Proclamation by King James - Gunpowder Plot

When the King learned about the Gunpowder Plot, he issued a Proclamation for the capture of the individuals he believed were involved.  Issued on the 7th of November, 1605, the Proclamation lists Thomas Percy as the leader.  There is no mention of Guy Fawkes.

The following is the text of the Proclamation (using English of the day):

By the King.

Whereas Thomas Percy Gentleman, and Some Other [of] His Confederates, Persons Knowen to be So Vtterly [utterly] Corrupted with the Superstition of the Romish Religion, as seduced with the blindness thereof, and being otherwise of lewde life, insolent disposition, and for the most part of desperate estate, have beene discovered to have contrived the most horrible treason that ever entered into the hearts of men, against our Person, our Children, the whole Nobilitie, Clergie, and Commons in Parliament assembled, which howsoever cloaked with zeale of Superstitious Religion, aymed indeed at the Subversion of the State, and to induce an horrible confusion of all things.

In which they and all others of bankerupt and necessitous estate, might have those of better abilitie for a pray to repaire their beggarly Fortunes, and have proceeded so farre some of them in their devilish Attempts as to assemble in Troupes in our Counties of Warwicke and Worcester, where they have broken up a Stable, and taken out horses of divers Noblemen and Gentlemen, within our towne of Warwicke, And no doubt but doe proceede further in their purposes, seeking to raise some Rebellion in our Realme, and will with many fained and false Allegations seek to seduce divers of our Subjects, especially with shew of Religion, Although wee are by good experience so well persuaded of the Loyaltie of divers of our subjects (though not professing true Religion) that they doe as much abhorre this detestable conspiracie as our Selfe, and will bee ready to doe their best endeavours (though with expense of their blood) to suppresse all Attemptors against our Safetie and the quiet of our State, and to discover whomsoever they shall suspect to be of Rebellious or Traiterous disposition:

Yet have Wee thought good by this our open Declaration, to give warning and advertisement to all our Subjects whatsoever, of that horrible purpose of Percies and his complices, and to distinguish betweene all others, calling themselves Catholics, and these detestable Traitours: And therefore doe denounce and publish all the Persons hereunder named, Adherents to Percy, to bee Traitours knowen, and that all others are in the same case, who shall in any wise either receive, abbette, cherish, entertaine, or adhere unto them, or not doe their best endeavours to apprehend and take them.

Wherefore Wee will and command all our Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Sheriffes, Justices of Peace, Mayors, Bayliffes, Constables, and all other our officers, Ministers, and loving Subjects, to take knowledge thereof, and to doe their best duties herein as they will answer the contrary at their uttermost peril: Not doubting, but that they all, without regard of their pretence of Religion, will with our hearts and will, employ themselves for the suppressing, apprehending, deterring, and discovering of all sorts of persons any wayes likely to be privie to a Treason so hatefull to God and man, and implying in it the utter subversion of this Realme, and dignitie thereof.

And where Wee doe heare that many doe spread abroad, that this Conspiracie was intended onely for matter of Religion, and that Sovreine Princes our neighbours are interessed therein, which Rumors are divulged by busy Persons both to Scandalize the Amities wherein We stand with all Christian Princes and States, and to give unto lewde Persons hope that they shall be backed in their enterprises by great Potentates. We doe declare that We cannot admit so inhumane a thought, as to conceive that any Prince of what Religion soever, could give eare to so Savage and Barbarous an imagination. And that by such examinations as hitherto have been taken, Wee finde them all, and their Ministers cleere from any suspicion of privity thereunto; Whereof one infallible argument to us is, that all the Ministers of Sovraine Princes which are now here, made earnest sute to us to bee present in their place that day. And wherefore We doe admonish and charge all our Subjects, that they shall not speake of any the Princes our neighbours, or their Ambassadors, otherwise then reverently, upon paine of our displeasure, and to bee punished as persons seeking the disturbance of the Peace, wherein We live with our sayd Neighbours.

Given at our Pallace of Westminster, the seventh day of November, in the third Yeere of our Reigne of Great Britaine, France, and Ireland.  (Quoted in A History of the Gunpowder Plot: The Conspiracy and Its Agents, by Philip Sidney, at pages 86-89.)


Thomas Percy Gentleman.

Robert Catesby Esquire.

Ambrose Rookwood of Coldham hall in Suffolk Esquire.

Thomas Winter Gentleman, brother of Robert Winter of Huddington in the Countie of Worcester.

Edward Grant of Northbrooke in the County of Warwicke Gentleman.

John Wright.

Christopher Wright.

Robert Ashfield, servant to Robert Catesby, Esquire.

Imprinted at London by Robert Barker.
Printer to the King's most Excellent Majestie,
Anno Dom. 1605.

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Media Credits

Image online via UK National Archives.

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