Source 2

Extract from the examination of ‘John Johnson’, 5th November 1605 (SP 14/216/6)


D. He saith, that he knows not but by generall report and by making ready of the kings barge, that the king was coming thither the first day of this parliament, But confesseth that his purpose was to have blowne upp the upper house whensoever the king was there.

E. And being demanded if his purpose had taken effect, what would have ben done with the Queenes Majesty and her royall issue, saith that if they hadd ben there he wuld not have helped them,

F. And being demanded if the king and his royall issue had ben all taken away whom would have ben published or elected king, Saith Percie never entered into that consultation.

G. And being demanded when the king, his royal issue, the Nobles, Bishops, Judge, and of the principall of the Comons, were all destroyed what government would have ben, Answereth we were not growne to any determination therein, and beeing but a fewe of them the could not enter into such conforsation, but that the people of themselves would decide a head.

H. He confesseth that he hath knowne Mr Percy two or three years but served him not, but about three moneths before the house was hired as is aforesaid, I. Being demanded what noble men were warned, that they would not be there at that time, Answereth, wuld durst not forewarn them for feare wich should be discovered , And being asked why he would be a partie to any acte that might destroy any that was of his owne relligion, Answereth, we meant principally to have resported [regarded, seen] somme safely, and would have prayed for them.

Simplified transcript

D.  He said he did not know, except from rumours and from the Kings barge being made ready, that the king was coming here on the first day of this parliament, but he did confess that his job was to blow up the upper house when the King was there.

E.  And, being asked what would have happened to the Queen and her children if his plan had been carried out, he said that if they had been there, he would not have helped them.

F.  And, being asked who would replace them if the King and all his heirs had been killed, he said Percy never asked that question.

G.  And being asked, when the King, his heirs, the Nobles, Bishops, Judge and the leader of the commons were all destroyed, what kind of government would there be, he answered that the people themselves would elect a head.

H.  He confessed that he has known Mr Percy two or three years, but hasn’t worked for him, however about three months ago the house was hired as is already mentioned.

I.  Being asked what Noble men were advised to stay away from parliament at that time, he answered that he wouldn’t date warn them for fear that they should be discovered.  And asked why he would be a part of any act that might kill someone of his own religion [Catholic], he answered that some would have been seen safe and they would have prayed for them.

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2. This is a copy of the examination of John Johnson.

  • Who do you think John Johnson might be?
  • What did Johnson plan to do to parliament?
  • Name one of the other plotters whom Johnson mentions.
  • Was Johnson worried about any Catholics who might have been there?