Sculpture shows Yorkshire men behind gunpowder plot

The gundpowder plot statue in Welwick. Picture - James Hardisty.
The gundpowder plot statue in Welwick. Picture - James Hardisty.
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It is Guy Fawkes’ name that is the one associated above all others with the infamous 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament.

Having been caught at the scene, the York man is the individual who comes to mind when the nation remembers, remembers the 5th of November - the date for which it was planned. But he did not act alone.

It was actually Warwickshire-born Robert Catesby who was the mastermind behind the scheme, which involved several coconspirators and accomplices, including two brothers, John and Christopher Wright. They attended the same school as Fawkes and hailed from the East Yorkshire village of Welwick.

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It is there that a statue depicting these four men stands 8ft tall to commemorate the area’s links to the failed plot. Farmers, local tradesmen and engineers were all involved in its creation. The detonation was to take place on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, when King James 1, the Lords and Commons would all be present.

But the plot began to fall apart when Lord Monteagle received an anonymous letter warning him not to attend. During searches of the site on November 4, Fawkes, and barrels of gunpowder, were discovered.

“The plot was designed to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I to enable a Roman Catholic monarch to take the throne,” artist Larry Malkin, who produced some of the design drawings for the sculpture, said in 2014.

“The sculpture shows Fawkes carrying the lantern he was caught with in the House of Lords cellars, next to Catesby, with a barrel of gunpowder,” The Yorkshire Post reported as it was unveiled in 2013. “John Wright is carrying his sword – he was reputedly the bravest of the gang and one of the finest swordsmen in Europe – while taciturn Christopher is portrayed with his musket.”

“The Gunpowder Plot is a tale that we all know and love,” Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness said, “and this statue is a stark reminder of the reality of an event that is now just a story we tell our children.”

Technical details: Nikon D5, Lens Nikon 12-24mm, Shutter Speed 20 sec, Aperture f/4, ISO 1000, and two LED Lights.