Jesuits, etc. Act 1584
An act against Jesuits, seminary priests, such other like disobedient persons known as Jesuits, etc. Act 1584, was an Act of the Parliament of England during the English Reformation; the Act commanded all Roman Catholic priests to leave the country within 40 days or they would be punished for high treason, unless within the 40 days they swore an oath to obey the Queen. Those who harboured them, all those who knew of their presence and failed to inform the authorities would be fined and imprisoned for felony, or where the authorities wished to make an example of them, they might be executed. Anyone else who was, or was brought up as, a Jesuit overseas had to return to England within six months, within two days of arriving swear to submit to the Queen and take the oath required by the Act of Supremacy 1558. Failure to do so was treason. Any person who did take the oath was forbidden from coming within 10 miles of the Queen for 10 years, unless they had her personal written permission. Again, failure to observe this requirement was treason.
The Act was enforced with great severity in the last decades of Elizabeth's reign. It is possible that at first the Government thought that deporting priests would be an adequate solution to the Catholic problem. If so they decided that harsher measures were necessary. About 200 Catholics perished between 1584 and 1603, of whom the great majority were priests, despite the Government's protests that no-one was being persecuted on account of their religion; the justification for rigorous enforcement of the statute was that during the war with Spain, the loyalty of all English Catholics, priests, must be regarded as suspect. However the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 did not, as might have been expected, bring about a relaxation of persecution. Of the laity who suffered under the Act of 1584 the best known is Margaret Clitherow of York. Charged in 1586 with harbouring priests, she refused to plead to her indictment, was executed by the gruesome process of peine fort et dure; such severity towards a lay person a woman, was unusual.
For example there is no record of any legal proceedings being taken against Anne, Lady Arundell, widow of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, for harbouring the martyr Father John Cornelius, executed in 1594: Lady Arundell retrieved his body to give it proper burial.. After the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 the statute fell into disuse; the Stuart dynasty which succeeded her was in general disposed to religious toleration, the Treaty of London of 1604 which ended the Anglo-Spanish War removed one obvious justification for persecution, as it could no longer be argued that English Catholics were undercover agents for a hostile foreign power. Although James I felt it politically prudent to give his assent to the Act of 1604, strengthening the statue of 1584, a number of priests were put to death, of whom the best known is Father John Sugar, the King by his own admission was opposed to the execution of priests. There was a revival of anti-Catholic sentiment caused by the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, but it seems to have died away by 1612.
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, the dominant figure in the English government from 1603 to 1612, detested Jesuits, but admitted that he had qualms about enforcing the statute of 1584 against other priests, most of whom he thought were loyal enough at heart. King James shared these scruples. Prosecutions of members of the Catholic laity for harbouring priests ceased after about 1616. Protestant sheriffs and justices of the peace were notably unwilling to enforce the law against their Catholic neighbours in such blatant cases as the Welsh squire Thomas Gunter of Gunter Mansion, who in 1678 told the local vicar cheerfully that "he had kept a priest in Oliver Cromwell's time, would keep one now"; this tolerant attitude made it impossible to enforce the Penal Laws against the upper classes: in 1613 the justices of the peace of Northamptonshire remarked casually that due to their high regard for Sir Thomas Brudenell, they had dismissed charges of recusancy against him and numerous members of his family.
No priests were executed in the period 1618-1625, only one was executed in the period 1625-1640, after a brief revival of persecution during the English Civil War, only two more were executed between 1646 and 1660. Following the Restoration of Charles II, under the tolerant rule of a monarch, himself inclined to the Catholic religion, the Government was content to periodically issue orders for all priests to leave England, without any expectation that the orders would be complied with; the statute of 1584 was regarded as a dead letter, until the outbreak of the Popish Plot in the autumn of 1678 led to its unexpected revival. Despite the King's known Catholic sympathies, the public atmosphere of hysteria was such that he had no choice but to revert to strict enforcement of the Penal Laws. Under a Proclamation of 20 November 1678 all priests were to be arrested, they were to be denied the usual 40 days of grace to leave the country: instead they were to be held in prison "in order to their trial".
