The 1583 Throckmorton Plot was one of a series of attempts by English Roman Catholics to depose Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, then held under house arrest in England.
The plot is named after the key conspirator, Sir Francis Throckmorton, cousin of Bess Throckmorton, lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth. Francis was arrested in November 1583 and executed in July 1584.
The plot aimed to free Mary, Queen of Scots, under house arrest in England since 1568, make her queen in place of Elizabeth and legally restore Roman Catholicism. That would be achieved by a Spanish-backed invasion of England, led by the French Duke of Guise, supported by a simultaneous revolt of English Roman Catholics. Guise would marry Mary and become king.
Guise was head of the Catholic League, a key participant in the French Wars of Religion. As one of those who planned the 1572 Bartholomew's Day massacre, he was loathed by Protestants throughout Europe and perhaps the least likely candidate for such an undertaking.
It was typical of the amateurish and overly optimistic approach of many such attempts; Throckmorton was placed under surveillance almost as soon as he returned to England, and the plot never put into action.
Francis Throckmorton (1554-1584) came from a prominent English Catholic family, his father John Throckmorton being a senior judge and witness to Queen Mary's will. While travelling in Europe with his brother Thomas from 1580 to 1583, they visited Paris and met with Catholic exiles Charles Paget and Thomas Morgan.
After returning to London in 1583, Francis carried messages between Mary, Morgan and Bernardino de Mendoza, Philip II of Spain's ambassador in London. Correspondence was routed through the French embassy in London and an agent within the embassy notified Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's Secretary of State. Throckmorton was taken into custody in November, along with incriminating documents, including lists of English Catholic supporters.
Shortly before his arrest, Francis managed to send a casket of other documents to Mendoza; it has been suggested this was exactly what Walsingham wanted him to do. Francis was a relatively minor player, whose significance was to confirming the extent of Spanish involvement in seeking to overthrow Elizabeth.
Protected by diplomatic immunity, Mendoza was expelled in January 1584; he was the last Spanish ambassador to England during the Elizabethan era. After being tortured to ensure he had revealed as much information as possible, Throckmorton was executed in July 1584. His brother Thomas and many others managed to escape; some were imprisoned in the Tower of London but Francis was the only one executed.
Mary was placed under strict confinement at Chartley Hall in Staffordshire, while Walsingham and Lord Burghley drew up the Bond of Association, obliging all signatories to execute anyone who attempted to usurp the throne or to assassinate the Queen. Mary herself was one of the signatories and it provided the basis for her execution following the 1586 Babington Plot.
Many participants in the Babington and Gunpowder Plots were related by blood or marriage to Francis, among them Robert Catesby and Francis Tresham. Bess Throckmorton (1565-1647) secretly married Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618).
The Elizabethan era is the epoch in the Tudor period of the history of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603). Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia was first used in 1572, and often thereafter, to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over Spain. The historian John Guy (1988) argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years.
Sir Francis Walsingham was principal secretary to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 20 December 1573 until his death and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster".
The Babington Plot was a plan in 1586 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I, a Protestant, and put Mary, Queen of Scots, her Roman Catholic cousin, on the English throne. It led to the Queen of Scots' execution, a result of a letter sent by Mary in which she consented to the assassination of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is a 1998 British biographical period drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur and written by Michael Hirst. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role of Elizabeth I, with Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud, and Richard Attenborough in supporting roles. The film is based on the early years of Elizabeth's reign, where she is elevated to the throne after the death of her half-sister Mary I of England, who had imprisoned her. As her early years continue, she faces plots and threats to take her down.
Sir William Stanley, son of Sir Rowland Stanley of Hooton, was a member of the Stanley family, Earls of Derby. He was an officer and a recusant, who served under Elizabeth I of England and is most noted for his surrender of Deventer to the Spanish in 1587.
The Ridolfi plot was a plot in 1571 to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. The plot was hatched and planned by Roberto Ridolfi, an international banker who was able to travel between Brussels, Rome and Madrid to gather support without attracting too much suspicion.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 biographical period drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur and produced by Universal Pictures and Working Title Films. It stars Cate Blanchett in the title role and is a fairly fictionalised portrayal of events during the later part of the reign of Elizabeth I, following up on Kapur's 1998 film Elizabeth, also starring Blanchett. The film co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Jordi Mollà, Abbie Cornish, and Samantha Morton. The screenplay was written by William Nicholson and Michael Hirst, and the music score was composed by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong. Guy Hendrix Dyas was the film's production designer and co-visual effects supervisor, and the costumes were created by Alexandra Byrne. The film was shot at Shepperton Studios and various locations around the United Kingdom.
Sir Francis Throckmorton was a conspirator against Queen Elizabeth I of England in the Throckmorton Plot.
Sir William Wade was an English statesman and diplomat, and Lieutenant of the Tower of London.
John Ballard was an English priest executed for being involved in an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England in the Babington Plot.
Elizabeth I is a two-part 2005 British-American historical drama television miniseries directed by Tom Hooper, written by Nigel Williams, and starring Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I of England. The miniseries covers approximately the last 24 years of her nearly 45-year reign. Part 1 focuses on the final years of her relationship with the Earl of Leicester, played by Jeremy Irons. Part 2 focuses on her subsequent relationship with the Earl of Essex, played by Hugh Dancy.
The Bond of Association was a document created in 1584 by Francis Walsingham and William Cecil after the failure of the Throckmorton Plot in 1583.
Gilbert Gifford was a double agent who worked for Sir Francis Walsingham and played a role in the uncovering of the Babington Plot. Shortly before his death in Paris, he was ordained as a Catholic priest in Rheims. His true allegiances, whether to Queen Elizabeth I or to Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Catholic cause – are unclear.
Events from the 1580s in England.
Thomas Morgan of Llantarnam (1546–1606), of the Welsh Morgan of Monmouthshire, was a confidant and spy for Mary, Queen of Scots, and was involved in the Babington plot to kill Queen Elizabeth I of England. In his youth, Thomas, a staunch Catholic, worked as Secretary of the Archbishop of York until 1568, and then for Lord Shrewsbury who had Mary under his care at this time. Morgan's Catholic leanings soon brought him into the confidence of the Scottish queen and Mary enlisted Morgan as her secretary and go-between for the period extending between 1569 -1572 which coincided with a series of important conspiracies against Elizabeth. Morgan was imprisoned for 3 years in the Tower of London before exiling himself to France.
Sir Edward Stafford was an English Member of Parliament, courtier and diplomat to France during the time of Queen Elizabeth I.
Sir Robert Throckmorton, KG, of Coughton Court in Warwickshire, was a Member of Parliament and a distinguished English courtier. His public career was impeded by remaining a Roman Catholic.
Robert Poley, or Pooley was an English double agent, government messenger and agent provocateur employed by members of the Privy Council during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; he was described as "the very genius of the Elizabethan underworld". Poley is particularly noted for his central role in uncovering the so-called Babington plot to assassinate the Queen in 1586, and for being a witness of, and even a possible party to, the reported killing in self-defence by Ingram Frizer of the famous poet/dramatist Christopher Marlowe in May 1593.
Henry Vaux was an English recusant, priest smuggler, and poet during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was born the eldest child of William Vaux, 3rd Baron Vaux of Harrowden, and his first wife, Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of John Beaumont of Grace Dieu, Leicester. Both Henry Vaux's parents came from traditionally Catholic families.
Sir Charles Arundell, was an English gentleman, lord of the manor of South Petherton, Somerset, notable as an early Roman Catholic recusant and later as a leader of the English exiles in France. He has been suggested as the author of Leicester's Commonwealth, an anonymous work which attacked Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Leicester.