G is for Gunpowder Plot

Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot and Ambrose Rookwood

The link to this national event and Suffolk is Ambrose Rookwood, a handsome, wealthy young man who was a devout Catholic. He was brought into the expanding plot because of his horsemanship, celebrated stable and his ownership of Coldham Hall. This made him an excellent choice for any escape plans. He had undertaken some minor tasks for the lead conspirators but it wasn’t until the September of 1605 that he was brought fully into their confidence. When Fawkes was discovered in the Houses of Parliament some conspirators were still in London and there was a mad dash to escape. Rookwood was one of the last to leave but due to his excellent horsemanship and horses he overtook the others and it was he who brought the bad news to Catesby, who had devised the plot. Rookwood was badly injured in an explosion at Holbeach House where some of the conspirators had taken refuge, then hit by a musket ball when the authorities besieged the house. Although severely injured he was taken prisoner and moved to the Tower of London. He was tried with seven others on 27 January at Westminster Hall and executed on 31 January in the Old Palace Yard.

Coldham Hall, Stanningfield, 1574 (1511/222/1)