As J. P. Kenyon remarks, these five simple words launched a vicious pogrom against the Catholic priesthood which continued for the next two years. Priests, working undisturbed in England for decades found themselves facing the death penalty
High treason in the United Kingdom
Under the law of the United Kingdom, high treason is the crime of disloyalty to the Crown. Offences constituting high treason include plotting the murder of the sovereign. Several other crimes have been categorised as high treason, including counterfeiting money and being a Catholic priest. High treason was distinguished from petty treason, a treason committed against a subject of the sovereign, the scope of, limited by statute to the murder of a legal superior. Petty treason comprised the murder of a master by his servant, of a husband by his wife, or of a bishop. Petty treason ceased to be a distinct offence from murder in 1828, high treason is today referred to as treason. Considered to be the most serious of offences, high treason was met with extraordinary punishment, because it threatened the safety of the state. Hanging and quartering was the usual punishment until the 19th century; the last treason trial was that of William Joyce, "Lord Haw-Haw", executed by hanging in 1946. Since the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 became law, the maximum sentence for treason in the UK has been life imprisonment.
High treason today consists of: Treason Act 1351: compassing the death of the sovereign, or of the sovereign's wife or eldest child and heir violating the sovereign's wife, or the sovereign's eldest unmarried daughter, or the sovereign's eldest son's wife levying war against the sovereign in the realm adhering to the sovereign's enemies, giving them aid and comfort, in the realm or elsewhere killing the King's Chancellor, Treasurer or Justices Treason Act 1702 and Treason Act 1703: attempting to hinder the succession to the throne under the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701 Treason Act 1708: killing the Lords of Session or Lords of Justiciary in Scotland counterfeiting the Great Seal of ScotlandSee the English History section below for detail about the offences created by the 1351 Act. In addition to the crime of treason, the Treason Felony Act 1848 created a new offence known as treason felony, with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment instead of death. Under the traditional categorisation of offences into treason and misdemeanours, treason felony was another form of felony.
Several categories of treason, introduced by the Sedition Act 1661 were reduced to felonies. While the common law offences of misprision and compounding were abolished in respect of felonies by the Criminal Law Act 1967, which abolished the distinction between misdemeanour and felony, misprision of treason and compounding treason are still offences under the common law. According to the law in force, it is treason felony to "compass, invent, devise, or intend": to deprive the sovereign of the Crown, to levy war against the sovereign "in order by force or constraint to compel her to change her measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon or in order to intimidate or overawe both Houses or either House of Parliament", or to "move or stir" any foreigner to invade the United Kingdom or any other country belonging to the sovereign. In addition to the Acts of 1351, 1703, 1848, two additional Acts passed by the old Parliament of Ireland apply to Northern Ireland alone; the following is treason: Treason Act 1537: attempting bodily harm to the king, queen, or their heirs apparent attempting to deprive them of their title publishing that the sovereign is a heretic, infidel or usurper of the Crown rebelliously withholding from the sovereign his fortresses, artillery etc.
Crown of Ireland Act 1542: doing anything to endanger the sovereign's person doing anything which might disturb or interrupt the sovereign's possession of the Crown In England, there was no clear common law definition of treason. Thus, the process became open to abuse, decisions were arbitrary. For instance, during the reign of Edward III, a knight was convicted of treason because he assaulted one of the king's subjects and held him for a ransom of £90, it was only in 1351. Under the Treason Act 1351, or "Statute of Treasons", which distinguished between high and petty treason, several distinct offences constitute high treason. First, it was high treason to "compass or imagine the death of our Lord the King, of our Lady his Queen, or of their eldest son and heir." The terms "compass or imagine" indicate the premeditation of a murder. However it has been held to include rebelling against or trying to overthrow the monarch, as experience has shown that this involves the monarch's death; the terms of this provisi
Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent towards, or resistance against established authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who promotes the interest of sedition. Sedition is considered a subversive act, the overt acts that may be prosecutable under sedition laws vary from one legal code to another. Where the history of these legal codes has been traced, there is a record of the change in the definition of the elements constituting sedition at certain points in history; this overview has served to develop a sociological definition of sedition as well, within the study of state persecution. The term sedition in its modern meaning first appeared in the Elizabethan Era as the "notion of inciting by words or writings disaffection towards the state or constituted authority".
