Proof that I was there

Everything I am going to tell you is one of England's top secrets. The kind that you can never find out about even after 150 or apparently even 400 years, so I am going to have to tell you the truth myself.

This information shows that I not only recall memories from 400 years ago but also that I had access to information that only a very few high government officials had access to.

No one else alive knows this information. I know this as an almost certainty since due to the importance of the agents that were used the information was kept secret and only about ten people knew it.

There was only one reason I knew all about the Gun Powder Plot. It's that I was involved as an agent and I was right in the middle of that whisky soaked plot. The fact that I was married to the man who ran most of England's government including her international spy network did not play into my knowledge of what happened and neither did the fact that I had previously been in charge of domestic intelligence when I was in the court of Queen Elizabeth (and for a while afterwards too). Need to know would have prevented me from learning this much about the Gunpowder plot. I know about it because I went undercover and acted as the 17th century equivalent of a gun moll (like Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde).

Although maybe only four people ever knew all the following information it's pretty easy for anyone to prove who wants to (or to produce one of the best possible graduate thesis's).

Nobody in the English Government knew what the conspirators intended to do before we took over the entire Gunpowder Plot. Also, only a few people at the top of the government knew what was done in response to the plotters original plans.

The plans they had before we took it over was to cave in the buildings from the outside using the gunpowder loaded in carts and wagons. 

westminster in 1585

In greater detail, what the Spanish agents intended to do was to put mainly wagons filled with the gunpowder in between or on the back sides of the buildings while the government was in session. The above painting was made in 1585 and it is fairly accurate (though the land was very rarely that green) and as you can tell there are lots of places around the main buildings for Gunpowder laden carts and wagons. 

They were going to set them all off at the same time or in very rapid sequence so the walls would cave in on all the buildings at once. That would kill everyone in them.
Those buildings were thin wall, mostly Gothic, with flying butresses. Though they could sustain a heavy weight from above, any force from the side (lateral) could easily collapse them.  They were only about a foot thick and up to 60 feet high. All that was needed to collapse them was to explode a moderate amount of gunpowder on one side. If even a small part of one wall of those kinds of buildings collapsed then all the walls would automatically fall in like a house of cards.

All of the buildings would have gone down except possibly the house of commons which was in a location that was hard to get gunpowder near. All the rest of the government from the King and Parliament to everyone else would have been smashed flat and obviously that would have destroyed the government. See the map.

It could have been done in two days and it would have worked magnificently. So Guy had to first talk them into putting all the gunpowder in one cellar and by doing that we were able to drag out the operation for almost two years until we had drawn in and caught almost every foreign spy in England and a few others that were sent special by the Spanish.
bomb divider

After the Gunpowder Plot something had to be done to prevent it from ever happening again. So when the government was out of session workmen (Kings guards out of uniform) would block off the walls from view and for four months pretend to repair them. They would add a foot or so of thickness to the wall and then add a smaller window. Then they would spend a month moving paths, bushes and even trees away from the buildings to compensate for the added thickness of the wall.

Then they repeated the whole process again and again over about a six to ten year period until the walls were at least eight feet thick
and impervious to explosives. It always amazed me that nobody ever seemed to notice that the walls kept getting thicker and thicker while the paths between the buildings kept getting narrower and narrower.

I specifically remember that the west wall of the Queens chamber, which is where Parliament later met, was only about a foot thick and was very weak. I think it was facing a path. A wagon full of gunpowder could have been set off there and the whole building would have caved in.  I recall that whenever I was in that building I always looked out side through the windows about every half hour.

Making the walls thicker was a state secret of the highest importance so all references to the change was crushed and all the secret records were probably destroyed in the 1800's fire that did in everything in Westminster. So there is probably not a person alive that knows this happened but it is very easy to prove to anyone with a brain.

westminster windows
(Borrowed from Parliaments offcial Gunpowder Plot Website.)

big windows
Notice how the windows covered more than half the buildings. 

Compare the same windows to how small they became after the Gunpowder Plot.

newer parliament

This is after they added on more to the 'Queen's chamber' and most other buildings but I have outlined the original structure. As you can see that the windows shrank to these little tiny things in less than a dozen years. Nobody noticed it though. I don't think that there are any references to it. They just shrank and shrank and nobody knows why or when. The why is the Gunpowder Plot and the when is right after it.

Queens outsideTwo hundred years later when they tore down the Queen's Chamber they dismanttled it one brick at a time starting from the outside and working inward. In the painting to the left you can clearly see the outline of one of the old windows all bricked in. (For reference I've indicated the same doorway on both paintings.)*inside windows 

On the 'blueprint' on the right you can see where the large windows were to begin with and their smaller replacements as the walls were thickened.
  These last two pictures are also from Parliament's official Gunpowder Plot Website.

They also raised the lower windows as they made them smaller so that the bottoms of the windows were at least ten feet up. That was so that nobody, especially an assassin, could look directly inside through the windows at the Lords that were inside and then shoot at them. Earlier, before the advent of firearms arrows would never have penetrated the windows but the new muskets could. Also, with the higher windows any gunpowder blast would only blow in the window and be deflected upwards towards the ceiling. The lords would not be killed by the blast or the shattering glass.

Queen at courtBefore all this, when I first joined the court of Queen Elizabeth, this was the same big room she held her court in. My male friends from the stage who played the women's parts would gather outside dressed up in their best dresses. Usually from one of the fancy Italian productions. Then outside the big windows (when they were open) they would mime and mock me obscenely while they pranced back and forth pretending they were me, then when they had a lot of people's attention they would flip open their tops like the French courtesans were known to do in order to attract men. These were the very best male actors in England so it had an incredibly devastating effect on everyone but especially on me.

Of course it was behind the queen so she could not see them but everyone else could. It horrified me beyond belief since they wore lots of make up so that they could not be identified and would have just run off if the queen had seen them. That would have left me looking like even a bigger fool than their parody just had. It horrified me totally.

Once they finished with the reinovations of the buildings, the strangest thing was that you did not notice that there was less light since your eyes got used to it. However, you did notice that the smaller windows let in far less noise from the river. Finally you could hear speakers all the time which you could not before. Also due to those thick walls and lack of air circulation it stayed damp in teh buildings all the time.

On to (or back to) the Gunpowder Plot.
bomb divider

*The only thing that I have no way of knowing, so I can't explain it, is when and why they fully eliminated the small windows and bricked in the wall all the way across (or else left the windows and bricked in behind them).


It was probably to avoid a bombardment from the Thames by either the French or the Spanish.  

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