesby (1573–8 Nov 1605), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43688666, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Body lost or destroyed.