"Sedition complements treason and martial law: while treason controls the privileged, ecclesiastical opponents and Jesuits, as well as certain commoners. Australia's sedition laws were amended in anti-terrorism legislation passed on 6 December 2005, updating definitions and increasing penalties. In late 2006, the Commonwealth Government, under the Prime-Ministership of John Howard proposed plans to amend Australia's Crimes Act 1914, introducing laws that mean artists and writers may be jailed for up to seven years if their work was considered seditious or inspired sedition either deliberately or accidentally. Opponents of these laws have suggested. In 2006, the Australian attorney-general Philip Ruddock had rejected calls by two reports — from a Senate committee and the Australian Law Reform Commission — to limit the sedition provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Act 2005 by requiring proof of intention to cause disaffection or violence, he had brushed aside recommendations to curtail new clauses outlawing “urging conduct” that “assists” an “organisation or country engaged in armed hostilities” against the Australian military.
The new laws, inserted into the legislation December 2005, allow for the criminalization of basic expressions of political opposition, including supporting resistance to Australian military interventions, such as those in Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific region. These laws were amended in Australia on 19 September 2011; the ‘sedition’ clauses were repealed and replaced with ‘urging violence’. In Canada, which includes speaking seditious words, publishing a seditious libel, being party to a seditious conspiracy, is an indictable offense, for which the maximum punishment is of fourteen years' imprisonment. During World War II former Mayor of Montreal Camillien Houde campaigned against conscription in Canada. On 2 August 1940, Houde publicly urged the men of Quebec to ignore the National Registration Act. Three days he was placed under arrest by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on charges of sedition. After being found guilty, he was confined in internment camps in Petawawa and Gagetown, New Brunswick, until 1944.
Upon his release on 18 August 1944, he was greeted by a cheering crowd of 50,000 Montrealers and won back his position as the Mayor of Montreal in the election in 1944. A Sedition Ordinance had existed in the territory since 1970, subsequently consolidated into the Crime Ordinance in 1972. According to the Crime Ordinance, a seditious intention is an intention to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the person of government, to excite inhabitants of Hong Kong to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in Hong Kong as by law established, to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Hong Kong, to raise discontent or disaffection amongst inhabitants of Hong Kong, to promote feelings of ill-will and enmity between different classes of the population of Hong Kong, to incite persons to violence, or to counsel disobedience to law or to any lawful order. Article 23 of the Basic Law requires the special administrative region to enact laws prohibiting any act of treason, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.
The National Security Bill was tabled in early 2003 to replace the existing laws regarding treason and sedition, to introduce new laws to prohibit secessionist and subversive acts and theft of state secrets, to prohibit political organisations from establishing overseas ties. The bill was shelved following massive opposition from the public. In 2010, writer Arundhati Roy was sought to be charged with sedition for her comments on Kashmir and Maoists. Two individuals have been charged with sedition since 2007. Binayak Sen, an Indian paediatrician, public health specialist, activist was found guilty of sedition, he is national Vice-President of the People's Union for Civil Liberties. On 24 December 2010, the Additional Sessions and District Court Judge B. P Varma Raipur found Binayak Sen, Naxal ideologue Narayan Sanyal and Kolkata businessman Piyush Guha, guilty of sedition for helping the Maoists in their fight against the state, they were sentenced to life imprisonment, but he got bail in Supreme Court on 16 April 2011.
On 10 September 2012, Aseem Trivedi, a political cartoonist, was sent to judicial custody till 24 September 2012 on charges of sedition over a series of cartoons against corruption. Trivedi was accuse
Church of England
The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor; the Church of England is the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury; the English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII failed to secure an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1534. The English Reformation accelerated under Edward VI's regents, before a brief restoration of papal authority under Queen Mary I and King Philip; the Act of Supremacy 1558 renewed the breach, the Elizabethan Settlement charted a course enabling the English church to describe itself as both catholic and reformed: catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolic church.
