A Tall Stranger in Hoxton

John Bossy

  • The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 by Antonia Fraser
    Weidenfeld, 347 pp, £20.00, August 1996, ISBN 0 297 81348 X

In the spring of 1604, the English were adjusting to the arrival of King James from Scotland, attending to the doings of his first Parliament, and awaiting the arrival of envoys from the King of Spain to negotiate an end to twenty years of war. Peace, even with the Scots, was in the air. This did not please everybody, and some of the people it did not please were Catholics, who thought that the Spaniards had let them down by failing to make formal toleration for them a condition of the peace. They also had a grudge against James, who was supposed, before his accession, to have promised to remove their disabilities, and was now, they thought, about to put the Elizabethan code against them back into force.

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