William Cobbett on The Gunpowder Plot

“This would be enough of the famous gunpowder plot; but since it has been ascribed to bloody-mindedness as the natural fruit of the Catholic religion, since in our Common Prayer Book we are taught, in addressing God, to call all Catholics indiscriminately “our cruel and bloodthirsty enemies,” let us see a little what Protestants have attempted and done in this blowing up way. This King James, as he himself averred, was nearly being assassinated by his Scotch Protestant subjects, Earl Gowrie and his associates; and after that narrowly escaped being blown up with all his attendants by the furious Protestant burghers of Perth.

As we mentioned previously this very King James’ father, the king of Scotland, was, in 1567, blown up by gunpowder and thereby killed. This was doing the thing effectually. Here was no warning given to anybody; and all the attendants and servants, of whatever religion and of both sexes, except as such as escaped by mere accident, were remorselessly murdered along with their master. Who was this done by? “By bloodthirsty Catholics?” No; but by the lovers of the “Avangel”, as the wretches called themselves, the followers of that very same John Knox to whom a monument has been erected in Glasgow.

Let us hear no more, then, about the blood thirstiness of the Catholic religion;and if we must still have our November the 5th, let the “moral” disciples of Knox, the inhabitants of “Modern Athens,” also have their 10th of February, the anniversary of this atrocity.”
ibid pgs. 296-298 condensed


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