Gunpowder Plot – Stories from Parliament (Part 2 of 2)


>>Narrator: Stories From Parliament: The Gunpowder
Plot, Part 2>>Danby: November 4th 1605. After my nightmare
I lay awake knowing that the next day the king and the whole of Parliament would be
blown to pieces. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I
could see it all in my imagination… but I didn’t know about the letter.
Somebody had sent a letter to Lord Monteagle telling him not to go to Parliament the next
day, warning him that something terrible was going to happen…>>Voice: Tomorrow this Parliament shall receive
a terrible blow and yet they shall not see who hurts them.>>Danby: The letter was not signed. Monteagle
took it to the King and from that moment the gunpowder plot was doomed. The Captain of
the Guard ordered his men…>>Captain: Find it! Search every attic and
cellar. Open every door in Parliament…throw open everything from the greatest hall to
the smallest cupboard. Shine your torches into every nook and cranny.
Go…now!>>Guard: Yes Captain!>>Captain: There is a threat to the King
hidden in Parliament. Find it!>>Guard: Sir!>>Captain: Find it tonight, find it now!>>Guard: Come on!>>Danby: In a cellar under the House of Lords…
directly under the hall where the King would have sat the next day… they found Guy Fawkes.>>Captain: There! Seize that man! [Shouts. A scuffle.]>>Captain: Bind his arms!>>Danby: And hidden under a pile of firewood
they found the thirty-four barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes had a watch, touchwood and matches
in his pocket. They took him to the Tower of London where
the machines of torture and Sir Edward Coke were waiting. He didn’t stand a chance.>>Sir Edward Coke: Who were the other traitors
Fawkes? Give us their names and we will not hurt you.>>Fawkes: There were no others. I was working
alone. [The creaking of the rack. Cries of pain.]>>Danby: Three days. They say he told them
nothing for three days.>>Coke: Their names Fawkes.>>Fawkes: I was alone. [More rack, more screaming.]>>Danby: Till on the third day he broke.>>Fawkes: (weakly) Thomas Percy… Thomas
Wintour… John Wright … Robert Catesby.>>Danby: So now they had my master’s name.
Robert Catesby put up a fight when the king’s men tracked him down but he was out-numbered… [Shouting, a skirmish, clashing of swords,
musket shots, silence.]>>Danby: …and they shot him dead. I wept
for my master but at least I knew he’d had a quick death. The others were not so lucky.
I was there at the trial at Westminster Hall. I saw them brought in… [Footsteps mounting steps onto a wooden platform.
The clanking of chains.]>>Danby: …heard them condemned for high
treason… heard too their confessions and the terrible sentences that were passed upon
them.>>Coke: A bitter fate awaits any man who
is guilty of high treason. [A crowd roars in approval.]>>Coke: These plotters, these conspirators,
these vile traitors shall be dragged through the streets to Old Palace Yard in Westminster
and there they will be hanged, drawn and quartered. [Coke’s voice is lost amongst the cheering
of a vengeful crowd]>>Danby: I was there to see Guy Fawkes and
three others die in the Old Palace Yard. Right next to the Parliament building they had wanted
to blow up. [Drum Roll. Music.]>>Danby: Traitors are made to suffer before
they die. They are hanged, drawn and quartered. Their bodies are cut open while they are still
alive. I will not tell you of the terrible things
I saw that day but I still shudder when I remember how those men died. I knew what they
were planning, you see. If they were all traitors then so was I. And
if they truly deserved that terrible death then perhaps I did too. [Music]>>Danby: And now we Catholics will not be
trusted for a hundred years. They will stop us from practising law or becoming officers
in the army. Soon they will stop us from voting. For the next hundred years we Catholics will
be blamed for every fire and plague in England; and the plotters? Their names are already
forgotten…except one, for the people will remember Guy Fawkes.
The king ordered bonfires to be lit to remember the night his majesty was saved from certain
death. And now on November 5th every year the people light their fires and burn effigies
of Guy Fawkes. The man who waited in the dark with matches
and touchwood in his pocket. The man who came within a whisker of changing England forever. [Drumbeats]

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