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Notwithstanding the many
detached pieces extant, concerning the Gun-powder Treason, there is no one that regularly details the circumstances attendant on that affair ; and, to this day, the whole is treated by some as à fable, for want of proper evidence to establish the facts, the catholics having suppressed, as far as possible, every enquiry on this head, The following History is collected from almost every piece that has appeared on the subject ; and particular care has been taken to introduce into the Biographical parts the material transactions relative to each
person, in their proper places; and, in order more fully to explain the foundation of this plot, the subject is treated from its original source, namely, the Reformation, as begun by Henry the Eighth, with the
proceedings of the Catholics under his successors, to the accession of James the First. The illustrations by Prints which accompany this Work, may be depended on in point of authenticity, as the publication of the originals from which they are copied, are coeval with the times they represent.
HENRY THE EIGHTH.
HENRY the Eighth, the most turbulent and self-willed tyrant that ever lived, having to accommodate his passion for Anne Bullen (and not from a principle of religion*, as he pretended),
* That he lived and died a Papist, is evident, as it is well known that his last queen, Catharine Parr, who was a strict Protestant, by too eagerly opposing him in principles of religion, had nearly been sent to the Tower, which she only prevented by luckily finding some papers communicated to the king by Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, a most rigid, timegerving priest, who actually came into a garden where they were discoursing on the subject of religion, which she had artfully introduced, and entirely regained Henry's favour, by assuring him, that if ever she had contradicted him on that subject, it was only for the pleasure she took in hearing his powerful and satisfactory answers to her weak arguments : to this flattery she was at least indebted for her liberty, if not for her head, as, when Gardiner came forward with the warrant, signed by the king, for her imprisonment, Henry peevishly bade him begone, and, on the queen's soliciting him not to be angry with the “ good bishop," he replied, that he deserved no favour at her hands, for the “good he intended ber." The king's death, which happened soon after, entirely freed her from any fear on the score of religion.
thrown off the yoke of popery, proceeded to the dissolution of the religious houses in England, which giving offence to many Catholics of distinction, who were above dissimulation, they utterly refused to take the new oaths that were generally prescribed to persons in any kind of office, of acknowledging him supreme head of the Church; to those that refused, Henry was not content with discharging them from their employments, but made it high treason in the denial, and proceeded so far as to take off the heads of Sir Thomas More, and Fisher, bishop of Rochester, men of the first rank and ability, who were considered by the generality of the people as martyrs to the wanton caprice of a despotic tyrant. The deaths of these great men encreased the detestation of the Catholics against the king, and had he not done something, by bestowing the revenues of the dissolved religious houses on the creatures he had newly taken about him, to secure them in his interest, it is probable that the Catholics would have attempted something with success against his person. Priests, who were convicted in denying his supremacy, were punished with imprisonment; and, in one instance his resentment went se far, as to cause a large estate to be taken from a gen