Talking Ambrose Rookwood on BBC Radio Suffolk

Graffiti by Ambrose Rookwood, from his cell in the Tower of London © Historic Royal Palaces

This morning I appeared on BBC Radio Suffolk (listen from 1:33:00) to speak to presenter Wayne Bavin about Ambrose Rookwood, Suffolk’s Gunpowder Plotter. I explained that Rookwood was drawn into the plot by the charismatic Robert Catesby, who asked Rookwood to purchase barrels of gunpowder and provide horses. It was only in September 1605, however, that Catesby revealed the nature of the plot to Rookwood – and by then, having been party to treason, it was too late for Rookwood to back out. He was found guilty of treason and hanged, drawn and quartered in January 1606. Wayne also asked me about how the Rookwood family survived this, and I explained that the family used clever tricks to keep hold of their land (such as putting it into trust). Nevertheless, 90 years after the first Ambrose Rookwood, another Ambrose Rookwood tried to assassinate another king (William of Orange) and met the same fate as his infamous forebear.

You can read more about the Rookwoods in my book Rookwood Family Papers 1606-1761.

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