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Thomas Bates, Ambrose Rookwood and Sir Everard Digby

Thomas Bates

Thomas Bates, Robert Catesby's devoted servant, seems to have been told about the plot in December 1604. He claimed to have revealed the details to a Jesuit priest, Oswald Tesimond shortly afterwards.

On the plot's discovery he rushed with Catesby to the Midlands but was not with the others for the shoot-out at Holbeach in Staffordshire. He was captured soon afterwards, tried on 27 January, and executed on the 30 January in St Paul's Churchyard.

Ambrose Rookwood

Ambrose Rookwood was born around 1578 into a Suffolk Catholic family. He was educated among Catholics, in Flanders, and married into another Catholic family, the Tyrwhitts of Lincolnshire.

He inherited his father's estates in 1600 and was recruited by Catesby in September 1605.

Rookwood was useful to the conspirators because he was wealthy and owned many good horses. After the discovery of the plot, he fled with the others to the Midlands, and was injured in the gunpowder accident at Holbeach on 7 November. In the fight on the following day he was captured and brought to London. He was tried on 27 January, and executed in Old Palace Yard on the 31 January.

Sir Everard Digby

Sir Everard Digby was born in about 1578, into a Roman Catholic family, although he seems to have adopted the Catholic faith later in life.

Like Rookwood and Tresham, he seems to have been recruited because he had money. He was told about the plot in October 1605 and although he had doubts, he entered fully into the conspiracy.

He remained with Catesby and the others for a time, but left them before the final stand at Holbeach. He was captured and while in prison wrote a series of letters to his wife and family, which were published in 1675.

Digby was tried separately from the others on 27 January and because he pleaded guilty, he was allowed to make a speech, in which he referred to what Catholics thought were promises made by the King at the beginning of his reign. He was executed on the 30 January in St Paul's Churchyard.


You can access biographies of

Oswald Tesimond
Ambrose Rookwood
Sir Everard Digby
James VI & I

from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for free, online, using your local library card number (includes nine out of ten public libraries in the UK) or from within academic library and other subscribing networks.