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The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st

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Helen F
Warrington
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1 of 7  Sat 24th Oct 2020 11:08am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2615

Well before the Gunpowder Plot, the Catesbys were a wealthy and respected family with many properties and land in Warwickshire including Coventry (14th century). Part of the substantial portfolio was a significant mansion on the west side of Cross Cheaping called Catesby Place. In 1605 the Coventry properties were no longer in the family, having been stripped from the head of the family in 1485, for treason. That Catesby was a close advisor and Chancellor of the Exchequer to Richard III. Captured at the Battle of Bosworth Field he was executed three days later. After his death his estates were largely confiscated by Henry VII. Catesby was succeeded by his eldest son, George, to whom the family seat of Ashby St Legers was later restored. Robert Catesby, leader of the Gunpowder Plot, was a descendant. I don’t know how long after 1485 that Catesby Place was renamed or if the lane that skirted its northern boundary retained the name longer but after the Gunpowder Plot, memory of the Catesbys would have surely been expunged. Most of us vaguely know of the story. In 1605 a group of Catholics headed by Robert Catesby wanted to return the country to Catholic leadership. The plot was hatched to blow up James I at the opening of Parliament but they realised that they needed someone with royal blood to replace him. Henry, the eldest son of James was considered too old to be malleable and too likely to be with his father at the opening of Parliament and thus be killed. James's children Charles and Mary were deemed too young but the conspirators set their sights on the 9 year old Princess Elizabeth. Not only could she be converted but also quickly married off to a good Catholic husband who would then automatically become king. Did Catesby, by then a widower, fancy the role? Elizabeth had been living under the care of Lord Harington at Coombe Abbey but was moved when the plot was unearthed. At one point the plotters were at The Bull on Smithford Street and the princess was at the Palace Yard on Earl Street. From hereon we know what happened to the plot and Catesby but what of Elizabeth? She grows up and her father King James selects Frederick (Friedrich) V, Count Palatine of the Rhine to be her husband. The match seems to have pleased both of them. Partway through their courtship her brother Henry, the Prince of Wales dies but despite her moving one step closer to the throne (raising her marriageable status), the wedding goes ahead. After a bank account busting wedding celebration, the pair head off to Heidelberg and have 13 kids. At which point you might think that we would have heard he last of Elizabeth, other than her brief elevation of status to Queen of Bohemia. However her husband dies at only 36 and she is left in exile in the Hague. She refuses to return to England, despite an invitation by her younger brother – now King Charles I and stays to ensure her eldest son inherits her husband’s title and lands. Meanwhile back in England Charles is executed and we have first Oliver Cromwell and then Richard Cromwell as leaders but eventually Charles II is installed as king and it is at this point that Elizabeth returns. The final twists in the tale were after her death in 1662. Charles II rules until his death in 1685 but despite fathering many illegitimate children, he had no heir so the throne switched to his younger brother James II. Not popular and Catholic he was deposed and replaced with the husband of his protestant eldest daughter Mary. So we had William III and Mary II. They had no heirs so Mary’s sister, James II‘s second protestant daughter Anne, was crowned. She too dies without an heir. After Queen Anne’s death the succession went to the nearest Protestant relative of the Stuart line. This was Sophia, daughter of Elizabeth of Bohemia, but she died a few weeks before Anne and so the throne succeeded to her son George. 109 years after the Gunpowder Plot, Elizabeth’s grandson at 54, having lived his life in Hanover he spoke only a few words of English and rarely spent time here, was crowned George I.
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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2 of 7  Sun 25th Oct 2020 1:45am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3479

Thanks for that, Helen. I am speechless, which will please a few folk. Lol
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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3 of 7  Sun 25th Oct 2020 2:19pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3791

But there was a better success in 1974 when the IRA blew up Westminster Hall in Parliament. doing extensive damage and injuring people.
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Helen F
Warrington
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Thread starter
4 of 7  Mon 26th Oct 2020 11:43am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2615

Kaga, "better success" aren't quite the words I'd use. Dreamtime, I'm terrible at history and thought that the strange links between Coventry and the royal succession might help me remember the order during that period. I always wondered how William III, Anne and George I arrived on the scene. Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia ties it all up for me. Coventry history is a tribute to powerful women.
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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5 of 7  Tue 27th Oct 2020 1:21pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:806

Hence Catesby Road in Radford, presumably.
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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6 of 7  Tue 27th Oct 2020 1:52pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3479

On 26th Oct 2020 11:43am, Helen F said: Kaga, "better success" aren't quite the words I'd use. Dreamtime, I'm terrible at history and thought that the strange links between Coventry and the royal succession might help me remember the order during that period. Coventry history is a tribute to powerful women.
There is no doubt Helen you are a tribute to this Forum, so thank you. Smile
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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7 of 7  Wed 28th Oct 2020 10:52am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3791

Helen I thought your post was referring to the plot to blow up Parliament, and yes this plot was a great success, they did just that without killing anyone, or damaging the great historic building. But being ignored, one year later they tore a great hole in a hotel, killing five people, injuring scores of others, and showing they could flatten the Houses of Parliament any time they liked. For three hours Lady Thatcher sat in a room that was flattened a few minutes after she had moved out.
Local History and Heritage - The Catesbys, Gunpowder Plot, Queen of Bohemia and George 1st

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