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Crime and Punishment – The Gunpowder Plot, 1605

6. Annual Commemorations

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore why the Gunpowder Plot is still remembered and commemorated today. If the Plot had succeeded it would have caused huge devastation, changing the course of British history forever. While the commemorations started as celebrations of the Plot's failure with an anti-Catholic theme, they have been reinvented and reinterpreted over the centuries by many different generations to fit within current events and feelings.


In this course, Dr Clare Jackson (University of Cambridge) explores the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. We start by taking a look at the geopolitical and religious challenges that accompanied James I and VI's accession to the English throne. We'll then turn to explore the dilemmas and difficulties of being a Catholic in England at the turn of the 17th century. After this, we'll explore the plot itself - what did happen and crucially what did not happen. In the next two modules, we'll look at the aftermath of plot both domestically and internationally. In the final module, we'll explore the longer term impacts of the plot and the history of the annual commemoration.


Clare Jackson is Senior Tutor at Trinity Hall College, University of Cambridge. She specialises in Stuart Britain from 1603-1715, the politics of multiple monarchy in 17th century Britain, seventeenth-century Scottish legal history and the history of ideas in early modern Britain. She has recently published a book, Devil-Land: England under Siege 1588-1688, and has also presented a number of BBC documentaries on the Stuart period.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jackson, C. (2021, December 01). Crime and Punishment – The Gunpowder Plot, 1605 - Annual Commemorations [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jackson, C. "Crime and Punishment – The Gunpowder Plot, 1605 – Annual Commemorations." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 01 Dec 2021,