Worcestershire & the Gunpowder Plot
- 3rd November 2017
Have you been enjoying the TV series Gunpowder on a Saturday night? Worcestershire people played a key role in the Gunpowder Plot, and this was where the plotters fled to after it all went wrong in an attempt to raise a rebellion.
One of the plotters was Robert Wintour of Huddington Court, here in Worcestershire. A lot of the family’s wealth came from the salt industry. They were staunch Catholics and the house contained two priest holes.
Although at first reluctant to join the Plot, he became a big financial supporter and collected weapons and horses for the uprising that was to follow the destruction of parliament. Despite the capture of Guy Fawkes, the remaining plotters still tried to continue with the uprising and fled to the Midlands. During this time they called in at Huddington Court before going on to Holbeche House, just over the border in Staffordshire where some of the plotters were killed or captured.
Robert Wintour spent the next couple of months on the run, eventually harboured by Humphrey Lyttleton at Hagley Park, where he was captured early in January 1606. The execution warrant for Humphrey is held here in the archives and you can read more here. Robert was executed in St Paul’s Churchyard on 30th January 1606.
As a significant Worcestershire family the Wintours are mentioned in our archives, documenting their role in local life. For example, we have an indenture between Robert Wintour and others regarding rent on land that was part of the Manor of Huddington in 1595. Although not connected to the Plot it is an interesting reflection on the role of Robert here in the county.
After Robert’s execution Huddington Court stayed in the family for another year before being confiscated. The family were later able to buy it back several years later.