Lord Monteagle and the Warning Letter

Lord Monteagle Reads the Warning Letter Tragedies and Triumphs Law and Politics Social Studies

Ten days before the British Parliament was scheduled to open, in November of 1605, William Parker (also known as Lord Monteagle) was about to have dinner at his home in Hoxton. He was told that an important letter had arrived for him.

Parker read these words:

My lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care for your preservation. Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise some excuse to shift of your attendance of this Parliament, for God and man hath concurred to punish the wickedness of this time.

And think not slightly of this advertisement but retire yourself into your country, where you may expect the event in safety, for though there be no appearance of any stir, yet I say they shall receive a terrible blow, the Parliament, and yet they shall not see who hurts them.

This counsel is not to be contemned, because it may do you good and can do you know harm, for the danger is past as soon as you have burnt the latter: and I hope God will give you the grace to make gooduse of it, to whose holy protection I commend you.

Lord Monteagle, however, did not burn the letter. He showed it to Robert Cecil, the King’s Secretary of State (who was also known as the Earl of Salisbury).

People in charge took the letter seriously. Because they did, a catastrophe did not occur.

On the 4th of November, 1605, the Privy Council ordered that the vaults below the House of Lords should be searched. Guy Fawkes was there. So were 36 barrels of gunpowder.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Jan 28, 2020

Media Credits

This image, depicting Lord Monteagle reading the warning letter, was created by an unknown artist from the English School.  It is online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.




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"Lord Monteagle and the Warning Letter" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 28, 2020.
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