The women think it’s wonderful – but I’m a little more blasé.

HBO’s television show, ‘Gunpowder’ – starring English actor and heart-throb Kit (John Snow) Harrington – has put an infamous section of my family tree into high definition colour

The show is about England’s ‘gunpowder plot’.

You’re probably asking: “So what?”

Certainly, a failed attempt to blow up England’s Houses of Parliament more than 400 years ago, seems fairly tame in today’s age of global terrorism.

But, Guy Fawkes Night is rarely allowed to pass in our family without at least a couple of snide remarks.


The reason is that some of those behind the infamous plot of 1605 were ancestors of mine.

In fact, the chief conspirator, Robert Catesby (played by Harrington) sits quietly on my family tree – one of those we don’t often talk about.

After the plot was discovered, a fleeing Catesby decided to stand and fight the law – and the law won. I won’t say much more in case you haven’t seen ‘Gunpowder’.


He was the son of the former Anne Throckmorton, part of a prominent Warwickshire family and political dynasty from which I can trace direct linage.

Leading Catholic recusants, the Throckmorton family members were wealthy gentry, parliamentarians and members of court whose three-storey stone house, Coughton Court (above) is located near Alcester, Warwickshire.

The stately house stands in richly timbered countryside close to the forest of Arden.

So, while Sue can trace her roots from rural Dorset to Australia’s first non-convict settlers,  The Rose family of the Bellona, I’ve once again been reminded  that my ancestors include a fair share of ‘colourful identities’.

One day, we’ll visit Coughton Court.

And Sue says we’ll also meet ‘John Snow.’ I’m not so sure … but then again I “know nothing”.

Photo of Coughton Court courtesy of its website, which is a good read.

Main photo of Kit Harrington courtesy of the HBO Gunpowder website – also worth a look.

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