Investigating Gunpowder Plot

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Manchester University Press, 1991 - Great Britain - 254 pages
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"This book takes a fresh look at the most famous treason case in English history, a complex tale of treachery, suspicion, rebellion and retribution. [The author] shows how, starting with the most slender of leads, the Jacobean government built up a full picture of the conspiracy and tracked down the guilty men and brought them to justice. The story does not end with the bloody executions of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators in 1606. For the first time in a book on the Gunpowder treason, [the author] investigates in depth the role in the plot played by the ninth earl of Northumberland, seen by many as the plotters' logical choice for a protector of the realm after blast, who was imprisoned in the Tower for sixteen years on suspicion of complicity. By examining the earl's political career in the years around 1605, the author shows how the government investigations, though shedding much light on the plot, never revealed the whole truth. [The author] cuts through the distortions of centuries of political and religious propaganda to explain the real motives of the Gunpowder plotters. [The author] disposes of the 'conspiracy theory, ' which holds that the king's chief minister, Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, framed the conspirators for his own political purposes, and ... sheds considerable light on the workings of early Jacobean government, particularly the privy council. [This book] should appeal to anyone interested in English history, as well as historians and students of seventeenth-century England"--
 

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Contents

The depths of treason
33
The plotters condemned
47
Further suspects further trials
62
The traitor? The earl of Northumberland
81
The Stuart succession
112
A power in the land
123
Clear as the day or dark as the night
159
Circumstances and time
174
Northumberland in star chamber
185
The eternal suspect
197
Gunpowder plot reconsidered
211
earls of Northumberland
224
Index
242
Copyright

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