This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles', Athanasian creeds. Reformed in that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, in particular in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer. In the earlier phase of the English Reformation there were both Catholic martyrs and radical Protestant martyrs; the phases saw the Penal Laws punish Roman Catholic and nonconforming Protestants. In the 17th century, the Puritan and Presbyterian factions continued to challenge the leadership of the Church which under the Stuarts veered towards a more catholic interpretation of the Elizabethan Settlement under Archbishop Laud and the rise of the concept of Anglicanism as the via media. After the victory of the Parliamentarians the Prayer Book was abolished and the Presbyterian and Independent factions dominated; the Episcopacy was abolished. The Restoration restored the Church of England and the Prayer Book.
Papal recognition of George III in 1766 led to greater religious tolerance. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used a liturgy in English; the church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three known as Anglo-Catholic and Broad Church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the ordination of women and homosexuality; the church includes both liberal and conservative members. The governing structure of the church is based on dioceses, each presided over by a bishop. Within each diocese are local parishes; the General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy and laity. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament. According to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the 1st or 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the Roman Empire; the earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native Britons is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as Tertullian and Origen in the first years of the 3rd century.
Three Romano-British bishops, including Restitutus, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314. Others attended the Council of Serdica in 347 and that of Ariminum in 360, a number of references to the church in Roman Britain are found in the writings of 4th century Christian fathers. Britain was the home of Pelagius. While Christianity was long established as the religion of the Britons at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion, Christian Britons made little progress in converting the newcomers from their native paganism. In 597, Pope Gregory I sent the prior of the Abbey of St Andrew's from Rome to evangelise the Angles; this event is known as the Gregorian mission and is the date the Church of England marks as the beginning of its formal history. With the help of Christians residing in Kent, Augustine established his church at Canterbury, the capital of the Kingdom of Kent, became the first in the series of Archbishops of Canterbury in 598. A archbishop, the Greek Theodore of Tarsus contributed to the organisation of Christianity in England.
The Church of England has been in continuous existence since the days of St Augustine, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its episcopal head. Despite the various disruptions of the Reformation and the English Civil War, the Church of England considers itself to be the same church, more formally organised by Augustine. While some Celtic Christian practices were changed at the Synod of Whitby, the Christian in the British Isles was under papal authority from earliest times. Queen Bertha of Kent was among the Christians in England who recognised papal authority before Augustine arrived, Celtic Christians were carrying out missionary work with papal approval long before the Synod of Whitby; the Synod of Whitby established the Roman date for Easter and the Roman style of monastic tonsure in England. This meeting of the ecclesiastics with Roman customs with local bishops was summoned in 664 at Saint Hilda's double monastery of Streonshalh called Whitby Abbey, it was presided over by King Oswiu, who made the final ruling.
The final ruling was decided in favor of Roman tradition because St. Peter holds the keys to the gate of Heaven. In 1534, King Henry VIII separated the English Church from Rome. A theological separation had been foreshadowed by various movements within the English Church, such as Lollardy, but the English Reformation gained political support when Henry VIII wanted an a
Oath of Supremacy
The Oath of Supremacy required any person taking public or church office in England to swear allegiance to the monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Failure to do so was to be treated as treasonable; the Oath of Supremacy was imposed by King Henry VIII of England through the Act of Supremacy 1534, but repealed by his daughter, Queen Mary I of England and reinstated under Henry's other daughter and Mary's half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I of England under the Act of Supremacy 1559. The Oath was extended to include Members of Parliament and people studying at universities. Catholics were first allowed to become members of parliament in 1829, the requirement to take the oath for Oxford university students was lifted by the Oxford University Act 1854. I do utterly testifie and declare in my Conscience, that the Kings Highnesse is the onely Supreame Governour of this Realme, all other his Highnesse Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spirituall or Ecclesiasticall things or causes, as Temporall: And that no forraine Prince, Prelate, State or Potentate, hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction, Superiorities, Preeminence or Authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme.
