Many stories and rumours surround the Gunpowder plot, but what really happened and who was to blame? In this reprint of a classic text, Herbert Thurston SJ, a Jesuit, investigates.
In the half century he lived at the Jesuit house in Farm Street, Herbert Thurston gained a reputation for demanding and severe scholarship in a wide range of mostly historical subjects. His largest project was a wholesale revision of Butler’s Lives of the Saints. He was especially concerned not to allow religious zeal or wishful thinking to overshadow historical facts; these, he was confident, would make the Church’s case without any need for special pleading. After one of his fellow Jesuits wrote a pamphlet claiming the Gunpowder Plot had been from the start set up by government agents to discredit Catholics, Thurston felt these claims were unfounded. In The Gunpowder Plot, Thurston bases his text on Gerard’s, but silently discards his wilder theories. It is an excellent example of Thurston’s style.