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The Identification of the Writer of the Anonymous Letter to Lord Monteagle in 1605   By: (1575?-1622)

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In "The Identification of the Writer of the Anonymous Letter to Lord Monteagle in 1605" by William Parker Monteagle, readers are taken on a captivating journey through a historical mystery dating back to the 17th century. This book delves into the intricate details surrounding a significant event in English history, exploring the anonymous letter that foiled the Gunpowder Plot.

The story begins by contextualizing the political climate of the time, with King James I on the throne and his government facing constant threats. The plot thickens with the arrival of an enigmatic letter sent to Lord Monteagle, warning him to avoid attending Parliament on November 5th, 1605. This letter is believed to have prevented what could have been a catastrophic act of terrorism.

Monteagle, deeply disturbed by the content of the letter, immediately reports it to the authorities, triggering a widespread investigation. The author, William Parker Monteagle, meticulously reconstructs the efforts made to uncover the identity of the letter's author, delving into the world of secretive conspiracies and clandestine plots. He explores the various theories and suspects put forward during the investigation, while shedding light on the state of political intrigue at the time.

Parker's writing style is authoritative and informative, effectively conveying his extensive research into the subject matter. His attention to detail is evident as he artfully guides the reader through a plethora of historical records, correspondence, and testimonies. The narrative flows smoothly, capturing the reader's attention from start to finish.

One notable aspect of the book is its vivid portrayal of the key figures involved, such as Lord Monteagle himself and the suspected perpetrators of the Gunpowder Plot. The author provides readers with a nuanced understanding of these individuals, their motivations, and their potential connections to the anonymous letter. By intertwining historical events with personal stories, Parker creates a rich tapestry of characters that brings the past to life.

One minor drawback of the book is its occasional tendency to become overly academic, bogging down the narrative with a surplus of information. While the depth of research is commendable, some readers may find these sections a bit dense or overwhelming. However, this slight drawback does not significantly detract from the overall reading experience.

"The Identification of the Writer of the Anonymous Letter to Lord Monteagle in 1605" by William Parker Monteagle is a captivating exploration of a little-known event in history. True to its title, the book brilliantly unravels the mystery surrounding the anonymous letter, shedding light on the individuals involved and the political context of the time. Fans of historical mysteries and those with an interest in British history will undoubtedly find this book both engaging and informative.

First Page:


"A strange letter, from a strange hand, by a strange messenger; without date to it, name at it, and (I had almost said) sense in it. A letter which, even when it was opened, was still sealed, such the affected obscurity therein."

FULLER'S Church History , x. 32.


[Transcriber's note: [] denotes an asterism, that is, a triangle comprising three asterices. A carat symbol ^ indicates that the ensuing letters of the word are superscript letters.]


One of the great mysteries of English history is the anonymous letter to Lord Monteagle, warning him not to attend the opening of Parliament, appointed for the Fifth of November, 1605, which is popularly supposed to have led to the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. The writer's identity was carefully concealed by the Government at the time; the intention being, as explained by Lord Salisbury, "to leave the further judgment indefinite" regarding it. The official statements are, therefore, as unsatisfactory as might be expected in a matter that, for State reasons, has not been straightforwardly related. The letter, however, remaining and in fair preservation, there was always the possibility of the handwriting being identified; and this, after the lapse of over three hundred years, is now accomplished... Continue reading book >>

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