And therefore, I do utterly renounce and forsake all Jurisdictions, Superiorities, or Authorities. I, A. B. do utterly testify and declare in my conscience that the Queen's Highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, of all other her Highness's dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal, that no foreign prince, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual within this realm. So help me God, by the contents of this Book. Roman Catholics who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy were indicted for treason on charges of praemunire. For example, Sir Thomas More opposed the King's separation from the Roman Catholic Church and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England, a title, given by parliament through the Act of Supremacy of 1534, he was imprisoned in 1534 for his refusal to take the oath, because the act discredited Papal Authority and Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
In 1535, he was tried for treason, convicted on perjured testimony, beheaded. Under the reigns of Charles II and James II, the Oath of Supremacy was not so employed by The Crown; this was due to the Catholic sympathies and practices of these monarchs, the resulting high number of Roman Catholics serving in official positions. Examples of officials who never had to take the Oath include the Catholic privy counsellors, Sir Stephen Rice and Justin McCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel; the centrality of the Oath was re-established under the reign of William III and Mary II. Elizabethan Religious Settlement Religion in the United Kingdom Augustine Webster
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt in the Midlands during which James's nine-year-old daughter, was to be installed as the Catholic head of state. Catesby may have embarked on the scheme after hopes of securing greater religious tolerance under King James had faded, leaving many English Catholics disappointed, his fellow plotters were John and Christopher Wright and Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham. Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in the failed suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.
The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605. During a search of the House of Lords at about midnight on 4 November 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder—enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble—and arrested. Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot's discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of his men at Holbeche House. At their trial on 27 January 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged and quartered. Details of the assassination attempt were known by the principal Jesuit of England, Father Henry Garnet. Although he was convicted of treason and sentenced to death, doubt has been cast on how much he knew of the plot; as its existence was revealed to him through confession, Garnet was prevented from informing the authorities by the absolute confidentiality of the confessional.
Although anti-Catholic legislation was introduced soon after the plot's discovery, many important and loyal Catholics retained high office during King James's reign. The thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells, which have evolved into the Bonfire Night of today. Between 1533 and 1540, King Henry VIII took control of the English Church from Rome, the start of several decades of religious tension in England. English Catholics struggled in a society dominated by the newly separate and Protestant Church of England. Henry's daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, responded to the growing religious divide by introducing the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, which required anyone appointed to a public or church office to swear allegiance to the monarch as head of the Church and state; the penalties for refusal were severe. Catholicism became marginalised, but despite the threat of torture or execution, priests continued to practise their faith in secret.
Queen Elizabeth and childless, steadfastly refused to name an heir. Many Catholics believed that her Catholic cousin, Queen of Scots, was the legitimate heir to the English throne, but she was executed for treason in 1587; the English Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, negotiated secretly with Mary's son and successor, King James VI of Scotland. In the months before Elizabeth's death on 24 March 1603, Cecil prepared the way for James to succeed her; some exiled Catholics favoured Philip II of Isabella, as Elizabeth's successor. More moderate Catholics looked to James's and Elizabeth's cousin Arbella Stuart, a woman thought to have Catholic sympathies; as Elizabeth's health deteriorated, the government detained those they considered to be the "principal papists", the Privy Council grew so worried that Arbella Stuart was moved closer to London to prevent her from being kidnapped by papists. Despite competing claims to the English throne, the transition of power following Elizabeth's death went smoothly.
James's succession was announced by a proclamation from Cecil on 24 March, celebrated. Leading papists, rather than causing trouble as anticipated, reacted to the news by offering their enthusiastic support for the new monarch. Jesuit priests, whose presence in England was punishable by death demonstrated their support for James, believed to embody "the natural order of things". James ordered a ceasefire in the conflict with Spain, though the two countries were still technically at war, King Philip III sent his envoy, Don Juan de Tassis, to congratulate James on his accession. In the following year both countries signed the Treaty of London. For decades, the English had lived under a monarch who refused to provide an heir, but James arrived with a family and a clear line of succession, his wife, Anne of Denmark, was the daughter of a king. Their eldest child, the nine-year-old Henry, was considered a handsome and confident boy, their two younger children and Charles, were proof that James was able to provide heirs to continue the Protestant monarchy.
James's attitude towards Catholics was more moderate than that of his predecessor even tolerant. He promised that he would not "persecute any that will be quiet and give an outward obedience to the law", believed that exile was a better solution than capital punishment: "I would be glad to have both their heads and their bodies separated from this whole island and transported beyond seas." Some Catholics believed that the martyrdom of James's m